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Caring for Your Zoysia Grass in Atlanta

Large patch disease in Zoysia lawn

Atlanta is famous for its mild winters and hot, humid summers, sometimes hitting clear over 100 degrees. While the summers are typically humid, that doesn’t necessarily mean steady rainfall. Drought is not uncommon, and when coupled with poor attention to the lawn by homeowners, the combination can serve as a one-two punch to your lawn.

Why Zoysia?

The reason most homeowners and investors choose to use Zoysia grass is its high tolerance to a wide array of wind, cold, and rain conditions. This is the same type of lawn used by most golf courses to make tee-off areas and fairways, and it is a great choice for an owner wanting a great-looking lawn, especially when there is light shade present in some areas.

During the winter months, Zoysia goes dormant, saving itself from the cold to come. During the summer months, it requires lower levels of fertilization and is generally less infested with insects or other pests than other grasses.

What type of Zoysia is right for you?

There are several varieties of Zoysia, diamond and zeon being two of the newer ones. Just a few years ago, the most popular was a hybrid called emerald Zoysia. This type of Zoysia has a natural blue-green color that the newer varieties don’t provide, all the while retaining the drought- and shade-tolerant qualities that all Zoysia grasses offer.

Caring for Zoysia

For best results, mowing should be done with a reel mower once every 7 to 10 days, and the grass should be cut no lower than 2.5 inches. Scalping the lawn in spring after green-up is a huge no-no and can kill a Zoysia lawn back significantly. The downside of owning Zoysia is the disease pressure. It is common for Zoysia grass to come out of dormancy in the spring with large patch disease or some other Rhizoctonia problem, often continuing into the summer. High night-time temperatures are the culprit, along with poor maintenance of the lawn, including high nitrogen rates.

Other than that, emerald Zoysia doesn’t need much attention, except a light fertilization schedule. Be sure not to over fertilize: it could burn your lawn to death, which is unsightly and expensive. A fertilizer mix of 8-8-8 up to 13-13-13 is recommended.

For help ensuring that your Zoysia lawn stays healthy all year, our experts are here to help. Call us today for a free estimate.