Author Archive

The Dangers of Pesticides


posted on May 12th, 2011 by Steve Schug

Lawns come in all shapes and sizes. Unfortunately, so do the weeds, insects and unwanted grasses that can pop up from time to time.  Luckily, the thick growth pattern of a Zoysia lawn can help prevent them from making a home in your yard.

If you do find yourself with intruders, it’s natural to want to get rid of them. However, it’s extremely important to be mindful of the method in which you choose to do this. It is a widely known fact that the chemicals in many pesticides can be harmful to your family and pets – but these chemicals also have the potential to damage your lawn as well. In fact, pesticides have the potential to harm our entire eco-system.

The Environmental Protection Agency has declared many pesticides carcinogenic, and these chemicals have the potential to cause serious health complications in adults and children. Pesticides also pollute rivers and water supplies and pose a significant danger to wildlife. In recent years, though, there have been advancements in alternatives to traditional pesticides (often organic, non-chemical formulas) that can help you rid your yard of a variety of insects and weeds while protecting you, your family and our delicate eco-system.

With a Zoysia lawn, you can avoid pesticides or non-chemical weed killers all together since Zoysia tends to naturally resist many unwanted intruders – protecting you and your family from the dangers of pesticides in your own backyard.

Managing Your pH


posted on April 27th, 2011 by Steve Schug

As we mentioned earlier this month, understanding the type of soil you’re working with when planting your Zoysia lawn is the first step in achieving the best possible results. Once you’ve determined soil type, it’s time to test its pH level to help you figure out what, if any, extra nutrients your soil may require.

While your Zoysia lawn can grow in a variety of soil types and pH levels, ideally your soil’s pH should be between 6 and 7. Since the pH of your soil determines how well plants absorb nutrients, it’s important to test it prior to planting – You can do this easily with a handheld pH meter.

If your soil tests below the ideal level, it is considered acidic. Acidic soil contains more sulfur and aluminum sulfate than neutral soils – And while acidic soil does help plants absorb iron more easily, it can also hinder the ability to absorb molybdenum.

Soil that tests above the ideal lever is considered alkaline. Alkaline soils tend to contain an abundance of lime or wood ash and help plants absorb potassium. However, alkaline soils can cause difficulty in the absorption of manganese.

Overall, most plants, including your Zoysia lawn, will thrive in a neutral soil. You can alter the level of your soil’s pH by adding granulated lime to raise the pH level or adding small quantities of sulfur to lower the pH level.

 

The Types of Soil and Your Zoysia Lawn


posted on April 14th, 2011 by Steve Schug

The soil underneath of your Zoysia lawn supplies your grass with nutrients and water as it grows.  While Zoysia grows well in a variety of soils, in order to be sure your lawn will grow successfully and look its best, it’s important to know the type of soil you’re working with.

Sand

Sandy soil is made of larger rock particles that fit loosely together.  While this type of soil does not lend itself to remaining moist, its roomy airspaces allow Zoysia’s roots to penetrate and provide quicker root development.  Prior to planting, though, this type of soil might require some alteration in the form of manure or compost if it is more sand than soil.

Silt

Silt-based soils are made of medium-sized particles that can often only be seen with the aide of a microscope.  These types of soils shed water quickly, but feel slick to the touch when they are wet.  They tend to be rich in nutrients and a great growing environment.

Clay

Clay-like soils are made of tiny particle that stick tightly together.  These soils hold water and nutrients well, but they are also susceptible to “winter heaving” which can be harmful to perennial plants.  It is best to mix your clay soil well with an organic matter to reduce its compaction, making it easier for roots to grow.

Organic Matter

Organic matter is made of organic materials like compost, decomposed manure and shredded leaves.  When applied to sandy or clay-like soils, it helps to maintain ideal moisture levels and creates airspace to help roots grow as needed.  By adding organic matter in moderation, you alter your existing soil and give your Zoysia lawn the best chance to grow and thrive.

Remember, a big part of keeping your lawn healthy and beautiful is knowing what’s underneath it.  Knowing what type of soil you have prior to planting your Zoysia lawn will help it to grow and thrive for years to come.

