Zoysia is a warm season turf grass that can be grown in the Kansas City area. The preferred variety is ‘Meyer’ as it is better suited for the low temperatures that frequently occur during the winter. Zoysiagrass lawns generally are established vegetatively with plugs, sprigs and sod. New variety Zenith Zoysia can be directly seeded in a new area.
Zoysia grows best in full sun, but can handle moderately shaded environments as well. The fertilization and irrigation requirements for zoysia lawns are usually lower than other turf grasses. Nitrogen fertilization for zoysia lawns should start in May and be completed by August. Applying one pound of N per 1,000 square feet during these months should promote a healthy and attractive lawn.
Zoysia needs at least a half-inch of precipitation a week in order to maintain an actively growing lawn. Supplemental irrigation may be needed during the drier portions of the summer months to retain the desired turf quality. Water in the early morning to reduce disease pressure; water deeply and infrequently to encourage deep root growth.
Thatch is a common problem associated with zoysia lawns. If thatch layers exceed one inch, then a combination of vertical mowing and core aerifying should be performed yearly to keep the thatch under control. The vertical mowing should occur in the early part of the growing season to allow the lawn ample time to recover. Aerification can occur in the summer months, as recovery time will be significantly reduced at this time.
Weeds compete with zoysia for nutrients and sunlight. Problem weeds can be controlled on a preventative basis or on a needed basis. Insect and disease problems can affect zoysia during the growing season. Careful monitoring and positive identification of damaging agents will result in accurate and appropriate control measures.
Zoysia is a very good turf grass for this area and a worthy candidate for any home lawn.