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Emerald Zoysia

Posted by frangione1 z7b Raleigh NC (My Page) on
Thu, Jun 26, 08 at 17:29

We want to convert over to a warm season grass. We went to a local supplier of sod who had emerald and zennith zoysia. We really like the fine blades and look of the Emerald. I guess I am just wondering what people's experiences have been. I am a little worried about the different maintenance practices it may require. Are you happy with your lawn? Do you have any problems? Do you use a reel mower or a rotary with a really sharp blade? Do you bag clippings (I find varying info on this)? Should I expect to have any winter injury issues where I am located? Thanks.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Emerald Zoysia

Yes, you will have winter injuries; specially with Emerald.
My neighbor zoysia lawn always gets some kind of disease or winter injury even with mild winter in our area (I'm in Cary) for the past 3 years.

Zoysia makes a golf course apperance, but only when maintained like a golf course. Mowing 2 to 3 times per week to avoid cutting more than 1/3 of the blade, and a reel mower is highly recommended for Emerald Zoysia. It's not a very drought tolerant like most people claim.

Unless you are willing to treat Zoysia like golf courses treat their putting greens, don't bother converting and keep you Fescue lawn. If you don't like Fesuce, then you can grow KBG, the Elite types only that are VERY heat and drought tolerant.

Another option is to buy some Bermuda sod 419(I can't believe I'm recommending Bermuda) and overseed it in the Fall with Turf-Type Perennial Ryegrass for a superb look. If you go this route, be sure to install inground borders around your flower beds and the property lines on both side of the house to keep the grass from spreading onto your neighbor's Fescue lawn.

Any other questions, let me know.


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RE: Emerald Zoysia

I always thought Bermuda 419 was more high maintenance than zoysia, based on what I read from various sources. I am getting very frustrated and confused now. The only problem with the bermuda is part of the area we want to sod won't get enough sun for the bermuda. How much does your neighbor water during the summer? Do you know if your neighbor uses a winterizer to help protect it from winter injury?


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RE: Emerald Zoysia

I always thought Bermuda 419 was more high maintenance than zoysia, based on what I read from various sources.

You would be 100% correct and well informed.

Emerald zoysia is adapted for zones 6 to 11 and being tested to zone 5 for winter hardiness. It is less cold tolerant than Meyers, but has better shade tolerance.

Emerald will perform nicely with once a week mowing which is the recommended mowing frequency, and twice a year fertilizer applications.

The biggest downside to Emerald is it is a heavy thatcher which is mostly caused by over fertilizing and over watering. Other more minor downsides is leaf spot, and brown patch which again are attributed to fertilizer and watering.

So if cold weather tolerance is a concern for you, Meyers would be a good choice, but honestly in the Raleigh area I dont think cold hardiness would be an issue. Problems start when temps drop below 26 and stay there for a few days allowing the ground to freeze. Is that a Raleigh winter?


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RE: Emerald Zoysia

No, the winters here are pretty mild. It does get into the 20s at night sometimes, but it warms up during the day, so it is not a sustained thing. I am just concerned because auteck, who lives in my area, mentioned his neighbor who has problems with winter injury. I don't know where to get Meyers here. The place I went to only had emerald and zennith. I don't think thatch would be a bad problem for us since we would not overwater (don't really like watering lawns) or overfertilize.


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RE: Emerald Zoysia

If you are interseted in Z-52 aka Meyer's, it is the most common variety available everywhere because it has the widest range of all the Zoysia's (zone 5-12), it was the first commercial Zoysia released. Not the prettiest of the Zoysias, bu the most hardy. So look around I am sure you can find it if you want it.

Now with that said I am a sod farmer, and sod farms don't offer varieties that are not adapted for thier local market areas. They wouldn't be in biz long if they did. So if Emerald is available in your area ought to tell you something.

