Wintertime Means Less Maintenance of Zoysia Grass

Lawn Maintenance, Sod Solutions

Wintertime Means Less Maintenance of Zoysia Grass

It’s wintertime, which typically means less maintenance of zoysia grass. The grass should be dormant, which protects it from cold temperatures and winterkill that affects many other varieties of turf grass.
But cold weather can make existing problems worse for zoysia grass, so here are some things to look out for as your lawn begins to green back up in warmer weather.

You may notice brown spots or what appear to be dead patches that aren’t coming back like the rest of the lawn. If this happens, there are couple things that may be the cause. One possibility is billbug damage. Billbugs can infest an untreated lawn even in a cold weather. Damage is caused when adult billbugs cut into the grass stem to lay eggs, then larvae eat stems and roots that are below ground.

If you suspect billbugs, you should be able to see them by lifting up a section of the turf. The adult is a small, dark-colored weevil with a snout. The larvae, which look like white grub worms, will be down in the soil. If you find either one of these, a spraying program is in order. Apply Bifenthrim product to the entire lawn rather than just the dead areas to kill the adults. Then apply a chemical called Imidacloprid to destroy the larvae. These insecticides are safe to apply even if your turf has yet to green up.

If billbugs are not the culprit of brown spots, a lawn fungus called ‘large patch’ may be the problem. This disease can be recognized by thin grass leaves that appear to be bleached out. Also, the area between healthy grass and the fungus may appear as an orange-bronze color. Large patch should be sprayed with a peroxide-based material like Oxidate, followed a few days later with a systemic fungicide that is labeled for large patch. Oxidate will clean up the lawn and get rid of the fungus, while systemic fungicide will provide future protection.

EMPIRE Turf® is a proven zoysia grass that can survive and thrive in all types of weather, and offers excellent insect resistance. Developed by Sod Solutions, this revolutionary medium-bladed, dark green zoysia grass features excellent wear tolerance, requires less mowing and chemical applications.

EMPIRE Turf is a superior performer among warm season turfgrasses. It thrives in demanding tropical climates, yet also exhibits excellent cold hardiness. EMPIRE will grow in sand, sandy loam, clay or muck. You can expect EMPIRE to retain fall color longer than many other turf selections and to green up more quickly in the spring.

Learn more information on EMPIRE Turf characteristics and growing zones.