'Jamur' Zoysia - In Atlanta GA

blakeas(6 OH)December 20, 2011

Built a new house and moved in september 2nd. The builder put in Jamur zoysia around august 23rd. I followed the instructions about watering every day for the 1st month and then occassional watering thereafter. is it too late in the season to put down a winterizer? If not, which should I use?

It also seems like half of it is dead - while other parts are still green. Is that just the case with zoysia in the winter?

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

As Zoysia goes dormant with cooler temperatures, it turns brown / golden. It won't all turn brown at once. Some of it will remain green longer but eventually all of it will turn brown. What makes you think the brown parts are dead and not just dormant?

Zoysia doesn't need a lot of water. It's best not to water often, but when you do water, water deeply. You can apply an inch of water when you see signs of the grass needing water: like the blades wilting a bit (they'll curl lengthwise to conserve water), or the grass not snapping back fairly easily when you walk on it, or the grass turning a bit grey / blue in color. Then water.

Or if you really want to water, I guess you can apply an inch of water once every one or two weeks during the summer, if you want.

Zoysia doesn't need winterizer - Lol :-)

In fact, if you want to keep your zoysia healthy, you won't use any artificial, synthetic fertilizer. Those synthetic feritlizers are so salty, they'll kill the beneficial bacteria, fungi, and other microorganisms in the soil which grass normally relies on. And with those organisms in the soil dead, your zoysia will then become dependent on the synthetic fertilizer for food.

Grass depends on microorganisms **in the soil** to break down organic matter and produce the food the grass then eats.
But the synthetic fertilizers feed the grass roots directly, **bypassing the soil.** The synthetic fertilizers also kill the microorganisms in the soil. So then the grass can't get its food from any other source other than the synthetic fertilizers. Synthetic fertilizer is like fast food. It's junk food. You want your grass eating good food, and it can't with the microorganisms in the soil dead.

If you want to fertilize your lawn, add some slow-release *Organic* fertilizer during zoysia's most active growing period, which is the summer. So near summer, maybe May or June, use a spreader to apply soybean meal, alfalfa meal, corn gluten meal, or other *Organic* fertilizer. Or you can apply compost too. In fact, you can go ahead and apply compost most anytime. Lots of beneficial bacteria, fungi, and organic matter in compost.

Your lawn isn't just the grass. It's the soil, microorganisms in the soil, and the grass as a whole system :-)

You can't favor one over the other two. If you do, eventually they'll all suffer.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2011 at 12:02PM
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texas-weed(7A)

In your area you only need two applications of fertilizer per year.

1. In spring after it greens up.
2. Again about 8 weeks after first application.

Use a balance slow release urea based fertilizer like 15-5-10 or 20-5-10

Do not over fertilize Zoysia and water only when needed.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2011 at 2:56PM
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ZoysiaSod(6a/6b St.Lou TranZone)

Blakeas wrote:
> is it too late in the season to put down a winterizer?

Winterizer can actually harm Zoysia. See this thread:

http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/load/lawns/msg110426432274.html

    Bookmark   December 20, 2011 at 6:43PM
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ZoysiaSod(6a/6b St.Lou TranZone)

By the way, for those who want to be organic, please note that just because a fertilizer is called slow-release, does not mean it's automatically organic. Slow-release urea is a synthetic fertilizer, not organic.

I don't want to get into a disagreement with those who use synthetics. People differ. Some use them; others don't. I won't use them on my lawn :-)

Here's what David Mellor has to say in "The Lawn Bible":

"Slow-release nitrogen in fertilizer will be in the synthetic forms of urea (IBDU isobutylidin diurea), sufur-coated urea (SCU), polycoated, or organic materials such as animal manures or sewer sludge [and alfalfa pellets, etc.]. Both the synthetic and the organic forms of nitrogen are released slowly to the plant, but for different reasons. The synthetic form has a coating around the nitrogen that will dissolve slowly. Manufacturers have developed these coatings so that they will dissolve at different rates, thus releasing nitrogen into the soil over a period of time instead of all at once. Organic forms require microbes in the soil to process the nitrogen (which happens over time). Both of these types of fertilizers are more expensive, but will require fewer applications and have longer lasting results."
[End quote]

By the way, you see above that Mellor classifies sewer sludge (I think that's also called "milorganite?") as "organic," but many Organic folks don't use sewer sludge because scientists are worried it contains a lot of harmful elements in trace amounts (maybe heavy elements--I don't recall exactly).

