Fungus in My Zeon Zoysia

Overview

Zoysia grasses are warm season grasses with a low tolerance to cold weather. They are propagated from sprigs, plugs or sod and are difficult to grow from seed. Zeon Zoysia is a vegetatively produced Zoysia grass. It can grow in slightly shaded areas and produces a velvety lawn. Zoysia grass is resistant to most diseases and is not bothered by many pests. A few fungal diseases do occur but usually do not affect the vigor of the turf.

Considerations

Zeon Zoysia can grow in part shade areas with good results. Grass grown in part shade obviously doesn't dry out as much as grass in sunny spots. Zoysia grasses need plenty of water and are not tolerant of drought, but it is a fine line between adequate water and too much water. Timed irrigation will leave the shady area too wet. The turf is slow to establish and although not finicky about soil type, it needs regular mowing and de-thatching.

Fungus in Grass

Choosing a turf for your landscape should reflect the location and climate of your area. It would be unwise to plant Zoysia grass in Seattle because it needs warmer all-season weather than the area can provide. Fungus thrives in moist humidity. A grass that is grown in a consistently rainy area will have fungal problems. In addition to common mushrooms and toadstools, you can have fungus that are almost microscopic and attack plant leaves. The fungus spreads from spores that are activated by moisture.

Types of Fungus in Zeon Zoysia

Brownpatch, rust and leaf spot diseases are common fungal diseases in turf grasses. Zeon Zoysia is sometimes plagued by these, but with proper care the lawn is not permanently affected. An unsightly and damaging fungal disease called Rhizoctonia large patch disease is found in the warm season turfs. Zoysia is no exception, and it can become disfigured by large brown spots in the lawn. The disease shows up in the fall and spring when temperatures are cool and wet. Poorly drained soil is often a contributing factor to this and other fungal diseases.

Prevention/Solution

Zeon Zoysia that is planted in semi-shade areas should be mowed higher than full sun areas. Proper drainage when laying the sod can be achieved by incorporating sand or grit into the soil at a level of at least 8 inches. Grading is an important step in laying a lawn to prevent dips and low spots that will pool water. Lawns with Zeon Zoysia should be lightly watered in fall, and automatic watering systems should have the times changed to at least half the summer watering cycle. It is best to water in the morning when the blades of grass will have time to dry out.

Control

Fungicides can provide some control of fungal diseases. They need to be applied before the spores find a moist home. In most cases this is in the late summer and winter, before the cool temperatures or rainy days of spring have arrived. Ammonium sulfate applied as the nitrogen source has been shown to retard the spore development, while ammonium nitrate actually encourages fungal growth. After September 1, no nitrogen fertilizers should be applied until spring to further deter the fungus. Zeon Zoysia grass also needs annual thatching and aerating to stimulate root growth and enhance the recovery from fungal diseases.

Keywords: Turf Grass Diseases, Zeon Zoysiagrass Fungus, Zoysia Fungal Diseases

About this Author

Bonnie Grant began writing professionally in 1990. She has been published on Web sites like GardenGuide and eHow. Grant recently earned a Bachelor of Arts in business management with a hospitality focus from South Seattle Community College.