Zoysia’s Deep Root System


posted on November 4th, 2010 by Steve Schug

A unique advantage of maintaining a Zoysia lawn is that the grass plugs grow with a deep and thick root structure. This root system allows Zoysia to grow in thick and plush with a carpet-like grass that feels great on bare feet.

Benefits of a Deep Root System:

- Allows the roots to more effectively extract water from deeper soil, reducing your needs to water your Zoysia lawn.

- Amazoy plugs make it easy to plant the grass on steep areas and slopes.

- Since Zoysia grows so thick with deep roots, it crowds out weeds and crab grasses so they are unable to germinate.

- Thick roots work to replace unwanted existing grasses in the lawn.

- Zoysia is able to grow in all types of dense clay soils because the strong roots are strong enough to penetrate the ground and create air passages allowing root development.

- Once the root system is fully established (reaching about 2 feet), the thickness of the turf will work to reduce slope erosion.

For more information about Zoysia’s root system read about the low maintenance needs of your Zoysia lawn, and the process of Zoysia plug growth.

Dethatching Your Zoysia Lawn


posted on October 28th, 2010 by Steve Schug

Dethatching Your LawnDethatching is the mechanical removal of the layer of cuttings and stems that build up between green blades and soil in a lawn. This layer of material called “thatch” accumulates in your lawn when air, water, and light cannot reach the surface of the soil. In order to repair your lawn it is necessary to remove the thatch. After dethatching, your lawn will look bare briefly, but this will lead to new and healthy grass growth.

An alternative to the traditional dethatching method which can be exhausting is using Liquid Thatch Remover. This dethatching process takes only 4 minutes to spray the contents of the bottle over the lawn space, which is much easier and less work than the typical raking method. Liquid Thatch Remover turns thatch into a rich, organic fertilizer, and is environmentally friendly and involves o chemicals, fertilizers, herbicides or pesticides.

This product treats up to 5,000 square feet and is used by spraying the product directly on the lawn space when the ground temperature is at least 45 degrees for best results. Use the product three times a year, and the need for power raking will be eliminated.

Benefits of Dethatching:

- Preserves actively growing grass.

- Allows nutrients and water to easily reach the soil and grass roots.

- Discourages insect and disease problems.

- Allows fertilizer applications to be more effective.

- Improves appearance and health of the lawn.

Read more about fertilizing, mowing, watering needs, and other lawn care tips for your Zoysia lawn.

Composting, Part II


posted on September 27th, 2010 by Steve Schug

Composting is the natural process that turns organic material like leaves, grass clippings, and twigs into a dark rich substance. By adding compost to your Zoysia lawn, it will help the grass grow in thicker and healthier. This is because an organic matter in the compost helps soil retain nutrients and water, to help benefit your plants.

Uses of Compost

- soil conditioning
- lawn dressing
- erosion control
- a potting soil component
- mulching

Benefits of Compost

As opposed to some fertilizers, composting won’t burn your grass if you accidentally use too much. Also, it won’t stain your walkways or concrete patios around your lawn. It is also prone to show results quickly.

CompostingPlacing Compost on Your Zoysia Lawn

Compost can be used as a natural fertilizer when planting new lawns as well as maintaining your existing lawn.

When distributing compost across a new lawn, use generous amounts of compost. Mix 4 to 6 inches of compost into the soil. Once the grass plugs are planted, thoroughly water the area.

When distributing compost across your existing lawn, place piles of about one shovel-full throughout your lawn. Using a rake, spread the compost throughout the lawn until the compost is in a thin layer about 1/2 inch thick. A thin layer of compost will break down quickly, releasing nutrients into the lawn without smothering your grass. After the compost is distributed, water your lawn well.

Compost works as a conditioner to your lawn, keeping it healthy and green. It is safe, organic, and with just 1 – 2 applications per year it can make a significant positive impact on your lawn’s health. Interested in composting? Read more about how to create compost from grass clippings to use on your Zoysia lawn.

