zoysia grass - Knowledgebase Question

New Smyrna Beach, Fl
Question by johnjoy
February 11, 2011
How does zoysia grass do in 32168. We have to re do our lawn and have planted bahia seed but it has not germinated well in all areas. Wondering about zoysia plugs or any other suggestions -

Answer from NGA
February 11, 2011


Zoysia will grow in your gardening zone but it's not the number one choice for a lush, green lawn. Here's why: It can take zoysia plugs two years to fill in your lawn; it's the first turf to turn brown and very slow to green up in spring (or as long as the temps remain less than 60F).Hopefully Meyers Z52 is one of the newer, quick-growing zoysia varieties that will green up faster in spring. Once established, zoysia is very drought-tolerant. Here's how to care for it: plant sod or 2" plugs 6" apart in full sun or partial shade. Watering is tricky, because you don't want the soil to dry out, but you'll need to adjust your sprinkler to provide small drops, or the water will erode soil between the plugs. Fertilize 3-4 weeks after plugging. In general, fertilize with 3-4 lbs of nitrogen per 1000 sq ft per year. Apply no more than 1 lb at a time - space your feedings 2-3 weeks apart, starting in late spring. Mow 1-2" high - it's hard to mow if you let it grow higher. Once zoysia is established, you can water less often.

Floratam St. Augustine or Flora Tex Bermuda are better choice for your region. They green up faster than zoysia and cover an area faster because of their faster growth rate. Of the two, bermuda has a softer texture and a greener color than St. Augustine which makes it more user friendly if your lawn is used as a children's play area.

The University of Florida has a publication discussing the pros and cons of all three turf types which you can access through the following web site: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ag220. Click on each of the publications in blue type and you'll be transported to that particular publication. Once you've read all the facts you'll be able to make the right decision about the type of lawn that will be best for you. Best wishes with your lawn.

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