Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →

Overseeding With Zoysia

lawnmower image by sumos from

Overseeding a lawn is a project that should be undertaken every four years to keep the lawn dense and healthy. On old, neglected lawns, rather than ripping them out, sometimes renovation is called for and overseeding is one method used to accomplish this. Overseeding a lawn with Zoysia is challenging. Zoysia seed needs lots of sunshine to germinate and the shade cast by existing grasses prevents the sun from reaching the seed. To be successful, mow regularly to allow the zoysia seedlings to receive sunlight and avoid being crowded. Overseed with Zoysia in June.

Mow the lawn as close as possible.

Rake the existing lawn to remove any dead grass or other debris.

Mix the grass seed, at a rate of 1 lb. per 1,000 square feet of planting area, and 6-2-2- fertilizer, at the rate suggested on the fertilizer package, and pour the mix into the broadcast spreader.

Sow half the seed mixture in strips, in a north to south direction. Sow the remaining half in strips, going east to west.

Rake the area lightly, using the back side of the rake. This will move the seed through the existing grass, onto the soil.

Water the lawn as you normally do and keep it moist by watering every day until the Zoysia seed germinates. This may take as long as three weeks. On particularly warm or windy days you may need to water more than once a day.

Overseed Zoysia

Zoysia, also called zoysiagrass, is a warm-weather turfgrass from Asia comprised of several different species, the most common being Zoysia japonica. It is hardy in United States Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 to 11. But with zoysiagrass, there are other factors to consider. The leaves are coarse textured and light green. If you hate to mow but want a grass-like ground cover for small areas, consider planting Mascarenegrass (Zoysia tenuifolia), also known as Korean Velvet Grass or Snake grass, hardy in USDA zones 8 through 11. It grows up to 6 inches tall in puffy clumps. Take a good look at your lawn. Overseeding benefits a lawn that is already healthy, but needs to be thickened. Mowing it to a length of 1 inch is recommended to allow enough light for seed germination. However, it also competes with the established lawn for water and important nutrients, and can cause more harm. It can thrive in shaded, cool and wet areas, but is short-lived; it does not like the wear and tear of lawn use, or the heat of summer.

Garden Guides