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View Full Version : Zoysia Sod Didn't Come Out..15% Loss


ed2hess
03-23-2012, 07:25 PM
Ok we thought we would cash in this winter on the big sod replacement business in our area. And now we got one yard that will probably have to have 15% replaced. It looks like one of the four pallets had some problem because 75% of the yard is coming out fine.

None of the 2'x1' pieces are completely dead but you can tell that it will never be 100% green. Some pieces are better than other in the lot that
apparently come from one pallet.

Question great gods of grass ....how long do we wait for it to come out. Our temperatures are running around 75F. Definitely got plenty of rain. I now know that Zoysia can get fungus and go white but this dont seem to be that kind of problem. It has been planted over a month. Won't sod have to sit a long time in the winter to go bad:confused:

greendoctor
03-23-2012, 07:47 PM
Zoysia sod is very easy to kill. Even if it is cooler. Damp conditions make it even easier to kill. 75 and lots of rain is the worst I can think of. I want it 80 and dry. I control the water. Better change that sod out because the $%^& will hit the fan when the customer notices the dead grass. Once sod goes past a certain point it is gone. I will take a little yellowed, but any brown is a reject.

ed2hess
03-23-2012, 10:18 PM
Zoysia sod is very easy to kill. Even if it is cooler. Damp conditions make it even easier to kill. 75 and lots of rain is the worst I can think of. I want it 80 and dry. I control the water. Better change that sod out because the $%^& will hit the fan when the customer notices the dead grass. Once sod goes past a certain point it is gone. I will take a little yellowed, but any brown is a reject.

Well they noticed already. Our crewchief made a entry on logbook that some of the sod did not look good...we missed that point. And I took the left over sod and put it on our HOA for free and it doesn't look very good either. We controlled the water on the HOA. So can I assume it is a very bad idea to lay Zoysia in the winter? No wiggle room on this one we will be pulling up pieces and putting in new when we can get some green stuff.

greendoctor
03-24-2012, 06:05 AM
Even in tropical Hawaii, I counsel against establishing lawns in the "winter" months. For one thing, sod growers have problems supplying because of the lack of sun and excessive rain. Sod laid down does not grab the ground as fast as it would if it were 80 or higher in the day and sunny. Sod also is not as likely to grow out of problems such as being yellowed from being stacked too long.

Your crew chief has sharp eyes. He probably saw the pallets that were stacked for too long before being laid. Maybe part of your order consisted of previously cut sod that the grower had to get rid of.

I remember being involved in a landscaping job where bad zoysia sod was laid. It was in the winter months. The homeowner was fit to be tied. The sod had to be replaced. Even then, it was a long time before that lawn looked good.

bug-guy
03-24-2012, 05:23 PM
check the ph in those areas possible try some 8-10-10 (Lecso plant fert) in the spots.
winter is not my choice for sod replacement, and zoysia is slow to recover from damage.

memphis.landscape
03-24-2012, 06:31 PM
Before I would replace it I would put down a starter fertilizer.
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ed2hess
03-24-2012, 09:23 PM
Before I would replace it I would put down a starter fertilizer.
Posted via Mobile Device
That was my first impluse but this dope customer doesn't have irrigation so the longer we wait to replace the tougher it will be for them to get it established. I will take some pictures. I layed some St Augustine and had some complaints but used a Scotts starter and it looks real nice now.

Landscape Poet
03-24-2012, 10:06 PM
That was my first impluse but this dope customer doesn't have irrigation so the longer we wait to replace the tougher it will be for them to get it established. I will take some pictures. I layed some St Augustine and had some complaints but used a Scotts starter and it looks real nice now.


A couple of things that nobody has mentioned.

1. You said your temps are in the mid 70's. I would guess your soil temps are not at 80 degrees to 95 degrees which is warm season turfs ideal growing temps?
If it is not then you have to remember it could very well be that the zoysia has not woken up from its dormancy of winter assuming you had a cooler winter even though some looks better than the rest.

2. Has the sod pieces that do not look "grabbed" ...if they have I would look at number 1. I would however advice against trying to shock it out of it with fertilizer myself considering zoysia has fungal issues I am not sure I would want to put it under undo stress to try to bring it out of it.

3. Has routine checks been done to ensure that the property owner did properly irrigate after the installation? You said he/she does not have irrigation .....so did they manual water to ensure that it got established and who followed up to ensure they did it properly if you are giving them a gurantee on the installation? If they did how did they determine how much was enough water? How did they determine it was ok to stop watering manually? I inform people that they may return to their normal water schedule of twice a week when and only when 90% of the sod has grabbed and gives good resistance when it is trying to be lifted up...so how did this owner determine the time to stop watering the zoysia and that it was established?

