How to Plant Zoysia in Bermuda Grass

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Zoysia grass and Bermuda grass, known botanically as Zoysia japonica and Cynodon dactylon, are popular warm season turf grasses that are prized for their adaptability, as well as for their drought-tolerance and wear-resistance. Though zoysia grass and Bermuda grass are similar in some ways, they differ in their sunlight requirements. Zoysia grass is capable of growing in moderate shade while Bermuda grass struggles when not grown in full sun locations. If your existing Bermuda grass lawn is partially shaded, overseeding with shade-friendly zoysia may help to keep your entire lawn green and attractive through much of the year.

Things You'll Need

  • 2 lbs. zoysia grass seed per 1,000 square feet
  • Flexible garden rake
  • Garden hose or sprinkler system
  • Seed spreader (if desired)
  • Peat moss
  • Rake your Bermuda grass lawn with a flexible garden rake to remove any thatch, stones or other debris.

  • Water your lawn thoroughly with a garden hose or sprinkler system to moisten the soil before sowing your zoysia grass seed. Provide enough irrigation to moisten the soil to a depth of 4 to 6 inches.

  • Distribute half of your zoysia grass seed in a single direction over your prepared lawn. Turn 90 degrees and distribute the remaining zoysia grass seed. Distribute the zoysia grass seed by hand or use a seed spreader, if desired.

  • Cover the freshly sown zoysia seeds in your Bermuda and zoysia grass lawn with a 1/2-inch layer of peat moss. Avoid adding any more than a 1/2-inch of peat moss or you will make it more difficult for your seeds to germinate and sprout successfully.

  • Water your lawn daily to keep the soil moist. Reduce the frequency of watering to just two to three times a week once new zoysia grass growth is observed.

Tips & Warnings

  • Zoysia grass and Bermuda grass are both warm season turf grasses. If you live in a cool climate and want to keep your grass looking green all year long, consider overseeding your lawn with a cool season turf grass, such as perennial ryegrass.
  • Zoysia grass lawns are susceptible to infestation by common lawn pests such as billbugs and white grubs. Consult your local agricultural extension office for advice on how to treat these pests in your area.

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