Centipede is the dominant lawn grass in our area. It is very tolerant of insects and diseases, however, it is not tolerant of Cultural Mismanagement which causes Centipede Decline.
Centipede Decline is a term we use to describe some sick Centipede lawns. Its number-one cause is mowing too high, which allows thatch to develop. You must stay within recommended mowing heights. As this thatch is built up from high cutting heights, the roots gradually disassociate with the soil and root only into the thatch layer. This is often seen as the grass that wiggles when you walk on it. It then dies out in a pockmarked fashion, or as if a herd of horses ran across the lawn during hot, dry periods in late Spring. Some things that contribute to this problem are: Customers who fertilize behind us, Molecrickets, Nematodes, and Lime. Liming Centipede grass will kill it, period. Please don’t do it.
You can lessen the severity of Centipede Decline by staying within recommended cutting height all Summer. Also, it is very important that after your lawn turns brown with the first frost, lower your mower deck one notch and bag up the old leaf blades. This is not quite scalping, and will help keep your thatch problems under control.