Zoysia in Shopping Mall Parking Lot grass areas

Discussion in 'Florida Lawn Care Forum' started by Ric, Aug 19, 2014.

  1. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969


    I couldn't help but notice this year several Shopping Plazas have installed Zoysia turf in there parking lot media strips.

    It is going to be interesting to see how long it stays looking nice. IMHO Zoysia has been over sold. While it does survive on less water, it requires even more water than Bermuda to stay green. In general it is a higher maintenance turf than people realize.

  2. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,975

    It also looks bad if rotary cut. Did I mention that it frays more than any other grass if string trimmed?
  3. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969

    I believe Torpedo grass has more fiber and frays more than any other grass I have dealt with. But it is a weed because it is so hard to Cut. I haven't found anything to control Torpedo grass only suppress it in St Augustine. But I won't argue Zoysia is a PITA to cut and especially on raised curb islands in a parking lot. No way to really use a reel mower, just lifting it over the curb safely is a Job.

    Most of these Islands are only 2 ft wide so String trimmer will be the weapon of choice for the Islands. Other problems will be slow grow in of damage. Of Course you can bet on a lot of damage because because of mismanagement. Don't forget Public damage like engine heat from parked cars and Of course Leaks from older cars.

    I believe there is a false sense of saving money because Zoysia grows so slow and only needs cut every other week in season. In most case Zoysia is over sold and not the cure all turf.

  4. rlitman

    rlitman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,742

    Every time I hear the word zoysia, I look like your avatar Ric. Can't stand the stuff, and I really cannot see how it would be a good choice for a parking island (which is probably why I've never seen that done). Around here, islands get mulch, rocks, or rug junipers, or anything else that deals well with being trampled and not watered.

    Do you know the yellow background print advertisement for zoysia?
    Years ago, my mother saw one of them, read it, and said we need zoysia. My father agreed to consider it when it was time to reseed. From that day forward, either my father and I would grab the Saturday newspaper before breakfast, and pull out the Sunday advertising section (which came on Saturday if you got the paper delivered). We would flip through it, find the yellow page, tear it out and toss it out.

    Over the next 10 years or so, nothing was ever mentioned about zoysia, except every few years, there would be a complaint about a missing page in the paper (usually we could tear it out well enough to not have it be noticeable, but when something was continued on the back-side of that sheet, well, you get the idea).

    Well, one day the delivery person changed. My father and I went out to breakfast on Saturday morning, and the paper had not shown up yet. We get back, and there at the door was that damn yellow ad staring us in the face. She found it first! The zoysia plugs went in later that year.
  5. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,975

    My weapon of choice for places where my greensmower cannot go is a Maruyama Landscape Blade. Unfortunately, the industry is stuck in the 1970s, not able to progress beyond string. Truthfully, the only place I use string is when I need to tear the tops of weeds off the ground. Sidewalks/driveways/stacked rock walls are blade edged, and trimming where the greensmower cannot cut is done with the Landscape Blade. Most of the fine turf in residential areas in Hawaii is zoysia.

    Low maintenance. Pfffft! Thatch monster if not kept reel cut. Disease prone. Pale green unless heavily fertilized. Then you get more thatch and disease if you do. It is not that slow growing in a warm climate with lots of water and fertilizer. I Primo zoysia to keep it inside of a 7 day mow.
  6. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969

    I believe the Redmax AVG is a similar product only sold as a aquatic submeribile weed trimmer. I bought it for aquatic work but quickly found it gives an excellent cut on tressial weeds also. It uses two articulating bladges that cut much like a Hedge Trimmer. It will also cut 360 degrees. Yes string is old school.


    BTW My area doesn't have a Maruyama dealer. Therefore I stay away from their fine products. My mechanic could do the repairs but waiting on part and no warranty work is a deal killer.

  7. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969

    I have several Zoysia Lawns and find them fairly easy to take care of, IF you stay on top of them. However I charge 35% more for Zoysia lawns than St Augustine.

    I don't mow, I only fert and Squirt so the heavy thatch is not my problem.

  8. Landscape Poet

    Landscape Poet LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,638

    Dependent on the traffic they maybe doing it because Zoysia is able to handle the higher foot traffic.

    One of the large outlet malls here used Zoysia...and while it is not flawless in many areas...it looks better than St. Augustine would in those areas with that much foot traffic.

    The other option is Bermuda ....which is the worst of the grasses IMHO in terms of appearance if not mowed with a reel. It looks poofy...but would hold up to the traffic.

    The other option would be bahia and it would not stand the traffic either and in less than 5 years would be 90% weeds under ideal mgmt.

    The Zoysia at this super busy outlet mall here has held up for the most part. There are areas where the traffic is so heavy there is no grass in essentially a walking path but the turf still continues to survive around it even though you can tell it is compacted...you can still tell it is zoysia and gives ground cover...and we are talking I bet 100's if not 1000's of people walking on it every day.

    The new homes in my town.....all of them....are being built with Zoysia in the front min....if not the entire lawn. Homes under the 300K mark seem to get zoysia on front and sides and bahia in back....above $300K tends to be all zoysia throughout.

    One of our neighborhoods in winter park...maybe 30 homes in the newer section of homes $800K and up.....I bet 20 of them were built with Zoysia in the lawn.

    Not sure why but Zoysia seems to be the wave of the present and potentially future here.

    I have Empire in my front lawn.....my grass of choice especially if reel mowed. What I have noticed is this also ....Empire mowed with a 21 inch at 2 inches and properly watered and cared for....looks better than many St. Augustine lawns. One thing is for sure....the landing strip area where people get out of there car and step and walk every day just off their driveway....looks much much better than any St. Augustine lawn with the same conditions.

    Foot traffic of any kind to me means Zoysia. Which I would guess maybe the developer of the mall was thinking. Although it is not cheap to aerate ....it is cheaper than replacing St. Augustine which does not stand up to any foot traffic or burns out and dies in a week because a mower or edger took out a sprinkler ....or chinch bugs destroyed.
  9. ducnut

    ducnut LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,566

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