March through May June through August September through November December through February More About Zoysiagrass Integrated Pest Management Disclaimer
Lawn Maintenance Calendar
This calendar of suggested management practices is designed to assist you in the seasonal care of your lawn. Location, terrain, soil type and condition, age of the lawn, previous lawn care, and other factors affect turf performance. For these reasons, tile following management practices and dates should be adjusted to suit your particular home lawn conditions.
March through May
Mow the lawn when it first turns green in the spring using a reel mower set at 3/4 to 1 inch or a rotary mower set as low as possible without scalping the lawn. Mow before the grass grows taller than 1 1/2 to 2 inches. Recycle nutrients by not collecting clippings unless they are unsightly or in clumps.
Apply 1/2 pound of nitrogen per thousand square feet three weeks after the grass turns green. In absence of a soil test, use a complete (N-P-K) turf-grade fertilizer with a 3-1-2 or 4-1-2 ratio (for example, 12-4-8 or 16-4-8). Submit a soil sample to determine nutrient requirements, if you haven't already. (Contact your county Agricultural Extension agent for details.) Apply lime if suggested.
To determine the amount of product required to apply 1/2 pound of nitrogen per thousand square feet, divide 50 by the first number in the fertilizer ratio. For example, for a 5-5-15 fertilizer, divide 50 by 5. The result is 10 pounds of product per thousand square feet.
Water to a soil depth of 4 to 6 inches. Probe with a screwdriver to determine moisture depth. Zoysiagrass needs a weekly application of 1 to 1 1/4 inches of water. On sandy soils, it requires more frequent watering, for example, 1/2 inch of water every third day. It is often necessary to irrigate an area for three to five hours to apply 1 inch of water. (It takes 620 gallons of water to apply 1 inch of water per thousand square feet.) Because clay soils accept water slowly, irrigate these areas until runoff occurs; wait one-half hour until the water has been absorbed, and then continue irrigating until the desired depth or amount is obtained. A dark, bluish gray color, footprinting, and wilted, folded, or curled leaves indicate that it is time to water. Proper irrigation may prevent or reduce pest problems and environmental stress later in the summer.
Apply preemergence herbicides to control crabgrass, goosegrass. and foxtail by the time the dogwoods are in full bloom. Apply postemergence herbicides in May as needed to control summer annual and perennial broadleaf weeds such as knotweed, spurge, and lespedeza. Products containing two or three broadleaf herbicides are usually more effective in controlling several different broadleaf weeds in a lawn. Be sure the product is labeled for use on zoysiagrass. Apply only if weeds are present and wait until three weeks after the grass turns green. (See Agricultural Extension Service publication AG-408, Pest Control Recommendations for Turfgrass Managers.)
Check for white grubs and control them if necessary. (See White Grubs in Turf, ENT/ORT-67, AG-366).
Vertically mow after the grass turns green to remove thatch if it is more than 1/2 inch thick. Do not attempt to remove too much thatch at one time because zoysiagrass has a slow recovery rate. It may take several years to get thatch under control.
Replant large bare areas using sod or plugs planted on 6- or 12-inch centers. (See Carolina Lawns, AG-69.) Applying a preemergence herbicide that does not interfere with root growth after plugging helps prevent weed encroachment.
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June through August
Follow the March-May mowing guidelines
Apply 1/2 pound of nitrogen per thousand square feet in late June or early July and repeat in mid-August using March-May fertilizer guidelines.
Follow the March-May irrigation guidelines.
Apply postemergence herbicides as needed to control summer annual and perennial broadleaf weeds such as knotweed, spurge, and lespedeza. Do not apply postemergence herbicides unless weeds are present, grass is actively growing, and the lawn is not suffering from drought stress. Crabgrass, goosegrass, dallisgrass, nutsedge, annual sedges, and sandbur can be controlled with postemergence grass control herbicides. Two or three applications 7 to 10 days apart are required for effective control. Zoysiagrasses are sensitive to these compounds so select the application carefully. (See Agricultural Extension Service publication Pest Control for Professional Turfgrass Managers, AG-408.)
Follow the March-May insect control guidelines. August is the best time to control grubs because they are small and close to the soil surface.
Vertically mow in June using the March-May thatch removal guidelines.
September through November
Mow the lawn using the March-May guidelines.
Fertilize with 1 pound of potash (K2O) using 1.6 pounds of muriate of potash (0-0-60), 2 pounds of potassium sulfate (0-0-50), or 5 pounds of sul-po-mag (0-0-22) per thousand square feet.
To determine the amount of product required to apply 1 pound of potash per thousand feet, divide 100 by the third number in the fertilizer ratio. For example, for a 6-6-12 fertilizer, divide 100 by 12. The result is 8.3 pounds of product per thousand square feet:
100/12 = 8.3
Follow the March-May irrigation guidelines. Dormant zoysiagrass may still need to be watered periodically when warm, windy weather prevails.
Apply preemergence or postemergence herbicides as needed to control winter annual and perennial broadleaf weeds such as chickweed and hen bit. Preemergence herbicides will not control existing perennial weeds. Apply postemergence herbicides only when weeds are present. (See Agricultural Extension Service publication Pest Control for Professional Turfgrass Managers, AG-408.)