Good Luck

TW


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RE: Emerald Zoysia

frangione1, both grasses are high maintenance. The reason I'm recommending bermuda is because you can overseed it with PRG somthing you can't do successfully with Zoysia - especially Emerald because of its high density.

And don't kid yourself about pretty mild winters here, those are found in Northen Florida not in the Mid-Atlantic states. Our winters and summers are very simmilar to the DC area. Emerald zoysia will get winter damage north of Columbia, SC, which is about 300 miles south of Raleigh, NC.

As far as my neighbor's zoysia, he has watered his lawn 7 times to my Bluegrass' 3. My bluegrass still looks better than his lawn, and it won't be long before it starts to turn brown again and for the next 6 months.

Meyers Zoysia is cold hardy in our climate, but disease can still be a problem. Still a tropical grass and our winters here are anything but tropical. No grass is perfect, and trying to grow it in the transition zone is even more difficult, but not impossible.

Another important thing to remember if you are going to try to grow a warm season grass in central NC, sun exposure. Unless you have a yard in FULL SUN, don't bother. The results will disappoint you.

Don't do it, I've warned you. Stick with Fescue or if you want to try something different, then try KBG.

Texas weed, that sod farm frangione1 is refering to is down in Orangeburg, SC, about 280 miles south of Raleigh. The same place I picked up those nasty pieces of 419 last year that I ended up trowing in the trash if you recall... I'm sure is Super Sod at the Farmerts Market. And if you stick with your statement, there're actually 3 Sod farms in NC growing 100% KBG sod...

Emerald is NOT cold hardy in our area, Fescue is. And that's why it DOMINATES the landscape in our neck of woods.


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RE: Emerald Zoysia Winter Damage

Here's prove:

Picture was taken April 9, 2005, in Cary, NC.

The grass on the left is Emerald Zoysia, the one of the right is TTTF/PRG/KBG at my previous home in Cary.

The 2004-2005 winter was very mild for Raleigh standards, yet damage still occured as you can see.


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RE: Emerald Zoysia summer damage

Here's another picture of Emerald zoysia taken in August 29, 2006 under your above average homeowner care:

The grass between the curb and sidewalk clearly shows the excessive thatch that Emerald Zoysia is known for.

BTW, August 29 still very warm, and Emerald Zoysia should look its best, and does NOT.


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RE: Emerald Zoysia

I am not kidding myself about mild winters. Mild depends on one's definition or reference point. Perhaps meteorologists have a strict definition and don't put North Carolina in the mild category, but my use of "mild" was based on me being from Florida (so I don't like the cold). But having spent 6 years in Ohio and spending several Christmas' in northern Michigan, this is mild to me.

I think people have fescue lawns because people are obsessed with having green lawns all year, and it will perhaps sell houses better in the winter.

I should clarify that we don't have much of a lawn. The previous owners didn't take care of it. We have a mix of common bermuda and fescue, lots of weeds, and even a little bit of centipede. The patch that we want to sod is 1000 sq ft. 95% of our yard is in full sun. The only really nice patch of fescue is fine fescue under a maple tree. The patch we want to sod has NO grass, it is just dirt right now.

You are correct, I was referring to Super Sod. It is the only place I am aware of to get sod. The few references I found about it online (from homeowners) were positive. If you can recommend a better place that delivers to do-it-yourself people, I would appreciate it.


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RE: Emerald Zoysia

We have a mix of common bermuda and fescue, lots of weeds, and even a little bit of centipede

Centipede huh? What does that say about your climate? Tells me you don't get much if any freezing weather.Do a simple search for Zoysia and Centipede adaption maps.


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NC Sod Directory

Fran go to this web site for a full sod directory.

http://www.ncsod.org/md.html#no41

Just about any kind of Zoysia you want is available in NC. One more thing to think about. Saint Augustine does not tolerate cold worth a darn. Care to guess what city has a Saint Augustine grass named after it?


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RE: Emerald Zoysia

I am very familiar with Saint Augustine grass!! I wouldn't think about it. Yes, the centipepde does great. Last summer we go almost no rain and the centipede was green even when the bermuda was turning brown.

