While zoysia can tolerate a few grubs per square foot, an infestation can kill large patches of turf before you notice too much damage. Right now the most common question is how to convert these zoysia lawns to a cool-season grass like tall fescue or tall fescue/Ky. WEED CONTROL. Try pruning the surrounding landscape to allow sunlight into the area. Blades of grass in the center will easily pull off the crown. Meyer is a good option throughout the transition zone and on into cooler or shadier parts of the deep south. The Masters Lawn Care, Inc. is licensed by the State of Florida, bonded, and heavily insured for your protection. These soils are usually a balance of different soil textures with a reasonable amount of organic matter. Disposing of plant material: If you sprayed your lawn, it is best to take the dead plant material to a local yard waste dump. Use a slow-release nitrogen fertilizer that will last up to six months in the soil. Thatch under 1/2” thick is healthy, and this can be maintained through frequent mowing with a reel mower. Cores will break down and return nutrients to the soil. Although zoysia is a slow starter, once it is established, it can choke out most weeds, and quickly repair damage due to cold temperatures or traffic. Amend with specific fertilizers as needed. You can’t replant or plug these areas in fall but you can use the opportunity to kill and remove any perennial weeds or cool season grass weeds, such as fescue, that may have invaded these areas with a glyphosate product in fall or spring before embarking on the renovation process in late May. Moist, shady environments, whether hot or cool, will result in diseases for zoysia lawns. Sprigs will go from green to brown in the first few weeks; this is normal. Bury 2/3 of each sprig with a few inches of soil. Thriving Yard is an affiliate for companies including Amazon Associates and earn a commission on qualifying purchases. While most Z. japonica cultivars can only be propagated vegetatively, there are some cultivars that can be grown from seed. Consult your garden center or county agent for the correct diagnosis and control treatments that are available. Irrigate less frequently, and make sure you are only watering in the mornings, to allow the blades time to dry out during the day. Purchase Zoysia plugs from a reputable farm that ships plugs guaranteed to grow or replaced free (link to Zoysia Farms). Z. matrella can tolerate light frost, although it may suffer after a few hard frosts. 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. Dig up patches of invasive grass or spot spray during active growth. Depending on its variety, Zoysia grass will grow in well-drained soil with acidic to neutral pH. This is the definition of a low-maintenance grass; it has few problems under normal growing conditions. 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. However, it is extremely important to realize how Zoysia grass reacts to drought and what makes it drought-tolerant. This can help deter them from doing further damage. 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. While broadleaf weeds are unsightly, they are one of the easiest weeds to control because they have a different structure than grasses. This cultivar has a sophisticated, manicured look, but it requires frequent mowing, consistent irrigation, and a detailed pest management and fertilization schedule. Soils that are low in nitrogen are usually loose, sandy soils that can’t retain water. Lawns with adequate sunlight, irrigation, and fertilization will grow enough to be mowed weekly, which removes the spores before they can do any damage. To control an existing billbug population, spray an insecticide that targets the adult beetles just after sunset, when they are most active. Hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 10, zoysia stands up to heat, humidity and traffic when other grasses are struggling. The best remedy for sandy, nitrogen-deficient soils is topdressing and leaving grass clippings on the lawn. Most bugs should be gone by the third application. It's only $95-$125 and lasts for 3 months (which is all we really need to make it through summer). Water conservation and a healthy, beautiful lawn aren't mutually exclusive. As you continue to build up the soil each year, you can cut back on fertilizing and rely on the compost to provide nutrition. Irrigate your lawn thoroughly the day before power raking. 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. St. Augustine vs. Zoysia: Which One Is Right For Your Lawn? Shade tolerance. Reel mowers are the only way to cut extremely low lawns. 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. You can plant Meyer from seed, but vegetative planting yields faster growth and denser turf. Belair, also known as El Toro, is one of the most cold-hardy and shade-tolerant cultivars of Z. japonica. Z. japonica is coarse and dense, so it can be difficult to mow. Option 2: Spread the sprigs across your lawn and till them in on a shallow setting. St. Augustine is one of the least aggressive warm-season grasses. They will cause large brown patches in your turf, starting at a border of the lawn and working deeper into the center. It is less cold tolerant than Z. japonica, but it can be found as far north as Connecticut along the coast. This means herbicide manufacturers can develop broad-spectrum weed killers that target broadleaf weeds but are harmless to your lawn. This fungus is most prevalent during mid-summer, when temperatures are in the mid 80s and the mornings are still damp and humid. Mow in the afternoons when the blades are dry to prevent spreading the disease. 