Emerald Zoysia grass requires care to maintain its beautiful, lush but firm appearance. If you ignore its watering or sunlight needs, your lawn will suffer. On the flip side of the coin, Zoysia also suffers if you pay too much attention to fertilizing it, adding too much, too often. Gardeners typically start Emerald Zoysia from sod, although you can also start it from plugs--if you don't mind waiting a lot longer for a fully covered, green lawn (according to pikenursery.com, full coverage can take an entire year). No matter its beginnings, proper care of your Zoysia results in a beautiful green lawn.
Plant Emerald Zoysia sod in sunny areas, if possible. It can tolerate moderate shade, but you won't see good results if you plant Zoysia in very shady yard areas. Pikenursery.com states that heavy shade will cause this grass to thin out--you won't get the thick turf Zoysia is capable of unless it receives enough sunlight.
Water new Emerald Zoysia sod daily until it has taken a firm hold in the soil (how long this takes depends on several factors, including weather and general health of the sod). Pikenursery.com suggests you water established Zoysia lawns with at least 1 1/2 inches of water per week (in hot weather, the lawns will probably require more water than this).
Fertilize established Emerald Zoysia lawns only about three times a year. Add a slow release grass fertilizer when the lawn is greening up in the spring.Pikenursery.com suggests waiting until the lawn is approximately 50 percent green. If your Emerald Zoysia is a new lawn and you did not add fertilizer to the soil before laying the sod, fertilize it once the sod has rooted, as suggested by Sesod.com.
Slow release fertilizer is usually in granular form--apply it with a broadcast spreader (if you don't own one, you can usually rent one from a garden center) and water the grass well after applying it--avoid burning your Zoysia by applying the fertilizer either in the evening or morning and not on a sunny afternoon. Apply fertilizer a second time no sooner than 2 months later. Apply a winterizing fertilizer in mid-October (before the weather starts to freeze and grass goes dormant) as suggested by Pikenursery.com.
Mow your Emerald Zoysia when it reaches 2 inches high, advises sesod.com. You should take about 1/2 inch off each time. According to Richard L. Duble, Turfgrass Specialist at Texas Cooperative Extension, proper mowing (and avoiding over-fertilizing) helps prevent Zoysia from developing thatch. You should also rake up and remove grass clippings after mowing. De-thatch your Zoysia if thatch builds up--you can buy or rent machines that help with this from lawn and garden centers.
Control crabgrass and other weeds with weed killer, if necessary. Like fertilizer, you should apply weed killer in the morning or evening, rather than beneath a hot afternoon sun, to avoid burning your grass. In addition to weeds, you should also watch for signs of diseases (brown patches in your lawn or spots on the grass). All over browning is usually a sign your lawn is simply thirsty--patches of discoloration, however, indicate you may have a lawn disease and need to apply a fungicide. Check with your local extension office in these cases and describe the symptoms--they will be able to tell you what the disease may be and exactly what you should do to combat it.