How far do these sod farms deliver? There don't seem to be any in this area. They all deliver from south NC or SC.

I found out that our local John Deere has Zeon zoysia which is like Emerald, but is supposedly a little more drought tolerant and less susceptible to disease and thatch. Do you know anything about it?


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RE: Emerald Zoysia

One of my competitors carries it. I know it is fine bladed, only needs about 3 or 4 hours of sun, not quite as green as Emerald, spreads faster than Emerald, does not thatch as much as Emerald, very few insect /disease problems, and decent cold weather tolerance as the sod farm I know that carries it is just north of the DFW area.

Here is something to think about. There are sod farms in Ohio that carry Emerald and Zeon, albeit southern Ohio.


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RE: Emerald Zoysia

NTEP ratings for Emerald and Zeon aren't all that different. Guess I'll have to just make a decision.


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RE: Emerald Zoysia

Well when you were looking at the NTEP results, did you look at the Frost Tolerance and Winter Kill ratings and notice which cultivars rated the highest marks? Please do so if you have not, there is a little surprize waiting for you.


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RE: Emerald Zoysia

I did look at that. Zeon ranks in the top half and Emerald is in the bottom half, but the difference is not statistically significant. For winter kill (somewhere in Kansas), no vegetative zoysia's did very well aside from Meyer (and a couple other varieties I never heard of). For seeded varieties, zennith did pretty well. This is for the older report. For the 2002 report (tested 2003-2006), zeon was not tested. In the latter report, emerald was at the top for frost tolerance. There was no winter kill test.


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RE: winter kill clarification

I should clarify about the winter kill. Aside from the winter kill ratings in Kansas, there is a percent winter kill (kentucky). All the vegetative varieties of zoysia were 99%, except for el torro (86%), Meyer (66%) and J-14 (48%).

Any thoughts on all of this?


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RE: Emerald Zoysia

Frangione,

Super Sod is probably your best bet as far as getting it delivered. About 3 years ago when I bought mi current home, I visited several Sod Farms in NC. I was thinking about putting Zoysia, but after visiting a Sod farm that had 100% Kentucky Bluegrass sod that looked 100% green in the middle of July was enough for me to go with bluegrass. I originaly was going to buy KBG sod for my property, but took too long to order it (November) and the sod farm ran out of KBG sod. I was determined to get KBG in my yard so I bought some seed and started the project. That was Fall 2005, today I have one of the nicest lawns (if not the nicest by many people that walk by when I'm cutting it) even during the summer months.

As far as Meyer Zoysia, there's a sod farm in Scolandneck, NC that sells it. The problem is that you might get some weedy bermuda grass included with your Zoysia. That's what happened to a friend of mine.

Since you are only working with 1,000 sf of grass and have common bermuda growing in it already, I would suggest to overseed the entire area with Perennial Ryegrass. It's the easiest and most beautiful grass a homeowner can grow. If you keep it watered and fertilize during the summer months, it may stay green year round and not die. But if you don't, then let it die (usually in late July to Mid-August) and in September you can overseed again.

Last option is to get some Fescue so from Super Sod. I was there last year buying some bermierda 419 sod and the Fescue sod they had in there looked 20 times better than the bermuda. It was thick and dark green.

Texas Weed,

You are in Dallas, TEXAS last time I checked, how do you comment on our climate? It's obvious that you don't know. It's also obvious that you don't undertand how cold weather affects turfgrass.

