If you live in the Transition Zone -- an area that stretches from Kansas to the Carolinas -- then a zoysiagrass lawn may be a good option for you. Zoysia is heat- and drought-tolerant, and produces a thick green lawn during the growing season. Zoysia is a popular grass for golf-course fairways and tees, since it makes the ball sit up high for an easy hit. You can grow zoysia from sod, plugs, or seed.
Prepare your soil as you would for a new lawn -- only you'll grade it about an inch lower to make room for the sod. Apply Scotts® Starter® Fertilizer to the soil, and then rake it in lightly. Lay your sod in a brickwork, staggered pattern. On slopes, lay the sod down perpendicular to the angle of the hill. If the slope is steep, stake the sod with 2-4 stakes per roll. Once the sod is in place, water deeply enough to keep the soil under the sod moist, but not saturated. Keep this up for about 2 weeks until the roots have taken hold. Feed your lawn with Scotts® Turf Builder® Lawn Fertilizer 6-8 weeks after sodding.
The main advantage of sodding is that you get a lawn in a day or two. The disadvantage is that it is expensive and labor-intensive.
Plugging is a planting method that uses small sections of sod cut into that are planted in soil. You can cover more ground for less using plugs instead of sod, but it can take a year or two for your lawn to fill in.
Prepare you soil as you would for a new lawn. Dig your plug holes with a plugging tool or trowel, spacing them about 6-16 inches apart. Plugs dry out fast, so make your holes before acquiring your zoysia. Keep your new lawn area moist for 10-14 days for the roots to take hold. Control weeds in between the plugs by applying a post-emergent weed control product for broadleaf weeds. Just make sure that it's compatible with zoysia.
Seeding zoysiagrass is a relatively recent option for homeowners. Zoysia is a slow grower, and most people wanted faster results. Now, however, there are innovative seed products on the market, such as Scotts® Turf Builder® Zoysia Grass Seed and Mulch, that make seeding zoysia a good option. As you prepare your soil, add a thin layer of Scotts® Turf Builder® Seeding Soil. Fill your spreader with your seed mix, following the label for your spreader setting. After spreading the seed, apply Scotts® Starter® Fertilizer, then rake the fertilizer and seeds lightly into the soil.
Water your newly seed lawn frequently but not deeply to keep the soil moist. Continue watering this way until the grass is 2 inches tall.
Mowing and Maintenance. You can start to mow your new zoysiagrass lawn when it reaches mowing height. The recommended height for zoysia is ¾ to 2 inches. 6-8 weeks after seeding, apply Scotts® Turf Builder® Lawn Fertilizer. Feed your lawn 3-5 times a year with a minimum interval of 6 weeks.
As soon as the weather gets chilly, zoysiagrass goes dormant. You'll see a brown lawn until some time around March. If you live too far north, you'll have a dormant lawn for much of the growing season