Carpet Grass Uses: Information On Carpetgrass In Lawn Areas
The term “carpet” refers to any type of perennial grasses that are not native to North America. They include Bermuda grass (Aeolus species), Kentucky bluegrass (Festuca rubra) and Carolina Bluegrass (Centaurea species).
Carbon black (Chlorophytum comosum) is another common name for the same plant family. It may have been introduced from Europe or Asia. Its leaves are dark green with small white spots. It grows well in moist areas and can tolerate low levels of light. It produces large clumps of fine, upright stems that are often used as ground covers in lawns and gardens.
In addition to these two common names, there are many other names given to carpet grasses. Some refer specifically to the species Centipede grass (Trametes versicolor). Others use the generic name “centipedes.” Still others use terms such as “mushroom grass,” which refers only to the genus Trametes. A few prefer the term “zoysa grass” because it sounds less threatening than “carpet.”
Carpet grass is sometimes confused with centipede grass because they are both in the same family (Liliaceae) and somewhat resemble each other. However, centipede grass blades are wider and more pointed. They also grow in clumps that branch out from a central point.
There are other plants that may be called carpet grasses, but you can easily tell these apart. For example, the leaves of St. Augustine grass (Stenotaphrum secundatum) are large and sharp, but the stems grow in clumps. The blades of curly-leafed turfgrass (Agrostis microtra) also grow in clumps, but they are flat with very small hairs on the edges.
All carpet grasses spread by stolons and other creeping stems. In addition, they produce seeds which can help increase their numbers. The seeds of most carpet grasses contain a tuft of hair. When mature, the seeds are blown by the wind to new locations where they land with their hair tuft down. The wind carries them further once they land.
This is called “ballistic” seed dispersal.
The grasses can be confused with mushrooms because the root, or mycelia, of many types grow beneath the soil and interfere with some lawn grasses and other types of plants around them. The problem with many types of mushrooms is that they are poisonous.
Carpet grass can be confused with another fungus called “miller-thumb” or “stump puffball” (Calvatia utriformis). This mushroom has a dark brown, “umbrella-shaped” head. It grows in clusters on the ground. These mushrooms are edible, but some people have reported stomachaches after eating them.
Carpet grass causes “millertus” or “lawnmolt” in some types of turf and grass. The symptoms of this disease are most severe during hot, humid weather. They resemble the symptoms of several other common diseases of turf such as that caused by nematodes (Brown patch), the fungus Blumerrella mucidans, and the bacterial wilt agent Ralstonia solanacearum. The disease can either occur suddenly or develop gradually in small, irregular patches. The leaves in infected areas turn a tan or yellowish-brown color and die.
When the weather is hot and humid, the dead patches of grass turn dark brown.
There are no chemical control options for this disease since it is a naturally occurring organism. The best way to control it is to prevent its spread. It can be spread through spores that are windblown or by infested garden tools. It can also spread through some types of animals, people and equipment that move from one lawn to another. The fungus can survive in soil for several months and can also over winter in plant debris.
Whenever possible, try to dispose of lawn clippings and other plant debris by placing it in a covered trash container or burn it. Scraping tools that have touched infected areas can reduce the risk of spreading the disease. Always wash your mowing equipment with a disinfectant after using it on an infected lawn. Also, do not use infested soil or infected grass clippings from one lawn on another lawn.
Carpet grasses are found throughout the world in lawns, parks and pastures. They have long been a major problem in agriculture. It is difficult to control them because they produce thousands of seeds which can lie dormant for years in the soil before growing.
Most people are not bothered by carpet grasses since they cause few or no symptoms. Some people may experience minor allergic reactions to them. Others may experience an itchy rash if they touch the plants when they have a cut on their skin. It is not known whether all types of carpet grasses produce similar toxins, or whether some produce more than others. In addition, some people may have an allergic reaction while others may be completely unaffected by the same plant.
This disease is also commonly called “bunny eye” because it causes the leaves to grow into a spherical shape that resembles a rabbit’s eyeball. It starts out as small, circular, dead patches that resemble other types of leaf spot diseases. As the disease progresses, the patches increase in size and the leaves become more spherical in shape. These symptoms are similar to those caused by several bacteria and viruses.
The fungus that causes this disease is very common and can be found in homes, gardens and parks. The infected plant parts, (usually leaves), are spread by wind, water, people, animals and equipment. The spores can remain viable for at least six months.
Although it has several other common names, “bunny eye” is the most descriptive of the symptoms caused by this disease. It also causes the whole leaf to become very tough and stiff. It will often curl upward slightly near the edges of the leaf. If you break it, (which is not recommended), it will sound “hollow”. This disease is not known to affect humans, but it can cause severe damage to certain types of grasses including bluegrass and other lawn grasses.
It is difficult to control since it causes symptoms in more than one generation of plants. It also overwinters in plant debris. The fungus survives as thick white threads (mycelium) in infected plant material. These threads can be spread by mowers and other gardening equipment as well as by wind and water.
These plants produce several alkaloids that are poisonous to humans and many grazing animals. They also contain a sap that can cause skin irritation and photodermatitis (a skin condition caused by sunlight).
The most common symptoms of “picker’s rash” are red, itchy skin that resembles a light sunburn and blisters. This rash is most often found on the face, neck and arms of people who spend a lot of time in the garden. It is more common in some people than others. Many gardeners develop a mild immunity to the chemicals after years of exposure.
It is not contagious and will usually disappear within a few days. Severe cases may require steroid creams or antihistamines. It can also be prevented by wearing long pants, long sleeved shirts and gloves.
