posted on April 6th, 2010 by Steve Schug
Keeping your lawn maintained and looking great starts with knowing what is underneath it: soil. You might think “dirt is dirt”, but in fact, soil can have quite the range. Being knowledgeable of what kind of soil you have in your yard will help you make the right choices for your lawn.
There are a few things you should be considering when thinking about soil and lawn care maintenance.
Test Your Soil
First, you should test your soil. Knowing what kind of soil you’ve got will help you know what nutrients you need. You can test your soil using a pH meter or a soil test kit.
Your pH meter will tell you the pH of your soil, which will range from 3 to 10 on the pH scale (see below). A 7 on the scale marks neutrality; any soil above that is considered basic or alkaline, while anything below is considered acidic. Most good soils will range from 5-7.
Discover Your Soil Type
After finding out the pH of your soil, you should grab a handful of your soil to discover the texture and type. If your handful of soil holds shape, it is clay-like. If it doesn’t it will be more sandy.
Clay like soil has a few advantages. It holds moisture and nutrients well, which means less time watering and less money spent on fertilizers. Despite this, there are a few disadvantages.
Clay like soil has poor drainage, allowing it to become oversaturated and deprive plants from the oxygen it needs. It can also warm slowly in spring, shortening the planting season. When it does dry, it can crust or crack, causing plant roots to tear.
Sandy soil has advantages. It drains easily and quickly, allowing for oxygen. It also is easily worked, and warms quickly in spring, allowing for quick planting. Despite these things, it also tends to have a low capacity for holding both moisture, needing more water and fertilizer. It is also subject to erosion.
An ideal soil is something in between sandy and clay like. To read more about soil types, click here.
If you’ve got clay like or sandy soil, there are a few things you can do to alter it to your needs. Add a generous amount of organic matter, like compost, manure, or peat moss. Spread a layer, between 3 or 4 inches thick, over your existing soil. Then thoroughly incorporate it into your existing soil. Be sure to do this, because just adding a layer on top won’t help.
Remember, do add organic matter in moderation. Too much can be harmful and toxic to your lawn.
Your Soil and Zoysia Plugs
Luckily, zoysia can grow in a variety of soils. But it is always best to alter your soil before planting plugs. It will help encourage your zoysia lawn establish and grow hearty and lush.
posted on March 24th, 2010 by Steve Schug
After the first hard frost, you may be wondering why your grass has started to turn a tawny-brown tone. You don’t need to worry! Zoysia grass, like a deciduous tree, goes dormant after the first hard frost, when cold weather is moving in. The lush green color will fade.
In fact, most grasses have the tendency to go dormant at some point in the year. Winter causes dormancy for zoysia grass because it is categorized as a “warm season” grass. Cool season grasses are the opposite, and can go dormant in warm summer month, just when most people want to enjoy their lawn.
These photos, found at Gardens Gardens blog, show exactly what zoysia dormancy looks like.
This is healthy, and a part of the grass’ process. Zoysia’s ability to go dormant in winter helps it withstand colder temperatures, while still allowing it to come back lush every spring and remain green even in the full heat of summer.
In fact, some of you may not experience this dormancy at all. If you live in a region with mild winters, your lawn will remain lush and green all year round. But if you do experience dormancy, there is no need to worry, once winter is over, your grass will be back in no time at all, without any effort needed from you.
Click here to see more pictures of dormant zoysia grass.
posted on March 11th, 2010 by Steve Schug
Not surprisingly, the best time to plant your Amazoy Zoysia plugs is the same day they arrive to you. The plugs are living plants, so the sooner you plant them, the better. However, if you are unable to plant your Zoysia plugs right away, here are a few tips to keep them healthy until you can plant them.
1. Take the plugs out of the box and their plastic packaging.
2. Lay the plugs on a flat surface with the grass side facing up.
3. Keep your plugs in an area that does not get direct sunlight.
4. Keep your plugs well misted, about once a day, with water.
If you follow these four tips, you will have about two to three weeks to get them into your soil. Planting instructions are included in every order, or you can check out planting instructions here.
posted on March 4th, 2010 by Steve Schug
How much time have you spent messing around with grass seeds that you hoped would improve your lawn? Having a beautiful lawn may not be quick fix. The solution starts with a product that is appropriate for your needs.
