Over a decade ago I helped my parents plug thier yard with z-52 in augusta GA. That lawn is still the most gorgeous, weed free, low maintenance lawn in the Nieghborhood.
When I bought my home 2 years ago in Virginia I immediately wanted to do the same but my dear husband insisted he was a lawn genious and that he would seed the lawn and make it beautiful.
I do love him and some of the weeds do have beautiful little flowers but thousands of dollars spent in liming, watering, fertilizing, gas for the mower, etc... Oh dear. It all dies in late August when the water restrictions are put in place. I finally have got him to agree to plug the yard!!!
My plugs arrived yesterday in the middle of a big thunderstorm. Thank god they sent multiple small boxes so I could drag them into the garage. The rain will help us out too! I have spent about $400 on plugs, augers, nutri 20, etc. I will spend another $100 on buckets, a couple bags of rich soil, and beer for my Nieghbors that I have enlisted to help.
I think it was super awesome that we could track our order allowing us to coordinate the work party. It shipped about a week early and left there at 3am. We got it at 5pm. That means this grass has spent a very short time in the box. That's good! I immediately opened the boxes and misted the grass. It was about 10-15% green. That's better than I expected since we had a late spring this year and most of my grass/ weeds in my yard are still dormant.
I'm so excited! I will try to keep you all posted but I have to go now... Lots of work to do!
A few tips before I go... The hand held pluggers suck for plugging the yard. Use the augers. However, the hand held pluggers are superb for cutting the plugs. Just flip the grass upside down on the lawn and start cutting your squares out! It's much easier than this darn scissors they give you, keeps the soil together on the plug, and is a lot faster!
Ordered 1500 plugs... arrived in decent shape. A little dormant looking but I laid out the sod watered, and they started to green up nicely. I cut my plugs into 3x3 (so actually I got 500 plugs). I did some research and planted the plugs like I was planting a bush. I made the holes bigger and deepter then the plug... I poured water into the hole...let it drain... I then filled the hole with GOOD topsoil so the plug would be a about even with the soil line... I put the plug in ... I filled in around the plug with GOOD topsool. I really pressed down hard on the plug wih the heel of my foot...filled in more as needed. I threw some more water on the plug ..... next .... long story short .... they all took ... they are all green .... really redious process .... but it worked .... ALSO, water twice a day for 3-4 weeks ..... ALSO, use the auger thing that goes on a power drill.... MUCH EASIER
I ordered 600 plugs approx. June 1st. When I received them they were kind of brow, but the instructions says it is normal. I did cut them slightly bigger than 1x1 as they suggested, it is kind of impossible to cut them that size. I planted them the following day and I honestly thought all my work was in vain, because they really looked dead. A couple of weeks later about 95% of them started to green up and as of today they are all so green and beautiful and they are spreading. JP
I ordered 4 sheets of plugs as a "Trial run" to see exactly what would be involved in planting this product. I received my sheets of plugs, and found that they were about 90% dormant. This did not alarm me however,as I have a neighbor who has already gone through the entire process. When I received the plugs, they were a bit small looking to me so I measured the sheets and found them to be in fact a little smaller than they should have been so I e-mailed Zoysia farms, gave them the information and got an immediate response from not one, but two of their very professional customer representatives, Laura and Janet. An apology was offered for the oversight(which could happen under any circumstance of producing such tremendous amounts of product on a daily basis) and I was promptly told I would receive another sheet of plugs to compensate me for the shortage of plugs I had. I truly don't know what more I could have asked for! I would give both of these ladies 10 out of 10 on a 1-10 scale for meeting customer satisfaction! Their response was immediate, if I am not mistaken, I received a total of 5 e-mails from these two customer representatives, amazing! It has been now a couple of weeks since I planted my "Trial order" and they seem to be thriving well as I have followed the very well defined planting instructions to the letter. I have zero problems in my transactions with Zoysia Farm Nurseries and as soon as I am finished preparing my lawn, I will order more plugs without concern. Thank You Laura and Janet for making my "Trail run" a very enjoyable first experience and for also your excellent representation of such a high quality company! I will recomend Zoysia Farm Nursery to any who ask me how I have developed such a nice lawn!
Posted on April 13, 2012, updated April 16, 2012
I received my shipment of 2 1900 plug sets about a month ago. The boxes were left on my front porch and were in decent condition, though the top of one of the boxes was pushed in where the tape didn't hold. There was no damage to anything inside though so no big deal. After reading some of the more negative reviews about the grass being brown and "dead looking," I was eager to get inside and see what my grass looked like. The grass was inside a plastic bag inside the box and was packed upside down which i assume was to keep the soil intact. Since the soil was the first thing I could see I noticed that i could in fact see very distinct score marks throughout the entire piece of sod. The soil was fairly dry so when I turned it over to see what the grass looked like some of it fell away but not much. The majority of the grass was as expected brown and dry, but probably about 30% was still green. I am attributing the extra green to ordering at the beginning of the season? maybe, maybe not I'm no expert. I had a couple of old kiddie pools in the attic so I figured that they would be a good way to keep the grass moist while I worked on one at a time. Sure did work. I just layered the grass in there and sprinkled a bucket of water all over it. The grass actually started to green up a bit while it was in there. Well that might have been my imagination but I swear it was happening. Anyway with such a large order I decided to forgo the 1" squares, and just cut the large pieces of sod in half short ways, then again, then again, so that I ended up with 8 pieces that were about 3.5"X2.5". Each box came with an "auger" (actually just a metal rod that had been sheered off on one end to kind of a chisel tip and a washer that had been cut in half and then spiraled up the metal rod and welded on to make an "auger", but it worked so I'm not complaining just explaining) a set of instructions/advertisements, and a box of allergy medicine(I laughed when I saw it but thought it was a nice gesture). Initially I started digging holes with just a garden trowel, and discovered that was not going to work for long, so I enlisted the help of a buddy and his corded power drill (do not try to use a cheap battery powered drill for this you will burn up the motor). We started in kind of an assembly line fashion where we'd cut up the pieces as described before with a set of 2' loppers, then I'd drill holes while he came behind me and filled them in with some cheap topsoil (just to get them started off on the right foot, my soil is clayish so I wanted them to be able to root easier). Then we went down the line and I soaked the topsoil with water and he'd throw down a plug an step on it. We worked for an hour or so and got through maybe 5-6 pieces of sod. Not too bad that was a Tuesday I think and we did the same thing for the rest of the week just plugging away and making sure the left over grass in the pools was wet at the end of the day. We finished on that Saturday, and I just finished the 21 days of watering last weekend. The plugs are pretty much on a bare patch of ground surrounding my back patio, and just about all of them are full green. The ones that are not full green are still partially green, and are probably not fully green because they are the ones that are closer to the house and don't get a full day of sun since the sun sets at the front of the house. As I filled up the bare patch I moved out into the yard (which is mostly weeds except at the back where a bit of St. Augustine's is still growing) and even that grass which is in the weeds is green. I have put miracle grow on it once which might have helped, but other than that nothing special, the dogs even get on it some (big dogs X 3 small dog X 1). I'm not sure what is going on with the reviewers that had the extreme negative comments, but it's all looking good from here. Now i just wait........
