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How to Grow Carpet Grass

By Laura Wallace Henderson ; Updated September 21, 2017
Healthy carpet grass can improve the appearance of a warm, southern landscape.
Grass lawn image by Dan Marsh from Fotolia.com

Lawn grasses serve a number of functions in the landscape. Grass enhances the appearance of yards, parks and roadways. It protects against erosion and provides a surface for outdoor activities. Grass varieties, like other plants, prefer suitable climates and growing conditions. A type of warm season grass, carpet grass (Axonopus affinis) thrives in many southern states with sandy soils. This creeping, perennial grass forms wide, blunt leaves and produces seeds on slender stalks. Plant this low-maintenance grass in a warm, southern climate. Plant the carpet grass after the last frost in the spring.

Prepare your existing soil for your new grass by removing all traces of plants, including grass, weeds and other vegetation, from the site. Run a rototiller over your soil to break apart underground roots and large clumps of dirt. Rake smooth after tilling the soil.

Spread the carpet grass seed at a rate of about 2 lbs. of seed per 1,000 square feet of lawn. Use a mechanical seed spreader to broadcast the seeds evenly across the site. Rake the new seeds into your prepared soil. Apply a fine mist of water to dampen the surface of the soil and encourage germination.

Water the new grass regularly, keeping the soil slightly moist for the first two weeks. The frequency of your watering sessions depends on your climate and rainfall. Water often enough to keep the top 1 inch of soil barely damp, not wet. Reduce the watering frequency over the following weeks to provide slight dampness at the level of the growing roots. Carpet grass takes eigh to 10 weeks to establish. Water mature carpet grass only during periods of drought.

Mow your carpet grass lawn frequently during the summer. Use a mower with a sharp blade to avoid tearing and damaging the carpet grass. Keep the length of the grass between ¾ inch and 2 inches tall. Limit your grass from producing seed heads by mowing about once a week during the active growing season.

Feed the carpet grass lawn once or twice a year. Apply a nitrogen fertilizer during the late spring and early fall. Mix according to instructions and apply at a rate around 1 lsb. per 1,000 square feet of lawn space. Regular feeding can improve the health of your carpet grass and improve its resistance to weed and pest infestations.

 

Things You Will Need

  • Rototiller
  • Rake
  • Seed spreader
  • Garden hose
  • Sprinkler
  • Lawn mower
  • Fertilizer

Tip

  • Although healthy lawns resist diseases, carpet grass may experience grub and cricket infestations. Use an approved insecticide to treat and control these pest infestations.

About the Author

 

Laura Wallace Henderson, a professional freelance writer, began writing in 1989. Her articles appear online at Biz Mojo, Walden University and various other websites. She has served as the co-editor for "Kansas Women: Focus on Health." She continues to empower and encourage women everywhere by promoting health, career growth and business management skills.