Roch Gaussoin, Extension Turfgrass Specialist
- Insects and Disease
- Thatch Removal
- About Zoysiagrass
|April 20 to May 15||Clean lawn of debris (i.e., rocks, sticks, etc.).|
|May 20 to Sept. 20||Mow lawn at 1.5 inch. Mowing frequency should be dictated by growth rate. Mow at least on a weekly basis.|
|Sept. 20 to first frost||Mow lawn at 2 inches to first frost. After frost, zoysiagrass will turn light brown and become dormant.|
|May 20 to June 1||Fertilize with 0.75 to 1.0 lb. of actual nitrogen per 1,000 sq. ft. Fertilizers with at least 50 percent slow-release nitrogen are preferred. Use a complete fertilizer containing nitrogen phosphorus and potassium.|
|July 1 to July 7||Fertilize with 0.75 to 1.0 lb. of actual nitrogen per 1,000 sq. ft.|
|Aug. 1 to Aug. 7||Fertilize with 0.75 to 1.0 lb. of actual nitrogen per 1,000 sq. ft.|
|April to November||Zoysiagrass is drought tolerant. Irrigate during extended drought to maintain growth, color and quality. When irrigation is required, water infrequently but deeply to develop deep, extensive root system.|
|Well-established lawns are usually dense and are relatively weed free. Preferred method of removing small weed areas is spot spraying with proper herbicide.|
|April 20 to May 5||Apply pre-emergence herbicides for control of warm-season annual grasses (i.e. crabgrass).|
|May 1 to May 30||Control winter annual broadleaf weeds.|
|Sept. 15 to Oct. 31||Apply postemergence herbicides to control dandelion and other broadleaf weeds. This is the preferred time to control dandelion and clover.|
Insects and Disease
|Insects and diseases with minor exceptions are not major problems in zoysiagrass.|
|June 1 to July 15||Power rake if thatch layer exceeds 0.5 inch.|
|June 1 to July 15||Aerify lawns growing on clay soils to minimize compaction and improve rooting.|
|June 1 to July 15||Remove plugs from dense areas of lawn to areas of lawn that have thinned by excess traffic, adverse environment, etc. This is the procedure for maintaining desirable zoysiagrass turf.|
|For additional information, see Extension Circular EC1557, Integrated Turfgrass Management for the Northern Great Plains.|
Zoysiagrass (Zoysia japonica Willd) has an optimal soil growth temperature ranging from 80° F to 90° F. Top growth is active between June and September. Cool-season turfgrasses, like Kentucky bluegrass, have optimal soil growth temperatures around 60° F and grow most actively in the spring, from April to early June, and in the late summer or fall, from September to late October.
Zoysiagrass is deeper rooted, lower growing, and more drought and heat resistant than Kentucky bluegrass, but is less tolerant to low temperatures. Zoysiagrass is best adapted to full sun or partial shade. It has good salt tolerance.
Zoysiagrass is a long-lived perennial that forms a dense, high quality, low growing turf. The stems and leaves are tough and stiff, which contributes to the grass's superior wear tolerance when it is actively growing, but also can lead to mowing problems.
Zoysiagrass spreads by a combination of stolons and rhizomes, forming a dense weed-resistant turf. The establishment and recuperative rates of zoysia are poor, due to its slow rate of spread.
Zoysiagrass is adapted to southeastern Nebraska. It is generally not recommended for the Panhandle area and north of the Platte River. The cultivar Meyer has the best low temperature tolerance and is the preferred cultivar.
Meyer is established vegetatively from plugs, stolons or sod. Turf plugs planted on one foot centers are the most common means of establishment. A good stand of zoysiagrass may take two or more years to develop.
Frequent mower adjustment and blade sharpening are important for maintenance of desirable turfgrass quality. A heavy mower should be used to help eliminate thatch accumulation and the resulting puffy, irregular surface. Even though zoysiagrass is not a rapid growing turfgrass, it may develop a thatch problem that requires vertical mowing to eliminate puffiness. Yearly aeration (coring) of this turf helps prevent rapid thatch buildup.
In Nebraska, zoysiagrass is primarily adapted to lawns. Its limited growth period, slow growth rate and poor recuperative potential inhibits its use on sports turfs, playgrounds and golf course turfs in Nebraska.