On Sep 18, 2009, forgetgrass Westlake Village, CA wrote:
I saw the add for this amazing grass in an airplane magazine and thought this was the perfect solution to a problem I had. I ordered my plugs in early June, specifically I paid for 1000 plus I received many extras they gave me as the promotion. At the time I did not realize that they harvested only periodically so I was lucky that I did get the order sooner than later otherwise it could have been some wait. When they arrived UPS dropped them off at my residence and they probably stayed there for 5-6 hours roasting in the hot California weather. When I got home I saw and opened immediately, and read the instructions. Most of the boxes the grass was showing signs of distress and the color was brown as the instructions predicted. I wet them all down set up some lights and got to work with my son drilling the holes to plant them that night. We did this throughout the evening and then decided to put the rest in the next day which required taking time off from work. I thought I would have enough to put 2 two plugs per foot, but we came up short and had to spread the plugs out over a larger area. Once that was done and I was hopeful that everything would work out. The plugs were very coarse woodsy looking with a few green sprouts. I installed a new irrigation timer before the grass came and set it up exactly per the instructions to the minute for watering directed in the instructions. I even checked the flow rate to see how much water they were getting by putting soup cans around the yard. This initial cycle went on for a couple weeks and I noticed that the weeds seemed to be taking over instead of grass growing. I sent an email to the farm and they told me I could be watering too much, even though I gave them the schedule and our average temperatures had been in the high 80’s and low 90’s. They also recommended that I use a broad leaf weed killer on the weeds. I cut the water back by 25% and used the weed killer, exactly per the instructions. It never got better and the plugs always looked like they were ready to sprout but at the same time seemed dormant. Then our city made water rationing and I cut back again to mandated three times a week, this was less than 5 minutes per day. Now it has been months and the only thing alive is the marathon grass on the edges and the weeds. I am disappointed in the product, felt I did everything by the book but considering the result I had, it was a waste of money, time and water that I should not have wasted. I am going to invest in native plants, rock pebbles and a small piece of artificial grass so there is some green in our garden other than plants. The only positive experience was getting the little auger drill that I can use to plant bulbs, but without that the whole thing would have been a total waste of money. I hope others have better luck for me; I should have invested in a local solution rather than mail order, it was just my bad luck that prevailed. Good Luck to you, but at least research a local source and consider what they can offer first, before you purchase from mail order.
On September 30th, 2009, forgetgrass added the following:
To complete the information, in the weeks before getting the plugs I tilled the area and added 3 yds 70/30% topsoil amendment mix, the greater portion being rice hulls & organic matter to the native soil. I never check pH, and it was not suggested when I contacted the customer support for help. The soil was so loose that I did not need the little drill they sent me to make a hole to plant the plugs. I am pretty sure that the roots had good contact with the soil, but I could be wrong. We hand watered each plug intially after planting. then let the sprinklers take over once the planting was done.
The rep is correct that the company thought initially overwatering was an issue, but I could not understand, how they made that conclusion based on the watering cycles I used based on their instructions, I was following , to the minute. I did reduce the flow by time, per their instructions the second time around after I contacted them and saw no improvement. As I indicated before things really went sour after I used the weed killer, I don't want to use the trade name but I did use what was recommended.
Since reading the thoughtful reply, I invested in a soil test kit at our local nursery and tested the soil. I took random samples around the area and found the range of pH to be slightly acid between 6.5 and 6.8 for the 6 samples I checked. Maybe this is higher or lower than what it should be, but from past experience trying to change soil pH, I have found it to be a process that is best done little by little over a period of weeks and months rather than brute force additions of chemicals all at one time. I think I am better off leaving it as is at this time rather than jumping to conclusions.
The last time I contacted the company they did tell me about a 45 day warranty, but by then after seeing the results I was not sure I wanted to invest more time to do it over again. At the time I was just frustrated that this process was very intensive, with little hope for success.
Right now the artificial turf seems like the best way to go, no water, no mowing, no maintenance, period. I'm still on the fence about this, but doubtful if I will try again under these conditions unless something else changes.
I am sure others might have good luck, but it was my bad luck that results were negative.On Sep 18, 2009, Zoysia Farm Nurseries responded with:
We want to turn this negative review into a positive one. It certainly sounds like this writer did a number of things right and tried very hard to make the grass grow in his yard. Our free replacement guarantees protects customers in cases just like this.
It also appears that something is not quite right. It is difficult to understand what that might be, without direct conversation with the customer. Sometimes it is as simple as, the pH level in the soil is too extreme or the plugs were not planted firmly enough to eliminate air pockets around the roots. Generally it is quite easy to grow zoysia from plugs, making it difficult to guess what might be the issue here. We all know sometimes growing plants can be a challenge. We are here to help customers be successful in just such cases. When replacing grass that didn’t grow we discuss all the possible causes with the customer. This helps to insure a more successful planting. We also extend our 60-day free replacement guarantee to one full year from date of shipment as a convenience to our customers. If the writer could contact us directly we can initiate the free replacement order.
To be sure, the package sitting in the sun for a few hours should not have been a problem and the 80 - 90 degree days is ideal weather for Amazoy zoysia. It sounds like there was some concern about over watering in a previous communication to us, but from the description in this posting that does not really sound like an issue.
Every year we ship thousands of orders to California and customers throughout the state tell us they have great success establishing Amazoy lawns. I’m sure we can solve this mystery and have a beautiful lawn for this customer in the years ahead.
On Sep 30, 2009 11:18 AM, Zoysia Farm Nurseries added:
Our guarantee is unconditional and extended to one year from date of shipping. We would be happy to replace this order. There is no cost to the customer if they want to try again. Without talking directly, it is difficult to make any further suggestions as to what could be done differently. It certainly appears things were done correctly. Why, in this case, it did not grow will have to remain a mystery to us all. Some days we wish growing gardens and lawns was a more precise science!
A couple of additional comments about this posting:
The pH range reported is perfect for zoysia so that was not the issue.
The weed kill also should not have been an issue, if the type we recommend was used with the correct application rates. The comment “things went sour after I used the weed killer” would seem to indicate that might have contributed to the situation although the posting goes on to say “I did use what was recommended”.
I ordered 400 plugs on 3/29 to get the free step on plugger. The order was shipped on 4/10 - the plugs arrived soon after that completely dry and brown and flaking apart, as noted by numerous other posters. Although the company is headquartered in MD, my UPS tracking receipt indicated that the package originated from Syracuse, NY. I went through the process of cutting all the plugs apart, installing them with their plugger (the hole cutter is too shallow and flimsy IMHO) that weekend. I understand the limitations of trying to grow this stuff in the NE, but this is one of the rainiest summers ever (rained 21/30 days in June) and I watered the days it didn't rain - and still I would guess 1/3 of the plugs died and the other 2/3 look brown with very little green growth. Perhaps that just reflects their normal slow growth, but where exactly are the ZFN farms? If they just grew the plugs in warm weather they would arrive green! I would not order again, I'll assess the status again this fall and perhaps reseed some areas.
On Aug 2, 2009, Zoysia Farm Nurseries responded with:
The crux of the issue here is quite clear; the planting sounds like it got too much water. The good news is we stand behind our product no matter what Mother Nature throws at you. We will replace any plug that fails to grow for up to one year after planting. Simply contact us directly and we will be happy to initiate replacements.
It has been an unusually wet May, June and July in the northeast. Amazoy zoysia is a drought tolerant grass and does not like a lot of water. This is particularly true when first planted. After planting, Amazoy only requires a light (15 minutes) watering once a day. If it has rained it is not necessary to water that day and depending on how hard or long it might have rained, it may not be necessary to water for several days.
As to where our farm is located, we are in Maryland and have been since 1953. To speed the shipping process we initially ship direct from our farm to UPS regional hubs (like Syracuse) from which more regional/local deliveries are made. It may look like the shipment originated somewhere other than Maryland, but I assure you we harvest and pack ever order at our farm.
After months of weighing the positive and negative aspects of a zoysia lawn vs fescue, my partner and I finally decided to take the plunge and order zoysia grass to plant in our backyard. We decided to start with only 1/3 of our yard and ordered about 10,000 plugs (what were we thinking?) The plan was to plant 4 plugs per square foot..
Before ordering, I spoke with representatives from Zoysia Farm Nurseries on a few occasions. Each time my questions were fully answered. They were careful to make sure that I did not have any unrealistic expectations.
