Written by 11:23 pm Lawn Tips

How to Overseed a Zoysia Grass Lawn

zoysia grass title

If you are looking for a fast and easy way to make your Zoysia grass lawn thicker and greener, overseeding may be the option for you. Overseeding a yard involves planting new Zoysia grass seeds over existing turf. Planting new Zoysia seeds will yield a lush and healthier lawn that will make neighbors green with envy.

Best Times of the Year to Overseed a Zoysia Lawn

Zoysia grass enters its primary growing season in spring. It lasts through late summertime. Like other warm-season grasses, Zoysia needs for the last threat of frost to of passed to begin growing.

Overseeding a Zoysia lawn should not occur if there is even a remote threat of frost in the forecast. Seeds will also struggle to germinate in scorching temperatures. Try to avoid extreme weather when overseeding Zoysia turf.

Optimal planting days will vary by USDA Climate Zone. Below you will find some suggested dates for overseeding a Zoysia lawn depending on location. It is important to note that the dates below are only a recommendation.

Homeowners should track local forecasts when picking a planting date. Once again, cold and sweltering heat should be avoided at all costs when planting new grass seeds.

Suggested Planting Times for Zoysia Grass

ZoneLast Frost DateSuggested Planting Window
6April 10 – 20April 25 – May 20
7March 20 – April 1April 10 – May 15
8March 10 – 25April 5 – May 20
9February 15 – March 1March 20 – April 25
10February 1 -March 1March 15 – April 25

How to Overseed a Zoysia Grass Lawn

1. Remove Leaves and Rubbish

Take ample time to remove leaves, pine straw, sticks, and debris from the lawn. Removing any obstacles in the lawn will help to ensure a smooth and even seed application. Debris may also interfere with freshly applied seed, making adequate seed-to-soil contact.

2. Cut the Zoysia Grass Low

Cut zoysia lawns to a length of no more than one and one-quarter inches before applying seeds. Shortening the blades of grass will allow the seeds to make their way to the soil easier and faster. Clippings should be bagged during the preparation cut. Do not mulch and spread clippings, as they will act as a barrier between the grass seed and the soil.

3. Loosen and Prepare the Soil

If thatch exists, or there are compacted areas of soil, remedy the issues now. Many lawns can stand to be aerated bi-annually. If aeration is not possible, prepare the soil with a metal rake instead. Be sure to break up any clumps of soil with the rake.

Rake out any thatch or rocks as well. Aggressive raking is fine as long as the grass is not torn up or extensively damaged.

It is critical to break up compacted soil before applying new grass seed. Loosening the ground allows for more seed-to-soil contact and better germination. Compacted soil prevents nutrients from absorbing into the soil. Aeration and soil preparation is one of the essential parts of the overseeding process.

4. Choose Zoysia Grass Seed and a Spreader

Zoysia grass seed is sold in either coated or non-coated varieties. Lawn and Petal generally prefer coated seed varieties. Coated seeds have improved ballistics, better water absorption, and faster germination. Coated seeds are more expensive than their non-coated counterparts. However, they generally result in better seed germination.

For smaller lawns or spot treatments, use a hand spreader. Typically, areas that are over one-quarter of an acre in size will need a push broadcast spreader for overseeding.

5. Apply the Zoysia Grass Seed

Apply zoysia grass seeds in a consistent and even pattern. Map out the path before application to avoid overlapping passes. Overseeding passes can create unwanted designs in areas or may lead to planting too much seed in portions of the turf. Make sure to follow the spreader’s instructions for application rates and walking instructions.

6. Cover the Seed

Mulched lawn clippings, sand, or soil can be used to cover the seeds. Cover the freshly spread Zoysia seeds with no more than 1/8th of an inch of sand or dirt.

The added material increases seed-to-soil contact and will help retain water. The more moisture and protection provided to the seeds, the more grass that will grow. If too much cover is applied, seeds may not germinate.

7. Apply Fertilizer

Apply a 15-0-15 or 15-0-10 fertilizer to the newly applied Zoysia seeds. Providing the seeds with a nutrient-rich boost speeds up the germination process.

Do not apply a weed and feed product, or herbicides, to the lawn for at least eight weeks after planting. Use only plain fertilizers on a newly seeded lawn. More about the best fertilizers for Zoysia grass can be found here.

8. Water the Zoysia Seeds

Keeping Zoysia seeds moist is the most important thing a homeowner can do. Zoysia grass seeds will need to be watered with two to three inches of water three times a week. If temperatures are hot, more frequent watering will be required.

Watering can be reduced after four weeks of solid growth.

9. Continue Maintaining the Zoysia Turf

Regular maintenance of Zoysia grass can continue eight to ten weeks after planting. Weed and feed products can be used if the grass is thriving. Traditional cuttings can take place as well. Do not cut the grass lower than two inches for the first three cuts. The lawn will need to receive its typical 1 to 1.25 inches of water per week.

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