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Carpetgrass

Description

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.

lawn Maintenance for March - May

Fertilization

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.)

Insect Control

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.

Irrigation

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.

Mowing

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.

Renovation

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 Removal

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.

Weed Control

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.

Presentations

Publications

Species Data

Seedhead/Flower

raceme; 2-5 spikes in each head; spikes broad at base, and tapering to a point

p1130616
p1130616
p1130616
p1130624
p1130624
p1130624
seedhead
seedhead
seedhead
seedhead2
seedhead2
seedhead2
Vernation type

leaves folded in the bud

autopsy2
autopsy2
autopsy2
vernation
vernation
vernation
Ligule Type

short, fringe of hairs fused at the base, 0.04 inches (1 mm) wide

dscn0566
dscn0566
dscn0566
Growth Season/Life Cycle

warm season turf or perennial weed

Auricle type

absent

Leaf blade tip shape

boat shaped

dscn0575
dscn0575
dscn0575
leafattach
leafattach
leafattach
leaftip
leaftip
leaftip
Leaf blade width

0.16 - 0.31 inches (4 - 8 mm) wide

leafattach
leafattach
leafattach
Stolon Presence

present

Rhizome Presence

absent

Collar Type

continuous; not hairy or with only a few hairs

Sheath Margin

open; sheath has few long hairs on margin

Sports Turf App

Whether you’re a professional superintendent for a pro team or a local high school athletic field director, the NCSU Sports Turf App contains sports turf specific information to help improve your fields.