Skip to comments.Southern Turfgrass Choices, Installation, and Care
Posted on 05/23/2012 6:33:10 AM PDT by orsonwb
Just as important as choosing the right plants for your yard, is choosing the right type of turfgrass. The main choices available to homeowners in the southern U.S. area are St Augustine, Bermuda, Buffalo, and Zoysia grasses...
(Excerpt) Read more at howdogardener.com ...
I know a lot of folks who lost their lawns last summer.
Zoysia is awesome, Empire Zoysia. Bought a few trays of plugs a couple of years ago... it is thick and had now taken over my entire lawn, choking out all the weeds. I do no watering, and no ferilizing anymore and only have to cut it every other week.
They also sell a seed called Zenith Zoysia. Not as good as the Empire plugs. The scarce areas where the seed actually took are not nearly as thick and healthy and it isn’t spreading much either. It is also a lighter color green... Empire is a dark green.
Even though the reservoirs are full, we’re still on once a week watering restrictions :-(
Roto tilling to prepare for the sod is probably the best thing you can do prior to planting, and NO ONE does it.
Most sod installation is thrown on top of 1” of sand to level, but the hard ground isnt broken up. Water never soaks in properly.
Till in some organic matter such as mulch and you will always have a better lawn for doing so.
More on Empire Zoysia... more related to Florida, but I live in Newport News, VA and it does well here to, though it goes dormant November - March (I overseed in the fall with cheap ryegrass)
This article was written for the I-35 folks. For the folks in East Texas and towards Dixie, centipede grass is a better choice for full sun. You have to keep in fertilized so that it doesn’t turn yellow. I like it because it hardly grows and I don’t have to mow it very often.
I love the St. Augustine (or centipede), too. I put the mower on it’s highest setting and let the grass stay deep all year. I have people ask me how we keep our yard looking so nice, and I think not mowing it too short is the key with the St. Augustine.
Same with fescue, which is a cool season grass and what most people here try to work with. Most people cut it way too short, and consequentially, it usually dies by the first week of June or the first week of 90 degree temperatures. Mowing it on high usually gets you into July, and if you are willing to pay $300 monthly water bills with sprinklers running 6 hours per day, it might even last the season. As a result, by the middle of summer, my Zoysia is usually the only green lawn in the neighborhood.
I think not mowing it too short is the key with the St. Augustine.
....lost big patches to drought last summer... how do you reseed/repair large bare spots?? thanks for your thoughts
Try some Torpedo grass -
On a liberal’s front lawn.....
You must have a sunny spot in NN to have healthy Zoysia.
In Yorktown, where we have shade trees, fescue does better.
(Crab grass does best;)
My entire yard is pretty much partial sun. We have several large oak trees and some pines so everything is in the shade for a good part of the day. The zoysia is doing fine, even in the shadier spots... the Empire anyway. As I said the Zenith Zoysia that I seeded hasn’t done nearly as well. In fact, I will probably till those areas next year and throw in some Zenith plugs. McDonald’s Garden Center on LaSalle/Settlers Landing in Hampton sells them.
You think crabgrass does good, I need to throw you some nifty bahia seeds! Grows great, covers fast and you will enjoy changing mower blades more often.
Yes, my neighbor can’t figure out why his yard looks much poorer than mine (not that mine is the Yard of the Month winner.) He fertilizes and aerates and makes his kids pull weeds and runs his sprinklers all day. Then, he goes out there twice a week with his John Deere set on about the lowest setting and scalps it over and over.
Since you used the words “patches” and “spots”, I’ll recommend you look into chinch bugs if you haven’t already.
Your repair choices are either sod or plugs.
I’m not an expert at all; this has happened to us before, too. It took awhile for it to cover the area again, but I put more sprigs in the area, and otherwise just gave it more water that the rest of the yard. I think it took so long because it was under a tree and didn’t get much sun. I try to water a couple of times in the winter now so this doesn’t happen again.
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