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Good Neighbors Don't Share Everything: How To Keep Your Zoysia Lawn From Creeping Next Door

by Brett Freeman, All About Lawns Columnist

Zoysia grass has been a comer among turf grasses in recent years, particularly in warm climates, because it is hard to kill. Once established, zoysia grows so densely that it chokes out lawn weeds such as crabgrass, and it tolerates extreme heat and drought very well. But the same qualities that make zoysia a perfect fit in your yard can make it a nightmare for your neighbors when it spreads into their lawns, which it will unless you take precautions.

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Be a Good Neighbor

Part of what makes zoysia so durable is its aggressiveness. Zoysia grass sends out runners, both above and below ground, that increase its density where it's established, and establish its presence where it is not. To prevent your zoysia lawn from invading your neighbors' lawns (and to keep their lawn weeds out of yours), you need to establish firm borders. Ideally you want to have planting beds separating your lawn from theirs. Where the beds meet your grass, you will also need to install some type of edging, ideally of a material like plastic or aluminum that the zoysia runners won't be able to penetrate. The edging needs to be wide enough that you can install it six inches deep and still have an inch or two sticking up above ground. If you don't want to establish planting beds, the edging alone can contain your zoysia lawn, although it might look a little odd standing alone.

Trim Carefully

However you decide to edge your lawn, you will also need to use a string trimmer along the edging every time you mow. And when mowing is done, be sure to use a blower to blow any stray clippings back into your own yard.

It takes a little extra time to establish borders between your yard and your neighbors', but in the end it's worth it make sure that your lawn remains your lawn, and not theirs.


George Weigel • Gardening Q & A • Aug 06, 2007 • http://pennlive.com

About the Author
Brett Freeman is a freelance journalist. He also owns a landscaping and irrigation company in North Carolina. Previously he has worked as a beat reporter, a teacher, and for a home improvement company, and he used to own a bar/live music venue.

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