The plants in this family have a variety of uses. Certain types of “new” potatoes (tiny immature potatoes) are eaten by humans as a delicacy. Some types of oxalic acid crystals can be extracted from the plants and used as a cleaning agent or for other industrial purposes.
Although the oxalic acid crystals can be deadly poisons, some types of geraniums are grown as ornamentals. They can add a colorful note to a flower bed.
The fruits and seeds of many plants in this family are sometimes used as spices or seasonings. For example, the leaves of Pepperidge Farm’s “Cornbread & Cranberry” Stuffing include Jalapeno, Cumin and Ancho Chili Pepper. They also contain Saffron which is derived from a type of crocus.
Tamarind fruit is used to make a popular type of sour sauce, vinegar, candy and soft drink.
Some types of “wild” potatoes were once a major food source for Native Americans. They are no longer used for this purpose because they contain the poison solanine. (This poison is also found in some other plants in the Nightshade family, such as tomatoes). This poison is broken down when the potatoes are cooked.
The plant’s poisonous nature has given it a place in several legends and myths. In one Scottish myth, the devil threw a potato at a woman named Jenny Naglet while she was doing her laundry. The devil missed and struck a boulder, which then became known as “Thwarted Devil.”
Wales’ Carmarthenshire County is known as the “land of a thousand potatoes.”
In the Aztec language, the name for the potato is “xitomati” which means “to expand” since the Incas and other people would let them sit in storage and sprout little shoots or “chicks” which were then cooked and eaten.
The word “potato” comes from the Aztec language.
Potatoes are a starchy vegetable and when they are eaten in large amounts they can contribute to obesity.
The U.S. state of Idaho has the highest concentration of potato farms in the world.
Although many people think that McDonald’s restaurants only sell French fries, they also sell potato puffs in the United States and McGriddles in Canada. They are basically deep-fried potato slices that have been breaded and seasoned.
Most types of potatoes contain trace amounts of arsenic. This does not necessarily make them poisonous.
The largest potato fossil on record is over nine feet tall and 19 feet in circumference. It was discovered in Oregon in 1934.
The world record for potato peeling is held by Ashrita Furman (USA) who peeled 101 potatoes in just one hour using a standard kitchen knife on April 11, 2007.
Armenia has the highest density of “potato forests” in the world. A potato forest is a large area covered with naturally-occurring potato plants.
The longest potato escape tunnel is 215 feet long and was achieved by 48 prisoners in Suining County, Sichuan, China on May 19, 2004.
The largest collection of potato peelers is 2,584 and was achieved by Capeside Primary School (USA) in Capeside, Oregon, USA, on September 6, 2013.
The most potatoes chopped in one minute is 88 and was achieved by Steve Wooding (UK) on the set of ‘New Zealand vs. Britain’ in New Zealand, on May 25, 2015.
The word “spud” comes from a shortened version of the word “potato.”
There is an International Year of the Potato celebration every year on August 3rd.
During World War II, Ireland experienced a major famine due to a disease affecting their potato crops.
There is a scentless plant called the “Inca Rose” that is actually a type of wild potato. When consumed, it numbs the tongue for about an hour.
Fried Apple Potato Packets Recipe
Here’s a recipe that might sound strange but is actually quite yummy!
1/2 lb. ground beef
2 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
1 tsp. salt
6 medium potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1/4″ – 1/2″ slices
1 onion, sliced into 1/4″ – 1/2″ rings
1 tbsp. butter
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1. Brown the ground beef in a large skillet over medium heat, breaking it up with a spoon while its cooking.
When its done, drain off as much fat as you can and set aside.
2. Melt 1 tbsp.
butter in the same skillet over medium heat, then add the onion and cook, stirring until the onions are soft and just starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for another minute or so. Add the ground beef and any juices that leaked out in the meantime back to the pan, then stir in the flour, salt, and pepper. Stir until the beef and onion are evenly coated.
3. Slowly whisk in the milk, then stir constantly as the mixture comes up to a simmer and thickens, about 3-5 minutes.
Stir in the cheddar until it’s melted.
4. Melt the remaining 1 tbsp.
butter in a large skillet over medium heat, then add the sliced potatoes and cook, stirring on and off, until they’re starting to turn golden on the edges but aren’t yet completely soft inside, about 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic and onion powders, then arrange the potatoes in an even layer in the skillet. Pour the cheese sauce evenly over top.
5. Turn the heat down to low, then cover the skillet and cook for 5-8 minutes longer, or just until the potatoes are tender when poked with a fork in the center.
Yield: 4 servings
Note: You can add more milk to the cheese sauce if you want a thinner sauce, but it will change the overall flavor.
Sources & references used in this article:
Effects of fertilizer nitrogen on a dense sward of kikuyu, paspalum and carpet grass. 3. Nitrogen source. by JA Gartner, ML Everett – Queensland Journal of Agricultural and …, 1970 – cabdirect.org
Carpetgrass response to postemergence herbicides by LB McCARTY, DL Colvin – Weed Technology, 1991 – JSTOR
Diversity and relatedness of common carpetgrass germplasm by NV Greene, KE Kenworthy, KH Quesenberry… – Crop …, 2008 – Wiley Online Library
Carpet grass. Has it a place in North Coast pastures? by LW McLennan – Agricultural Gazette of New South Wales, 1936 – cabdirect.org
Carpet grass, Axonopus sp. by RB Jagoe – Gard. Bull. Straits Settlm., 1940 – cabdirect.org
Bahiagrass, carpetgrass and dallisgrass. by VH Watson, BL Burson – Bahiagrass, carpetgrass and dallisgrass., 1985 – cabdirect.org