On April 16th, 2012, kmur35t added the following:
I planted my new zoysia grass about a month ago now and it is doing pretty well. Most of it has really greened up though obviously hasn't started to spread quite yet. As I am not in any way an expert on grass, I had a question. What are the little stems that appear to be shooting up from the plugs? They look like little seed chutes, but as zoysia is not a seeding grass I don't know what they are. Just wondering, and thanks for a great product!
If your weather has been fairly wet this season, Amazoy zoysia grass can go to seed, they look like little purple shoots. If this is happening it would be best to mow the grass, this will help it to spread outward instead of upward. This type of grass is extremely hard to grow from seeds, we do not even grow the grass from seeds.
Like I said, I'm no expert and when I asked the question Laura/lah responded to my email in less than an hour. Great customer service if you ask me!
Posted on July 15, 2010, updated October 27, 2011
Posted on July 9, 2010, updated July 15, 2010
Posted on June 1, 2010, updated July 9, 2010
I agree with many negative comments on this site. I think the company needs to work on improving the product it ships. No complain about the timing - the shipment came pretty fast compared to other gardening sites I ordered from before (it took them months to send a tiny tree). Anyway, I didn't plant all the plugs yet, I ordered too many, about 30-35 sheets. It took me about an our to plant one sheet yesterday. Yes, it's time consuming, I knew all about it, no compains, I have enough patience. I have an issue with the plugs themselves though. The sheets are about 10 by 15 inches and about one inch thin. Too thin I think. I put the sheets on the grass in a shade (just like they suggested), watered and left them there while working on one. The area I live in is pretty windy and sunny. So you can imagine what happened to the sheets - the one inch soil that they had dried up a lot (you probably need to water the sheets every hour if you don't want them to fall apart) and some sheets when you pick them up, the dirt comes off and all you're left with is the grass (or I should say straw). Now try cutting that up into plugs 1x1. Pretty challenging. I stopped counting the inches, I just cut the straws however I could. My husband was laughing at me - I guess I did look funny cutting straw and planting it hoping something will come out of it. I told him that it's not straw, the grass is in dormant state and the company guarantees it will grow within 45 days, if not they'll reship. He started counting "OK, you gonna spend 3 days planting the straw, then wait 45 days, mid of July you'll realize it WAS straw, you'll call the company, they'll reship, it's mid of August, you'll spend another 3 days planting straw, wait 45 more days, it's end of September, then it's winter time, etc. etc. What you should've done is gotten the seeds of any other grass and by end of June you would've had a full lawn". Then I got an idea - maybe we should have both - zoysia and seeds. We went to Home Depo. The guy at Home Depo said we shouldn't plant zoysia with other grass as zoysia will choke other grasses. I asked him if they sell zoysia seeds, he said no and suggested we check nurseries. Nurseries didn't have seeds either, but what they did have is zoysia plugs. They are sold by flats (like when you buy annuals, they are sold by flats or individually). Each flat was about $18. I didn't do the calculation yet, so I don't know which one is pricier. But I did like what they were selling. The plugs in a flat are 3 by 3 by 3, so there is plenty of soil, they are very sturdy, do not fall apart and they are actually nice green plugs, don't look like straw at all. So in the back of my mind I regret I didn't check the nearby nurseries before ordering on-line. I still hope something will come out of my straw though. Maybe it's not money wasted yet, i don't know, that's why I put a neutral rating.
Re: the step-on plugger. It is probably made in China. It's just a piece of junk. I'm not a heavy woman, so there is no way I could make holes in the ground by stepping on a plugger, I had to push. I don't know what material they used to make that thing, probably aluminum, because it's not that strong, not as strong as the material that shovels are made off. So after a lot of pushing, the edges on the plugger bent. The stick is already moving slightly, so I think by the time I'm done with the second sheet, the plugger will break. I guess I'll use the other tool they sent, my husband showed me how to drill yesterday, so hopefully this will work better. I'll ask him to drill the holes and I'll do the cutting and planting part. Oh by the way cutting wasn't too bad, I used the kitchen scisors (the ones I cut chicken with), so cutting was pretty easy, just like if you cut straw. The challenging part was figuring out how many straws should go into each square inch and telling apart the roots from the grass (I hope I didn't plant any upside down). >
On October 27th, 2011, JLJR added the following:
I love walking on this grass barefeet. Can't wait for the next summer!On Oct 27, 2011, Zoysia Farm Nurseries responded with:
We want every customer to have a positive experience and end up with an environmentally friendly economical Amazoy zoysia lawn. We are constantly researching and implementing new ways to insure this will happen. With the grass, the major issue is once harvested it is in shock and under stress. In simple terms it starts to protect itself and immediately starts to go into dormancy. The soil helps prevent this, but without water and sun while in the shipping box the dormancy process is accelerated. Plants need light and water to grow. Getting the grass out of the box as soon as possible and back into the ground is the only way to start the grass growing again. Amazoy zoysia is amazingly resilient and can withstand the rigors of travel but needs some TLC once it arrives.
Keeping the grass and soil moist makes the separation into individual plugs much easier and helps the grass come back out of dormancy. Under normal circumstances wetting the grass and soil and keeping it in the shade is enough. Wind is not usually a factor, but in windy areas that could be something else that needs to be accounted for. The object is to keep the grass and soil moist before planting.
Over seeding is a practice that helps keep weed population down and provides ground cover until the zoysia starts to fill in. Yes, in time, the zoysia will crowd out the seeded grass but by then you will have the beautiful low maintenance Amazoy zoysia lawn you wanted. What can be wrong with that?