4. I doubt that it is a cold related issue. We lay sod here all year too. Last year I had a new customer who had his entire lawn layed in the summer from a referral he got right before I picked him up as a client. The sod was horrible and never took right and the guy had to have pretty much the entire lawn redone.
I advised since we were in the heat of summer to avoid the higher pest and disease pressures we do a fall install if we were going to re do his lawn for him. He waited until late October to agree with the price of the install. We generally would be ok with this time frame of install but it was a early early cold winter for us and we got our first freeze on November 4th......the day of the installation. The St. Augustine sod went down green and was great looking that day......got frosted that first night. Two days later the entire lawn was brown and burnt. I remember freaking out because even though I do not offer any kind of gurantee, I felt bad things worked out the way they did. The turf was watered right after being laid and again the next morning to get it up to temp as soon as we could. We had a freeze every night for the next 4 nights or so. We did not water unless the blades started showing signs of stress. The lawn came out .........wait for it ....wait for it......PERFECT. It is really a outstanding lawn now and had no dead sod patches.
The point of that whole story....St. Augustine is less tolerant of cold than Zoysia...with Zoysia being the most cold hardy of any of our warm season turfs....so I doubt it being a winter install had anything to do with its success.

Take pictures......if the sod is concentrated in one area...have you inspected for the possibility of mole cricket damage as being the reason for the poor turf quality of coming out of dormancy?

ed2hess
03-27-2012, 06:52 PM
Well these are some bad pictures but.....the watering thing was complicated by two big rains about a week apart. I don't know what they did between teh two rains. I have monitored them since the last rain over 8 days ago and I don't see any water put on. We are now around low 80F. We used some soil/organic mix to fill the cracks and the first two pictures shows tha we must
have got tooo much on top in some places. The dead stuff hasn't grabbed yet and there appears no sign of green on some pieces.

The only good part is about 85% of the lawn is good enough that we
won't need to replace it. They left the grass they had last year die
during the drought. I would bet 100 dollars they lose this grass regardless of whether we replace some. Normally we would not pay for the sod only labor but this is in the area of a large HOA account we mow....so we will replace.

Patriot Services
03-27-2012, 06:59 PM
How shady is that spot? Secondly how long and how many leaves were on this area? Zoysia is slow to establish even the middle of summer.:usflag:

ed2hess
03-27-2012, 07:16 PM
How shady is that spot? Secondly how long and how many leaves were on this area? Zoysia is slow to establish even the middle of summer.:usflag:

I assume the trees are live oak so they just lost their leaves and new ones came. When I was there a few minutes ago all of the part that was shady had the worst problem. The part where the west sun was on it was mostly green But another area along side the drive had no shade and it is spotty coming out. There is severl blades of grass that are pale green to yellow. Doesn't that suggest fungus? Since we had a very very big rain right after we installed it and it was cool maybe we got fungus. Sorta like brown patch in St Augustine.

Landscape Poet
03-27-2012, 09:23 PM
Zoysia is slow to establish even the middle of summer.:usflag:

This has not been my experience. Laid Zoysia two weeks ago. 95% grabbed last week. I fully expect that it will be !00% grabbed by this week.

It is slower to spread and fill in times..but to establish your experience and mine has been different then.

Landscape Poet
03-27-2012, 09:27 PM
I assume the trees are live oak so they just lost their leaves and new ones came. When I was there a few minutes ago all of the part that was shady had the worst problem. The part where the west sun was on it was mostly green But another area along side the drive had no shade and it is spotty coming out. There is severl blades of grass that are pale green to yellow. Doesn't that suggest fungus? Since we had a very very big rain right after we installed it and it was cool maybe we got fungus. Sorta like brown patch in St Augustine.

Zoysia and shade do not mix in my experience. I know some may say that it is shad tolerant. If your assumption is correct and those are oaks above your PH in that soil could be very low too. Not sure that would of kept it from grabbing but even if it did I doubt between lower PH and shade it would of never been stand out turf there.

RyanLeo
03-28-2012, 05:07 PM
Zoysia sometimes has a hard time establishing. I personally dont like zoysia all that much, but it does look good when mowed, watered, and fertilized correct.

ed2hess
03-28-2012, 10:19 PM
Zoysia sometimes has a hard time establishing. I personally dont like zoysia all that much, but it does look good when mowed, watered, and fertilized correct.

