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Zoysia Scalping ?s

6483 Views 9 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Greendoc
For you zoysia guys I need some advice. I have a thin blade cultivar (Royal) and typically to a light scalping while dormant but nowhere near as aggressive as my Bermuda backyard which I practically take down to the dirt. It's super dense so I'm about to do a verdict and dethatch. I have some low spots that I also plan to correct this spring. Some areas of the turf the leaf tissue grows right from the ground and it's maintained at a fairly low HOC. In my low areas theres a black stalky (for a lack of better term) area underneath the canopy. This year when I scalped I hit a few of these areas and it looks awful.

I have hit these areas before and they do grow back, but very slowly. For those that do have zoysia do you scalp? If so how aggressive? Am I better off to keep above these black areas and try to scalp only the grass flesh itself or do you cut down into these areas? Once I top dress and level, ideally I want only the grass flesh growing form the ground like in my high spots.
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wartee said:
I scalp my Emerald Zoysia to 3/8 each March, then mow at 1/2 the rest of the year.
How is the thatch? If Emerald is not kept at 1/4"-5/16, it becomes a thatch monster. The japonica varieties like Empire and El Toro need to be at 0.4-.0.5" or they become thatch monsters as well. This is in a state with no frost but 4-5 months of little sun and less than optimal temperatures.
Spammage said:
I'm as aggressive with mine as bermuda. I have zoysia japonica and can't comment on matrella, but would assume the results would be the same. I cut it as low as I can after dethatching to try to get rid of all dormant top growth. The first year I did this I was nervous. It took a while for the grass to come in full and thick, but now it is faster than my bermuda areas to green up and fill in every year.

edit - Texas A&M developed the grass which is a matrella.
If I do not scalp til I see dirt, I get to see the stems for a long time. What I do is scalp, then maintain as low as I can without killing it. No such thing as letting Zoysia grow past 1/2".
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A low height of cut largely eliminates thatch as long as N is kept moderate. No 1 lb N per month applications. Once I have scalped someone's lawn, I never have to do it again. I contrast and compare to homeowners and landscapers not mowing low enough in addition to putting on too much N. Annual thatch removal becomes part of their life. Where I am at, Zoysia does not go dormant at all. It might grow slower from December-May, but it is always growing. From June-October, it is a PITA to mow. I end up using 2X rates of Primo on Zoysia to stop it from growing over an inch of leaf in one week. Mow it higher? Then you get grass that grows 3 or more inches per week and develops tremendous thatch. When there is a lot of thatch, there is a high possibility of developing Large Patch by Novermber, when it is normally cloudy, raining and cool all of the time.
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