From this posting it sounds like some help has arrived and the holes will now be made with the Amazoy Power Auger. That will make this project move more quickly. Keep the sheets moist, your cutting tool sharp and your husband drilling holes and you will be done much more quickly. I had my 10 year old out drilling holes for me last year and we could do a sheet about every 20 – 30 minutes. His younger brother was responsible for watering the newly planted plugs, keeping the grass moist before separation and more than occasionally had fun cooling off his co-workers. One additional point, don’t forget to step on the plugs after planting to insure good contact between the soil and the roots.
We ask patience and to give new plantings 45 days to establish, send up new green shoots and start spreading. For customers who plant late in their local growing season we extend our guarantee until the next growing season to make sure the plugs are successful.
On Jul 16, 2010 11:46 AM, Zoysia Farm Nurseries added:
There are many varieties of zoysia available today. We sell only the Meyer Z52 which was developed by the United States Department of Agriculture. It is the most cold tolerant of all the zoysia grasses available surviving to 30 degrees below zero.
From the pictures it appears the zoysia supplied by the local nursery on Long Island NY is one of the southern varieties (more coarse leaves are the biggest hint) which are not suitable for northern planting areas. With any sort of hard winter the southern varieties might not survive and a whole lawn can be lost, even years after planting. Only time will tell.
We supply our plugs not totally separated so the customer can decide how big or small to make the plugs. Our one inch square plugs cost about 5 cents each which is quite a bit less then the $1.00 a plug from the local nursery. Even if ours were cut in the 3 inch by 3 inch size ours would only cost .45 cents each. . We continue to believe we offer the most economical and flexible way to establish a zoysia lawn and we guarantee to replace any that do not grow.
We may not be a local nursery to may, but we are zoysia specialists. There is not much we have not seen or learned in our 57 years selling Amazoy Zoysia and testing all the other varieties. Amazoy is the most viable zoysia overall and has proven itself with over 50 years of success and millions of lawns all over America. No other zoysia can come close to matching the success of Amazoy.
On Aug 31, 2011, ifg2006 Plymouth Meeting, PA wrote:
I read a lot of the posts on this website before purchasing the zoysia plugs from Zoysia Farms and I am being honest here when I say that I have not had any problems with my plugs. I ordered about 1000 plugs and about 85 - 90% of them took. The patch that I filled in with those plugs I bought are really starting to fill in and I bought them in mid june. The plug auger they give is complete junk and do not try to cut them into 1 inch squares it is impossible. I cut them into 4 x 4 inch sqaures and watered them at least once a day for 15 to 20 minutes. I live in PA and we had a severe heat wave for almost 2 months and the plugs survived. I recently just called Zoysia farms and told them about 15% of my plugs did not take and they are sending me two full sheets in the spring next year.
There is no doubt in my mind about how zoysia has worked in my yard. I became a believer in the last house I lived in when my neighbor on the top of my backyard hill had planted it some years before. The stuff held the hillside like cast iron. The kids slid down in their white pants and T shirts without green stains. Most people are disappointed when they don't see results in a year or two. I'm sure many are surprised when about four to five years later they look out the window and realize they are looking at zoysia. Once this product becomes established in a small area (about two years), it begins to move more rapidly. It sends out little zig-zag tentacles, looking for new places to root. You may not notice, but as time goes by, it continues to weave more densely, until one day, you realize that you have zoysia in your face. I lost track of the first plugs I put in, and thought many did not survive. Later, I figured I had at least an 85% survival rate from what I remembered planting. But in the winter, you'll see the plugs that look like dead brown spots. Fear not, in the spring, you'll see those brown spots about two weeks after everything else turns green, then, in just three or four days, it's all green. This stuff mercilessly slaughters crab grass. Crab grass absolutely does not stand even half a fighting chance against this stuff in strong sun areas, once it's established. My advice, be patient. Don't expect immediate results in just a year or two. If you did it right, you'll get your zoysia. Rule one: lots of sun. This stuff does not like shade, and will not grow into it. Rule two: order the SMALL kit first. Then you'll know what you are in for if you order the large kit. Go ahead and get the plugger or router, they work O.K.. Next steps: you can add plugs at any time to help increase speed of takeover. Note your dispersion during winter, that's when you can actually see where the zoysia is (brown). Normal weed treatments have not hurt my zoysia, but I find myself only putting down weed killer outside the established zoysia area, as the zoysia has kept the weeds down on its own. It continues to march on. Good luck.
It has been about 50 to 52 days since my shipment of 600 plugs and a metal plugger arrived. It was four small sheets of the sod, just as everyone else described. All of the sheets had some green in them, but were predominately brown. Three had pretty good reddish soil in the roots, but the fourth one was split almost in half the short way, and was missing quite a bit of soil. There was no visible scoring on my sheets. The plugger was not a precision tool, but was acceptable.
Unlike some people who have commented, I did not automatically think I had been scammed. I had experience planting plugs before, in my front yard --- Buffalo Grass plugs (my front yard is landscaped as a natural, informal, mountain design, even though I live in Denver). The Buffalo Grass was also very brown when it arrived, but my planting was successful. Within one season I had good cover, and a full lawn at the end of two, so the shape of the Zoysia sheets didn't particularly concern me --- though I was surprised to simply get little sheets of sod; the Buffalo grass came in trays.
For a couple of days I misted the sheets and left them in a pretty shady area. I was working long days, but was able to get a few plugs planted in the evenings in the later part of the week, but then completed the planting on the weekend, 46 days ago. I used some heavy shop shears to cut the sheets. The plugger wasn't much use for me. I had rototilled my entire yard prior to the arrival of the plugs, adding cow-peat to it, and in the dry Denver climate my soil was a dry, granular consistency that just fell right out of the plugger. I was able to simply dig little holes with my fingers in the loose dirt, drop a little water in, push some loose dirt back in, set the plug, pour water on, then step on the plug.
