Caring for Zoysia
Zoysia grass has the potential to be the best looking grass in the neighborhood. Today there are as many as a dozen varieties easily available to the consumer. Carolina Fresh farms currently grows four varieties. Cavalier and Palisades are the two newest varieties cultivated on our farm. Each one of these varieties has different appearances and characteristics. Due to the ease of maintenance, Palisades is quickly becoming our largest seller. This variety may be maintained on a minimal fertility schedule yet retain the beauty of a typical zoysia lawn. It has a wide blade which tends to be easier to mow with a conventional mower. Cavalier is narrow bladed grass similar to Emerald. Both of these varieties were developed for improved shade tolerance and minimal thatch accumulation. Regardless of the variety you are growing, beware of quick release fertilizers which yield excessive of top growth and thatch accumulation.
Zoysia grass performs best when mowed closely. We suggest that your lawn be mowed as close as 1 to1 1/2 inches if possible. This height of cut should be easily obtained so long as the lawn is smooth. If there are severe irregularities in the grade, be careful not to scalp certain areas. Scalping a lawn could cause damage to the crown of the plant. If the lawn is uneven, please contact a Carolina Fresh Farms representative for instructions on topdressing a lawn. In order for Zoysia to look its best, it is mandatory that your lawn be mowed every 7 to 10 days. This ensures that thatch will not become a problem and help you avoid that “white” color of the lawn just after mowing.
Aeration has two purposes. The first is to simply loosen the soil. The second is to prune the roots. Core aeration is the recommended method and should be performed every 2 years on a typical home lawn during the growing season. If your lawn receives heavy foot traffic, it would be advisable to aerate every year. Aeration should be performed during the growing season.
Zoysia grass requires 1 to 1 ½ inches of water per week during the growing season. Irrigation of the lawn should be performed in the early hours of the morning just before daylight. This practice will avoid any rapid evaporation of water before it reaches the lawn; yet allow the leaf tissue to dry quickly after the sun rises. Do not water your lawn every morning for short intervals. This process will only encourage shallow root growth. Instead, water your lawn for long periods two to three times a week.
A practical understanding of your soil is essential in managing your lawn. Soil pH is perhaps the most crucial element. Most turf grasses perform best when the soil pH falls between 6.3 and 7.0. We recommend that a soil test be performed annually to check the pH values as well as other nutrient levels within the soil profile. Any Carolina Fresh Farms Turf Center will be happy to send your soil samples to our soil testing laboratory. Our soil testing program is a free service.
CUSTOMIZED MAINTENANCE PROGRAM
February 21-March 15
March 15-April 30
April 1-May 15
May 15-May 21
May 15-May 21
June 21-July 1
August 1-August 15
August 15-September 15
October 1-October 21
Fertilizers & Disease Prevention
0-0-7 .38% Prodiamine prevents summer weeds such as crabgrass
Take a soil sample; test for pH and fertility levels
Use any fungicide; must rotate between products
16-25-12 w/ MESA provides phosphorus for root growth
16-0-8 .38% Barricade provides nitrogen and more preemergent to extend control of summer weeds
Use Aloft Insecticide
20-0-25 EXPO 1%Fe (5# per 1,000 sq. ft.) provides nitrogen
6-1-11 7% Fe produces green color w/out flushing top growth late in the season
Headway, Heritage or Pillar; must rotate between these products
0-0-7 .38% Prodiamine prevents winter weeds such as Poa annua
PRE-EMERGENT HERBICIDES are essential in providing a weed free lawn. Never apply these products to a lawn which is not well-established
Over the past few years, many lawn professionals have observed large patch disease in zoysia lawns in both the late fall and early spring. This disease is similar to brown patch in fescue which is prevalent throughout the Carolinas. In order to protect the investment in your lawn, you will need an application of fungicide in the fall as well as the spring.
Due to the increasing price of fertilizer, we are offering a 25-0-5 and 20-0-5 for consumers. Before you switch from the EXPO product to one of these lesser priced alternative, please consult one of our staff members.
Bifenthrin may be used in place of Aloft only if you have no current or past grub problems.
PRE-EMERGENT HERBICIDES are essential in providing a weed free lawn. Never apply these products to a lawn which is not well-established.
For spreader settings or any other fertilizer information please call any of our retail outlet locations or go to lebsea.com.
Sol-u-Cal is used to adjust soil pH. When applied at a rate of 12 pounds per 1,000 square feet, Sol-u-Cal will raise the pH as much as one point in as short as 4 to 6 weeks.
Headway controls a wider range of diseases than any other currently registered product, including dollar spot, brown patch and all other major turf diseases.
Pillar G is a combination of two effective ingredients used to control and prevent numerous turf diseases.
Heritage is excellent long-term preventative control of most diseases in turf.
FIRE ANT CONTROL
If you are experiencing fire ant problems within your lawn, please contact any one of our retail outlets. There are several ways to control these insects. Our experts will help to identify the best fire ant solution for your lawn.