Which Zoysia???

tjeep_1999September 25, 2012

I've found a lot of info on these varieties, but nothing that gives a good side by side comparison. Can anyone rank these three varieties (1 to 3 with 1 being "the best") in the following three categories: Drought tolerant, Shade tolerant, and Most like to fight off Bermuda grass?

Zoysia Emerald

Zoysia Empire

Zoysia Zenith

Thank you in advance!

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ZoysiaSod(6a/6b St.Lou TranZone)

Hi, we'll need to know what city you're in, or at least near to, in order to help you choose a particular kind of grass. Just saying "Zone 7" isn't really useful enough.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 4:54PM
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Mt. Holly, NC... zip is 28120 if that helps. Thanks!

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 9:58PM
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In NC you want to use the most cold tolerant cultivars, Zenith, Meyer, or Compadre (former Companion) of the three, Meyer is the most cold tolerant, medium green during the summer, dense in full sun, thin in medium shade, and brown/dormant for 5 to 6 months depending on how long the summer is.

Zenith and Compadre can be grown from seed, but you have to wait until late May to early June at the earliest/latest.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 10:23PM
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ZoysiaSod(6a/6b St.Lou TranZone)

Hi Tjeep. Autek gave you some very good advice. In the cities of Mt. Holly and Charlotte, North Carolina, you're just inside the Transition Zone, one of several climate zones in the U.S.

You're in the southern half of the Transition Zone, really close to the border of the Southern Climatic Zone, depending on how climate borders are drawn. I've seen the zones drawn in many slightly different ways.

Meyer is a great grass for the south and north halves of the Transition Zone. In the north half of the country's Transition Zone, about the only Zoysias used are Meyer, Belair, Chinese Common, and Zenith. Meyer is the most common by far.

In the south half of the country's Transition Zone where you are, the varieties (or cultivars) of Zoysia used are El Toro, Himeno, Meyer, Zenith, Emerald, Cavalier, Zeon, and Zorro. The first four varieties are within the Zoysia japonica species while the last three are within Zoysia matrella. Emerald is a hybrid between Zoysia japonica and Zoysia tenuifolia (the third species found in the USA).

The hybrid Emerald resembles a matrella in texture and shoot density but is more cold hardy because of its japonica cross. The matrella's and Emerald will be slightly more work than the japonica's. For instance, they're cut a little shorter than the japonica's, which means slightly more frequent mowing.

Emerald and Diamond (a true matrella) are probably the most beautiful of the Zoysia grasses, but Diamond is just used in the Southern Climate Zone, while Emerald can be found in both the Southern Zone and the south half of the Transition Zone.

I would check around with at least 3 or 4 of your local sod farms, and see what varieties of zoysia they're using in your area, since those will be most likely to succeed for you. If you wouldn't mind, please let us know what your sod farms are selling.

Characteristic-wise, the matrella's can be considered a middle species between japonica (with wider blades and lower shoot density) and tenuifolia (also known as pacifica, which has narrower blades and higher shoot density). So the matrella's are in the middle (they spread faster than tenuifolia but slower than japonica; they're more cold-hardy than tenuifolia, but less cold-hardy than japonica, etc., etc.)

Think of the three species of Zoysia spatially. It will help you remember their characteristics. Here's a top-bottom spatial representation of the three:

Zoysia japonica
Zoysia matrella
Zoysia tenuifolia (a.k.a. Zoysia pacifica)

Of the three varieties you mentioned in your post (Emerald, Empire, and Zenith), Zenith is the only one you can buy seeds for. Compadre and Chinese Common are also sold as seeds in the USA, but the sodded zoysias look better, according to what I've read. I haven't seen the seeded varieties yet, but someone here (I think it was kimberlysc) said she was happy with the appearance of seeded Zenith. I'm curious. Why did you mention those particular 3 varieties? Are those the 3 commonly available on your sod farms, or was there some other reason you mentioned them?

You also asked about shade tolerance. For info about that, you'll want to see this recent thread.

You mentioned Empire Zoysia. Empire is mostly used just in the Southern Climate Zone even though it is a japonica. However, your location in the Transition Zone is really close to the Southern Zone, so it would be interesting to hear if Empire is one of the varieties sold on your sod farms.