Raleigh is located in the Transsition zone as you know, the transsition zone is defined for having hot summer and cold winters. It's the reason why is so tough to grow grass in this "transsition zone". The main problem with the transsition zone is that it gets cold at night (below freezing) and usually cool during the day (above freezing) That constand change in temperatures is what stresses grasses, plants, trees, etc, in the Transsition zone. Our temperatures normaly don't stay below freezing during the day, but sometimes they do for a few days. That is tough on the grass, especially when you don't have reliable snow cover to protect it. Another problem in the transsition zone happens in the spring when the weather starts to warm up and sometimes you get 2 to 3 weeks of temperatures above freezing, so warm season grasses start to come out of dormancy and then without notice a Canadian cold front moves in and temperatures drop well below freezing (24 or so) for many hours at night. That's a big problem for warm season grasses, not so much for Fescue or Bluegrass.

Cold tolerance of warm season grasses is just like it implies, it tolerates it. You know very well that Fescue is king in the transsition zone and it's not because people are obssesed with having a green lawn year-round. It's what grows here best as many research studies will show, and it's what North Carolina State University recommends.

If some people want to grow Centiweed, Bermuda, or Zoysia, none of those are better adapted to our weather than Fescue, a cool season grass.

Raleigh St. Augustine grass was probably developed by NCSU for use in the eastern part of NC, the coastal Plains. I've never seen a St. Augustine lawn here in Raliegh, not one. I've seen a few, very few Centipede, but most of the warm season grasses grown in the Raleigh area are either Bermuda or Zoysia.

I know Zoysia can grow in Chicago and even in Maine, but that doesn't make cold hardy in those areas, neither here in Raleigh.

Warm season grasses are tropical grasses that need a place that's warm most of the time, and that's not Raleigh either. NC is a cool season state with the most diverse weather in the eastern seaboard.

To put this in perspective, Fescue lawns in the "Raleigh" area go dormant during our winter so called "pretty mild winter" and turn nearly straw color like Zoysia.


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RE: Emerald Zoysia

Autek anyone who reccomends overseeding Bermuda grass in the Transition zone does not have a clue what they are talking about. It is counter productive and can only do more harm to the Bermuda.Only place where it is reasonable to overseed Bermuda is where the growing season is very long like Phoenix so th eBermuda has a long time to recover. That is not NC.

The OP wants Zoysia, and there is plenty available in NC, along with all th eother warm season grasses.


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RE: Emerald Zoysia

The 1000 sq ft area doesn't have bermuda now. We killed it last summer. We thought we would put in fescue, but with the drought and water restrictions last year decided not to seed. We put rye grass down for the winter and didn't water it at all. It did fine. It died a few weeks a go. So, there is nothing there at all.

I have never seen a fescue lawn turn brown in the winter. That being said, I have only lived here 2 years.

I actually had two NCSU extension people recommend zoysia. One also recommended centipede (he had centipede and loves it).

One of my friend's told me that a neigbor of her Mom's (who lives in her same neighborhood in Apex) has Emerald Zoysia and it is gorgeous. They had no winter damage and it is not brown now (they don't water much at all). Auteck, maybe your neighbor is giving his/her lawn too much love? Thatch is usually from overwatering or overfertilizing. And the brown could be a disease or something.

I think I may just wait this out for now and wait until next spring to do something. That way I will have more time to think about it and research things. I definitely want to do a warm season grass, though.


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RE: Emerald Zoysia

"Autek anyone who reccomends overseeding Bermuda grass in the Transition zone does not have a clue what they are talking about. It is counter productive and can only do more harm to the Bermuda.Only place where it is reasonable to overseed Bermuda is where the growing season is very long like Phoenix so th eBermuda has a long time to recover. That is not NC. "

Texas Weed, your statement is correct only if the primary/main grass is Bermuda. If I lived in Phoenix or any other place that stays warmer longer than cooler, I wouldn't overseed it with anything. I would let Bermuda or Zoysia take its course and go dormant for couple of months, then green again. Overseeding a warm season grass in an area like Phoenix or even Dallas will be better left to the professionals.

My recommendation for overseeding Bermuda with PRG is based on PRG being the primary/main grass in the lawn since stays green longer than Bermuda or any other warm season grass, and when summer kicks in (June) Bermuda will fill in the areas where ever PRG fails.