I can understand not using this in Florida but we are searching for a grass that is more drought tolerant than St Augustine. City pays to remove it. And definitely can't use bermuda in shade so zoysia fits the bill.

RigglePLC
03-30-2012, 10:22 PM
so if one of four pallets was bad--you should ask the sod farm to replace it. And your supervisor should reject any sod that doesn't look perfect from the farm. Above advice is right--sod may have been stacked on a pallet for a few days before it was sold to you. Did the sod farm guarantee fresh cut--same day sod? Get the sod grower out there to take a look--I am sure he knows exactly what is wrong. If he hems and haws, get a competing sod grower to take a look.

Probably they put the oldest sod on the truck first--and then cut fresh--and then they took it off the truck...using the fresh sod first and the oldest pallet last. If sod deleloped heat within the roll, it has a distinctive appearance that any sod grower will know. Top rolls and outer edges remain cool and green; deeper layers and internal areas heat up and possibly were dead before you laid it. I am not familiar with your Florida situation...but it might be wise to check pallets of sod with a 12 inch soil thermometer before accepting any pallet--not sure what temp is OK.

soddog#1
04-06-2012, 10:13 PM
I can understand not using this in Florida but we are searching for a grass that is more drought tolerant than St Augustine. City pays to remove it. And definitely can't use bermuda in shade so zoysia fits the bill.
Can't use bermuda in the shade. That's what celebration bermuda is for. Did they mow possibly before the sod was rooted. Agree with the 8-10-10 and heritage if you believe there is a fungus. Zoysia is a nice grass but if you want to make it look like the sod farms at 2" you have to mow twice a week in the summer. Most people don't know that and mess it up. You can't cut more than a third of the blade.
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ed2hess
04-07-2012, 09:16 PM
Can't use bermuda in the shade. That's what celebration bermuda is for. Did they mow possibly before the sod was rooted. Agree with the 8-10-10 and heritage if you believe there is a fungus. Zoysia is a nice grass but if you want to make it look like the sod farms at 2" you have to mow twice a week in the summer. Most people don't know that and mess it up. You can't cut more than a third of the blade.
Posted via Mobile Device

Good info about the Celebration bermuda. We are the mowing guy so none of that was done yet. The grass continues to get greener as viewed from teh street so now we are going to sit and wait. I think we got most of it growing but probably toss up on 50 pieces. We learned real quick not to plant sod in the winter or at least not zoysia. I wil bet that that pallet set somewhere tooo long before we got it. And we also learned that we need to inspect the grass our self before it leaves the sod dealer. Luckly our shop is right next door.

Landscape Poet
04-08-2012, 09:49 AM
Ed.

Here is just some information for you from a seminar I attended 2 winters ago.

http://orange.ifas.ufl.edu/cflandscapes/pdffiles/breaking%20news/The%20New%20Kid%20on%20the%20Block-%20Zoysias%20May%2007.pdf



http://gardeningsolutions.ifas.ufl.edu/clce/faculty/pdf/presentations/trenholm_zoysia_workshop_ftga11.pdf

ed2hess
04-09-2012, 07:52 PM
Ed.

Here is just some information for you from a seminar I attended 2 winters ago.

http://orange.ifas.ufl.edu/cflandscapes/pdffiles/breaking%20news/The%20New%20Kid%20on%20the%20Block-%20Zoysias%20May%2007.pdf



http://gardeningsolutions.ifas.ufl.edu/clce/faculty/pdf/presentations/trenholm_zoysia_workshop_ftga11.pdf

Hey thanks a lot I will go through t hat. Right now we are elbows and you know what trying to get all the stuff done that needs to be done.

soddog#1
04-09-2012, 07:56 PM
Keep in mind you can't cut more than a third of the blade. If its getting long mow it twice a week if you have to. You don't want to stunt it more.
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Duekster
04-10-2012, 08:17 PM
I would drag my feet and rake out the dead stuff. I would apply a biological treatment not a high nitrogen treatment. I would use a rod to probe the soil. Maybe there is something there.

Having said that, I heard Austin had St Augustin on the hit list and that is plain stupid. Some of the links support that. While it may require more water, most home owners over water anyway but I do not want to go into a tangent.

Laying sod is done year round but frankly I do try to push people toward the shoulder season for these projects. Earlier than seed would germinate and later than established lawns green up. Yes it is not much of my business.

In the mean time I try to salvage their lawns as a lower cost. There is a reason the lawn failed and we do not want to repeat that with expensive sod.

ed2hess
04-10-2012, 08:46 PM
I would drag my feet and rake out the dead stuff. I would apply a biological treatment not a high nitrogen treatment. I would use a rod to probe the soil. Maybe there is something there.

