When to sod zoysia?

Contents

When to Lay Sod in Texas to Get the Best Results

While Texas is generally warm, its climate does vary from hot and dry (West Texas) to hot and humid (Coastal Texas). Fortunately, several grass varieties thrive in the state, allowing you to have a healthy, green lawn year-round.

Creating and maintaining a healthy and attractive lawn means you will need to know the best time to plant sod. Our Houston residential and commercial landscaping company can educate you on how to grow grass in Texas, and what type of sod will work best for your lawn.

When Is the Best Time to Lay Sod?

Knowing when to lay sod can dramatically increase the chances of establishing a healthy lawn the first time around. For the best sod installation in Houston, follow these tips on the best time of year to lay sod for St. Augustine, Bermuda, and Zoysia grass.

St. Augustine Sod

St. Augustine grass thrives in warm temperatures and with full sun. This grass type can withstand some shade, but too much leads to thinning, which affects its appearance and health.

St. Augustine sod is frequently used in coastal areas since it can handle both high heat and humidity. Growing St. Augustine from seed is quite difficult, so using plugs or sod is recommended.

St. Augustine sod installation works best when the temperature is between 80 and 100 degrees. In Texas, that means laying this sod between the late spring and late summer months.

Bermuda Sod

Bermuda grass has tendencies that work well in many Texas regions. While it can withstand drought, it grows best in areas that have medium levels of rainfall.

Bermuda grass is durable and able to withstand lots of foot traffic, which works well for athletic fields, commercial properties, and homes with children. Houston area residents and business owners often choose Bermuda grass because of this durability and its ability to thrive in warm, sunny areas.

While it’s possible to install this Bermuda sod during most seasons of the year, early fall or late spring is ideal. For the best outcome, consult professionals that know how to install Bermuda sod.

Zoysia Sod

Zoysia sod is particularly well-suited to the Houston area because it grows well in hot temperatures and full sun, but it can also handle moderate shade. Zoysia grass creates a thick mat that can choke out weeds, and it also withstands salt concentrations, making it perfect for coastal areas.

Zoysia sod is extremely difficult to establish from seed, so experts recommend using sod. Laying sod in winter during the Zoysia dormancy period is possible, but the best time to plant Zoysia sod is during the spring and fall.

The Best Time of Year to Lay Sod Varies

In Texas, climate conditions vary, so different grass varieties thrive in different areas. Only certain types of grass sod grow well in coastal areas like Houston.

St. Augustine, Bermuda and Zoysia are three varieties that grow well in hot, humid climates with a strong or full sun. The best time to lay sod varies slightly, but with expert help, you can find the best season to install new sod on your lawn.

Contact the Experts at Zodega TIS

Zodega TIS can provide you with a free quote and advice on sod varieties for your lawn. Call 713-955-5505 to set up an appointment and discuss your lawn’s unique needs.

Our Houston commercial landscaping and Houston residential landscaping customers trust us to create and maintain attractive, healthy properties.

Contact us online today for a quote.

Zoysia sod provides homeowners with a lush green lawn without demanding too much care. Found throughout Southeast Asia, zoysia immigrated to the United States in 1911, where it was first cultivated in Florida. Zoysia’s most famous use is in the Japanese Imperial Garden, where it has flourished since the 14th century. Compared to grasses such as fescue, zoysia is extremely hardy and easy to care for. Frequently used on golf courses, zoysia tolerates heavy traffic and requires little maintenance.

Zoysia’s slow-growth habit requires patience. Sod gives lawns a quick start and a neat appearance while the grass establishes itself. With zoysia, sod prevents erosion of topsoil, which may occur if seeds are used instead. Homeowners choose zoysia sod make a smart investment in the appearance of their homes and gardens.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Zoysia Sod

Zoysia often elicits a “love it or hate it” reaction among homeowners and gardeners. Planting zoysia grass provides gardeners with easy care lawns most of the year.

Zoysia sod provides the following benefits:

  • Great summer-growing lawn that tolerates heavy traffic.
  • Rarely troubled by insect pests, so no need to use chemicals to control bugs.
  • Easily spreads over time and crowds out weeds, eliminating unsightly crabgrass, dandelions and the like.
  • Slow-growing habit requires less frequent mowing.
  • No need to reseed or plant new sod once established.

