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Zoysia Grass Seed Establishment
How to Plant Mow & Fertilize Zoysia Grass

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Establishment Of Zoysia Grass Seed

Note: These instructions will apply to most seeded types of zoysia grasses such as Zenith Zoysia. In addition to reading this information page on establishment. Be sure and read our general planting guide for zoysia seeds.

View Picture of a Zoysia seedling at 18 days old.

About Zoysia Seed

Most of the Zoysia grass seed sold worldwide has been pretreated, or primed, to improve the germination percentage and speed, by breaking the natural seed dormancy. This is true for the improved turf-type varieties, as well as the numerous branded versions of common Zoysia japonica from Asia. Occasionally, with some of the newer turf-type varieties, this seed treatment is not needed based on lab test results.

Zoysia Grass From Seed At 6 Weeks ALWAYS PLANT ZOYSIA SEEDS SHALLOW !
(1/8 to 1/4 inch coverage)
They must have light to germinate properly.

<<< Zoysia at 6 weeks.

Zoysia grass seed offered for sale, whether treated or not, should have a germination percentage over 75% to produce good results on a turf project. Pretreated/primed seed should be planted the same season, not stored for extended periods of time. Zoysia grass seed is occasionally offered for sale as coated seed, with approximately 50% purity (Compared to 98% on uncoated). These "pelleted" seed are generally less expensive, and can produce satisfactory results if planted and watered correctly.

Currently the zoysia seed varieties available at Seedland are usually un-coated, but this can change from time to time depending on seed availability.

PICTORIAL GUIDE TO PLANTING ZOYSIA GRASS

SOIL PREPARATION:

Cultivate your soil to 6 inches, incorporating lime, any organic soil amendments and pre-plant fertilizers as needed or based on soil tests. Zoysia grass performs best under neutral to slightly acid pH conditions. Prepare a medium-fine, firm seedbed - using a light roller on the finished seedbed is beneficial to level and firm the area.
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INFORMATION ON SEEDED ZOYSIA GRASS:

SEEDING AND IRRIGATION: Zoysia grass seed should be planted in late spring or early summer when nights are warm and daytime temperatures are consistently over 75 deg F (24 deg C) - a warm soil temperature over 70 deg F will produce the best results. Do not seed after mid-late summer, or the slow growing plants will not be well enough established to survive the first winter. Plant 1-2 pounds of good quality raw zoysia seed per 1,000 square feet. Cover the seed very lightly with soil by raking or rolling the turf area.
 

SEED USE NOTICE: Please note that we ONLY recommend Zoysia seeds for use in bare soil areas. Planting seeds into existing grasses has a HIGH FAILURE rate. If planting into an existing lawn (grass and/or weeds) we recommend that you consider using Zoysia grass plugs instead of seeds. - Zoysia seeds also are difficult to achieve germination in low light / shady areas. Use plugs in these areas for best results.

A Brillion seeder also works very well, if the seed is planted shallow. Zoysia seed must be planted near the soil surface as it requires exposure to some light to germinate properly. A thin layer of mulch or straw can be beneficial in retaining soil surface moisture during germination. Depending on rainfall, irrigate the zoysia seed lightly several times a day to keep the soil surface continuously moist for the first two to three weeks. After the seeds have germinated, the watering should be reduced to less frequent, but longer, deeper soakings to promote development of a healthy deeper root system. Established, properly maintained zoysia turf will use far less water than many other turf grass species.

Fertilization Of Zoysia Grass:

Approximately four weeks after seeding apply a complete, balanced fertilizer to the newly established turf area. For faster coverage during the establishment year, a rate of 1 1/2 pounds of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet is recommended every month during the growing season. After the first year, a light fertilizer application after spring green-up and one in late summer should suffice to keep the zoysia turf healthy.

Mowing Zoysia Grass

Start mowing the new zoysia seedlings as soon as they reach 2 inches in height and mow frequently to stimulate spread and reduce weed competition during establishment. A turf height of 1-2 inches in full sun and 2-3 inches in shade will produce the best results. Zoysiagrass turf can be mowed with any type of mower, but the blades must be kept sharp to perform well on the tough zoysia leaves. After the first year, mow as often as necessary to maintain a healthy turf and good appearance. Zoysia grass is a slow growing turf species, allowing for less frequent mowing when it is maintained correctly.

Pest And Weed Control With Zoysia Grass

Several weed control products are labeled for zoysia grass turf during establishment, as well as for later maintenance. Contact your local extension office or turf chemical dealer for specific recommendations in your area. Occasionally zoysia turf can suffer minor damage from turf diseases such as Large Brown Patch (Rhizoctonia fungus) or leaf rust, and from insect pests such as grubs, bill bugs and mole crickets. Overall, well maintained zoysia turf is resistant or tolerant to most turf insects and diseases. This environmentally friendly turf species requires few chemicals for good growth. Consult your local extension office or turf chemical dealer for appropriate control recommendations if needed.

Winter Over Seeding Zoysia Grass

Both seeded and vegetative Zoysia grass turf goes dormant during winter, turning a golden brown color until warm temperatures return the following spring. Winter overseeding with cool climate turf species is generally NOT recommended on zoysia, especially on newly established turf. Too heavy of a seed rate application or too invasive of preparation method can severely damage any zoysia stand. On mature healthy zoysia, if desired, a fall overseeding application of perennial ryegrass seed such as Champion can produce good results, but only seed the ryegrass at half the normal seeding rate. Due to the density of zoysia turf, the ryegrass seeds must be raked in well for good soil contact.

Mixing Or Inter Seeding Zoysia Grass

Seeded zoysia performs well in a mixture with turf-type tall fescues, as long as the turf manager maintains a primary fertilizer schedule in the fall and early spring - do not fertilize in mid-summer for best results.

The above planting instructions are courtesy of Seed Research, Inc.

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