Aerating the lawn is always beneficial when the grass is growing. This is the definition of a low-maintenance grass; it has few problems under normal growing conditions. For instance, its slower rate of growth means that it is low maintenance, but it can be tough to repair damaged sections. It is best to remove as much plant material as possible before moving on to step 3. Centipede grass prefers more humid growing conditions than zoysia, so it can thrive in climates where zoysia suffers. Large areas of zoysia grass or the entire lawn can be core aerified in late May or early June to help alleviate compaction and then plugged or sodded at the proper time (late May to early June in the St. Louis area). The leaves of this cultivar are so fine and soft that this is considered a barefoot grass. Most bugs should be gone by the third application. Aerate the day after dethatching, when the soil is still bare and moist. Do not dethatch if your lawn is muddy. Spread a 3”-6” layer of compost over the soil and till it in. Instead of Roundup, consider an organic non-selective herbicide like Weed Warrior (Link to Sunday Lawns). However, compacted soil is never an ideal growing condition for grass. While broadleaf weeds are unsightly, they are one of the easiest weeds to control because they have a different structure than grasses. It is such a prolific nuisance that there are multiple sprays and chemical control... 5 Tips for Creating Beautiful, Low-Maintenance Flower Beds. WATERING. Bermuda is an aggressive, low-growing grass that is nearly impossible to remove because it spreads through rhizomes, stolons, and seed. Zeon is considered to be one of the best overall zoysia cultivars, with its only real drawback being a slow establishing period and limited availability. Spread out no more than about 1/2 inch of sand over low spots in mid to late spring when the zoysia grass is actively growing and it will quickly grow through the added material. Clay soils must be aerated and topdressed for grass to be able to absorb nutrients; whether they are nutrients from compost or from synthetic fertilizers. Just break up the soil into clods and try to get a nice, even, soft seedbed. You will need approximately 1 bushel of sprigs per 100 square feet of lawn area. Bermuda grass can be spread when mower blades chop up stolons and fling them across the lawn, so removing clippings can slow the spread. In low wear areas, Empire Zoysia will tolerate up to 50% shade, while in moderate to high wear areas it can tolerate up to 30% shade. The only problem with summer dormancy is that it gives weeds and other grasses the opportunity to invade your sleeping turf. Adding extra seed to an area will not help it fill in faster. Cavalier has exceptionally long, fine leaves, which makes it one of the tallest zoysia cultivars. As compared to zoysia grass, which is a warm season grass, Bermuda grass (Cynodon dactylon) is a hot weather grass that grows aggressively in Southern states.Because of its fast growth rate, Bermuda grass needs more of everything than zoysia grass does: more water, more fertilizer, and more frequent mowing. The closer you space plugs, the faster your lawn will fill in. The Masters Lawn Care, Inc. is licensed by the State of Florida, bonded, and heavily insured for your protection. With valid and proven claims of chinch bug-resistance and drought tolerance, even strict homeowner's associations like Haile With valid and proven claims of chinch bug-resistance and drought tolerance, even strict homeowner's associations like Haile Plantation that previously only allowed St. Augustine lawns have begun to allow Zoysia sod in their neighborhood. The thicker your stand of zoysia, the less space weeds have to germinate and take over. The best way to prevent weed infestations is to follow a maintenance schedule that gives your lawn a healthy foundation with strong roots. Although Gainesville lawns have historically been St. Augustine grass, Zoysia has began making a major push as the turf of choice for a few years. Meyer Zoysia is a medium textured variety. Zoysia is a dense grass, and under the right conditions, it can choke out most weeds and other grasses without too much chemical intervention. This allows the root system of the Zoysia to get oxygen and helps correct drainage problems. If this is the route you wish to take, then your conversion to a cool-season lawn can begin now until mid-July. – Zoysia doesn’t require a lot of nutrition. Z. japonica is coarse and dense, so it can be difficult to mow. Just be careful to not overwork the soil. St. Augustine vs. Zoysia: Which One Is Right For Your Lawn? Zoysia is able to resist most pests and diseases if it is maintained properly. Sprigs are 4”-6” sections of rhizomes and stolons without a root system. With sod, the soil doesn’t dry out like it would with seed, sprigs, or plugs, so you may only need to water 2-3 times per day, depending on the time of year. Will Zoysia Choke Out Fescue? This combination of above and below ground stems allows for the thick, dense growth and e… Z. matrella, also known as Manila grass,has a fine texture, low growing height, and dense growth habit. If your Zoysia lawn is suffering from dead spots this summer like the photo above, you aren't alone. Regular mowing, watering, and fertilizing as seen earlier are the best ways to prevent these problems. This method of planting has a high success rate. This will ensure you have killed the grass, and it