zoysia zenith in FL?

Discussion in 'Florida Lawn Care Forum' started by jovanoty, Feb 10, 2013.

  1. jovanoty

    jovanoty LawnSite Member
    Posts: 26

    We moved in the house 5 mounts ago. Spend a lot of money fixing little stuff :) we have 10 000 sq ft yard! With the house and driveway like 8000. I don't want to spend 4k on sod! The grass we have now is Bermuda or whatever is left. There is some st. A taking over from next door! I fixed the irrigation, full sun except behind the house. I will try with seed small part first. Check my YouTube clip: http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=cfNGNmufNjU
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  2. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 12,960

    A lot of Zoysia coming in our market. Palisades, El Toro, and Emerald are being sold for being more drought tolerant. We are in second year and have yards that look great and are mowed with regular mower. And they are just as shade tolerant as St Augustine. We installed a test patch over drip irrigation so that will be worst case for build up disease etc. At this point it looks great and is on an area that sun bakes it constantly.
     
  3. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,818

    Yes. Using a rotary mower is fine for the first few months. Then there is the matter of thatch build up and overgrowth. In my 12 month growing season, zoysia does build up a 4 or 5 inch mat of dead material under green sprouts of grass in one year. Your feet sink in it. Maybe that would not be the case if the lawn froze for 3 months out of the year. Then there is the matter of what a lawn looks like when the rotary blade frays the tips of the grass instead of a reel shearing it straight across.

    Dixie Chopper :eek: ? That should be a National Triplex or a fairway mower. I am not talking about this craptastic mower I have seen recently consisting of 21" rotary decks in tandem. There are some golf courses locally that use these. Not only do their fairways look all torn up, there are more weeds than previously. This is a problem in a state where triazine herbicides are state RUP and Drive is illegal. If someone has their heart set on a rotary, they should be planting cool season grass, common bahia, centipede or St Augustine.
     
  4. jovanoty

    jovanoty LawnSite Member
    Posts: 26

  5. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,818

    A reel with a catcher? Great. A rotary with a catcher/bag does not cut low enough and cleanly.
     
  6. Yup, no joke. I mean, the lawn looked like ****. Tons of thatch, more white than green, etc. That's the whole thing, people like sports turf bc of how low it should be kept and the carpet look. But when you tell them what it takes to get that and the cost, only certain folks are willing to shell out the dough for it. There's no point of installing sports turf and keeping it at 4". Go with st Augustine if that's the case.
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  7. turfmd101

    turfmd101 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,268

    Zoysia; needs to be cut with a reel mower because the cut, clips the foliage as the blades roll over the top of the canopy. The rotary swirls and tares the foliage.

    Zoysia needs to be cut low 1/2 in. So the surface can dry and the clippings can recycle. Dramatically lowering fungus potential. Holding better color. A rotary mower could never mow low enough to cut zoysia properly.

    Look at some in a area getting high traffic. I'll bet it looks low and tight.

    I have a property installing a pool and the tractor traffic over the zoysia is matting it low and sweet.
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  8. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,818

    Zoysia is the one grass I can think of that benefits from the Victorian age lawn roller. Even then, correct height of cut is less than 1" and the better tool to use is a reel mower.

    I have to bite my tongue when reading the zoysia management recommendations from University of Florida. What it comes down to is telling people to starve the grass, but gives a pass to keeping the grass so tall. Reasoning for starvation is to reduce disease and minimized thatching. The majority of the lawns I maintain are El Toro zoysia. Height of cut is less than 1" on all of them. N rate is 1/2-3/4 lb per month. I know when I am not feeding enough by how bad the dollar spot gets. You are right, a low height of cut does not foster pythium and and rhizoctonia large patch. I do not see those diseases in my "overfertilized" and low cut zoysia. Lawns that are kept that low do not need to be Verticut or dethatched very often either. The only time I have seen a need for those procedures is to make a previous rotary mow lawn, mowable with a reel.
     
  9. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 12,960

    The zoysia in our area is all cut with the same mower as St Augustine and in many cases the grass are in the same yards. And it isn't being cut low but probably at 3 -4". And no reel mowers in sight.
     
  10. turfmd101

    turfmd101 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,268

    The odds are against zoysia at a 3" to 4" cutting height. It will decrease its age life. St. Aug can survive over 45 years that I have seen. Some with minimal issues. Zoysia,,, no way past 6 years in central fl with minimal issues. Will definitely cost mucho dinero to keep alive chemically. Number one problem for a drought tolerate turf is a home owner with a "automatic sprinkler system". Most people don't understand the reason for using zoysia instead of St. Aug. It might have been invented so the Yankees who move to Fl don't have to use St. Aug because they consider St. Aug to be crabgrass.
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