Day one - the zoysia arrived via UPS (mid July - Maryland) - a week after I placed the order. They were mostly green. I laid them out under a tree and lightly watered them. I then mowed the transplant area of the existing lawn nearly to the dirt.
Day two - Starting out the project by myself, I measured out 5' x 5' areas and used the included power auger to dig staggered holes - the auger worked well...it was definitely better than the manual plugger I remember using as a child helping my parents. I then started cutting plugs. The scoring was adequate. I could see where 150 plugs could be cut from each piece. At first, per the instructions, I cut 1" x 1" plugs...as others have stated a lot of the dirt fell away and there was not much left but root. This was not a big deal...I used existing dirt and the dirt that fell away to plant the plugs. After I planted 100 plugs or so I started cutting larger pieces...partly because they fit the holes better and partly because (like I said earlier, what were we thinking? - 10,000 is a lot of plugs for 2 already busy people to plant) I wanted to get the grass into the ground faster. After a couple of hours my help arrived. We worked for a few more hours and decided to call it a day. We cleaned up for the evening and lightly watered both the newly planted plugs and the waiting sod.
Day three - my partner had cut up several more pieces into strips by the time I joined in on the "fun". I cut the strips into approx 1" x 2" plugs. It had rained heavily the night before so the ground was much softer when I dug my holes and the dirt packed rather nicely around the plugs. As time moved on and it didn't look like we had made much of a dent, the plugs started getting larger (not exceeding 2" x 2"). I remembered reading that some people had planted much larger pieces and we decided to plant staggered 2" x 10" strips instead of plugs. Now we were moving! At the day three stopping point we had about 30 of the over 60 pieces we started with left. We lightly watered all of the plants again.
We anticipate finishing the project in two more days. We will probably order more zoysia to complete the other 2/3rds of the yard. Realistically it probably won't be until the next growing season and it won't be in such a large quantity at one time (unless we get more help). Also, we will order the fertilizer next season...we didn't this time because we recently fertilized the lawn before deciding to plant the zoysia.
We are taking pictures of the process and will try to remember to update this posting with the growth progress.
On Jul 25, 2009, Zoysia Farm Nurseries responded with:
Planting zoysia grass is a little more work in the beginning, but it will produce a lifetime of benefits. I think one key piece of planning advice, is getting others involved in the planting process. It makes the work go much faster to have a partner or even a team of friends to help.
Some of the key benefits you will enjoy with Amazoy zoysia over fescues are that Amazoy grass blades are much finer and softer to walk on. Fescues are actually quite coarse and not as fine. Amazoy will grow much more slowly and require less mowing year after year resulting in not only a time saving but money as well. Amazoy zoysia is much more heat and cold tolerant than fescues. Fescues can have both winters and summers from which it will not recover. Lastly, by planting living Amazoy plants, you are giving your lawn a head start. Tender shoots from fescue seeds, particularly in the heat of summer, might not survive and with all the rain in Maryland this year grass seed has been washed away before it could establish itself, a common problem with all grass seed.
I think you made a wise choice. Good luck and remember be patient, zoysia fills in slowly. In time you will have a beautiful lawn that will be with you forever. A very good investment of your time, even if it was more than you anticipated.
The only negative experience I have had with this product so far is putting in the plugs. It is very labor intensive if you do not have someone helping you. Other than that, after four days of watering I have new growth on just about every plug I looked at. I will have to keep you posted, but so far every thing is as advertised.
On Jul 10, 2009, Zoysia Farm Nurseries responded with:
Having a helper or two really makes the planting process go much more quickly. I got my son involved and he loved making the holes. That made everything go much faster and was a great activity to do together.
It sounds like your plugs enjoy their new home and are off to a good start."
Right now, I am certainly NOT pleased with the grass plugs that I received. I ordered in mid-March, they arrived May 21. As most comments suggest, they were very brown and dried out. I'm not really a gardener so I don't know what kind of bugs were on them but there were certainly quite a few. I was disappointed by this point but decided being I had spent the money already, I would go ahead with planting. I ordered 600 plugs and got 3 sections of sod. Most of the dirt was already gone so I could not see the scoring. I planted them the same day they arrived. I followed the directions and cut as close as I could to the correct size using a garden shears. The step on plug thing wasn't exactly "self cleaning" but after about 15 minutes I realized that shoving a spike through the cutting hole between digging holes would loosen the trapped dirt enough so that I could more easily dig the next hole. It took me about 3 hours to get all of the plugs planted. I have been diligently watering them every day in an attempt to get them established. It is now 46 days after planting. They really look pathetic (I planted some grass seed a week later in other areas of my yard which have fully filled in now). The plugged area is black dirt with little balls of brown "straw" still. However, if I look closely, there is 1 or 2 strands of green in each bundle. I'm still watering them every day and my husband says I got took but I'm still holding on that I just haven't given them enough time yet. After reading the posts, I am hoping that they will soon come around because right now, I'm really wishing I would have just bought an extra bag of seed and been done with "establishing" my yard.
On July 6th, 2009, klvester added the following:
So far the company representatives have been very kind to me. I did inquire about the delay in shipping so I did know that I would not be getting the grass until mid-May. The UPS log may have shown that they were delivered on May 19 but May 21 is when they showed up on my doorstep. We have had very little rain this year (about 3 inches total). I have been watering every day (except when it does rain at all...I skip those days) but it should not be enough to kill off anything from over watering. The soil is so dry that it is cracked where bare. I did read that you are only supposed to water it for 3 weeks until established. There was NO sign of life at 3 weeks so that is why I continued to water thinking maybe it just hadn't taken yet. The few strands of green that I now see turned up about a week ago so that is why I haven't completely given up on them just yet. Like I said, where I planted seed is a full lush lawn right now and where I planted the plugs is a grid of straw bunches with dirt background. I also read that it takes quite a while for this type of grass to fill in so I wasn't expecting immediate results but I was expecting more by this far into the process. I haven't given up yet and hope that they will come around someday. I'm just thinking "is it worth it". I really hope they can prove me wrong and it will look like I have something that actually resembles grass growing someday soon. On Jul 6, 2009, Zoysia Farm Nurseries responded with:
Minnesota is one of the states for which a USDA inspection is required before shipment. This is to insure the product complies with all required state agriculture standards. The first inspection for Minnesota shipments took place this year on May 13 and according to UPS this order was delivered on May 19. This order was held pending the inspection date.
With the limited information provided, it is hard to know why this customer had some issues with the step-on-plugger. Compacted soils can make the ‘self cleaning’ not very efficient and some wetting of the soil might have helped. I think the best advice is what this person did; try different approaches and use the one that works best.
From the posting, the Amazoy is being over watered. In our instructions we advise to lightly water for 21 days after planting. 46 days is too many. Amazoy zoysia loves hot dry conditions. A little water is necessary each day after planting, but too much water will damage the roots at a time it is attempting to establish itself.
We want all our customers to be successful and the good news is we stand behind our product. We guarantee to replace any plugs that fail to grow, even when the planting instructions have not been followed fully.
On Jul 7, 2009 11:27 AM, Zoysia Farm Nurseries added:
Minnesota certainly has been dry and that is just the way Amazoy zoysia likes it. The one thing it does not like is too much water over an extended period of time.
Zoysia does everything very slowly including turning green when coming out of a dormant state. It can take 45 days for it to start sending up new grass shoots, especially if it is getting too much water. Patience is the key word with zoysia. Just give it time. I’ve heard it said the more you ignore zoysia the better it does. Not literally true, but not bad general advise. The fact zoysia is so slow growing is one of its great benefits. Once established, it will not need as much mowing and will stay green even with less than 3 inches of rain.
Lets hope with less watering you will now start to see your Amazoy zoysia grow (slowly). Any questions please give us a call. We are here to help.
I wish I could have found this website prior to purchasing the so-called plugs from ZFN. It would have saved me lots of time and effort. I purchase the garden shears that were recommended and they became dull almost immediately while cutting through the sandy soil. The auger worked well that came with the product, and I found it best to make a mud pie in the hole prior to planting the plug. I am into my second growing season and I have great news. My centipede is growing great since I planted the Zoysia. I purchased the Zoysia to fill in the bare spots in my back yard to see how it would do (900 plugs worth). I watered as recommended and used the Nutri 20 plant food. Well low and behold, the centipede grass just loved that Nutri 20. The bare spots that I thought would be filled with Zoysia grass is now flourishing with centipede. My advice is to save your money, avoid a backache, and purchase the Nutri 20. Oh and by the way,the Zoysia plugs, still look the same size they did nearly two years ago. I will be interested to see if they "choke out" the centipede, if they ever start to fill in the area they were planted in.
