Zoysia: Fall Update

I am preparing to get the kids back to school – it seems early to me and I am not ready to let summer go just yet but you can’t hold back time.

The summer weather in Pittsburgh made for a unique season. The amount of rain made it tough to enjoy the pool and negated the immediate need for my newly installed, drought resistant Zoysia but summers this wet don’t come every year and it has allowed the new roots to establish easily. I have yet to see a fully green, weed choking carpet of thick, lush grass but I am confident that my plugs are healthy and will grow to fill in the dirty patches soon.

I consider my Zoysia experience to be a success thus far even though not all of the plugs show green sprouts. When I first planted my Zoysia all of it was brown and dry looking from the shock of being shipped. The company was very clear that this may happen and that it was neither abnormal nor a problem.

A week after planting, with diligent watering, on the days it wasn’t pouring rain that is, all of the plugs felt solid in their carefully prepared holes. I took this to mean that the roots had found a happy home and were growing and expanding to establish the strong network system that they need to produce the hearty green shoots in the next growth cycle.

Most of the complaints I have read about Zoysia is that is stays brown too long. I have come to realize that this only means that complainers simply don’t have the patience or don’t understand the growth cycle. For the initial growth cycle the roots are forced to put up all new shoots – in future growth cycles there are always some green shoots left and over. To avoid sounding too cynical, however, I will admit I will need to wait until next spring to see how long things stay brown and to test if a more traditional Pittsburgh summer is more conducive to my newly planted Zoysia.