Empire Zoysia Sod not Greening

mphollins(7B)May 19, 2009

March 2009, my landscape company installed Empire Zoysia sod. Every piece of sod they used was brown and I was told that it would green up when the weather got warmer. By May, only 50% of the lawn is green and it looks horrible. I believe he installed damaged sod in my yard. Should I ask him to replace the Empire sod immediately or wait and see if it greens up by July?

http://gallery.me.com/mphollins#100008

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auteck

Where in GA are you located? (zip code will work)

The pictures look typical for a March sod installation in Northen GA.

Have you fertilized the sod yet?

    Bookmark   May 19, 2009 at 1:16PM
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texas-weed(7A)

You don't fertlize Zoysia before it is fully greened up. Once it is greened up apply fertlizer, wait 8 to 10 weeks and apply again then you are done for the year.

Doubt there is anything wrong with the sod, it has been an very unusual cold winter and spring so the sod is late this year greening up. Empire has less cold characteristics than some of the others like Meyrs, so it will be slow to green up.

The other thing that might make it slower is water. If it is dry, it will wait until it has a good soaking and warm enough.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2009 at 1:40PM
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auteck

T Weed, I normally don't agree with you, but I must recognize that you're spot on the advice for Zoysia. However, you forgot to mention another very important thing about Zoysia: the type of fertilizer.

Mphollins, don't just drop any fertilizer off the shelve from big box stores (usually high on nitrogen) on Zoysia like you would bermuda - you'll have death; I mean Thatch and thatch = failure.

A bag of fertilizer for Zoysia in lieu of a soil test should read like this: 16-4-8; Tweed, can you corroborate?

    Bookmark   May 19, 2009 at 10:26PM
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mphollins(7B)

Zone 8. After five weeks of rain, the lawn has not improved. Landscape company says they will come by to water the sod and apply fertilizer. I've DIY Zoysia sod before and when part of it is dead, it can take years to come back. For $900 on a small lawn, this is not the type of lawn I wanted to see and I should not have to wait till July or August to get a good looking lawn with Empire sod. So if fertilizer is used, how long will it take to get a thick lawn?

    Bookmark   May 27, 2009 at 10:05PM
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jimmygiii

The squeaky wheel gets the grease...judging from those pics, I would start squeaking and stop only when the dead and/or dormant sod has been replaced. Otherwise, mowing low and often will help the Empire fill in. As for a time frame for filling in, I don't know, but I doubt the lawn will be meeting your expectations by July or August.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2009 at 9:31AM
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dclark_2009

You might try Ironite to see if that will help out some. I just bought some (in 40 lb bags) from Home Depot, and put it on my new Empire Zoysia (a few days ago) that was sodded a few weeks ago in the Atlanta area. My Empire grass is already a darker shade of green (just days after the Ironite was applied) and is doing very nicely.

I understand that Empire Zoysia really loves Iron, and have read that Ironite is a perfect solution in that respect. I plan to apply Ironite four times a year. Have others had success with Ironite?

Please note that my sod was not in perfect shape when I installed it myself (it had some thatch and yellowing). I actually bought about 2/3rds of a pallet from Home Depot to replace an area of partially shaded Bermuda on a slope. The Bermuda was not doing well from the partial shade and erosion was occurring from a lot of recent heavy rains.

Evidentally, the sod had been sitting on Home DEpot's lot for a couple of days because it had some thatch and was starting to yellow. I put out a 10-10-10 starter fertizer and watered it in for a few weeks (and it rained a good bit also). Then I added Ironite. I also had gently raked out most of the thatch a couple of times using a metal leaf rake. Now, the Empire is looking very good. In fact, I like it so much that I will soon add 5 more pallets (but this time delivered directly from a sod farm), and I'll get some help to install it quickly. I plan to till the soil and add top soil, humus (and lime if needed) prior to installing the sod.

Anyways good luck with your lawn. Ironite might help some, but that one area where most of your sod looks dead may take a while to recover if not replaced.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2009 at 4:09PM
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mphollins(7B)

Thanks for the suggestions, I bugged the landscape company, Budget Landscaping to replace the sod. I watered, it rained and it never improved. Since, I paid for a green lawn, not a brown lawn, I requested they replace the sod, cause it was in bad shape coming off the truck. So they ordered a new shipment and replaced the sod. What a difference, it does not look like the same grass that was originally installed. Thanks for the advice about the Ironite at Home Depot I plan to use this on the lawn. I am going to follow through and order more Empire Zoysia for another area in my lawn, but not from Budget Landscaping. I will save $600 on the project by DIY. Where do I purchase the right fertilizer for Empire in Atlanta, GA?

    Bookmark   July 21, 2009 at 7:51PM
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auteck

Look on Google your local Lesco/John Dealer, they should have slow release fertilizer for Zoysia lawns.

Look for Poly Plus Technology on the bag, you might also want to put down some crabgrass pre-emergent in late summer to early Fall to avoid winter weeds and other grassy weeds like POA ANNUA.

I know they sell 19-2-19 and 5-10-17 with .95% Ronstar.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2009 at 12:25AM
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