Carpetgrass is a slow-growing, medium-green (and sometimes greenish yellow), coarsely textured turfgrass that is adapted to low-maintenance, general-purpose turf. It prefers full sun to moderate shade and performs well in wet, shady, acidic soils where other grasses may not. Carpetgrass looks very similar to centipedegrass except that it produces a crabgrass-like seedhead, and centipedegrass has hairs along the edges of the leaves.
DO NOT apply nitrogen now. Have the soil tested every third year to determine nutrient and lime requirements. (Contact your Cooperative Extension center for details.)
Check for white grubs, mole crickets, armyworms, and sod webworms. On dry, well-drained soils, also check for nematodes. If you suspect nematode damage, ask your Cooperative Extension agent how to submit a sample for analysis.
Make sure your lawn gets 1 inch of water each week. If it doesn't rain enough, you may need to water. In dry, sandy soils, you may need to water ½ inch every third or fourth day. Proper irrigation helps prevent or reduce problems in the summer.
Mow the lawn to 1½ inches when it turns green in the spring. Do not let it grow taller than 2¼ inches. Use a rotary mower to remove the seedheads. NEVER burn Carpetgrass to remove excessive debris.
Replant bare areas no earlier than April 15 (or when average daytime temperatures are continually above 60° F). Use 2 pounds of seed per 1,000 square feet or 1½ bushels of sprigs per 1,000 square feet. (One square yard of turf pulled apart is equivalent to one bushel of sprigs.) It's easier to spread seed if you mix it with fine sand. Rake seeds into the soil or cover the seeds lightly with light soil. Keep the seedbed continually moist, but not soggy, with several light waterings daily for several weeks. Seeds should germination in 7 to 10 days. Continue to water regularly for several weeks to keep seedlings from dying.
Thatch (layer of undecomposed grass) is usually not a problem unless you overfertilize or overwater. If thatch is thicker than ½ inch, power rake (vertical mow) lightly several weeks after spring greenup. Space blades 2 to 3 inches apart and ½ inch deep in one direction. Do not use a vertical mower with a 1-inch blade spacing or you will severely damage your lawn.
Unless your Cooperative Extension agent suggests otherwise, do not make a broadcast application of herbicide. Carpetgrass is sensitive to most herbicides, and most herbicides are not labeled for use on Carpetgrass. Manage weeds by hand pulling and mowing.
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raceme; 2-5 spikes in each head; spikes broad at base, and tapering to a point
leaves folded in the bud
short, fringe of hairs fused at the base, 0.04 inches (1 mm) wide
warm season turf or perennial weed
0.16 - 0.31 inches (4 - 8 mm) wide
continuous; not hairy or with only a few hairs
open; sheath has few long hairs on margin
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