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. Almost all common lawn diseases are the result of abnormal weather conditions or unfavorable microclimates within your lawn. Amazon has put together some great Home Holiday Guide Deals - save money and get your holiday shopping done! Option 3: Rent a roller. Zoysia lawns are incredibly resilient, and most are able to repair themselves with adequate irrigation, nutrition, and time. If you live in a humid climate, you may only need to irrigate a few times during the summer. As long as your temperatures are fairly warm year-round, this is the best solution for you. Zoysia actually turns brown before St. Augustine when facing drought stress and needs the same amount of water to stay green. 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. This is a collection of tiny grass sprigs that can be planted into the soil. Pull up a tuft of grass to inspect for chinch bugs. Keep sod consistently moist for the first few weeks after planting. Zoysia is one of the recommended grass species for clay soils due to its ability to tolerate compacted soils and low fertility. Follow the directions on the back of your seed bag to determine how much seed to plant. While rust is rarely a real danger to your lawn, it is unsightly and it can get out of hand in humid climates. Cavalier grows into a thick, lush, deep green carpet. Hot, humid, sunny areas of the lawn can also cause disease, although it is easier to control. Rent (or buy) a heavy-duty tiller. 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. Side By Side Comparison, Best Fertilizer For A Clay Soil Lawn: Why Ingredients Matter, Learn more about establishing zoysia in clay soil. Spread sod over your lawn, making sure to cut away holes for your irrigation system and any access covers. You can also download a copy for free if you’d like: Healthy lawns have fewer pest and disease problems. The answer is, not much. I’d say go easy on the fertilizer, if ever. Irrigate once per week in the morning, to allow leaf blades to dry out before cooler nighttime temperatures. In its optimal growing zones, this tough grass can deliver a beautiful, dense lawn with very little input from you. This helps to prevent compaction and improve water retention, which lowers your water and fertilizer bill. Zoysia is a warm-season grass that also thrives in most of the transition zone. Zoysia can handle low nitrogen, but it may lose its deep green color and appear more yellow. Before planting, make sure you have an irrigation plan to maintain consistent moisture for at least 6 weeks. Quick-release fertilizers may result in a few weeks of sudden growth, but this only attracts pests and diseases without encouraging long-term results. The more cores you remove from the lawn, the more compost you can rake in later. If you feel that chinch bugs may be contributing to your brown lawn, schedule a meeting with our lawn pest control technician, Joe. Z. japonica is coarse and dense, so it can be difficult to mow. Compost is a soil conditioner, so it improves the soil along with adding nutrition. If your Zoysia lawn is suffering from dead spots this summer like the photo above, you aren't alone. Zoysia prefers hot, dry summers, mild winters, and slightly acidic soils. 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. This cultivar is less shade tolerant than other Z. japonica cultivars. See "What is core aerification and when should I do it?" 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. Zeon has moderate shade and drought tolerance. Chinch bugs are attracted to drought-stressed and nutrient-deficient lawns. Mow the lawn when it is over 2” tall, and mow it at least once before dormancy. Recommended Reading:Why Is My Zoysia Lawn Turning Brown? 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. Most diseases are caused by microclimates in your lawn, so it’s best to treat these as they come. Crabgrass spreads through rhizomes, stolons, and seeds; one plant can send out over 700 runners and produce over 150,000 seeds in a single growing season. 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. Billbugs are brownish beetles with an elongated snout. 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. However, for an attractive stand of healthy grass, you will need to fertilize during the summer to help encourage deep root growth and improve durability. 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. Centipede grass does not tolerate drought, so one of the best deterrents for centipede grass is to allow your lawn to go dormant during the summer. Zoysia should not be aerated in the fall because it goes dormant. 