Zoysia grass was named after an 18th century Austrian botanist, Karl von Zois. The grass originated in Asia and is native to China and Japan as well as many other Southeast Asian countries. In 1911, Zoysia was brought into the U.S from Manila by a botanist named C.V. Piper. The U.S.D.A. did not release Zoysia for commercial development until 1951.
By 1953, Herbert Friedberg bought a farm in Maryland and worked diligently to perfect the growing of Meyer Z-52. He believed that this grass would be the answer for America’s lawns, and he strived to make Zoysia available to homeowners rather than for commercial uses such as golf courses. Instead of focusing on his family’s bowling center business, he decided to dedicate his time to Zoysia and worked hard to prepare and ship the grass.
Overtime, Friedberg’s advertising reached talk-radio pioneer Arthur Godfrey. Godfrey had come across one of the advertisements and talked about it on his nationally-syndicated radio show. From then on, Amazoy Meyer was on its way to homes around the country.
Friedberg’s success came from a combination of developing harvesting systems, processing the grass for shipment, and also educating homeowners on how easy it can be to have a golf course quality lawn. Today, Zoysia Farm Nurseries is an employee-owned company. The employees purchased the company from the Friedberg family in 1998. Therefore, each member is equally responsible for the customers to receive the freshest product and the best service possible.