Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Turf - Reconsider Zoysiagrass

Zoysiagrass invokes strong emotions by homeowners, property managers, and turf professionals. Some like the texture, density, and color of the lush turf it produces. Others hate that it browns out all winter and how it invades areas. The following are some reasons to reconsider zoysias and what varieties are recommended.

Zoysiagrass is a warm season grass that can be very successfully grown as a lawn in Delaware. It produces a dense, attractive turf that is drought resistant and heat tolerant. As a warm season grass it greens up in May and goes dormant in October (turns straw colored). It is slower to fill in than Bermdagrass and less wear tolerant but is more cold hardy and shade tolerant . It requires a very sharp mower blade to cut properly. Originally, only vegetatively propagated varieties were available; however, excellent seed varieties are now on the market. Recommended varieties are Meyer (vegetative), Zenith and Compadre (both seeded types).
Newer promising vegetatively propagated (V) and seeded (S) zoysiagrass varieties include: Cavalier (V), Companion (S), Himeno (V), J-14 (S), J-36 (S), J-37 (S), Marquis (V), Sunburst (V), Zorro (V), ZEN-400 (S), and ZEN-500 (S).

Gordon Johnson, Extension Horticulture Agent, UD, Kent County

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