Turfgrass

Weakened Zoysia on the 3rd year

Weakened Zoysia on the 3rd year

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Daonancy – posted 25 June 2013 09:38

I got a new Zoysia lawn two springs ago. We’re on the “hills” of Central FL. It was nice and lush for a couple of years. I didn’t know much about it other what was advertised. I didn’t even think about researching for more info. The lawn had always been cut high, top height notch of my riding lawn mower, which is perfect for St Aug. Little did I know!

I think such high cut created a thick canopy that shielded the ground from water (dries out before gets absorb by the ground), a thick layer of thatch (I think that’s what it’s called). And this year, fertilizer burnt… because most of the fertilizer gets caught in the canopy, rather than the ground. With so much rain this year, the soil is surprisingly dry if I dig a little bit down.

So I am trying to revive it now.

I changed the cut height from 4″ to 2″, desimated the burnt canopy, created a lot of dry dust. They seem barren now with reviving stalks every few inches or so. But you can really see the true ground now. Also, since the spring, a new plague of sedge has taken hold. I tried sedgehammer but it’s been raining every day so it’s hard to time an application with working late.

I’ve been trying a little Lesco 12-0-0 with iron, a liquid mixed in 2 gal spray jug.

So busy with a small biz that I don’t get home until 8-9pm 6 days a week, I decided to enlist a company help who had been doing wonders for my neighbor’s St. Aug. The inspector from this company seems confident that Zoysia can be brought back.

He told me a few things interesting so I wanted to check with you guys. First, he confirmed Zoysia should be mowed at 2-2.5″ height, as this allows direct deposit of nutrients to the ground, including water.

He said not to use products containing Atrazine (sp?) as Zoysia will be weakened by it.

Schinch bugs previously not having an appetite for Zoysia, but being adjacent to St. Augustine they are beginning to adapt. I find this is interesting but not sure it is true.

He said he plans to use 19-x-x liquid application this first month, with some weed killer.

I water about 30min zone, for two years. He said Zoysia has been incorrectly marketed with claims that they don’t need much water, that they are drought resistant. Not true, he said. Zoysia has the ability withstand long periods of dryness, but chronic low watering with hurt it. It’s best to give them as much water as St. Augustine, 3/4″ water per watering, or 45 min zones.

Also, sedge tends to come with Zoysia pallets in Central FL. It was there two years ago. Best to stamp it out early.

Do you guys agree with all this stuff ?

mrmumbels – posted 28 June 2013 17:04

It was all downhill after 2 years for me. Do you mulch or bag the clippings?

The way I figure is that for the first 2 years it thrived on the black muck it was originally grown in then I eventually bagged that all up and the rest washed away. 6 years later I barely even have a lawn.

Daonancy – posted 28 June 2013 18:46

I left it mulched on the grass. It became such a chore to bag and haul.

The Inspector did tell me that it was hungry and withering evident by the sign of emerging weeds. It would also need to be aerated once a year by punch plugs.

Sorry it didn’t work out for you. Your point about that soil it came with is true. It was full of nutrients.

mrmumbels – posted 28 June 2013 21:36

How was your soil before sodding? Did you amend it at all? If you look around you’ll see my posts all over. I’ve done a lot of testing with ripping up some sod and mixing in new soil or alfalfa pellets to add organic material. Alfalfa pellets were amazing. I had spots of dark green health grass all over on e year but the next year it was back to the same zoysia with no roots.

Daonancy – posted 29 June 2013 07:25

After the old sod, dead St. Aug, was yanked out, there was a two inch thick layer of dark soil on top of sand based lawn.

I ignored the recommendation of waiting a few weeks, I put new lawn fertilizer on immediately, white, probably high root growth content. It was really strong in no time, while adjacent neighbors were weakened. They followed recommendation. What I did was no different than you Alfafal pellets.

In any case, nutrients are probably gone and still not having enough water. The notion that Zoysia is said to need less water, is false, in my opinion. It can survive with less water for month, but not less water chronically. That’s the difference.

ezf – posted 29 June 2013 16:08

I essentially don’t use chemicals on Zoysia in order for the thatch to decompose naturally. It’s also affordable for Zoysia since it doesn’t need much N to grow dense. I also find that Zoysia loves compost (or other fine mulch to cover the soil) more than any other things I have done.

Bluewren – posted 13 August 2013 17:52

I totally agree with everything you think and your lawn guy said. I live in South Texas and planted El Toro zoysia at my new home in 2011. First year…beautiful grass. Second year, we were still in a drought and this grass started looking really bad. Traffic areas are nothing but dirt, sunny areas are nothing but crunchy, partial shade areas still beautiful.

We’re in the third year now, still in a drought, and the lawn looks absolutely awful. All areas that are in full sun crunch when you walk on them. Cow manure in spring did absolutely nothing. Traffic areas have expanded into more dirt. Partial shade areas still have pretty good cover, but the grass stays very short and kind of thin.

When we installed the grass, we put down 5 inches of beautiful nutritious dirt. We have mowed at the right times and at the correct height of 2 inches. We have watered when it began to look stressed, and it still looks awful.

I HATE this grass!

Daonancy – posted 13 August 2013 21:49

Here’s an update. This company did their marvelous job since I first posted. The lawn is now nearly fully recovered except for a couple stretches of slightly bareness… But being grown into, thus the whole lawn gets much fuller, than it was.

Whatever they sprayed, WORKed ! There has been help, from above. This year is wetter than usual. The longest stretch between significant rainfalls has been just 2-3 weeks.

They also punched holes, aerated, the turf.

pyro – posted 17 August 2013 10:41

i’ve been meaning to rent an aerator for mine too, if anything to level out some areas.

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