What Is Amazoy Zoysia Grass?

Overview

Amazoy Zoysia is the branded name for the original Meyer Z-52 Zoysia grass released by the USDA in 1951 for commercial and golf course applications. Recognizing its potential for home lawns, Herbert Fiedberg of Zoysia Farms began distribution of Amazoy Zoysia in 1953 through mail order using the concept of grass plugs. Amazoy Zoysia owes is quick rise to popularity to the endorsement of famed radio announcer Arthur Godfrey, according to Zoysia Farms.com.

Discovery

While on expedition in 1906, renowned USDA plant explorer Frank Meyer discovered Zoysia grass growing along Korea's Yalu River and returned to the United States with his discovery. Z-52 is actually the 52nd strain of Meyer Zoysia grass developed by the USDA over the course of 45 years. Frank Meyer never witnessed the final results of his initial discovery. It is said he was swept into China's Yangtze River while on expedition in 1910 and was never seen again.

Growing Pattern

Unlike most grasses which grow upward blades, Zoysia has runners that result in more of a horizontal growth pattern, yielding a deep green, dense, spreading turf. Because of this lateral growth, Zoysia grass only needs mowing about once a month. It is no wonder it was embraced for golf course and commercial applications.

Advantages

A deep root system means Amazoy Zoysia requires less water, which is a money-saver for both homeowners and businesses. Unlike many other grasses, it tolerates shade and can get by with as little as 2 to 3 hours of sunlight per day. At the same time it stands up to wear and tear, whether from children or golfers at play. Finally, it survives salt--so planting it along coastal areas is not a problem. It also survives temperatures ranging from -30 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit and higher.

Disadvantages

Slow establishment is the primary disadvantage, since Amazoy Zoysia grows from plugs. It can take several seasons to become well established. As a result of its slow growth, it takes longer to green up in the spring and turns brown more quickly when temperatures fall to freezing in the fall. In soils typical to Florida, hunting billbugs and nematodes are a potential problem, according to University of Florida IFAS Extension.com.

Planting

Amazoy Zoysia is available in 10-by-15-inch sod squares that yield 150 plugs. They can be planted 4, 6 or 12 inches apart in a freshly mowed or weed-filled area, since Amazoy Zoysia will choke out other grasses and weeds, eliminating the need for weed control. As it grows, you can make your own plugs to fill in bare spots. This grass variety performs best in a pH range of 6 to 7.

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About this Author

Linda Marie was first published in 1969 while a feature news writer for the "Selfridge Flyer". She has held positions in broadcast copywriting, trade magazine publications, retail advertising and medical marketing. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from Oakland University, Rochester, Mich.