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Axonopus affinis
( Carpet Grass )

This grass, known as carpet grass, has two to five ascending spiked seedheads from flattened, smooth stolons. Smooth leaf blades with rounded tips. Long hairs appear on leaf sheath margin and base margin. Seed and stolon reproduction. Prefers moist, low sites. Can be used with centipede grass. It requires little care and can take hard wear. Grown only in Florida and along the Gulf Coast.


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Characteristics
Cultivar: n/a  
Family:  
Size: Height: 0 ft. to 0 ft.
Width: 0 ft. to 0 ft.  
Plant Category: perennials, turf grasses,  
Plant Characteristics: low maintenance,  
Foliage Characteristics:  
Foliage Color: green,  
Flower Characteristics:  
Flower Color:  
Tolerances: heat & humidity,  
Requirements
Bloomtime Range: not applicable  
USDA Hardiness Zone: 10 to 11  
AHS Heat Zone: Not defined for this plant  
Light Range: Part Shade to Full Sun  
pH Range: 5 to 7  
Soil Range: Sand to Clay Loam  
Water Range: Normal to Moist  

Plant Care



Fertilizing
Tools : Aerators

Most lawns benefit from being aerated once a year, especially if you know your soil is compacted. Aeration is a mechanical means of loosening compacted soil by punching or pulling plugs of soil from the ground. Aeration increases air, water and nutrients to plant roots. If you were able to view a cross section of turf several weeks after aeration, you would see the holes filled with little white roots. Two types of aerators are:
    Spike Aerator: star-shaped or nail-like spikes which punch holes in the ground.
    Hollow-tined or Plug Aerator: penetrates turf deeply, removing plugs of soil or sod. The plugs should be allowed to dry on top of the turf. Break up the plugs by dragging a mat or piece of lathe across the turf. The soil from the plugs topdresses the turf, returning micronutirents back to the turf. These micronutrients will help to breakdown any thatch layers in the turf. Aerators are typically used in the spring or late summer/fall.

    Tools : Spreaders

    Spreaders are necessary for the accurate and even distribution of fertilizers, grass seed, and other materials. Push spreaders (cyclone or drop) have a flow gadge that is set per instructions on product label to ensure proper rate of distribution.

    How-to : Fertilize Lawn

    Now is the time to fertilize the lawn.

    Light
    Conditions : Partial Shade

    Partial Shade is defined as filtered light found beneath trees with high limbs. Partial shade usually offers some protection from direct afternoon sun.

    Conditions : Full Sun

    Full Sun is defined as exposure to more than 6 hours of continuous, direct sun per day.

    Watering
    Tools : Watering Aides

    No gardener depends 100% on natural rainfall. Even the most water conscious garden appreciates the proper hose, watering can or wand.
      Watering Cans: Whether you choose plastic of galvanized makes no difference, but do look for generous capacity and a design that is balanced when filled with water. A 2 gallon can (which holds 18 lbs. of water) is preferred by most gardeners and is best suited for outdoor use. Indoor cans should be relatively smaller with narrower spouts and roses (the filter head).
      Watering Hose: When purchasing a hose, look for one that is double-walled, as it will resist kinking. Quick coupler links are nice to have on ends of hoses to make altering length fast. To extend the life of your hose, keep it wound around a reel and stored in a shady area. Prior to winter freezes, drain hose.
      Sprayers: Are commonly thought of as devices for applying chemicals, but can really be a step saver for watering houseplants or small pots of annuals rather that dragging out a hose or making numerous trips with a watering can. The backpack sprayer is best suited for this. Take care not to use any kind of chemical in tanks used for watering!
      Sprinklers: Attached to the ends of garden hoses, these act as an economical irrigation system. Standing Spike Sprinklers are usually intended for lawns and deliver water in a circular pattern. Rotating Sprinklers deliver a circle of water and are perfect for lawns, shrubs and flower beds. Pulse-jet sprinklers cover large areas of ground in a pulsating, circular pattern. The head usually sits up on a tall stem, except for when watering lawns. Oscillating sprinklers are best for watering at ground level in a rectangular pattern.


    Conditions : Moist

    Moist is defined as soil that receives regular watering to a depth of 18 inch deep, does not dry out, but does not have a drainage problem either.

    How-to : Watering Lawns

    Lawns require more water per square foot than any other garden plant. People use a high percentage of their household water budget on lawns, and generally apply more water than they actually need. In this day of water shortages, steps people might consider include: minimizing the lawn size that fits your needs, planting grass types that are best suited for your environment and automating a sprinkler system to apply just enough water and no more.

    Select your seed to minimize supplemental watering. Certain bermudas, bluegrass, ryegrass, fine textured fescues and bentgrass varieties can require higher amounts of water, while tall fescues, common bermuda and buffalo grass are more drought tolerant.