On Jun 13, 2009, Zoysia Farm Nurseries responded with:
Zoysia grass and centipede share some characteristics and to some look very similar. The major differences are Zoysia is much more drought tolerant with deeper roots and more forgiving of various soil types for planting.
“The bare spots that I thought would be filled with Zoysia grass is now flourishing with centipede” I read this as the bare spots are filled with something which is good although it appears the centipede grass is getting the credit thanks to our Nutri-20. Later in the posting the writer seems to indicate the spots are not filled in and the Zoysia has not started to spread. That would not be good, although if it has started to send up new green shoots, it is established and will spread. Both centipede and Zoysia are spreading grasses and I think the bare spots are filling in so in the end I believe this customer will have a beautiful lawn, no matter what the grass type.
As to the comment about our shears, they can become dull with extensive use, although this does not sound like the case here. I am at a loss to explain why this particular pair went dull. We guarantee all the products we sell with free replacement if they are defective. As an alternative, sharpeners are available that will restore the cutting edge quickly.
I live in Oceanside, CA and plugged in approximately 1600 of them suckers. I would say 90% of the plugs were brown but I was okay with it knowing what I got I myself into. I also pulled out all my pre-existing lawn, mainly crabgrass, st. aug and fescue mix. I was able to get my yard tilled and mixed in with soil. I thought this would be the best chance to see if these plugs would grow faster without any competition on a complete bare soil lawn. I did use some pre-emergent weed killer to keep seeds from germinating. However, I'm starting to see all kinds of weeds sprouting so I'm not sure how this will play out. I'm thinking of using corn meal gluten as a natural fertilizer and weed killer later in the summer.
As of now I'm just pulling (weeds) what I can on a daily basis so it doesn't get out of hand. I'm not sure what else to do. As for the plugs, they are definetly green now but I 'm not sure if I can see any stolons because I don't know what they look like and I for sure can't see any rhizomes. What I do see from the plugs are new grass growing straight out but I'm not sure if it zoysia or not. Can someone show some close pics of these sprouting?
I don't think the work was all that back breaking maybe boring as hell. Pulling out my lawn was more of a back breaking job and I lost a few pounds in the process. I hope someone has some insight similiar to mine. I really hope this works out because I anticipating a beautiful yet lower maintenance lawn. If it doesn't work out I'm going with either Marathon sod or El Toro sod.
On Jun 10, 2009, Zoysia Farm Nurseries responded with:
This project is on the right track for success. The critical stage is getting the plugs planted and established. It sounds like that phase has been successfully completed.
Pulling out an old lawn, while not necessary for success, will definitely help in establishing any lawn and in this case your Amazoy Zoysia lawn. Keeping the weeds under control with a pre-emergent is also beneficial at any time as you are eliminating competition for nutrients.
Initially the plugs will work on establishing their roots in your soil and stolons will only start to appear once the roots are gaining nutrition from the soil. They are quite easy to see once they appear as they look a bit like an above ground root from which new grass shoots will appear while sending down new roots. Stolons are a bit hard to describe in words, but once you see them there is little mistaking what they are. As we always say patience is the key word with zoysia grass it does everything slower than any previous experience you may have had. The reward; the low maintenance lawn you are looking for.
One general word of caution, I recently read an article about corn gluten, in which it said this is commonly sold as animal feed and unless it is labeled as a natural pre-emergent herbicide it will not provide any weed protection.
I'm taking a slightly different approach and planting the whole piece of sod and getting it established in a small area to see if I like it before transplanting plugs from this area into the rest of my lawn.
Follow along if interested.
On May 31, 2009, Zoysia Farm Nurseries responded with:
We always appreciate people taking the time to post their comments particularly when they can add to the knowledge about Zoysia grass. Everyone has their own situation, which might dictate something other then our standard recommendations.
Planting methods are completely up to the individual and their circumstances. Over the years we have heard numerous alternative methods to the one we recommend. Just about any of them will work as long as the basic planting principles are followed. The posting is certainly one of the alternatives we hear most commonly. In this case planting the complete piece of sod and in the future to use it to withdraw plugs for future plantings. It is the easiest, simplest and quickest way to get the grass in the ground and growing. This will work.
The down side is that it will spread the slowest under this method. Zoysia grass spreads tenaciously but slowly by sending out rhizomes (shoots beneath the soil) and stolon shoots that spread above ground across the soil. Planting complete pieces of 10 inch by 15 inch sod, the total outside linear area from which the stolons can spread is 50 inches (10+10+15+15). Planting 150 individual plugs one-inch square (4 linear inches each) the linear area is 600 inches. More work yes, but that’s a lot of additional spreading area.
In the first year Zoysia grass puts most of its energy into establishing itself in its new home and does not do much spreading. In the second growing season it will start to spread and fill in the adjacent areas and continue to do so until it is fully filled in.
Our recommendations for the most economical and fastest fill in method, is to plant 1 square inch plugs. For faster fill in plant more plugs closer together.
Areas by roads can be very hot in the summer and get road salt in winter which makes for difficult growing for most grasses, but Zoysia is also very salt tolerant and we have heard from many customer who have had great success in similar locations to this.
One last thing, I enjoyed reading this blog. It is very nicely done.
This is a very interesting post (the blog format is great) and well worth reading for some handy tips, some interesting perspectives and a very healthy dose of common sense on how to approach this type of project. While our site has a wealth of information each installation location is unique. We are here to help each one be successful in any way we can.
One subject not covered here is fertilizing. Like many things with Zoysia, fertilizing Zoysia grass is a little different. It is really a one step program. Firstly it should only be fertilized in the early part of the growing season early spring to the end of June or early July. A liquid soluble fertilizer is the preferred and recommended method. We have arranged for an exclusive formula specifically for Zoysia, which we sell called Nutri-20. Other liquid fertilizers are available, although none are specifically formulated for Zoysia. Granular fertilizers are generally not recommended for zoysia grass. If using something other than Nutri-20 please read the labels carefully and look for the product to be specifically recommended for Zoysia grass.
Thank you for taking the time to provide your insight
I am not pleased one bit with the Zoysia project I began. I measured and ordered enough plugs to double the amount per sq ft. About 300 bucks worth. They arrived and I began the project. Right away I began to notice that the plugs were not scored too well. I tried several different cutting methods from a saw blade to a box cutter. The issue was the using a sharp object close to fingers and hands while attemping to cut out a 1x1 plug is nearly imposible. I did this for a few sheets making the plugs larger for a safety issue. I got about 100 to 200 cut and began making the holes. Man what a pain in the neck. I placed the cut plugs into the holes as instructed and about an hour or so later i finished. I realized that nowhere was it mentioned the ammount of time and effort was required to complete an entire lawn. I realized that i would take me serveral days to complete the project and with me have to physically cut every single plug i decided that it was going to save my self a whole bunch of time and cut my losses. I took the rest of the remaining Zosia and placed them into Home Depot lawn bags. A complete waste of my time and money but a mistake i will not do again! If anyone asks for my opinion about Zoysia I will tell them to do their a lawn the old fashioned way. GRASS SEED!!
In the end i ended up going out and buying tall fescue grass seed and renting an overseeder and had the lawn completed in about 2 hours and for about 100 bucks.
On May 19, 2009, Zoysia Farm Nurseries responded with:
Many readers will relate to this posting, as it seems all lawn and garden projects involve more work and time than originally anticipated. Mine certainly do!
At Zoysia Farms we offer tested tools to help make the installation of a zoysia lawn as efficient as possible. We sell and recommend sharp shears as the best way to finish the cutting of individual zoysia plugs. We do not sell saws or knives on our website or at our farm for a reason; they just don’t do a good job and make the cutting of plugs hard work. Stick with good garden shears and keep them sharp.
We offer tools to help make the plug holes quickly (free with some packages). The step-on-plugger is ideal for smaller projects and loam or sandy soils. The power auger is much better for clay and soils with stones and faster for bigger projects. Both tools are efficient and excellent at making holes just the right size for the plugs.
