Zoysia Grass – Installing in Late August

Q: Is it too late in the year to put in Emerald Zoysia?

We have a larger than average yard and will be paying close to $20,000 for this sod. I am concerned that the six-month warranty period we would be given with this company would end sometime in February, which would be during the dormant stage for this particular grass.

A: Zoysiagrass can still be installed in late August IF AND ONLY IF you insist that the soil be tilled and amended with soil conditioner and 40 lb of lime per 1000 sq feet.

Also ask the landscape company to install fresh-cut sod — preferably sod that’s been cut the day before or even that morning (to assure freshness and vigor).

Ask to see the “blue tag” certificate that accompanies high quality sod. Be sure they lay it tightly and roll it afterwards to get good root-soil contact.

In this way your sod will have the best chance of rooting quickly. Keep in mind that new sod can dry out in winter. Plan to irrigate with 1 inch of water every two weeks through the winter (unless it rains hard beforehand).

Negotiate with the company to extend the warranty to May. If you’re not comfortable with their answers and plans, consider planting annual ryegrass for the winter and install the sod next May.

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