Zoysia Care and Maintenance
For care of NEWLY INSTALLED PLUGS, see our Planting Zoysia Page
Established Zoysia Maintenance
One of Zoysia’s main benefits is that it doesn’t need frequent mowing. In fact, you might only need to mow your Zoysia once every two weeks to once a month when it’s established.
When you do need to mow your Zoysia lawn, set your mower blade to anywhere from 1.5 inches to 3 inches. You might see some guidance that says you should mow shorter, but we feel this is the ideal height range for our Zoysia grass. You can mow it a little lower for special applications, but keep in mind that you’ll have to mow it more often if you go below 1.5 inches. Keeping your Zoysia mowed at the lower side of the height range will also help discourage thatch.
Reel or rotary is up to you. Zoysia does exceptionally well with reel mowers, but rotaries work fine too.
Your lawn will go dormant in the winter and it won’t require any mowing at all.
Another great benefit of Zoysia grass is that it needs very little fertilizer. In fact, overfertilizing can actually harm this grass. All it needs is a single application of nitrogen annually for staying healthy. It’s best to fertilize Zoysia early in the growing season, as soon as your lawn begins to green up.
How to know how much fertilizer to use? Many sources suggest applying between 2 to 4 pounds of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet of lawn in two applications, spring and late summer. We’ve found that our Zoysia does fine on less than this. In fact, some studies have shown that most Zoysia lawns can do just fine on a single application of 1 lb. of nitrogen a year, and that’s what we recommend. To determine how much you’ll actually need to apply, measure your yard’s square footage and factor accordingly.
Established Zoysia grass needs very little water. During an extended drought it might turn brown but it will not die. We recommend watering on an “as-needed” basis, or just when the grass shows signs of getting stressed out—it might turn a dull bluish-gray color and the leaves might roll or wilt.
How much water should you apply? It’s always a good idea to water deeply and infrequently. Apply enough so that the soil is wet to 6 to 8 inches deep. Test it by inserting a wood dowel or a long screwdriver. And, remember that watering at night is the most efficient way to go.