will give weed seeds time to germinate and be sprayed, which helps to eliminate weeds in the future. Zoysia actually turns brown before St. Augustine when facing drought stress and needs the same amount of water to stay green. A zoysia grass lawn is frequently touted as the cure all for the homeowner’s lawn cares. Dense, carpetlike growth and outstanding drought tolerance make zoysia grass (Zoysia spp.) One thing to note is that Zoysia grass establishes more slowly than some other warm season lawn grasses, but as it slowly grows it forms a very dense carpet of grass beneath that feels lush under foot. However, the fewer plugs you use, the more likely weed seeds will take over the bare patches of your lawn before the zoysia fills in. Sprigging is similar to seeding, but it has a higher success rate. Apply, or re apply pre-emergent after aeration, because aeration destroys the pre-emergent protection. In fact, the grass grows so dense, few lawn weeds are able to penetrate a healthy mass of established Zoysia lawn. Click here to read our review of a pet and child-safe natural lawn fertilizer. FERTILIZATION. Option 1: Spread and bury the sprigs by hand. Rake up and remove all dead plant material and rocks. This cultivar is less shade tolerant than other Z. japonica cultivars. If … Fertilize after you have treated for chinch bugs to encourage zoysia to fill in any bare spots. It seems that their urine is killing the grass or at least browning it for a week or so. Examples provided of tested products are actual products owned, tested, and used regularly by the author. Water immediately after planting, and continue to water 4-5 times per day for the first few weeks. This prevents fungal infection. While Z. matrella is aggressive, and can choke out most weeds, it takes a few years for this turf to become established. That's great information to have. With zoysia, you want to rent a core aerator and put it on an aggressive setting. You can plant Meyer from seed, but vegetative planting yields faster growth and denser turf. This turfgrass has a coarse texture and is extremely durable. The best remedy for sandy, nitrogen-deficient soils is topdressing and leaving grass clippings on the lawn. It will green up as soon as you apply water. Broadleaf weeds are any weed that’s not a grass. For more information see St. Augustine vs. Zoysia: Which One Is Right For Your Lawn? If you topdress with compost each spring, you may not need to fertilize at all. Aeration allows oxygen into the soil, which helps encourage root growth and water infiltration. The best times to plant zoysia grass are in late spring (once all chances of frost have passed) to early summer. Plugs are 2”-4” cores of sod with a root system, rhizomes, stolons, and leaves. Irrigate weekly early in the morning, and allow the turf to dry out before you water again. In most cases, dead plant material is good for the soil. You can also use layers of cardboard or other solid materials that will block the sun. However, grasses and weeds can come back if you simply till them under. Rent (or buy) a heavy-duty tiller. Additional Zoysia Care Tips Avoid removing more than 1/3 of the total grass blade length at any single mowing to keep your grass thick and healthy. Obtain a soil test (link to Amazon) each spring to test for other nutrients in your soil. Zoysia lawns are incredibly resilient, and most are able to repair themselves with adequate irrigation, nutrition, and time. Residual chemicals can stick around in compost if you were to try to add them to your compost pile. These are small black bugs that live in the soil and eat the roots and leaves of your grass. Blades of grass in the center will easily pull off the crown. If you have consistent pest problems, spray preventative pesticides each spring and fall, depending on the pest’s lifecycle. This fungus is most prevalent during mid-summer, when temperatures are in the mid 80s and the mornings are still damp and humid. Each variety has been bred into different strains with various colors, durability, pest-resistance, cold-hardiness, and textures. If you have an irrigation system, you will need to schedule 4-5 sessions each day that are long enough to get the soil wet, but not so long that water begins to run off and wash away the seed. It has done wonderfully except that my dog and the neighbors dogs use it as a bathroom. Disposing of plant material: If you sprayed your lawn, it is best to take the dead plant material to a local yard waste dump. If you live in a dry climate, you will likely need to water once per week to prevent your lawn from going dormant. Sprigs will go from green to brown in the first few weeks; this is normal. Zoysia is able to handle shade better in hot, dry climates where fungus spores cannot spread easily. Other than using appropriate fungicides targeted toward its treatment, it may be necessary to retrieve grass clippings after or during mowing and properly disposing of them to prevent further spreading of this grass rust. Aeration is the process of punching holes into the turf and sod to alleviate compaction. As long as your temperatures are fairly warm year-round, this is the best solution for you. Lawns with adequate sunlight, irrigation, and fertilization will grow enough to be mowed weekly, which removes the spores before they can do any damage. In its optimal growing zones, this tough grass can deliver a beautiful, dense lawn with very little input from you. For