Posts Tagged ‘ How-To ’

Knowing Your Lawn: Soil

posted on April 6th, 2010 by

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.

Fix It

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.

Why is My Zoysia Grass Brown?

posted on March 24th, 2010 by

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.

Plug Arrival: Best Time to Plant Your Plugs

posted on March 11th, 2010 by

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.

Zoysia: Solution for Spreading

posted on February 15th, 2010 by

Sometimes Amazoy Zoysia can be a little, well, eager. It is a spreading grass and sometimes finds its way into flowerbeds, gardens, and neighbor’s yards (in which case it might help the whole neighborhood look great). But maybe you don’t want it in your garden and maybe your neighbor doesn’t want it in his yard.

No problem, there is an easy solution. Inserting plastic or metal borders inserted about 6” into the ground will keep the grass from spreading in places where it isn’t wanted. Here at Zoysia Farms, we recommend Easy-Edge® lawn edging. The flexible and easy to install plastic edging will take care of any unwanted spreading.

To see how to accurately install borders, check out the video below.