17 Sep Fall Maintenance Tips for Your Zoysia Lawn
Fall Maintenance Tips for Your Zoysia Lawn
Fall lawn maintenance differs from that of spring and summer maintenance. With the changing of the seasons also comes the changing of temperatures, weather and soil conditions. It’s important that you change your zoysia maintenance around during the different seasons because the grass and environment will have different demands. This Sod U article compiles a list of generic tips to help your zoysia transition into the colder months ahead. Be sure to also check out our Homeowner Maintenance Guides for generic zoysiagrass, EMPIRE® Zoysia, GeoTM Zoysia and InnovationTM Zoysia. If you are looking for maintenance tips for a different grass type, take a look at our Fall Lawn Maintenance Tips article.
Fall Mowing for Zoysiagrass
Generally speaking, your zoysia will usually be maintained at a height of about .5–2 inches. In the fall, however, you should mow your zoysia less as this encourages deeper root growth during the winter and helps your grass survive during dormancy. The roots are what keeps the grass alive underground despite that fact that the blades above the ground have gone into dormancy and endure harsh temperatures. For more information on mowing heights, visit our Lawn Mowing Guide.
Fall Watering for Zoysiagrass
You will want to water less as temperatures begin to drop. Too much water can lead to disease. Your zoysia generally only needs about one inch of water weekly including rainfall. You will actually want to water a little less than this during the fall months, though. Temperatures are changing around this time of year and so are soil conditions. Fall is one of the most optimum times of the year for fungus to start appearing—especially when overwatering and shade from fall leaves combine. You will still want to water to prevent drought stress while the grass is actively growing. Even though your zoysia will begin to enter stages of dormancy, light watering will prevent dehydration. Watering your zoysia in the early morning will decrease the risk of certain turfgrass disease. For more information on watering, visit our Lawn Irrigation Guide.
Fall Fertilization for Zoysiagrass
Fertilization differs this time of the year compared to the other active growing seasons for your zoysiagrass. As previously stated, outdoor temperatures are starting to change, and so are soil conditions. Your grass is a living thing that needs specific nutrients at this time. Sod University recommends two different fertilizer options for the fall. You will only need to use one of the two options for fall fertilization. The Fall Fertilizer Box, in particular, has three separate bottles of fertilizer in it that help your zoysia lawn recover from the hot summer temperatures it just endured as well as prepare for the colder temperatures ahead.
In the early fall, you will start off with applying Boost to revitalize the green leaf blade color after the heat of summer. The rapid green-up of your lawn will last from the time of application through the remainder of the growing season with Boost’s time release formula. In the mid-fall, you should make an application of the second bottle in the box, Maintain, for well-balanced nutrition. Maintain serves to help with color retention late into the cooler months ahead and fortifies the root system to help it survive throughout dormancy or snow. In the late fall, you should apply Recover to prepare your lawn for environmental stressors of this colder weather.
Lawnifi Foundation is a slow-release granular fertilizer option that comes in a 25 pound bag and lasts for three months. With a 29-0-5 NPK formulation, Lawnifi Foundation is the perfect granular fertilizer for lawns and gardens. The two percent iron included in Lawnifi Foundation’s mixture helps plants carry oxygen throughout the leaves, roots and other parts of the plants to promote a green, healthy lawn. Featuring slow-release nitrogen, Foundation gradually feeds your lawn over an extended period of time without overwhelming your lawn with nitrogen during the fall. Both Lawnifi Foundation and the Fall Fertilizer Box cover 5,000 sq. ft. Learn more in Granular vs. Liquid Fertilizers or by clicking on the two products below. For more generic information about the Lawnifi brand, read Why Use Lawnifi Fertilizer?.
Fall Weed Control for Your Zoysiagrass
Your zoysia lawn has just made it through the summer months when it is not a recommended time for herbicide applications due to hot temperatures. Now that it is starting to cool down, you are free to apply both post-emergent and pre-emergent herbicides without risking any damage to your lawn. You may even notice that the weeds from summertime are starting to die off. Unfortunately, there are winter weeds that will start to pop up when the months are colder.
A post-emergent herbicide controls any current weeds you are experiencing whereas a pre-emergent herbicide, as its name suggests, serves to prevent weeds from appearing. Fall is actually the best time to apply a pre-emergent—especially if winter weeds have been a big problem in the past years. You can also do this in the springtime around March or April. You can read more about pre-emergent applications in the fall in How to Use a Pre-Emergent Herbicide in the Fall. Some hard to control weeds that may appear around this time include chickweed, henbit, Poa annua, crabgrass or goosegrass.
- Coverage: 50 lbs. covers about 12,500 sq. ft.
- Active Ingredient(s): Prodiamine 0.37%.
- Ease of Use: Requires granular drop or broadcast spreader for application.
- Best Used On/For: Established warm and cool season turfgrass before weeds appear.
Read product labels before application.
Pictured above: Poa annua.
Fall Insect Control for Zoysiagrass
It is better to apply an insecticide as a preventative as opposed to having to resolve an infestation once damage has already occurred—it’s probably less expensive too. Apply a broad-spectrum insecticide to prevent any harmful insects from taking over your zoysia. Although there could be a variety of insects that may be invading your lawn at this time, the main ones most universities recommend you look out for in your zoysia are grub worms. If you have insect activity, treat with an insecticide labeled to treat the insect you are seeing. If you use a granular variety, water the lawn immediately after application to help with absorption.
- Coverage: 30 lbs. cover between 16,000–21,000 sq. ft.
- Active Ingredient: Imidacloprid 0.5%.
- Ease of Use: Requires a drop or broadcast spreader for application.
- Best Used On/For: Broad-spectrum systemic formulation that offers preventive and curative treatment of insect control in turfgrass and landscape ornamentals.
Read product labels before application.
Fall Fungus Control for Zoysiagrass
This is the time of year for fall fungus outbreaks like large patch so be on the the lookout for any signs of diseases. If large patch or other diseases are a common problem in your zoysia, apply a fungicide at a preventative rate. This will help the grass enter colder months in a healthier condition. If you have had a fungus before, you may need to make multiple applications in affected areas. If you use a granular variety, water the lawn immediately after application to help soil absorption. Consider mapping those areas because fungicide treatment can be expensive.
- Coverage: One bottle covers 2,500 sq. ft.
- Active Ingredient(s): Propiconazole 1.45% and Lamda-cyhalothrin 0.08%.
- Ease of Use: Hooks up to your garden hose for an even spray application.
- Best Used On/For: Outdoor topical/contact fungus and general insect control.
Read product labels before application.
Pictured above: An image of large patch.
Lastly, lawn patch work and light topdressing with a sand and topsoil mix is a great way to recover any weak areas in your lawn that were caused by the summer heat. If you notice any hot spots, apply a light layer of topdressing to help it recover.
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