My main mistake was trying to mathematically cut the sheets into 1" plugs. I started with the sheet in the worst shape, and when I tried the one inch strip, divided by 10 plugs, I ended up with a lot of plugs that the dirt fell out and the dry blades fell off, so I couldn't even tell which side was up. Because of that, a lot of my earlier plugs did not take. I did almost two sheets with that method, and the second one that had more soil went a little better, but I was still ending up with some plants that were little more than a blade of grass and a small curly root (a lot of material was just falling off). I finally wised up, and started cutting the sheets the short way across, worrying less about 1" and more about getting a strip of sound roots, that could be cut into something I could hold in my fingers and plant. I ended up planting plugs about 1-1/4" instead of 1". That made the planting much easier, and I also had a much better success rate. I did get less coverage than planned, so ordered two more sheets. When they arrived a couple of weeks later, I used the second method, but was able to make the plugs even a little bit bigger --- though they haven't yet reached 45 days, I seem to have close to a 90% success rate with them.
I watered as directed for a couple of weeks, then we had a highly unusual monsoon season in Denver, with prolonged daily rain and thunderstorms every afternoon, evening and night for weeks (the latter plugs benefitted from that immediately). It rained so hard a few times that I did get some major wash out in my yard, which burried some of the plugs. The daily gullywashers finally stopped a week ago, and I've watered a couple of times since. I did fertilize once, after three weeks, with Miracle Grow in a hose sprayer.
In the part of the yard after I wised up, I now have a lot of little, viable, Zoysia patches. They're small, one to three inches across, and do resemble little crabgrass (like one person said) --- they're like horizontal tufts. The part that I planted first have a lot of plugs that simply are a couple of blades, but they are fresh shoots. They are alive, though I am not sure yet that they will survive. Between wash out and plugs that didn't make it at all, I estimate a 50% survival in what I planted with the 1" method, about 75-80% after I started cutting the plugs big enough to easily handle, and about 90% when I was more experienced with the second order.
I called Zoysia Farm today regarding the first order, talking to Shirley. She asked me some questions, then I explained everything as I have here. She asked me what percentage rate I estimated were successful, and I said probably about 65%. She said she would round up, and is shipping me two more sheets of the sod to honor their guarantee. She also suggested I do a soil test (which I probably should have done in the first place here in Denver). She was helpful and pleasant, and my experience has been positive.
I ordered my 1000 plugs of zoyisa in March of 2011. They arrived in April which concerned me slightly since i live in NY and can still get some frost that time of year. I put them in the ground right away because they didn't look great upon arrival. They were 95% brown with some spattering of green here and there. I followed the directions and plugged away for many hours. It was brutal. By the end I could not fathom cutting little one inch plugs any longer, so they grew in size as i went along. I honestly don't believe that any man on earth could follow through with the small plugs they suggest. Anyway, I was finally done and the 30-45 day wait period began. By the end of May the weather is nice and warm and i see the plugs starting to green up a bit. I do notice that the bigger 3-4 inch plugs I made towards the end are faring much better than the little ones. I check them every day as if there will be come magical growth, but slowly I have noticed progress. By June many of the plugs are shooting a slim little stalk into the air that appear to be covered with seeds or something at the top. I honestly have no idea what they are, but its growth and i love it. Its now July and I'm noticing that some of them are starting to really spread. Some have "runners" shooting from the sides and new leaves are starting to sprout from them. They are faring better when surrounded my my existing grass. Those are thick and green all of the time. I have a patch that is only plugs and soil and those are reacting far more slowly. The sun is on them all day and they get shriveled and appear to be dying until I water them. This "drought" resistant plant apparantly needs a hell of a lot more water then they say when its just them alone in the soil. Either way, its season one and things are looking good right now.
I live 50 miles north of Atlanta. Got an insert mailer in March from the Zoysia Farms and decided to try to fix dead spots on the slope in the back yard. Didn't know what Zoysia grass was because in Texas, my former home, Bermuda is the king. In my Georgia back yard I had planted Bermuda as the predominate grass but some shading problems caused wash and dead spots.
Bought two "slabs" of grass sod accompanied by the free tool. Grass from Farms looked dead and dry but I saw green shoots close to some of the roots so figured all was well. Had to use sharp shooter shovel to cut sod into about two inch squares then toward the end of the last sod, realizing squares were eating too much sod, I began to tear apart the sod by hand, getting good roots. Supplied tool was given up on since the soil clogged the pipe. So I used the sharpshooter to cut a wedge into the soil and placed the roots in the wedge. After finishing planting the sod, I watered each wedge and tamped the wet soil onto the roots with my foot. It appears only about half the sod grew but WOW!
Bermuda is a very agressive grass and at first I was thinking the patches in the back yard were weeds but on closer inspection the Zoysia is driving out the bermuda - unheard of in my lawn career. I may have to put barriers at the sides of the house to prevent the Zoysia overtaking the bermuda front lawn as dictated by the homeowners assoc. I will have to wait out the growing for the lawn to cover, maybe a couple years. It would've helped if 100% of the sod "took" instead of half. At my location so far so good!
On Jun 9, 2011, OrganicDreamer Indian Trail, NC wrote:
We are in charlotte. We had bought plugs from Zoysia Farm in 2005 and it came with the power auger drill.
The sod came was 70% brown but you could see green shoots in the middle. The soil as commented by many was missing on the edges on most of the sheets.
We started plugging the grass with 1-2" plugs in our yard, which is mostly white clay. Plugging even with the auger was a lot of work and so we kept the remaining sheets in our garage for a week or so and kept sprinkling water as instructed. It took us a while and lot of hard work to get all of it planted.
Though most of the plugs greened up a bit in next few weeks, some did not. I was sent replacement for those.
As it was in an existing lawn, we did not see any growth the first year. It slowly started snaking in the yard. It took the grass almost 3-4 years to significantly cover the area. This was one of the facts that is not stated clearly on the website. The grass takes longer than promised to spread.
The yard though now looks nice and almost free of weeds, except a tiny spurge kind , still manages to get through in some areas.
We reordered in 2009 again for the backyard and its started to finally run in thin rows. It would still take a year or 2 to cover.
We did not put any fertilizers in our yard and no weed killers at all. Once or twice we have thrown in some corn meal and some alfalfa. we did speard a layer of compost a couple years ago.
We do see lot of thatch build up, even though it has been hardly fertilized or watered.
Recently our neighbour asked what grass we have as they do not see any weeds in the front yard.
Except for the slow growth rate, we are very happy with zoysia.
I think what most people forget is that Grass is a natural product and is not going to be 100% perfect each and every time.
Here is my experience.
