zoysia vs. tall fescue (Maryland)

hairmetal4ever(Z7 MD)July 19, 2013

Pros and cons? For a large (>2 acre) property...

From what I can tell:

Fescue:

Pros - not invasive/rhizomatous, won't invade neighbor's yards or planting beds
Drought-heat tolerant for a cool season grass
Decent shade tolerance

Cons
- hard to keep weeds out of, doesn't form a dense "mat",
-can be erosion prone on slopes
-Still needs a good amount of water in summer

Zoysia

Pros-DENSE, keeps weeds out
-Stays green in heat/dry weather
-Self-repairing
-lower maintenance (water, fertilizer)

Cons-will invade planting beds
-slow to establish
-brown from late October through April
-not shade tolerant

My other thought...trees, on two fronts. Turf in general can impede tree growth (root space competition, water, nutrients, etc)...but would Zoysia with it's spreading nature and deep roots be harder on young trees' growth than fescue?

Also the shade aspect as the trees grow, of course...

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auteck

Fescue in your area works best, especially if you mix it with Kentucky Bluegrass.

Zoysia is a very nice grass, but has its issues as you pointed out a few. If you go with Zoysia, it is going to cost you an arm and a leg to sod 2 acres vs seeding Fescue/Bluegrass in the Fall.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2013 at 2:53PM
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hairmetal4ever(Z7 MD)

I've read some, admittedly, 'hype' sounding claims that Zoysia, particularly the variety called "Compadre" AKA "Companion" can be overseeded with Tall Fescue once established...

Does that actually work?

    Bookmark   July 22, 2013 at 11:51PM
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kbinmd(6)

Just a thought. How about seeding with TTTF then add Zoysia plugs? Meyer Zoysia was developed in MD and is also sold in Taneytown, MD.After the Zoysia plugs have established, you can remove small pieces of the stolon and 'sprig' any bare spots. This will speed up the spreading of the Zoysia to fill in and take over the TTTF. This method has worked very well for us but we have a postage stamp sized lawn. It may not be cost effective with the 2 acers you have.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2013 at 7:24AM
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auteck

Zoysia is not going to take over Tall Fescue, especially during the fall, winter, and early spring months. Fescue has to die first to make room for Zoysia or any other spreading grass.

You can overseed Compadre into Fescue because the established Fescue will completely out compete the Zoysia seedlings. It will produce too much shade.

The best method is kill all vegetation with Roundup, top dress with compost/sand or topsoil, till, level, then broadcast the seed and water every day for 30 days.

BTW, it's too late for that this year, you need to start in late May to early June on most years.

Seed with Fescue and Bluegrass in the Fall and be done with it.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2013 at 9:13AM
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kbinmd(6)

As I am a novice at this I can only share my experience. We moved in to a new home in 12/2006. It is/was sodded with MD certifiied sod. Whatever that is. In the early summer of '07 I purchased & installed Meyer Zoysia plugs into my lawn. I basically hand fed the plugs while ignoring the other grass. To date the plugs have now spread to 90% of our small yard. Unfortunately the pics are not in sequence. The beginning is on the second page.

Here is a link that might be useful: Our 6 yo lawn

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 9:22AM
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