When it comes to turf choices for a lawn, Zoysiagrass can spark mixed reactions. Because of its dense growth habit, when well cared for, a Zoysia lawn is a beauty to behold: a verdant outdoor carpet that feels great on bare feet. The caveat however, is that finding the sweet spot in maintaining a Zoysia lawn with balancing just the right amount of irrigation and nutrients, while keeping pests and diseases like sod webworm and ‘large-patch’ at bay, can be challenging.
Depending on the variety of Zoysia, researchers recommend a mowing height of 0.5 to 1.5 inches for fine-textured varieties such as ‘Cashmere’ and 1.5 to 2.5 for medium- and coarse- textured varieties such as ‘EmpireTurf’. As with all turgrasses, allowing turf leaf-blades to grow to maximum mowing height produces a healthier lawn which is more drought-tolerant and less susceptible to pests and diseases.
Zoysia can undergo a drought-induced dormancy during dry weather, with leaf blades turning brown then greening-up once irrigation/rainfall resumes. However, in response to over-watering, Zoysia can also be prone to developing fungal diseases such as large-patch. The ideal irrigation recommendation for keeping Zoysia healthy is a rate of 0.5 to 0.75 inch of water per application. To learn more about how to determine irrigation application rates click on this link.
One of the features of Zoysia which makes it attractive can also be problematic. Because of its dense growth habit which makes for a lush lawn, Zoysia has the tendency to develop thatch, and this is exacerbated when recommended nitrogen fertilizer rates are exceeded. To learn more about appropriate turf fertilizer recommendations click this link.
Zoysiagrass will go dormant earlier than many of the other turf species when temperatures drop during cooler weather. Zoysia also has the tendency to have a prolonged semi-dormant state, meaning that it takes longer to green-up once warm weather resumes. Having a ‘naturally’ brown lawn for an extended period can be a source of consternation, so this cool weather trait of Zoysia should be a consideration prior to choosing where to install it. To learn more about turf dormancy click this link.
To learn more about fool-proofing your Zoysiagrass lawm, click this link.