Are the new zoysia lawn grasses hardy in the north? Are they planted differently from the usual lawn seed mixtures?
Answer: Zoysia, is hardy in the north. However, when one gets into the bluegrass-fescue-bent territory, the zoysias tend to develop and grow so slowly that most people become quite discouraged with them.
Zoysiagrass is finding its greatest application in the twilight or transition zone between the northern or cool-season grasses and the southern or warm-season grasses. A belt a couple of hundred miles wide, roughly between Washington, D. C. and St. Louis, Missouri and south, is the ideal location at the present time for the zoysia grasses.
Here again, one should consult each individual experiment station or the local golf course superintendent to determine how the zoysia grasses are performing in that locality. Since there is no seed available of the zoysia grasses, most of the planting is done either by sprigs, by sod plugs or sod chunks.
Question: We made a new lawn last fall. What is the first thing we do this spring? Should we roll it?
Answer: Chances are that the rolling won’t do very much good.
In fact, it could do a lot of harm if you roll when the ground is too full of moisture. Probably the best thing to do first this spring is fertilizing the lawn.
As soon as the growth has started and the soil moisture is right, it would be an excellent time to cultivate (aerate) your lawn and then apply the fertilizer. The fertilizer will be more effective by reaching the roots through the loosened, cultivated soil.
The lawn that is properly covered with a dense, solid turf does not require rolling.
Question: Is there any way to fill in or raise and level the lawn in low spots in an old yard without making it over entirely?
Answer: Yes… The good sod in the low spots can be cut out or peeled back with a spade or sod lifter.
The soil underneath should be loosened and fertilized. Extra soil can be brought in to bring the low spot to a level grade, and then the sod can be replaced, tamped down firmly and watered.
The repair should be complete and permanent. Another way to do it without removing the sod is to use a fork implement to raise the sod. Then by frequent applications of screened topsoil, the level of the low spot can be brought up and the grass can be kept growing through the fine topsoil until you effect a final repair.
This will have to be done over a period of time, but it can be done effectively.
Question: Is it practical to use tennis-court grass mixtures for home lawns where children give the grass hard wear? How long before such a lawn is well established?
Answer: The grasses used on tennis courts are not necessarily those that would withstand hard wear on the home lawn.
Here one should consult the authorities for the types of grasses that do best on athletic fields. The home lawn that gets hard wear from growing, active children is comparable with an athletic field.
For most of the northern part of the United States, bluegrass answers the description. But the bluegrass must be adequately managed with soil cultivation, liming the lawn and heavy fertilizing in order to make it withstand the heavy wear.
As you go south from the bluegrass area. you get into the fringe or transition area where an adapted bermdagrass or zoysia will best answer this hard-wear problem.
Such a lawn can be established even while it is being used. In the south, of course, bermuda grass gives the highest quality turf for hard wear. Remember, however, that the management accorded these grasses is actually more important in helping them to resist hard wear than the grasses themselves.
If they are starved, then one cannot expect them to stand tip under this type of use.
Question: What is the most practical way to eliminate moles from a lawn?
Answer: Deny the moles their favorite food, which is lawn grubs and other soil insects and the moles will leave and do their feeding on the neighbors’ lawns!
The best way to get rid of the soil-inhabiting insects on which moles feed is to use one of the new modern insecticides. Your state agricultural experiment station can advise on the one that is recommended.
Since the recommendations vary according to the type of insects you have, it would be best to consult with your experiment station, county agent. or local supplier.
Question: Many sections of my lawn are covered with moss. Does this mean that the soil is acid?
Answer: Not necessarily. It probably is starved. Grass cannot grow unless it has plant food.
In the absence of plant food, the grass becomes thin and practically disappears and then the moss takes over. Large areas of my lawn were solid moss when I moved there in 1996.
By constant fertilizing, cultivating (aeration) the soil, reseeding or replanting with adapted grasses, the moss today is completely non-existent.
Question: Is it practical to sod an entire lawn? How does the cost compare with that of a seeded lawn?
Answer: The cost of a sodded lawn is very much higher than when the lawn is seeded. In some cases the consideration of immediate protection from mud and dust outweighs the added cost.
Unfortunately, in many cases sod that is used is not the kind of sod that is permanent and very quickly gives way to crabgrass and other weeds. Then the home owner is very dissatisfied and must go to the additional expense of re-establishing the lawn with adapted grasses.
If sodding is contemplated, first be sure that the sod is composed of the grasses that are completely adapted to the location. If they are not, then the sod ought to be refused and plans made for seeding the lawn to grasses that will be permanent.