If you are into lawns then you are probably aware of some of the most popular grass varieties including fescue, bermuda grass, and even Kentucky blue grass. One import from Southeast Asia – zoysia grass, has also been gaining in popularity in recent years. While zoysia does very well in the southern two-thirds of the United States, each year, nurseries work to develop more strains that will improve the cold-hardiness of this impressive grass variety.
Benefits of Zoysia Grass
Zoysia is well known to be both drought resistant and heat tolerant. This variety of grass creates a very deep root system that can be as deep as twenty four inches once it matures. The excellent root structure allows zoysia grass to remain green and healthy even during the scorching summer heat waves while requiring very little water and maintenance. In fact, zoysia has been shown to require between fifty and eighty percent less water than other popular lawn varieties mentioned earlier. Considering that watering the lawn is usually the second highest volume of water used in a household after laundry requirements, cultivating your lawn this way can save a considerable amount off of your water bill each month.
The dense and deep root structure of zoysia makes if very difficult to impossible for foreign invasive species to take root in your lawn. If you have had problems with clovers or crabgrass invading your perfect lawn in the past, this may be a wonderful natural alternative to consider. Pesticides can damage the environment, but a better variety of grass will keep your lawn looking the way you want it to without the expense and time consuming processes of weeding and applying chemicals. In addition, zoysia is also very resistant to the majority of diseases and pests that plague other lawn grasses.
Depending on where you live, there are zoysia varieties that are shade tolerant. Unfortunately this doesn’t apply to the northern half of the United States as it will require full sun in these cooler climates.
The slow growing nature of zoysia grass means that you will spend fewer weekends chasing the lawn mower instead of pursuing other hobbies. Depending on your climate it can mean anywhere from two to four times less mowing required than other common lawn grass varieties.
Zoysia performs very well in high-traffic lawns and isn’t torn up the way some other grasses are. It also feels very nice in bare-feet to boot. If you have kids running around or through a bunch of neighborhood barbecues this is definitely a plus.
Disadvantages of Zoysia Grass
Because of the nature of its root structure, zoysia can sometimes be considered invasive. If your neighbor doesn’t have a well established lawn, it may begin to take over his lawn as well. This is a benefit in terms keeping down crabgrass and other nuisances, but may annoy your neighbor if he is trying to establish the perfect Kentucky blue grass lawn!
Because it is so heat tolerant, zoysia is known to turn green a little latter in the season than some other lawn turf varieties. This may be noticeable if all your neighbors have planted cool season grass varieties. Counter this with the fact that your lawn will look stunning in the heat of summer with little to no while theirs are brown and scorched even with constant watering!
Generally speaking, the cost and time saving benefits of planting zoysia grass in your lawn far outweigh the potential negatives. Unless your climate just won’t support it, this is an excellent alternative to the more labor and cost intensive turf grass varieties.