Drawbacks to planting a zoysia lawn include:

  • Spreading and invasive nature of zoysia. If left unchecked, zoysia can easily spread into areas where grass isn’t wanted, including flower gardens. Worse still, it can spread onto neighbor’s lawns-and your neighbors might not appreciate it.
  • Brown color in the winter. Zoysia greens only in temperatures over 70 degrees Fahrenheit, so in cool winter areas, lawns appear brown for many months of the year.
  • Does not tolerate shade well, so if you have large trees or other shady patches, skip zoysia.

Creating the Perfect Lawn

If you think zoysia is right for your home, creating the perfect lawn is only a few steps away. First, choose a variety of zoysia. There are eight varieties, but two are the most frequently seen in the United States.The two most popular varieties of zoysia include:

  1. Meyer Zoysia: forms a dense, thick carpet-type lawn. Frequently used for golf courses, Meyer Zoysia can take heavy foot traffic and still look great. Meyer zoysia boasts great cold and heat tolerance too.
  2. Emerald Zoysia: Emerald, a hybrid zoysia, tolerates a bit of shade. Its slow growth habit means less frequent mowing, a plus for busy home owners or those who just hate to mow.

Sod makes sense when planting zoysia. Lawn sod creates an instant picture-perfect lawn that takes less time to establish than seeds or plugs. Both types of zoysia sod may be found at local garden centers, nurseries, or sod farms. To determine how much sod you’ll need, measure two adjoining sides of the lawn. If your lawn is rectangular or square, multiple the two numbers together to determine the square footage of the lawn and take this number to the store with you when you purchase the sod.

Laying Sod

Proper soil preparation gives your new zoysia sod a healthy head start. Begin your project at least two weeks before you expect to purchase or receive the sod.

Prepare the Ground

  • Clear all weeds using a non-selective week killer at least two weeks before planting the sod. Never lay sod immediately after using weed killer, since it will kill the sod too. Leave yourself enough time to properly prepare the soil and remove weeds before purchasing and laying the sod lawn.
  • Test soil for lime and fertilizer needs. To conduct a soil test, dig about six inches into random spots on the lawn. Take three samples and place them in plastic baggies. Your local Cooperative Extension office can test for lime and fertilizer needs and make recommendations. Soil test results may take a few days to a week or more, so leave yourself enough time to get the results, purchase the amendments, and follow the next steps.
  • Till the soil thoroughly to a depth of six inches to provide room for roots to spread and grow.
  • Mix into the freshly tilled soil the lime and fertilizer recommended by the local Cooperative Extension office from the soil test.
  • Add other natural amendments, such as compost, to add fertility to the soil.

Lay the Sod

  • Rake the area smooth.
  • Use a lawn roller to roll the ground even.
  • Fill any low spots with extra soil.
  • Lay the sod. Start along the longest straight edge, and lay pieces end-to-end. Don’t leave any gaps.
  • Stagger the pieces so that the seams do not line up.
  • Trim sod using a sod cutter if pieces are uneven.
  • Roll again to tamp down the sod.
  • Water carefully.
  • Enjoy your new lawn!

Resources

  • Learn all about zoysia sod, zoysia planting zones, and more on this website dedicated just to zoysia grass!
  • All About Lawns offers extensive information on caring for zoysia.
  • Lowes, the home improvement store, also offers information, care and planting techniques on zoysia.

Our Blog

Zoysia grass is drought-tolerant and drought-resistant, so it is the perfect grass choice for an active Canton, Georgia family. When you are repairing or starting a Zoysia lawn, you have options.

3 Ways to Establish a Zoysia Lawn

1. Seed

Zoysia seeds are the most difficult. The seeds are fragile, and they require constant moisture. That moisture must be controlled, and the grass is difficult to establish. As with any seeding, poor weather can cause the seeds to float and pool causing uneven turf. Not only can this cost a homeowner more money in reseeding or the pursuit of other options, but it is time consuming. Most people who plant a yard want to see results as quickly as possible. Planting Zoysia seeds is not a good means to that end.