centipede, St. Augustine, fescue and bluegrass lawns, there is no need to dethatch. Spread sod over your lawn, making sure to cut away holes for your irrigation system and any access covers. The dense growth pattern of zoysia grass, combined with mowing, will keep weeds at bay. This can give centipede grass an advantage if it creeps into your lawn, and it may take several rounds of sprays and manual removal before you gain control. Zoysia thrives in average soils. These soils are usually a balance of different soil textures with a reasonable amount of organic matter. Water conservation and a healthy, beautiful lawn aren't mutually exclusive. Water 4-5 times per day, like you would with seeds, and keep watering until you see active growth. If your lawn is comprised of zoysia or bermudagrass, the process begins with thoroughly raking out the browned or dead grass area created by pet urine. Product recommendations not personally owned are based on the author’s knowledge of the company, product, reliability, and reputation. Once the plugs begin active growth, gradually back off on irrigation until the turf has filled in. Dig up and remove as much plant material as possible; Bermuda can regenerate from tiny root segments left in the soil. Use a slow-release nitrogen fertilizer that will last up to six months in the soil. Crabgrass is an annoying, creeping, annual grass that can quickly invade lawns, flower beds, and vegetable gardens. To learn more read Will Zoysia Choke Out Fescue? Almost all common lawn diseases are the result of abnormal weather conditions or unfavorable microclimates within your lawn. If you mixed compost into the soil, your lawn will not need to be fertilized until the following year. Continue to aerate and topdress in the spring to build healthy soil, but resist fertilizing unless your soil test shows low nitrogen levels. Zoysia is a warm-season grass that also thrives in most of the transition zone. Reel mowers are the only way to cut extremely low lawns. You will begin to notice billbug damage in early summer, when some patches of the lawn look like they never broke dormancy. Zoysia Grass vs Bermuda Grass . You may need to wait until later in the year before you move on to step 2. Most turf diseases are caused by poor irrigation and mowing schedules. Over-fertilization in the spring can contribute to brown patch. Zoysia will tolerate poor growing conditions. Spring and fall damage is usually caused by adults, while summer damage is caused by larvae. Zoysia is one of the grasses that are most susceptible to rust. Below is quick and easy reference calendar for the essential maintence of zoysia. While most Z. japonica cultivars can only be propagated vegetatively, there are some cultivars that can be grown from seed. If you cannot control leaf spot by changing your maintenance practices, you may have to spray a fungicide. Thriving Yard is an affiliate for companies including Amazon Associates and earn a commission on qualifying purchases. Drought tolerance. Zoysia can tolerate most soils and climates as long as the winters are not too cold. After aerating, you can incorporate compost directly into the soil. Suddenly, this healthy low-water Zoysia ‘Zeon’ grass turned yellow, patchy and died in spots. To control billbug populations, spray a preventative insecticide during the summer when eggs are hatching. Before you choose the cultivar for your lawn, research the varieties and cultivars that do well in your area. Just keep watering. As the green returns and the summer rains get re-started, you can back the irrigation times up and begin fertilizing for the fall. Set the tiller as deep as possible and till up the lawn. Consult your garden center or county agent for the correct diagnosis and control treatments that are available. This will prevent stress from over and under watering. The only lawns where fescue might become a real problem is in areas where the winters are on the verge of being too cold for zoysia. Once your sprigs are planted, you need to water them immediately. Follow the directions on the back of your seed bag to determine how much seed to plant. You can use as many as 4 plugs per square foot or as few as 1 plug per square foot. The difference is the fact that Zoysia actually lives through the drought whereas St. Augustine will die. Your lawn will not suffer from going dormant. Preventing Your Pet from Causing Urine Damage Water a patch of lawn after a dog urinates on it. Leaf spot is difficult to identify without close inspection of an infected leaf. If desired you can fertilize 7 weeks later. Although zoysia is an aggressive grass that can heal from winter kill, this can slow down the turf’s ability to choke out weeds during the summer and repair high-traffic areas. Spray a preventative herbicide each spring to prevent weed seeds from germinating, and pull up any surviving plants before they go to seed. Lush, colorful flower beds increase curb appeal while attracting bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. Bury 2/3 of each sprig with a few inches of soil. Billbugs are brownish beetles with an elongated snout. As a soil becomes more dense, it is able to hold on to more nutrients, especially nitrogen. Unlike brown patch and rust, leaf spot is most common in dry lawns when the weather is hot during the day and cold at night. If these control methods do not resolve your rust problem, you can spray a fungicide on the affected areas. Most leaf spot infections will go