turfgrass

Zoysia problems

Zoysia problems

rgregory – posted 13 September 2003 10:01

We layed freash Zoysia in May of this year. The backyard is growing great but, the frontyard is weak and browning out in some areas. The backyard gets fulll sun while the front faces the north and only gets speratic sunlight. Could this be our problem?

redbird – posted 15 September 2003 10:01

You don’t state what type of zoysia you have – I have empire (new this year).

I have discovered the folLowing:

* Shade tolerance is not as good as I had been given to understand. When you look at some of the Sod Solutions website photos of the sod being laid amongst the trees in the Designer Home Show, be advised that this photo shows new sod. I can guarantee you that it won’t look that way in 6 months. The shade tolerance is better than bermuda (not saying much), but nowhere near st. augustine – I am learning this the hard way at my house. I will have to bring out some beds in a few areas to cover portions of the lawn close to trees that are too shaded to perform well.

*Empire zoysia (I can’t speak for the other cultivars) needs more nitrogen than many npposts would lead you to believe. Specifically, it needs more frequent applications of lower level nitrogen (10-10-10) – I would say every 4 -7 weeks during the growing season. If the grass is growing low, looking chlorotic and spars in some areas (and bugs/fungus aren’t the issue – I say FEED it. If you want the sod to look dark green, thick and full like it came from the sod farm, that’s what it will take (IMHO).

PS – Have you checked for spittlebugs/billbugs/grubs?

Mike

redbird – posted 15 September 2003 10:03

You don’t state what type of zoysia you have – I have empire (new this year).

I have discovered the folLowing:

* Shade tolerance is not as good as I had been given to understand. When you look at some of the Sod Solutions website photos of the sod being laid amongst the trees in the Designer Home Show, be advised that this photo shows new sod. I can guarantee you that it won’t look that way in 6 months. The shade tolerance is better than bermuda (not saying much), but nowhere near st. augustine – I am learning this the hard way at my house. I will have to bring out some beds in a few areas to cover portions of the lawn close to trees that are too shaded to perform well.

*Empire zoysia (I can’t speak for the other cultivars) needs more nitrogen than many npposts would lead you to believe. Specifically, it needs more frequent applications of lower level nitrogen (10-10-10) – I would say every 4 -7 weeks during the growing season. If the grass is growing low, looking chlorotic and spars in some areas (and bugs/fungus aren’t the issue – I say FEED it. If you want the sod to look dark green, thick and full like it came from the sod farm, that’s what it will take (IMHO).

PS – Have you checked for spittlebugs/billbugs/grubs?

Mike

redbird – posted 15 September 2003 10:07

You don’t state what type of zoysia you have – I have empire (new this year).

I have discovered the folLowing:

* Shade tolerance is not as good as I had been given to understand. When you look at some of the Sod Solutions website photos of the sod being laid amongst the trees in the Designer Home Show, be advised that this photo shows new sod. I can guarantee you that it won’t look that way in 6 months. The shade tolerance is better than bermuda (not saying much), but nowhere near st. augustine – I am learning this the hard way at my house. I will have to bring out some beds in a few areas to cover portions of the lawn close to trees that are too shaded to perform well.

*Empire zoysia (I can’t speak for the other cultivars) needs more nitrogen than many npposts would lead you to believe. Specifically, it needs more frequent applications of lower level nitrogen (10-10-10) – I would say every 4 -7 weeks during the growing season. If the grass is growing low, looking chlorotic and spars in some areas (and bugs/fungus aren’t the issue – I say FEED it. If you want the sod to look dark green, thick and full like it came from the sod farm, that’s what it will take (IMHO).

PS – Have you checked for spittlebugs/billbugs/grubs?

Mike

rgregory – posted 16 September 2003 11:08

Thank you for your fast response. We really need some help on this issue. The grass that we installed this year is Cavalier Zoysia. We treated it with two applications of Scotts Turf Builder with Sommer Guard, but apparently it did not do the trick. The last application was just two weeks ago and the brown areas are still comming up. We would like to follow your advice on whats next. We are getting into the early fall season even living in Central Texas. Please advice us on a fertilizer and insect controll for the less growing season. One more question. After moving the lawn the hight is about 2 to 3 inches, is this ok?Thanks again for your speedy reply.-Robert

redbird – posted 16 September 2003 13:21

The big issue is deciding what your problem is so that it can be addressed. Call your county extension agent, talk to a friend with experience or call a landsacape professional – try to see if someone can look at the lawn and diagnose the problem.

The big issue with mowing height is that you should NOT trying to lower it significantly later in the season. If you start out mowing at 3″ and try to lower it to 2″ later in the season, you will have areas that won’t respond by lowering their growing points and will look scalped for the rest of the year – unless you raise the height again. My experience is that zoysia will not respond well to gradually lowering the height – once the growing points are set, you need to just deal with it for the season. Also, if you are seeing green grass blades shooting up through the brown areas – and then they disappear when you mow, showing nothing but brown – raise your mowing height. You need to allow something green to grow in those areas or you risk having the area die entirely.

None of the Scott’s combined products are very good in my opinion. I know it’s quick, I know it’s easy to use a combined product – but you will not have the same level of effectiveness as if you treat your fertilization, pest control and weed management separately.

Pesticide – Triazicide by Spectracide has an effective quick kill for most pests you have to wrry about. Bayer Season Long Grub Control is slightly more expensive but it has a residual effect that lasts for several months. I have been advised by my sod supplier that this is a better product.

If you have fungus – can’t say without seeing it – Immunox (comes in a hose end sprayer, ready to go) is good for most anything but take-all-patch – which is characterized by soggy, wet, patches of brown dead grass which lift up like a carpet (or like a pile of dead leaves does in the fall – to expose bare, wet dirt). If you have take-all-patch, you are going to have a lifetime battle – your best bet is to get the area some sunlight and let it dry out.

Even if you address the issue effectively – you may not have enough time left this season to regain your lawns full vigor – but you will be in a better position for next year.

Again, I learned some of this stuff the hard way this year:

I lowered my mowing height, then the spittlebug invasion from hell attacked (all during a time when the lawn was under-fed due to common advice about zoysia’s low fertilization needs) the lawn was also iron poor (yellow-green).

I ended up with frightening brown patches taking over the yard.

I killed the bugs, raised the mowing height (so that everything green wasn’t completely cut off in the browning areas each time that I mowed), I fertilized, I applied Iron.

A month later – the lawn looks pretty good.

Mike

mrmumbels – posted 02 April 2008 17:15

redbird! are you still around?

tommycod – posted 19 June 2008 08:42

texas a&m bred cavalier; their website has info and check w milt engelke the breeder; at center loc n of dallas.

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