Zoysia Maintenance Tips

Written By Peter Honeycutt

Mowing

Mow Zoysia at 1 to 2 inch height during the growing season with a reel or rotary type mower. Zoysia is an exceptionally dense turf so to make mowing easier mow before the turf reaches 3". Practice grasscycling. Grasscycling is simply leaving grass clippings on your lawn. Grass clippings decompose quickly and can provide up to 25 percent of the lawn's fertilizer needs. If prolonged rain or other factors prevent frequent mowing and clippings are too plentiful to leave on the lawn, they can be collected and used as mulch.

Fertilization

Spring - When grass begins to green up in spring apply a turf-grade high-nitrogen fertilizer, such as 20-4-10, preferrably containing a weed preventer such as Barricade. Broadcast fertilizer using a rotary-typespreader following spreading rates recommended on bag.

Summer - In mid-summer apply a complete nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium (N-P-K) turf-grade fertilizer such as 28-4-6 or similar. Broadcast fertilizer using a rotary-type spreader following spreading rates recommended on bag.

Fall - In early to mid fall apply a turf-grade Fall Feed/Winterizer, such as 5-5-20, preferably containing a weed preventer such as Barricade. Broadcast fertilizer using a rotary-typespreader following spreading rates recommended on bag.

Irrigation

To maintain a healthy appearance during the hottest months of summer, Zoysia needs about 1 to 1 1/4 inches of water a week. On sandy soils it often requires more frequent watering, for example, 1/2 inch of water every third day. A light green-grey color and narrowing of leaves indicate that it is time to water. Proper irrigation may reduce pest problems in the summer. NOTE: Always water during the early to late morning hours and never at night. Watering at night may cause fungal development.

Weed Control

Apply a granular preemergence herbicide such as Team 2G in early to mid February to prevent the emergence of spring weeds such as crabgrass. Late spring, summer and applications of preemergence herbicides are also recommended, and as stated above can be applied in combination with a fertilzer containing a weed preventer.

To kill weeds that have emerged postemergence herbicides can be applied. Apply postemergence herbicides only when weeds are present and make sure to wait until three weeks after the lawn is green. Be sure the product is labeled for use on Zoysia grass and always be careful to follow mixing and applications instructions on product label. Spot treating is recommended.

Insect Control

We don't see too many problems with insects on Zoysia grass. On rare occasion we've seen spittle bug infestation. Spittle bugs are small, 1/4-inch size, triangular-shape black insects that have bright red stripes on their wings. If you find spittle bugs in your Zoysia lawn contact your local nursery to inquire about remedies.

Thatch Removal

If thatch is present and more than 1/2-inch thick, use a dethatcher to remove thatch in May.

Fungus

We don't see too many problems with fungus on Zoysia grass. If a fungus is present, daconil, sentinel or eagle are fungicides that may be used on Zoysia grass.

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