A name can say a lot. In the case of Carpet Grass, it almost says it all. Want a grass that looks like carpet? Carpet Grass.
Carpet grass a hardy perennial grass that is an aggressive spreader about as low maintenance as they come. It is particularly suited to areas prone to low fertility, acidic, or just generally poor soils, as it has an ability to withstand very tough conditions and spread out regardless.
The name comes from the fact that it is a particularly thick and low growing variety. The sod is very dense, feeling firm underfoot. This denseness and minimal upkeep associated with the grass makes it a favourite of not only Australian backyards, but of sporting fields, airports and even roadsides.
While technically a warm season grass, Carpet Grass can be grown in nearly all of Australia (with the exception of particularly cold regions, such as Tasmania and Victoria). It will grow best in the Tropical, sub-Tropical and warmer temperate climates from the middle to the north of the country. Despite the preference for warmer areas, it’s still able to withstand up to 50 percent shade without being adversely affected. It also has quite a good tolerance for frosts, albeit only if they are occasional.
Carpet Grass is a very shallow rooted variety, with 90 percent of its roots only penetrating only down to the 0-5cm range of topsoil. While it is a hardy breed, this lack of a deep root system that can reach underground water supplies does mean that its drought tolerance is considered low, and it will need to be nurtured in extended dry periods or if planted in a dry soil.
For use as a backyard lawn, the aggressive spread of Carpet Grass may cause problems if you haven’t got proper barriers in play to stop the lawn overtaking other areas of your garden. Ensuring flower beds and vegie patches are well fenced it important, and making sure you keep an eye on any potential creepers should be inserted into your lawn maintenance routine.
The pros certainly outweigh the cons though, and if you are in an area with reliable rain and generally warm conditions, it’s the sort of grass that you can plant and almost forget about. The hardiness for low quality soil really comes into play in these conditions, as Carpet Grass can put up with acidic soils down to a PH of 4 – and will really thrive with a PH of 5-6 – as well as not requiring a hugely fertile soil to flourish. It will thrive in conditions that most other grasses will find intolerable.
It can handle high traffic areas with ease, as the thickness of the grass combined with a good ability to recover from wear and tear make for the perfect toughness combination.
Carpet Grass seeds develop relatively slowly, and germination can be expected within 2-3 weeks of sowing. Post planting, use of a light roller may be advisable, to assist in the retention of soil moisture, and to ensure good contact between seed and soil.
McKays offers a Carpet Grass Seed that is 100 percent pure and has a minimum germination rate of 85 percent, meaning you’ll have no need to worry that your new turf won’t take on the first sow. Twenty grams of seed per metre should do the trick for getting a brand new patch started, so for a backyard of 100 square metres you’ll require about 2kg of seed.
For more information on McKays’ Carpet Grass Seed, or for any other lawn seeding queries, consult your friendly McKays team.