Check out this really interesting article in the Charlotte Observer posted by member sprinks98. It mentions that many folks are switching to zoysia from tall fescue in your area of North Carolina because less water is needed for zoysia during summer, no annual overseeding is necessary, and for other reasons too. I guess you could say Zoysia is more environmentally friendly than tall fescue--at least in the Transition Zone, which can get really hot in summer and really cold in winter. Less water usage is always a plus.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 4:53AM
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Auteck/Zoysiasod thanks for all the details and the great replies. In answer to your question the local sod distributor is selling the following:
Zenith Zoysia Sod
Emerald Zoysia Sod
TifGrand Bermuda
TifBlair Centipede
Mercedes St. Augustine
Tall Fescue

Not all of which I think will actually grow well here and they honestly didn't seem very knowledgeable... or possibly I just happen to catch the 3 separate employees that didn't know anything about grass... which is what lead me to this forum.

I picked the above three b/c Emerald and Zenith are the two sold locally and I heard Empire competes the best against Bermuda.

Unfortunately it looks like the most cold tolerant cultivars (Zenith, Meyer, and Compadre) are also some of the worst performing in shade.

Do you know if TifBlair Centipede would do well in this area? My father (who lives in the next town over) has it in his lawn and swears by it. Still it's only been in his yard about a year now and I've heard it has issues with dead spots and cold tolerance... any ideas on that one specifically for the Charlotte, NC area? Thanks again!

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 7:26AM
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Since you probably have time now as you wouldn't do this until the spring/summer, I would recommend you go on the NTEP website. There is some fantastic studies performed for years on all different types of strains of Bermuda and Zosia including drought, cold, insect, fungus, etc. tolerance, descriptions and a host of other data.


One other thing you may want to consider is do you want a strain that has to be cut so low to look good a reel mower is required or one that a rotary is okay.

Great information from those above, but this site is awesome.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 7:40AM
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ZoysiaSod(6a/6b St.Lou TranZone)

You can also call your local state turfgrass Extension specialist, often affiliated with a university I think. The Extension offices in each state get money from the feds, I believe, so your taxes are paying for their service and advice.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 11:03AM
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ZoysiaSod(6a/6b St.Lou TranZone)

By the way, if you talk to your Extension specialist, let us know what s/he tells you. S/he will be another voice to consider in your choice for a lawn grass, be it zoysia or centipede or something else.

And there are probably local lawn and gardening clubs that will have knowledgeable people you can ask. The more opinions, the better, right.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 1:16PM
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ZoysiaSod(6a/6b St.Lou TranZone)

Neglected to add a few things about centipede: it doesn't have much drought tolerance, wear tolerance, or recuperative capacity.

Also should say that I don't mean to knock tall fescue. I like the grass and have some myself. It has drought tolerance, just not as much as zoysia.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 8:23PM
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ZoysiaSod(6a/6b St.Lou TranZone)

You mentioned TifBlair Centipede. One thing about TifBlair is it was created in the laboratory through the use of radiation. They irradiated some common centipede to create mutations to see what would happen. The same is true for many, many of the hybrid Bermuda's. Some folks may object to this rather unnatural process, while others may not.

Of the nearly 40 cultivars of Zoysia available in the USA, not a single one was created through irradiation. Even hybrid Emerald Zoysia was created through natural plant breeding--no radiation zapping.

"Zap it again, Charlie!"

    Bookmark   September 27, 2012 at 7:54AM
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I am in Charlotte and plugged Meyer Zoysia 6-7 years ago. My yard is mainly white bull clay. It took a long while to spread as it's a slow grass, but it looks pretty good now. I may have watered it once or twice last year when it was too dry for many days. Did not water my lawn this year at all. To avoid thatching, very light fertilization once a year and that's it.
We got it mailed from ZoysiaFarms.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2012 at 4:16PM
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ZoysiaSod(6a/6b St.Lou TranZone)

Hi, I'm glad your zoysia lawn is looking great from the plugs you planted, but I personally would not have ordered the plugs from ZoysiaFarms because their plugs are very small, only 1 X 1 inch. Quote from their web site:

"Each plug is a piece of Zoysia sod that measures 1" square" [that's 1 inch square]

Plugs will have a better chance of surviving if they're at least 2 X 2 inches and preferrably 3 X 3 inches.

I don't like their price either. Say you order 150 plugs, which is their smallest order amount. That's just 150 square inches of zoysia. Their price before shipping is a whopping $14.95!

Just go to your local nursery, garden center, sod farm, or even big box.

