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Looking for suitable grass in central FL

Posted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 4:47 pm
by jigjoe
Good afternoon folks. I live in the central Florida area and I'm planning on using a small section of my backyard as a testing ground for planting grass for the first time. I've watched/read all the prep guides and have the tools to achieve a good prep, I hope. My question today is I'd like to go with the Zoysia grass and noticed there were several of them to choose from. Is there a comparison photo of the different kinds? Also, which would be most suitable for my area? The spot I'm planting in has sunlight from around 12pm to around 6pm or so. I'd like something that has a dark green color to it if possible. I'd also appreciate any recommendations as far as farms or locations nearby that carry this grass. I saw some Zoysia sod at Lowes and it didn't look good at all so anything farm fresh would be great! Thanks :)

Re: Looking for suitable grass in central FL

Posted: Sun Jul 21, 2013 7:43 pm
by imafan26
If there is a sod farm near you, check them out. They usually have a selection of sod to choose from and often have sample patches where you can walk and lie on so you will have a better idea of the look and feel of the grass. I prepped my yard and ordered the sod from the sod farm, I set up a time with them to pick it up. They do not cut the sod out until I get there so it is fresh. I do have to order in minimum batches of 25 sq. ft. It is sold in a roll. If you are not going to plant it immediately, you can keep the roll in the shade and keep it moist, but it should be planted within a day or two.

I like zoysia because I am not a grass person. Zoysia is tough, is not prone to fungal diseases and the grass grows slowly so it does not put on a lot of tender growth like bermuda or seashore paspalum that the army worms love. Zoysias are tight grasses so they crowd out weeds well, but should be cut with a reel and not a rotary mower. The reel mower cuts like a knife and the rotary rips the blades causing the tips to brown. Because they grower slower than other grasses they don't need to be cut as often.

There are several types of zosia. Each has slightly different blade characteristics and growth rates. Zoysia does tend to form tufts or humps mainly because the grass is tight it grows up instead, so the humps need to be cut off. I also de thatch, aerate and top dress twice a year.

I know of emerald, el toro, and amazoy (which is not available here)