How to Plant Zoysia Sod


Zoysia grass is known for producing beautiful, thick and luxurious lawns. It grows slowly and tolerates a wide variety of conditions, although it will turn brown over the winter in colder climates. Although zoysia can be planted via plugs that will spread over time, one of the fastest ways to get a zoysia lawn planted is by laying rolls of sod. You need to make sure you have done everything necessary to prepare your yard before you lay the sod.

Laying Zoysia Sod

Step 1

Spray the area to be covered in zoysia sod with the recommended herbicide at least two weeks before the planting date. You need to do that early so there will be no residue of the herbicide left when you lay the sod.

Step 2

Till the soil to about 4 inches deep if you are not planning on adding topsoil. This is a good time to add soil amendments such as peat moss or compost if needed.

Step 3

Clear the planting area of any rocks or debris and level off low or high spots. If the soil is especially poor and filled with gravel or sand, you probably should lay a 6- to 8-inch layer of topsoil and add about 50 lbs. of lime and a slow-release, high-nitrogen fertilizer per 1,000 square feet. Smooth everything out with a lawn rake.

Step 4

Start watering the area a week before you plan on laying the sod. For a healthy root system, you will need to moisten the area at least 6 inches deep without causing puddling. Give the area about an inch of water per day. You can set a small cup into the soil under the sprinkler to measure how much water you are using.

Step 5

When you are ready to plant, obtain your sod rolls (if possible, have it delivered by the supplier). Lay the sod working in a straight line. Alternate the ends so they line up in a pattern, like you would when installing a wood floor, to eliminate running seams. Make sure the ends and edges butt up tight to each other. Cut sections to fit odd areas with the serrated knife. Use a roller to flatten the sod to make sure it gets good contact with the soil.

Step 6

Water the sod with a sprinkler or irrigation system so that it gets an inch of water a day until it is established. You will know that new growth has started when you give it a gentle tug and it holds to the ground. From then on, water should only be applied during drought conditions.

Zoysia Plugs

Step 1

Prepare the soil for plugs in the same way as you prepared it for the sod in Steps 1 through 3 above.

Step 2

Dig holes for the plugs by using a bulb planter to dig out the right amount of soil. Keep them 6 inches apart and in alternating rows. Set the zoysia plugs in place and tap the soil in around them.

Step 3

Water the planted zoysia plugs every day for a few weeks. This is a little slower method of establishing a lawn than using rolled sod, but far more economical.

Step 4

Keep people, pets and vehicles off the lawn until it has had time to grow and fill in the gaps between plugs.

Things You'll Need

  • Herbicide
  • Lime
  • Fertilizer
  • Zoysia sod or plugs
  • Watering equipment
  • Roller
  • Serrated knife


  • University of Missouri Extension: Establishment and Care of Zoysia Lawns
  • Alabama Extensive Cooperative System: Zoysiagrass Lawns
Keywords: zoysia grass, lawn, sod, planting

About this Author

Based in Maryland, Heidi Braley, currently writes for local and online media outlets. Some of Braley's articles from the last 10 years are in the "Oley Newsletter," "Connections Magazine," GardenGuides and Braley's college life included Penn State University and Villanova University with her passions centered in nutrition and botany.