Seeding Your Lawn
Part 1: The Setup
- Read these precautions and considerations for when Seeding a New or Existing Zenith Zoysia Lawn.
- Run a soil test to determine if lime is needed to raise the pH or if specific fertilizers are needed - none may be necessary, so run the soil test to save money and reduce fertilizer use.
- Order Zenith seed on-line or pick up at your local Super-Sod store
- Order Soil3 organic compost from your local Super-Sod store. Using Soil3 promotes the best lawns. You'll want enough for seedbed preparation and for a light mulch after planting the seed.
- Kill existing grass and weeds using a non-selective herbicide. Note limitations in the first bullet.
Part 2: Seeding
Seeding is done at least two weeks after grass is sprayed to kill and after existing grass is dead. Hint: Seeding can be done in one day, depending on several factors (size of yard, number of helping hands, ease of removing old grass), but we suggest planning for splitting it into two days. For instance: remove grass and spread/till Soil3 on one day; the next day spread the seed, lightly mulch with Soil3, and roll to smooth.
- Scrape up dead grass with a shovel or scalp the lawn by setting your mower to its lowest cutting height and mow, bagging and removing clippings and any surface debris.
- Till or rake to loosen the soil and create a good seedbed.
Best practice: till in Soil3 compost (1 cubic yard of Soil3 will cover 1,000 sq. ft.)
- Rake to grade, level, and smooth the bare soil in the lawn planting area.
- Remove debris, sticks, and stones.
- Lime as needed to produce a pH of 5.8 to 6.5 (add 50 lb dolomitic limestone per 1,000 sq. ft. if pH is not known).
- Apply 10 lb balanced lawn fertilizer or Super-Sod’s “Total Lawn Food 5-10-15 Plus Iron.” per 1,000 sq. ft. All grasses perform better where fertilizer is tilled into the soil.
Note: no need to fertilize if using Soil3 compost in seedbed preparation.
- Distribute seed: Use a Cyclone-type seeder. Divide seed in half and go over the area twice, distributing from east to west and then north to south to insure uniformity. A hand-held seeder is not expensive and can be found at home supply stores with a garden section.
- Lightly rake to insure good seed/soil contact - no deeper than 1/4 inch (adequate light speeds germination).
Best Practice: Instead of lightly raking, use Soil3 as a nutritious mulch. Spread a very thin layer of Soil3 on top of seedlings just to the point of lightly covering. Careful: not too much. (1 cubic yard of Soil3 will cover 4,000 sq. ft.)
- Roll to smooth (a drum roller can be rented at many hardware and equipment rental stores).
- If you didn't spread Soil3 lightly over the seeds, use wheat straw on sloping areas where erosion might be a problem. Distribute straw thinly so not to shade young Zenith seedlings. Read how superior seeding results are gained by using Soil3 compost as a treatment over turfgrass seed, instead of wheat straw.
- Water the seeds
Watering After Seeding Zenith Zoysia
Water thoroughly and immediately after planting. Continue to water as often as necessary to keep soil constantly moist. Avoid run-off and over watering; seeds will probably need as little as 5 minutes of watering to the point of wetting them, but to keep them moist, you may need to water as frequently as 3-4 times a day during the height of summer (i.e. 3-4 times a day for 5 minutes each time).
After seedlings emerge, water less frequently until watering only as needed once the stand is established. (How and When to Water Your Lawn)
Begin mowing at a 1.5 inch cut-height when there is anything to mow, including weeds. Mowing, plus the dense growth habit of Zenith, will reduce weed presence.
For broad leaf weeds, 2,4-D type herbicides are safe when used according to the manufacturer's instructions. Drive, Revolver, MSMA, or Quicksilver can be used for weed control at seeding and after establishment (may require licensed applicator). Read and follow all label directions when using any pesticide.
Results: These pictures were taken May 9, 2013 (10 months after seeding Zenith on July 17, 2012).