I personally will not put down Bermuda and overseed with PRG, I will grow 100% PRG lawn, keep it fertilize and watered, and when it decides to die in patches I will mow it short (1") and let it rest for 1 to 2 months and then start the cycle again. I don't mind spending $60 for a bag of PRG seed every year knowing that for 10 or even 11 months out of the year I will have PERFECT looking grass without having to care much for the yard in 90 degree weather.


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RE: Emerald Zoysia

"The 1000 sq ft area doesn't have bermuda now. We killed it last summer."

I wouldn't be so sure if I were you, it can easely come back. Bermuda is very difficult to kill at best, ask Texas Weed; he can tell you.

"We thought we would put in fescue, but with the drought and water restrictions last year decided not to seed. We put rye grass down for the winter and didn't water it at all. It did fine. It died a few weeks a go. So, there is nothing there at all."

You probably used Annual Ryegrass. If you don't know, there's Perennial and Annual Ryegrass. Annual lives for one season, and perennial indefinatelly in the right climate.
"I have never seen a fescue lawn turn brown in the winter. That being said, I have only lived here 2 years."

Send me your email and I will forward you as many pictures as you want of nearly straw color Fescue lawn in the Raleigh area.

"I actually had two NCSU extension people recommend zoysia. One also recommended centipede (he had centipede and loves it)."

If one of the guys/gals had Centipede and loves it, that's a bias recommendation. As far as two people from NCSU recommending Zoysia, it doesn't surprise me. They can very well be students and/or they could have giving you their personal opinion based on what they like best.

What I reffer to when I mention NCSU is NCSU's recommendation and not the opinion of two of its members. NCSU's recommendation is not based one or two people's opinions, it's based on actual research and trials.

"One of my friend's told me that a neigbor of her Mom's (who lives in her same neighborhood in Apex) has Emerald Zoysia and it is gorgeous."

Emerald Zoysia mekes one of the nicest if not the nicest turf of any grass, (maybe Bentgrass is better) so it's no surprise to me that people think is gorgeous. I think is gorgeous, too. I just don't like the bright green color regarless of how much fertilizer.

"They had no winter damage and it is not brown now (they don't water much at all)."

I'm going to disagree here. I have been researching grass since I moved here 7 years ago, taking pictures and notes throughout the year and I have always seen Emerald Zoysia with patches of dead grass after winter.

I know a sub-division in Apex (I think is Haddon Hall) where there are 3 Zoysia lawns, one just very recently. The most recently sodded yard looks great right now because they've been watering and mother nature has been providing good rainfall. Also, the grass has been taking care of it by Turf professionals that know how to make grass look beautiful (texas weed can tell you that) but it won't be long before it starts to turn brown.

"Auteck, maybe your neighbor is giving his/her lawn too much love? Thatch is usually from overwatering or overfertilizing. And the brown could be a disease or something."

It's possible. The watered the lawn yesterday again, but rightly so because it was showing signs of drought stress in some areas. That's very strange to me because I have only water my KBG lawn 3 times so far this season to 8 times now for my neighbor's zoysia.

The first picture you see in my previous home in Cary, the Zoysia on the left is Emerald purchased at Super Sod. That was right after its first winter. Winter damage can clearly be seen... The other picture is not my neighbor's Zoysia, but I, too, think is disease. Disease damage Zoysia is a big problem here in Raleigh because the growing seaseon is relatively short, and Emerald Zoysia ia SLOW to recover. You can overseed Zoysia like you do Fescue, so when disease strikes, you just have to be patience and let the grass do its thing - spread.

"I think I may just wait this out for now and wait until next spring to do something. That way I will have more time to think about it and research things. I definitely want to do a warm season grass, though."

No grass is the perfect solution in the transsition zone, there cons and pros on every grass, just make sure you know each grass good and bad before you buy so you can be happy later on with your purchase.


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RE: Emerald Zoysia Winter Damage

Texas weed, did you not see my post or can't respond ot it?


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