2. Sod

In that respect, Zoysia sod may be the best option for those who want instant gratification. Sod is a beautiful idea, and it works well with Zoysia because the plants are established. But sodding large areas is expensive! Waiting for that gratification looks a lot more appealing once you see the price.

3. Plugs

There is an option that is sort of in between seeding and sodding, and it is called plugging. This is when a yard is created by first installing plugs of established grass throughout the area. If the yard is bare, this does create a temporary, polka dot effect. However, the grass isn’t going to wash away, and it will fill in.

Plugs can be made from grass from other areas of the yard, or they can be made from sod. They are taken using a plugging tool and then placed in small holes strategically spaced to quickly fill in. Depending on how far apart you space the plugs, you can cover a lot of area with much less sod. In a couple growing seasons, your grass will be filled in, and it will be well-established.

Late spring to early summer is the time to plant Zoysia plugs. After the soil is above 70 degrees, the plants will handle the move well and continue to grow aggressively.

Basically, seeding Zoysia isn’t going to work. So, you either have to dump a bunch of cash on sod, or you can plug your yard and save a lot of money. Plugging can also be effective if you need to repair an area of your lawn, and the plugs can fill any dying patches of lawn with new, lively growth.

Let Greenfeet Lawncare help you establish your Zoysia lawn!

Greenfeet Lawncare Provides Service to the Following Areas.

770-619-2929

Why Zoysia?

  • The key reasons zoysia is so attractive for homeowners
  • Soil Conditions
  • Slopes and Borders
  • Safety
  • Winter Dormancy
  • What About Zoysia Seed?
  • What do Zoysia Plugs look like?
  • How are plugs shipped?
  • How long will the plugs last before planting?

Zoysia is a particularly hardy grass that grows well in a wide range of conditions and requires far less watering and mowing than most grasses. At the same time, this “tough” grass creates a thick, soft carpet that feels great in bare feet. Zoysia is ideal because it actually grows differently. It sends out runners or “stolons,” expanding sideways more than it grows tall.
This is why it is so dense and effective at choking out most summer weeds and replacing existing grass. With our superior blend of zoysia, Amazoy®, you can plant a network of plugs in a new or existing lawn and it will grow into a lush, even, weed-free lawn within several growing seasons.

The key reasons zoysia is so attractive for homeowners:

  • Zoysia’s vigorous root system is so deep and extensive the grass rarely, if ever, needs watering — zoysia can really cut your water bills.

Reduces mowing by two-thirds

  • The lateral growth of zoysia means it grows tall very slowly — most people mow zoysia once for every three times they need to mow other grasses!

Zoysia thrives in heat and cold

“We planted Amazoy plugs three years ago and we cannot believe how beautiful our new lawn is. Our grand son loves to play outside when he comes to visit” —M.D.

  • “The hotter it gets, the better it grows.” Zoysia loves blistering heat and yet it won’t winter kill either — it can survive to 30° below zero. It’s perfect for extreme conditions as well as mild climates.
  • Amazoy plugs will thrive in the heat and sunshine, but will not be damaged by snow or cold weather conditions. Amazoy can withstand temperatures of 120° to -30°Fahrenheit.

Chokes out crabgrass and weeds all summer long

  • Your established zoysia lawn grows so thick with deep roots that crabgrass and other summer weed seeds cannot germinate.

No more chemicals

  • Since zoysia naturally resists insects and diseases, you avoid the cost, time and risk of exposing your family and pets to weedkillers and pesticides.

Never needs replacement — even heals itself

  • It’s beautiful and tough. The way it naturally grows outward along the ground in all directions, zoysia grass acts like a network of plants that can withstand heavy use, and will fill in if damaged.

Zoysia is THE answer for slopes, play areas and bare spots

  • You can’t beat zoysia for hard to cover spots, worn areas or to end erosion on slopes. It even levels out ground irregularities.

You don’t pamper zoysia – You enjoy it!

Soil Conditions

“I always thought my Great Grandmother had the most beautiful lawn. It was like walking on carpet” —N.O.

Amazoy zoysia plugs will grow in all kinds of clay soils. Although clay soils are dense, Amazoy zoysia grass has strong roots that penetrate and create air passages for good root development.