Is putting in a new zoysia lawn more effort than spreading some seed? Yes it is, but in the long run you will have a zoysia lawn that grass seed will never grow and it will need less water, fertilizer, weed killers, and with its slow growth, less mowing. A great result for your initial time and effort.
I must say when reading all of the comments I was a little sceptical when ordering my plugs but went ahead and gave it a shot. Its been a little over a month and I am starting to see the plugs actually turn into green patches of grass. There were a few plugs that did turn brown but to my surprise I am actually starting to see small pieces of green grass growing! The only negative I would comment on is when cutting the plugs it is almost impossible to get the amount of plugs they say you are ordering. It is very hard to cut them that small! Besides that I would recommend them.... just follow the directions.
On May 1, 2009, Zoysia Farm Nurseries responded with:
On Apr 30, 2009, trilexia Staten Island, NY wrote:
hi ordered the plugs (so called plugs) about a week and a half ago they looked dead and dried out followed instructions on sheet broke my back for two days and numerous blisters and bandaids from cutting these so called plugs i ordered enough to do do my entire lawn 3 plugs per foot approx 5500 used the power auger and inserted plugs in holes watered and liquid fertalized and all i see is muddy holes thousands of them with dead looking weeds inside when i phoned company and explained they said i drilled down to far the plug is not supposed to go in the hole just sit below soil line but that is impossible when you use the power auger so they said the plugs will probably die so i am left with thousands of muddy holes and a company that sugar coats thier product run dont walk away from the idea of putting this grass down i am in the process of filing a dispute with my credit card today this was a waste of time and money
On May 19th, 2009, trilexia added the following:
its been about a month since the plugs were planted and not one has sprouted got in touch with the same rude nasty person named bernie and explained the situation she barked at me saying you have to wait 45 days i told her to give me a refund she said all they cant refund only ship out replacement plugs i told her i would take it up with my credit card she said whatever an hung up phoned my credit card and received a credit for the entire amount i would rather get my tooth pulled out with a brick than deal with the customer service at zoysiaOn Apr 30, 2009, Zoysia Farm Nurseries responded with:
We have many customers on Staten Island and without a name and street address we could not find this customer record. It is therefore not possible to talk to the specifics of this order. In general, it takes 45 days for zoysia to take roothold and it sounds like only a few days have passed since planting. Patience is required to evaluate if the zoysia has started to grow.
Zoysia is very tenacious! It also sounds like our planting instructions were not followed and the plugs may have been planted deeper than recommended. That might cause the plugs to be slower to establish themselves or even fail, but that is not certain. Even though initially, on the surface, zoysia does not appear to be growing, it is putting all its energy into establishing roots in its new home. We stress that it really is necessary to wait the 45 days to properly evaluate and judge if the grass is growing.
The good news is we stand behind our product, even when the planting instructions are not followed completely. We only ask that customers wait the full 45 days after planting to see if the zoysia has started to grow and turn green. If per chance it has not, we will replace free any plugs that are not growing.
There are a couple of additional points worth noting from this posting. The use of gloves is always advised when gardening and using shears. Blisters can form quite quickly. When cutting the plugs, a sharp set of shears will greatly assist the process. Keeping them sharp will help also.
Zoysia Farm Nurseries
On May 19, 2009 4:31 PM, Zoysia Farm Nurseries added:
May 19,2009. It is always very discouraging to learn of such a situation as described in this posting. We do have an employee named Bernie, who has been out on medical leave for a couple of weeks and it is difficult to get all the facts. We also still don’t know who this customer is to confirm the details of the Dave’s Garden posting and to see if Bernie posted any notes in the customer record about this conversation. Without that information it is difficult to provide a balanced comment.
We do ask customers to wait 45 days to see if the grass takes roothold and sends up new grass. Additionally, we do stand behind our product by offering 100% free replacements for any grass that doesn’t grow, even if the customer has not followed the planting directions.
We sincerely want our customers to be successful.
Several years ago we ordered the minimum quantity of plugs to receive the plugger so we could cover some bare patches in our yard and since we had been told zoysia spreads and chokes out everything, we hoped it would make the yard look better since we lived on a newly cleared lot with a lot of weeds.
As so many people have complained about, the 'plugs' were barely hanging onto life and were so dry it wasn't possible to really cut them apart because they kind of crumbled piece by piece. We followed the directions except that we thought that because of the condition of the plugs we would do them in 4 inch squares. They stayed brown and instead of taking over the weeds, the weeds took them over. There was one little patch about 3 inches square near my front porch that turned green and seemed to be doing well. I don't remember why we didn't try to get a refund or replacement at the time, but we gave up on the grass. About 2 years later we had the 28 x 80 mobile home moved off our property leaving a large patch of bare dirt that was kind of broken up like garden dirt instead of being hard soil. Within WEEKS the one little patch that had been by my front door spread into the bare area and covered it completely. This large area of grass started to spread into the weedy area and now we have what I would guess is over an acre of absolutely beautiful zoysia grass that is everything it is advertised to be. So apparently the soil needs to be tilled up some and clear of other vegetation for the zoysia to take hold and spread quickly. Despite my initial unhappiness with my purchase, the final outcome was so impressive that I have now ordered plugs for my yard at my new house. I plan to churn up the soil and remove surrounding plants and use 4 x 4 sections of the plugs with the hope that doing so will produce a result similar to what I had at my old property which was a gorgeous lawn!
On Apr 24, 2009, Zoysia Farm Nurseries responded with:
This is an interesting posting. We are very pleased that in the end this customer was happy with the result. With Zoysia grass it is always advisable to be very patient. It is slow growing, but extremely hardy and tenacious, just as described here.
“Broken up” soil will help any spreading plant, although that is not always practical when planting larger areas. Amazoy Zoysia can be planted into an existing lawn or a cleared “broken up” area. The latter will encourage Zoysia to spread a little more quickly.
Plug size is often debated and while we recommend one-inch plugs for various reasons, including keeping the cost down, many customers have told us they have had success planting larger sized plugs. The option is always there when cutting the plugs to use what ever size the customer is comfortable with. Bigger plugs will result in less initial coverage and the need for additional grass to complete the planting area, but they do give a greater initial area from which the plug can spread.
On Apr 6, 2009, alchemy_1300 Pittsburgh, PA (Zone 6a) wrote:
Well since its the first time I've ordered from this company and after reading the reviews(both negative & positive) I ordered anyway I dug my small yard up and need grass,What I am concerned about is the way they handle their receipts I printed mine out and it doesn't look like one usually it states what, how much ,how many of something you bought on it and since I have a conformation number on it I guess it was processed but it did not show up on my debit card,
so i called them to see if it went through she lady told me wait till the afternoon ok so its now 1;11PM so I'll wait some more and see.
On June 1st, 2009, alchemy_1300 changed the rating from neutral to positive and added the following:
On June 30th, 2009, alchemy_1300 added the following:
Everything worked out it is now June30th and it has been growing like it does(slow but determined) the color has kept true-no fading I have a feeling that over time it will choke out the rest of my plants but this is easy to fix.
When I got the box I remembered reading a review (I forgot the name ) she just put the whole square into the ground well that's what I did and it worked!On Apr 6, 2009, Zoysia Farm Nurseries responded with:
The simple answer to this is; if the customer has received the notice with the customer confirmation number we have received their order and we have all the information we need to process and ship their order. We only charge a customer’s card once the order is shipped.
Last weekend was particularly busy and we are working hard to double check and process all orders. If we have any concerns we will contact the customer directly.
Selling "plugs" that the customer has to cut from sod is stretching the idea of a "plug," to say the least. What I got was 3 boxes of dried out sandy soil sod, supposedly representing 1000 plugs. By the time I cut the "1 inch plugs," all I had was bare rooted sprigs. When I was a kid, my Dad sold Zoysia plugs, and I plugged and packed thousands of plugs. I mean real PLUGS, about 2 inches in diameter, with real DIRT attached to the roots, ready to plant! For what they charge, they should be selling real ready to plant PLUGS, not little chunks of "sod" that the customer has to cut, and then find that all that remains is bare sprigs to plant. Its ridiculous. As far as I am concerned, all their explanations in response to other comments is drivel. They should step up to the plate and change the way they do business. They need to provide top quality ready to plant plugs grown in real dirt in exchange for their top prices. I don't want to hear from them about what they want to do to make it right. They can't. That is the way they choose to do business and this is my comment on it.