Having said that, I heard Austin had St Augustin on the hit list and that is plain stupid. Some of the links support that. While it may require more water, most home owners over water anyway but I do not want to go into a tangent.

Laying sod is done year round but frankly I do try to push people toward the shoulder season for these projects. Earlier than seed would germinate and later than established lawns green up. Yes it is not much of my business.

In the mean time I try to salvage their lawns as a lower cost. There is a reason the lawn failed and we do not want to repeat that with expensive sod.

They can only water once a week. The problem is most homeowners won't spend the money. The ones that are in HOA are being pushed to get the dam yard replaced and make it green. Well most are thinking they can put zeroscape in and all will be solved or zoysia or bermuda. The other main problem we have a new generation of people who never worked a lawn and they want a zero maintenance and zero cost. Thank god for HOAs and their laws or we would end up look like the desert.

ed2hess
04-10-2012, 09:31 PM
This is a St Augustine sod job I did in Feb....they wanted to go as cheap as possiblem. Put a little Scotts Starter on it a few weeks ago.

Duekster
04-10-2012, 09:41 PM
They can only water once a week. The problem is most homeowners won't spend the money. The ones that are in HOA are being pushed to get the dam yard replaced and make it green. Well most are thinking they can put zeroscape in and all will be solved or zoysia or bermuda. The other main problem we have a new generation of people who never worked a lawn and they want a zero maintenance and zero cost. Thank god for HOAs and their laws or we would end up look like the desert.

The only turf that will last with once per week watering is Buffalo. You guys might as well put in fake grass and wash it once per month. I get so aggrivated at cities with their heads up their assest and homeowners that cause it. Once per week or twice per week.... which waste more? I would say once per week because it is worthless.

ed2hess
04-11-2012, 09:15 PM
The only turf that will last with once per week watering is Buffalo. You guys might as well put in fake grass and wash it once per month. I get so aggrivated at cities with their heads up their assest and homeowners that cause it. Once per week or twice per week.... which waste more? I would say once per week because it is worthless.

Well we made it thru last year with once a week. You just dump as much water as you can on the day you are allowed. With the new moisture management products we think things are looking up. We just bought more of that product from Ewing.

Duekster
04-12-2012, 08:31 AM
Well we made it thru last year with once a week. You just dump as much water as you can on the day you are allowed. With the new moisture management products we think things are looking up. We just bought more of that product from Ewing.


That is just it, people apply as much as possible in the one day allowed which very well could be more than a properly managed twice a week plan.

I am not away of the Ewing Water Management product but I assume it is a silica gel of some sort. I will have to ask about it.

I use a silica gel product when planting shrubs, trees and such.

adam.neusbaum
04-12-2012, 11:31 PM
so if one of four pallets was bad--you should ask the sod farm to replace it. And your supervisor should reject any sod that doesn't look perfect from the farm. Above advice is right--sod may have been stacked on a pallet for a few days before it was sold to you. Did the sod farm guarantee fresh cut--same day sod? Get the sod grower out there to take a look--I am sure he knows exactly what is wrong. If he hems and haws, get a competing sod grower to take a look..

One of our St. Augustine sod jobs involved removing 4-6" of the existing topsoil along with the dead turf using a skidsteer. We hauled out about 24 cubic yards & backfilled with a blend of Black Kow Composted Cow Manure & Black Topsoil. I subbed out the sod lay. After 2 weeks of care several strips were dried out & brown, totally dead. The rest of the yard looked amazing. What happened was the sod farm cut it too short & there wasn't any soil left in the roots & especially after a twice-daily watering schedule. I told the sod co that I would come by for a free replacement pallet & install myself to save time scheduling & they were all for that. Afterward I topdressed heavily & never had to look back. Was a big relief 'cause the homeowner had had it replaced 4 times over the past 15 years.

adam.neusbaum
04-12-2012, 11:36 PM
Roots just love to grow in porous dirt.

adam.neusbaum
04-12-2012, 11:41 PM
Job complete, customer happy, I'm happy. $2100 to do this corner area, $1000 for the sod.
Notice we removed that Cactus?

Weekend cut easymoney
04-13-2012, 05:25 PM
Ready play-field magic--clay based...
used in several pro ball fields-
http://www.readyplaysports.com/TopMenu/Products/FieldMagic/Description.aspx

ed2hess
04-13-2012, 09:45 PM
Roots just love to grow in porous dirt.

