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Going Green with Zoysia Grass

by Laura Horwitz, All About Lawns Columnist

Zoysia grass actually grows differently than other types of grasses because it sends out 'stolons' or runners that cause it to expand sideways rather than vertically. Therefore, you can have beautiful, dense green grass without the cost and maintenance most green lawns require.

Benefits of Zoysia Grass

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  • Make it greener
  • Eliminate patches
  • Less weeds
  • Make it thicker
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  • It grows well in many conditions and climates, including extreme heat. It's also resistant to cold weather, naturally fills in damaged spots thanks to its sideways growth, and can even withstand heavy traffic.
  • Zoysia grass has such deep roots it rarely needs watering, which saves money on your water bills!
  • Since zoysia grows tall at a slower pace it needs far less mowing than most grass types.
  • It's naturally resistant to insects and diseases so you don't need to use insecticides.
  • Because it grows sideways, the denseness of zoysia eliminates most weeds and crabgrass.
  • In spite of its toughness, certain types of zoysia grass feel soft against your bare feet, and all of them provide a beautiful green lawn for you to enjoy all spring and summer long.

Potential Downside

  • Throughout the winter, zoysia turns a golden brown color, which some people enjoy but others dislike.
  • Zoysia can be invasive, which means that once you've planted it you'll never need to seed or plant again. But it can overpower flowerbeds or your neighbors' lawns, if you don’t' take precautions.
  • If you want to plant zoysia seeds, then you need an area of bare soil. From seeds to beautiful lawn should take approximately 5 months. If you already have an existing lawn, and want to change to zoysia, use plugs. They'll overtake any grass or weeds already there, but may take up to two years to rich full thickness.

About the Author
Laura Horwitz has worked as a freelance writer and researcher for five years in both London and the US. She had a monthly landscaping and tips column for the Sussex County magazine RH Review, and her articles have appeared in Film Focus, 6 Degrees Film, and BizBash magazine.

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