On Apr 4, 2009, Zoysia Farm Nurseries responded with:
Our method of delivering zoysia plugs has stood the test of time and is the best way to insure a beautiful and successful zoysia lawn. It is also why we can guarantee that every plug will grow or we will replace it free.
Out of date methods of supplying individual plugs, puts field harvested grass plants under additional stress resulting in very low success rates. Customers are never happy with that! We have not used this method for several decades.
We are only aware of field grown grass being harvested and sold in sheets. This is the preferred method in the turf grass industry and the one we use.
Helping customers make the right decisions concerning their grass needs is part of our responsibility. That is why every print advertisement we run, explains that our grass is shipped in sheets of sod, that the customer must finish separating into plugs. Our website says the same thing, as well as having pictures of the grass sheets and the grass being cut into plugs. This year we have added a video showing the customer the total process from receiving their grass to successful planting. This video includes showing the grass being cut into one-inch plugs.
We are however, sorry this customer did not see or read the steps involved in planting a zoysia lawn before ordering. We want our customers to be successful and believe the best way to do this is by giving them as much information as possible.
I ordered my Zoysia Lawn plugs back in February. They shipped and I received them a few days ago March 29 , 2009 . I too was supposed to get 600 plugs plus a plunger (which is a piece of junk).
I opened the box and found 4 slabs of dead (or what they call dormant) grass. It took two of us, two days to install all the plugs. I was only able to get 42 plugs per sheet. I had to dig the holes by hand while my friend tried to cut them into tiny squares.
Where do they get the idea you get 150 plugs per sheet? Mine were muddy--no scoring on the dirt side--just mud and a few worms. I phoned and emailed them and they told me two different stories. First I should not cut them into 1 inch plugs then I should cut them into one inch plugs. It did not matter what size I cut them because they fell apart. I took some photos and I followed the directions. I wish I saw these comments on this website. So far the company has not been very nice to me on the phone. The proof is in the pudding. I am hoping it grows because it is back braking work.
On Apr 1, 2009, Zoysia Farm Nurseries responded with:
We are always sorry to hear when a customer is so obviously disappointed with their initial experience, but know in the end their effort will be rewarded with a beautiful zoysia lawn.
We learned yesterday, on March 31, that this customer had trouble cutting one inch plugs and today April 1st we further learned in a direct e-mail to us that this customer felt the grass was not up to the standard 10 x 15 inch size the would produce 150 – 1 inch plugs per sheet. The customer told us that only 160 plugs were cut from the four pieces of grass previously sent. We have already processed a no charge order for 450 additional plugs. These are to be delivered in May as requested by the customer. All this information has already been directly e-mailed to this customer earlier today.
Warm season grasses, like deciduous trees, go dormant in the winter and like deciduous trees come back each spring to be lush and beautiful. Dormant grass is not dead; it is simply waiting for the warm weather to turn green once again.
The user name I chose says it all!!! This grass SAWS ALL just like a SAWSALL! It will continue to keep spreading and choking out weeds and other grass.
I first bought the plugs 1 year ago last june 07. When the plugs arrived most of them were as most of the comments have said......brown and dead looking. But since my mother already has this grass I knew that it was only that they were dormant during the shipping because of the short roots due to cutting for sod/plugging. If most of you have read the instructions it clearly says that, if the grass has come to you with a brownish color, DO NOT BE ALARMED, as it on has gone dormant during the shipping. It also stated that if it is brownish to place on a plastic tarp or trash bags and wet the sod to keep the roots moist.....which is what I did.
I then began to try to plug 1x1 inch pieces 6 inches apart taking up an area of about 100 square feet. This was actually ridiculous considering how extremely small a one inch by one inch square really is. So I began to to make them a little larger and was getting about 50 plugs per piece of sod. I plugged in 2 different areas in my yard. One being the grass/lawn itself and the other being a bare dirt area without any weeds or grass at all. I watered everyday as instructed to for 21 days and then went a little further as to go another whole week of daily watering.
After these 4 weeks of watering, the grass in the bare dirt was now green and had taken good root. But I could only find a couple of the zoysia plugs that I planted in the lawn/grass. I thought the zoysia had not rooted and died in the lawn area. So I decided to find a plug in the bare dirt and then start looking around that plug in a checker board area as I had planted to see if I could find another plug. To my surprise there it was hidden beneath all of the other grass. I moved on and on and started locating more and more plugs. I realized that the plugs were so small, and all of them were now green that I could not find them MIXED in with all the other grass!
Remember, Zoysia is an extremely slow growing grass and if it is planted in another lawn it is very hard to spot the first season and possibly even the second season until it gets large enough to where it is dominating that little area by itself. I did notice that if zoysia is planted in a bare area of dirt it will grow much much much faster than in a grassy area. The reason being is that the stolons have much more room to move in a bare area rather than in a grassy area. But rest assured it will grow, but much slower in with another grass. This grass grows just like compounding interest in a bank. The larger a piece the more stolons it can produce and when they mature they produce stolons and so on.
The plugs I planted in the bare area have already connected to each other and have covered about 75% of the area. There is still some dirt in between some plugs here and there but it is only because a stolon has not spread in that direction yet.
My conclusion is that if you actually watered the grass everyday when you initially plant it, then it has definetly taken root but you just cant find it yet. But eventually you will realize how much it has grown and be amazed.
I live in New Jersey, where it can get extremely hot and extremely cold. So unless you are from minnesota, this grass will grow in just about every area of the country if you follow the instructions. I think that most of the people who have posted on this site and other sites alike, post their conclusions well before they have given the grass a chance to grow. If you are considering this grass, I highly recommend it!!
On Jul 19, 2008, Zoysia Farm Nurseries responded with:
On Jul 28, 2008 4:52 PM, Zoysia Farm Nurseries added:
There is lots of very good advise in this posting. A key word when growing Zoysia is patience. Zoysia is slow growing taking longer to establish, but that is also why it will need less mowing year after year.
Planting closer together and cutting the plugs bigger will speed the process of getting a new lawn as suggested in this posting. If speed is an issue, do as suggested. The plug calculator on our website will help you get the correct quantity.
The other great point is about planting in an existing lawn. It helps to clear an area around the planted plug as this will reduce competition and give the plug some open ground to spread into. All very good advise."
Grass arrived dead and is still dead 60 days later. Followed all the directions and am out 4 hours of my time and hundred bucks. What a sucker I was, lol. To be fair at one point I did see a single green shoot on one of the "plugs". It has since died.
It really is amazing to think these people at Zoysia have been around for 50 years shipping dead grass to people. Beyond the fact the product is trash, they mislead about most of the process.
First, there are no plugs as you are lead to believe. What they ship is basically flat sod pieces you must then spend many hours cutting into squares (not easy at all). Course your coverage with these falling apart plugs will always be less than advertised since no two "plugs" will ever be the same. Most of the turf breaks apart and an actual 1 inch solid plug is a rarity. This is because the grass is DEAD when it arrives and already is falling apart.
Second, Zoysia raves about their modern technology of shipment...which in truth is nothing more than a plastic bag inside a cardboard box dropped off on your porch by UPS guy. The box is so heavy most people will not be able to lift it, I didn't and I am a healthy man in my 40's.
If you are thinking about ordering Zoysia, I would tell not to. Save your money and time.
On July 1st, 2008, stephenrblv added the following:
After reading the reply from this company it is clear they do not understand the customer is always right. I am not al0one there is a tonm of negative feedback about these people. If they were Ebay sellers they would be banned.On Jun 28, 2008, Zoysia Farm Nurseries responded with:
On Jun 30, 2008 3:49 PM, Zoysia Farm Nurseries added:
We are concerned when a customer is unhappy with their experience with our product. We take great pride in what we do and go to great effort to help them have a beautiful lawn.
Nevada is one of the states to which we ship that requires agriculture dept. inspection before shipment, so we know the product left here in good condition. Zoysia will quite often go dorment to protect itself when it is not getting nutrition, sunlight and water. This can happen in shipment. It can survive many weeks in this state. In its dormant state Zoysia grass goes a honey brown color which many people incorrectly think means the whole plant is dead. For this reason the first piece of information in each shipment is a sheet that says in big letters if the grass arrives brown, do not be alarmed it has gone dormant in shipment and not to worry, as once planted the grass will send up new shoots of grass. This can take 45-60 days from planting. Patience is required and as long as the planting and watering instructions are followed we very rarely see the plants not taking root hold and sending up new shoots of grass.
