Zoysia winter kill – brown lawn in May

Q: It is mid-May and most of my Zeon zoysia backyard is still dormant/dead looking for the first time since I had this sod put in 10 years ago.  It is very slowly starting to turn a little green along the south edge of my lawn by the woods where there is less sun.   My lawn service applied pre-emergent twice and fertilizer earlier this year and had no explanation why it hasn’t greened up. Would applying a little high-nitrogen fertilizer in Jan, Feb, and Mar have helped it green up? 

A: Figuring out what’s wrong with a lawn involves first observing the pattern of damage you see.

 In your case, the pattern does not look like a grass leaf or root disease that would be common in spring, when you see many distinct spots or areas of dead grass in  green grass. Instead, you have  most of the lawn turned brown.

It looks like environmental damage that happened last year or earlier this spring. Environmental damage might include fertilizing too late last year or mowing too low. Those two things would have made the grass tender so that it would be killed by winter cold.

Different areas of grass in your lawn could be more or less susceptible to damage. One area might get more shade or stay wetter after it rains. They might turn green at a different speed.

In my experience things like soil pH and nutrient levels are important but they don’t cause damage to large areas like you have.

This is what I would do: closely examine the lawn to see if some of the damaged areas are different from others; examine the brown areas to see if there any green sprouts that could be nurtured to bring the lawn back to health. If so, apply any lawn fertilizer   THAT DOES NOT CONTAIN ANY SORT OF WEED CONTROL at one-third of the label rate now and again in mid-July

But if you have a dead lawn, you have a dead lawn, and you’ll have to put in new sod for it to recover.

zoysia winter kill

zoysia winter kill

zoysia winter kill

zoysia winter kill

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