Zoyzia spreading

bear76March 19, 2008

In my neighborhood Zoyzia was planted many years ago, about 25. In the the years since everyone has overseeded with other types of grass. In my yard I think I have 15-20% zoysia left, evenly spread. What can I do to encourage the zoysia to take back over? How long does it take to spread?

Thanks

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texas_weed(7A)

Are you in Maryland? If so it will be a challenge as Zoysia is a warm season grass.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2008 at 1:25PM
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johnsinva(VA)

You can cut plugs out of the zoysia patches you have and plant them in the other areas. The zoysia would eventually take back over the yard anyway, but this will help speed things along.

You shouldn't have any problems getting it to take, one well-known provider of zoysia plugs is in Taneytown. The fact that it is a warm season grass simply means it will brown during the colder winter months, just like fescue browns during the hottest summer months, being a cool season grass.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2008 at 2:11PM
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bear76

It's not in solid patches anywhere just spread fairly evenly around. I've thaught about getting plugs locally and poping them in here and there to help it along. I'm not in a hurry but how long do you think it should take to come back in force?

    Bookmark   March 19, 2008 at 4:20PM
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firstandgoal

If you want a Zoysia lawn, call around to your local nurseries and see if they have "Empire" zoysia plugs.

Of course, the more plugs you put in the ground the quicker it will be to fill in.

Empire is a good fast spreading, medium textured zoysia with deep green color and good cold tolerance.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2008 at 6:47PM
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rosemallow(z7 Md)

Just take the plugs from the zoysia and re plug the areas you want it to grow.
Zoysia grows well in Maryland. In a matter of fact I read somewhere it came from Korea. And one of the first companies to bring it here was in Maryland.
As for my lawn I would never have Zoysia.
I like a green lawn in the fall.
I killed off all my Zoysia 15 years ago and went with the newer rebel mixtures. Best choice I ever made.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2008 at 7:33PM
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texas_weed(7A)

Bear you still didn't answer the question . Are you in Maryland? Kind of hard to win a 12 round fight (1 year) if you can only punch for 3 rounds. After 25 years ought to tell you something.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2008 at 10:30PM
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bear76

Yes, I'm in MD about a mile from DC. I figued that over the years other owners of this yard kept planting other types of grass and the zoysia just could not compete with the constant scalping and seeding. I was hoping there was something I could do to encourage the zoysia to take over. I've read that warm season grases perfer to be fertilized in the spring and cool season in the fall. Also, zoysia perfers to be cut lower. Are these good ways to make it more aggessive?

    Bookmark   March 20, 2008 at 1:04PM
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texas_weed(7A)

Well you hit on something here without realizing it.. Zoysia will out-compete any cool season grass and all the warm season grasses except Bermuda if the climate is right. After 25 years the Zoysia should have been completely dominant crowding out all competitors.

Now it could be the previous owners did not know how to care for Zoysia. Zoysia is a heavy thatcher, and needs dethatched every couple of years, especially if over fertilized and over-seeded in the fall with Rye grass.

What I really suspect is the growing season is so short where you live, the Zoysia really never has a chance to get growing aggressively and choke out the competition. Like I said it is hard to win a 12 round fight if you can only punch for 2 or 3 rounds. In the south the growing season is more like 8 or 9 months

Anyway Meyers (aka Z-52) is the most cold tolerant and earliest strain of Zoysia released in the USA. Since yours is 25 years tells me it has to be Meyers which is as good as it gets to survive in your area

Here is what I would do if I were you trying to make what you have work:

First go look and see if you have a thatch problem, that will have to be dealt with first

When the grass is about 50% green dethatch if necessary and immediately fertilize with a slow release balanced urea fertilizer like 15-5-10 or 20-5-10. Lesco makes an excellent slow release urea products. Then about 8 weeks later add another fertilizer treatment with slow release urea nitrogen only product. This will complete your fertilizer applications for the year until the following spring. So in your area, only 2 apps per year. For those in the south, we can apply 3 apps @ 8 weeks apart.

Keep it mowed between 1 and 2 inches, and you can go as high as 3 inches if you have slopes, otherwise keep it around 1 to 2 inches.

Watering, this is where you can really knock out the cool season grasses in the summer with proper watering. Zoysia is very drought resistant while the cool season grasses are not and you can use this trait with great success if watered properly. Water only when the Zoysia needs it, and then water deeply with a full inch of water. You will have to learn how to tell by looking at the grass, it will tell you when it needs watering by a slight color change when it wilts.

Keep in mind Zoysia, especially Meyers is a very slow spreading grass, and it will take a few seasons to regain dominance if it will ever will. The only other option is to re-sod, but I would not suggest that in your area as I think it would be a waist of money and time.

Good Luck

TW

    Bookmark   March 20, 2008 at 2:11PM
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bear76

Would adding plugs help it along? There is a small turf farm nearby that looks to be growing zoysia. Could I buy a roll and cut it into plugs and spread them out?

    Bookmark   March 20, 2008 at 3:44PM
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