Zoysia grass has become very popular for those wanting a lush green lawn. It is wonderful due to the fact that it requires little water and little maintenance, but should you be planting zoysia sod, zoysia plugs or zoysia seeds? Most people confuse zoysia sod and zoysia plugs, but we will clarify that for you as it will save you a lot of money as well as a lot of time. Once you have reviewed the information, you will realize that it would be wise to use Zoysia plugs instead of sod or seeds. We’ll review all three in detail so that you can make an informed decision.
What is Zoysia Grass anyway?
Zoysia grass was discovered over in Korea a few decades ago and brought over to America. The name it was given was Meyer zoysia grass after the scientist who discovered it. This grass was found to grow very well in the sun, but also grew just as well in the shade. It was also found to grow quite well in difficult conditions such as salty soil, sandy soil and rocky soil. The best zoysia from the original Meyer strain is Amazoy.
Why is Zoysia Grass so Popular?
* Reduces water bills – the root system of this type of grass is very deep and requires very little water.
* Reduces maintenance – you will need to mow once every three weeks.
* Kills weeds and crabgrass – the zoysia will choke out these unwanted weeds.
* No need for chemicals – zoysia is very hardy and resists insects and disease.
* It heals itself – it will naturally grow to cover the ground.
Zoysia Grass Plugs
Amazoy zoysia plugs are the most popular way for a homeowner to establish a beautiful zoysia lawn. They are the most economical and successful way to establish a zoysia lawn.
It is the spreading nature of the plugs that makes them so economical. They can be planted 4″ to 6″ apart, then left to spread in to create a beautiful lawn over time. If you want it to fill in more quickly, simply reduce the spacing when planting your plugs.
Pros of using Zoysia Plugs
* Plugs are 95% cheaper than using sod
* Plugs are also cheaper than using seed
* The planting season is long (from early spring through to mid fall)
* The soil requires little preparation (you can plant into soil or in to an existing lawn)
* Plugs are ideal for planting on slopes (seeds just get washed away by rain and watering)
* With plugs, you are planting a living plant and they are much more resilient to heat and cold
* Plugs require very little maintenance once planted (just a little bit of water for 10 minutes a day for the first few weeks)
Of the three options, zoysia sod is the fastest way to establish a zoyia lawn. But is it also the most expensive and the most labor intensive. Once people realize the cost of purchasing sod, they usually move away from the idea of sod and make the decision to purchase plugs. Zoysia sod is purchased by the square foot. Although there are discounts will volume purchases, the price climbs quite quickly.
The other area of concern with the sod is that it must be harvested locally as it is extremely heavy. The weight of the product stacked on top of itself is not good and in addition, your shipping fees will be high if you can’t get it near by.
In going with the sod, you are going to have to prepare the area first. You will need to till the soil, clear the area of stones and plants. If you have a large area, this can become a lot of work.
Once the sod arrives, you are going to need a lot of people to help you. Unloading the sod, cutting and shaping the sod to fit the shape of the area. It is a lot of work, no question.
Pros of using sod
* Fastest way to establish a lawn
Cons of using sod
* Very expensive
* Labor intensive
Zoysia Grass Seed
All of the zoysia seed available today has been genetically engineered. Because it has be genetically altered, it does not have the same properties as the original Meyer’s E52 issued by the US Department of Agriculture has. Many of the seed varieties are not as cold tolerant as the original zoysia and as a result it is much more subject to winter kill.
Cons of Zoysia Seeds
* The color is not as deep green.
* The seed variety is know to grow in clumps.
* Planting seeds sounds easy, but is quite a challenge for the average home owner. The soil temperature will have to be at least 70 degrees (that is not the air temperature, it’s the soil temperature. The air temperature will have to be in the 80’s and 90’s). This means that there is a small window to plant the seeds.
* The area will also have to be prepared. It will have to be flat, tilled to a depth of 6-8 inches and all the old grass, weeds and plants will need to be cleared.
* Zoysia seeds have a very low germination rate, so you will need 2-3 pounds of seeds for every 1,000 square feet of land.
* Once seeded, the soil will need to remain moist for 10 days, which can be difficult with high temperatures and windy conditions. It will need constant watering during the day.
* Seeds can’t be planted on slopes.
* Birds love seeds
* You only get one chance for growth in a growing season, so if it doesn’t take, you will have to wait a whole year before you can try again.
Hands down, zoysia grass plugs are the way to go. They have a very high success rate, they are the most economical and require the least amount of work.
Pros & Cons:
Once rooted, this grass is amazing for difficult soil conditions (dry, salty, sandy, rocky soils) and is drought tolerant as was all shade tolerant. Can be a challenge to get started. Needs to be watered at least twice a day for three weeks to have the seeds germinate.
Zosyia grass seeds are more cost effective to plant than purchasing zoysia plugs.
If you are looking for a grass that can grown in difficult situations, then zoysia is a good option.
As with other of the Scott's lawn products, these zoysia seeds are coated with their WaterSmart plus technology to keep the moisture close to the seeds while they germinate. This coating allows the seed to hold more water and nutrients as well as protect the seeds from grass disease.
