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Zoysia Grass: Fine Textured Lawns for Southern Homes
Zoysia grass is a popular grass in warmer climates. It is slow to get established, so it is best to use sod rather than trying to start if from seed. In fact, there is only one strain of zoysia that you can start from seed and that is the variety called "japonica." Zoysiat is very fine textured and beautiful for lawns and also can stand a lot of traffic, so it's used on athletic fields and golf courses. There are various strains of zoysia, and some are better for cool areas than others, but in general, you will not have very good results with zoysia if you are in a northern climate. On the other hand, if you live along a southern beach, with sandy, salty soil, zoysia can be a wonderful choice.
Zoysia grass is prone to problems with thatch buildup. Thatch problems are worse when you water the lawn a lot or use fertilizer too much. Zoysia has a thick underground network of roots and rhizomes. When a zoysia lawn is established, you should not use more than two pounds of nitrogen per 1000 square feet of lawn for the season. To be on the safe side, get the soil tested before adding any fertilizer. You should also dethatch the lawn when the thatch is one-half inch thick. Zoysia should be mowed at a height of one to two inches, but will do better a little taller in any shady areas.