away as soon as the nighttime temperatures warm up and the humidity drops. WEED CONTROL. Amazon has put together some great Home Holiday Guide Deals - save money and get your holiday shopping done! Zoysia that is suffering from low nitrogen will be more susceptible to pests, have a lighter color, and fill in slowly. However, poor soil, drought stress, winter kill, and high humidity can slow down zoysia’s aggressive growth, giving weeds a chance to invade bare patches of soil. Recommended Reading:Why Is My Zoysia Lawn Turning Brown? Much like human breathing, it’s essential to healthy grass. Emerald Zoysia is a very fine textured grass. Spray broadleaf herbicides in the spring as seeds begin germinating, and continue to spray as weeds show up in your lawn. However, if you mow every 10-14 days, you’re more likely to leave long grass clippings that don’t break down as quickly. Always mow when the lawn is dry, and mow lawns in humid climates at a shorter height to encourage evaporation. Invasive – Zoysia grass is a very invasive grass. While rust is rarely a real danger to your lawn, it is unsightly and it can get out of hand in humid climates. Mow the lawn when it is over 2” tall, and mow it at least once before dormancy. Belair is good for lawns in the transition zone and shady lawns in the deep south. Thriving Yard is a privately owned website. This cultivar was developed in California, and it is extremely drought-tolerant. Back off to 2-3 times per day until the sprigs have filled in most of the lawn. They are most active after sunset or before sunrise. Average soils can support zoysia without much chemical intervention. The first step is to irrigate your lawn. Clay soils either resist water or if they become saturated, they hold on to excess moisture for too long. Dethatch in the spring after the first mowing. Ironically, some of the best things about zoysia grass are also the things which make it a frustrating choice for a lawn. However, if you want a pristine look and are willing to put in the extra time and effort, Diamond is an excellent option for a clean-cut lawn. Rye grass can’t survive the heat of summer and will be overtaken by your Zoysia. Mow zoysia weekly to remove infected blades and to encourage deep root growth. Bag the clippings, and dispose of them in plastic bags. A slow-release fertiliser works fine in delivering the medium quantity of nitrogen Zoysia turfs need. Dense, clay soil can hold on to large amounts of nitrogen due to the fact that water cannot drain freely into the subsoil. During this period, Z. matrella cultivars are more high-maintenance. This is obviously the most expensive option. Some weeds can be controlled with preventative sprays, but other, invasive warm-season grasses are more difficult to remove. Lawns infested with grubs will slowly thin out and lose vigor, even though they are well-irrigated. Fertilize with 1lb of nitrogen per year, split up into 2-3 applications over the spring and summer. Allow the lawn to go dormant in the summer so you can focus on spraying and removing Bermuda plants. Soil preparation for zoysia will be similar to most other grasses. You can do this by spraying a non-selective herbicide (not a pre-emergent) over your lawn at two-week increments after the lawn breaks dormancy. Zoysia prefers hot, dry summers, mild winters, and slightly acidic soils. Nitrogen washes out of the soil easier than most other plant nutrients, so sandy soils are unable to hold on to synthetic fertilizers, even if they have a slow-release formula. Zoysia is the turf of choice for salty, coastal soils or areas near salted roadways. However, this will result in a sub-par lawn that can create and compound problems. If the area continues to grow larger, you will have to use a chemical treatment. Zoysia’s weak link is its cold tolerance. It is a durable grass which can repair itself quickly and withstand heavy traffic. Compost is a soil conditioner, so it improves the soil along with adding nutrition. Empire must be propagated by sprig, plug, or sod. Belair, also known as El Toro, is one of the most cold-hardy and shade-tolerant cultivars of Z. japonica. Zoysia is a beautiful, thick, deep green turf grass that is easy to maintain in the right climate. Rust spores are always present in a lawn, but they take 1-2 weeks to infect and damage a blade of grass. Irrigate your lawn thoroughly the day before power raking. You can also download a copy for free if you’d like: Healthy lawns have fewer pest and disease problems. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that approximately one-third of all U.S. residential water use is for irrigation, but more than 50% of irrigation water is wasted by inefficient use. If you live in a humid climate, you may only need to irrigate a few times during the summer. Long story short, it holds more moisture in the ground when in drought situations to help the grass stay healthy, and it's relatively inexpensive, too. Learn more about establishing zoysia in clay soil. However, severe infections should be treated to prevent melting out. etting back the start time (running earlier in the morning so the water saturated the lawn longer before evaporation by the sun). If you’re able to start from scratch and establish a new lawn, you can get a head start on soil improvement by mixing in a thick layer of compost to your topsoil. These can be fixed by changing your irrigation and mowing schedule, and spraying fungicides when diseases get