How to Lay Zoysia Sod


Zoysia is a popular grass species used in lawns and golf courses across North America. It's prized for its thick, vigorous growth--perfect for blocking out weeds--and its drought-tolerant nature. Though zoysia can be started from seeds or plugs, installing zoysia sod brings an instant lawn. Sod can be purchased from most nurseries, which also may offer zoysia hybrids that have been developed to excel in specific geographic areas and climates.

Step 1

Remove all vegetation and debris, such as weeds, sticks and rocks, from the planting area.

Step 2

Break up the soil into loose clumps using a rake and spade. Prepare the soil so that the dirt clumps are a maximum size of 1 inch across.

Step 3

Mix in 2 inches of compost to the dirt to boost the level of organic material and increase the dirt's ability to hold moisture. Apply a standard lawn starter fertilizer, available from all garden stores. Administer the fertilizer according to its label, since potency varies by product.

Step 4

Moisten the prepared dirt with water to a depth of 2 to 3 inches.

Step 5

Lay the first square or strip of sod against a straight edge, such as a sidewalk or patio. Lay the proceeding piece against this first piece to help ensure straight lines. Push each sod piece up against its neighbor, but do not let the pieces overlap.

Step 6

Sprinkle each sod piece with water as soon as it is down to keep the grass from drying out while the rest of the pieces are laid.

Step 7

Roll the lawn with a concrete or plastic lawn roller to ensure that the zoysia sod is in firm contact with the underlying dirt.

Step 8

Water deeply once all of the zoysia is installed. Apply enough water that the dirt is moist to a depth of 6 inches. Continue watering once a day, in the morning when the dew has burned off, until the sod is established. Establishment usually takes 10 to 14 days.

Step 9

Decrease watering once the sod is established. Zoysia is very drought tolerant. Water once a week or as needed to keep the zoysia grass green.

Step 10

Cut the zoysia grass regularly to keep it at a height of 1 inch to 1-1/2 inches.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not walk on the zoysia sod during installation iexcept when it's not avoidable. Stay off the grass for the first week after the sod is installed.

Things You'll Need

  • Spade
  • Rake
  • Garden tiller (optional)
  • Compost
  • Lawn starter fertilizer
  • Lawn roller
  • Lawn mower
  • Lawn fertilizer


  • "The Lawn Bible: How to Keep It Green, Groomed and Growing Every Season of the Year"; David Mellor; 2003
  • "Lawns: Your Guide to to a Beautiful Yard"; Nick Christians, et al.; 2007
Keywords: install zoysia sod, grow zoysia sod, lay zoysia sod

About this Author

Josh Duvauchelle is an editor and journalist with more than 10 years' experience. His work has appeared in various magazines, including "Honolulu Magazine," which has more paid subscribers than any other magazine in Hawaii. He graduated with honors from Trinity Western University, holding a Bachelor of Arts in professional communications, and earned a certificate in applied leadership and public affairs from the Laurentian Leadership Centre.