Zoysia grass is a slow-growing grass that is typically located in the Southern U.S. This type of grass thrives best in warm climates with partial shade. It tends to take minor damage from foot traffic than other Southern grasses such as Bermuda and does well in various soil types, resulting in a reasonably low-maintenance lawn. Since Zoysia grows slowly, this can promote the collection of a thick layer of thatch that will need to be broken up each year for the health of your yard. Thatch is the layer of dead stems and other organic matter that collects on top of the soil and forms a barrier between the roots and crucial oxygen, water, and nutrients. Usually, dethatching can be done before or in the place of aeration with a special rake. Zoysia is spread by rhizomes, horizontal
stems below the surface that can easily damage, so it’s best to use a core aerator instead for this particular species.
Here’s What Really Matters When Aerating Your Zoysia Grass:
Aeration is best performed during early Summer when the grass is in its peak growing season. This process involves removing plugs from the soil and letting them remain on the lawn to break down and provide nutrients to the roots below. The new holes set in place by the aerator will assist in breaking up compacted soil and increasing oxygen levels and irrigation success. The soil plugs will also help to break up the thatch quickly, allowing it to decompose.
To begin aeration, you’ll want to either rent a core aerator from your local garden supply store or hire a lawn care service to aerate your lawn. Core aerators are suggested as spike aerators are proven to show little to no grass improvement. Again, ensure that you are aerating while the yard is fervently growing. A few days prior, mow the grass and lightly water your lawn to prepare for aeration.
Use the core aerator in a criss-cross pattern similar to mowing, being sure to go back over heavily trafficked or troubled areas once more to ensure the soil has been decompacted. While the cores atop your lawn may look offputting, they serve a unique purpose, so it’s helpful to leave them. These pieces are what help break down the thatch layer and provide organic nutrients to the roots. Yearly aeration can help your zoysia grass remove its thatch layers and, in turn, improve its overall health. Make sure to follow core aeration with overseeding, lime-rich fertilization, and daily irrigation for ideal results.
In closing, it’s typically necessary to aerate your zoysia grass on an annual basis. Core aeration will release soil and decrease thatch collection throughout the seasons. Most American lawns are impacted by equipment and foot traffic over time, so it’s important to maintain the health of your grass during the off-seasons as well. As a reminder, be sure to skip dethatching, use the core aeration method, overseed, fertilize, and water to ensure your healthiest lawn yet!