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Carpetgrass lawn Maintenance Guide

December - February

Irrigation

Water occasionally, especially in sandy, well-drained soils.

Mowing

Remove lawn debris (rocks, sticks, and leaves). NEVER burn off carpetgrass to remove excessive debris.

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.

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.

June - August

Disease Control

Watch for Brown (Large) Patch Disease, which shows up as circular patches of brown grass up to several feet in diameter.

Fertilization

Fertilize with ½ pound of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet in mid-June. A second application in mid-August may enhance your lawn if you live along the coast. Use a slow-release fertilizer to help reduce or prevent Brown (Large) Patch Disease. You need to apply pound of nitrogen square feet, but how much fertilizer do you need to buy? Divide 50 by the FIRST number on the fertilizer bag. For example, if you've got a 5-5-15 fertilizer, you divide 50 by 5 and you get 10. That means you need to buy 10 pounds of fertilizer for every 1,000 square feet of lawn.

Insect Control

Check for white grubs, mole crickets, armyworms. 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 grass to 1½ inches with a rotary mower, every 10 to 14 days, or before grass grows above 2¼ inches tall.

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.

September - November

Disease Control

Watch for Brown (Large) Patch Disease.

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

Continue to water as needed to avoid wilt until your lawn begins to turn brown (the onset of dormancy). Although a dormant lawn requires less water, make sure the soil doesn't get powder dry. Sandy, well-drained soils are most susceptible to drought.

Mowing

Raise the height to 2 inches 4 weeks before the first expected hard freeze.