The greatest danger is the customer assumes it is dead and does not follow the instructions about planting and watering and then thinks negatively about the product and our company when it doesn't grow. Howerver, even in case such as that we honor our free replacement gruarantee if a plug doesn't grow. We only ask that they contact us directly after 45 days.
On our website, in a number of places, we show the grass in its shipping form as a sheet measuring 10 inches by 15 inches in pictures and discription. We inform potential customers that the pieces will be scored into 150 square plugs and the customer will have to finsh the seperation before planting. We recommend garden shears as the best way to cut the plugs apart. This is stated and shown multiple times on our site including in the Planting Zoysia tab. We try to make is clear and easy to understand before ordering.
Our shipping methods are as a result of may years of refinement and success. There is no great "modern technology" involved and we never claimed there was. We employ mainly women in our shipping department. Additionally, UPS has a weight limit of 70 lbs which we never exceed even on our biggest packages. If it comes close to the limit we ship in multiple boxes.
We stand by the information on our web site, our product, the methods of shipping and our guarantee to replace any grass plugs failing to grow within 60 days.
I received my order and first of all it was shorted. The plugs looked dead but I was told that they may be slightly brown when received. I planted the plugs using the EXACT instructions and the just continued to die off. NOTHING has survived. I have been a gardener for 20 years and tried to take the easy way out. From now on I will continue to grow my grass the old fashion way!
On Jun 26, 2008, Zoysia Farm Nurseries responded with:
On Jun 26, 2008 3:30 PM, Zoysia Farm Nurseries added:
We are extremely sorry about the short shipment. The missing plugs are to arrive today 6/26 according to the UPS information we have.
As to the grass not growing, zoysia being a slow grower it can take over 45 days after planting for new growth to appear from the roots. In that time, the grass on top will probably go brown as the root system puts its energy into growing new blades of grass. In the short term this can give the appearance that the grass "continues to die". In actual fact the roots are growing and sending up new shoots of grass. Please be patient. Zoysia is slow, but that is part of its beauty as it will need less mowing once it is established. Rest assured, not matter what, we stand behind our product (with 50 years of experience) and will replace any plugs that fail to grow, free of charge.
This old fashion way maybe a little slower, but the end result is a fantastic lawn. It's worth the wait!"
On Jun 21, 2008, rloosli Bonita Springs, FL wrote:
I ordered about 2000 Zoysia plugs and live in SW Florida. The plugs were planted according to instructions in my backyard in the winter time (no rain). The soil here is strictly sand, so they were easy to put in. I watered them by hand every day for about 3 weeks and saw no progress. Since water is at a premium in the winter, I soon gave up and stopped (the water would have cost me more than the grass). However, I do have a sprinkling system which continued to water twice a week. Here it is 6 months later and not one of the plugs took. It's just as barren as it was before. I consider these plugs a complete waste of money and will sod my lawn next time.
On Jun 21, 2008, Zoysia Farm Nurseries responded with:
On Jun 24, 2008 1:39 PM, Zoysia Farm Nurseries added:
We are sorry to learn of this situation. If the customer will contact us directly we would be happy to stand behind our guarantee to replace every plug free of charge.
Zoysia is highly successful in Florida, in general and in sandy soil particularly.
Zoysia is very drought tolerant and sometimes too much water will harm new roots. It is difficult to say if this might have been the cause without some discussion as there might be other issues also. No matter what the situation though we would still honor our guarantee. We view it as a no fault guarantee."
I ordered plugs several years ago. I wasn't able to get the total plugs they said I could. The plug cutter broke after a few tries. Many of the plugs seemed to be just brown pieces of grass.
We continued on.
We decided to cut the plugs into 3x3 pieces and dug small holes for them.
After 3 years, my lawn is looking very nice. It has spread quite well. So far I'm am very pleased with how it is turning out.
I was disappointed with the way the plugs looked at first and then the broken plug cutter. But it didn't stop us from planting the plugs we had gotten. We just did it differently than suggested.
My back yard is a mess and I am now considering purchasing more plugs. I will again plant them in 3x3 pieces like I did in the front yard.
I'm sure if you're a pro at planting the plugs, it works fine. You just have to make it work for you. Don't give up.
On Jun 15, 2008, Zoysia Farm Nurseries responded with:
On Jun 16, 2008 11:32 AM, Zoysia Farm Nurseries added:
We are always happy to learn of successes. When ordering for your backyard don't forget to ask about our returning customer discounts.
We guarantee both our step-on plugger and power auger attachment, which help with the planting process. If either breaks we will replace it free of charge.
Plugs can be cut to any size. They don't need to be any bigger than 1 inch square, but it can speed the planting process to cut them bigger. The down side is you will need additional grass to cover the same area.
Just a reminder, that quite often the grass will go dormant after harvesting and in transit. That's why they sometimes arrive looking the way you described. This is natural and actually protects the plant and its roots. Once planted in the ground and watered zoysia will start to send down new roots and grow new grass. "
Received my "600" plugs in 4 dense mats of turf. They were allegedly scored to produce 150 plugs per mat. I was lucky to separate 1 mat into approximately 50 usable plugs. The plug cutter (step on) they sent clogged constantly and only made three holes prior to cleaning. The 30 holes I did manage to make took over 2 hours including planting cutting and cleaning.
It would have been less aggravating to have a landscaper come in till and plant turf. I have contacted the company insisting on a refund.
On May 30th, 2008, n1olo added the following:
My experience has been the same with Zoysia Farms other dissatisfied customers. As far as they are concerned the customer is always wrong. I've filed complaints with the CT Dept of Consumer protection and the US Postal Inspector.On May 26, 2008, Zoysia Farm Nurseries responded with:
On May 30, 2008 3:45 PM, Zoysia Farm Nurseries added:
All Amazoy zoysia grass is field grown and harvested in sheet measuring 10 by 15 inches. This improves the viability of the plugs and helps with the handling of the product both by us and by the home owner. Before shipping we score each sheet on the earth side to help illustrate the 150 plugs in each piece. If the earth becomes dry, while in transit, it can become difficult to see the scoring, particularly if the sheets are roughly handled and some earth falls off. This is difficult to control.
In this case, it sounds as if the plugs were cut too big, if only 50 were produced. Making the plugs too big will make it difficult to fit into the holes made by the step on plugger, and will end up covering less area in total.
Lightly wetting the area to be planted will help condition the soil and improve the performance of the step on plugger. Too much water will tend to clog the step on plugger. It is a self cleaning tool which is open at both ends to allow the soil to be pushed through it.
Planting plugs is the economical way to grow a zoysia lawn. Each 1 inch plug will spread to fill in the area between, at the cost of half a penny or less for each plug. A square foot of quality zoysia sod to cover a similar area can cost many dollars each.
Less aggravation possibly, but much much harder on the wallet.
WOW!!!!!!!!! I'm not sure if I should try this grass or not. I live in Az where it is hot!!! HOT I SAY HOT!!!!! Today it's about 103 tomorrow it's 108 next day 108 next 102 the 87. Why out of all these comments I have not seen one from Az. I know that the diamondbacks use this grass in there dome. Controlled environment and they had the money to alter the conditions. Does anybody know if this grass will grow in the hot southwest desert? Give me a yell! I would love to here honest answers.
On May 18th, 2008, h2ojobless added the following:
Almost forgot. If the company reads this what type of grass do you send. I did a lot of research and know there at least 3 kinds. I would love to try the El Toro or Emerald type as out of the three these two seem to have the best comments on other web sites. The type I believe ZFN sends is the Zenith which is the third best kind of grass for this type of grass. I also contacted U of Arizona and they gave me some info. This grass is basically a far east grass grows in Japan to Korea. Just thought the folks would like to know.On May 18, 2008, Zoysia Farm Nurseries responded with:
On May 19, 2008 4:07 PM, Zoysia Farm Nurseries added:
Zoysia Farm Nurseries has been in business since the early 1950's growing and selling only the original Meyer Zoysia grass released by the U.S. Deptarment of Agriculture . It was developed by the USDA in conjunction with the U.S. Golf Association which was looking firstly for a heat and drought tolerant grass for golf coursed in the hot dry desert areas from Souther California to South Texas. The beauty of Amazoy Zoysia (our brand name) is that it can also withstand the extreme cold often associated with winter nights in the desert and much further north. This is not true of all zoysias.
