I have a lawn that I would like to replace with zoysia, since it seems more
Is it possible to start it in an existing bluegrass lawn, and have it take
over, or do I need to tear up all the sod and start over?
I live in the DC area. I know it is probably too late for this year, buy
maybe next year.
Thanks for any help.
Yeah, you can buy plugs and install them about six inches apart. In three
years the zoysia will have spread and crowded out the bluegrass. Call
Zoysia Farms Nurseries in Taneytown. They are the closest suppliers of
plugs in your area. Try to get the plugs about April or May of next year.
Zoysia is GREAT stuff if you like a lawn that looks like the one in the next
to the last picture on this page:
http://homepage2.nifty.com/~taka3/en/march_01.html (Not my picture, but
found doing a Google image search)
Of course it only looks like that about 5 months out of the years, but who
I guess you aren't in favor of a comprehensive discussion of any topic. So
if someone asks about a plant, the only replies that are acceptable are ones
that support the OP's position or that are limited to positive aspects of a
plant. Zoysia is great in some respects, but it looks like the picture that
I linked to much of the year in colder zones. If you are good with that,
then so be it. You will not be surprised when your lawn looks like a sisal
mat much of the year. On the other hand, if you read an ad in the back of a
magazine that only touted the good points of this plant, and then spent a
lot of time and money installing a lawn only to find that it goes
straw-colored between October and April, then you might be a wee bit upset.
As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.
You'd be surprised how, without any facial expressions or tone of voice
to go by, a short, snappy response like your first one can appear very
smart-alecky. You may not have meant it to be, but it comes off that
way and it's not nearly as informative as your second answer. I also
haven't been here for awhile, and that's one reason: these discussions
can devolve into sniping pretty quickly. Bunch of guys arguing about
who's got the biggest pistils.
Anyway, that's a good warning about Zoysia, and there's one mitigating
factor: the months that Zoysia's brown are the same months that we
aren't outside to enjoy it, anyway.
I go outside everyday and can also see outside from my windows. The lawn is
the largest green plant I have in the winter. I also tend to spend a lot of
time outside in the spring and fall doing gardening chores, the very time
that a zoysia lawn is in transition around here in zone 6. There will be
patches of green in the sea of brown. Furthermore, zoysia has its share of
diseases and pests. Also, if the lawn is established from plugs, you get a
checkerboard effect for a few years until the zoysia fill in. In the mean
time, the texture of the old and new turf is different, with very tough,
dense patches of zoysia between softer areas of the original lawn. I think
it looks really awful, but again that is a personal opinion and I'm sure
that there will be people who find it stunning. No doubt that in warmer
climates, zoysia is a contender but I think it is a questionable choice
where it goes dormant in the colder months.
I mowed a zoysia lawn for years when I lived with my parents and it can be
difficult to push a mover over a zoysia lawn. That lawn ended up taking a
tremendous amount of pesticides to keep it in reasonable shape. My mother
had it removed a few years ago and replaced with a fescue lawn. It has been
a much better choice in her zone 6 lawn near Pittsburgh.
Easier than Zoysia to get a complete carpeting groundcover out of is a
little forb called Prunella vulgaris, which is already naturalized
throughout the world, being more adaptable than zoysia, looking fine in
part shade to full sun, varying degrees of moisture, & changing soil
conditions over a large area. Zoysia will look different in differing
conditions & might not thrive at all along patches that are shaded. Both
Zoysia & Prunella require watering just about as regularly as a grass lawn
(maybe SLIGHTLY less) so for a lawn that was a bit easier on resources
Lawn Chamomile might do the trick.
Here's the Plants for a Future list of plants that can be used as lawns:
though this list incudes plants that make a taller lawn or which make a
lawn only in spring (bulbs) or stuff that dries out in summer, & it
doesn't include ALL potential options (Dichondra micrantha repens aka
"dewdrop lawn" is missing from the list) but it's a nice page with
something to say about many of the plants people use as lawn substitutes.
-paghat the ratgirl
Get your Paghat the Ratgirl T-Shirt here:
Strange that you mentioned prunella. I planted prunella grandiflora
'Loveliness' a few years ago with high hopes, but it languished and then
died. I think it was in an area that is too dry. It is a trouble area for
me at the edge of a woodland with clay soil and on a slope. I haven't had
much luck with plants in that location. At best, things just survive. I
have planted hydrangea macrophilia, hydrangea p. tardiva, viburnum
carlcephalum, viburnum t. Shasta, common daylilies, tradescantia, hostas,
spirea, to name a few with no real success. The Shasta viburnum really
wilts in the summer and watering is very difficult in the area.
well mulched and require less water with a heavy layer although they still
wilt during dry spells. Even the common daylilies (ditch lilies) did poorly
this summer during a late May early June dry spell. The only thing that seem
to thrive were the common irises that we grow around old homesteads and in
the ditches. Even their blossoms faded and died rapidly this spring when we
had an early hot spell. The one plant that did well during the hot, dry
weather was Mexican Hat Ratibida columnaris, which seemed to enjoy the
In general, I would agree with you. But What Vox said was not really
offensive in any way. We can say that Vox didn't answer to the OP in a
"matter of fact" way. But answering everything always in a "matter of
fact" way can make a very boring conversation ... like reading a text
book, or reading a computer manual.
In fact, this is good that Vox pointed out the negative espect of the
plant. I have seen lawn with Zoysia in my neighborhood, and most people
whom I talk with (outside the net) don't like that "look".
Unfortunately, when we read the ad of Zoysia (such as the one shown in
a home improvement magazine), we will never see this downside being
mentioned in the ad. Therefore, someone has to point out the negative
to balance thing out.
Zoysia may be good for warmer climate. But I don't think this is a
right choice for zone-6 and above (from a homeowner's point of view).
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