Zoysia is a warm-season turfgrass. The popular varieties of Zoysia…El Toro and Zeon®.
Benefits of Zoysia Grass
El Toro Zoysia, forms an exceptionally dense carpet that is extremely wear-resistant. It is often used in lawns and golf courses. It has a bluish-green color and a medium blade texture. El Toro Zoysia grows well in both sun and shade and has more drought tolerance than Zeon Zoysia.
Zeon®, the “barefoot grass,” is a fine bladed zoysia great for sun and shade. It is disease and insect resistant, and has a bright green color. It will establish well in many different types of soil. Zeon® is not available in seed, so it must be planted from sod or sprigs.
When properly maintained, both varieties of Zoysia form a dense turf that virtually chokes out weeds. They both go dormant and turn a straw color in the winter.
Things to Consider
Zoysia seed germinates very slowly, so most Zoysia is available only in sod. Unless you are very patient, you should cover the entire planting site with Zoysia sod, because it can take up to 12 months for sprigs or plugs to merge and cover an area. Zoysia is especially slow growing if planted in too much shade. Zoysia requires frequent watering. It is less drought tolerant than some other types of turf grasses. Zoysia will develop an excessive layer of thatch if over-fertilized. Occasional edging is needed to prevent invasion into your planting areas.
Full sun to moderate shade. Zeon® performs the best in light to moderate shade. However, deep shade will cause Zoysia varieties to thin out.
Water Zoysia sod every day or every other day until it is well-rooted into the soil. Thereafter, provide 1 ½ to 2 inches of water per week.
Maintain Zoysia at one to two inches in height. You can allow it to grow slightly taller on slopes.
When to Plant
For best results, plant Zoysia sod from mid-May until mid-August.
Apply a high nitrogen fertilizer to Zoysia in the spring when it is coming out of its dormant state and is about 50% green. Apply a second application about eight weeks later. In mid to late October, apply a winterizer to your Zoysia lawn to help prevent winter injury.
To prevent winter weeds like poa annua, apply crabgrass preventer to Zoysia grass in early October. Apply a second application in mid to late February to prevent crabgrass and certain other weeds. Weeds are rare in a well-maintained Zoysia lawn. If weeds do develop, remove them by hand or apply a lawn weed killer to your lawn according to package directions. Make sure that the weed killer you select can be safely used on Zoysia grass. Also, don't wait until the hottest part of the summer to apply the weed killer. Herbicides work best when temperatures are 85 degrees or less.
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