The Q&A Archives: Liming centipede lawn

Question: There seems to be 2 schools of thought on liming centipede lawns, what is your take on the question to lime or not to.. we had our soil test by our county extension office and said our ph level was to low and to lime our centipede lawn.. some say never lime a centipede lawn.. help I need the answer.. thanks....

Answer: Centipede grass grows well at a pH of 5.0 to 5.5 and will easily tolerate a pH ranigng as high as 6.0. The 5.0 end is a little more on the acid side than most turf grasses, so that might be where you heard the rule of "never" lime it. Lime is long lasting in the soil and takes a while to leach out once it has been applied so even if you live in an area where lime is needed it would only be applied every few years -- not a routine frequent thing. So maybe that is where the never lime idea is coming from. But truly, whether or not to lime would depend on the kind of soil you have and the results you had on your soil test. If your pH is below 5.0 you might want to lime (per the recommendations) and bring it up over 5.0. If you are unclear about the test results and recommendations you could go back and check again with your county extension and make sure they knew you have centipede grass. pH is interesting. If your soil pH is higher, either naturally or due to earlier or excessive lime appications, say 6.5 on sandy soil or 7.2 on a heavier soil, you might see yellowing of the centipede grass due to the raised pH level and need to supplement iron. But keep in mind the centipede grass coloring will not be as green as some other kinds of grass even when it is completely healthy. You also want to make sure to mow it relatively high, at up to 1.5 to 2 inches tall, and be really careful not to overfertilize it with nitrogen. This is basically a low maintenance grass.

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