Rock-like Soil

Amazoy zoysia plugs will grow in rock-like or granite soil, but you will need to mix in a layer of top soil before planting.

Salty soil

Amazoy zoysia plugs will grow in most salty soils. Because zoysia grass is highly salt tolerant, it is recommended for areas near coastlines where salty soils are often found. Amazoy will grow well in areas near roads and driveways that are salted to melt winter ice and snow.

Sandy soil

Amazoy zoysia plugs grow especially well in sandy soil because there are many airspaces that allow zoysia’s roots to penetrate, providing quicker root development.

Soil pH

Although Amazoy zoysia grass grows well in many different types of soil, the ideal soil pH level is 6 to 7. pH levels can be altered by using granulated lime to raise the pH level or small quantities of sulfur to lower it. When using sulfur, it is important not to over-apply, as sulfur is an acidifying agent that can burn lawns. Insert a pH meter into your soil at several locations to determine pH levels. We offer an easy to use pH Meter.

Full Sun

Amazoy will thrive in full sunshine and is heat tolerant to temperatures up to 120°F

Shady Conditions

Amazoy can be planted in part shade, as long as the area to be planted gets at least 2 to 3 hours of direct sunlight a day.
If you are planting your plugs under trees, make sure that the pH of the soil is between 6 and 7. Trees have a tendency to alter the pH of your soil. pH levels can be modified by using granulated lime to raise pH and small quantities of sulfur to reduce it.
To determine the pH of your soil, use a pH meter or soil testing kit. We offer an easy to use pH Meter and Soil Test Kit.

Excellent on Slopes and Hills

Amazoy zoysia works very well in areas with steep slopes and hills. Amazoy plugs make it easy to plant the grass on steep areas and once established they will create a thick carpet-like grass. It will also require less mowing, which can be difficult and dangerous on steep slopes.

Great Erosion Control

Amazoy’s deep root system (about 2 feet when fully established) and the thickness of the turf will work to significantly reduce slope erosion. Amazoy plugs make it easy to initially plant zoysia on steep areas as well. “Even the rough nails of our family dog couldn’t harm this grass. This is very durable grass” —D.K.

Safe for Children and Pets

Amazoy zoysia is completely safe for children and pets. Because there is no need to use poisonous chemicals on your lawn, your children and pets can romp on the lawn without fear of contamination. Zoysia’s durability means you will have no worries about damage that can result from lawn play.

More Tolerant of Animal Waste

Zoysia is more tolerant to pet urine and feces than most grasses. However, no grass will survive prolonged or constant exposure to pet waste. Pets should be kept off of the new plugs for at least 30 days in order for the plugs to become established.
After the plugs are established, you can minimize the effects of pet waste by periodically liming the soil in order to restore the pH level to an acceptable range between 6 and 7.

Safe for Horses and Dogs

Amazoy grass plugs are safe for horses and dogs. While zoysia has minimal nutritional value, eating zoysia will not harm horses and dogs. “Many years ago my father plugged Amazoy zoysia grass into the family yard and it is still green as ever. It has absolutely choked out all the crab grass.” —P.D.S.

Safe for Wells and Septic Systems

Amazoy zoysia grass is safe for wells and septic systems as well as leach fields. The developed root system of zoysia may reach 2 or more feet below the soil surface but cannot penetrate well walls, septic systems or damage underground lines.

Resists Pests

Amazoy has an inherent resistance to the effects of most insects and diseases and resists injury from most chemicals when pest populations do require controls.

Chokes Out Weeds

Once established, the dense turf created by zoysia significantly reduces summer weeds. Amazoy will choke out all existing cultivated and wild grasses, including Bermuda (often called wire grass) and St. Augustine. For best results keep these grasses away from newly planted zoysia plugs.

Winter Dormancy

Zoysia, like deciduous trees, goes dormant after the first killing frost and will go off its green color until the ground reaches temperatures of about 50°F in the spring. This is a normal, healthy process. In fact, zoysia’s ability to go “dormant” is important to its ability to better withstand extreme winter cold and still come back full and green every spring. Amazoy will not be damaged by snow and cold weather conditions. Amazoy can withstand temperatures of -30°Fahrenheit ( -30°F below zero).

