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What is Carpet Grass?

A look at a carpet of grass being installed onto the yard.

There are pros and cons to laying out carpet grass. It is an option that can enhance any lawn. By looking into the positives and negatives, one can decide if it is right for them. Not all regions can have this turf, so it is essential to weigh the options.

Some people may think of “The Jungle Room” at Graceland, where Elvis Presley lived when they hear the term “carpet grass.” This is not something new, but it is also not something a person can put down on the floor in their home.

Carpet grass is for outdoor use only and is real grass that grows and needs to be tended to like any lawn but with lower maintenance. It gets its name because it is laid out like a carpet over the ground, and the grass looks like a carpet when it is appropriately kept up.

What Are the Physical Features of Carpet Grass and What Is It?

Carpet grass has shallow roots and can grow as tall as 20 inches. It is a grass which catches on quickly and spreads far and wide. Carpet grass has a weedy appearance, especially if it is allowed to grow, but it fills all the spots of dead grass or areas where the grass is not growing.

If kept up with and kept short, the grass looks like it is a carpet for outdoors. The grass looks like crabgrass and has course blades. Carpet grass shoots up seed stalks, which is difficult to cut, so it is important to mow the lawn at least every five days.

When and Where Is Carpet Grass Used?

A roll of artificial grass carpet being installed onto a sandy ground.

Since carpet grass is a turfgrass, it is found in large fields or pastures. It is also used for some lawns to cover those spots where the grass does not grow or where the soil is not fertile. All it needs to grow properly is a wet and warm climate.

The entire southeastern United States has the perfect environment, especially with the humidity. This area covers Texas to Florida and from Louisiana to Virginia.

Many areas of the world have carpet grass where there is low soil fertility. Carpet grass is a low-quality forage. Other parts of the world where carpet grass grows is in South Africa and Australia. It takes the warmth of the climate closer to the equator and being next to a body of water to keep the humidity high. These are the perfect settings where carpet grass grows.

Carpet grass is used where there are patchy areas of a lawn which is dead or have slow growth. People plant it in shady areas where they want the grass to grow like under trees. While carpet grass grows like crabgrass, it fills in the spaces necessary to make a green lawn. It sprouts fast, so there is no time wasted in waiting. Once it catches, it will blend in well with other types of grass. Carpet grass stops erosion from occurring. Since it grows in wet areas, it is perfect for keeping the soil and land in check.

When Is It Not a Good Idea to Use Carpet Grass?

For most people who do not want the look of different types of grass or want weeds in their yard, carpet grass is not recommended. If growing in patches, it must be kept into consideration the grass will multiply quickly and spread throughout the yard. It is mostly up to the landowner if they like the look or not of certain weeds. Carpet grass only grows well in sandy soil, so it is not good to plant the grass if the soil is fertile and rich or made for an expensive lawn.

The carpet grass is considered weeds in some locations. If the landowner does not want to mow the lawn every five days, the seed stalks can grow from one to two feet tall and remove the neatness of the property. If the grass is mowed regularly, it will be easy to keep everything the same length. If it is not, the seeds will spread and get out of control. Once it is out of hand, it is almost impossible to regain control.

Carpet Grass Maintenance

A gardener lightly raking the soil before installing the carpet of grass.

It was always said, it is not easy to maintain carpet grass other than keeping it looking good. Most of the maintenance comes at the time of planting. When laying down the carpet grass, all other plants in the soil must be removed. The exact amount of sand must be added for the carpet grass to survive. Some would say the more sand, the better the grass will grow. Once the sand is spread in the soil, it needs to be leveled.

As most grass takes fertile soil to grow, carpet grass is the opposite and needs sand added with a little bit of fertilizer. It is a critical note not to use too much fertilizer. Spreading by the handfuls throughout the layout should suffice. During rainy seasons, the grass will not need to be watered, but if the rain does not happen, then it is mandatory to water the lawn, or the carpet grass will die. The last thing needed to maintain carpet grass is keeping it cut short. This will keep everything even and presentable.

The Pros of Carpet Grass

For the lawn masters, it is all about keeping everything green and trimmed. Where regular grass will not grow, carpet grass will. Many people would like their picnic tables or hang out areas under the trees. Under the trees, there is no grass due to lack of sun and the tree roots. It makes a beautiful landscape to have carpet grass where other species will not grow.

When there is an area where no grass is growing, the land tends to erode. The grass will always keep the soil intact and prevent erosion. Nobody wants their land to disappear or have holes in the property. Keeping erosion from the areas where grass does not grow is the biggest asset for planting carpet grass. Other than watering the carpet grass, it is no trouble to keep up with since everyone has to mow their lawns anyway. Watering and cutting it is the only maintenance. It is inexpensive to maintain and can keep up with foot traffic and still stay green.

The Limitations Or Set Backs From Having Carpet Grass

A woman walking barefoot on the well-maintained grass lawn.

There are some cons or limitations to having carpet grass. The biggest problem is when there is a drought, the grass will not survive unless it is watered daily. During the seasons, the carpet grass is a little offset from the rest of the species.

During the springtime, it takes a little longer than the rest of the grass to turn green and grow. It all depends on how much water the grass gets. Most people do not care about carpet grass due to the way it looks. The main thing to remember is it is up to the landowner their cares and not about what other people think.

In the wintertime, if it is cold, the carpet grass will turn brown faster than the other species. This leaves a shorter amount of time with green grass. The worst problem or limitation people have with carpet grass is it is invasive. Once it is planted, it will take over any territory within a short period. It is tougher to control around flower beds, sidewalks, and other locations where the grass can creep up on anything.

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