Zoysia Grass Has Warm Origins
Zoysia grasses all derive from warm and often tropical regions, and although they have been substantially bred and developed to grow and thrive in more temperate areas, it is still a grass which has its heart back in the warmer regions of the world.
Choosing the right Zoysia grass is often not a difficult choice when the information about the different types is presented together in an easy way. Some are faster growing, others only thrive in the tropics, and others do very well in the temperate regions with ease.
But when it comes to planting and establishing a new Zoysia lawn from roll on sod, seed or lawn plugs correct timing is important.
Plant Zoysia in The Warm Months
In order to get Zoysia off to the best start possible we must remember the origins of this grass type, for it's only in the warmest times of year that new Zoysia seed, plugs or sod will fully feel like it is in its natural environment, and will be at its best growth rates that the turf will fully establish properly without possible damage occurring to the new lawn.
All new Zoysia lawns are best planted in Spring after the weather has warmed up, early Summer is still OK - as long as the weather is not too hot. Zoysia can also be planted at the beginning of Autumn if necessary - as long as the hottest summer heat is finished and Winter isn't too close by.
Problems Planting Zoysia In Winter
The most common problem with planting a Zoysia lawn in winter is that most of these grasses become dormant in the colder months, which then means the new Zoysia lawn simply is not growing much at all. And while the lawn isn't growing - it can't be expected to set down new roots or establish itself.
A roll on lawn will not properly set down roots, and seeded and plugged lawns will not grow quickly enough to spread out, they will most often remain dormant through the winters in the temperate regions of Australia.
The most likely results of planting Zoysia at the wrong time of year will be two-fold. First, the extremely slowed growth rate of the new lawn grass will allow the open soil of seeded or plugged lawns to become invaded by weeds which are at their most aggressive in the winter, and next is that a new lawn which turns brown will not develop a healthy root system. Once Spring arrives and the lawn begins to grow again, it is already in a compromised state of health, from which it will take a longer time to recover, and then to begin properly establishing itself.
Whereas the new Zoysia lawn which is planted in the Spring, will instead reach full health and establishment at far greater speed than the Zoysia lawn planted earlier in Winter.
Use Winter For Lawn Preparation
Instead of using the Winter to establish a new Zoysia lawn, which will never bring the best results over other times of the year, we would be best to use the time of Winter to instead do a better preparation for the lawn area which is to be turfed in the Spring.
Winter is a time when all the hidden weed seeds in the soil will come to life. By clearing the new lawn area in winter, we also get plenty of time to kill off many new weeds in the same lawn area as they continue to appear over Winter. If the area had a previous lawn in its place then we may continue to see signs of growth where the old lawn wasn't properly killed off before, so we can re-spray the old lawn as it tries to establish again.
This extra time over Winter also allows us to ensure the soil is in its best health by ensuring the soil has been aerated, and has settled and levelled properly. We can also use Winter to dig a lot of organic material into the soil such as manures, blood and bone, and other similar products - all of which will continue to work for our lawns for years to come.
It is far better to kill off weeds and any existing grasses as much as possible before any new Zoysia lawn is planted, before we later discover we have a beautiful new Zoysia lawn which may become filled with weeds or has the older grass growing through. So use Winter to prepare for the best lawn possible in the Spring!