Zoysia is a warm-season grass native to China, Japan and Southeast Asia that has become popular for use along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of the United States. It provides a thick, dark, hard-wearing turf that is resistant to drought. Zoysia has few weed or pest problems unless the turf is damaged by poor maintenance. Zoysia's slow rate of growth makes recuperation difficult. When these problems occur, pesticides and weed killers might be necessary.
Zoysia Grass Advantages
There are many reasons for zoysia's popularity throughout the South and in many transition zones. It will grow well in shade in warm areas. It is highly drought-tolerant, as well as salt-tolerant. It is slow-growing which means less maintenance. It is highly resistant to lawn pests and weeds when it is properly maintained. Zoysia can grow in almost any kind of soil from sandy to clay and from acidic to alkaline.
Keeping Zoysia Weed-Free
Good maintenance practices can help eliminate the need for weed killers and pesticides. Occasional watering during periods of drought, two to three applications of nitrogen fertiliser during the growing season, close and frequent mowing at 1 to 2 inches in height, and occasional removal of built-up thatch are all that is generally required to keep a healthy lawn of zoysia grass.
Weed Control for Zoysia Grass
Though zoysia generally has few weed problems, there might be times when the use of weed killer is necessary. Zoysia grass is tolerant of many commercially available herbicide products. Pre-emergent weed killers are used at the beginning of the growing season to prevent the sprouting of weeds. Post-emergent weed killers destroy weeds that are already sprouted.
Choosing the Right Weed Killer
Pre-emergent weed killers help to keep weeds from taking hold in your lawn. This might be particularly important when re-sodding or sprigging zoysia, as this type of grass is slow-growing and could allow weeds to get a foothold until it thickens enough to crowd out weeds. Post-emergent weedkillers can be used on crabgrass, kyllinga and broadleaved or grassy weeds when they appear in lawns during the growing season. Consult with an agricultural extension for the most effective weed killers for your area. Using weed-and-feed combination products are not recommended for zoysia grass. Follow package directions and recommended safety procedures when using chemical weed killers.
Organic Weed Killers
Corn gluten is known for its ability to destroy weeds growing in zoysia grass. There are also a number of commercial organic compounds available that contain vinegar, citric acid, cinnamon, cumin, baking soda and surfactants that are effective against common lawn weeds and will not hurt the environment. These products might require more frequent application than chemical weed killers.
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