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. Spray fescue during the spring before zoysia comes out of dormancy. You will need approximately 1 bushel of sprigs per 100 square feet of lawn area. Learn more about establishing zoysia in clay soil. In some climates, you may need to irrigate occasionally over the winter during extended dry periods. Just keep watering. This will encourage deep, healthy root growth. However, grasses and weeds can come back if you simply till them under. Grubs are the larvae of Japanese beetles, and they feed on grass roots from July-September before they morph into adults. It will green up as soon as you apply water. Once your sprigs are planted, you need to water them immediately. Zoysia is a beautiful, thick, deep green turf grass that is easy to maintain in the right climate. Zoysia that is suffering from low nitrogen will be more susceptible to pests, have a lighter color, and fill in slowly. Most leaf spot infections will go away as soon as the nighttime temperatures warm up and the humidity drops. Lightly tamp sod into the soil and water immediately. – Don’t overwater. That's great information to have. Empire Zoysia is a grass with natural characteristics that allow it to handle Australia’s hot, dry climate. Choose this grass for low-maintenance, high-traffic lawns. However, if you mow every 10-14 days, you’re more likely to leave long grass clippings that don’t break down as quickly. Let the area dry out, and mow to remove as much of the infected grass as possible. 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. Lightly rake seeds into the top ¼” of soil. Average soils are crumbly without being sandy. If you feel that your irrigation system isn't functioning properly, we would love to schedule a, tutorial on how to change your Gainesville irrigation timer settings, $95 One-Hour Irrigation Tune-up with Mike, schedule a meeting with our lawn pest control technician, Increasing the frequency (watering more often), Increasing the duration (minutes that the zones run). Drought tolerance. FERTILIZATION. The lack of shade tolerance makes Empire more susceptible to brown patch; a fungus that thrives in humid, shady parts of the lawn. Ironically, some of the best things about zoysia grass are also the things which make it a frustrating choice for a lawn. Water 4-5 times per day for the first 4 weeks, then gradually start reducing your irrigation schedule as the grass begins to thicken. Just be careful to not overwork the soil. Plugs are 2”-4” cores of sod with a root system, rhizomes, stolons, and leaves. The grass spreads by above-ground stems called ‘stolons’ and underground stems called ‘rhizomes’. You can let zoysia go without mowing for a few weeks at a time, allow it to go dormant during dry spells, and forego fertilizing and weed control. For a chemical-free treatment, try spreading diatomaceous earth (link to Amazon) over the infested area. If possible, use a reel mower (link to Amazon), and keep the lawn below 2” throughout the growing season. You can use as many as 4 plugs per square foot or as few as 1 plug per square foot. Your lawn will not suffer from going dormant. The downside to Diamond is that it is one of the most high-maintenance turf grass options for a lawn. This turfgrass has a coarse texture and is extremely durable. It will only cause competition for resources, which will result in unnecessary seedling death. The goal of soil prep is to remove as much of the past lawn as possible, including the root system, and to develop a weed-free soil bed for the new grass. This method of planting has a high success rate. 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. Irrigate after topdressing to help the lawn begin to recover from dethatching and aerating. As the climates become more humid, or the soils are more alkaline, zoysia becomes an increasingly more high-maintenance turf grass. To save you time and reading, a visual presentation (YouTube video) may help make a better explanation. Suddenly, this healthy low-water Zoysia ‘Zeon’ grass turned yellow, patchy and died in spots. Care Of Established Zoysia Grass Lawns Diseases In Zoysia Varieties Some Zoysia varieties are subject to dollar spot, leaf spot, brown patch and rust. If you have consistent pest problems, spray preventative pesticides each spring and fall, depending on the pest’s lifecycle. If you have a large infestation, apply an insecticide at the rate and frequency directed by the pesticide manufacturer. This will provide a healthy foundation for your turf that improves water retention, drainage, nutrient content, and overall health. Meyer is one of the more popular strains of Z. japonica due to its vigorous growth habit and rich, deep green color. Preventing Your Pet from Causing Urine Damage Water a patch of lawn after a dog urinates on it. Damage from hunting billbugs looks like a hybrid between grub damage and drought damage. If zoysia is maintained properly, it can grow a thick, deep-green carpet that resists most pests, diseases, and weed infestations. Some weeds can be controlled with preventative sprays, but other, invasive warm-season grasses are more difficult to remove. Spread the sprigs across your lawn 6” apart, and press them into the soil with a roller. If you can easily pull stolons and runners out of the ground, and they look dead and hollow, you have billbugs. 