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  #1  
Old 03-18-2008, 02:44 PM
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Zoysia -- any experience?

My lawn has turned into the lawn that people talk about (not in the good way). I am planing on tilling up the yard and mixing in some peat moss (I'm told that is quite good organtic matter).

As far as grass is concerned, I'd like low maint/drought resistant grass. I have seen ads for this stuff for several years (maybe 10) so I figure there might be something to it since they have not gone under.

Has anyone had any experience with this stuff?

Thanks

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Old 03-18-2008, 02:54 PM
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If you believe the ads for it, it's the best thing since sliced bread. I used to contemplate getting that stuff, but I've pretty much lost interest in my lawn. I do just enough to it now to keep the HOA off my back.
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Old 03-18-2008, 02:55 PM
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That would be a question for SwampYankee.....he's the grass man.
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Old 03-18-2008, 02:55 PM
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A guy here at work planted some with a degree of success and I think we have a whole lawn of it here at one of the buildings. Seems to do OK but it turns totally brown in the winter. I tried planting some at home with no results because my soil is so crappy... I also understand that it's a runner and it may overtake your landscaping.
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Old 03-18-2008, 02:57 PM
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Astro-turf might be the way to go.
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Old 03-18-2008, 02:59 PM
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Actually, I think you plant Zoysia grass in plugs in your exisiting lawn. Then it just gradually takes over the whole lawn. I'm sure Swamp will have the difinitive answer about this.
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  #7  
Old 03-18-2008, 03:11 PM
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Zoysia - is green in the summer, turns very brown in the winter. So the neighbors still might be talking about your 'dead' lawn until the springtime miracle happens.
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Old 03-18-2008, 03:13 PM
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When I lived in Oklahoma, I noticed a lot of people would spray paint their lawns green in the winter. I've never seen that anywhere else! Oh, once I saw a laawn in Arkansas that was all rocks which were spray painted green. Weird!
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  #9  
Old 03-18-2008, 03:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dee8go View Post
Actually, I think you plant Zoysia grass in plugs in your exisiting lawn. Then it just gradually takes over the whole lawn. I'm sure Swamp will have the difinitive answer about this.
Up here it's dormant (read brown) for 6 months out of the year which is one of the reasons we sell turf paint. But during the summer it greens right up, is real drought resistant and grows slowly. I'm more of a cool season grass guy so I'm not sure what your best bet would be in TX. You can buy it in plugs and the stuff does spread pretty quickly. As you might imagine it does stand out when dormant when compared to the other grasses that might be in the lawn. It might not go dormant in your area.

If you still want that "bluegrass look" but want a far hardier and less needy grass turf-type tall fescue might work. They tend to be slower growing than common/K31 tall fescue but still give you the heat and drought tolerance with that medium blade, dark green color.

Fine leaf fescues (creeping, chewings, sheeps, hard) are popular in our area for their heat and drought tolerance and used a lot in low maintenance or organic leaning lawns but they are a much finer, almost wire-like, texture which some people don't like.

Bermudagrass may be your best best which you can get in sprigs or seed.

I'll PM you some contact info. from a fellow turf co-op member in Amarillo who might be better able to help.
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  #10  
Old 03-18-2008, 03:26 PM
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I put in a Zoysia lawn 17 years ago and absolutely love it. My lawn is the envy of the neighborhood. Keep in mind there are many varieties and they differ in appearance and characteristics. I planted Zoysia Meyer which has thin blades and is very soft on your bare feet.

I put in an irrigation system before laying sod and I water it twice a week for about an hour per zone. (I live on a large lake so my only recurring irrigation cost is a little electricity).

I chose Zoysia mainly because of it's tolerance to foot traffic. It rated excellent for that characteristic in a guide put out by our extension service. I had two big dogs at the time and I wanted something that would hold up to their activities.

My lawn thrives in full sun and is weaker in partial shade. It does very well in our hot humid summers (Midlands of SC) and it goes completely dormant and turns an ugly shade of taupe in our cool winters (with daily lows in the twenties). But all the Centipede lawns (which are the most common lawns in this area) go dormant and brown at the same time so my yard does not stick out.

Contrary to what many told me, Zoysia is not a high maintenance turf. I cut it once a week with a rotary mower and I mulch the clippings. Aerate it once every year or so. Put down weed and feed usually twice a year (costs $15 and takes15 minutes using a broadcast spreader). I power raked it (dethatched) one time a few years ago and probably need to do that again this summer. It does send out runners, but it is not overly invasive into planting beds. Like any grass, you have to keep up with the borders on your beds.
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Old 03-18-2008, 03:34 PM
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That's my memory of the one neighbor who had Zoysia grass. As a kid , I would walk barefooted (I grea up in NC and rarely ever wore shoes) through their yard. It felt like walking on plush carpet. maybe one day I will have a lawn like that.
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  #12  
Old 03-18-2008, 03:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dee8go View Post
That's my memory of the one neighbor who had Zoysia grass. As a kid , I would walk barefooted (I grea up in NC and rarely ever wore shoes) through their yard. It felt like walking on plush carpet. maybe one day I will have a lawn like that.
It does get thick and does a pretty good job with keeping weeds out.
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  #13  
Old 03-18-2008, 04:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raymr View Post
Zoysia - is green in the summer, turns very brown in the winter. So the neighbors still might be talking about your 'dead' lawn until the springtime miracle happens.
Absolutely true! Fortunately I had relegated the zoysia to the back yard when I lived in KC....started turning green around until late May, and stayed green until late September. Stuff grows thick too...your mower will complain when you get to the zoysia patch in your yard!

While zoysia is drought resistant, it won't tolerate Texas heat. You are pretty much limited to Bermuda and St. Augustine. Both do well with little water, and if healthy, grow thick enough to crowd out most weeds.

Bermuda will not thrive in shade at all, while St. Augustine can be plagued with fungus problems, especially in early Spring. Left unchecked, St. Augustine will crowd out a Bermuda lawn though.
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Old 03-18-2008, 04:08 PM
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All I ever see is St. Augustine or Bahia. I prefer the St. Augustine.
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  #15  
Old 03-18-2008, 04:14 PM
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I think my dad used to throw some Rye grass seed out in the Fall so the lawn would be green during the Winter. He was a lawn maniac! I guess I got some of his "lawn genes."

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