The Bad: While zoysia grass boasts a few attributes, there are many downsides. One drawback is that zoysia will not stay green year-round. zoysia grass will look its best for about three months of the year. Zoysia lawns lose the desired green hue around mid-autumn. Often, the lawn will stay brown well into Spring, which is a deal breaker for some. So, if year-round color is a must for you, you may want to think twice before choosing zoysia grass. Zoysia will not tolerate heavy traffic during these dormant periods. Another negative is the very poor shade tolerance under trees. Yards with sun and shade areas would require shade beds under trees or choosing a different type of grass seed to grow in shade.
Zoysia is a warm-season grass. Around here, in the Midwest, zoysia grass is a popular choice at golf courses, but not so much for homeowners. However, there are most definitely pros and cons of zoysia grass. The final decision ultimately comes down to what you personally value and strive for from your home lawn.
The Good: The one major appeal is that it is fairly low maintenance. Zoysia grass also makes for a durable lawn as it is resistant to weeds, insects, and diseases that would be bad news for other types of grass. Zoysia is an extremely aggressive spreading grass that can literally choke out weeds. Zoysia is pleasant on the eyes and feet. It tends to have a soft, fine texture and is naturally low-growing.
The Ugly: The aggressive nature of zoysia can also be labeled invasive. Be prepared to deal with picky neighbors, should your zoysia lawn spread into their property. Zoysia grass is also prone to thatch problems, therefore routine annual de-thatching and aerification are required. Here in the Midwest, zoysia seed has a difficult time establishing because of our cool soil temperatures. Thus, most people who choose zoysia grass must plant it in plugs or sod during the summer months. This can get pricey. And lastly, zoysia grass sometimes takes two to three years to fill out and reach the desired density. It may be low maintenance, but if immediate results are what you want, zoysia grass may not be for you.
Price: £46 for 2kg | Buy now from The Grass People
The seeds germinate quickly, with initial shoots appearing in days, but growth rate is slow and you’ll need to be very vigilant about weeds. As with most fine grasses, Lawnsmith’s ornamental mix thrives best in sandy (free-draining) acidic soil.
Price: £19 for 2kg | Buy now from The Grass People
4. The Grass People Steadfast Ultra Shade: The best grass seed for shaded areas
If you want to create a fabulous lawn you’ve got two main options: buy turf (which is expensive) or sow grass seed (which is not). Grass seed is also widely available in more varieties, giving you the freedom to create the kind of lawn you want.
The seeds are fairly quick to germinate, especially if you plant them in spring or autumn, with users reporting a “lush green lawn” eight weeks after planting. Long-term user reviews are ecstatic, reporting that the grass grows back well after snowy winters and summer heatwaves. It’s low-maintenance and thrives between mowing.
This mix of dwarf ryegrass and creeping red fescue has been developed over a decade by Lawn UK to create a thick, “sports strength” turf for lawns that regularly double as football pitches, dog playgrounds and shortcuts to the garage.
Don’t get carried away and buy 5kg when you’re just planting a small front lawn. Too much seed causes overcrowding, which leads to bald patches.
Sun Tolerance: Full Sun and Partial Shade | Climate: Southern | Size: 2,500 square feet | Grass Texture: Fine
Not suited for Midwestern lawns
Best for Heavy Traffic: Jonathan Green Black Beauty Heavy Traffic Premium Grass Seed Mixture
Grows back annually
Great for spot treatments
Formulated with mulch and fertilizer