What About Zoysia Seed?

“We bought some plugs from you about a couple of years ago. We think there is nothing on the market that will touch them” —H.S.Amazoy, the first Zoysia cultivar to be released by the US Department of Agriculture is still the superior standard. Vegetatively propagated Zoysia grass plugs provide the highest quality lawn.

Historically, it has been extremely difficult to create a fine Zoysia grass lawn from seed. However, Zoysia seed has come a long way over the last few decades. It now germinates better producing a beautiful lawn, but still has some very particular requirements in order to be successful. Our experience is that it is possible to establish a lawn from the Zoysia seed and we now are making available Zoysia seed to homeowners. We only supply what we believe to be the best of the best and the one that meets our standard for quality and durability.

There are very specific requirements for how deep to plant the seed, the amount of light it needs, and watering. It will be important to follow the seed planting instructions carefully for success.

Click to order Amazoy Zoysia seed now!

“I am very proud of the way my plugs of (Amazoy) Meyer Z-52 grass have grown and spread and it is all that you have claimed for it” —A.B.

What do Zoysia Plugs look like?

Amazoy Zoysia grass resembles Kentucky bluegrass as far as texture and appearance. Each plug is a small piece of Zoysia sod that can measure as small as 1 inch square but can be much bigger in size just never smaller.

How are plugs shipped?

Amazoy Freestyle Plugs are shipped in 10″ by 15″ sheets of grass. Each sheet can produce up to 150 — 1″ square plugs. The plugs can be cut bigger, that’s the freestyle part. Bigger plugs means less cutting and less planting, but you will get less plugs from each sheet.
Super Plugs are precut for you into individual 3″ by 3″ plugs that are ready to plant. They will arrive in easy-to-handle trays of 15 Super plugs.
All plugs are shipped the same day they are packed with a moisture-proof lining so the roots reach you fresh, vigorous and ready to grow.

How long will the plugs last before planting?

Zoysia plugs are living plants, therefore, we recommend planting them as soon as possible. If the plugs cannot be planted upon receipt, remove them from the cartons, placing blade side up in an area that receives some sunlight (not direct sun). Mist the plugs with water and keep them moist until planting. Plugs must be planted within 2 weeks of receipt.

Choke Out Weeds By Mowing Higher

Mow High, Mow Often

Lawn care experts agree that different types of grasses have optimal mowing heights to help keep them happy and healthy.

Some folks figure that the shorter they mow their grass, the longer it will be before they need to do it again. That may be true, but when it’s cut too low, the grass will be less healthy and it will be easier for weeds to thrive.

Mowing Trauma

Mowing is actually hard on grass. Every time you do it, you’re chopping back the plant’s photosynthesis laboratory, its leaves. Grass blades, like all leaves, convert sunshine into sugars which then get converted into starches and stored in the roots. Cut the too grass short, and you drastically reduce its ability to perform photosynthesis. This will weaken the grass, roots and all, making your lawn more vulnerable to weeds, pests, and diseases.

Taller grass is healthier in itself, and it gives weeds less opportunity to take root. Many of the weeds in our lawns grow low and have shallow roots. Short grass allows these weeds plenty of space to soak up sun and settle in. They’ll grow like – well – weeds. Let the grass long and strong and it will curb weeds, simply by shading them out on the topside and choking them out underneath.

Arrow Lawn Care recommends a minimum mowing height of 3″ for most of the lawns we maintain. Lawns with fescue blends are often cut at 3.5″ to 4″. We mow a little lower for the warm season varieties such as bermuda, zoysia, and St. Augustine – 2″ to 2.5″.

Remember to keep your blades sharp and cut pretty!

Sources and resources:

www.planetnatural.com, www.richsoil.com

5 Top Lawn Weeds You Can Do Without

Controlling these persistent lawn weeds and others requires killing these invaders, roots and all. IMAGE All-In-One Lawn Weed Killer starts working on contact to kill tough weeds in established lawns all summer long. The ready-to-spray container attaches to a regular garden hose, automatically measuring and mixing as you spray. It delivers visible results in three to seven days and kills weeds completely within two to three weeks.

