Guide for Zoysia Grass: Yearly Maintenance Program

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Guide for Zoysia Grass: Yearly Maintenance Program

Guide for Zoysia Grass: Yearly Maintenance Program

Most Effective Products

Dominion 2L Insecticide
Suspended Concentrate
As low as $37.24
Barricade Granular Pre-emergent Herbicide
As low as $28.99
Keith's Pro Tips

"Normally, leaving lawn clippings is a recommended method of natural fertilization, but with dense vegetation like Zoysia this is not a wise decision. These lumps of grasses will not reach the soil underneath Zoysia since it is highly compacted. You may be able to apply this method if your lawn is dethatched."

Zoysia Grass Control: How to Maintain Zoysia Grass Yearly

This article is a general yearly maintenance guide for Zoysia Grass. Using the product or methods suggested can help you get control of your lawn. Follow this guide and use the recommended products and methods and we guarantee complete improvement within your Zoysia Grass.

A warm-seasoned grass like Zoysia is primarily found in the transitional zones of the United States (Northern Georgia to Southern Illinois). Zoysia Grass grows above the ground through stolon's and below the ground through rhizomes, which contributes to its dense growth pattern. Its dense vegetation makes it able to withstand cold temperatures and withhold water in its roots for long periods of dormancy or drought.

However, it should be noted that as a warm-seasoned grass it will still become dormant in cooler temperatures, but will awaken out of dormancy faster than other grass species. Due to these factors, Zoysia Grass is a popular choice in these regions.

Zoysia Grass maintenance is different than other types of warm-seasoned grass since it can withstand shade and cold. This can also be seen in the growth pattern of Zoysia Grass which is relatively slower than other species of grass, which means less mowing in your lawn care schedule. Once established, Zoysia Grass is low maintenance in mowing and watering.

In addition, its dense vegetation helps to resist weed invasion and foot traffic stress. Although, Zoysia Grass is extremely tolerant of most scenarios and soil conditions it is not as tolerant of salt as Bermuda Grass. Compared to Zoysia Grass, Bermuda Grass can be an invasive weed.

If you live in a suitable climate zone, Zoysia Grass can be a beneficial turf on your lawn. By following our DIY yearly Zoysia Grass guide you can learn how to care for your turf throughout the year through an appropriate time schedule and increase your turfs appearance at a cost-efficient price. If you want to further discuss Zoysia Grass, then please do not hesitate to contact our team through phone or email.


Zoysia Grass

The first thing you should do in any lawn control plan is to properly identify the turf. Misidentification can lead you to using the wrong herbicides, which can be a waste of your time and money.

  • Zoysia Grass blades are narrow to medium wide. Their blades are light to medium green in color.
  • The blades of Zoysia Grass are stiff with sharp points.
  • Located in the transition and northern region of the United States.
  • As a warm-seasoned grass it prefers sun, but can tolerate heat, drought, shade and some levels of cold.
  • Growth rate slow, but once established it forms a dense mat-like covering.
  • Tolerate wide variety of soils like sand and clay.
  • Zoysia grass grows through two horizontal stems known as stolons and rhizomes. The stolons will creep along the surface of the soil in a horizontal pattern planting roots every few inches. Its rhizomes will grow about 4 to 5 inches below the surface of the soil allowing Zoysia to have greater access to water than other plant species.
  • The grass blades for Zoysia will have fine hairs near the top.

Use the image and description above to help you with properly identifying Zoysia Grass. If you are still unsure, contact us and provide a photo of your turf to better assist you with proper identification.


Zoysia Grass

Once you have properly identified Zoysia Grass, you will need to conduct an inspection to see where it is growing and the present condition of your turf. This will help you determine where to apply your herbicide applications.

Where to Inspect

Zoysia Grass has a slow rate of establishment compared to other warm-seasoned grass species. For this reason, the best time to inspect your lawn for Zoysia is at least several weeks into the spring season. During active growth, Zoysia Grass can be found across your yard in a dense mat-like covering including shaded areas such as underneath trees or ornamental plants.

What to Look For

Thick, dense carpets of grass spread horizontally across your lawn including underneath trees and ornamental plants. During periods of cooler weather, Zoysia Grass will resemble the texture, color, and shape of straw.


Before handling any type of pesticides, it is recommended to wear the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) to prevent any pesticides or chemicals from coming into contact with your hands, mouth, face, eyes, and feet.

Our recommendation is to begin in Mid-February just as Zoysia Grass is awakening out of dormancy. Normally, this is not recommendable with other grass species, but due to the slow growth pattern of Zoysia it is susceptable.

Step 1: Apply Pre-Emergent Weed Control in Mid-February

Pre-Emergent Herbicide Application

Within the last two weeks of February, apply a pre-emergent herbicide to deter weeds from germinating underneath your turf. We recommend Barricade Granular Pre-Emergent Herbicide, which contains an active ingredient of prodiamine. Due to the active ingredient, this product will effectively control undesired seed growth and emergence in the soil.

It should be noted that pre-emergent herbicides can come in either a liquid, water-soluble, or granule form. Since Barricade is a granular herbicide it will be applied through a push or hand spreader.

Removing weeds germinating underneath your Zoysia Grass can help increase its growth rate. Ideally, this is beneficial since Zoysia is a slow growing foliage. Without a pre-emergent herbicide the time it takes for your Zoysia to become established will be pro-longed.

