How to Grow Zoysia Grass

Overview

Zoysia grass provides a heat-tolerant, low-maintenance turf alternative to natural lawns. It's a warm-season grass that can withstand wear and tear as well as close mowing but turns brown from October to May. It grows best in regions where temperatures range between 80 and 90 degrees F in the summer. Zoysia grass works well as a patching grass as well as on a bare dirt bed, spreading through underground horizontal stems called rhizomes and stolons.

Step 1

Place a sample of soil in a clean plastic container and bring it to your local extension office. The staff there will test the soil and tell you whether you need to add lime, fertilizer or organic amendments to improve it. They may charge a small fee for this service.

Step 2

Put down the recommended amounts of each amendment indicated on the test. Till the soil to a depth of 4 to 6 inches to mix the amendments into the soil. The grass will probably root without the amendments, but it will not be as green or healthy.

Step 3

Lay down the sections of zoysia sod so that they touch one another, covering every opening. Stagger the ends of the sod sheets so that they interlock once laid down. Sod zoysia grass is more expensive than other planting options but provides a lawn almost immediately; other means of planting zoysia grass take two to three years to reach maturity.

Step 4

Water the grass deeply, keeping it moist in the first two to three weeks. Gradually decrease your watering frequency after the grass starts growing on its own. Water in the morning to avoid spreading diseases.

Step 5

Mow the lawn down to 1/2 to 1 inch in height when it reaches 2 inches tall. During the growing season, this may occur two to three times a week, while in the cooler seasons you may only need to mow once a week.

Step 6

Fertilize the zoysia grass beginning when the grass starts growing on its own. Put down two pounds of a complete fertilizer a year per 1,000 square feet from May to August. Split this amount evenly over two applications, one in May and one in July or August. Follow the directions on the package for instructions.

Things You'll Need

  • Plastic container
  • Fertilizer
  • Lime (optional)
  • Organic amendments (optional)
  • Rototiller
  • Zoysia grass sod
  • Water

References

  • University of Rhode Island GreenShare: Zoysiagrass
  • University of California: Zoysiagrass
  • University of Missouri Extension: Establishment and Care of Zoysia Lawns
Keywords: growing zoysia grass, zoysia grass establishment, preparing zoysia grass

About this Author

Sarah Morse recently graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English language and literature. She has been freelancing for three months and got her start writing for an environmental website.