My Father and I split an order of 1900 plugs over 10 years ago. We each took 1000 plugs and planted 100 or so 1" plugs as per the instructions and the rest we planted using 5"X5" or larger sections to save time and to help guarantee growth.
By the end of that summer the Zoysia was not visible at all. It had been overtaken by the original grass.
When you think about it, we hadn't spent that much money so we weren't overly concerned that we didn't see any growth right away and frankly, having only spent $40ish for 1000 plugs, we figured lets try it and if it doesn't grow, then no big deal.
I had forgotten about the Zoysia the next year, until the end of the summer when we went a few weeks without rain and i noticed that there was a green patch of grass in my yard even though the rest of it was brown. Upon closer inspection, I noticed that it was the Zoysia and had "vined" out and was overtaking the yard. For the next two years, the Zoysia continued to grow. We moved out of the area but when we did, we left the new owners with about 500 sq feet of goof Zoysia grass that was spreading. My father was not as lucky. We did not notice any growth at his place until two years later, but it has been growing more noticeable ever since and after 10 years he has 400+sq feel of thick lush Zoysia and we think the slow growth is due to the fact that he doesn't get much sun in his yard.
I just bought 1000 plugs and planted 3"x3" at my new house and have high hopes. I spent $45 for 900 plugs. $45 is less than a lawn company wanted each month. I picked up the plugs on Sat and they were in decent shape but brown and dry (same as the batch 10 years ago). I look forward to some growth and now that i know the Zoysia Farms is only 50 miles from my home, will likely plant additional grass each year until the yard is full!
My experience with this company has been positive and i will continue to do business with them.
Keep in mind that this is a natural product and subject to imperfections and that growth is slow. You will not have a full lawn of zoysia next year and probably for may years to come unless you by enough sod to cover your yard from day 1.
Posted on September 27, 2010, updated March 2, 2011
Posted on July 30, 2010, updated September 27, 2010
Posted on July 9, 2010, updated July 30, 2010
Posted on July 9, 2010, updated July 9, 2010
Posted on June 18, 2010, updated July 9, 2010
I had three main goals in mind when I decided to purchase the Zoysia grass plugs:
Goal #1, get a beautiful, low maintance lawn.
Goal #2, reduce the time it takes to maintain the lawn
Goal #3, hopefully reduce the allegories/pollens associated with weeds
The sod sheets arrived about one week after shipping from all the way across the US. I was pleasantly surprised, especially after some of these reviews, that my sod while dry, was not hay like (in texture), and had some green left in it. While examining the sod, I noticed that even while shipping, the grass was trying to grow new root shoots, so even though it may have looked rough, it was alive and trying to grow.
I was unable to cut more than 90 to 100 plugs out of the sheets and the score or cut marks where not visible. Based on the reviews on this and other sites, I prepared for that potential and “over ordered” two sheets.
Planting was very easy, but it was difficult to cut “perfect plugs”. Even while moist/wet, some plugs would come out picture perfect, but some were already missing the dirt (due to shipping or me not being careful unpacking) and those ones were more difficult to work with.
I welcome any of you to PM/email me for updates/pictures as this project progresses. I found that a lot of people do not update their experiences from their initial responses. For me, I hope to have a full lawn this time next year.
I know it is early, but so far I would say this experience a positive one. Again, if something changes, I will update and or encourage others looking into this option for an update if I forget.
On July 9th, 2010, GregOroville added the following:
Here is my 3 week update as promised. I know that Zoysia Farms says give it 6 weeks, but hopefully this will give other people a clearer view of my experiences.
The following pictures are of a 1/5 slice of sods that I had “left over”. I have had growth as shown in the pictures from the 1/5 sheet slices and the 3x3 inch size cuts, but no grownth that is obvious in any of the 1 inch size plugs that I planted.
The lack of any obvious growth in the 1 inch plugs is a big disappointment as it was the majority of the work. Also my “lawn” has been taken over by a clover weed as seen in the last picture. I guess I have to wait another 3 weeks to spray with any kind of weed and feed chemicals.
Sheets as I received them:
1/5 sheet on 6-23
1/5 sheet on 7-2
1/5 sheet on 7-9
[URL=http://s275.photobucket.com/albums/jj310/gregchico/Zoysia%20pictures/?action=view¤t=07092010066.jpg][IMG]http://i275.photobucket.com/albums/jj310/gregchico/Zoysia%20pictures/th_07092010066.jpg[/IMG][/URL] On July 9th, 2010, GregOroville added the following:
On July 30th, 2010, GregOroville added the following:
As of today, I still do not see any growth in the 1 inch sized plugs. My larger plugs that I was seeing growth from seem to be regressing. The weather has been over 80 every day and the night time temps have been in the mid 60s. At the 3 week mark I reduced my watering from 15 minutes to 5 minutes. I kept it at 5 minutes due to the several days in a row over 100 degrees.
I called customer service today to activate my guarantee. I spoke with Shirley, she was very nice and asked me a bunch of questions. She thought that my tilling before planting brought up a bunch of dormant weed seeds and made things more difficult for me and at 5 minutes a day, I was not helping my Zoysia (she stated one a week). After the questions and answers they will be replacing my order at their next shipping date for my state.
Based on my previous experience with the plugs I decided not to try to cut and plant 1 inch square plugs, but to try a larger 3 or so inch plug. I realize that it may take more time to fill in, but I felt the trade off was worth it. During the time I was waiting for my shipment (I live in California and they only ship to CA 3 or so times a year), I spent a lot of time weeding, in which as the weather cooled down a little, I saw signs of the larger plugs coming back to life. Now, I still have not seen any growth of the 1 inch plugs, but the larger plugs seem to be coming back, well at least a few of them. Also I federalized with a recommended fertilizer this time which I did not do the first time.
The color in the plugs that survived and are growing is a beautiful deep green that I look forward to seeing all over my front lawn.
I have a lot of confidence that this time it will work. I give Zoysia Farms credit for standing behind their product and offering advise (and taking fire on this forum). Yes, it was not my idea of a perfect way to spend a weekend, but I have a lot of confidence that it will be worth it in the long run. On March 2nd, 2011, GregOroville added the following:
The average temperature has been sunny, but in the mid 40s. The fescue grass was growing tall from the winter rains along the perimeter and a few areas in the “lawn” area. I thought I noticed several plugs growing so I knocked down the fescue and low and behold I saw growing zoyzoia plugs. Not all of them are growing at the same rate, some of the larger patches (quarter sheets of sod) I planted are still the same size, but I can see green coming from what looks like a brown dead patch.