To determine how much Barricade to use measure the square footage of your treatment area. To find this, you will need to measure and multiply the treatment areas length and width (length X width = square footage). An application of 4 lbs. per 1,000 sq. ft. is the standard rate for Zoysia Grass. However, you will still need to load the appropriate amount of Barricade into a hand or push spreader. We recommend a push spreader for large scale applications.

Once your selected spreader is loaded, walk a straight horizontal line back and forth across your property beginning in the corner. After application, water the granules with at least 0.5 inches of water to activate the granules.

Step 2: Water Lawn Consistently Throughout Year

watering lawn

The deep root system of Zoysia Grass allows for watering to be conducted as needed, but like other species of grass can still benefit from 1 inch of water per week.

If there is not enough time during the week, then a deep watering would be beneficial for your lawn. Either method used, you will want to water your turf early in the morning to avoid moisture evaporation from excessive heat. When watered late in the evening your Zoysia Grass becomes susceptible to fungi and other diseases.

Avoid excessive watering when you begin to see pools of water on your turf or if there has been frequent rainfall.

Step 3: Mow in March and As Needed in the Following Months

Mowing Grass

Consistently mowing Zoysia Grass is of little concern due to its slow growth rate, but will still require occasional maintenance.

Once Zoysia Grass has fully awakened from dormancy in March and exceeds a height of 3 inches you can begin to mow. Due to the dense, coverage of foliage there is some flexibility with the mowing height, but the general rule is to remove no more than one-third of the leaf blades.

Due to the stiffness of Zoysia Grass blades your mower blades may need to be continuously sharpened throughout the season.

Step 4: Dethatch Turf in April

Dethatching Lawn with Rake

During the month of April, you will begin to see bundles of grass clippings, dead leaves, and roots known as thatch. Once you see thatch collecting on your turf you will need to dethatch your lawn with a dethatching rake.

However, it may be hard to differentiate between thatch and healthy Zoysia Grass since it typically grows in thick vegetation. The best way to avoid unnecessarily pulling healthy Zoysia Grass is to rake when the thatch layer is greater than 1 inch. Since Zoysia Grass has a dense foliage it will produce thicker thatches than other species of grass. Thus, making it alright to leave a thatch layer smaller than 1 inch on your turf.

When Zoysia Grass is left with thatch layer greater than these dimensions it can lead to serious issues within your turf such as root suffocation. Additionally, as Zoysia Grass reseeds itself, it may grow in the thatch layer rather than the soil. This can lead to issues of barren turf as the seeds can be easily carried off by wind or water erosion.

Step 5: Fertilize in May and August

Spreading Fertilizer

Zoysia Grass will need at least two fertilizer applications each year the first one late into the spring season (May) and the second one being in late fall (August to September).

For May, you will want to apply a summer fertilizer since it is closer to the summer months and it will provide essential nutrients for summer lawns like Zoysia without excessive growth. A pre-emergent spring fertilizer is not recommended since it will promote excessive growth, which is something you want to avoid with thick vegetation like Zoysia.

While it is possible to apply fertilizers as late as September, it is not something we highly encourage. Reason being is because Zoysia Grass will go into dormancy sooner than other species of warm-seasoned grass. If applied in September, you can risk your turf going into dormancy later than normal which can cause some or permanent damage the following season.

You will need to select a fertilizer with no more than 4 lbs. of nitrogen because Zoysia Grass can only receive between 2 to 4 lbs. of nitrogen per 1,000 sq. ft.

To determine how much levels of nutrients is needed in your lawn you will need to perform a pH test. This can be done through your local extension office, governed by the national pesticide information center or a pH meter.

Once you have applied the appropriate amount of fertilizer, you will need to activate it with at least an inch of water. Wait at least two days after application to apply water.

Step 6: Apply Insecticide Product in June

Spraying Turf

As Zoysia Grass is most active during summer months it is more susceptible to pest damage such as grubs or aphids.

To remove pests such as aphids or grubs and other broad variety of insects we recommend using Dominion 2L during the month of June. Dominion 2L is a recommendable product that treats a large variety of insect species and leaves a residual barrier for up to 90 days. Effectively eliminating insects and protecting your Zoysia turf for up to 3 months.

To use the appropriate amount you will need to calculate the square footage of your property by multiplying the length times the width (length X width = square footage). A general pest application will be 0.46 to 0.6 fl. oz. per 1,000 sq. ft. You will need to use either a pump or backpack sprayer to apply this product.

Once you have the appropriate amount of Dominion 2L mixed in your selected sprayer, apply the product in a sweeping back and forth motion to evenly coat your turf. Make sure to spray the top and underside of the leaves to ensure an uniform application. After treating your property, you will need to treat the perimeter of your home.

Spray 3 feet up and 3 feet out from the homes foundation. Reason for this application is because pests will escape your treated Zoysia turf by going into your home.

Key Takeaways

What Category Does Zoysia Grass Fall Under?

  • Zoysia Grass is a warm-seasoned lawn location in the transition and northern region of the United States.

When to Begin Yearly Maintenance for Zoysia Grass?

  • Zoysia Grass treatment will begin in mid-February and end in August or September with only some watering during the winter months.

What Products to Use for Zoysia Grass?

  • Recommendable products for Zoysia will be Dominion, Barricade, summer and fall fertilizers containing no more than 4 lbs. of nitrogen.

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