Zoysia Grass – A Complete Guide with all that you need to know!

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Zoysia Grass is frequently considered as the cure-all for lawn care. Why do homeowners who want to have a lush and green garden prefer Zoysia Grass? Read on and learn everything you need to know about Zoysia Grass and decide whether Zoysia Grass is a perfect fit for your lawn.

If you live in the Transition (the stretch from Kansas to North and South Carolina), you may want to consider Zoysia Grass for your lawn. It produces a lush green lawn all through its growing season.

Many golf course tees and fairways also prefer Zoysia Grass because it makes the ball easy to hit. It is also often used in football fields and baseball fields. Now, wouldn’t you like to have grass on your lawn that is preferred by courses?

What is Zoysia Grass

Zoysia Grass is a warm-season grass that can withstand foot traffic, drought, and heat. It is often used for general turf areas and lawns. Although it can be seed-planted, Zoysia Grass is regularly established through plugging and sodding.

Zoysia Grass loves the heat, so it is drought-resistant. The grass becomes brown during the Fall, and Winter seasons in the Summer. It doesn’t need frequent watering to be green. You also do not need to mow as much because it only slowly grows in height. It, however, quickly spreads.

Zoysia Grass came to the US in the early part of the 20th century. It has become the primary lawn grass in almost all suburbs in the lower half of the US.

Zoysia Grass can produce a dense and beautiful lawn with minimal care and maintenance on your end in its growing zones.

If your neighbor’s lawn is planted with Zoysia Grass, chances are it will creep into your yard, too. It is an invasive type of grass, so it will tend to take over your lawn in just a matter of time.

Zoysia Grass will crowd out the grass you have planted in your lawn or your newly planted seeded grass. You will have to pull it out diligently. Zoysia Grass will also complete with the weeds in your yard.

If you are starting your own Zoysia Grass lawn and using plugs, there will be Bare Spots. If you are planting seeds, you will have to produce another grass that grows faster, often Tall fescue and Kentucky Bluegrass, to fill in the spots.

Advantages of Zoysia Grass 

• Brilliant-looking grass

Zoysia grass comes with blades that are light green to medium green. This grass will make your lawn look like a thick carpet. Its blades are fine, thin, and sometimes of medium width.

• Tolerant to Shade

Zoysia Grass can withstand shade. This is a surprising feature because, being a warm-season grass, it should thrive under direct sunlight. Zoysia Grass can grow in areas that are 40% shaded that is perfect for grass with overhanging foliage.

• Hardy 

Zoysia Grass can grow even in not so ideal conditions.  It will happily grow even if the soil is not too fertile. It also does not have to be regularly applied with fertilizer. A small amount of fertilizer twice a year is all it needs to look its best.

• Soft Underfoot 

Zoysia Grass has an ultra-soft underfoot. Its slender blades create a dense mat. This makes Zoysia perfect for lawns that you would like your kids to run around. Zoysia Grass also needs little irrigation so your kids and the whole family can enjoy many hours of running barefoot on your lawn.

• Resistant to Damage

Zoysia Grass can withstand heavy domestic foot traffic and heavy use without getting damaged

• Drought-tolerant

Zoysia Grass needs little water to survive and grow to the point of being drought-tolerant. Irrigation is required only when you notice any physical signs, such as brown blades, that need some moisture.

• Weed-Resistant

Zoysia Grass grows into a thick mat. Thus, weeds will tend to choke on it. This prevents weeds from invading your lawn. It should be noted, though, that it takes about three years for Zoysia Grass to develop into a thick mass. During this time, your lawn will still be vulnerable to weed growth.

• Low in Maintenance

Zoysia Grass is slow-growing. This means you will not have to mow your lawn as often. Although runners allow the grass to spread, it will not quickly overtake your flower beds. If Zoysia Grass begins to encroach other areas in your garden, you will have enough time to act. This grass will also never have a build-up of thatch.

Disadvantages of Zoysia Grass

• Invasive

Zoysia Grass is a too invasive grass; this is why you do not have to seed your lawn with Zoysia. Zoysia will take over your property, your flower beds and will crawl to your neighbor’s property. •

• Dormant in Cool Weather

Zoysia Grass will turn brown fast in autumn, making it ideal for warmer states in the US.

• Slow Growing

While you do not need to mow so much because it grows slowly, it will also take a longer time for the grass to recover from wear and damage.

