I like to adorn my lawn with various types of grasses and bushes. If you are anything like me, then you know how different species thrive on different pH levels. Most of the time, the soil you’re working with has high pH. This can often create a dilemma if you don’t know how to lower pH in centipede grass.
Evidently, you can easily maintain soil pH by adding various types of fertilizers. Some fertilizers, including sulfur and phosphate, can lower the pH levels rapidly. You can even use certain types of compost to prevent pH imbalance. If any of these intrigues you, then you’re for a treat in this article.
How Does High pH Affect Centipede Grass?
Unlike other types of grasses, centipede grass requires a certain pH level (5.5 – 6.5) to grow to its maximum height. This type of grass largely relies on the soil pH for its healthy growth. Balancing the pH in the soil will allow the grass to gain more nutrients through the roots.
This gives them a bright green color like no other. But what happens when the pH is too high? The answer is simple. You will start noticing discoloration in the grass, and they will start to wither. High pH makes the soil more acidic, which is not ideal for root growth.
In fact, this often leads to burnt roots, which are incapable of absorbing the essential nutrients from the soil. It can also promote weed growth, which completely overwhelms the rest of the grass in the area.
How To Balance The pH In Centipede Grass?
Just because the grass has begun to wither doesn’t mean you can’t balance the pH in the soil. There are plenty of fertilizers that can increase or decrease the pH level. But for that you need to know whether your soil lacks pH or not.
Testing the soil will allow you to determine the pH almost instantly. You can either use white vinegar to test the acidity of the soil or baking soda to test the alkalinity.
Testing With White Vinegar
Select a certain portion of the soil to run the tests and pour some white vinegar on it. The reaction you get will help you determine the pH level. If the vinegar starts fizzing, then the soil is definitely alkaline. No fizzing means the soil is slightly acidic, and if the vinegar doesn’t react, then the pH is balanced.
Testing With Baking Soda
Baking soda will have an opposite reaction than white vinegar. When you pour baking soda on acidic soil, it starts effervescing. You won’t notice any fizzes if it’s alkaline. A neutral pH level will give you no reaction at all (just like white vinegar).
Different Fertilizers For Different pH Levels
As I already mentioned, there are plenty of fertilizers for balancing pH levels of centipede grass. After determining the pH level with the aforementioned tests, you need to choose a fertilizer. You need to know how each type of fertilizer affects the soil so you can make the right choice.
Compost is an excellent fertilizer that’s known for lowering pH in soil. However, do you to its extremely acidic properties, compost fertilizers are often accompanied by sulfur. This combination allows you to balance out the pH level in a matter of seconds.
Sulfur is not just a good pH balancing agent. It’s also one of the key nutrients for plants, which deliver essential vitamins and proteins. I consider sulfur fertilizers as the best option for lowering pH. Sulfur promotes root growth as well, which helps the centipede grass gain more nutrients.
Using Powdered Lime
Powdered lime is another strong agent when it comes to lowering pH. It’s mostly suitable for soil that has the lowest pH levels. It quickly raises the acidity in the soil to boost the pH. Powdered lime is so powerful that I don’t recommend using more than 50 lbs per 1000 sq ft.
Other Factors That Keep pH Levels Stable
Picking the right fertilizer for your centipede grass is crucial, but that isn’t all. There are still some major factors to consider which can help you maintain the pH on the long run.
Amount of Fertilizer to Use
Pouring the right amount of fertilizer is as important as picking the type of fertilizer. However, the amount mostly depends on the kind of soil you are working with.
If you are planting centipede grass on medium loam soils, then you need no more than 3 kg of fertilizer per square foot. Sandy loam soils, on the other hand, require 2 kg for the same amount of soil. Meanwhile, if your garden has an abundance of clay, 4 kg is the perfect amount.
Ample Amounts of Water
I can’t stress how important it is to regularly water your plants if you want healthy growth. The same goes for centipede grass. Any time you put fertilizer in your soil, it’s recommended to water it down afterwards. This helps the fertilizers reach the depths of the soil and balance pH much faster.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the fastest way to lower pH in soil?
Firstly, you need to analyze the soil in your yard to determine the pH imbalance. This will help you choose the ideal way. If you want faster results, then applying sulfur-enriched fertilizers will do the trick. Aluminium sulfate and sulfuric acid can also lower pH levels at an impressive rate.
2. What is the ideal pH for centipede grass?
You must keep the soil pH levels between 5.0 and 6.0 if you want to grow centipede grass. The grass will show a yellowish hue that indicates the pH levels have crossed their ideal limit.
3. What is the cheapest way to lower pH in soil?
Using elemental sulfur directly on the soil is the most affordable method to reduce pH levels.
If you didn’t miss a single segment in this article, then I would like to congratulate you as you now know how to lower pH in centipede grass. This information will also help you grow different types of grass and plants in your garden. Different plants thrive at different pH levels, so make sure to research them.