Follow the March-May insect control guidelines.
December through February
Follow the March-May mowing guidelines. Zoysiagrass need not be mowed when dormant.
Do not fertilize.
Dormant zoysiagrass may need to be irrigated periodically to prevent desiccation especially when warm, windy weather prevails.
Apply broadleaf herbicides as necessary to control chickweed, henbit, and hop clover. Selective herbicides can be applied in November or December to control annual bluegrass (Poa annua) and several annual broadleaf weeds. Apply postemergence herbicides only when weeds are present. (See Agricultural Extension Service publication Pest Control for Professional Turfgrass Managers, AG-408.)
More About Zoysiagrass
Zoysiagrasses are very low, slow growing, sod-forming grasses that make a very dense, wear-resistant lawn. Zoysiagrass grows well in full sun or partial shade. It requires less mowing but is tougher to mow and easier to keep out of flower beds than bermudagrass. It is very slow to establish when plugged (typically two to three years) and slow to recover from injury.
Zoysiagrass is well adapted to the Piedmont and Coastal Plain and is usually vegetatively planted, although procedures are now available for seeding common zoysiagrass. However, treated seed is not readily available. (Contact your county Agricultural Extension agent for more information.)
Once zoysiagrasses is established, it can become thatchy (fluffy due to an accumulation of dead, decaying plant residue at the soil surface), especially when mowed high and infrequently or when heavily fertilized. Thatch needs to be removed every two to three years, but care should be taken because the recovery rate of zoysiagrass is slow. Zoysiagrasses perform best when mowed with reel mowers, however, good performance can be achieved using a rotary mower with sharp blades set as low as possible without scalping. Uneven terrain may prevent zoysiagrass from being mowed as short as desired.
Emerald zoysiagrass has very fine leaves, good winter hardiness, shade tolerance, and wear resistance, a moderate rate of spread, and a dark green color. Meyer zoysiagrass has a medium leaf texture, is less shade tolerant, and lighter in color than Emerald. Meyer establishes more quickly than other zoysiagrasses and is the most cold tolerant. Zoysia matrella (manilagrass) is intermediate in leaf texture, density, cold tolerance, and low-temperature color retention compared to Emerald and Meyer. Little published research is available on the new cultivars, Belair, Cashmire, El-Toro, and Z-26.
Zoysiagrasses are subject to diseases such as rust, brown patch, and dollar spot, and are susceptible to nematode injury. Nematode damage results in shallow-rooted plants that do not respond to water and fertilizer, resulting in open areas invaded by weeds. If nematodes are suspected, submit a soil sample for analysis to Agronomic Division, Soil, Plant, and Nematode Testing, North Carolina Department of Agriculture, Raleigh, NC 27611. (See Diseases of Warm-Season Grasses, AG-360, and Ornamentals and Turf Insect Note No. 70 for insects that feed on zoysiagrass.) Contact your county Agricultural Extension agent for assistance.
Integrated Pest Management: The Sensible Approach to Lawn Care
Many pest problems can cause your turf to look bad--diseases, weeds, insects,, and animals. If you are really unlucky, you may have all of them at one time.
So what do you do? Use a pesticide? Or make changes in cultural practices? Both methods, and some others as well, may be needed. The balanced use of all available methods is called Integrated Pest Management (IPM).
The idea is simple. It involves the use of all available prevention and control methods to keep pests from reaching damaging levels. The goal is to produce a good turf and minimize the influence of pesticides on man, the environment, and turf.
IPM methods include:
Early detection and prevention, or both, will minimize pest damage, saving time, effort, and money. Should a problem occur, determine the cause or causes, then choose the safest, most effective control or controls available.
When chemical control is necessary, select the proper pesticide, follow label directions, and apply when the pest is susceptible. Treat only those areas in need. Regard pesticides as only one of many tools available for turf care.
To learn more about integrated pest management, pest identification, turf care, and proper use of pesticides, contact your county Cooperative Extension Center.
DISCLAIMER: Recommendations for the use of agricultural chemicals are included in this publication as a convenience to the reader. The use of brand names and any mention or listing of commercial products or services in this publication does not imply endorsement by the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service nor discrimination against similar products or services not mentioned. Individuals who use agricultural chemicals are responsible for ensuring that the intended use complies with current regulations and conforms to the product label. Be sure to obtain current information about usage regulations and examine a current product label before applying any chemical. For assistance, contact your county Cooperative Extension Service agent.
Prepared by: Arthur H. Bruneau, Crop Science Extension Specialist, Turfgrass
Fred Yelverton, Extension Specialist, Turfgrass Weed Management
Henry C. Wetzel, Extension Plant Pathology Specialist, Turfgrass
Charles H. Peacock, Turfgrass Research and Teaching
Rick L. Brandenburg, Extension Entomologist
Daniel C. Bowman, Turfgrass Research
Richard J. Cooper, Turfgrass Research
Cale A. Bigelow, Extension Associate, Turfgrass
Published by North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service Publication Number: AG-432 Revised: December, 2000 This Electronic Version: January, 2008
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