Zoysia Grass

Zoysia grass can be the epitome of a love-hate relationship. This grass is extremely well suited to warmer climates but can be grown in many northern areas. If one were to draw a straight line on a map across the country, roughly from Hartford, Connecticut to Los Angeles, Zoysia would do well south of that imaginary boundary. To the north of that line, it is not particularly well suited as it will remain a dormant brown throughout much of the year. The love part of the relationship is that this is a grass that forms a lush turf which will crowd out weeds and a lawn of Zoysia grass is virtually guaranteed to be naturally weed-free. On the other hand, in the cool months it will turn brown and become dormant. Some people don’t care for Zoysia because of that characteristic, while others are quite willing to accept that fact because of the many positives associated with this grass.

Zoysia grass has many of the characteristics of the Bermuda grasses in that it spreads through the formation of above ground shoots called stolons and below ground shoots called rhizomes. This ability to spread insures a lush lawn that will stand up to moderate traffic from children or pets, but may not stand the rough treatment associated with football, for instance. Zoysia grasses are often used on the fairways of golf courses. Zoysia grasses, because of its’ inclination to spread (like grass could think!) will intrude upon flower or garden beds and into adjoining lawns if not controlled. On the other hand it is a slow growing grass that needs much less mowing than many others and is drought tolerant. It also grows well in areas that are subjected to the salt spray along coastal regions.

Zoysia grasses can be planted by using plugs in lawns that have established growth. It will soon crowd out the other grasses as well as weeds or it can be planted on a prepared surface using seed or sod. A seeded lawn will become lush in about 4-6 months while a planting in an an area of established growth using plugs may take up to two years. Sodded lawns obviously do not have the same difficulties, but are a bit more expensive. Zoysia grows well in virtually every type of soil.

In short, if one does not mind the dormant brown of this grass during cool months they will be rewarded by a uniform lawn.

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