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.
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.
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 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.
Grass struggling to grow from a new establishment cannot smother weeds. Because there is no grass seed that kills weeds, it may be necessary to use herbicides on weeds so that your grass has a chance to populate the planted area. Your new grass needs time to establish itself before any herbicides are applied – you could possibly kill off your new grass with too much chemical exposure.
One of the best ways to smother weeds is to keep your soil healthy for thick grass growth. In general, your grass needs a soil pH value range between 6 and 7. With a slightly acidic range, some weed seeds cannot survive in these conditions. Proper fertilizing approximately three times each year keeps the soil prime for grass growth as well, according to the University of Rhode Island – sunlight cannot reach the soil where weed seeds germinate if the grass shades the soil. A fertilizer with a 3-1-2 ratio of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium is sufficient for most grass species.
Although watering may seem to encourage weed growth, a proper irrigation strategy helps the grass grow tall to smother weed seeds — removing critical sunlight warmth prevents seed germination. Water your turf in the morning so that the roots have a full day of sunlight and growth to continue spreading their roots deep into the ground.
Watering and Mowing
Healthy root establishment creates tall and dense grass blades to smother weeds. In addition, cutting your lawn to a minimum height of 2 inches helps to minimize weed growth. If you cut your lawn too short, sunlight penetrates the soil and helps weed seeds germinate. With sharp lawnmower blades, you create a crisp cut across all the blades to keep them healthy for future, vigorous growth.
Some weed species are bound to invade your turf, so it is critical to remove these sprouts as soon as you find them, recommends University of Maryland. Neglecting even one weed causes stress to your grass as it steadily grows. Annual weeds do not create extensive root systems – hand-pulling them directly from the soil typically removes all traces of the plant.
Applying a 2- to 3-inch grass clipping layer across your weeds does not typically smother them – weed foliage still has ample sunlight and soil resources to grow steadily. This smothering mulch technique, however, does help you prevent weed seed germination. Seeds that do not have access to sunlight cannot properly develop into hardy seedlings.
But you need to carefully remove any portion of perennial weeds from the ground. Leftover root parts broken off from the main weed easily proliferate into new pesky plants. You may need to repeatedly hand-weed the turf of these perennials, especially if they had a chance to spread seed.
Once your new grass is established and mowed two times, it is time for weed and feed! Follow the instructions on the package for the best results.
Healthy grass is a good weed preventer! Keep your new grass fed and watered as it grows. If it comes in thick and healthy, there won’t be any room for weeds!
While certain types of grass choke out weeds once they are established, grass seed on its own will not kill weeds. Zoysia is a popular choice of grass for weed control. It forms a thick turf that won’t allow weeds to grow.
Is there a grass seed that kills weeds?
We’ve all heard the saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!” This is true of weeds, as well. There are several easy ways to prevent weeds when planting grass.
The weeds will win the battle for your yard in the summer. Use the time during the hot months to apply a weed killer or weed and feed. Get the weeds under control before it is time to plant seed in the fall.
Apply the fertilizer first. Weed and feed contains an herbicide that will kill off existing weeds in about two weeks. This will give your new grass more room to grow and thrive!
Or, apply grass seed in the fall before the first frost. The weeds should be dying off as the evenings get cooler.