I don't see the purpose of putting down that thin layer of stuff under the sod? Now if you are using a moisture manager then yes. I though it better to get that sod down solid with the soil it going to have to live in. How did you get the old sod off?

adam.neusbaum
04-13-2012, 11:03 PM
It was actually about 5" deep after removing 5"-6" of the old soil right along with the old sod using a bobcat. Its still living in it. A postcard came in the mail telling me just how happy it was to grow in real dirt. I chuckle at sod guys, they chase the next big job for more money when adding a decent uinderlayment would be an easy add-on sale/service.
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Duekster
04-14-2012, 05:31 AM
Not sure that is the way I would do it.

Amendments should be mixed in with the native soil not layered. That's pretty much what I have learned.

ArTurf
04-14-2012, 07:36 AM
That was my first impluse but this dope customer doesn't have irrigation so the longer we wait to replace the tougher it will be for them to get it established. I will take some pictures. I layed some St Augustine and had some complaints but used a Scotts starter and it looks real nice now.

I don't do a whole lot of sod but I wouldn't put a guarantee on survival rates. In fact on a site with no irrigation I would advise them not to even do it. I am guessing your enviroment is not that different from mine. Way too many variables.

ed2hess
04-14-2012, 08:45 PM
I don't do a whole lot of sod but I wouldn't put a guarantee on survival rates. In fact on a site with no irrigation I would advise them not to even do it. I am guessing your enviroment is not that different from mine. Way too many variables.

Yes you are exactly right about not giving any quarantee. As soon as you say that to most customers they usually stop listening. Then they go get a Mexican crew to lay the sod and that is that. So unless we can sell this moisture saver idea then we aren't going to do any more. We are headed toward getting into irrigation retro to drip and mps. There is going to be a lot of emphasis and advertisement by the city soon. And if you have drip you can water as much as you can afford and some people will like that. We got to do an audit on a large HOA that had trouble with dumping water on the street last year to the point that they almost had the water cut off. We identified about $25,000 worth of work but sadly we don't have the staff to do that kind of job now and they are ready. We will sub it out if they select us.

Duekster
04-14-2012, 09:27 PM
Yes you are exactly right about not giving any quarantee. As soon as you say that to most customers they usually stop listening. Then they go get a Mexican crew to lay the sod and that is that. So unless we can sell this moisture saver idea then we aren't going to do any more. We are headed toward getting into irrigation retro to drip and mps. There is going to be a lot of emphasis and advertisement by the city soon. And if you have drip you can water as much as you can afford and some people will like that. We got to do an audit on a large HOA that had trouble with dumping water on the street last year to the point that they almost had the water cut off. We identified about $25,000 worth of work but sadly we don't have the staff to do that kind of job now and they are ready. We will sub it out if they select us.

I hear ya, I used to be kind of a pioneer in the area. I wonder about the Vibratory Plow install in our soils.

If You get that job I would not mind coming down from Dallas and tossing an assist to you on my nickel. I have my LI.

ArTurf
04-14-2012, 09:58 PM
Yes you are exactly right about not giving any quarantee. As soon as you say that to most customers they usually stop listening. Then they go get a Mexican crew to lay the sod and that is that. So unless we can sell this moisture saver idea then we aren't going to do any more. We are headed toward getting into irrigation retro to drip and mps. There is going to be a lot of emphasis and advertisement by the city soon. And if you have drip you can water as much as you can afford and some people will like that. We got to do an audit on a large HOA that had trouble with dumping water on the street last year to the point that they almost had the water cut off. We identified about $25,000 worth of work but sadly we don't have the staff to do that kind of job now and they are ready. We will sub it out if they select us.

Let them get the Mexicans or whoever. One less headache for you. Eventually they will see what you said was true.

Duekster
04-14-2012, 10:09 PM
Let them get the Mexicans or whoever. One less headache for you. Eventually they will see what you said was true.

I have no problem with Mexican workers except the fact many, not all are undocumented workers. They work hard and relatively cheap but do not under estimate their knowledge and ability either.

Many of them come over as H2B workers and worked for large LCO's and know their stuff too. They simply do not go home when it is time to go home.

They are good workers, good people but illegal. In their minds much of the southwestern USA as their land. I feel sorry for many of them, it is not their fault their government is corrupt and there is no work.

Having said that, I will not hire them but that does not mean I do not wish I could even if I paid full benefits.


Competing against them can be tough

adam.neusbaum
04-14-2012, 10:36 PM
I suppose if Mexico had had a larger military then we'd be considered the illegals. Enjoy a little history lesson, The Mexican-American War : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HjUEBDOOSDM My father described this to me last week but It took these last post to make me look it up. We were bullies then & we still are today but I wouldn't want to live anywhere else.

