If you live in a warm environment that experiences any kind of drought or other similar issues, you may want to consider going for a type of grass that can stand up to heat and heavy foot traffic while maintaining a healthy, beautiful appearance. One such grass is Zoysia grass.
Zoysia grass thrives in warm weather and can tolerate the cold. It prefers sun but does well with a fair amount of shade too. It is suitable to southern areas because it is heat- and drought-tolerant. A dense type of grass, it requires minimal water and maintenance.
While It is native to Asia, it has been in the US since around 1895. Its active growth begins in late spring when the weather is warmer, and then it comes to a peak during summer. It is a perennial grass, which means that it comes back year after year as long as it is in the right climate and environment.
Zoysia Grass Characteristics
Zoysia grass tends to grow more slowly than other types because it forms a dense carpet of grass. The grass spreads through above-ground and underground stems known as stolons and rhizomes, respectively.
During the active growing season, It is a medium green color and turns brown when winter sets in along with the colder climate. However, since it is considered a warm-season grass, it can stay green for much longer than other grasses.
Zoysia grass also has a deep root system, which helps to better conserve moisture while also resisting drought in southern climates. Although it may go dormant, its rich green color will return once it’s watered.
Caring For Zoysia Grass
If you choose to plant this grass in your yard, it is best to do so during the spring months when the dangers of frost have already passed and you are well into the season for optimal growth. Once planted, this grass needs to have at least one inch of rainfall or irrigation per week. Deep watering helps to encourage more drought-resistant roots for this type of grass.
You will also find that there are minimal nitrogen requirements for Zoysia grass. All you have to do is to test the soil to determine what nutrients your lawn needs. However, spring and fall planting are ideal. During these times, soil pH runs between 5.8 and 7.0, which is the preferred range for Zoysia grass.
Pros And Cons Of Zoysia Grass
Now that you know the basics of Zoysia grass and how to care for and maintain it, let’s take a look at some of its pros and cons.
- Durability – It is ideal for high foot traffic areas and warmer climates. It has a thick mat that chokes out weeds and thrives best in full sun; however, it can still survive in moderately shaded conditions.
- Moderate Maintenance – The irrigation and fertilization needs of Zoysia grass are lower than those of other types. It requires just one pound of nitrogen per 1000 square feet during the growing season. It is also water-efficient and only needs approximately half an inch of water per week.
- Hard to Mow – This is one of the biggest challenges homeowners face with Zoysia grass. If you are using a rotary mower, it can be difficult to finish the task because you are dealing with a thick, dense grass. However, a real mower may work fine because it is best to mow this grass vertically.
- Dormancy – If you are looking to have a green yard all year round, Zoysia grass is not the best option for you. It can fall dormant during the fall months and remain brown until spring comes around.
If you live in Southwest Florida and want a lawn that is easy to maintain and can withstand heavy foot traffic, grass may be just what you need.