Carpetgrass – In Centipede Lawn
Q: Last summer I planted a grass mixture in our newly graded lawn. It had carpetgrass to fill in quickly and centipedegrass to establish more slowly. Now I have mostly carpetgrass, quite a few blobs of centipedegrass, and a moderate amount of weeds. Will the carpetgrass ever go away on its own?
A: It’s not likely that carpetgrass will survive the year. It requires constant soil moisture and will probably fade away during the summer.
That’s good news, because carpetgrass produces big, ugly seedheads every five days. They make a lawn look really messy.
Carpetgrass also has poor cold hardiness, turning brown with the first cold spell, and is really slow to green-up in the spring.
It’s only recommended in wet, shady areas where ease of maintenance is more important than good looks. To encourage the centipedegrass to take over, fertilize with 15-0-15 after spring greenup and then again in mid summer. Do not apply fertilizer in fall.
Native plant enthusiast Elaine Nash begs to differ!
I happened to be listening to Walter’s radio program and he told a woman carpet grass (Axonopus fissifolius) didn’t grow this far north.
It is a native and at least in this part of the Piedmont it is pretty common. I usually find it in most natural areas on paths or more open areas. I agree it is more evident the further south you go.
I’ve had it in my yard for the past 45 years. I’d rather have it near flower beds than either zoysia or Bermuda because it is easier to dig out. All three are invasive when it comes to flower beds because all three are stoloniferous. There are visible seed heads right now.
It would make a good highway r/w grass because it only becomes annoying in the fall when it sends up seed heads that slap your ankles. It wouldn’t need cutting but once a year. It is a useful pasture grass in low mucky areas and would make a good path or trail grass because it thrives being walked on. It is a warm-season grass but also takes some shade.