As mentioned, zoysia is great for growing in difficult weather and soil conditions. The grass is great for sandy, salty and rocky areas as the grass creeps as it grows and spreads.
There is a requirement to ensure that the seeds are watered the first three weeks in order for the seeds to germinate. The Scott's zoysia seeds comes with mulch and moisture protection which provides added assurance of germination.
Once the zoysia seeds have germinated, you lawn will require less water, less mowing and far less maintenance than other grasses. You can expect to mow about 1/3 as often as you have done in the past. Although zoysia requires little watering, you must water twice a day when you are planting and starting your lawn.
Zosyia is a great shade tolerant grass. If you have a lawn that does not get continual sunshine then this is a great option for you. Be mindful though, shade tolerant does not mean that it will grow in the dark. Your grass will require at least 4 hours of direct sunlight or 8 hours of filtered sunlight (filtered meaning that light is coming through the branches of trees, etc).
Zoysia grass is great for warm, southern climates that have difficult growing conditions. Water well during the planting and germination of the seeds (twice a day for three weeks), then you can relax and let your grass grow. Zoysia like it hot, so the best planting time is May-June-July-August.
Scotts zoysia seed has the added nutrient/water technology as well as the added mulch to help protect the seeds during the first three weeks - which is a huge bonus over other seeds.
Click here for a closer look.
Zoysia Grass Maintenance
There really is very little maintenance you will have to do with your zoysia lawn. It can do with less water, less fertilizer, less mowing and less pesticides or herbicides. Let’s discuss each of these as this grass will give you a beautiful green lawn with very little work.
Zoysia grass has very deep roots and because of this, the roots pull moisture from deep in the ground instead of from the topsoil. The result is that you have less watering requirements. The unique root system allows the grass to grow lush and thick which gives it a carpet-like feel when walking on it with your bare feet.
This grass is great for those living in areas with restricted watering. With zoysia’s ability to grow in diffult conditions, it lends itself beautifully to those who need to watch how much water their lawns. You will be able to have a green lawn without the need for much water.
You may get brown patches on your lawn if you water too much, so keep an eye out for that. In addition, you should do you watering in the morning and not in the evening as you have a chance of developing fungus in the grass if the water sits overnight.
Zoysia is a greas that spreads outward verus growing upward and as a result, it reduces the need to mow your lawn as frequently. Homeowners who have a zoysia lawn have typically found that they mow their lawn about 1/3 of the time then when they had traditional grass. That’s just a little over once a month for mowing!
To keep your lawn healthy you zoysia grass should be mowed to a height of 1.5 inches to 3 inches. With this grass, you should only take off 1/3 of the leat height at each mowing and no more.
Dethatching your Zoysia Lawn
Dethatching is the removal of little bits of stems and blades that collect on the lawn over time from mowing. The accumulation of these bits is called “thatch” and it prevents water, light and air to reach the soil so you will need to remove the thatch.
Traditional methods have been quite labor intensive but there is a product designed for zoysia grass called Liquid Thatch Remover. Simply spray the conents of the bottle over the grass and the Remover will turn the thatch into a natural fertilizer for your lawn.
It is recommended that you dethatch roughly 3 times a year but make sure that the temperature in the air is at least 45 degrees. It will take roughly 5 minutes of your time to spray the lawn.
* Reduces insect problems
* Keeps a healthy lawn growing
* Allows water and nutrients to get into the soil and at the grass roots
* Fertilizer use will be more effective
* You will have a better looking lawn
If you have decided that zoysia grass is the right choice for your lifestyle, then you should consider using zoysia plugs to get your lawn started. The plugs are the most economical way to start your zoysia yard and it will cover whatever uneven ground, weeds and pebbles. Putting down zoysia sod is an option, but you will find it to be quite expensive. And seeds, well they just don’t seem to germinate well and due to the short seeding season, if it doesn’t take right away, you will be waiting a hole year before you can try again.
The official zoysia grass can be found over at this site – where they guarantee that their plugs will take root and grow for you.
Zoysia Grass Review
Review Author: Don Montgomery
Summary: The Amazoy zoysia grass is the original zoysia grass with a strong reputation and successful growth for beautiful lawns.
If you are considering planting zoysia grass in your yard, the most effective way to do this would be to plant the zoysia plugs – not sod or seeds. Zoysia sod will be very expensive to do and zoysia seeds are a LOT of work and are more expensive than the plugs as well.
The Amazoy plugs are derived right from the original Meyer zoysia E52 from the US Department of Agriculture. The Amazoy plugs are hardy and spread out beautifully. You will not need to prepare the yard or ground at all. Simply use a plugger or auger to put a small hole in the ground, then plant the plug. You will need to water a bit each day for a couple of weeks, but after that you are set to go. The plugs will spread on their own.
The spreading of the plugs can take some time, so you may want to consider planting them closer together. The recommended distance apart is 4″ to 6″.
The plugs grow well in the direct sun, in the shade and in poor soil conditions. It is a fantastic grass for the southern United States.