August 17, 2021
Zoysia and Bermudagrass have many similarities, and both have certain strengths and weaknesses to consider when making a decision for your lawn. We generally recommend Zoysia for the reasons outlined below:
Zoysia and Bermuda have very similar appearance, so much so that people routinely confuse the two! Bermuda generally has slightly finer blades and appears more "wirey" or lumpy unless it it mowed very low and fairly frequently. Both have similar color which is usually a function of soil fertility. They can range from an emerald green to a dark green depending on the amount of nitrogen in the soil.
Both grasses are excellent when it come to weed suppression. Both grasses spread through rhizomes and stolons, which will out-compete most weeds over time.
Bermuda however will require more fertilizer and more frequent mowing since it grows more quickly than Zoysia. Typically Zoysia will only need to be mowed once every 10 days during the Summer, compared to 2 times a week for Bermuda!
One also must consider the aggressive lateral growth of Bermuda. On one hand this is desirable since it will speed up establishment and recovery (think about divots on golf courses), but on the other hand Bermuda will need to be edged constantly and will grow very rapidly into flower beds, onto sidewalks, and into adjoining turfgrass. Zoysia also spreads laterally but does so at a slower rate that is easier to control.
Both Zoysia and Bermuda are warm-season grasses, meaning that they turn dormant during cold weather and then resume growing in the Spring. Bermuda is more susceptible to winter-kill, which is a complete die off in the winter from extreme temperature swings. This is a major concern in the transition zone, but may not be a factor if you live further south where winters are more mild.
While both are excellent options, Zoysia is usually the best choice for home lawns who want a warm season grass. Bermuda is generally better for sports fields and golf courses since they have staff available to handle the additional maintenance.
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