For example, a 40 inch by 20 inch piece of zoysia sod from a local nursery near me costs just $5. (40 inches by 20 inches is a piece of sod over 3 feet long and almost 2 feet wide.)

The 40 inch by 20 inch piece of sod is 800 square inches for just $5.
800 square inches is more than 5 times the size of the 150 square inches that ZoysiaFarms sells for $14.95.

So basically ZoysiaFarms is selling those 150 pieces of 1 inch by 1 inch plugs at 15 times the price of my local nursery [chuckle] :-)

    Bookmark   September 27, 2012 at 8:48PM
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ZoysiaSod(6a/6b St.Lou TranZone)

....Forgot to add:

You can make plugs by simply cutting a piece of sod with a garden scissors. And you can cut the plugs at any size you want.

Schucks, a nursery a little farther away from me sells the same 40 inch by 20 inch pieces of sod for even less: $4.

If you buy sod in bulk from a sod farm, your price goes down even more.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2012 at 8:59PM
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That's pretty good!...we could not find zoysia around here. Online, they were one of the cheaper options. Yes 1" is pretty small and it took a long while to fill in the yard (almost 2-3 years!). Though they survived, and ones which did not were replaced by them.
My price reasoning was to put in same or less amount of money, I may have had to put to seed and take care of any kind of fescue in one season
Have been transplanting it in the backyard but it seems, I may have to do a serious search to find it close to Charlotte and cheaper like you did!

    Bookmark   September 28, 2012 at 4:13PM
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ZoysiaSod(6a/6b St.Lou TranZone)

Hi, I went to maps.google.com and entered the search terms "Charlotte North Carolina sod" and found several sod farms in and around Charlotte, including SuperSod.com in Pineville right outside Charlotte. Not sure, but they may want you to buy in bulk, so if you don't need a lot of pieces of sod, just use Google Maps again to search for "nursery" or garden stores because your local nurseries and garden shops will be supplied by the sod farms. The nurseries and garden stores will sell retail amounts as small as one piece of sod. Try calling 4 or 5 nurseries or garden centers/stores/shops and see what they offer. Not all will carry sod but some will. Let us know how it goes :-)

    Bookmark   September 28, 2012 at 9:14PM
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ZoysiaSod(6a/6b St.Lou TranZone)

....I mean there's no need to pay 15 times more than the going rate for zoysia, and especially not for tiny 1 x 1 inch plugs when what you really want is 3 x 3 inch plugs :-)

At that web site you mentioned, you're paying 15 times the going rate for zoysia and for sub-par sized plugs. They hit you with a double whammy.

Last year in my back and front yards, I planted about 50 pieces of zoysia, ranging from full-size 3-foot-long pieces of sod to 1-foot-long strips of sod that I cut from the full-size pieces to 3 x 3 inch plugs that I also cut from the full-size sod. Nothing died, not even the 3 x 3 inch plugs. I also liked how the 5 x 5 inch plugs performed.

In my front yard, I planted 4 big pieces of sod to instantly wipe out a big weed patch there. The county's water department had dug a hole there some 20 years ago, but they didn't fill it back in right, which lead to a big patch of weeds in the front yard zoysia. A big stationary island of weeds floating in an ocean of zoysia.

All the other smaller strips and plugs I planted went in my backyard to combat weeds that had grown over the years when a part of the back had been dug up to create a vegetable garden. Weeds had been growing there for years too.

I paid special attention to a 30 or 40 square foot section of the old vegetable garden. I planted 10 plugs of 3 x 3 inches each there and I think a 6 x 6 plug and a 10 x 4 plug. Today (a year and 2 months later), it has completely filled in with zoysia. I can't tell where the plugs were planted anymore. It's all one piece of solid zoysia now. And I didn't plant the plugs every 6 inches apart. Oh no. I planted the plugs every 12 inches apart (every foot apart), and this Meyer Zoysia still filled that area completely in within 14 months--just a tad more than a year. I think in places that Meyer must have spread about a foot in one year.

People say zoysia is slow, but I'm very happy with the spreading speed of Meyer Zoysia. El Toro Zoysia is even faster. I think I recall El Toro is the fastest zoysia spreader, but El Toro doesn't do well in the northern half of the Transition Zone.

