What kind of grass is your lawn made of?
What is Zoysia grass?
Zoysia is a genus of “creeping” grasses. This type of grass grows in temperate climates throughout the world, especially in parts of Asia an Australia, but is also very popular for golf fairways and greens.
Why are we talking about Zoysia grass?
Zoysia is a popular choice for lawn grass in the United States, especially for temperate climates. Those are ones that don’t get too cold in the winter, like Florida. Since this type of grass is technically an invasive species, it will crowd your lawn to the point that little to no weeds will be able to survive. This will obviously save time and money on weed treatments, but be careful as this also means they might creep into your neighbor’s lawn!
Zoysia Grass Care
To plant Zoysia grass, you may use sod, grass sprigs or zoysia grass seeds, depending on what type you are using. Check with your local gardening store for which type will work best for you. With cooler temperatures, Zoysia grass can turn from green to brown quickly. If you can handle the color change, you’ll have a resilient lawn, as the perennial grass will grow back thick and strong once temperatures increase in the spring. Zoysia grass maintenance is easy, since it retains water well and doesn’t need to be watered too often. It can stay green even during short droughts, so you may save a lot on lawn care with this grass. While it grows best in the sunlight, Zoysia grass can tolerate low levels of shade, which adds to the resiliency of this type of lawn.
Zoysia Grass Maintenance
Plant Zoysia grass in the spring, and over-seed if you can. One of the few maintenance tips for this relatively maintenance free lawn is to de-thatch often. Since the zoysia grass will grow very thick and dense, there can be a lot of organic build up that may damage the underlying soil.
Aeration and de-thatching are two landscaping services that you should plan on using with this type of lawn. Also, because of the density of Zoysia grass, you can mow the lawn a little shorter. Your local landscaper will know best, but an average of 1.5 to 2.5 inches is typically recommended. Due to the invasive nature of Zoysia grass, your lawn will have to have deep edging done periodically. The grass will take over the neighborhood otherwise. As popular as this type of lawn might be, you might not be popular with your neighbors if it replaces their own well-maintained lawn.
Lawn Care Tips
While Zoysia grass can be easier to maintain and might not need to be mowed quite as often, there’s a few lawn care tips that transfer to this type of lawn. When mowing, don’t cut too much at one time. Try not to cut more than 1/3 of the current length at once. Especially with Zoysia grass that already may have thatch problems, cutting too much at once could lead to grass clippings. Normally a few clippings are healthy for a lawn. Too many clippings will choke out the healthy grass though.
When it’s hot, you can leave the grass a little higher. This will help keep the lawn from stressing out too much and turning brown prematurely. You should check with a weed control expert for your specific needs, but since Zoysia grass naturally keeps weeds at bay, you may not need to apply weed treatment very often. In some cases, weed treatment may actually harm your Zoysia grass lawn. Fertilizer can also be applied moderately once the grass has grown to maturity. In most cases, the Zoysia grass will grow well on it’s own.
If you live in a transition climate or a warmer southern climate, Zoysia grass may be the lawn you are looking for.