How To: Compost Your Grass Clippings


posted on August 26th, 2010 by Steve Schug

Everyone enjoys a beautiful, green lawn. However, lawns can create large amounts of grass cuttings which need to be disposed of. A great way to make good use of your Zoysia clippings that is both easy and environmentally friendly is creating a compost bin in your yard. A few simple steps can help your compost bin be productive, and prevent it from turning into a slimy problem that some may associate with composting.

Tips for Composting

- Mix grass cuttings with a tough more fibrous material like hedge clippings, wood chips, and leaves. The layers of grass clippings and brown material should be alternated. This balances the nitrogen level and provides air pockets that assist the breakdown process.

- Check the moisture of the compost. The material should be like a wrung out sponge. If the compost is too wet, add dry leafy material. If the compost is too dry, add water and thoroughly mix it in.

- Aerate the compost bin occasionally. Using a garden fork, turn the compost to aid the composting process. Mix the materials to avoid packing, and to increase the air pockets.

- If you have recently applied chemicals or herbicides to your lawn, wail until the rain has washed them clean before you add them to your compost pile.

- Add lime to your compost. This will jump start the decomposition process and prevent your pile from developing an unpleasant odor.

If all goes well, you will have a nice layer of compost at the bottom of your bin. Find out more about composting, or read more about maintaining your Zoysia lawn the right way.

Lawn Edging


posted on August 4th, 2010 by Steve Schug

Easy-EdgeInstalling borders in your yard is a great way to separate your Zoysia lawn from your garden beds, patio, neighboring lawns, and driveway. Our Easy Edge® is a decorative lawn edging system specially designed for defining your Zoysia grass.

Benefits of Lawn Edging

- Defines your yard.
- Creates practical borders.
- Gives you a neat mowing and trimming line, while saving time.
- Provides a root barrier to prevent grasses from entering flower beds.
- Adapts to straight or curved areas with ease.

Putting a lawn edging system in place is a practical way to give your yard a clean and finished look without a great deal of work. Plastic or metal borders can be inserted six inches into your Zoysia lawn to keep it from growing in unwanted areas of your yard.

Installing Easy Edge®

- It is flexible and easy to install.
- Made of durable plastic, Easy-Edge® is corrugated for extra strength.
- Withstands -30° temperatures and will last for years.
- Our Step-On Edger is helpful for installation.

Watch our instructional video on installing an edging system into your Zoysia lawn.

Watering Needs of Your Zoysia Grass


posted on July 28th, 2010 by Steve Schug

SprinklerIn order to keep your Zoysia lawn looking fresh and healthy, it’s important to make sure your grass is receiving the right amount of water.

When to Water Zoysia
The best time to water your lawn is in the morning, preferably before noon. This allows the grass to dry before nightfall, reducing the risk of disease.

One benefit of Zoysia grass is its ability to stay thick and green with much less water than many other types of grasses, helping you save on your water bill! Amazoy will require up to 80% less irrigation than other types of grass, and will only need supplemental watering if there has been little rainfall.

A good way to test if your grass needs watering is to look at the surrounding ground. If the dirt is dry and cracking, its time to water your Zoysia grass. Be sure to avoid over watering, because excessive watering can damage the roots. If you have questions, check out our Moisture Meter to determine your grass’ watering needs.

Moisture of Zoysia
To maximize growth of Zoysia grass, the plug roots should not be saturated. Because Zoysia’s vigorous root system is so deep and extensive, once the lawn becomes established, little, if any, supplemental watering will be needed to maintain your lawn.

Try these items geared specifically for watering your Zoysia lawn.

Sprinkler

SprinklerSprinklerSprinkler

Backyard Games


posted on July 23rd, 2010 by Steve Schug

CroquetYour Zoysia grass offers a comfortable place for you and your family to be active and enjoy the outdoors. Lawn games are fun activities which bring your family together during free time. Your lawn can also keep your guests active and happy while livening up your family reunion or barbecue with some backyard fun.

Lawn Games
Below are some lawn games you might want to try while spending time outside enjoying your Zoysia lawn.

- Croquet
- Bocce Ball
- Horseshoe
- Bean Bag Toss
- Cornhole
- Ladderball
- Washers
- Badminton
- Volleyball