Geo Zoysia Maintenance
Geo Zoysia is a cross between a Zoysia japonica and a Zoysia tenuifolia that offers specifiers, landscapers, golf course designers, sportsturf managers and homeowners exceptional performance with low maintenance across a wide spectrum of applications. Geo is a dark-green turfgrass with fine-textured leaf blades that grows in a wide variety of soil and climate conditions. Geo performs well in sandy and clay type soils throughout the southern U.S. and has tough runners, rhizomes, and deep roots that provide excellent sod strength, wearability, and improved drought tolerance. Geo performs well in hot, arid, sandy areas of the southwest U.S., and has proven itself drought tolerant in many challenging applications. Geo has very good shade tolerance and has performed well in field and homeowner sites. Its shade tolerance is better than that of most Zoysias and it performs well into the transition zone. Additionally, Geo is highly tolerant of most herbicides making it easier to control weeds during production and for the end user.
Production and Quality Control
Genetic purity and preservation of the Geo Zoysia variety is of primary importance. Only licensed turfgrass producers are authorized to grow Geo for sale. All licensed Geo production is monitored through ongoing quality control and quality assurance programs. Additionally, producers can choose to certify their Geo through local state crop certification agencies that provide rigid standards and regulations for production, harvesting, and handling, that when adhered to, ensure a genetically pure, high quality, “certified” product.
Installation and Establishment
Installation and the care taken during the initial days that follow are the most critical factors in determining the long-term quality and performance of Geo Zoysia. Harvesting and transplantation are extremely stressful to any turfgrass and precautionary measures should be taken to help reduce further cultural and environmental stresses. Geo is a tough, hardy turfgrass that once established, produces a beautiful lifetime lawn, landscape, sportsturf or golf course. Proper care, including pre-installation soil preparation and limiting time on the pallet to less than 24 hours, yields positive results. Improper care, however, can cause death of the turfgrass or damage that results in lengthy recovery and additional expense. See our Turfgrass Installation page for more information on proper installation of turfgrass.
Irrigating Newly Installed Geo: Proper watering upon installtion is essential to successful establishment
- Prior to installation, ensure irrigation systems are working properly and covering all areas to be planted
- Water thoroughly upon installation ensuring that both the Geo is wet and the soil is moist to a depth of 3”, which is approximately 1” of water per day
- In hot weather, water within a few hours of installation to mitigate severe damage or loss due to heat / dehydration stress
- Shaded areas and heavy soils require less water than full-sun areas and sandy soils
- When proper rooting is evident, alter irrigation program accordingly
Mowing: New installations are often uneven and care should be taken not to scalp high spots:
- Mow within 10 days of installation and bag clippings for the first few mowings
- After the first few mowings see post establishment instructions for proper mowing practices.
Fertility: Use a transplant-friendly regimen that will help reduce shock and minimize disease
- Use a starter fertilizer that is low in nitrogen and higher in phosphorous and potassium
- For best results always perform a soil test and fertilize accordingly
Mowing: Mowing is a critical and often under appreciated cultural practice:
- Maintain Geo at 1-2"(1" is optimal)
- Heights above 2" will reduce quality
- Can be maintained at heights of 1/2" if regularly mowed with a reel mower
- Rotary mowers are preferred for heights 1" or higher
- Reel mowers are preferred for heights below 1"
- Mow every 5-7 days during the active growing season
- Mow every 10-14 days, or as needed, during cooler weather
- Never cut more than 1/3 of the total length of the blade at any one mowing
- If a scheduled mowing is missed and clippings clump on top of the Geo, bag or vacuum clippings to reduce shade-out
- Vertical mowing (verticutting) may be performed to renovate Geo
- In early spring, mow Geo tight, bagging all clippings to remove excessive thatch. This will help the grass to recover from winter dormancy. Don't worry about scalping (removing 1/3" of the leaf blade) at this time, as this is a beneficial maintenance practice for spring green-up and growth.
