If you’re looking to make over your lawn, you have some choices to make about what kind of grass you want to plant.
Two popular lawn types of grass that offer great aesthetics and hardiness are carpet grass and St Augustine grass. Still, each has its own benefits and drawbacks.
Ultimately, which one you choose will depend on your personal preferences, the amount of time you want to invest in maintaining your lawn, and the climate zone where you live.
Let’s take a look at the most important differences between carpet grass and St Augustine grass so that you can choose which one is best for your home.
Carpet Grass Vs St Augustine Grass
Carpet grass (scientific name, ‘Axonopus fissifolius’) grows about 5 feet tall. It has dark green, narrow blades that grow about 1/2 to 3/4 inch wide. St. Augustinegrass, on the other hand, can reach heights of 10 feet or more and its leaves are wider and blue-green in color; many homeowners consider it a manly grass.
When it comes to your yard, maintenance isn’t simply an afterthought-it’s an important part of landscaping. Many people want a lush, green lawn but never seem to be able to achieve it.
If you don’t know what maintenance will be required or where you can find good tips and advice on how to maintain both types of turf grass (carpet and st Augustine), read on. You may have more options than you realize.
Carpet grass: Low maintenance. This type of turf requires less water and fertilizer than other types of grass, making it a good choice if you’re looking to save money on landscaping.
It can also be mowed at a shorter height than St Augustine, which means you won’t have to worry about replacing it as often. However, carpet grass isn’t as durable or long-lasting as St Augustine, and it doesn’t grow back quite as quickly after you cut it.
St Augustine: More maintenance. This type of turf needs to be fertilized at least twice a year and requires regular watering during dry periods. While you can mow it higher than carpet grass, you’ll need to be diligent about maintaining its height, or it will begin to take over other sections of your yard.
It also won’t grow back as quickly as carpet grass if you have mishaps with your mower. However, St Augustine is much more durable and can last several years longer than carpet grass in most climates before needing replacement.
Carpet grass typically grows to be a little taller than St. Augustine, but it can get its height (up to three feet) in about half as much time (between 6 and 8 weeks). But the growth rate isn’t everything-how long each type of lawn stays green makes a difference in your yard.
If you keep up with weekly mowing and watering, both types will stay green throughout most of the summer, which means lots of great outdoor time at home. And if you let either grow tall without regular attention, they can develop unsightly brown or yellow patches that aren’t very attractive.
You don’t have to worry about either type turning brown in winter because they’ll turn completely dormant once cold weather hits. However, if you’re looking for a year-round solution, consider using low-maintenance sod instead.
Carpet grass has become one of America’s most popular yard choices, and for a good reason. It’s pretty, it’s easy to maintain, and its dense growth makes it a great shade-provider. But it does have some downsides.
For starters, while you may never need to mow it more than twice a month in summertime (if that), you do need to water it a lot-maybe even daily during dry periods.
Another downside: Carpet grass grows slowly and irregularly, so if you want consistent coverage or even green color throughout your yard, you’ll have to continue overseeding throughout springtime and fall.
On the other hand, St Augustine grass is a more drought-tolerant option. It’s a good choice if you live in an area with little rain or are concerned about water conservation.
But it also requires less maintenance than carpet grass-you only need to mow it once every few weeks and only need to water it once or twice a month during dry periods. It also grows quickly and evenly, so you won’t have to worry about overseeding.
How To Grow Carpet Grass?
Carpet grasses are cool season, perennial bunch-type grasses. They grow in clumps rather than spread by stolons or rhizomes. Carpet grass will do best in the U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 through 8 and requires full sun to light shade and medium to moist soil conditions.
To grow carpet grass, you must first prepare a good seed bed that has been worked up into fine, loose soil. Then sow seeds at a depth of 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch depending on how large your plants are when they mature.
Lightly rake over seeds with a rake so that they are covered lightly with soil and water lightly but thoroughly. Watering can be difficult because it’s important not to overwater carpet grass as it grows very quickly once established, so check often for dryness and water as needed if the weather doesn’t provide adequate moisture naturally.
It should take about two weeks for carpet grass to germinate, and then after another two weeks, it should have grown enough to start mowing. Mow frequently until plants reach the desired height. Once they reach their final height, mow them less frequently since they don’t need much maintenance once established.
If necessary, fertilize once every three months with a slow-release fertilizer. Don’t fertilize while plants grow vigorously during hot weather; wait until fall or early spring.
Also, avoid walking on newly seeded areas to avoid compacting soils and damaging roots, which could kill young seedlings. If you’re planning to transplant carpet grass from an area where it was already growing, try digging up plants in late fall before cold temperatures set in.
How To Grow St Augustine Grass?
Whether you’re a master gardener or just getting started, here are some simple ways to ensure that you’ll have a beautiful and full lawn. To grow St Augustine grass in your yard, it’s important to understand how much sunlight and water each variety needs.
When it comes to sunlight requirements, most people don’t realize that there are actually two types of St Augustine grasses – one variety requires more sunlight than another. The common type of St Augustine will do best in the partial shade, while the dwarf variety can tolerate up to six hours of direct sun per day.
However, both varieties will do well with at least four hours of sunlight per day. If you want to start growing St Augustine grass from seed, consider planting your seeds directly into the soil around mid-March.
Since these seeds need constant moisture in order to germinate properly, keep them watered until they sprout. Once they sprout, be sure to give them plenty of light and water every other day until they reach their mature height (approximately 1 inch). This should take about 10 days.
You may also choose to purchase starter plants instead of starting from seed. In addition to sunlight and water, St Augustine grass also needs nutrients in order to thrive. Consider adding fertilizer once a month during the spring and summer months when growth is at its peak.
Fertilizer should contain between 15-30% nitrogen and 3-10% phosphorus along with trace amounts of potassium and magnesium as well as iron if you live in an area where iron deficiency is prevalent (ask your local nursery if unsure).
Be sure not to overdo it on fertilizing, though. Too much fertilizer can cause yellowing leaves, which indicates that too many nutrients are being absorbed by your plant, which causes an imbalance in your soil’s pH levels -which we’ll talk about later.
When it comes to hardy, beautiful and resilient turf, two of today’s most popular options are Carpet Grass and St. Augustine Grass. However, if you’re going to invest in a new type of lawn, it’s important to know what makes each variety tick.
The best way to find out which option works best for you is to take time and research these varieties to ensure that your money isn’t wasted on a losing option.
Thankfully, with our helpful guide, you can easily learn about these types of turf so that you can be confident in making an informed decision.