For best results, treat new weeds as they emerge from soil, when they’re young, actively growing and still less than 3 inches tall. This stops these lawn pests before they can establish, set seed and spread on their own. Used as directed, IMAGE All-In-One Weed Killer is guaranteed not to harm your lawn.*

To help your lawn grass stay at its competitive peak, follow these “good practices” as well:

  • Take lawn soil samples every three to four years. Your lawn may need lime to balance to soil pH and restore nutrient availability to grass.
  • Maintain your lawn at the recommended height for your grass type. This promotes healthy growth and improves resistance to weeds and other pests.
  • Water your lawn as needed to provide 1 inch of water per week from rain or irrigation. Water deeply to enhance resilience and encourage deep root growth.
  • Feed your lawn regularly with high-quality lawn fertilizers. Healthy, well-fed grasses can stand up better to invading weeds.

When unwelcome weeds turn up in your lawn, don’t wait and watch them spread. Reclaim your turf with IMAGE brand and IMAGE All-In-One Weed Killer. You can kill lawn weeds — roots and all — and get back to a beautiful, healthy, weed-free lawn.

*Always read product labels thoroughly and follow instructions, including guidelines for specific lawn grass types.
Image is a registered trademark of Central Garden & Pet Company.
Sources:
1. UMass Extension Turf Program, “Biology and Management of Crabgrass,” University of Massachusetts Amherst, May 2011.
2. Roncoroni, J., “Dandelion,” University of California Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program, January 2018.
3. Patton, A. and L. Beck, “Yellow Nutsedge,” Purdue University Extension.

How to Install Zoysia Sod

Zoysia grasses are popular for home lawns as well as for commercial plantings and golf courses. Zoysia is a tough grass that is easy to maintain. Although it is a physically demanding job, the quickest way to achieve a luxuriously thick and green zoysia lawn is to install it as sod.

Preparation for Zoysia Sod

Remove existing grass and weeds by using a sod cutter. Alternatively, you can spray the entire area with a general purpose, non-selective herbicide to kill off competing vegetation. This should be done about a week before you plan to lay the sod.

Prepare the bare soil further by removing grass or root clumps, stones and any other debris. The goal is to have a smooth, level area of bare soil so there is complete contact between the zoysia sod roots and the soil surface.

Rake the area smooth. Use a water-filled lawn roller and locate low spots. Fill the low spots in and roll them to compact the soil and create a smooth surface.

Apply fertilizer, if necessary.

Water the entire bare soil area the evening before you will lay the sod. You want the soil to still be moist when it comes in contact with the zoysia sod roots the following morning.

Lay the Zoysia Sod

Begin laying the sod as early in the morning as possible. Start along the longest straight edge of the lawn area and unroll sections of sod, placing them end to end as tightly as possible. Try not to leave any gaps where ends join.

Place the second row of zoysia sod tightly against the first. Stagger the location of the ends of the sections so they are not in line with the ends on the first row. Keep this offset pattern as you continue to unroll the rest of the sod. Every seam between ends and rows should be as tight as possible.

Use a small hatchet to trim pieces of sod to fit around obstructions and landscaping details.

Roll the entire zoysia sod lawn when it has all been placed.

Provide one inch of water immediately after installing the sod.

zoysia drew – posted 14 September 2004 15:52

I will be finishing the dirt work for my new home and will sod my yard with zoysia either now or later. I can either throw our rye grass now and lay sod in the spring(which I DON’T want to do!), or go ahead and sod now and take my chances with a poor root growth before the winter dormancy. Someone told me you can lay sod anytime you want and maybe its even best when dormant. I live in Tennesse and we are starting to get in the low 80’s/upper 70’s for highs in the next few weeks. I don’t want to sod and have my grass die from a harsh winter, but would really like to go ahead and get it down this year. Any advise out there?

ted – posted 14 September 2004 21:03

you’re really looking at tall fescue as your best choice of grass in the area. don’t recommend sodding zoysia this late- too much potential for winter damage. you’ll do alot better in the late spring.

zoysia drew – posted 14 September 2004 22:25

This grass is going to be in full sun. That with 95 degree summer days I would be watering fesque all day long. I’m pretty sold on zoysia but am just concerned on the timing of laying sod. Thanks for the reply Ted.