    Bookmark   December 20, 2011 at 8:33PM
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ZoysiaSod(6a/6b St.Lou TranZone)

Here's what writers at Wikipedia have to say about Milorganite:

"Milorganite is the trademark of a biosolids fertilizer produced by the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District. The name Milorganite is a contraction of the phrase Milwaukee Organic Nitrogen, and was the result of a 1925 naming contest held in National Fertilizer Magazine. The biomass from activated sludge is heat dried to 95% solids and pelletizing at the Jones Island Water Reclamation Facility in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Mistakenly, Milorganite 6-2-0 is referred to as a compost, which it is not. Compost are blends of thermophilic organic materials, with higher moisture, lower nitrogen and much higher application rates.

Raising taxes for public health was relatively controversial in the early 1900s. In 1911, reform minded Milwaukee Sewer Socialists were elected on a platform calling for construction of a wastewater treatment plant to protect against water borne pathogens.[1]

Experiments showed that heat dried activated sludge pellets "compared favorably with standard organic materials such as dried blood, tankage, fish scap, and cottonseed meal."[2] Sales to golf courses, turf farms and flower growers began in 1926.[3] Milorganite was popularized during the 1930s and 1940s before inorganic urea became available to homeowners after WWII.

Milorganite guarantees 4% iron. Iron is added to remove phosphorus from the wastewater before discharged to Lake Michigan. Heat dried biosolids contain slow release organic nitrogen, largely water insoluble phosphorus bound with iron and aluminum and high organic matter.[4]. Given these characteristics, Milorganite is ideal for Low Input Lawn Care (LILac), a strategy to reduce the use of lawn care products while maintaining healthy turf grass.[5]

Milorganite 5-2-0 is sold throughout the United States, Canada, and the Caribbean as a home lawn and golf course fertilizer. Boston (Bay State), Ocean County New Jersey (Oceangro) and other sewerage authories pelletize heat dried biosolids "just like Milorganite" as part of wastewater treatment system improvements. Marketing to willing buyers is sustainable recycling of nutrients without the controversy that out-of-town agricultural use provokes.[6]

University research confirms anecdotal evidence that applying Milorganite on lawns and near plants deters deer due to its fecal odour. However, the manufactuer cannot tout Milorganite as a deer repellent because it is not registered as a "pesticide." Therefore, repelling hungry deer from Hostas remains an "off-label" use.[7][8][9][10].

Environmental regulations classify Milorganite as "exceptional quality" biosolids."
[End quote]

This Wikipedia article doesn't mention anything about the health concerns some scientists have about processed sewer sludge. Oh well.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2011 at 7:56AM
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texas-weed(7A)

Urea is an organic compound period and used as livestock feed. True that it can and is man made, but organic compound none the less.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2011 at 9:54AM
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ZoysiaSod(6a/6b St.Lou TranZone)

Well, I guess in the strictest sense, anything with carbon in it is considered "organic." At least I think that's the difference between Organic Chemistry and Inorganic Chemistry.

But the Organic Gardening and Organic lawn care movement goes beyond the strictest sense of the word to assure we treat our lawns, soil, and vegetables kindly and right :-)

You know me, after my bad experience with 2,4-D and Dicamba on my lawn, I'm not using anything ever again that's questionably not kind to the Earth.

I'm not saying you should too. That's just my own call.

Maybe there's a place for 2,4-D in agriculture--I don't know. I haven't done enough research on it. But I know there's no place for that stuff on my lawn.

Also, since I'm now reading this great book called "Teaming with Microbes," I'm even less enthusiastic about using non-Organic stuff on my lawn.

Organophosphates are poisons, so just because it has part of the word "organic" in it doesn't make it good for living things.