It looks like the 2-3 square inch plugs are doing the best. I have no way of differentiating my first batch from the second, but I would say my second planting was a success as I’m not seeing too many of the 1 inch plugs (or maybe some of them have grown already). It doesn’t look like I will have my lawn this summer, but by the way things are going, next year it will be grown in.
I still rate this a positive because between my son running and playing and my dogs running and digging on Daddy’s dirt lawn, nothing else has ever grown well, and this appears to be headed in the right direction, it will just take a little more time.
I had a quick look and I can tell you the plugs in the pictures are doing just fine. The weeds however are out of control and at this point stealing nutrients from the zoysia plugs. I would suggest you treat the weeds with a broad leaf weed killer. Read the label carefully and make sure it is safe for application on zoysia grass.
The expectations for the growth of zoysia grass should be quite different from other grasses. After planting the plugs the plants will put all their energy into establishing themselves in their new home by growing new roots. You will not see any spreading initially. With, some water, sun and the soil nutrients the roots will grow and new green shoots will start to appear. Zoysia does everything slowly that is why it is the champion low maintenance grass, but you have to be patient.
Only once the roots are growing well will it start to spread, all be it slowly at first. Because the length of the growing season varies from region to region the total fill in will vary greatly, but it will spread to fill in your whole lawn. Be patient, very patient and in time you will have the low maintenance lawn you set as your top objective and because it does not go to seed it will not produce pollen. Its thick dense growth pattern will also crowd out weeds and eliminate their pollen as well. It will do everything to set our to accomplish.
I like what the manager of a championship golf course with zoysia fairways once told me, It took time to establish the fairways, but the more he left his zoysia fairways alone the better they seemed to do.
On Sep 30, 2010, Devildogs89 Pleasant Hill, MO wrote:
***PLEASE READ COMPLETELY***
I received my plugs two years ago and was immediatly upset by the quality of the product as nearly all the soil had become dislodged in shipping and alot of the product was bareroots.
I called and complained as I was expecting easy to work with plugs. The customer service representative was neither helpful or empathetic and sounded like she had heard this 1000 times. She reiterated in monotone the company policy of replacing plug that didnt take.
Frustrated to say the least, I read all instructions and got out my drill and started plugging. I worked both curbs in front of my home along with about 1/2 my front yard. I didnt quite comprehend the work involved and had overordered on my first order. I got as many plugs in and burned up my drill in the process before taking the last three sheets and tossing them into the open lot behind my home.
That was nearly two years ago today, and I took it as a lesson learned and money wasted. My wife got ample enjoyment out of my blood sweat and tears on this one and reminded me about 20 time "I told you so".
Yesterday as I was out plugging my curbs and transplanting the most incredible zoysia from the curbs to my yard about half my neighbors stopped to ask why I was "tearing up" my beautiful curbs. I explained I was just plugging it into my yard and it would self repair.
I noticed small light brown patch last year when the weather turned in November in about a 3 foot area and bragged to my neighbor in humor how this cost me nearly $150.00 to get that brown patch. As we constantly critique one anothers yard he smirked and Im sure was jumping for joy on the inside when he commented "Impressive".
But another year has passed and around June I really started to see growth throughout the curb of the most uniform and lush stand of zoysia you can imagine. As summer wore on here in Missouri, the weather got unbearably hot and dry. The grass started going dormant and burning up throughout the neighborhood and even my yard -- all except my Amazoy -- It got stronger and remained green throughtout this time with no extra watering on my part.
One neighbor stated that a few of them on the end of the street were talking about getting "whatever" I had in their curbs and yards after my results this year.
My next door neighbors use a lawn company with overseeding and monthly treatments and over one quarter of their yard died off along with a completely lost curb area minus a few green patches of crabgrass.
I 100% recommend this product along with a little patience and some good elbow grease to get you going. I am tempted to get another order next year in the late spring to start working it into my backyard as I dont have the patience to wait and draw off a 100 good sized plugs annually from the curbs.
As a sidenote I have alot of clay in my yard and the plugger they send is nearly worthless as while it did pull the first 20 plugs out of my yard after that the weld started to fail and the whole thing broke apart within the first sheet of plugs. Also I did not cut 1 inch plugs but went for large chuncks and was able to get about 25 to 30 per sheet of plugs. Other than these two things the whole thing reminds me of a wonderful comeback story........I am sold on this product and it I ever move I will get a sod cutter and take it with me HAHA!!!!
I live in Northern Virginia and have ordered plugs the past three years in August. I cut the plugs from the sheets using a sharp steel butcher knife and a block of wood and have usually get around 90% of the total plugs from each sheet. Generally, the sheets are in good condition when they arrive as shipping is usually 1 day. I planted 9 plugs/sq.ft the past two years using the auger that I received some years back when ordering way to many plugs to plant in the time that I had available. Last years planting is nearly 100 percent ground cover now so survival was very good except in a few places where crab grass was a problem. Fortunately, I have sandy soil which pulverizes when drilled in dead sod sprayed with Roundup at least 1 week prerviously. Planting is time consuming and requires complete fill of holes and packing of soil around the plugs to assure that roots can grow into undisturbed soil. With daily watering as recommended, the survival rate is excellent. I have a degree in agriculture and my recommendation is to wait until Zoysia is actively growing before attempting to plant it with the 1 inch square plugs as it will actively grow roots into undisturbed soil which is critical to survival through summer and the first winter. My supply of plugs just arrived this year in reasonably good condition considering the weather the past month or so in our area and I plan to plant them and sprinkle the area with Miracle grow that has preemergent weed control that will kill sprouting weeds. This will be my last purchase of plugs as I will have sufficient area of good Zoysia to pull my own plugs to plant additional areas in the future.
For beginners, I recommend ordering enough plugs to plant a few hundred square feet maximum and having an area where the supply can be set over good potting soil to take root with daily watering while plugs are planted properly in the desired area. I also recommend killing existing vegetation because it is much easier to drill holes and put soil back into the holes.
On Aug 4, 2010, Zoysia Farm Nurseries responded with:
Some good advise here. Late summer or early fall can be a great time to plant Amazoy as this post describes. Spring fever is what motivates many but fall is just as good a time to pant.