We are the original providers of zoysia grass for home owners. No one has been doing it longer. I think we know just about all there is to know about zoysia. Below is a testimonial from out website by one of our Arizona customers, I think it says it all. Be careful who you believe, not everyone is an expert on Zoysia grass
Wickenburg. AZ -- "Grew in desert conditions"
"When we moved here we were told by our landscape architect, that the zoysia would not grow here (we are intermediate desert). But we tried it anyway. Was he ever embarrassed a couple of years later when he saw our thick lush lawn." --J.N.
Ordered my plugs last winter, Jan 07, they arrived just as described in early May 07. Did as website said, opened, watered etc until I could start planting. Yes it's hard work! Nothing comes easy. Planted close to 13,000 1 ft spacing as recommended for 3 "full" season fill-in time. I may also add, poor soil in the beginning of NC worst drought, just my luck. Because of that only watered every other week with the recommended fertilizer. Saw some decent results (greened up and some spreading)by Fall. This spring (April) greened up quicker then I thought it would and now is already spreading some, 1" plugs are now 5-6" with runners reaching out. If this keeps up I will be very pleased. I have not had any customer service questions/problems. I did e-mail them a question this morning am waiting for response as of this writing.
For all of those that wrote negative comments, go back and read their web site. From what I've read from some of them, seems like you only read what you wanted to read.
I admit the 1" plug is hard to do, I recommend wetting both sides of sheet to keep dirt wet so soil hold on better, but I even planted some of the bare root edges and they seem to be coming along. During any home improvement project you should estimate 10% loss of materials. Planting plugs is no different.
If you are looking for quick/right now results re-read the website. Even 1ft spacing is a 3 FULL growing season project. Plant more closer together or choose a different option.
I think with the ongoing water problems and people becoming more environmentally friendly, more and more people are going to be planting this type of lawn. If you are patient, willing to do some hard work and do the recommended actions it will be well worth.
On Apr 16, 2008, relic8hunter Woodbridge, VA wrote:
I have dealt with this company 3x. Two by mail order and once we road-tripped to their annual warehouse sale at their actual farm. Once I ordered in early April, received as stated approx 8 days later, opened immediately because I knew that plants (much less zoysia) can't stand to be inside of ups boxes for long. Watered in boxes(grass is in bags inside of boxes) for three days until weekend, planted that Saturday. I agree w/ others that plugs should be more like 3"x3", not 1"x1" for optimal growth. The key some here are missing is to, 1) open boxes immediately and care for them until you can plant, 2) cut plugs a little larger than 1"x1",3) prep the hole a little...dont plant too deep and dont just kinda 'step it' into the ground and expect good results, 4) water new plugs every day it doesn't rain and you will have a beautiful result (no matter if the material comes to you brown or not). If you do not follow procedure/instructions then you will fail as well you should. If you expect instant gratification then order enough to 'sod' your entire lawn (not plug) or get fescue that you have to water, feed, weed, and mow constantly. Any complaint about being shipped at the wrong time is legit or a vagary of nature (& why don't you simply use their replacement guarantee? It's not as if they send somebody to your house to make sure you did it right, you know?). Any complaint about late shipping, well, perhaps you should have ordered earlier but I do see your point. 2nd time I ordered it was for Dad's B-day (october, wrong time to plant) and I requested them to charge me, send a receipt, and mail the plugs in the spring. They followed through perfectly and his lawn is as beautiful and care-free as mine. As I said, I have been onsite and found the people/atmosphere to be down home/down-on-the-farm but professional, clean and organized. First rate service for me, sorry for those that had bad experiences. Perhaps not enough people that have had good experiences reporting???
One last thought...if EVERYBODY was forced to use zoysia-type grass (from whatever company) then we could cut down on the amount of fertilizer in our ground water, chemicals you and your children are exposed to, less emissions from lawn mowers, and use less water overall as a nation. This should be mandatory in neighborhoods with HOA's (but isn't it ironic that I very much dislike HOA's?), heck mandatory in all parts of this nation wherein it will grow.
On April 16th, 2008, relic8hunter added the following:
Ok, mine is the longest post & I'm sorry but I just read more of the 'sorry' posts here and it made me a little upset because I believe in this Co. and the product ("the product", not their product...I'm no shill for any company). I have been from the beautiful and wet Northwest, to the dry Southwest, across the hills and praries of Texas, to the pebble-lawns of Florida, to the painted chemical-lawns of the rich in the Northeast and there is nothing, nothing, like Zoysia. Order early, be patient, follow the advice of the successful posters here, have some patience, and be happy a couple of years from now. PLUS...once your zoysia is established (even 1 Sq foot), you can make your own plugs in the spring and spread them elsewhere in your lawn...NO need to ever buy any seeds or plugs ever again in your entire life. For an established lawn all you need to do is fertilize once in the spring, watch all your neighbors weed&feed, water, and mow all summer and love/live life. Do yourself a favor and treat with nematodes once its established and almost never pay attention for the next 20 to 30 years (when the nematodes die off). Grub free, disease free, almost care free, just edge and mow a couple times while everyone else is mowing 3x per week. Some people here are the joke, not the company that has been in business for over 50 years...sorry to break the news to you.
On Apr 2, 2008, GuyGirlTruck Madison Heights, VA wrote:
I wish I'd have found this site before I placed my order,Luckily I ordered small! I'm going to withold judgement until I get my sod,and see how things go. I am however very interested in zorsia,and may have to look for a new source
On Apr 2, 2008, Zoysia Farm Nurseries responded with:
On Apr 2, 2008 11:54 AM, Zoysia Farm Nurseries added:
As the leading supplier of zoysia grass plugs, you have come to the right place. We have 50 years experience helping many millions of homeowners have beautiful zoysia lawns. We are confident once your zoysia fills in you will also have a beautiful lawn.
With your shipment you will receive complete planting instructions covering different planting situations. Please follow the simple step by step instructions, it is really the best and simplest way to insure success. If you have any questions, beyond our planting instructions, please feel free to contact our customer service team, who can give you expert advise. We are here to help. They can be reached Monday to Friday 8 AM - 5 PM eastern time at 410-756-2311.
I am interested as to why there is no shipping to Oregon or Washington?
I am very interested in this product, however I can't get it...
On Apr 1, 2008, Zoysia Farm Nurseries responded with:
On Apr 2, 2008 10:52 AM, Zoysia Farm Nurseries added:
Amazoy zoysia grass is very drought tolerant and as such does best in the heat of summer in dry conditions. Unfortunately, Oregon and Washington get their fair share of rain and as such we have decided not to ship to these states. Zoysia is really not a good choice for lawns in the northwest. Additionally, we offer a 100% replacement guarantee for any grass that doesn't grow, thus our desire to only sell Amazoy into areas where it will do well. This protects both the customer and our farm.
There are many good choices for lawns in wet areas and the northewest. As zoysia experts, we can tell you, Amazoy zoysia is not one of them."
I just ordered 900 plus 700 free plugs from Zoysia Farm in MD. I was not alarmed with the brown color because I knew it meant the grass was dormant. I've been in contact with Sue via email many times and she as been very responsive and courteous. After I measured the sod pieces, I determined that I was short plugs which I emailed Sue and she responded quickly saying that she will ship out the rest of the plugs.
So far my only disappointment is that when I cut the sod into 1 inch squares, many times I am left with bare root that I still plant in the hole. I'm hoping that they will still grow. I think the sheet of sod should be larger or only considered 100 plugs per 15 x 10 piece of sod since around the edge is bare roots. I plan on visiting the store and having them demonstrate the cutting of the sod because I can't seem to get a 1 inch piece to stay together as a plug to plant with grass sticking up. Hopefully I am not planting them too deep, but my reasoning is if I need 6 inch edging to keep the roots from creeping where I don't want them to then up to 2" down seems reasonable.
On April 18th, 2008, hwsva added the following:
Ok, I just wanted to follow up and say that about 2 weeks ago, I went to the Zoysia Farm to pick up another order to finish plugging my yard. The staff was very helpful and courteous. They even said they would load the boxes into my car.
