Zoysia Seed, Sod or Plugs
After deciding on Zoysia as a new lawn type for your home or business premises, next comes the decision of how to establish the new lawn. There are three main methods to start a new Zoysia lawn, being seed, sprigs (lawn plugs) and roll on lawn (sod).
However, the decision becomes a little more complex when we see that some Zoysia types will be available in sod form only, others will offer a lawn plug option and others will mostly be available in seed form.
Our location in Australia is also important, as there appears to be many more options available for homeowners living in Northern Australia.
Zoysia Sod - Roll On Lawn
Australians still love their roll on lawns as a preferred method of establishing a new lawn. Sod offers the convenience of an instant lawn which provides instant satisfaction and completion to the new lawn area. However, new roll on lawn is always the more expensive option for establishing a new lawn.
So when choosing a new Zoysia lawn - we usually have the following options available to us as roll on turf:
Empire is still the most popular Zoysia and is widely available, which is a Zoysia japonica. Next comes Nara, a new variety developed in Australia from the native Zoysia Macrantha - which is also readily available in many regions. A new Australian variety of Zoysia matrella called ShadeTuff - which was developed in Cairns - is also available from selected growers in Northern Australia only, and is not available in sprigs or seed. ShadeTuff is only suited for the Northern Australian tropics.
There are several other Zoysia varieties which are sadly still only available from limited turf farms which are mainly in the North. These include Compadre Zoysia, Zenith Zoysia and Zoyboy. Hopefully as Zoysia continues to rise to prominence in Australia, we will all have more options to choose from in the Southern States to ensure we can all get the best Zoysia type which is most suited to our own homes and our personal preferences.
Zoysia Lawn Plugs
Lawn Plugs are only available from selected resources, and only certain varieties of Zoysia are available in this form, with the most notable being Empire Zoysia, and for anyone wanting a cheaper option to buy Empire, then Lawn Plugs are the best option for this. Zoysia lawn plugs can be found online from several Australian suppliers.
Zoysia lawn plugs are also available for the high quality Compadre Zoysia and Zenith Zoysia lawn types - check online.
Lawn plugs are a more economical way to start a new lawn. The homeowner buys trays of plugs which are similar to the small punnets of flowering plants we see in garden nurseries, but instead of flowers - they contain sprigs of lawn.
The homeowner then plants these new Zoysia lawn sprigs across their new lawn area, and then leaves the grass to spread over the entire new lawn area on its own.
Grass plugs are the slowest form of establishing a new lawn when compared to other methods, but are the most suitable method for over-planting an existing lawn area.
Zoysia Grass Seed
Grass seed is the cheapest way to establish a new Zoysia lawn, it is also faster to cover an entire lawn's surface than lawn plugs.
Zoysia seed is most readily available online for the excellent strains of Compadre and Zenith Zoysias. Seed is not available for most other Zoysia types, apart from some minor types including Korean Common - which can be known by other names.
Zoysia differs from all other grass types in Australia, in that many of its seed form varieties can be equally as high in quality as the lawn types which are grown on the turf farm and which are sold as roll on sod.
Zoysia seed for Compadre and Zenith can be purchased online from several suppliers including Above Capricorn, some seed suppliers such as Advanced Seed in Melbourne and PGG Wrightsons also sell Zoysia seed over the counter.
Weeds In Newly Seeded or Plugged Lawns
One problem which some people may experience in new seeded and plugged lawns is that weeds may invade the turf area during establishment. This is due to the slow growing nature of Zoysia which takes the grass longer to grow and fill into the desired lawn area from seed, so the soil is being left bare for a longer period of time during this establishment period.
The best ways to overcome these problems is to plant in the warmer months only to ensure the greatest establishment speed for the new lawn, as well as doing good preparation work for the soil by spraying all weeds twice, a few weeks apart prior to laying and new lawn plugs or seed.
* Special thanks to Peter Harrison from Above Capricorn for his assistance with this article.
* Above Capricorn are suppliers of Compadre Zoysia seed around Australia.