When To Fertilize My New Zoysia Sod

Q: I am a new homeowner. My zoysia sod has been down since late May. Does it need fertilizer? 

A: If the sod seems to be strongly rooted down then it’s time to fertilize. You can buy any thing that is labeled “lawn fertilizer” or “turf fertilizer”. I know there are heavily advertised products but I promise you will not go wrong initially by buying any brand of lawn fertilizer. The numbers on the bag don’t make much difference either. As long as the bag says lawn fertilizer, you’re fine.

Before you buy the fertilizer, measure your lawn. Write the number of square feet you are managing someplace where you can always find it and refer to it. I have my dimensions written inside my shed door. Knowing how many square feet you have, it’s time to go buy the fertilizer. Most bags will note how many square feet they cover. You do the math to figure out how much to buy without having a lot left over.

If you don’t have a lawn fertilizer spreader, you’ll need to buy one. It is easiest if the fertilizer you buy has a specific setting for your spreader so you know how to prepare the spreader to put the fertilizer down correctly. Once the spreader is set and the fertilizer is in place, start pushing. Note how wide the swath of fertilizer pellets is spread. When you stop and turn around, try not to overlap your previous fertilizer spreading path.

If you have fertilizer left over, put it in the bag and seal it tightly so it doesn’t absorb moisture. As long as you keep it dry, you can use it next time. A typical zoysia lawn would be fertilized twice a year, once when it is 90% green in May and once again in late July.