I do want to mentioned that I thought my pick up order was in much better shape than my first mail order. Each piece of sod seemed to be more squared (no lost corners) to make the expected number of plugs. I was also able to see the scored marks on the sod pieces and the root system seemed denser.
Since I have a bare patch of garden, I placed the sod that I did not get plugged that day on the bare soil. It rained the next couple of days, but once it stopped, I was right out there. What I noticed was that the sod was thoroughly went and stayed together better for the cutting. I "sprinkled" the first batch, but it didn't hold together as well. I don't know if the second batch had more roots or just that the soil was thoroughly soaked., but not dripping. Some advice would be to water the sod thoroughly and let it drain away any excess water then plug away.
Yesterday, I started looking over my plugs and noticed the ones that had the brown grass top start greening up. Unfortunately with the first batch, I had many plugs that I was just planting bare root. I'm hoping that the roots will take hold grow.
Anyways, I'll try to report back at the end of the summer as to how my plugs are doing. I have every confidence that the majority (just not sure about the ones that were just root) will grow.On Mar 27, 2008, Zoysia Farm Nurseries responded with:
On Mar 27, 2008 9:46 AM, Zoysia Farm Nurseries added:
We just want to reassure you that it is fine to plant the bare roots, they should grow. One word of caution, the ideal depth to plant zoysia plugs is approximately an inch to an inch and a half. Do not bury the whole plant, only the roots.
As to the separation process, adding some moisture will help hold the soil to the roots and make this go easier.
We look forward to meeting you in person when you visit our farm and store. Store hours change a little throughout the season. Please visit our website for the most up to date information and directions if you need them. All this information can be found under the Customer Service tab."
Prior to my retirement to South Carolina, I bought a starter house and planted Zoysia plugs on the front lawn (from Zoysia Farms in 1973)...a few years later only half of the plugs survived. It was a lot of hard work. Never again.
Moved from the starter house in 1985 to larger house and the lawn in the back yard already had Zoysia grass established, very uniform growth and green. For the next 22 years, I appreciated the efforts of the previous owner who established the Zoysia grass, because I only mowed the grass in the back yard once or twice in the summer seasons I lived there. And I never watered the backyard. Mother nature took care of that. Occasionally, I would give it some 20/20/20 fertilizer when I thought about it. Maintenance is almost non-existent with Zoysia grass. A few years before I retired, I decided to cut small portions of the Zoysia grass from the backyard and plant it between the sidewalk and the street curb. It had covered 75% of the area before I sold the house.
Now I am down here and bought about 100 3-inch square plugs to start. The plugs are packed in garderner's crate separately and very green. If you do not plant immediately, take the crates out of the boxes and put them in full sunshine and water everyday (crates have drainage holes). Then plant them at your leisure.
The only problem I had with Zoysia is that of concrete slabs or walkways. It will find the slightest crack and grow....once established, it is very difficult to remove it. I used table salt to limit its gowth during the summer season. After any rain, re-salt the cracks!!!!! Also used salt liberally on the seam between the curb and street with good results.
On Mar 20, 2008, Zoysia Farm Nurseries responded with:
On Mar 27, 2008 9:09 AM, Zoysia Farm Nurseries added:
We are sorry that not all of the plugs took 35 years ago. Today, we continue to offer a replacement guarantee for any plugs that don't grow within 45 days.
As to the zoysia gowing into cracks in the concrete, commercial weed killer should do the trick. Salt is a good environmentally friendly alternative. Vinegar actually might work a little better. The best solution, is patch the concrete after putting down one of these alternatives. Good luck and hope you continue to enjoy your zoysia lawn."
I had no problems whatsoever in dealing with this company. By the sounds of many comments, I do believe they are understaffed and perhaps should go thru some customer service training to better train their operators, but in my case, they were very helpful and answered all my questions well. If you follow the instructions the product works well. Watering is key. You must water at least twice a day unless it rains. I used a rain gauge when I watered, to make sure my lawn was getting enough water.
One thing I did differently, and that you all may consider, was that instead of cutting the sod into 1" squares before planting, I planted the big 10X15" pieces on the side of my house and watered for about a month. This gave me a 2 big pieces of zoysia grass measuring about 11ftX16ft each, with the 4000 plugs I ordered. After about a month, when the grass took and greened up, I then used their plugger (the manual one) to cut out my own plugs, which I then moved to other areas of my lawn. I cut the holes for my new plugs with the power plugger (the drill bit) and moved my new plugs to their new locations. Took me some time, but being a very busy person, doing it this way allowed me to work at my own pace, on my time schedule. Now, all my lawn is a lush green color, with a very thick grass that has very few, if any weeds and thin spots. I would recommend this company to anyone, but you must re-think the strategy if you are like me, and time is a factor you want to consider. If you dont plant your plugs within 2 weeks, very likely they will die, and if you knock off a lot of the soil when cutting them, then you are hurting the root system and they may die. To me, plating them like I did made much more sense. Hope this helps everyone.
These people sent us DEAD grass plugs. It took 2 months for the DEAD plugs to arrive. We followed the directions exactly, planting the dry, shriveled, brown "grass plugs" as the directions said to do. Well, not one single blade of grass grew. We wasted our money on these liars, and contacted them about the complete failure of their product. After many e-mails back and forth, they finally agreed to refund 1/2 of our money. But, that money has NEVER arrived. Liars again. I will contact the Better Business Bureau in their town, and will tell everyone I know to NEVER buy anything from Zoysia. They need to be "run out of town on a rail," they need to cease and desist from running their "scam" thru the U.S. Mail, and I do not believe one word of any comment that suggests their product "works." Watch me! Zoysia, I will complain to everyone in your state, of your deceptive business practices. Where is the refund you promised to me??? You people are Liars, and Cheats!
I did a lot a research on Zoysia and decided to buy my plugs from ZFN. I purchased thousands of plugs (Spring 2006) to do my front and side yards. After the sheets of sod arrived I had trouble from the start. The sod was scalped with no dirt, not much of a root system and there was no possible way that you could cut these into one inch squares. I took pictures of the sod and wanted to send them to ZFN but they did not want to see them. They did send me some replacement plugs 6 weeks later. The replacement sod was not much better so I cut them into 3" squares and plated them. Over 50% of the plugs failed even though I watered and fertilized (with their fertilizer) consistently.
I would not recommend Zoysia Farms to anyone.
You only get what you pay for except with ZFN you get less.
This is just a scam. Got 4 pcs of sod that measured 10" X 15". Supposed to get 150 pcs out of each, no way. I expected to receive 600 plugs, not less than one peice of average sod. This is only 4 SF if you were to plant it as received. Beware of the company. I will go to Lowe's and by the sod, cut out the plugs and be $$$$$$$ ahead.
Our grass was looking hopeless. My husband and I could never get our grass to grow evenly and maintain a healthy look but, with a bit of patience and Dave's Garden we now have a beautiful lawn and get compliments from our neighbors. We'd highly recommend this company. Angel and I thank you so much!
I ordered from Zoysia Farms Nurseries from a website in May 2007. The order was shipped one month earlier than promised. When I telephoned their non-toll-free number, the woman argued with me about what the order read. I said I wasn't making this up and would fax a copy of the order to her. She then because extremely rude- it was shocking. In my profession I deal with hundreds of businesses every week, from small one person companies to large corporations. It was shocking to hear such rude responses, calling me a liar, and then refuse to acknowledge their error. Sending any money to ZoysiaFarmNurseries is a complete waste of money. I'm surprised that they can stay in business and can only attribute any success to their flashy website and aggressive magazine advertising. Don't buy; do your research.
My husband decided it would be great "gift" for our new house. Neither of us have a green thumb, but after alot of work, and I will admit, I was a bit concerned because they arrived brown but I planted them, and less than a year later, I have the nicest lawn on the block! I referred them to my brother he has decided to do it as well!
Do NOT do business with this company. They false advertise and their product is total crap. Learn from me, I threw my $86.00 out the window. I reported them to the BBB and have disputed the charge on my credit card. From reading the other comments it seems there is no way they are going to give me a refund and there is no way I am going to go through that hassle of planting a new shipment of plugs. This is the worst experience I have ever had with a business. I don't know how they sleep at night knowing they are stealing millions of dollars from people.