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Frequently Asked Questions about Seeded Zoysiagrass
- Why seed? Seeding costs substantially less and is less labor intensive than sodding, sprigging or plugging. Zoysiagrass cover by seeding is faster than sprigging, ‘strip sodding’ or plugging.
- When is the best time to seed with Zenith? In the transition zone of the US seeding should begin in May or early June. Seeding after July may be risky. In warm climates seeding can occur anytime soil temperatures are in the 60’s.
- How much seed per acre should I plant? Minimum recommended seeding rate is 50 pounds per acre. Higher seeding rates can result in quicker cover.
- What kind of surface preparation is necessary before seeding? Prepare a seedbed as you would for any turf installation including sprigs or sod. Surface should be smooth, settled and free of sticks and stones larger than ½ inch. Plant seed no deeper than ¼ inch below soil surface.
- Can I plant Zenith seed into my existing turf and convert my lawn to Zenith? Yes. First spray a non-selective weed killer and allow grass and weeds to die (about 10 days to 2 weeks) next scalp off the dead grass and seeds and remove by catching or raking after mowing. Finally Aerify or verticut the area to be seeded perpendicular to any slopes.
- What kind of seeder should I use? Any seeder that gives even distribution will do. Generally a drop seeder or cyclone seeder is recommended – however some prefer inserting seed with a slit-seeding machine. A TurfCo Tri-Wave planter or similar can be used in place of verticutting. Caution! - insure that seed are planted not more than ¼ inch below the surface.
- How long will my fairways be out of play? This depends on the degree of renovation (tilling will take fairways out of play longer (6 to 8 weeks) than interseeding (2 to 3 weeks) - you decide if you want to take fairways out of play. Once seedlings emerge, watering on an as needed basis is recommended and should not interfere with play. Keep golf carts on paths until grow-in is complete – usually the first season.
- How long will the conversion negatively affect golfer play? The greatest impact will be in the first 4 to 5 weeks but playability will not be normal until complete cover and will continue to improve as they mature.
- How soon can we be playing on zoysiagrass fairways from seed? Grow-in usually takes from 10 to 14 growing weeks depending on location, seeding rate and intensity of grow-in management – but assume one full growing season following recommended grow-in procedures. In cool years or if planted late, grow-in may take part of a second season.
- How much fertilizer will be needed to grow in my golf course? Grow-in of any planted surface always requires more fertilizer than the final established turfgrass surface. The use of a fertilizer like a 5-10-15 should be applied at 6 weeks after seeding Once established reduce nitrogen levels to about 1 to 2 pounds per growing season as organic or slow release forms using iron for color. Always adjust soil nutrients based on soil test for best results.
- Can I apply a herbicide before planting seed? You can apply non-selective zero residual herbicides to eliminate green growing competitive grasses and weeds. Follow all label directions. NEVER APPLY A PRE-EMERGENT HERBICIDE SOONER THAN 90 DAYS BEFORE TO SEEDING.
- What kind of herbicides can I apply during the grow-in? Three-way phenoxys (including 2,4-D) can be used according to label instructions during grow-in. Rely on close mowing (~1 inch) to minimize competition from grassy weeds.
- How much does Zenith zoysia seed cost? Zenith zoysia seed costs are determined by amount purchased and shipping distance. Contact Patten Seed Company for current pricing or location of a dealer near you. Costs are generally less than 10% of the cost of sodding the same area with zoysia sod.
- Where can I get Zenith zoysia seed? Zenith zoysia seed is available from Patten Seed Company and qualified commercial seed distributors in the US and around the world.
- Do I need treated seed? Zenith is treated to enhance germination and can, upon request, be treated with appropriate fungicides.
- What is germination enhanced zoysia seed? We use a proprietary process to bring the germination level higher than 85% - up from untreated 3% to 30%. More uniform germination means quicker cover.
- Does any other seed company produce hybrid zoysia seed? Only Patten Seed produces improved hybrid zoysia seed.
- What is an improved zoysia from seed? Improved means consistent turf appearance and better color – similar in quality to vegetative grasses like Meyer zoysia.
- Is Zenith more like Meyer or some other zoysia? It is most similar to Meyer.
- What other courses have used Zenith? Zenith zoysia has been used on golf courses in the Caribbean – like Barbados and Curacao, and around the world in places like Korea and Portugal. In the United States Zenith has been successfully established on golf course fairways in Indiana, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Ohio and in Georgia, South Carolina, and Tennessee.
- Have golf course architects specked Zenith? Yes, Zenith seed has been specified on golf courses.
- How far north will Zenith grow and produce quality fairways, tees and roughs? Throughout the transition zone and well into the lower sections of zones where cool season grasses do well.
- Where can Zenith be used on golf courses? Zenith has been used on golf course fairways, tees, roughs and secondary roughs and around clubhouses in the landscape.
- What are the advantages of having zoysia versus cool season grasses in my fairways? Zoysia grasses offer lower cost of maintenance as a result of lower nutrient and water requirements, less mowing, reduced summer fungicide programs and elimination of the need to re-seed. Information published in golf related journals indicate that zoysiagrass fairways cost approximately ½ of the cost of maintaining cool season fairways like bentgrass. Zenith thrives in hot humid summer months and even when golden brown and dormant, continues to provide better ball support than cool season grass alternatives in use today.
- Can I convert a bermudagrass fairway to Zoysia from seed? It is best to remove and eradicate bermudagrass. Even then, bermudagrass reappearing in the planted site is assumed. Chemicals are available to slow its return and spread.
- Is Zenith seed available now? Yes. Zenith is available in commercial amounts. However, Zenith, because of its yield per acre will never be overly abundant. Those considering establishing Zenith zoysia from seed on their golf course should consider reserving seed in advance.
- Where can I have questions answered about converting to Zenith zoysiagrass by seeding for my club members and me? Call our toll free number 1-800-634-1672 or go to the informational page Zoysia Golf.