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seeding zoysia

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by grassmasterswilson, Jun 12, 2008.

  1. grassmasterswilson

    grassmasterswilson LawnSite Platinum Member
    from nc
    Posts: 4,548

    I have tried to keep my fescue lawn looking good but it never can make it through the hot summers of NC. I am really thinking about doing zoysia. I only have about 4000-5000 sq ft. I was going to try to do zoysia with seed instead of sod to see if it would work (cheaper since it is my lawn). I would spray, aerate, and water frequently. Anyone have any sucess? Am I wasting my time? I just want it to come up and look ok. I know it will take some time to get it thick and nice.
  2. jeffinsgf

    jeffinsgf LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 641

    I did a seeded lawn with Compadre zoysia. After a couple years, its looking pretty good.

    Here are a few caveats:

    You can't "overseed". You have to kill all the existing fescue, remove the residue and loosen the soil. You can waste hundreds of dollars not following this advice. Seed spread on existing turf will likely never germinate, and if it does, it won't grow.

    Unlike cool season grasses, you can't plant in the early spring or fall. You have to have consistent ground temperatures of 80 degrees. For NC, I'm guessing this means middle of May at the earliest. On the other end, you need the grass well established before dormancy. Again, in NC, this one shouldn't be much of an issue.

    Though the web site and seed packages say "shade tolerant", I cannot get Compadre to grow in the shade of established trees -- even when the spot gets a few hours a day of direct sun. I finally gave up and planted TTTF in the few shady areas that I have.

    The germination is slow, and the young plants are tiny. I looked at bare ground (mud) much longer than I thought I would.

    I am not sure that here in Southern Missouri that I made the right decision. Like you, I was sick of watching cool season grasses go dormant on or near the 4th of July, when I really wanted a nice lawn. I just attended a seminar by the Greene county Master Gardeners. For turf, we're in what is considered the "transition zone". The guy leading the seminar quipped that that doesn't mean we can grow either cool season or warm season turf...it means we can't grow either. In NC, I think you may have much better luck than I have with my zoysia. After 3 years, my biggest problem is that the weeds get firmly established before the zoysia breaks dormancy. I am trying to avoid using chemicals to keep them at bay until the zoysia wakes up.

    It looks great now that it has crowded out most of the weeds (with a lot of help from me pulling and burning). It is just starting to hit its stride here in SoMo...where the temps are running in the upper 80's most of the time now. Some of my neighbors fescue lawns are headed brown, regardless of how much they water. So, maybe I would do it again...but it hasn't been a cakewalk.
  3. maddawg

    maddawg LawnSite Member
    Posts: 1

    I seeded my lawn with compadre zoysia in steps as I have a half acre. Here is what I learned and if you do it you will have an awesome lawn in one year. I live in Chattanooga TN. Zone 7.
    Kill existing lawn with roundup the fall before. I do this so that the dead grass will rot over the winter and I don't have to rake out clumps of grass. Too much work. In spring, till the area then water it until weeds and grass grow. Kill it all as it grows. Less weed seed to sprout and compete with grass. Wait one week after spraying. Till lightly, spread starter fertilizer and seed. Either rake lightly or just drive a riding lawnmower over it (without the blades running of course) to compress the dirt and make contact with the seed. Water twice daily for about 15 minutes each. A timer works great for this. After two to three weeks you will have a good stand going. Only problem I had was with goosegrass that loved the water too. I fought back by spraying weed and grass killer (for zoysia grass lawns) after the second mowing and I also dug up alot of the goosegrass and crabgrass too. Any bare spots i added more seed later in the summer. Cut back watering to once per day and increase to about 30 -45 minutes per watering. After that water as you would any lawn. Important: in the fall use preemergence in sept and again in nov. for winter weeds and then again around march 1 and may 1 for goosegrass and crabgrass control as well as broadleaf weeds. I use halts without fertilizer. The may preemergent can have fertilizer mixed with it if you prefer or just spread fert. seperately. your lawn will look awesome. guaranteed. Mine looks like a sod farm. mr_maddawg@yahoo.com

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