If you've just planted a zoysiagrass lawn, or bought a house with one, you'll want to know how to take care of it. Mowing, weeding, and repairing your lawn may be different from what you're used to. Here are a few tips to help you keep your zoysiagrass lawn looking its best.
If you're used to a Kentucky bluegrass lawn, zoysia may surprise you. For one thing, you want to keep it quite a bit shorter than a bluegrass lawn -- anywhere from ¾ - 2 inches. There's usually no need to collect your lawn clippings, since they return nutrients to the soil. Unless you have clumps of clippings, especially wet ones, let them stay on the lawn.
As with any grass, the watering needs of zoysia depend on soil and weather conditions. As a rule of thumb, though, you want to irrigate about an inch of water a week. If you have sandy soil, it doesn't hold moisture as well as clay soils. You may have to water half an inch every 3 days or so. Don't just wait on your watering schedule. If you see that your zoysiagrass lawn looks bluish-grey, shows footprints, and has curled and wilted leaves, it's time to water. Of course, always comply with local watering restrictions.
Your best defense against weeds in your lawn is thick, strong grass. If you have a newly seeded zoysiagrass lawn, wait until after the fourth mowing before using a pre-emergent weed-control product. Also, be sure to use products that specifically state they are labeled for use on zoysiagrass. Products containing 2,4-D can harm zoysia when it is emerging from dormancy and greening up.
Zoysiagrass, like other warm-season grasses, stays pretty quiet during the cool months, but grows steadily from spring till fall. You can feed from the first time you mow it until the end of the growing season. Feed it about every 6-8 weeks or 3-5 times a season. There are a number of Scotts® Turf Builder® Lawn Fertilizer products that are appropriate for zoysiagrass.
Sometimes, weather conditions and wear and tear can weaken any lawn. If your zoysiagrass lawn develops bare or thin spots, you can repair it with sod, plugs, or overseeding. To find out how to use these techniques, look at our article on How to Grow a Zoysiagrass Lawn.