    In general a lawn needs to be watered if the annual rainfall is below 40 inches per year. Additionally in droughty summer periods, if it hasn't rained at least one inch within the past 7 to 10 days, you need to water your lawn. Some people make the mistake of applying frequent, light sprinklings. This does not benefit the lawn; rather it wastes water and encourages annual weeds. Apply enough water to work its way down into the root zone (the top 12 inches of soil). Then wait to re-water only when rainfall is insufficient. The bottom line is to water slowly, infrequently and deeply.

    Planting
    How-to : Lawn Soil Preparation

    Soil should provide a good rooting environment that supplies adequate moisture, air, and nutrients. The new lawn site should first be worked to insure uniform drainage and water penetration. Remove old sod or existing weeds, which can prevent new seeds from rooting properly. This can be done by hand or with a nonselective herbicide that will kill roots too. Add limestone if the pH of your soil is too low (6.0 or lower); consult your garden center for specific rates to properly adjust pH. Also add a starter fertilizer, which is high in phosphorus (important for new root growth). Organic matter in the form of peat moss or rotted compost may be added at a rate of 1 cubic yard per 1000 sq. feet area . Rake all these materials together, smooth, then firm the seedbed with a roller prior to seeding. Finally soak the seeding area and keep it moist until you are ready to seed.

    How-to : Lawn Seed Selection

    When planning a lawn consider your climate and the use the lawn will get. Some species do not grow well when subjected to excess foot traffic, others form a denser mat which resists wear.

    Grass seed are characterized according to temperature. Cool season grasses are best suited to the northern half of the United States, while warm season grasses are best for the southern half of the US. Cool season grasses, generally grown from seed, withstand cold winters, but suffer in hot, dry summer conditions and should not be mowed too closely. They are usually established during their active growing season, the cooler months.

    Warm season grasses, can be seeded, grown from plugs (small circles of turf), sprigs (stolons or rhizomes) or sodded, and are more heat, drought and wear tolerant than cool season grasses. They also can be mowed more closely and will lose color when temperatures creep below 50 degrees F. Warm season grasses are usually established during their growing season, the warmer months. Sod can be layed any time of year.

    Instead of a single type of seed, it may be preferable to go with a mixture of different types of seed. While a single type of seed will produce a lawn which looks more uniform, this lawn will be more susceptible to disease and other damage resulting in loss of the lawn. A mixture of seed will provide you with some insurance as a population of different grass types will be better able to survive any adversity.

    Warm Season Grasses include: Common Bermuda, Hybrid Bermudas, Centepede, Zoysia, St. Augustine, Buffalo Grass, Bahaia. Cool Season Grasses include: Fescues, Perennial Bluegrass, Rye, Bentgrass.

    How-to : Seeding a Lawn

    Late summer through early fall are generally the best times to sow grass seed. Sow the seed with a rotary spreader to assure uniform distribution. After seeding, roll the surface to ensure that the seeds are making good contact with the soil. Water seedbed thoroughly and keep it uniformly moist until all seed has sprouted (this may take 2 to 3 weeks). The first mowing cut should be high (about 2 inches) and make sure the mower blades are sharp.

    Problems
    Weeds : Preventing Weeds and Grass

    Weeds rob your plants of water, nutrients and light. They can harbor pests and diseases. Before planting, remove weeds either by hand or by spraying an herbicide according to label directions. Another alternative is to lay plastic over the area for a couple of months to kill grass and weeds.

    You may apply a pre-emergent herbicide prior to planting, but be sure that it is labeled for the plants you are wishing to grow. Existing beds may be spot sprayed with a nonselective herbicide, but be careful to shield those plants you do not want to kill. Non-selective means that it will kill everything it comes in contact with.

    Mulch plants with a 3 inch layer of pinestraw, pulverized bark, or compost. Mulch conserves moisture, keeps weeds down, and makes it easier to pull when necessary.

    Porous landscape or open weave fabric works too, allowing air and water to be exchanged.

    Miscellaneous
    Glossary : Low Maintenance

    Low maintenance does not mean no maintenance. It does mean that once a plant is established, very little needs to be done in the way of water, fertilizing, pruning, or treatment in order for the plant to remain healthy and attractive. A well-designed garden, which takes your lifestyle into consideration, can greatly reduce maintenance.

    Glossary : Southeast

    Southeast pertains to plants native to parts of or all of the southeastern region of the United States, including lower parts of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Florida, Arkansas, Tennessee, eastern Texas.

    Glossary : Grass

    Grass: A member of the Poaceae family, usually having round, hollow or solid stems with regularly spaced nodes. Seed are produced on spikes in the form of a raceme, panicle, or spike.

    Glossary : Perennial

    Perennial: traditionally a non-woody plant that lives for two or more growing seasons.

    Glossary : Seed Start

    Seed Start: easily propagated from seed.

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