Q: I installed ‘Emerald’ zoysiagrass sod three years ago and it’s awesome, like being on thick plush carpet. I have mowed it at 3.5 inches the same exact way since the beginning. I start on the outside edge, going counter clockwise and my circle gets smaller and smaller with each lap. My problem is that the lawn appears two shades of green, depending on which side of it you’re standing on. If I attempt to mow the opposite direction, the mower really struggles. It’s sort of like waking up one day and deciding to brush your hair in a direction you have never done before, resulting in a mess. I realize the grass has been pushed down and trained to grow in a single direction. How can I fix the problem?
A: For the health of the zoysiagrass, you really ought to be mowing it two inches high two times a week. You’ll get lots of thatch otherwise and taller grass is hard to push through, as you’ve found out. My best suggestion is to change your pattern to a diagonal cut and lower your mower height a single notch every couple of mowings until you get down to two inches. If you mow frequently you won’t have a problem doing this, even with a rotary mower. In the future, vary your pattern every few mowings.