New Zoysia Sod, Need Watering Advice

SIUSalukiJuly 18, 2011

Just had 8000 square feet of Empire Zoysia sod laid in southern Illinois on top of clay soil on Friday (72 hours ago). Landscaper installed 5-zone sprinkler system and set them to water 4 times per day for 30 minutes per zone (6:30 a.m., 11 a.m., 3 p.m, 6:30 p.m.). Three days later, feels like sod is very soft and squishy. He said that's what you want heading into this impending heat wave. We are expecting temps in high 90s and heat index 110-115 during the next 5 days. Am I correct to be worried about over-watering? When do I cut back?

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You will not be over-watering. You will want to keep watering on that schedule for as long as the heat wave lasts. You will want to water 4 times per day for the first 12-14 days. Then when you can't pull the sod up because the roots are taking hold, that is when you start to back off the watering frequency to allow for deeper root growth. Remember, do not over-fertilize zoysia. Zoysia only needs about 2-3 lbs. N/1000 sq.ft. per year. Mow at 2" height of cut. For the rest of this first season, I would advise you to collect your clippings. Also, be observant of turf disease during this time of heavy watering in hot, humid weather. I hope you enjoy the beauty of your new zoysia lawn.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2011 at 8:35PM
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Why did he use zoysia sod? It is the first to turn brown in fall and last to green up in spring. It is a sod for zone 7 and higher!

    Bookmark   July 20, 2011 at 4:22PM
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probably he lives like where I live where the rainfall is scarce & only grasses like Zoysia & Bermuda (which I have in front: a lush, fine bladed variety in one lawn)can hold up to the temperatures & drought. Yes, it is a drab dead brown in winter but come spring it greens up from the roots again & thrives where my small mixed fescue back lawn show heat, drought stress.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2011 at 6:16PM
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I actually appreciate the dormant gold appearance of zoysia in the winter, especially when it is weed-free. It can create quite a visual contrast to a well designed landscape.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2011 at 8:17PM
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Curious as to how the Zoysia & Bermuda differ in looks & requirements... does Zoysia spread like Bermuda by runners, is it hardier than Bermuda? My neighbor bought Zoysia plugs a couple years ago but has had no luck in it even beginning to spread. Son bought & set Buffalo grass & Blue Ggramma plugs some years ago & has a really nice hardy lawn but it is not as green as Bermuda nor as needy but also turns brown in winter!

    Bookmark   July 21, 2011 at 1:59PM
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Zoysia grows much more slowly than bermuda, requires much less Nitrogen than bermuda, recovers much more slowly than bermuda. Zoysia spreads by stolons just like bermuda, but much more slowly. Zoysia does not need to be mowed as often as bermuda when it is maintained properly. I prefer zoysia over bermuda, but that's only because I know how to maintain it properly.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2011 at 2:39PM
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dmoore66(6 NorthWest NJ)

He lives in Illinois!

    Bookmark   July 22, 2011 at 11:04AM
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Does damage occur if drought causes Zoysia to "burn up" in late summer? We can't keep enough water on it during 50+ triple digit days and counting.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2011 at 7:51AM
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