Zeon, a bright green, fine-textured zoysia grass cultivar, gets high marks for producing none of the prickly sensations that walking barefoot on Emerald Green zoysia does. Shade-tolerant Zeon has low thatch, the sub-blade layer of the dead grass and debris that causes water runoff. Properly planted and maintained, it also has good drought, pest and disease resistance. Its major drawback is that Zeon doesn't grow from seed.
The fastest, but most expensive way to install Zeon is with sod sections. Stagger them like bricks on bare, moist soil. Fit the sections closely together so weeds can't root between them. Water each piece as soon as you place it and roll the installed sod to ensure good soil contact.
A less costly method uses a smaller number of sections cut into plugs and planted farther apart. Their underground roots and surface stolons will eventually spread to fill in the empty spots. Zeon will grow from sprigs, single stolons with root nodes attached, but planting them is tedious work best left to professionals, advises the Grassrunners website.
Expect Zeon to need between 1 to 1-1/4 inches of water each week during the hottest months, notes the Sod Direct website. If your soil is sandy, more water may be necessary. Thirsty Zeon develops a grayish-green cast and narrower leaves. Water in the morning to allow the grass to dry during the day. Leaving it wet overnight invites fungal infestation.
Zeon's nutritional needs change throughout the year. Newly emerging spring grass benefits from a turf grass fertilizer high in nitrogen. A fertilizer supplemented with a weed preventer is best. During the summer, feed Zeon with complete N-P-K, nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium, turf grass fertilizer. Autumn feeding with fall turf grass food including winterizer and a weed preventer prepares your Zeon for a healthy dormancy. Apply all fertilizers with a rotary spreader in the manufacturer's recommended amounts.
Using fertilizers with weed preventers is one way to keep weeds out of your Zeon zoysia. Another way is to use a pre-emergent weed killer on the grass between early and mid-February. Doing so keeps spring weeds from sprouting. A second spring and summer application are advisable. Treat any weeds that survive the pre-emergents with postemergent herbicides, waiting until your Zeon has been green for three weeks. Apply only weed killers labeled for Zoysia use, in the minimum effective amounts.
Although low thatch production is one of Zeon’s selling points, it needs periodic dethatching. A thatch layer exceeding 1/2 inch reduces its heat, cold and drought resistance, according to the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension. Dethatch actively growing grass when you anticipate at least 45 consecutive days of good growing conditions. It needs that time to recover from the stress of dethatching. Early to midsummer dethatching is safest for the grass. While you can remove thatch with manual raking, power raking is better for large areas.