cking – posted 15 September 2004 08:22

I’m no expert, but I would be concerned about putting down zoysia sod right now. Late spring is your best bet.

cking – posted 15 September 2004 09:45

This is from the Kansas State website: “When to plant. Zoysia should be planted early in the growing season so it will have time to develop a good root system before frost. Late plantings may winterkill while early plantings may be damaged by a late freeze. Plugs and sprigs should be planted between late April and June. May is usually the best time for planting. Sod may be laid somewhat later in the season, as long as there is enough time for the sod to knit into the soil before the end of the growing season.”

ted – posted 15 September 2004 18:25

zoysia is rare in the area because of it’s lack of color during most of the year. i would not recommend sodding it this late- too much of an investment to do so. tall fescue still the recommend choice,not that much watering needed, and very few places hit 95 degrees this summer…

How to plant Zoysia grass plugs (with video)

There are 2 methods for planting Zoysia plugs

1st method: Planting Zoysia plugs from sod

  • Plant a small section of Zoysia Sod
  • Wait 3 weeks for it to root in
  • Transplant plugs from that sod to other parts of your lawn
  • This is the main method we use for plugging Zoysia, and I will go through it in detail below

2nd method: Planting Zoysia plugs that come in trays

  • This method works well for planting plugs in a small area
  • You can buy trays online and have them shipped to you, which is convinient
  • But, if you have large areas to plug, it will be much more expensive than harvesting plugs from sod
  • Watch this video or read this article to see how to plant Zoysia plugs from trays

Planting Zoysia plugs from sod

Step 1: Plant a small section of Zoysia sod

  • Water your sod according to the sod supplier’s recommendations
  • Wait 3 weeks for the sod to root in before plugging

Step 2: Kill the grass or weeds in the area you will be planting the plugs

Chemicals
  • Glyphosphate
    • The old brand name is Round-Up, but there are many formulations
      • I use Hi-Yield Killzall
    • Follow the directions on the label for mixing and spraying
      • Spray it, wait a week, spray it again, wait a week, and it’s ready for plugging
Tilling
  • This will get rid of your existing grass without the need for chemicals
Solarizing
  • Solarizing involves tilling, watering, and then covering an area with clear plastic during the summer for at least 4 weeks. This is a more involved process but comes with the benefit of killing seeds in the ground, which the other methods don’t do

Step 3: Water the Zoysia sod and planting area the night before plugging

  • Moist soil is much easier to plug than dry soil, particularly if your soil has a heavy clay content
    • Don’t over water
    • If soil gets too muddy the plugger may clog up, or plugs may have difficulty coming out of the ground
  • Here is a link on how to deal with clogs while using the ProPlugger

Step 4: Take plugs out of the planting area 6″ apart

  • Use the 2” depth ring
    • You can use the 4″ depth ring if you are transplanting from established grass and want to keep all 4″ of roots
  • Dump your plugs into a wheelbarrow
  • Dispose of this soil
    • You can keep this soil for Step 8 if it doesn’t have weed seeds in it
  • If your soil is really hard to plug, try watering it again before plugging it
    • Wait a little while after watering it to plug. It takes a while for the water to go all the way through the soil
  • If your having trouble with your plugger clogging follow these instructions to unclog the ProPlugger and prevent future clogs

Step 5: Take plugs out of the Zoysia sod 3″ apart

  • Taking plugs out of sod can be easier if you mow it pretty short before plugging

Step 6: Take the plugs over to the planting area

  • You must be gentle with the plugs when transporting them
    • Some soils can crumble if you aren’t careful
  • If you transport your plugs with a wheel barrow and your soil is crumbly take the following precautions
    • Don’t stack plugs too high. The ones on top can crush the ones on the bottom
    • Carefully dump the plugs on the ground, or take them out of the wheel barrow by hand

Step 7: Plant the Zoysia plugs

  • Sometimes when you are taking plugs you run into rocks or roots
    • Sod plugs or holes you plugged can end up being too short
  • You can still plant these plugs
    • Remove some soil from the bottom of the plug if it sits too high
    • Add some loose soil into the hole if the plug sits too low

