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How To Care For & Maintain Zoysia Grass

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Tips For Maintaining Your Zoysia Grass

The basic maintenance for Zoysia lawns will be dependant upon soil fertility, rainfall, full sun or shadier area, grown north or south.

Good soil fertility, full sun, high rainfall, southern growing area = better than average growth. Which will in turn needs to be mown more than northern, cooler temps, average rainfall = less mowing.

Zenith Zoysia Grass Lawn

Most people do not fertilize the grass of their choice depending upon mother nature to do all the work. Well maintained lawns are fertilized with the right amount and kind needed for that particular grass and on a schedule based on the growing season. This keeps the grass healthy and builds resistance to disease and insect damage

Underfeeding or overfeeding leads to thatch build up and lower resistance levels of the grass plant. Water schedules stabilize growing seasons and grasses that are not adapted to growing in the water don't do well when left standing in over watered areas. Healthy lawns smother weeds but if your yard is plagued by the predecessors of last years crop then applications of weed killers at the appropriate time are essential.

Fertilize in Spring & Summer with approximately 15 lbs of a complete fertilizer per 1000 sq. ft. of lawn area. This is what will be called the main feeding of your zoysia lawn. To accomplish supplemental feedings, you can apply 2-3 lbs of Nitrogen for supplemental feedings to your Zoysia during the course of the growing season. Space these applications out about 50-60 days apart.

Useful Zoysia Maintenance Calendar

Please Take a look at this useful calendar for zoysia grass maintenance from NC State University. The article # is AG-432: Zoysiagrass Lawn Maintenance and here is the link:
Calendar Guide ---
Please adjust your maintenance schedule to reflect the seasonal difference in timing between your location and the North Carolina (location in Calendar Guide) recommendations.

We have also provided instructions on maintaining new Zoysia plantings.

How to "KILL" Zoysia Grass Or Remove It From Your Yard

Zoysia is a very invasive grass once it is established and is in fact as hard to eliminate as bermuda grass. For those who wish to remove it the above link offers some advice. Below is a link to an extension web site on how to kill Bermuda grass. Similar advice and techniques apply to killing Zoysia. http://ag.arizona.edu/turf/tips797.html

FALL - OVER SEEDING OF ZOYSIA GRASS

Zenith Zoysia GrassMany are satisfied to park the mower in the fall and watch Zeniths golden brown winter color. But for those who wish to see a green lawn all year you may wish to over seed with ryegrass or tall fescue.

The reseeding directions are to cut the grass one-half inch closer than normal in mid-September, catching all the clippings or sweep well to remove them, apply Ryegrass seed using a heavier than usual rate to get the seed into the dense turf and water frequently to establish

-- You must work to transition the grass back to dominance in the spring by proper mowing to reduce the cool season grass as temps warm. Most experts recommend against over seeding Zoysia, but often the desire for a green color wins out against this advice.

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Maintaining Zoysia Lawns:*

New Lawn Care:

  • Water your new lawn to keep it moist for a period of 2 weeks or until sod is rooted. (Do not waste water by over watering!)
  • Mow as soon as your new lawn is rooted - at the recommended height (see table below) - Or mow in 3-5 weeks when height is 2-3 inches (weeds and/or grass).
  • Fertilize your lawn once rooted.

*For More Information on the immediate needs of a new zoysia lawn visit this page

Care Of Established Zoysia Grass Lawns

Diseases In Zoysia Varieties

Some Zoysia varieties are subject to dollar spot, leaf spot, brown patch and rust. Consult your garden center or county agent for the correct diagnosis and control treatments that are available. All living matter is subject to insects and/or disease problems. The most serious disease likely to damage Zenith is Brown Patch (rhizotonia fungus). Leaf rust is a lesser problem.

Common Pests Of Zoysia Grass

Nematodes, mole and crickets are most problematic in the south along with grubs and billbugs in the rest of the growing areas. Pre-fumigating soils known to contain nematodes is the best option for controlling this pest with the addition of organic matter because nematodes grow best in sandier drier soils. Grubs and billbugs (moles and crickets in the lower South) are soil borne insects with can cause serious damage. Consult your extension agent for control recommendations. Early spring treatment for billbugs should be done when the first adults are seen.  Contact garden centers with trained staff or county agents for insect diagnosis and control recommendations suggested. Be sure and read the label of any product you use.

Mowing Zoysia Grasses

Zoysia grasses are best cut at the height of one to two inches. Zoysia has a high silica content in which the blade becomes tougher the longer the leaf is allowed to grow. Zoysia has a stiffer blade texture than most lawn grasses requiring the blade to be sharpened more often to obtain the maximum clipping action. Zoysia can be mown 1 to 2 times a week if watered and fertilized more or every 7-14 days on a low fertilization and watering schedule. Trial tests have documented that Zoysia can be mown up to 10 times less (per season) than Bermuda grasses. This can be a considerable savings in maintenance expense and a great plus for the environment.

Begin mowing when weeds and/or Zoysia seedlings are 2 to 3 inches high and mow as frequently as necessary for good appearance. The best cut-height is 1." – 2" and in full sun 2" 2.5" in shadier areas. Sharp reel mowers produce the most professional looking turf and are required for lower mowing heights. Zoysia can be mown down to heights as short as 1/2 inch with professional mowers. Maintain a sharp blade and proper cut height to reduce scalping.


MOWING HEIGHTS
Mow when grass is this tall 2" 5 cm
Set cutting height of mower to 1 1/2" 3.7 cm

Watering Your Zoysia Grass

Zoysia is more drought resistant in the cooler regions and when fully established has a deep root system and should only be watered when showing signs of needing it. Normal rates of water for good growth are 1 inch per week. Indication of water stress is when the blades start to curl inward. Any grass grown in southern regions of less than average rainfall will need watering more often due to heat and sun evaporation. Water in early afternoon on new plantings or early morning on establish turf grasses for the best results. (Early morning lets the grass dry off and helps to reduce diseases.

Fertilization And pH Requirements Of Zoysia Grasses

Requirements are generally lower for Zoysia than many other lawn grasses. Applications of 2 - 4 lb. per 1000 sq. ft. annually when watering is sufficient. When watering for a higher growth rate more fertilizer will be needed to maximize growth potential. Fertilization levels are also determined by the fertility of the soil Zoysia is grown on. The ideal pH is 6.0-6.5 and lime may needed periodically.
Follow these simple suggestions to enjoy your new lawn.
 
Season Fertilizer
(lbs/3000 SF)*
Weed Control**
Early Spring Weed and Feed Pre-Emerge
Late Spring 20 lbs 16-4-8 + Iron As Needed
Early Summer 20 lbs 16-4-8 + Iron As Needed
Late Summer 20 lbs 16-4-8 + Iron As Needed
Fall 30 lbs 5-10-15 + Iron Pre-Emerge
** Apply Weed and Feed combinations that are specifically labeled for Zoysiagrass in the spring and fall - follow label instructions!

NEVER use any type of weed control that is not recommended for Zoysia.

Thatch Removal

Periodically (every other year) it may be necessary to remove accumulated thatch and debris. This is best accomplished in the late winter - just before turf turns green. Scalp or de-thatch with a commercial machine and remove debris.

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