Most of us don’t think about the type of grass that’s in our yard – unless it’s necessary to make the decision ourselves, that is. In that case, the choices can seem bewildering.
There are so many characteristics, so many aesthetics, and so many names. Fortunately, the climate you live in may make the choice a lot easier. For example, a lot of people in southern states opt for Zoysia because it’s hardy, drought-resistant, and appealing to look at.
If you want the best of the best, you’ve probably heard Zoysia Palisades come up; it’s one of the most popular types of Zoysia.
Another premium variety is Zeon Zoysia, which has its own unique features. The question is, which one is best for your lawn? Below you’ll find a comparison of each type of grass, which may give you some clarity as you craft your ideal lawn.
If the name sounds familiar, you may have heard about it in connection with the 2016 Olympics in Brazil. This grass was used for the golf course there, which tells you just how great it looks both on- and off-screen.
Of course, there are other reasons to choose this grass besides its star quality. For example, it’s quite hardy, with the ability to withstand both hot and cold weather extremes. It can also thrive in fairly shady conditions and needs relatively little water to flourish. The medium-green blades are narrow and soft; you can count on them to stay green from early spring to late fall.
Even if the weather conditions aren’t exactly ideal, you can count on Zeon Zoysia to remain green and healthy with minimum effort on your part. Where some Zoysia varieties have to be mown at least once a week, you can wait up to ten days between cuttings with this grass.
Let it grow to 2 inches in height to keep it healthy, then cut it down to 1 or 1.5 inches. The grass clippings should be allowed to fall back on the grass and “compost,” which provides natural fertilizer.
Anyone who’s concerned with keeping their water bill to a minimum will be delighted to know that Zeon Zoysia only needs about one inch of water each week. Even if watering restrictions are a regular thing, this grass can get through the dry spell with flying colors.
In addition to the typical Zoysia characteristics of drought resistance and aesthetic appeal, Palisades Zoysia is known for its resilience. Even if there’s a ton of foot traffic or other environmental stressors, this grass can bounce back quickly and keep growing. It’s also known for spreading to fill in bare areas, which can be a valuable feature on certain properties.
Part of this is due to its deep roots and rapid rate of growth. It also has blades that are comparatively thick and sturdy, meaning they don’t get crushed as easily.
Given how deep the root system tends to be, it’s no wonder that Palisades Zoysia is so drought-resistant; it can keep accessing water even after the soil’s surface has dried up. Once this grass has established itself, it’ll only need to be watered between 1.5 and 2 inches each week.
Palisades Zoysia is also fairly shade tolerant. Like most Zoysias, it does prefer full sunlight; however, just a few hours per day is sufficient for healthy grass. Since it grows rapidly in shade or sunlight, it’ll need to be cut every week. 1.5 to 2 inches is the preferred height for this grass, with 3 inches being the maximum recommended height.
Just like with Zeon Zoysia, Palisades Zoysia can be fertilized with its own clippings after each mowing.
How to maintain your Zoysia lawn
Whether you opt for Zeon or Palisades Zoysia, they both thrive with similar treatment. Here’s what you need to know to keep your Zoysia lawn healthy and green.
The soil’s pH should be balanced
Just like with any other plant, the pH level of the soil can play a big role in its overall health. Fortunately, Zoysia isn’t too picky.
Acidic soils aren’t too much of a problem up to a certain point; if the pH drops below 6.0, you’ll need to correct the imbalance with lime.
Plenty of sunlight is needed
Even shade-tolerant varieties of Zoysia love sunlight, so make sure you don’t plant your grass in overly shaded areas.
Ideally, it would get full sunlight throughout the day, but sometimes trees or fences have other plans. In this case, just ensure that the grass will get at least 6 hours of sun per day, and it should be fine (although this can vary slightly from one variety to the next).
Watering should be done correctly
Zoysia only needs to be watered once a week, preferably in the morning. This gives the soil time to absorb the water before the heat of the day appears and lets the grass dry out on the surface.
When grass has the chance to dry out (rather than remaining damp for hours at a time), this reduces the likelihood of disease.
Zoysia is happiest in warm climates
While it’s true that Zoysia is fairly tolerant of the cold, it’s still a warm-weather grass. Somewhere north of 80 degrees F is its sweet spot, even in extremely dry conditions.
What if you live in a place that’s warm but not that warm? Zoysia can still be a good option but will have a shorter growing season.
Plus, it typically goes dormant for the winter after the first freeze. If you’re in a place where winter comes early, you should count on having dormant grass for several months of the year.
Applying fertilizer gives Zoysia a boost
This isn’t absolutely essential, but nitrogen fertilizer is recommended every few years for Zoysia lawns. Always test nutrient levels before fertilizing, though; too much can be as bad as too little.
Depending on what you’re looking for, these Zoysia varieties could be the perfect grass for your dream lawn.