Step 8: Fill up the holes you plugged in the sod

  • Use a commercial soil mix that doesn’t have weed seeds in it
  • Rake it back and forth until it fills the holes
  • Mowing the sod short before plugging also helps the soil rake into the holes easily

Step 9: Water the new Zoysia grass plugs

  • Water the new grass plugs just as you would new sod
  • Your watering schedule will probably look something like this
    • Weeks 1 – 2: 3 times a day for 20 minutes
    • Week 3: 2 times a day for 20 minutes
    • Week 4: Once daily
    • Thereafter: Follow the normal watering recommendations for the grass you are plugging
  • This is the schedule I use, but you need to adjust it for how hot your climate is and your soil type
    • These links will help you determine your watering schedule
  • Use a watering timer

  • You can purchase timers online or at home improvement stores.
    • They can be a bit tricky to learn at first, but once you get the hang of it they are invaluable time savers.
  • Use sprinklers that are adjustable in both directions
    • This makes watering more accurate

Step 10: Water the sod you plugged from

  • Usually twice a week for 3 weeks
  • After that just follow the normal watering directions for your grass you are plugging

Step 11: Wait 6 weeks for the sod to regrow, then plant another section of plugs

  • You can plug an area 3 to 4 larger than the sod you are plugging from
    • For example: If you have 1 pallet of sod (~450 sq ft) you can plug about 1,200 – 1,600 sq ft.
    • That is if you take plugs out of your sod every 3” apart and plant every 6” apart
    • The first time you plug new sod, you’ll probably get 3 times the area of sod, because you have to be careful plugging around edges of sod pieces that fully haven’t grown in together
    • The second time around, and thereafter you should be able to get 4 times the area of plugs from your sod
  • Plugs usually fill in within 1 year. Though it may take 2 years depending on conditions

Follow for additional information on planting plugs from Sod

5 Key Steps to Laying Sod

Sod is a hefty investment, so it is critical to prepare the planting area and tend the turf with care. You can lay sod anytime during the growing season, although spring and early autumn are best—cool temperatures combined with occasional rain help sod quickly root. Follow these steps to do the job right the first time.

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How to Lay Down Sod

Every step in the process of laying sod is important to keep your lawn healthy and happy. Preparing for the sod before laying it down and caring for it after it’s in place will help yield the longest-lasting results.

Step 1: Prepare the Soil

Remove twigs, stones, and other debris from the area to prepare the soil. Do a quick soil test to evaluate the area and its nutrient make-up. It’s good to know what you’re working with before you lay down the sod—you may want to amend the soil while you’re at it. If your soil test indicates a low pH level, you’ll need to add lime, dolomite limestone, or wood ashes to your soil. If your soil contains a high pH level, you’ll need to amend it by adding horticultural sulfur, composted oak leaves, or pine needles.

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Step 2: Fill with Top Soil

Break up soil clods that are larger than 2 inches in diameter. Fill low areas with good quality topsoil. If the soil is sandy or full of clay, work in organic matter. Take advantage of this opportunity to improve the soil; it’s easy to add amendments when the soil is bare.

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Step 3: Smooth the Soil

Smooth the soil with a stiff garden rake. Be sure to distribute any bumps or piles of soil to create a flat area. Finish preparing the area by compacting it slightly with a lawn roller like the Brinly Combination Push/Tow Poly Lawn Roller, $139 on Amazon.

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Step 4: Lay Sod

Lay sod on a cool, overcast day to minimize plant stress. If you lay sod in the heat of summer, moisten the surface of the planting area before putting down the turf. Stagger strips in a brick-like pattern, and be sure that all pieces fit tightly together. A utility knife or sharp spade is handy for cutting sod to fit irregular areas. Once the sod is in place, run the sod roller over it to eliminate air pockets.

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Step 5: Water Sod Daily

Water it immediately, then water daily (depending on rainfall), moistening the soil to a depth of 4 inches, until the sod takes root (in 2-3 weeks). Avoid mowing sod until it has firmly rooted. To find out if sod has rooted, gently tug at it. If you feel resistance, roots are anchored in the underlying soil.

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