• Sudden Change in Color

Unless the climate is consistently warm in your area, Zoysia Grass will quickly go from green to brown during the first days of cool weather. This means your lawn will not be looking good for the most part of the year.

• More Thatch Control

While you will not be doing too much mowing, you will have to do a lot of thatch control, which is more labor-intensive.

• Prone to Zoysia Patch Disease

Zoysia Grass can die from Zoysia Patch Disease. As it fails, the grass will turn into a rust color.

• Difficult to Remove

Planting Zoysia Grass means you will be growing it for life. This grass is difficult or almost impossible to remove when it is already established.

The Characteristics of Zoysia Grass

Zoysia Grass is a perennial grass

The blades of Zoysia Grass are green in Spring and Summer. It will turn brown at the first fall frost and will be dormant.
Zoysia Grass is an invasive and creeping grass.
When there is no longer any chance of frost, late spring is the ideal time to plant Zoysia Grass. It can also be planted in early Fall or early Summer.
Zoysia Grass seeds germinate better when exposed to direct sunlight.
It takes about 14 to 21 days for Zoysia Grass to germinate, as long as growing conditions are right.
The mature size of this grass is 6 to 12 inches
Zoysia Grass can withstand high foot traffic because its blades grow dense.
Zoysia Grass can withstand dry spells and heat. It grows best when the weather is sunny.
Zoysia Grass should be under the sunshine for 6 to 8 hours every day.
  Zoysia Grass grows well under a light shade.
  Zoysia Grass can tolerate high-foot traffic, drought, and heat
  Zoysia Grass can thrive even with minimal watering
  The best height of this grass is 1 to 2 inches.
  Zoysia Grass looks similar to Kentucky Bluegrass
  Zoysia Grass thrives best in USDA planting zones 6-11

How to Plant Zoysia Grass

You can grow Zoysia Grass from seed, plugs, or sod. Plugs or sod are the most common ways of increasing Zoysia because it is a slow-grower.

  Measure your lawn to determine how much soil and topsoil, as well as fertilizer you need.
  Test the soil. Zoysia Grass prefers soil with a pH of 6.0 to 6.5 (slightly acidic) soil.
  If the soil does not reach the needed pH level, add the required nutrients (top m4-6 inches).
  Prepare the soil to ensure the best germination and growth.
  Level the soil.
  Spread the seeds using a spreader.
  Use a lawn roller to establish good soil contact.
  Keep the soil always moist during the 14 to 21 days it takes the seeds to germinate.
Wait until the grass is at least 2-1/2 inches tall before mowing to ensure strong and deep roots

How to Care for Zoysia Grass

To raise gorgeous Zoysia Grass, you need to know what it needs to thrive.

Fertilizing

  Apply fertilizer to help the grass recover from the summer heat and prepare it for dormancy in winter.
  Fertilize monthly during the summer months.
  Fertilize monthly during the spring months.

Watering

  Waterless as overwatering will make the grass prone to diseases. Water to prevent stress and to prevent dehydration.
  Avoid overwatering. Zoysia Grass will only need a weekly dose of 1-inch of water. Water more and less frequently. Water during the early hours of the morning.
  Avoid overwatering. Zoysia Grass will only need a weekly supply of 1-inch of water

Mowing

  Mow less to keep Zoysia a bit high so the roots can grow deeper.
  Mow no more than 1/3 of its blade.
  Mow Zoysia Grass at your preferred height.

Insect Control

During Fall, Summer, and spring, check and deal with white grubs with insecticide.

Weed Control

  Control winter perennial and annual weeds with herbicides.
  Control summer perennial and annual by applying post-emergent herbicides.
  Deal with the summer weeds by applying pre-emergent herbicides.

Fungus Control

  Apply fungicide if Zoysia Grass has an extensive patch disease.
  Apply fungicide.
• Apply fungicide. 

Final Thoughts

If you are looking for grass that can tolerate high foot traffic and drought without the need to apply too much fertilizer, Zoysia grass is what you need!

Jenni M
Tribal Writer

Edited by
Patricia Godwin

 

Patricia Godwin

Patricia has many years of experience as a content writer on various subjects, but her first love is gardening. She’s never met a plant she didn’t like and, consequently, she writes about every type of plant you can think of. Once an avid gardener with a herb garden, a succulent rockery, and a rose garden – to mention a few. Nowadays, she’s constantly on the move searching for interesting plants to bring to your attention; and explain to you all the details you need to grow, care and maintain these plants.

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