Written by 1:02 am Fertilizers

How To Fertilize Zoysia Grass The Right Way

A Zoysia lawn, while beautiful, requires proper fertilization to keep the it healthy and thriving. Zoysia lawns need to be fertilized at certain times of the year and with specific types of fertilizer.

What Type of Fertilizer Does Zoysia Need?

You should use up to four pounds of a nitrogen-based fertilizer per year per 1,000 sq feet of grass. The ideal zoysia grass fertilizer will be a 15-0-15, 15-0-10, or 15-0-5 fertilizer mix. A 15-0-15 blend of fertilizer means that the product will contain 15% Nitrogen, 0% Phosphorus, and 15% Potassium.

Nitrogen is the primary nutrient nutrient zoysia needs. Potassium helps the grass become draught and shock resistant.

It is important to note that Zoysia grass may need extra nutrients if the lawn's soil needs a pH change. Sulfur and lime are two of the most common soil additives used to correct a pH imbalance. Soil pH testing is an important part of annual fertilization planning. You can find more information about soil nutrients and the effect of pH on your lawn here.

If a soil test indicated that a pH or phosphorus deficiency is present, a 16-4-8 fertilizer can address the issue. Potassium interacts with minerals in the soil, changing the pH over time; the reason that annual testing is suggested.

Lawn and Petal’s Expert Pick

Hi-Yield Weed and Feed 15-0-10

Hi-Yield Weed & Feed combines granular Trimec weed killer with a 15-0-10 fertilizer. While not the ideal 15-0-15 blend, the weed & feed targets over 200 common broadleaf weeds while providing plenty of nutrients for your zoysia lawn.

Apply 3.6lbs per 1,000 sq. ft. and water the lawn thoroughly within 1 to 2 days after application.

Hi-Yield provides ample Nitrogen and Potassium for Zoysia lawns.

Soil pH & Zoysia

It is important to note that Zoysia grass may need extra nutrients if the lawn's soil needs a pH change. Sulfur and lime are two of the most common soil additives used to correct a pH imbalance. Soil pH testing is an important part of annual fertilization planning. You can find more information about soil nutrients and the effect of pH on your lawn here.

If a soil test indicated that a pH or phosphorus deficiency is present, a 16-4-8 fertilizer can address the issue. Potassium interacts with minerals in the soil, changing the pH over time; the reason that annual testing is suggested.

How Much Fertilizer Should I Apply To Zoysia?

It is recommended to use three to four pounds of Nitrogen per growing season. All fertilizer measurements are per 1,000 square feet. Most lawns will need to have three applications made throughout the year. Pesticides, pre-emergent, post-emergent, and soil enhancers can be added to any fertilizer application.

Always follow the manufacturer’s directions for application rates and time frames. Applying excessive amounts of fertilizer to a lawn can lead to scorching, burning, and permanent damage. It is never advised to apply fertilizer to a lawn in drought conditions or experiencing other external stressors. If you are unsure of application rates for fertilizer, please consult our fertilizer calculation page.

Recommended Products for Zoysia Lawns in Early Spring

Recommended Fertilizer

Espoma Lawn Food 15-0-5

  • Provides a slow release of nitrogen for extended feeding
  • Contains non-staining iron
  • Good for zoysiagrass, Bermudagrass, St. Augustine grass, centipede, perennial ryegrass, bluegrass, fine and tall fescue
  • For best results, lightly water after the application

Total Nitrogen – 15% Soluable Potash – 5% Sulfur – 2% Iron – 1%

Recommended Pre-Emergent

Hi-Yield Weed and Grass Stopper with Dimension Herbicide

  • Highly effective against crabgrass
  • Helps prevent annual grasses & broadleaf weeds
  • Can be applied up to 4 weeks later than other pre-emergent Crabgrass preventers
  • Safe for use on Bahiagrass, Bermudagrass, Buffalograss, Carpetgrass, Centipedegrass, St. Augustinegrass, Zoysiagrass, Bentgrass, Creeping; Bluegrass, Kentucky; Fescue, Fine; Fescue, Tall; Ryegrass, Perennial Ryegrass

Recommended Weed and Feed

For All Seasons Weed & Feed

Actually a 16-0-8 fertilizer with a selective pre-emergent. Prevents crabgrass and broadleaf weeds in established lawns.

Can be used in fall or spring. In spring, it is recommended you use this product 2 – 3 weeks before seeds begin to germinate.

  • Can be used on both warm and cool season grasses
  • Active Ingredient – Prodiamine 0.383%
  • Nitrogen 16%, Soluable Potash 8%, Boron 0.02%, Copper 0.05%, Iron 0.10%, Manganese 0.05%, Zinc 0.05%

Fertilizer Strategies for Early Summer

After signs of growth begin to emerge, apply .5 to 1 pound of a 15-0-15 fertilizer mix to the lawn. Most products will need to be applied with a hand or push spreader.

Early in the growing season, we recommend a weed and feed product to Zoysia Grass. Most weed and feed products feature a pre-emergent herbicide. Pre-emergent herbicides prevent weeds from germinating in the lawn. Stopping weeds from taking root will keep them from becoming a problem down the road.

Fertilizer Strategies for mid-to-late Summer

After the lawn has had four or five cuttings and is continuing to grow, apply another .5 to 1 pound of fertilizer. Many homeowners are beginning to see weeds take hold in the yard at this point in the season.

You can apply a post-emergent product now along with fertilizer. Post-emergent herbicides will kill weeds that have already taken root in the turf. Once again, you can apply fertilizer and a post-emergent product or use a weed and feed.

Fertilizing Zoysia in Late Summer

As the growing season is winding down, apply another .5 to 1 pound of fertilizer. If weeds are still present, you can use another weed and feed product. If there are no weeds in the lawn, You can apply a pre-emergent product to prevent future growth. Adding a post-emergent product now will help to control any winter weed growth.

Post Application Care

Zoysia lawns should receive between 1 and 1.25 inches of water every week, especially after fertilization. If you use a plain fertilizer, make sure to water post-application. If water is not applied after fertilization, granules can remain stuck to grass blades and result in burning. After applying fertilizer, watering a lawn will wash the granules into the soil and activate them faster. Many homeowners find it easier to spread fertilizer before a forecasted rain. Rain uniformly covers lawns, saving a step.

Watering a lawn after a pre-emergent herbicide will allow the granules to make their way into the soil. Once in the soil, the product can begin forming a barrier against germinating weed seeds. Post-emergent herbicides will benefit from being applied to moist grass blades. If the turf is wet, granules will stick to the leaves of weeds. Herbicides are absorbed through leaves and will kill the pesky weed. Fertilizers and herbicides are beneficial to your lawn, but can cause stress in the short term. Care should be taken to not over-tax a yard after products have been applied. Always ensure that the grass receives ample irrigation. Also, check the forecast to avoid scorching or freezing weather when deciding when to apply products.

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