Tukey says companies are now marketing some products as "Organic-based" which is not the same as "Organic." And some products are a mix of Organic and Non-Organic stuff now.

I only wanna use Organic :-)

    Bookmark   December 21, 2011 at 10:41AM
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texas-weed(7A)

So what organic fertilizer do you use.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2011 at 3:16PM
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ZoysiaSod(6a/6b St.Lou TranZone)

So what organic fertilizer do you use.

This coming season, I'll use corn gluten meal and alfalfa meal, and maybe soybean meal if it's cheap.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2011 at 6:26PM
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ZoysiaSod(6a/6b St.Lou TranZone)

Going to cross-reference the milorganite posting above to the following thread in the Organic Lawn Care forum:

http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/orglawn/msg0616354424488.html

Look for the two December 27 postings.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2011 at 11:58AM
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blakeas(6 OH)

so just go to home depot and look for slow release granules in UREA 15-5-10 or 20-5-10?

I looked at some other sites and it said to do it now - btwn fed and march....

    Bookmark   February 25, 2012 at 10:04AM
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rager_w

Doesn't seem right. I know you don't fertilize Bermuda when it's dormant. I can't imagine Zoysia being that different. Are you sure it wasn't pre-m that you read should be applied now?

    Bookmark   February 26, 2012 at 2:27PM
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blakeas(6 OH)

ok - so I went to Home depot to get some pre emergent but came away confused. They were not too helpful. I am starting to have weeks poke their heads up in my zoysia. I saw a Lesco 19-0-7 crabgrass pre emergent plus fertilizer. Is that the right stuff for my lawn?

    Bookmark   March 4, 2012 at 10:53AM
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ZoysiaSod(6a/6b St.Lou TranZone)

Blakeas wrote on February 25:
> so just go to home depot and look for slow release granules in UREA 15-5-10 or 20-5-10?
I looked at some other sites and it said to do it now - btwn feb and march....

You should wait to apply fertilizer to zoysia until 2 weeks after the zoysia greens up. Then you can apply fertilizer if you want to. But the best time to apply fertilizer is when the grass is actively growing the fastest, which for zoysia, is summer. So near summer, around May or June, is a great time to fertilize.

But I have 80 pounds of alfalfa and corn gluten meal (CGM) I have to get rid of, so I will first fertilize 2 weeks after the zoysia greens up. I would have liked to have applied the CGM by now as a pre-emergent (lots of little henbits sprouting now in addition to last Fall's mature henbit plants now blooming purple--henbit is a cool-season weed), but I won't apply the CGM now because the zoysia hasn't yet greened up. If my lawn were mostly cool season grasses, I probably would have applied the CGM as a pre-emergent. As it is, I'll use the CGM on my zoysia as a fertilizer at the right time.

From the University of Florida at
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/lh011 :
Since zoysiagrass is very slow to green-up in the spring, avoid applying fertilizer until after the turf has become fully green to avoid premature green-up, which is prone to frost injury. This is especially important in North Florida, where late spring frosts may damage the grass.

Delaying spring fertilization until the turf is actively growing and can use the fertilizer also reduces the potential for nitrogen leaching from fertilizer. Likewise, don't fertilize too late in the year, as this can slow regrowth the following spring. An application of iron can enhance spring green-up. Applying nitrogen on zoysiagrass in early spring and late fall significantly increases the risk of large (brown) patch disease.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2012 at 9:51AM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

ZS has some great points. Among others, he said,
Also, since I'm now reading this great book called "Teaming with Microbes," I'm even less enthusiastic about using non-Organic stuff on my lawn.

YAY! Now you are reading gurus I trust. Jeff Lowenfels has earned his keep.

ZS also said,
You should wait to apply fertilizer to zoysia until 2 weeks after the zoysia greens up. Then you can apply fertilizer if you want to. But the best time to apply fertilizer is when the grass is actively growing the fastest, which for zoysia, is summer. So near summer, around May or June, is a great time to fertilize.

