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.
Seasonal Maintenance for Zoysia
March 15 - April 30
Take a soil sample; test for pH and fertility levels.
16-25-12 w/ MESA - Provides phosphorus for root growth.
May 15 - May 21
16-0-8 0.38 Percent Barricade - For nitrogen and more pre-emergent to extend control of summer weeds. Aloft Insecticide - Controls grubs and other surface feeding insects.
June 21 - July 1
20-0-25 EXPO 1 Percent Fe (5# per 1,000 sq. ft.) - Provides required nitrogen through summer months.
August 1 - August 15
6-1-11 7 Percent Fe - Produces green color w/out flushing top growth late in the season.
August 15 - September 15
Headway, Heritage or Pillar; must rotate between these products.
October 1 - October 21
0-0-7 0.38 Percent Prodiamine prevents winter weeds such as Poa annua.
February 21 - March 15
0-0-7 0.38 Percent Prodiamine prevents summer weeds such as crabgrass.
Maintenance Tips for Zoysia
Zoysia grass performs best when mowed closely. We suggest that your lawn be mowed as close as 1 to 1 ½ 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 seven 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.
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.
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 two 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.
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.
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 four to six 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.
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.