Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →

How to Remove Zoysia Grass

Grass with Clovers image by Tasha from

Zoysia grass is a warm-season grass that was introduced to the United States from Asia in the early 20th century. The plant spreads by runners, known as rhizomes and stolons. It grows best in full sun and requires at least six hours of sunlight daily to remain healthy. In low-light situations, zoysia may become patchy and allow weeds or moss to establish itself on your lawn. You can remove zoysia grass manually from your lawn.

Time zoysia grass removal for fall. In fall, there is adequate moisture in the soil to make grass removal easy. Fall is also a good time for removing a lawn because competition from weeds is low.

Mow your lawn to a height of 1 inch tall. This will make removing the lawn easier.

Position a sod cutter over your zoysia lawn at a point where you wish to begin removing grass. Engage the clutch in the sod cutter and set the machine’s speed to slow. These mechanisms in a sod cutter are the same as speed and clutch levers on a lawn mower. You can rent sod cutters from garden centers and home improvement centers.

Start the sod cutter by pulling the cord until the engine engages.

Release the clutch to put the sod cutter in motion. As you become used to the machine, you can adjust the speed to a faster rate.

Push your sod cutter over the zoysia lawn, working in strips. The sod cutter will insert a blade into the soil beneath the grass and cut away the grass in a layer just below the roots. This grass layer is known as sod. Overlap your sod strips slightly so you don't miss any sprigs of grass on your lawn’s surface.

Roll up the layers of sod and carry them away from your lawn. You can re-use zoysia sod in a new lawn, or compost it to create garden loam.

Garden Guides