I almost agree with all of that. While you can fertilize when the grass is growing the fastest, most of us have made the decision to not fertilize when the grass is already growing fast. We are following the lead of professional grass growers - those who raise livestock. The issue is mowing. When the grass is already growing fast, you would essentially be adding fuel to the fire. Instead of mowing every 5 days, if you fertilized early then you would have to mow every 2-3 days. So you can fertilize when the grass is growing fast, but we have chosen to summon our inner laziness and wait until May for most lawns. Bermuda is an exception. Professional grass growers apply 1/3 of the annual nitrogen in the late spring, after the initial flush of growth. That carries some growth into the early summer. Then apply the other 2/3 of the nitrogen in the fall.

With respect to the quote from Florida, note also that Atlanta is significantly (climatologically speaking) north of Florida. I'd think you have at least another month of frost possibilities in Atlanta. Memorial Day is always safe for fertilizer.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2012 at 5:23PM
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ZoysiaSod(6a/6b St.Lou TranZone)

Dchall, that's a great point. Thank you. And the groundskeeper for Boston's Fenway Park stadium agrees with you. David Mellor writes:

"Fertilizing will be most beneficial before the period of active growth of your grass. For cool season grasses, this is usually in the spring and fall. Warm season grasses will benefit from a feeding in the late spring through the summer."

"....Warm season grasses grow most during the summer, so generally you'll want to fertilize in the late spring and the summer. Be careful not to fertilize too late into the summer or into the fall. Feeding during these times promotes lush growth that may make your lawn more vulnerable to winter injury when the cooler temperatures of winter arrive."

    Bookmark   March 11, 2012 at 2:17PM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

I'm saying to wait until after the period of fast growth in the spring. When grass comes out of the winter dormancy, it usually comes back with a vengeance. You don't need to fertilize until after that growth spurt.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2012 at 12:43AM
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ZoysiaSod(6a/6b St.Lou TranZone)

I think the point of confusion here revolves around the "period of active growth." For zoysia, spring and summer are both periods of active growth. But the faster/fastest period of active growth is summer.

Last year in St. Louis, July was the month in which my zoysia grew the fastest. So I will be applying organic fertilizer a little before then, in June. This will be the most beneficial time to apply fertilizer here.

Since I have extra fertilizer this year, I'll also be applying some fertilizer 2 weeks after the zoysia fully greens up in spring. But if you're going to apply fertilizer just once, then wait until before the period of fastest growth.

Blakeas, do you know what month of the year your zoysia in Atlanta grows the most?

    Bookmark   March 12, 2012 at 12:49PM
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blakeas(6 OH)

i am not sure when the growing season is here in atlanta. I just want to know if I should do it now and what type of fertilzer from HD to get. its been pretty warm here all winter and my zoysia is pretty green. Is it time to do it now? if so, what should I get?

    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 4:48PM
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ZoysiaSod(6a/6b St.Lou TranZone)

Well, I like natural fertilizers like alfalfa, chicken manure, corn gluten meal, soybean meal, etc.

I have a bag of Bradfield Organics "Lusciuos Lawn Corn Gluten" and a bag of Bradfield Organics "Luscious Lawn and Garden."

The 40-pound bag of Bradfield Luscious Lawn and Garden was cheaper ($17) and it contains alfalfa, molasses, sulfate of potash, and the bag says either porcine meat meal or poultry meal. (Dunno if poultry meal is chicken meat or chicken manure in this case.)

It's a complete organic fertilizer of 3 - 1 - 5. If you use synthetic fertilizers with N-P-K numbers greater than 10 for each, you dramatically increase your chances of hurting your grass.

If you click the "Find a Retailer" button at the BradfieldOrganics.com web site, you'll find 13 retailers in Georgia.

You can get even cheaper alfalfa pellets at feed stores. You can find a retailer for cheaper alfalfa at PurinaMills.com , like $13 a bag. There's another thread here with more info about that.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 7:23PM
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ZoysiaSod(6a/6b St.Lou TranZone)

I forgot to add: they say to wait 2 weeks after your warm season grass greens up to apply fertilizer.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2012 at 8:21AM
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