Slow must be a relative term because I'm sure Kentucky Bluegrass doesn't spread that fast, not a foot in a year. The Bluegrass I seeded last year in a very small part of my yard spread maybe 3 to 6 inches at most--probably no more than 3 inches.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2012 at 10:11AM
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ZoysiaSod(6a/6b St.Lou TranZone)

Gotta revise something I said in the last post. My Kentucky bluegrass may have spread slowly in a year, but after a cursory web search, I found a paper called Establishment Rate and Lateral Spread of Festuca Arundinacea Cultivars written by some Willie The Wildcat fans at K.S.U. that shows KBG can spread faster.

This study was about tall fescue, but they included a bluegrass cultivar for comparison. Anyway their 4-inch round plugs of SR2284 Kentucky bluegrass expanded laterally by roughly 1 foot and 2 feet in about a year (give or take a couple months), depending if the round plugs were in Manhattan, Kansas, or Olathe. The numbers are shown in their Table 2 on Page 5. So the circle plugs expanded in diameter by roughly 1 foot in Olathe and 2 feet in Manhattan. Wish my bluegrass cultivars did that.

But not to fear, zoysia fans. Dr. Bridget Ruemmele of the University of Rhode Island writes in Grounds Maintenance magazine:
"Many people associate zoysiagrass with slow growth, which is true of some older cultivars such as 'Meyer'. However, certain newer cultivars exhibit dramatically faster growth rates. With rhizomes and stolons, I have seen some types spread laterally as much as 4 feet from the original plug in one season.

Finer-textured zoysiagrasses tend to have relatively low maximum heights, even though some still exhibit vigorous horizontal spread. Zoysiagrasses vary widely in their shade tolerance, but all grow slower in less than full sun. Zoysias continue growing to temperatures of 100 degrees F and, like other warm-season species, go dormant at temperatures less than 55 degrees F. Of all the warm-season grasses, zoysiagrasses and buffalograss survive the coldest winter temperatures, though considerable variation exists among varieties.

Many factors--genetic, environmental and cultural--affect turfgrass growth and development. While some factors are beyond your control, selecting suitable species and cultivars and using proper cultural practices will help you achieve the most vigorous turf possible."

    Bookmark   September 30, 2012 at 1:03AM
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Tjeep with your location the most important consideration is COLD TOLERANCE. That rules out almost every variety of Zoysia there is except Meyers aka Z-52. Meyers is only available as sod. There are two other seeded varities with good decent Cold Tolerance, Zenith and Compadre, but neither are desirable or worth having.

So if your only choices are Zenith, Emerald or Empire, then go with Zenith as it is the only one with any type of Cold Tolerance. If it were me I would pass.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2012 at 10:42AM
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Posted by texas-weed 7A (My Page) on
Sun, Sep 30, 12 at 10:42

"There are two other seeded varities with good decent Cold Tolerance, Zenith and Compadre, but neither are desirable or worth having."

Texas Weed, or ZoysiaSod, or any other that would like to chime in on this... Is the above comment from TW on the seeded varieties of Zoysia something that is agreed on? I've been doing a lot of work planning to seed Compadre this year, and would hate to end up with something that is "not desirable or worth having".

My project would be somewhat like "RepoBrain" on youtube, linked at the bottom of this. If link doesn't work, just search for "Compadre Zoysia" on youtube and you will find his vids (three parts). He is in Maryland, I am in NC, 20 miles North of Chapel Hill.

That said... I have the same question as this thread... "What type of Zoysia???" I thus far have chosen seeded Compadre because of the cost savings over Sod, the quicker results over plugs, and positive attributes I've seen from multiple University studies. Sod farms here sell Compadre and a few other varieties.

My plan currently includes: killing the current lawn, tilling and amending the soil, grading, a second round of round up two to three weeks later, seeding when ground temp is appropriate, covering with .5 oz germination blanket, keeping moist (diligently) for two to three weeks, then removing the blanket.

Will I be wasting my time for something that is "not desirable or worth having"? Thank you in advance for your feedback.

Here is a link that might be useful: part 1 of RepoBrain Compadre Zoysia planting 2012, Maryland

    Bookmark   January 27, 2013 at 1:14AM
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If you do the tilling andamending part of your last paragraph, you will have more success with a mixture of Fescue and Bluegrass than with any Zoysia (around here).

The best method for stablishing a warm season grass is by Sod, seeding is highly discouraged. Our summers are not long enough (for warm season grasses) and we cool off too fast in the Fall not to mention weed competition.

