Zoysia grass seed is very slow to germinate and grow. You will need to have patience, but the results will be amazing.
We found a detailed answer from a guy in Texas that we would like to share with you…
I live in West Central Texas and I planted Zenith Zoysia at a rate of 1-lb/1000ft2 in April 1999 (4000 ft2 total). I had a decent stand of zoysia by July, but it really only started to look good after about 2 years (2001). Here are some tips from the Texas Zenith School of Hard Knocks:
1: It would have been better if I had used 2 or 3 lbs/1000ft2. Zenith Zoysia is VERY SLOOOOW! But, the good news is – once it gets established, it is very thick.
2: After about a year, Texas Common St. Augustine started appearing in patches throughout the Zenith turf, even though the Zenith is protected by concrete/brick curbs from the neighbor’s St. Augustine/Bermuda mix. Zenith DOES NOT compete well with St. Augustine in West Central Texas, but it will eventually override Bermuda – especially in the shadier parts of the lawn. Bottom Line: get familiar with Drive 75DF herbicide because this is the only chemical that will give your Zenith a fighting chance against St. Augustine. Drive doesn’t harm the Zoysia, but it will knock the St. Augustine down very well.
3: Don’t mow the Zenith any lower than 3″ when the temps get over 90 degrees – no matter what you read! It really does object to low mowing in hot, Texas weather – sun or shade. A 3″ cut height also will favor the Zenith over the eventual Bermuda invasion. I scalp the Zenith in late-Feb, just as it’s coming out of dormancy, and then set the mower at 2″ until the temps start hitting 90 degrees – then I go to 3″ and stay there till the first frost. Additionally, with the 3″ cut, Zenith will grow like a weed in hot weather. I have to cut it 2x/week in the summer for it to look good.
4: Only fertilize it 2x/year. Once in March, and the other in September – and then ONLY at 1 lb of nitrogen / 1000ft2 each time. You cannot coax Zenith to grow faster – no matter how much you try. Higher rates of fertilizer will only favor bermuda and the dreaded St Augustine.
5: Zenith doesn’t grow worth a flip under the shade of large trees (i.e: Live Oaks). Zenith is thin and puny under heavy shade. I have to prune a very large live oak so the Zenith will get about 2 hours of full sun/day. Zenith seems to prefer about 5-6 hours of full sun, especially morning sun and that’s where it looks the best in my yard. This past year, I’ve taken to plugging in Palisades Zoysia under the live oak, which seems to do much better in the shade.
6: It needs about as much water as St Augustine – maybe a little less, but definately more than bermuda. Drought and watering restrictions in Texas will wipe it out fast and recovery is again – VERY SLOOOW.
Now all this may sound like the seeded Zenith is not worth having – not true! It is a beautiful grass and I get comments all the time about how good it looks. However, it is a fussy grass and it does have it’s own rules to be successful – all of which I listed above. If you throw out the seed in the yard and expect it to perform like bermuda, you’ll be very disappointed. Give it a little pampering and stick to the rules and it will become a showplace lawn. Hope this helps!
I kept my newly seeded Zenith seed damp for 2 months (April through June), with the sprinklers coming on about 4-5x/during the daytime for a few minutes each time. After the seedlings appeared, I watered it less in frequency but more in watering run time – or about 1-2x/day with about 10 minutes run time. After about 2-3 weeks, you should see some tiny seedlings, but nothing substantial (like a mat of green grass) will be visible until July or so (since you planted it 2 weeks ago). Again, nothing’s wrong with the seed – the stuff is just slow and it is an exercise in patience! Source
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