Planting Zoysia Grass Seed: Best Practices for Best Results
If you want a green lawn year-round, all the time, without excessive watering and much work at all on your part, zoysia grass is the perfect option for you. Zoysia doesn’t require much mowing or upkeep besides occasional trimming and weeding between the rows. And if you choose a zoysia lawn, you can sit on your front porch and watch the grass grow.
How To Plant Zoysia Grass Seed: Best Practices for Best Results
Here are a few steps you need to take to start right when you plant your zoysia grass seed:
Step 1. Pick the Correct Time to Seed- Zoysia grass likes to get a head start on the spring season. To make sure your zoysia seed will be ready for summer, you need to plant it in the early springtime.
Step 2. Remove Debris & Vegetation- Remove existing weeds and vegetation before planting. Place the sowing scuffle, or drill with the seed on a flat surface. Then remove all debris from the area around and below the brawl to expose as much soil as possible for planting.
Step 3. Fertilize- Deeply saturate the soil around your scuffle with a high-nitrogen fertilizer. If you’re planting a small area, for example, in a flower bed, only apply enough fertilizer to moisten the ground. Use an organic nitrogen fertilizer that won’t leave residues.
Step 4. Prepare the Ground- Remove any rocks or large gravel, and level the ground. If you will be laying sod, remove the sod from its packaging and roll it out to a slightly smaller area than the desired final product. Remove all vegetation around where you will be planting your grass seed, and then use a shovel or small rake to mix soil in with the grass seed.
Step 5. Spread the Seed- Fill your seed-dibber with grass seed, and then start planting by pushing a hole into the ground about 1 inch deep. Keep pushing in more holes until you have spread the seed as evenly as possible.
Step 6. Sow the Seeds into the Ground- Push the grass seed into the seeded holes using the scuffle. Cover the seeds with soil.
Step 7. Apply Water- After applying the grass seed, moisten the seed with a light watering to ensure that it will grow.
Step 8. Enjoy!- Your grass should grow and reach its full potential in as little as 6 weeks. Water as needed along the way, and don’t forget to mow your lawn if necessary.
What’s Different About Zoysia Grass?
The way zoysia grass grows is a little different from how it grows for most other types of grass. The growth pattern is called “runners,” and it works like this: the stolons (the plant’s roots) grow out into the surrounding soil an inch or so and then stop. New stolons sprout up next to the older ones and send out new runners. The same thing happens with the roots that are sprouting out of stolons.
Pros and Cons of Planting Zoysia Grass
1. Sun Tolerance- Zoysia grass is exceptionally tolerant of sun exposure, allowing it to grow in warmer climates. Most zoysia varieties can tolerate up to 13 hours of exposure per day without turning brown.
2. Heat Tolerance- Zoysia grass is also tolerant of hot weather, making it a good choice for dry climates. It can handle heat better than Kentucky bluegrass, which requires more watering to stay green.
3. Cold Tolerance- Zoysia has shown to be very tolerant of cold, even allowing it to tolerate temperatures as low as -10 degrees Fahrenheit. Most other lawn grass varieties will turn brown and die when temperatures dip below 20 degrees.
4. Drought Tolerance- Zoysia grass can tolerate long periods of dry weather and doesn’t require as much water as Kentucky bluegrass. The low-water requirement helps zoysia grow in areas traditionally not conducive to grass, such as the desert and the coastal regions.
5. Traffic Tolerance- Zoysia grass is a hardy grass that can withstand both pedestrian and vehicle traffic without turning brown or thinning out. It can grow without needing to be cut back because of traffic.
1. Spreads slowly-Zoysia grass doesn’t spread quickly, so you’ll need to buy more than one container of seed or plant several plugs if you do not want an obvious line between the two sections.
2. Browns in winter-Zoysia grass gets brown in the winter, so you’ll need to take action if you want it to look good all year long.
How to Prepare Your Yard
There are many things you can do to prepare your yard to plant zoysia grass. Some of them are crucial, and some can wait.
1. Measure Your Yard-The first thing you’ll want to do is measure your yard, locating the areas you wish to plant zoysia grass. You can usually divide the yard into rectangular sections for a nice, clean line between two rows of grass.
2. Prepare the soil-When you’ve already measured your yard, you can prepare the soil by digging holes 4 to 6 inches deep and approximately 4 feet apart. Fill each hole with soil, moistening it down before adding your seeds or plugs.
3. Fertilize the Soil- You’ll want to fertilize the area before planting your grass. You can spread a thin layer of fertilizer over the soil or use a slow-release fertilizer. You don’t need much, but it will help your grass get off to a good start.
The Best Way to Spread Your Zoysia Seed
One of the most common mistakes new zoysia grass owners are not spreading their seed correctly. Here’s how you should spread your seeds to get a good, healthy lawn.
1. Spread It Out-In order to get a nice, even spread, you’ll want to spread your zoysia grass seed out as evenly as possible. The best way to do this is with a Garden rake or an aerator tiller.
2. Shake It-You’ll want to shake the seeds out onto the soil, so there are no clumps. An excellent way to do this is by hurling a hardball from ground level or tossing a package of seeds from 50 feet or so. This will mix up the roots and ensure that you get plenty of coverage in each yard section.
3. Water It-The last step is to water your lawn to help the seeds become established. Water it a couple of times a day for about 5 minutes if you can’t get out there with the hose or sprinkler.
How to Plant Zoysia Plugs
Zoysia plugs are another way to plant zoysia grass seed in your yard. They tend to give you a better look and feel than wild-cut sod. It has been harvested from the field, cut, and then transported to a local business for distribution.
Here’s how to plant zoysia plugs:
1. Prepare the Soil-You’ll need to prepare your soil, just as you would if you were planting holes. If you’re putting the plugs near a path or other area with grass growing, water the area first and let it soak in for a day or two.
2. Break Up The Sod-You can use a sod cutter to break up the sod. You can also use a lawnmower or spray it with weed killer, although this could also kill your existing grass.
3. Plant Your Plugs-Once the sod is broken up, you can plant your plugs. Fill a hole halfway with soil and make several holes just a few inches apart.
4. Water It- To water your plugs, you’ll want to dig out about a foot of soil in the center of the spot and fill it with water. Then you can let it sit for 24 hours before watering again.
5. Wait-The plugs won’t be ready to use right away, so you’ll want to wait until they are three to four weeks old before planting them in your yard. Once planted, water them with a sprinkler or hose twice a week until they’re established.
When is the Best Time to Plant Zoysia Seed?
There are many opinions out there about when you should plant zoysia seed, but the answer depends on where you live. Experts recommend planting zoysia seed twice in a row several weeks apart, which helps it get established better.
The spring is the best time to start planting zoysia grass seed. You’ll want to do this in the early summer or late spring so that your grass has time to get rooted and start spreading before winter arrives.
Although it will not always be successful, planting zoysia seeds in the fall is not bad. Zoysia grass needs sunlight and warmth to grow, so if you live in a cold area, you’ll need to take extra measures to help your grass make it through the winter.
How Much Water does it Need?
Zoysia grass needs a fair amount of water to stay healthy and green, although the exact amount will vary depending on your climate. In warm regions, it will need to be watered 7 days per week during the summer, whereas in cool areas, you can cut back to 4 times each week. You’ll also want to make sure that the soil around the roots is damp but not soaking wet. If the grass begins to wilt, it might need water immediately.