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Emerald Zoysia Considered to be the Most Beautiful Turfgrass

Emerald Zoysia is one of several cultivars of zoysiagrasses used for home lawns. Release in 1955, this cultivar is a hybrid of Zoysia japonica and Zoysia tenuifolia and features cold tolerance, bold color, faster growth rate, fine texture and density. The Emerald cultivar is similar to Zoysia matrella in color and density, but has a wider climate adaptation and grows more quickly. Other characteristics include fine leaf structure, good shade tolerance and ability to withstand frequent wear.

Turf care professionals often recommend this zoysiagrass for high-quality lawns where adequate time and money can provide sufficient maintenance. Sometimes considered the most beautiful member of the zoysiagrass family, Emerald can also be prone to thatch accumulation and is susceptible to brown patch, dollar spot and leaf spot diseases.

Advantages and Disadvantages
Zoysiagrasses adapt well to a wide range of soil and climatic conditions and can tolerate salt spray, making them ideal for coastal lawns. Upon establishment, this dense and slow-growing grass reduces weed establishment and growth. They require less water than many other turfgrasses. Its slow growth habit, which contributes to the need for less frequent watering, is also a drawback as often two to three years are needed to fully establish a lawn from vegetative plugs. It also recovers slowly from damage.

Because a heavy thatch layer forms over time, Emerald Zoysia requires regular dethatching to prevent additional problems and complete lawn renovation. Other disadvantages are high nutrient requirements and susceptibility to nematodes, billbugs and a variety of diseases.

Establishment
Proper preparation of soil and seedbeds is necessary for successful establishment. Remove all debris, rocks and undesired vegetation before grading. If necessary, remove low tree limbs to allow better sunlight. Lawn should slope away from buildings for better drainage. Accurate soil test results to determine fertility level and pH will aid establishment.

Propagation is via sodding, plugging or sprigging. Sodding provides the instant lawn that many homeowners want, while sprigging is the most difficult and labor intensive method. Water zoysiagrass lightly every day during the first two weeks after establishment to ensure that it takes. The best months to plant a zoysiagrass lawn is April through July.

Maintenance
Zoysiagrassses require frequent fertilization to look their best, along with frequent soil testing to maintain optimal nutrient levels. Apply fertilizer at least three times a year in concentrations recommended by soil tests. Extra nitrogen for greening and potassium to aid cold tolerance may be necessary.

During summer, zoysiagrasses need frequent mowing to maintain turf quality. Mow with a reel mower with the height set at one-half inch to one inch for best results. Water every other day during summer or periods of drought to discourage nematodes and turf diseases.

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