I'm in the RDU area just south of I-40.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 12:24PM
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Do not bother with tilling, it will just cause more problems than it solves and you will regret it later.

Go with the grading by using a tractor and box blade. If you need amendments your contractor with the box blade can do that. The very second the contractor finishes up with the box blade you are ready to go with whatever variety you choose.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 5:12PM
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Thank you both.

TW - Honestly, my original question of whether Compadre Zoysia is 'worth having' wasn't a rhetorical one. I see in some of the university studies that it has many great attributes, but I do question shade tolerance and (since reading your post) the quality of the grass itself. Please share more about why Compadre wouldn't be worth having, and perhaps make a suggestion or three.

Auteck - You're making this decision even harder! lol! My head is starting to hurt. I really wish fescue / blue grass were lower maintenance, but I don't have the time to keep up with it. In any case... uggh... decisions, decisions. BTW, is the attached pic (scroll to bottom) still your neighbor's Zoysia lawn, or have you moved? Would be curious how it looks five years later, if you haven't moved.

Basically, I'm looking for a(relatively of course) low maintenance lawn. Some pluses would include:
*early green up (and late dormancy)
*good traffic tolerance (we have two dogs, and yes I've researched the pee problem)
*good shade tolerance
*not too intrusive (into neighbor's fescue lawn, etc).

I understand some of these may conflict, e.g. a Zoysia that stands up to traffic means it recovers (grows) more quickly, which would by definition mean it would be more intrusive and higher maintenance. I understand the 'perfect' grass doesn't exist.

Any thoughts on using JaMur Zoysia in the Triad NC region by the way? Seems to have some great attributes as well, and would quickly establish from plugs.

Here is a link that might be useful: Auteck's (former?) neighbor's lawn

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 8:19PM
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I did move over 3 years ago. I haven't seen his lawn in months and I asumme it is fully dormant right now.

Don't listen to TW, he offers decent advise for people out in Texas growing Bermuda (nothing applies to you)

Tilling is one of the most beneficial things you can do prior to establishing a lawn whether you have irrigation or not.

No grass will handle dog traffic, you can have some level of sucsess growing Bermuda and P. Ryegrass in full sun and under the right management program (water, fertilizer, weed control, etc)

I have several properties all over the county growing Fescue/Bluegrass without irrigation and do very well YOY.

Keep this in mind, the most traffic tolerant warm season grass (zoysia or bermuda) will have ZERO traffic tolerance when is dormant. So if you plan on having your dog use the lawn during the Fall, Winter, and part of Spring - think again.

I normally use Perennial Ryegrass on properties with medium shade and in need of traffic tolerance (kids or dogs) and get better results than using anything elese. This is the grass that it is used at the State Fair Grounds that's under canopy of those magestic oaks on the Blueridge Road entrance.

My office and test grounds are just north of Pure Seed Testing in Rolesville.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 1:22PM
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Don't listen to TW, he offers decent advise for people out in Texas growing Bermuda

Well I don't know about that, been a sod farmer for aver 30 years, longer than you have been alive, and have been growing Zoysia Sod commercially all that time. So I might know a thing or two about it. Not to mention a professional landscaping business to go with with it. Who listens to who is not for you to decide now is it?

ncredclaygardener Do some searching here and other forums about Tilling and Compadre Zoysia.

Most experts do not recommend tilling especially on a sod forming grass like Zoysia that is maintained close cut and short. It is impossible for a DIY or even a pro to till to a specified even depth, and even texture. Failure to do that will result in uneven settling and a very lumpy rough terrain. One problem with that is when you maintain a close cut grass like Zoysia or Bermuda maintain at 2-inches or less the bumpy uneven terrain will cause scalping and gouging. Only way to fix it is the following season by top dressing and grading.

Not to say pros do not do it because in fact they do. But they have equipment you do not have access too like a tractor with a PTO tiller that tills to a specified depth and leave a well blended powder behind. The follow that up with a tractor and box blade to get the correct grade and a very heavy roller to compact the soil and leave a silky smooth flat surface ready to seed or sow seeds that will not settle much.