Duekster
04-14-2012, 10:52 PM
I suppose if Mexico had had a larger military then we'd be considered the illegals. Enjoy a little history lesson, The Mexican-American War : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HjUEBDOOSDM My father described this to me last week but It took these last post to make me look it up. We were bullies then & we still are today but I wouldn't want to live anywhere else.

There is a reason we call it new mexico and such. Nonetheless there are laws of the land.

I am just saying, do not assume mexicans do not do landscape and many labor jobs well just because they are mexican. Or any other illegal hispanic from central america.

ArTurf
04-15-2012, 07:28 AM
Let them get the Mexicans or whoever. One less headache for you. Eventually they will see what you said was true.

This was not meant as anything negative against mexicans but the point was if they will not take your advice then let someone else take the job and avoid the BS.

Duekster
04-15-2012, 09:34 AM
It is a mess, I suppose people will have to get used to paying high food prices because crops are rotting in the fields or wages sky rocket because you will not get someone to come off unemployment to pick crops for $10, 12 or even 15.

Resorts are having problems hiring seasonal workers.

LCO's are competing against illegals that are now operating independently or other LCO's that do not mind running them as 1099 workers. This keeps the prices down for the mean time.

Construction companies have the same problem. We need to either lighten up on the issue are really crack down in it. It is not black and white but it is so politically charged that no one really wants to address the issue.

So many of these undocumented workers have established themselves in the USA. They have families and such.

I do not know the solution but I am stuck in the middle of it. My hires are processed through E-Verify

I get no real responce when I post jobs on the texas work force commision. I see people standing on corners in some places of town looking for work.

Super-Sod
04-16-2012, 11:39 AM
Wow, it's amazing what sod can do for an area. Good job on the work, and I'm glad the sod company replaced the bad pallet for you.

ed2hess
04-30-2012, 07:40 PM
Well the sod company says stick it in our case so this Friday we are buying a pallet and replace the dead stuff. I will post before and after. There is something going on with this zoysia in that I see it dying back as the temp is coming up and rain is gone-on established yards. now these yards get water once a week but that looks like it aint enough. We all were sold the idea that it was more drought tolerant. And our customer is hand watering so I will bet that by August his lawn will look like hell and he will post all over the net how worthless we are. Even after we replace the dead stuff.

Landscape Poet
04-30-2012, 09:33 PM
Well the sod company says stick it in our case so this Friday we are buying a pallet and replace the dead stuff. I will post before and after. There is something going on with this zoysia in that I see it dying back as the temp is coming up and rain is gone-on established yards. now these yards get water once a week but that looks like it aint enough. We all were sold the idea that it was more drought tolerant. And our customer is hand watering so I will bet that by August his lawn will look like hell and he will post all over the net how worthless we are. Even after we replace the dead stuff.

Ed,

I am not familiar with your areas conditions but I would assume they are some what similar to ours here in Central Florida. If that is the case I would guess you would be hard pressed to find a zoysia lawn that is going to look great with once a week irrigation without supplemental rainfall.
Zoysia particularly the Empire cultivator has did a great job of marketing there Zoysia as "drought tough" and chinch bug resistant to the home owner market here. The fact is they fail to inform the home owner about billbugs and that other pest such as grubs still can and will affect the lawn and that if they want there lawn to appear green they are going to put ounce for ounce the same amount of water as they would with SA. So homeowners have made a effort to move to Zoysia not knowing that IMO anyway that it is really a higher input turf. The results here can be seen in Zoysia lawns that are "poofy" looking because they are mowed high like SA, patchy because of billbug tunnels that have effected the turfs appearance and lawns which stay yellow to brown much longer than need be as they are underwatered.

We still have the ability to water twice a week hear during the active growing season so I can not appreciate the trouble you are experiencing.

Not sure of the turfs that are commonly grown in your area but of the ones that are typically grown here IMHO the best for drought conditions is Bahia....I did not say it is the best looking or it will be the most weed free but if drought resistance is the goal that would be my recommendation to you from what we commonly use down here. It should be noted that Bahia is not a shade loving turf so you will have to find alternatives under heavy shade and of course the home owner will have to expect that super dense turf cover is not going to happen but it does have the ability to look attractive from the roadside and moderately attractive right on top of it in good conditions.


