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How to Transplant Zoysia Grass

Zoysia grass is a drought-tolerant grass popular as a lawn or turf grass in the southern United States. It spreads by rhizomes and does not sprout well from seed. Therefore, it must be dug up in small 1-inch square pieces called plugs that include roots and top growth or in larger pieces of sod. Whatever method is used to remove zoysia grass from the existing planting site, it must be planted in prepared ground that can provide the right drainage and moisture requirements.

Select a day in mid-spring when turf grasses are beginning to green up and you can easily identify the turf grasses like zoysia from any winter grasses or weeds.

Prepare the site for transplanting. Clear it of weeds and other grasses with a shovel and rake. The area should be smooth, bare soil that is not packed down and lightly moistened with water.

Find an area of healthy zoysia grass to transplant. Be sure there are no weeds growing within the grass you are removing.

Determine the size of the piece of sod you'll remove. It should be no larger than the blade of your shovel. This is so you can move the piece of sod with the shovel without it breaking into smaller pieces and needlessly exposing the roots to air that will dry them out.

Stick the sharp shovel into the ground at a depth of 2 inches around the designated piece of sod and slightly work the shovel back and forth to break the sides of the piece of sod from the existing turf. Then, push the shovel under the piece of sod, lifting it from the ground. As soon as possible, lay the piece of sod over the damp ground you prepared for the transplant, making sure the transplanted grass has contact with the bare, dampened soil.


Water the transplanted zoysia grass and keep it slightly moist until established. Zoysia grass does not grow well in waterlogged soil.

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