Compadre Zoysia (aka Companion) is one of the very few common Zoysia grasses (Zenith is the other) that produce fertile seed that you can buy. Not sure what you have read about it, but look around for 3rd parties and actual users. Kind of hard to find a lot of positive feedback about it. The biggest issue with the seeded varieties assuming you are going to seed it to start with is any of the seeded varieties of Zoysia are very difficult to get germination, and very slow to fill in. This is something you need to think about especially if you plan to till. When you till you bring up all those dormant seeds and give them everything they need to germinate. The end result is yard with a bumper crop of weeds because the Zoysia is difficult and slow to germinate and get going.

Now if you plan on Sod disregard but if it were me I would look at one of the hybrids because they look better with the exception of Meyer, but Compadre is a sibling of Meyer. For your area Cold Tolerance is going to be the most important factors in selecting a Zoysia. Sine winter kill is not an issue for you, Spring Green up is important. The varities that green up the soonest are: El Torro, any of the Japaonica varieties (Meyer, Zenith, Compadre), Emerald, and Bellaire.

Good luck to you.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 7:11PM
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I think I've officially been talked out of seeding Zoysia at this point. I definitely need something more shade tolerant than Compadre seems to be - and has nothing to do with being afraid of the germination difficulties. It (seeding) can be done, as my reference to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=87gICFMkcDA (or click link below this posting) in an earlier posting shows. I'm also going to till, and fortunately do happen to have a neighbor that is more than willing to bring over his tractor with the blade attached after we get the soil amended properly.

As I mentioned in my last post, I was considering Jamur, but then discovered Palisades. I reached out to a local ag professor / turf specialist with some questions... below is my mail and his response:


I'm planning on replacing my current lawn with a mid or wide bladed Zoysia. I live in Mebane and have red clay soil that I will amend after the current fescue and weeds are killed and removed.

I like the idea of plugs or seed to save money and am willing to do the extra work. I was originally planning on seeding Compadre, but have learned that it has poor shade performance (roughly 15% of our lawn is moderate to full shade). That led me to Palisades, which appears to be one of the better shade performers, among other attributes that seem to make it a better quality grass than Compadre.

I was wondering about combining the two (plugging Palisades and seeding Compadre) so as to establish a full lawn more quickly. I assume Palisades would dominate the shadier areas (I won't even bother seeding Compadre in those areas).

A few questions:

1) How would Palisades and Compadre look together?

2) In full sun, would one variety crowd out the other, and if so, which would dominate? I'd prefer Palisades to ultimately crowd out the Compadre.

3) If Palisades were plugged independently, how quickly would the lawn establish?

4) Any general thoughts/suggestions on each strategy (plugging Palisades vs plugging Palisades & seeding Compadre together)

I know there are a lot of variables and very much appreciate your advice! It is very difficult to sort through all of the info out there on the growing number of Zoysia cultivars, and even more so when it comes to combining more than one of them!

Thank you!!


I think Palisades is one of the best looking zoysiagrass out there right now. It is not as available in NC as many of the other cultivars, but I assume you have located a source?

I would not mix the two grasses. Compadre is more open and coarser textured than Palisades and also a bit lighter green in color. By itself I think Compadre looks fine. Warm season grasses such as these segregate out and do not mix the way a cool season grasses (e.g., tall fescue + Kentucky bluegrass) do.

So, answered question #1.

#2. No, not really. There may be a little encroachment but I do not think it will happen quickly.

#3. I’ve not tried plugging Palisades, and I know it is not as aggressive as El Toro. I figure El Toro planted on 2 feet centers will take 2 years to cover. Palisades would likely be 3.

#4. I think you would always see the plugs in the seeded areas. It may over years push out Compadre but probably not completely and you would have nothing you could spray to complete the transition the way we can spray out tall fescue after plugging in zoysiagrass.

You may consider row planting zoysiagrass to save money. It will likely still be a 2-year grow-in.

Note that in full shade and some wet soils, expect the zoysiagrass to get Large Patch disease. People think that when they get rid of tall fescue that disease issues (brown patch) are a thing of the past. Pull zoysiagrass in some shade and keep the ground moist and large patch will be there by year 2. [I have it in my back yard due to shade, none in front . . . and I see at least 20 lawns a year with the same problem]

Here is a link that might be useful: planting compadre see in maryland

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 11:13PM
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You might want to do some homework on Palisade Zoysia. There is a reason sod farms in your area do not have it. I would bet you are ordering the plugs from a Gulf Coast State like Florida or Texas. Palisades does have good shade tolerance as you mentioned. If was breed and marketed to compete with Saint Augustine grass markets in the Gulf Coast States.

