How to Transplant Zoysia Grass

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Zoysia is a coarse leaf grass used in warmer climates, though some varieties can grow as far north as New York, Maryland and Chicago. Its high salt tolerance makes it a good choice for coastal areas. Growing a zoysia lawn is easy once you get it started. Because it is more difficult to grow a zoysia lawn from seed than from sod or plugs, transplanting is the preferred method.

Things You'll Need

  • Plugger
  • Zoysia sod
  • Spade or small shovel
  • Fertilizer

Plugs

  • Remove plugs from a zoysia lawn or piece of sod to transplant with a plugger, a device that scoops out small areas of lawn the proper size for transplanting. Some of these devices dig out a small round plug, while others will pull out a 3-inch square plug.

  • Transplant these plugs to the area where you wish to grow your zoysia grass, placing the plugs about 5 inches apart so they can fill in an area. You can replug a lawn two times a season without damage.

  • Keep the refilled area sufficiently moist so the plugs can spread. Zoysia is a slow-growing grass, so you will have to be patient for it to fill in properly. A plugged area can take up to a year before it is fully filled. Avoid putting zoysia in shaded areas, as the grass does not like shade and will not get green if planted in shade.

Sod

  • Prepare your ground thoroughly in advance. Till the soil to 6 inches deep, and mix in 5-10-5 fertilizer, lime and organic material as recommended in your area. Remove rocks and clumps and rake smooth. Water to ¼ to ½ inch the night before you lay the sod. Zoysia comes in thick pads that will crowd out weeds on its own. Since zoysia tends to dislike herbicides, allow it to root on its own without herbicides. The sod tends to thatch so make sure it is aerated properly so that the grass surface is in contact with soil nutrients.

  • Lay your sod, ends touching and fitting tightly. Make sure there is good contact between the sod and the soil. Water immediately after laying sod, then water daily unless rainfall produces enough water.

  • Apply fertilizer as soon as the zoysia comes out of its dormant period in the spring when it is about 50 percent green. You can reapply fertilizer eight weeks later, if needed. In mid-October, apply winterizer. An entire lawn may take as many as two years to become fully established.

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