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. If you live in a dry climate, you will likely need to water once per week to prevent your lawn from going dormant. However, this will result in a sub-par lawn that can create and compound problems. Keep your zoysia lawn at least 1 ½ inches tall and remove no … Topdressing with compost is a good way to provide slow-release nitrogen, and in most lawns, this can replace annual fertilization. Instead of Roundup, consider an organic non-selective herbicide like Weed Warrior (Link to Sunday Lawns). Zoysia will tolerate poor growing conditions. While it may seem like more is better in terms of soil fertility, large amounts of nutrients come at a cost with soil texture. Good drainage is needed to remove excess water from low-lying areas. Sydney has over 15 years of experience in lawn maintenance, landscape design, and organic gardening. Product recommendations not personally owned are based on the author’s knowledge of the company, product, reliability, and reputation. Z. matrella, also known as Manila grass,has a fine texture, low growing height, and dense growth habit. Bag the clippings, and dispose of them in plastic bags. Empire is softer and more dense than Meyer, and it requires fewer fertilizer applications. If you topdress with compost each spring, you may not need to fertilize at all. There are three main varieties of zoysia; Z. japonica and Z. matrella are turf varieties, while Z. tenuifolia is a groundcover or ornamental grass. Chemical-free: The fall before planting, spread tarps or solid plastic film across your lawn and anchor them with stakes. The best way to prevent brown patch is to avoid overwatering, and to irrigate first thing in the morning, to give the leaves time to dry off and prevent splashing the fungus onto healthy patches of grass. Begin mowing in the spring as soon as the lawn is above 2”, and continue mowing until the lawn goes dormant for the winter. The pesticides used to treat grubs can be strong, so wear thick-soled shoes and gloves during application, and keep kids and pets off the lawn. Soon, the lawn will have dead patches of grass that pull up like a loose carpet. Zoysia should be planted in mid spring to early summer, but it can be planted up to 60 days before the first frost. I laid myers zoysia in my front yard about 6 weeks ago. Spring and fall damage is usually caused by adults, while summer damage is caused by larvae. You can also use a rotary mower, but you should sharpen the blades once a month during the growing season. Zoysia is an average grass that prefers average soil. Examples provided of tested products are actual products owned, tested, and used regularly by the author. If … Plugs fill in faster than sprigs, so this may only take a few weeks depending on the initial spacing. Zeon is a deep green, soft turf with vigorous growth. Residual chemicals can stick around in compost if you were to try to add them to your compost pile. Zoysia Grass Problems. This reduces the active nitrogen available to the plant and slowly feeds it consistently as it’s greening up. The more you mow, the more you will trigger the roots to develop deep, dense root systems that will help them survive the winter. Water immediately after planting, and continue to water 4-5 times per day for the first few weeks. MOWING. If you can keep the grub population to a minimum, the aggressive nature of zoysia will allow it to outgrow the damage from remaining grubs. Empire must be propagated by sprig, plug, or sod. Dense, clay soil can hold on to large amounts of nitrogen due to the fact that water cannot drain freely into the subsoil. 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? Learn more from our article Will Zoysia Choke Out Crabgrass? You do not have to till the soil into dust. This prevents fungal infection. Rust spores are always present in a lawn, but they take 1-2 weeks to infect and damage a blade of grass. Even if you remove all of the plants, seeds will lie dormant and germinate the following spring if you do not catch crabgrass early. These are one of the most common and frustrating lawn pests. They hold shape, but can’t be molded. Mow zoysia at ¾”-2”, depending on the cultivar. Consistent moisture will help produce weed-free coverage. Moisture plays an important role in disease development. However, now you have brown spots in your Zoysia lawn and you want to know how to get them green again. Aerating the lawn is always beneficial when the grass is growing. Plant plugs at the desired spacing across the lawn. Clay can be so dense that nutrients are not able to move into the root zone of a plant. Aerate the day after dethatching, when the soil is still bare and moist. Zoysia grass faces gardening problems such as early browning, brown crown spots, and spots, rust that hinder its growth. Zoysia is able to resist most pests and diseases if it is maintained properly. 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