A word of caution about Round Up, it does a very good job of killing actively growing vegetation including grass. It should never be used post planting. Pre-emergent weed killers prevent the weed seeds from germinating into next seasons weeds. Application of both before planting is of great assistance in helping plugs to prosper by reducing competition.
Posted on April 29, 2010, updated May 11, 2010
Posted on April 29, 2010, updated April 29, 2010
Posted on April 26, 2010, updated April 29, 2010
Posted on April 25, 2010, updated April 26, 2010
Posted on June 29, 2009, updated April 25, 2010
I live in MA. and a close neighbor has zoysia grass in their front lawn. It was there when they bought the house 20 years ago. They do not know what variety of zosia it is. I really like the way it works in their front lawn. They love it too, but they wish it would take over the rest of their property, as they cannot seem to get it to spread over the entire 1/2 acre or so of yard they have, even after all these years. I recommended fertilizing it and perhaps trying eradication of the existing grass. They said they have never fertilized, and I think that may be the reason it has not spread for them as well as it could, even though it is taking over their next door neighbor's front lawn. I really want to use it in my back yard, which has not the best soil, and I am hoping it will spread into the back yards of my neighbors on both sides, whose lawns are a mess of mud and weeds. So I would really like to know the best way to help it along in it's spread. I plan on buying plugs forthwith.
On July 10th, 2009, HowieFelch added the following:
I ordered some plugs after making my last post, and they arrived yesterday. I had about 8 pieces of sod in the box I received, plus the step on plugger.
The sod was actually still somewhat green, and did not look too bad on the topside. The underside seemed pretty dry. I proceeded to cut the sections into "plugs" with garden shears. They cut fairly easily, but in no way was I ever going to get 150 plugs from each sheet. It is just not possible, due to the dryness of the soil. So much soil flakes off, that by the time I finished cutting, I was left with some 300 plugs, and a big pile of soil, grass blades, and root segments. I truly believe that it is impossible to get the advertised # of plugs from each sheet unless you are using the same kind of stamping device they must have used to score them. In fairness, I was able to see the scoring marks on some of the sod segments, and, if they held together, and you could realistically cut them along those lines scrupulously, you would, in theory, get 150 per piece, but it is in no way feasible, IMHO. I was not really disappointed, because, due to other customer accounts I have read, I expected this. I debated using several variations on the planting method, but in the end decided to "do it their way" and did my best to follow the instructions as written. The plugger was a fairly good tool and worked well all in all. I felt it was well built and sturdy. A nice surprise. I planted three patches in areas of my lawn. 2 in the back yard, and 1 in the front. All were placed in areas that receive nearly constant sun during the day, and were already fairly bare of grass due to that fact. I made an effort to put all plugs along the trail of bare spots or patches, following the instruction suggestions.
The work went quickly, and my wonderful wife helped me during the actual setting of the plugs in the soil. Not as hard work as I thought it would be.
When I expended my supply of whole plugs, I wondered what to do with the big pile of dirt, roots and grass I had left, and decided I would rake up another bare patch as deeply as I could score the earth with a one handed mini rake, and toss the stuff on top, wet it, and see what happens, and that is what I did. Now I will wait and see. I plan to post some pix on "flikr" or some-such, and will add a link when I can. I will also update with my progress for those who are interested. This is an experiment for me, and I'm doing it out of curiosity as well as desire to get my yard, particularly my back yard, in order.
I was just fascinated by the idea of not needing to water, weed or fertilize as much, and trying to be a little "greener" with my landscape.On July 11th, 2009, HowieFelch added the following:
On April 25th, 2010, HowieFelch added the following:
I have now been able to assess the initial success of the plugs I planted at the end of last summer. The honest truth is, I have had VERY GOOD progress. It is very interesting. While in many cases, the plugs themselves only had a few leaves coming out, I now have little "tufts" of this stuff popping up everywhere in my backyard, and also along the areas in my front yard that I put several plugs in. In the backyard, I set most of the plugs along the border of a certain area where I had trouble maintaining grass growth. I also spread the "leftovers", as described in my earlier post, across another adjacent area. I would like to tell you all, honestly, the stuff seems to be running wild in my backyard, along my fence line, with tufts appearing up the wooded, banked area along my back fence, which borders a railroad track. It has filled in about 50% of the interceding, mostly grass and weedless area in front of my shed, and new tufts are breaking ground. I mowed it, and it already looks pretty good. I did not in any way expect the level of success that I had, although I had hopes. I even had good luck with the patch I spread the leftovers on. Really great! I have ordered more plugs and plan to infest my front yard with this stuff, wholesale, and also to do the other side of my back property line, and I will continue to review the results here. Thank you Zoysia Farms Nurseries, or whatever you name is, :-) I love this junk. it is finally going to give me a good looking back yard.On April 26th, 2010, HowieFelch added the following:
Out of curiosity, I was just out in the yard, trying to measure the distance of the furthest tuft of new growth zoysia from its nearest site of a planted plug. The furthest one I could confirm and measure was about 32 ft away from the nearest plug site. I must have some very good soil or other conditions, because this stuff is running all over the place. We had horrible rains this spring, and my backyard was absolutely saturated with water, and had some standing water in puddles, briefly, right near the sight of my plug plantings. I worried that this would kill my zoysia grass, but, on the contrary, as I said, I probably would not be able to stop the spread of this stuff, even if I wanted to, the way things seem to be going. The progress is slow, I suppose, but the tufts I am getting are extremely thick and robust, and, like I said, they are spreading around across a very wide area of my yard, considering the very small patches I planted. I will be taking detailed pix and posting them on the above linked photobucket page.On April 29th, 2010, HowieFelch added the following:
Photos posted of zoysia progress as of today. On April 29th, 2010, HowieFelch added the following:
One of the best illustrations of the creeping effect:On May 11th, 2010, HowieFelch added the following:
I received my second batch of plugs yesterday. They were similar in every way to the first batch, mostly brown, some green, fairly moist, but got dry quickly if not moistened. I placed them in remaining bare spots around my yard. I also received the "power auger" as a free add on to my order. I must say, IMHO, the step on plugger is a far better tool. The power auger tool is some 6 inches long, meaning you must bend way over to make the holes for your plugs, and it seemed like it was difficult to not make the holes too deep with it. I tried it out, and went straight back to the step on plugger. Things are moving right along with my already planted zoysia. It is spreading like wildfire. Truth be told, I probably could have just let things be and not ordered the second batch, but I would really like for things to be fully established by the end of this growing season, inasmuch as that is feasible.On May 11, 2010, Zoysia Farm Nurseries responded with:
It is most likely that your neighbor has Meyers Z-52 released by the USDA. Meyer Z-52 (Amazoy) continues to be the only zoysia that is cold hardy enough to withstand New England winters (while prospering in their hot summers) and sold by Zoysia Farm Nurseries for over 50 years.