Just my two cents.

ed2hess
05-06-2012, 10:00 AM
Well we got our replacement sod yesterday and replaced the bad stuff. I used an edger to outline the areas to be removed. I guess we replaced about 15% in the end. The grass that took..looks pretty good. And the good news is tha it is raining today.

Duekster
05-06-2012, 01:48 PM
I thought Zoysia was a full sun turf? It should take but not last.

ed2hess
05-06-2012, 05:56 PM
I thought Zoysia was a full sun turf? It should take but not last.

Try palisades.....highly recommended by Ewing that have some test plots.

Duekster
05-06-2012, 07:17 PM
Try palisades.....highly recommended by Ewing that have some test plots.

Ewing sells grass in Austin?

:confused:

ed2hess
05-07-2012, 06:53 PM
Ewing sells grass in Austin?

:confused:

No but they are selling moisture products and they have demo plots set up at Cedar Park to show effect on different kinds of grass. It is thier opinion to go zoysia to replace St augustine and I have seen zoysia in some heavily shaded area before.

Landscape Poet
05-07-2012, 09:03 PM
It is thier opinion to go zoysia to replace St augustine and I have seen zoysia in some heavily shaded area before.

I have seen Bahia in some shady lawns too, it does not mean that it is a long term sustainable choice. IMHO Seville or other shade tolerant cultivators of St. Augustine are still the best choice for shady areas. This is why it is known as the shade grass of the south.
In terms of using less water I think the research I posted earlier proves that Zoysia is not an appropriate choice as a drought resistant alternative to SA if you still want a green lawn as it will use ounce for ounce the same amount of water.
I would think that topdressing lawns with a quality compost however might be a solution that you could sell your customers on for improving drought tolerance no matter their turf of choice????

ed2hess
05-07-2012, 09:42 PM
I have seen Bahia in some shady lawns too, it does not mean that it is a long term sustainable choice. IMHO Seville or other shade tolerant cultivators of St. Augustine are still the best choice for shady areas. This is why it is known as the shade grass of the south.
In terms of using less water I think the research I posted earlier proves that Zoysia is not an appropriate choice as a drought resistant alternative to SA if you still want a green lawn as it will use ounce for ounce the same amount of water.
I would think that topdressing lawns with a quality compost however might be a solution that you could sell your customers on for improving drought tolerance no matter their turf of choice????

Sorry city of austin begs to differ......they are paying people to get rid of St Augustine. The moisture products are being widely used in Austin in addition to top dressing. The local paper has a big magaphone and people listen to that. St Augustine has tooooo many things working against it in our area. The low water is almost a minor one the decline and grub and chinch bugs and winter fungus and it goes on.

Landscape Poet
05-07-2012, 10:05 PM
The low water is almost a minor one the decline and grub and chinch bugs and winter fungus and it goes on.

We have gone/are going through the same thing here thanks to Empire Turfs marketing especially to home owners. What the end result will find if similar to here......Grubs still affect zoysia too, as do mole crickets, and even though chinch bugs do not prefer it, billbugs do. Winter Fungus????....wow that would be the last thing I would even consider a improvement about Zoysia if you are referring to Brown Patch as Zoysia seems to have just as much outbreak as SA and of course can take longer to recover.....maybe it is just a different environment there...don't know.

My city had the same bright idea roughly three years ago although it did not have the local media screaming it as Empire was doing a good enough job of that to the home owners. In a recent email I was informed that the city had gone against its previous thoughts about Zoysia and was replacing all that it had installed in the City.

The good news is I would bet that you guys will be replacing lots of Zoysia lawns in the future with good old Floritam St. Augustine.

Johnagain
05-07-2012, 11:18 PM
Empire Zoysia is much more drought tolerant than any SA lawn that I know. The Fungus issues are true with Zoysia but if home owners wouldn't water as much as they did with SA then the fungus issues would almost be nonexistent. As of right now I maintain 20 Zoysia lawns in 1 subdivision and none of them have had fungus issues. I do my own fertilizing and the home owner does weed treatments. 6 of the clients have PCO treatment and I will put my lawns up against them any day. Right now in this lack of rain time, they are watering only 1 day a week. That is all that is needed. The lawns are on the side of being a little dry but I would rather have them dryer than to much water.