Insecticides: Avoid stress from insects by performing insecticidal applications as needed:
- For any insecticide application, always read and follow label directions carefully
- Early identification and treatment of insect stress minimizes inputs and injury
- Make routine observations of the landscape, and be aware of seasonal pests like billbugs, armyworms and webworms
- Preventatively apply Bayer Advanced Lawn Season-Long Grub Control Ready-To-Spread granules annually to control billbug larve/grubs. For better results, make a spring and fall application to break the prest cycle.
- Control armyworms and webworms with Sevin, Orthene, Diazinon or Permethrin-based products
- Control billbugs with Sevin (adults), Talstar (adults), DeltaGuard (adults), Merit (larval/grub form), Mach2 (larval/grub form) To ensure complete control, you must apply 2-3 applications of the larval/grub form insecticide.
- Consult with local experts for insecticide recommendations if you are unsure of label instructions
- If necessary, you may want to reference the University of Florida's Pest Control Guide For Turfgrass Managers and/or the University of Georgia's Turfgrass Pest Control Recommendations for Professionals for more detailed recommendations.
Herbicides: Proper mowing, irrigation and fertilization of Geo will reduce weed problems. If a weed problem persists:
- For any herbicide application, always read and follow label directions carefully
- Improper use of herbicides can severely damage or kill Geo
- Make routine observations of the landscape being aware of seasonal weeds
- Identify the type of weed causing the problem before using any chemical controls
- Geo is tolerant of most commonly used herbicides
- Consult with local experts for herbicide recommendations if you are unsure of label instructions
Fungicides: Geo has shown resistance to most fungal problems and controls should be used only as needed:
- For any fungicide application, always read and follow label directions carefully
- Early identification and treatment of disease stress minimizes inputs and injury
- Make routine observations of the landscape being aware of unusual symptoms
- Consider a broad-spectrum fungicide application if predictable seasonal problems are noted
- Ask your Geo grower to apply fungicide 1-2 weeks prior to harvest during times of high, disease-inducing stress
- Consult with local experts for fungicide recommendations if you are unsure of label instructions
Irrigation: Established Geo exhibits drought tolerance due to improved plant genetics and growth characteristics:
- Watering requirements are greatly dependent on soil type, season, geography and other factors
- Ensure irrigation systems are working properly and covering all areas covered by Geo
- Make routine observations of the landscape and learn the signs (i.e., wilting) that indicate when irrigation is required
- Shaded areas and heavy soils require less water than full-sun areas and sandy soils
- Encourage deep root growth by watering until the soil is moist to a depth of 3”, shallow watering encourages shallow roots
- Infrequent deep watering maximizes drought resistance and tolerance
- Visit our Watering Tips for more information on proper irrigation
Fertility: Proper fertility practices will encourage healthy, disease and insect free Geo:
- Perform soil tests to understand your soil type(s) and condition and best determine your specific fertility needs
- Generally, Geo requires 3 fertilizer applications/year: spring, summer and fall
- Make routine observations and fertilize according to what the landscape indicates
- Understand what and how much fertilizer you are applying
- Avoid disease and insect inducing growth flushes by reducing Nitrogen rates
- Improve color and limit growth surges by utilizing iron sources such as Milorganite
- A total of 3 LB of Nitrogen per 1,000 sqft should be adequate for most applications
- Apply balanced fertilizers with lower rates of Nitrogen in the summer and fall
Geo BMP PDF Download:
To ensure optimum quality and performance of Geo, users must accomplish necessary care and maintenance. This care and maintenance has been formalized above in the Best Management Practices (BMPs) for Geo Zoysia. These BMPs are written as a guide and should be modified as local climate, soil, and environmental conditions dictate. It is important to note that no “magic fertilizer” or “super-chemical” will solve all problems or make any turfgrass perfect. Through consistent application of the BMPs and on-going evaluation, education, and modification of these practices, however, users will greatly enhance the quality and performance of Geo Zoysia.