Zoysia is the right solution for sunny and partly shady lawns. When planted one plug per square foot, (the minimum we recommend), Amazoy Zoysia will take two to three growing seasons (2 to 3 years) to fill in completely. If you choose to plant plugs closer together, your estimated growth time will decrease. If you want to calculate how many plugs you may need, check out our plug calculator.
Two to three years may sound like a lot, but Zoysia’s process of growth is part of its strength. It actually grows differently than other grasses, sending our runners or “stolons,” expanding sideways more than it grows tall. Zoysia’s slow spreading tendencies help it to become strong and sturdy, withstanding heavy traffic and erosion. So over those few growing seasons, Zoysia will grow lush, even, and green, while simultaneously crowding out the summer weeds, ultimately creating a beautiful lawn for you to enjoy.
posted on February 25th, 2010 by Steve Schug
As we have mentioned, Zoysia is a particularly hardy grass that grows well in a wide range of conditions. We also let you know a little bit about its history, both historically and company specific.
But zoysia isn’t just a catchall. There are many different types of zoysia. They act similarly, but can look and grow differently. Read more below about the most popular types of zoysia on the market today.
Amazoy / Meyer Z-52
This is the type of zoysia we specialize in. It has a medium, dark green color and an intermediate leaf texture and shoot density (thickness). It is known for fast spring green up (gain color back if it goes dormant) and is the most cold tolerant. It is sold as plugs and sod.
Emerald zoysia is a hybrid of zoysia, and was developed in Georgia. It is dark green in color, with a very fine leaf texture. It grows more quickly than other zoysia, but is only available as sod. This hybrid grass has fair shade tolerance and high shoot density, but doesn’t have superb cold weather tolerance.
Matrella / Manila
Zoysia matrella or manila grass originated on the island of Manila, hence its name. It has an intermediate leaf texture and shoot density. It does not hold up well in colder temperatures and is slow to establish.
Similar to Meyer Z-52 in appearance, but grows less dense. It does not do well in areas that are shaded and its ability to withstand cold temperatures is questionable.
This type of zoysia is from Brazil. It has a courser texture than other zoysia and is the least cold tolerant.
To see descriptions of other zoysia grasses, click here.
posted on February 11th, 2010 by Steve Schug
Just kidding. We know that even though Amazoy Zoysia is good at choking out weeds because of its density and thickness, a few may pop up every now and then. No need to worry, this can be easily taken care of.
Using a weed killer will solve the problem. Weed Be Gone is an efficient product and a good place to start. Using this on your weeds will kill them without killing the grass itself. You can also check out our Hose-End Sprayer if you want to apply water-soluble components. But steer clear of Round-Up; it is designed to kill grass!
If you are attempting to get rid of crabgrass, the best solution is to attack it with a pre-emergence product that will kill the seeds before they germinate. Any product like this must be applied in the early spring.
So when (or should we say if?) weeds pop-up, maintenance is easy and simple. Just get the right product and your weeds will be taken care of and Amazoy Zoysia will help prevent them from coming back.
posted on February 10th, 2010 by Steve Schug
When it comes to making decisions, sometimes it really is about the bottom line. This is especially true of a home investment purchases, like an improved lawn. When comparing Amazoy Zoysia to other grasses like Kentucky Blue or Rye, there is quite a difference in continual costs and maintenance.
With Amazoy Zoysia, mowing is reduced to about once per month. In regions with a growing season of 6 months, that is only six times a year. Other grasses require more, often about once a week during the active growing season. That is 26 times a year! And if you put that in terms of cost of a lawn service or gas for your mower, mowing less would obviously save you money.
Grasses like Kentucky Blue require a multi-step program throughout the growing season, so you would have to pay for and apply fertilizer three to four times a year. With Amazoy, you can choose to apply fertilizer, but you will only need to do so one time at the start of the growing season.
Amazoy Zoysia also requires less watering, if any at all. Many grasses require at least one, if not multiple, watering each week to stay green in the heat of the summer, resulting in a higher water bill or strain on your well, and more of your time.
Less densely growing grasses tend to need weed control, requiring costly general applications and spot treatments. Densely growing Zoysia will choke out most existing summer weeds once it has become established, but if a weed or two pops up, a quick spot application should take care of it.