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Jefferson Zoysia lawn journal

10371 Views 108 Replies 19 Participants Last post by  Jeffersonzoysia
I am starting this lawn jornal to chronicle my journey this year (2022).
Here's some background on my 2 lawn types (Emerald zoysia front and sides-9K ft2) and Zenith Zoysia back yard-9,500 FT2).
Moved into New home construction in July 2019 with Emerald Zoysia sod installed by builder as an upgrade to bermuda they have common Bermuda in every other yard. I had zoysia for 25+ years at my old house, but never had the time to spend taking care of the lawn as much as I enjoy doing it now due to kids.
Now that we are empty nesters, I decided last year to take the reel mower plunge and got a used Tru-Cut 27" reel mower and cut my front yard at about 1.25"

My back yard was not sodded and the builder threw out a little seed (probably fescue) and straw and very little grass came up, but a ton of weeds. My back yard has some undulating areas for directing rain run off to a culvert between our house and the neighbors'. I ordered 20 pallets of Zenith Zoysia from super-sod for my back yard in October of 2019 to keep erosion at bay. It has done well (no losses in any areas of the 9,500 FT2 I laid.
I have been cutting the Zenith Zoysia (medium blade thickness) with a cub cadet riding 3 blade mower since installing it at 1.5-2" HOC.

Both front and especially the back yard need to get leveled and top dressed, so the back was more bumpy than the front, so reel mowing was not a great option.

List of things I want to get accomplished this year with front lawn (Emerald Zoysia - finer blade grass) and back yard (Zenith Zoysia)

Emerald Zoysia lawn - 9,000 FT2
- I have scheduled a local company (all turf) to come in April to core aerate and top dress 1/4'-1/2" with a 60/40 mix of sand & worm castings.
- In preparation for that, I have brought the HOC down, final cut today to 9/16" with my newly acquired Toro Greensmaster 1600
- maintain HOC at 3/4" (maybe lower) using Toro GM 1600 this year and see how I like the look and ability to maintain at that height.
- Apply 1Lb - 1.5 Lb of N over the growing season using Pro-peat 17-0-4 or 13-5-8 depending on soil sample results. I used Pro-Peat last year doing light applications every 2 weeks instead of once a month and really liked the results, so bought enough for both front and back for the year last fall (Glad I did, now that fert prices are out of control).
- Apply 2 heavy applications of Anderson's Humic acid (1 after the core aeration and top dressing, the other in June to help the soil composition and nutrient uptake.
- Upload pics each week or 2 to note progression.

As I know this forum will do, always interested in critiques as to my plan and progress (especially from Zoysia lawn owners).

Front and side yard (Emerald Zoysia) after cut down to 9/16"

Zenith Zoysia lawn area - 9,500 FT2
- Core aerate in May
- Apply Humic Acid in May and June to help improve soil quality
- Cut back yard with Toro at same HOC (3/4") like front yard, or use my Tru cut and maintain HOC at around 1" I don't want to have to adjust HOC on Toro 2x each week to cut front at 3/4" and back at 1" - Have to think about that one.
- Apply 1.5-2 lbs on N total for growing season using Pro-peat as well.
- Won't top dress this year, will have to wait until next year.
- Upload pics every week or 2 to note progression.

Pics of back yard (Zenith Zoysia) after HOC 11/16"

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Sedgehammer or Certainty work great to control Purple nutsedge in Emerald zoysia. I've had good success with this. I've never treated for poa, so I'm unsure about the rest.
I will post close-ups in a week to show effects of this application on Poa.
sprayed Propiconazole 14.3 and Iron. will cut again on Friday.
Cut lawn again this eve before going out of town for a week. The Iron I sprayed on Wednesday made the grass look really good and dark green. I would say the Emerald zoysia (front yard) is 95%+ greened up and growing quite vigorously. It may slow down a bit next week as high temps will only be in the 60s and 70s.

Plant Nature Sports equipment Grass Tree

Plant Vehicle Car Green Tire

Building Plant Green House Land lot

Plant Building Tree Grass Asphalt
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I was out of town for 9 days and with all the rain we had last week, my Emerald Zoysia lawn grew "like a weed".
Gave it a quick cut this eve, but ran out of daylight to get trimming done.
Everything is looking great (IMO).
Will use the rotary scissors tomorrow to finish up.

Plant Green Grass Land lot Tree

Wheel Tire Automotive tire Plant Road surface

Green Plant Tree Grass Groundcover
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Spot sprayed a cocktail of Sedgehammer, Image, DriveXLR8R, Non-Ionic surfactant to kill (or at the very least severely stunt Poa Annua and some purple nut sedge. This is the first time using this herbicide cocktail, so interested in seeing how effective it is.
I looked at the areas I spot sprayed with the above on April 19th and I believe it is killing the Poa Annua and has killed the purple Sedge I had growing at the time. I am sure more purple sedge will emerge as time goes on, but I can take care of that by spot treating again.
Looking at the below picture, you can see the blades on the Poa turning yellow. This is not due to high temps that usually kills it in the summer as we haven’t had any temps over 75 since I spot treated the Poa AND other areas in the back yard that I didn’t treat are actively and vigorously growing.
Plant Grass Groundcover Terrestrial plant Flowering plant
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Had to cut again before leaving for a week’s vacation. Emerald Zoysia is looking 1,000% better this year than it did this same time last year. I am convinced that keeping it short (7/8”) last year helped it stay green longer in the fall and green up earlier this year than last. I am also convinced that using PGR for the first time last summer also helped with the health and vigor of my Emerald Zoysia. I am also interested in chronicling how it will do when I core aerate, verti-cut and sand level at the end of May. Here are some pics after cut and edging this afternoon.
Plant Green Grass Groundcover Shrub

Plant Property Building Window Tree

Green Natural landscape Agriculture Flooring Grass

This is picture from May 4th 2022. Compare this to post at same angle tonight.
Plant Property Sky Road surface Tree

Picture from tonight May 5th, 2023. Quite a difference from last year.

