What is Zoysia Grass?
Zoysia is a type of warm season lawn grass that originated in Asia. It is typically found in lawns in the southern portion of the country but is rapidly gaining popularity in home lawns up north due to several desirable characteristics. While more expensive to establish initially, Zoysia actually ends up paying for itself due to its lower maintenance requirements!
The Benefits of a Zoysia Lawn
Mowing - Zoysia grass grows more slowly and requires less frequent mowing compared to traditional Tall Fescue, Kentucky Bluegrass. It is common to only have to mow Zoysia once every 10 days to two weeks, compared to at least once weekly for other grasses.
Water - Zoysia is naturally drought tolerant. Even though modern Tall Fescue and Kentucky Bluegrass cultivars are leaps and bounds ahead of old varieties, they will never compare to the drought tolerance of Zoysia. Zoysia will stay green even after 3 - 4 weeks of no water, and will even tolerate longer periods of drought by going into dormancy until the rain returns. This can really cut down on both your water bill and reduce the environmental impact especially in drought prone areas.
Fertilizer and Weed Control - Once established, Zoysia needs only 1 application of fertilizer in most lawns, usually in Early May. Also, Zoysia is better at suppressing weeds and may not even require a chemical treatment if properly maintained.
No need to overseed - Zoysia spreads through stolons as opposed to having to be overseeded. You can expect Zoysia to spread about 6" horizontally each year in the Maryland / Virginia area. It will grow a little less aggressively as you head further north into New Jersey and New England.
Any Drawbacks to Zoysia
The only drawback to consider is that fact that Zoysia will turn completely brown as it goes dormant with the first hard frost each Fall. The timing of this will depend on the area of the country you live in. In Maryland and Virginia this usually occurs sometime in late October. Some people do not mind the brownness all winter, although others prefer the better winter color in cool season varieties.
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