If you are going to plug Zoysia recommended spacing is 6 inches on centers so it can fill in in 1 season. As the Professor eluded to if you plant on 2-foot center, you are looking at 2 to 3 years to get it to fill in.

Good luck.


    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 10:19AM
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The sod would come from a farm just outside of Charlotte here in NC: http://www.ncsod.org/SearchInfo.aspx?type=Zoysiagrass&cultivar=Pallisades

I'm guessing by now you see I won't be doing anything without 'doing my homework' lol! I would assume that if Palisades wouldn't be successful in our area, the professor would have mentioned it, given he's from here and knows exactly where I live. That said, I'll put it on the list of questions to follow up with, and am obviously open to planting whatever will be the best variety for my situation.

I would also do plugs more closely spaced than 2 ft - for sure. I would buy enough to do 3" plugs 6-9" on center.
Actually, his response was the first I had heard of plugging so far apart.

Any suggestions on how to efficiently cut sod (whatever variety I end up with) into plugs??? I'd lay the sod out and keep in watered during the process.

Here is a link that might be useful: Palisades Zoysia in North Carolina

    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 7:06PM
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With a 5 In 1 Landscape Plugger.

Watch this video to learn how to use it and various ways to get the job done.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 11:18PM
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Any thoughts about sprigging instead of plugging? I never considered it due to the fact that most articles I had read say it's a ton of work. However, I have found many sources now that describe broadcast sprigging, which seems not too crazy of an idea, and the fastest way (other than sod) to establish a Zoysia lawn? Question is, how?

One site described feeding sod into a mulcher, then spreading the sprigs out just as you would straw (after preparing the soil as you would for any new lawn). The sprigs are then top dressed with 1/2" of rich composted soil and rolled firm, and the lawn is kept moist until the sprigs have established. I'd assume covering with a frost blanket to help retain moisture would help as well.

Anyone have experience with this method, or thoughts to add?

    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 11:23PM
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Please update us on what you decided to go with and how it worked out. I live 50 miles south of Raleigh, and am considering Zoysia for my backyard.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 8:28PM
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ZoysiaSod(6a/6b St.Lou TranZone)

In a different thread, Weedcutter posted a link to the following GardenWeb thread that may be useful:


(Thread title: "Zenith Zoysia (Seeded Time Lapse) 2009")

This post was edited by ZoysiaSod on Mon, Apr 28, 14 at 8:29

    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 8:18AM
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Hi Sandhills,

I went with Palisades Zoysia, and LOVE it.

A little about my method first, for anyone curious. I used the "broadcast sprigging" method I described in an earlier post. This method allows a pallet of 450 sf of sod to plant 4500 sf. Unfortunately, sod does quite a number on chipper/shredder blades, so I only made it a bit over 1/2 way through the job before the blades were useless. I ripped up quite a bit by hand, before finally giving up and plugging the last 20%.

I would recommend the broadcast sprigging method ONLY to anyone who can get sprigs from the farm though, or has a better way to produce sprigs from sod. It turned out to be one of the hardest projects of my life. If I could get sprigs, I'd do my front yard that way -- Since I can't, I'm going to lay sod this spring.

Regarding the Palisades Zoysia itself - it is AWESOME. Everything I had read and been advised about it is true. It is medium-wide blade, darker green (compared to other zoysia), and blends in well with the neighbor's fescue. It can be mowed with a regular mower (many require reel mowing) -- I use the second lowest setting on my troy bilt self propelled mower. And oh what a pleasure it is to mow!

I put the link to the sod supplier (Carolina Green Sod) in a previous post, but will include here (below) again. I dealt with their salesman, Andy, who could not have been more helpful. I plan to put up a video of my project on Youtube as soon as I can figure out how to get my video to render properly :)

If you want to see the grass first hand, the farm where they grow Palisades is in Cheraw, SC. They also supply to a new community (Brier Chapel) in Chapel Hill, if you're ever up that way. Actually, if you call Andy, he may let you know of somewhere in your area (that's how I found out about Brier Chapel).

By the way, if anyone near the Chapel Hill/Durham/Burlington area is interested, let me know. I will be ordering a delivery in late May or early June and would love to combine shipping.

Here is a link that might be useful: Carolina Green Sod

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 10:34PM
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This picture shows the Palisades Zoysia lawn in year one, 12-14 weeks after planting (broadcast sprigging).

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 10:58PM
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