Florida Gardener
05-08-2012, 08:53 AM
Empire Zoysia is much more drought tolerant than any SA lawn that I know. The Fungus issues are true with Zoysia but if home owners wouldn't water as much as they did with SA then the fungus issues would almost be nonexistent. As of right now I maintain 20 Zoysia lawns in 1 subdivision and none of them have had fungus issues. I do my own fertilizing and the home owner does weed treatments. 6 of the clients have PCO treatment and I will put my lawns up against them any day. Right now in this lack of rain time, they are watering only 1 day a week. That is all that is needed. The lawns are on the side of being a little dry but I would rather have them dryer than to much water.
Agreed.
Posted via Mobile Device

ed2hess
05-08-2012, 06:01 PM
We have gone/are going through the same thing here thanks to Empire Turfs marketing especially to home owners. What the end result will find if similar to here......Grubs still affect zoysia too, as do mole crickets, and even though chinch bugs do not prefer it, billbugs do. Winter Fungus????....wow that would be the last thing I would even consider a improvement about Zoysia if you are referring to Brown Patch as Zoysia seems to have just as much outbreak as SA and of course can take longer to recover.....maybe it is just a different environment there...don't know.

My city had the same bright idea roughly three years ago although it did not have the local media screaming it as Empire was doing a good enough job of that to the home owners. In a recent email I was informed that the city had gone against its previous thoughts about Zoysia and was replacing all that it had installed in the City.

The good news is I would bet that you guys will be replacing lots of Zoysia lawns in the future with good old Floritam St. Augustine.

I took a about 20 pieces of Zoysia and kept at my house and put it in late Dec. We had a very warm winter and the grass came out then more rain in Feb adn cool temp and you got it right....brown patch.

Landscape Poet
05-08-2012, 07:40 PM
Empire Zoysia is much more drought tolerant than any SA lawn that I know. The Fungus issues are true with Zoysia but if home owners wouldn't water as much as they did with SA then the fungus issues would almost be nonexistent. As of right now I maintain 20 Zoysia lawns in 1 subdivision and none of them have had fungus issues. I do my own fertilizing and the home owner does weed treatments. 6 of the clients have PCO treatment and I will put my lawns up against them any day. Right now in this lack of rain time, they are watering only 1 day a week. That is all that is needed. The lawns are on the side of being a little dry but I would rather have them dryer than to much water.

Please link me to any University research that shows that Empire Zoysia is more drought tolerant than any SA! I won't be holding my breath. :nono: The facts, if you follow the research. is that Zoysia IN FACT IS NOT what you could call drought tolerant. In fact the research that I have read shows that root structure is not as deep as many SA's cultivators which right there should tell you something as well as it takes the shortest time to show signs of wilt (see root depth).

The fungal issues can be brought on by a variety of issues - and over watering is one of them that seems to bring it about for sure just as it would SA, over fertilizing with quick release seems to be another and I think this most likely is because Zoysia is already very thatch prone and the quick release just in turn increases the thatch in many cases and causes air circulation issues as well.
But even with the best care the fact remains that Zoysia is more prone to Brown Patch which is a soil born disease and you are not going to cure it but rather at best just surpress it. If you ever get a chance to attend Dr. Laurie Trenholm's seminar from the University of Florida, you will hear her state that the problem is such a problem on Zoysia that she has started calling Brown Patch "Zoysia Patch". And it does not matter if you are referring to Japonicas or Matrellas - the University of Florida still list Disease susceptibility as a concern.

But what do I know except how to read - I mean I do not maintain 20 Zoysia lawns. :dancing:
Interesting Reading (http://gardeningsolutions.ifas.ufl.edu/clce/faculty/pdf/presentations/trenholm_zoysia_workshop_ftga11.pdf)

ED, there is a bit in there talking about shade tolerance. It list TEXAS and ranks the cultivators according to there shade rating so that may be helpful for you in the future, but do take not that it also right above that says that the Zoysia cultivators are similar in shade tolerance to that of Floritam the worst of the SA cultivators for shady areas.

Now with all that said - the one turf to me that does maybe hold some hope is Seashore paspalum from the research as it showed the best results in several areas under drought conditions and of course can be irrigated with water straight from the ocean because of the amount of salinity that it can tolerate. Very interesting turf - anyone have lots of experience with it?

Landscape Poet
05-08-2012, 07:42 PM
I took a about 20 pieces of Zoysia and kept at my house and put it in late Dec. We had a very warm winter and the grass came out then more rain in Feb adn cool temp and you got it right....brown patch.

We got nailed here with BP in late September last year, we got 12 or 13 inches of rainfall one weekend followed by cooler temps and blame....St. Augustine and Zoysia lawns were alive with BP.

ed2hess
05-08-2012, 09:45 PM
I want to thank all you guys for the vast amount of information I have learned in the last few weeks about zoysia. We definitely stick with our bermuda for sun and probably zoysia for shade only if customer insists. Other wise we continue with SA.