Zoysia Sod Care


Zoysiagrass is a warm-season turf grass that originated in southeast Asia. It was first introduced to the United States in the early 1900s and is now commonly found in much of the southern half of the United States. In addition to its use in lawns, it is also used on some golf courses and on athletic fields and parks. It can be grown in several ways, including from seed, using plugs or as a sod. Sod is the most expensive means of planting a zoysia lawn, but it is also the quickest way to get a lush, green lawn.

Growing Conditions

Zoysiagrass is a warm-season grass that is drought- and heat-tolerant. It is generally considered a good choice for homeowners looking for a grass that can tolerate hot summers with little rainfall, although it also grows well in hot, humid conditions. Zoysia should not be grown in areas with cold, freezing winters.


Before laying zoysia sod, it is important to thoroughly water the area the night before so the soil is damp. Start by rolling out one piece along a straight edge such as a building or sidewalk. Continue rolling out the sod, tightly abutting the edges. The sod should be laid in a staggered design so two seams do not lie adjacent to one another. Once the sod is laid, use a lawn roller to roll over the sod so it makes good contact with the soil. Water the sod with 1 inch of water immediately after it is laid.


New sod needs to be watered daily to prevent it from drying out before it takes root in the underlying soil. The best time to water zoysia sod is in the morning. Make sure to apply enough water that the top inch of soil will not dry out. Once it takes root, you can slowly taper off this watering schedule over a couple of weeks. Once the sod has become established, it should receive about 1 inch of water each week. In many situations, rainfall should be sufficient to meet the watering needs.


Zoysia should be mowed at a shorter height than many other grasses. Once your sod is established and reaches a height of between 1 and 2 inches, it is ready to be mowed. When mowing it for the first time, remove only a half-inch of the blade height. In subsequent mowings, never remove more than one-third of the blade height.

Weed Control

Weeds are generally not a concern with zoysia. However, if your lawn develops crabgrass, you can apply a crabgrass-preventing herbicide to get rid of it. You may also want to use a crabgrass preventer when your lawn is being established. For winter weeds such as chickweed, it's best to apply an herbicide in the fall, because that is when the weeds seed and start to grow.

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About this Author

Meghan McMahon lives in the Chicago suburbs, where she spent six years as a newspaper journalist before becoming a part-time freelance writer and editor and full-time mother. She received a bachelor's degree in journalism from Eastern Illinois University in 2000 and has written for "The Daily Southtown" and "The Naperville Sun" in suburban Chicago.