Plant Sky Cloud Tree Natural landscape

Plant Natural landscape Grass Terrestrial plant Flooring
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Another 8 days out of town and came back to get a mow in. Zoysia is growing quickly and thick. 2 weeks until I plan on verti-cutting, core aerating, and sand top dressing (can’t wait for my first time on 4 year old sod).
Pics after tonight’s mow.
Plant Building Land lot Grass House


Plant Sky Tree Natural landscape Botany

Plant Tire Vehicle Car Automotive tire

Plant Green Land lot Natural landscape Grass

Plant Tree Natural landscape Vegetation Land lot
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Another 8 days between mows, Zoysia is growing vigorously and fast and thick. Cut this afternoon and noticed a few dollar spot circles. Need to apply fungicide ASAP. Still looking good (IMHO). Starting next Friday over the long weekend, will core aerate and Sand level with 15 tons of sand. Any volunteers in North GA needing a workout? LOL.

pics from this afternoon after mowing.
Plant Window Tree Land lot Fence

Plant Car Vehicle Tire Green

Plant Green Tree Sky Grass

Plant Green Natural landscape Land lot Tree
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Well, last mow before core aeration, verti-cutting and sand level starting tomorrow and hopefully finishing before end of day Monday. Now that the Emerald Zoysia is looking so good, going to tear it up (so to speak) so it will look even better in a few weeks. Good news is high temps will be low 70s and lows in upper 50s, so good weather to do this.
Brought it down another 1/8” this afternoon and after all the work, will take it back up to 3/4” - 7/8” going forward.
Here’s my rough outline plan for this process.
Friday afternoon- core aerate with Ryan 26” aerator, verti-cut with SunJoe and remove debris with Cub Cadet and dual rear bagger.
Saturday- start spreading sand and using 4’ drag Matt behind Cub Cadet- hoping to get at least 5,000 ft2 done.
Sunday- Finish spreading sand and dragging final 5,000 Ft2 area.
Monday - Final touches on sand leveling. I will spray liquid aerator, 1/2 annual rate of prodiamine, and fungicide cocktail, then spread 1/2 lb per 1,000 ft2 ProPeat 13-5-8 fertilizer.
finally irrigate lawn at least 1 hour per zone to get sand settled.
Will post pics next 3 days after each portion is complete. Hope you enjoy my first leveling journey (virtually) along with me.

some pics after this evening mow.

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Good luck! Looking forward to the results.
Sand was just delivered. This is what 10 tons of sand looks like. Looked less than that to me, but they assured me it was. Hopefully this will get me coverage of at least 7,000 a 8,000 ft2 and will need another 6-7 tons to finish up the rest.
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Sand was just delivered. This is what 10 tons of sand looks like. Looked less than that to me, but they assured me it was. Hopefully this will get me coverage of at least 7,000 a 8,000 ft2 and will need another 6-7 tons to finish up the rest.
It will feel like more than 10 tons by the time you finish shoveling it all.
  • Haha
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It will feel like more than 10 tons by the time you finish shoveling it all.
HaHa, so true!
Day 1 in the books and as always, things don’t go as planned. Picked up the 26” Ryan core aerator (this unit is a beast) and with the size and weight, anticipated having no issues pulling cores. Well, after several passes, it was barely even pulling any cores and I realized the reason was my Emerald zoysia was so thick (probably because of PGR usage last year) and because of the thatch, the tines were not able to get through the thatch layer.
I did a test area in the back where I have zenith and it pulled a good core, so I still completed the entire front yard, then took out the sunjoe with verti-cutter and went over the entire yard at -5 setting and pulled a ton of dead material (thatch) from the extremely thick Emerald Zoysia. It also pulverized what few cores I was able to pull. I then used riding mower to pick up all the debris. 8 double baskets full of debris. I noticed the SunJoe “stood up” the grass and it seemed like it was really twice the height before verti-cutting. So then I cut a test area with the GM 1600 and spread 2 gorilla carts full of sand and used a landscape rake to knock down the piles and then used a metal 4 ft drag Matt behind the riding mower. This method worked well. By that time it was 8:30 and I was losing light, so stopped for the day. I was also upset that I found a lot of pebbles in the sand they told me was masonry sand. Not sure if it was left over in the dump truck from a previous delivery or was in the sand. Oh well, will have to pick up pebbles after it gets watered in and see what remains on surface. Again, best plans don’t always go as one would like.
tomorrow, have to cut first with Toro and spread as much sand as I can before possible rain at 4:00.
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How big are the pebbles? I had the same experience and haven't had any issues mowing afterwards at .5 HOC
If you're interested in using my Greens aerator LMK. You have the perfect yard for it.
If you're interested in using my Greens aerator LMK. You have the perfect yard for it.
That’s very generous. I will take you up on that later this year or next if that is still on the table. I realized I needed to verti-cut anyways because of how thick the Emerald Zoysia was, so wouldn’t have time to aerate again and clean up and still get most the sand spread before I run out of time.
What type of aerator do you have? Neumatic that punches holes?
Here’s a YouTube video of the one I have. Edit: I have the hollow core tines not the spikes like in this video though.

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Here’s a YouTube video of the one I have. Edit: I have the hollow core tines not the spikes like in this video though.

That’s awesome! How long are the cores that it pulls?
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