One of the benefits of Amazoy zoysia is its low requirement for fertilizer. One application a year is all that is required in northern climates. Generally this should be applied between April and mid July. Only fertilizers that say they are specifically for zoysia should be used. If the label does not state for use on zoysia there is significant chance of damaging a zoysia lawn. Most granular type fertilizers will damage zoysia grass.
Nutri-20 is a water-soluble fertilizer developed by us specifically for zoysia grass. It insures successful feeding of a zoysia lawn every time. This is available on our website.
Zoysia is a spreading grass but will not spread into very shady or particularly damp or wet areas. Either of these situations might be preventing the zoysia from spreading as described in this posting. An alternative course of action would be to take some plugs from the established areas and transplant them into areas where the zoysia is wanted. It is certainly an economical way to expand a zoysia lawn and successfully done by many of our customers. Our step-on-plugger was specifically designed for this purpose and is also available on our website.
Now is a great time to start a zoysia lawn while it is growing most actively. Amazoy loves the long hot days of summer and stays naturally green when most others have turned brown.
On Jul 10, 2009 2:06 PM, Zoysia Farm Nurseries added:
Having a partner to help is a great asset with a project like this. It makes the planting go much more quickly.
Sweeping up the bits of grass and earth and planting it is a good idea. If there are any nodes from which roots can be established, they should grow as long as they are watered just like the plugs. This is similar to a transplanting method some call sprigging. It is generally used when doing very large areas. Generally this is a less successful way to transplant zoysia because of the lack of control over planting depth and watering large areas. Plugs remain the best and most successful way to establish a zoysia lawn.
Sounds like you are off to a good start. Keep up the light watering for about 15 minutes per day over the next three weeks and then relax and be patient. Zoysia does everything slowly.
Im new here but I would like to post my results using the Zoysia plugs.
I installed the plugs when I lived in Greensboro NC. It took all weekend to plug a 1/4 acre property.
It took most of the year for the plugs to take and I didnt see the full benefit until the next growing season.
The grass was very nice after the second season and I think most of my neighbors agreed I hade the nicest lawn on the street. What I liked most was the grass took very little water, about 1/10 of Kentucky Bluegrass the rest of the neighbors had.
I now live in Florida. To be totally honest, I will not use the plugs again. It took way too long to establish. My new property is over 6 acres so I'll likely cover around the house (25000 SQFT) with Soysia sod and the rest Ill seed with Bahia.
At 25000 sqft, Sod is very expensive (around $8000 installed). I could save about $6000 going to plugs but I dont have the patience for the two year fill in period. Especially since this is new construction and by code to get CO you have to have 15 ft around the house covered with sod.
I planted my plugs very late last summer ('09) in a very bad, rocky area of my lawn that has never grown anything but weeds. It was late in the season and our Fall in PA was very wet so I did not hold out much hope. But now in Mid-April ('10) I am so pleased that all of my plugs are greening up and looking healthy and are spreading. It took some sweat equity to get the plugs in, but I am very happy with the results and plan to put some more in this Spring. I had a very nice experience with the folks at Zoysia, they were very helpful and knowledgeble.
I ordered Amazoy plugs to try something different than the constant seeding, cutting, fertilizing and watering requried to have a nice lawn. I've always had problems growing quality grass in my front yard with lots of crab and Kentucky 31 being dominant. I'm trying Amazoy as an alternative to killing the front lawn and reseeding the whole thing and then being like neighbors and spending thousands of dollars over a lifetime to have a nice lawn. I'm a big fan of the long term solution. I decided to just buy four pieces of the sod and do my worst area where nothing other than Kentucky 31 seems to survive. The plugs were shipped at the perfect time for me to install them. I was surprised at how well the plug tool worked and how fast that made installation. I found that it was best to punch out about 100 holes at a time and then cut one piece of sod at a time into1 inch strips and then cut the plugs off the strip one at a time and drop them into the holes. This method kept the plugs moist for the longest period of time before installing. Kitchen scissors worked well for cutting the plugs from the sod. Some pieces of the sod did not have much dirt for the roots so I added a small amount of good topsoil in with them when I planted them in the hole so that the root would stay moist once planted. Honestly I was amazed at how easy this was after reading all the disaster stories in here. I chuckled thinking about it while doing the work. It boils down to how crafty of a person you are along with how much common sense you have and how well you work with your hands. The hole punch worked great if you gave if a fast stomp and twist. If you have a grinding wheel try sharpening the edges a bit too. Being a machinist and engineer know how comes natural so this was a simple task. I suppose the ceo or banker types who spend life at desk may have a difficult time with a task like this that requires a little hands on know how and ingenuity. America is no longer a nation of hands on know how so the fact that so many could struggle with such a simple task is no surprise. Here in America we know how to turn things on and write essays that sound like poetry with manual task being challenging for the majority. For those who struggle with manual task I would suggest hiring a good working person to do the installation. I'm sure the average Mexican landscaper could figure this out. My plugs were brown with some green on arrival which was fine since they blended in beautifully with the area of grass that I planted them in. From the looks of it the main objective of the installation is to plant roots. If you are expecting an amazing yard a few weeks later forget it. I also think it is wise to not go crazy and buy too much since there is a shelf life on the roots and my rate of installation with things going well was about 200 plugs per hour. If you buy thousands you may either run out of time or have half of your plugs die before you plant them. In all I spent 2 hours installing 400 plugs. I'm going to wait a few months and see how things go before buying more. I'm not expecting a new lawn in just a few months but to see the growth advertised. If I see progress then I will probably order 400 more and do another area. I rate this positive so far based on the fact that for me installation was as easy as advertised in the quick video with the plug tool being extremely helpful.
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."
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 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:
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.
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."
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. "
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.
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."
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.
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!
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!