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Zoysia Grass Lawns
that is dense, slow-growing, deep-rooted, heat and drought-resistant, cold-tolerant, and holds up well under traffic.
because of its slow growth rate. It spreads by aboveground stolons and underground rhizomes. Of course, it can be plugged or sprigged or even established by seed (zoysia japonica only,) but those options are only for the very patient! Also, seeded zoysia is not as fine a quality as some of the sodded cultivars.
and bag the clippings. Scalping removes all the dead material that has been insulating the grass against cold temperatures in the winter. Scalping each spring will also reduce the possibility of thatch problems.
in zoysia grass. Although scalping and frequent mowing should prevent thatch buildup, it may be necessary to dethatch zoysia to prevent grass from deteriorating if thatch accumulates. Dethatch only when there is sufficient time for recovery before winter, keeping in mind its slow growth.
with a reel mower, for best results. The correct mowing height for zoysia is from ¾” to 2 ½”. If you don’t have a reel mower, be sure your mower blades are very sharp (sharpen them monthly.) If your lawn is uneven, you may have to mow at a higher height to keep from scalping it. Proper mowing is essential for zoysia.
but only light shade. It cannot grow in medium to heavy shade.
but high-maintenance grass. Zoysia requires more water than bermuda to prevent wilt, and if you don’t mow frequently enough, zoysia will get brown seedheads that look very unsightly.
like Meyer, Crowne, Cavalier, Zorro, Bel Air, Emerald, El Toro, Palisades, etc, but the most commonly available is Meyer. There are 3 separate species: zoysia matrella, zoysia japonica and zoysia tenuifolia. Some varieties, like El Toro and Belair are faster-spreading but coarser-textured. Different cultivars have different strengths and weaknesses. Your local extension service can help you with the best variety for your area.
like rust, Large Patch (also called Zoysia Patch or Brown Patch), Fairy Ring, leaf spot, and Dollar Spot. As far as insect problems, white grubs are the major concern, although spittle bugs, zoysia mites, armyworms, sod webworms, and mole crickets sometimes present problems.
- Mildly shade tolerant in the southern United States
- Grows in a wide variety of soils
- Extremely drought tolerant
- Salt tolerant, can grow on sandy seashores
- Meyer Zoysia is a good selection for the transition zone (i.e. too hot for cool-season grasses, too cold for Bermuda grass)
- Superior wear tolerance
- Properly maintained, can be a very high-quality turfgrass
- Aggressive and thick, it can choke out weeds
- Requires higher maintenance
- Performs best when mowed with a reel mower
- Slower growth means slower recovery when damaged
- Although drought tolerant, will brown before other grasses because it conserves water very well (watering will restore it)
- Heavy thatch producer if not scalped in the spring and mowed properly
- Very susceptible to Zoysia Patch disease, leaf spot, and rust in conducive weather conditions
- Can be damaged by white grubs or other insects
- Aggressive and thick, it can get into flowerbeds or your neighbor’s lawn
Zoysia grass trivia
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