Compadre is from the japonica family of Zoysia grass, it has a medium width leaf, and a dark green colour, and naturally grows more laterally than other Zoysia types.
Compadre Zoysia has all the characteristics of other Zoysia grasses including being very drought tolerant, has very low needs for fertilisers, and has a very slow growth which requires significantly less lawn mowing than other grasses.
Compadre continues this same list of Zoysia traits with excellent wear and tear capabilities, and excellent resistance to lawn pests and disease, and excellent natural resistance to lawn weeds once the turf is fully established and reaches a higher density after the first two years.
Due to the slower growth of Zoysia, repair from damage is far slower than other more aggressive grasses such as Couch. So for lawns which are subject to ongoing wear and tear, then any Zoysia will not necessarily be the best lawn grass.
Being a Zoysia japonica, Compadre does have generally good cooler weather tolerance for the Winter, but in order for all of us to have the best lawn for our homes, there are considerations to keep in mind.
Compadre Zoysia will grow and thrive best in all the Northern tropics with complete ease. Compadre will also grow easily down the East Coast as far as Sydney without any real problems. The same is true for the West Coast, where Compadre will do well all the way down to Perth without any problems.
However, once into these transition zones, the Compadre lawn may experience some browning over Winter in some, but not all areas. If Compadre Zoysia is being planted in these regions and some Winter browning occurs that the homeowner isn't pleased with, then over-seeding the lawn for Winter is a great option.
Over-seeding Compadre is easily done with Tall Fescue seed which is raked into the lawn soil in Autumn, the Tall Fescue will later grow into and blend beautifully with with the Zoysia to keep the lawn green over Winter.
The most common method of establishing a new Compadre Zoysia lawn is by seed. While seeded lawns can stir up thoughts of inferior lawns amongst many Australians, this is not true for Compadre.
Of all the warm season lawn types sold in seed form in Australia...
Zoysia is the only seeded lawn we could ever recommend.
Compadre Zoysia is equally as good a turf grown from seed as any lawn from a turf farm of any lawn type, including Buffalo, Couch or Queensland Blue, and is also the most economical way to start any new lawn type, including Compadre Zoysia.
As the popularity of Zoysia lawns continues to rise to prominence in Australia, more and more Zoysia lawns are starting to be grown on turf farms, as well as being sold as lawn plugs.
Lawn plugs are another method to establish a new Compadre Zoysia lawn. These plugs are often sold in punnets which are then planted into the new lawn area to later spread to complete coverage.
These may still be difficult to come by for many Australians, with the majority of supply still in the tropics, but as demand grows, Compadre Zoysia plugs are becoming more common around the country.
An online search is often the best place to start to look for Compadre plugs.
This is still the preferred method of establishing new instant lawns in Australia, and is also a good way to establish a Compadre lawn.
Once again, Compadre Zoysia sod is difficult to come by for many Australians. This roll on lawn is most readily available in the tropics, and which becomes more difficult to source the further South we live.
This is due to three reasons:
- The dominance of other heavily advertised grass types such as Buffalo
- Lack of knowledge of Zoysia lawns by Australians who grew up with Couch, Buffalo and Kikuyu
- All Zoysias will grow slower the further South we live, and this is true for Compadre too, this means a new crop of Compadre Zoysia may take longer to grow on the turf farm, and sometimes this can be a risk for the turf farmer who could lose a crop over this longer time period, as well as pushing up the price to higher levels than Australians may be willing to pay.
Compadre was originally bred and developed to be companion planted with Tall Fescue over the Winter, the purpose of this was to give homeowners who lived in transition zones all the wonderful benefits of a Zoysia lawn, as well as a lawn which stays green all year round.
Compadre Zoysia doesn't need blending with Tall Fescue, it is a beautiful lawn all on it's own, but it's good to know that if our Compadre lawn does brown off a little in Winter, then we can easily rectify this with over-seeding. And Compadre and Tall Fescue do this beautifully in a way that the grasses blend together and match very well.
Credit and acknowledgment:
Special thanks to Peter Harrison, Principal Scientist of Above Capricorn for his assistance with this article, and for supplying the picture. Above Capricorn promotes and supplies Compadre Zoysia in Australia.