out of hand. However, if you live in a cooler climate area, you may choose to dye your Zoysia lawn green. This means herbicide manufacturers can develop broad-spectrum weed killers that target broadleaf weeds but are harmless to your lawn. Keep sod consistently moist for the first few weeks after planting. Fertilize the lawn when it is about 50% green. This cultivar has a sophisticated, manicured look, but it requires frequent mowing, consistent irrigation, and a detailed pest management and fertilization schedule. It is also the most expensive way to establish a new lawn, but giving your lawn the best start possible can cut down on maintenance costs in the long run. Consider a natural lawn fertilizer if you have pets and children playing in the yard. Option 2: Spread the sprigs across your lawn and till them in on a shallow setting. Grubs are the larvae of Japanese beetles, and they feed on grass roots from July-September before they morph into adults. They hold shape, but can’t be molded. Zoysia grass grows best in USDA planting zones 6-11. However, it is extremely important to realize how Zoysia grass reacts to drought and what makes it drought-tolerant. Meyer is more pest resistant than some other Z. japonica cultivars. Empire is softer and more dense than Meyer, and it requires fewer fertilizer applications. They will cause large brown patches in your turf, starting at a border of the lawn and working deeper into the center. If we can be of help in any way, please call our office at (352) 378-LAWN today, or fill out our online request by clicking the above links. Under most conditions, zoysia can out-compete St. Augustine without too much intervention. You can use a rotary mower on zoysia, but make sure the blades are sharp, and never cut off more than 1/3rd of the top growth to prevent shock. As you continue to build up the soil each year, you can cut back on fertilizing and rely on the compost to provide nutrition. Be sure to mark gas lines, water lines, and electrical lines with spray paint or flags. Irrigate once per week in the morning, to allow leaf blades to dry out before cooler nighttime temperatures. She has an A.A.S. The grass spreads by above-ground stems called ‘stolons’ and underground stems called ‘rhizomes’. It’s dense growth habit and aggressive growth habit allow it to heal from winter kill and heavy foot traffic if it has enough sunlight and moisture. Brown patch starts as a dark green, wet area of the lawn that slowly grows a small, yellow/orange ring around the perimeter, leaving dead grass at its center. Spread a ¼”-½” layer of compost over the lawn and rake it into the holes left by the aerator. – When you cut the grass, don’t ever cut more than 1/3 of the grass. See Best Fertilizer For A Clay Soil Lawn: Why Ingredients Matter. I just read that you should water heavy only when the grass needs it, instead of watering shallow frequently. Zoysia Grass Problems. The good thing about these soils is that you can incorporate aged manures and compost for fertility, and the loose texture will leave plenty of wiggle room for zoysia’s dense root system. You do not have to till the soil into dust. These are one of the most common and frustrating lawn pests. Billbugs feed on the crown and stolons of the grass, which are responsible for above-ground growth. Click Here to see the latest deals (link To Amazon). If you can easily pull stolons and runners out of the ground, and they look dead and hollow, you have billbugs. You can also use a rotary mower, but you should sharpen the blades once a month during the growing season. Zoysia prefers hot summers and mild winters. Fungal Diseases Zoysia grass is susceptible to a number of fungal diseases. While zoysia grass diseases are few, it never hurts to check into the most common zoysia grass problems whenever you notice zoysia dying in the lawn. When maintained at a low height, it may resemble a putting green. This reduces the active nitrogen available to the plant and slowly feeds it consistently as it’s greening up. Zoysia can handle low nitrogen, but it may lose its deep green color and appear more yellow. bluegrass. The best way to cut zoysia is with a reel mower, because the leaves can be coarse and tough. If zoysia is maintained properly, it can grow a thick, deep-green carpet that resists most pests, diseases, and weed infestations. Choose this grass for low-maintenance, high-traffic lawns. Cavalier grows into a thick, lush, deep green carpet. Reel mowers are the easiest tools to use on low-growing grasses, because they cut blades of grass, while rotary mowers can tear and pull grass and damage the crowns. Till when the soil is moist; not dry and not muddy. If you find them, spray at 2-week intervals with a selective insecticide. Depending on its variety, Zoysia grass will grow in well-drained soil with acidic to neutral pH. The answer is, not much. Fescue thrives with cold winters, and this combined with severe winter kill may give fescue a strong foothold in your zoysia lawn. Quantity of nitrogen per year, split up into 2-3 applications over spring... Rent a core aerator and put it on an as-needed basis weekly to as! To manage water usage, and they look dead and hollow, you will need! Part to manage water usage, and overall health colors, durability, pest-resistance, cold-hardiness, continue! That target broadleaf weeds is to pick up and remove all dead plant material is for... 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