Zoysia Grass vs. Bermuda | Differences You Were Unaware Of

Although you may be excited about laying a new lawn, the choice is not as simple as picking a bag of seeds from a hardware store shelf. Lawn types vary in their tolerance and maintenance to various factors, appearance, and establishment methods. Zoysia grass and Bermuda grass are two widely used lawn types of grass, and each has its peculiarities, as highlighted below. In this guide, I will discuss Zoysia grass vs Bermuda.

Zoysia Grass 

The Zoysia grass is a genus of tussock grass found in most parts of Asia and Australia and the Pacific Ocean islands. This grass also covers many southern states and warm, sunny countries. The Spanish are credited with importing Bermuda grass to America in the 1500s, and its popularity has grown steadily. Because of its rapid growth and hearty qualities, it is an ideal herb for many places. But it also has its drawbacks.

Zoysia Grass vs. Bermuda

Weather

Zoysia grass does best in warm, tropical, and sub-tropical climates (warm-season grasses). Because it is drought tolerant and loves the sun, Zoysia grass is ideal for desert or low water environments. Once the temperature reduces below 60 degrees Fahrenheit, the grass goes dormant and turns brown. It will come alive again when temperatures rise.

Care

Zoysia grass can grow fairly quickly, but unlike other grasses that grow vertically, Zoysia grass grows outdoors, like a carpet. It spreads out, covering large amounts of soil and little else in its path. Moderate mowing is usually enough to keep the grass in check and moderately water per week to keep it green. Zoysia grass also grows rapidly either from grass or seed to form a dense turf.

Uses

Due to its density, nature spread, Zoysia grass is ideal for large areas that receive a lot of abuse. Courts, pastures, playgrounds, parks, fields, and many types of lawns with the abuse of pets and children, sports such as golf are ideal options. The grass also has a tolerance to salt, also making it ideal for large coastal areas. Zoysia grass was planted along the coast to prevent soil erosion as the deep roots hold the soil in place.

Invasion

Zoysia grass is very aggressive grass. The reason for this is that you can plant plugs and not seeds on the lawn. Thus, the grass usually suppresses all other species in the lawn. Then when it occupies your lawn, it will begin to spread onto your flower beds and on your neighbor’s lawn.

Temperate colors

One of the problems of Zoysia grass is that as long as they are kept in a warm climate consistently, your lawn’s color can quickly go from green to brown at the first sign of cool weather. This makes your lawn look unsightly for a good part of the year.

Growth 

The Zoysia grass usually grows slowly. While this is known as a good feature because it means you don’t have to mow more, it also means that your Zoysia grass lawn can’t recover from damage and heavy wear quickly. I will have a hard time with this.

Weed resistance

It has dense growth when properly maintained, and it will compete effectively against the presence of weeds. 

Insect Tolerance

Even though the grass is tough, it is often fraught with pest problems. The particular burrowing insects of Zoysia grass include mealybugs, mites, and three types of worms: armyworms, cutworms, and moths. Zoysia grass can tolerate a low population of these pests, but chemicals may be needed to control the insects if it is invaded.

Zoysia is also prone to Xocia patch disease, killing the grass and giving it rust color as it is dying. Another fact about Zoysia grass is that there is a risk of thatch problems. While you will have less sowing, you will have to do more thatch control, which is more labor-intensive.

Planting

The Zoysia grass must be planted when the soil pH is neutral. The soil must also be cleaned, removing any object from it, and then it must be well fertilized with a source of phosphorus such as Simple Superphosphate, for example. Finally, the planting can be done at a maximum depth of 0.3 cm.

Controlling Zoysia Grass in Flower Beds

One of the most frustrating problems of this grass is that once established. It is impossible to overcome. If you decide to plant Zoysia grass, then you are deciding to grow it for life.

On the other hand, when the grass threatens to invade your lawn, it’s time to take out the big guns. No one likes to resort to chemical warfare, but this evergreen herb is one of the situations where it might be needed. As with everything, timing is essential. Treat the weed when it is actively growing between May and September. Apply a suitable herbicide in early spring when growth is less than 6 inches in height and again before new growth is the same height. Most chemical controls should be applied by following directions carefully and applying every four weeks during the growing season.

Zoysia vs Bermuda vs St Augustine

Bermuda grass

The Bermuda grass, also known by foreigners as celebration grass, has ancestry in origin Bermuda Islands located in Africa. From the 20th century onwards, it was genetically modified and transplanted on foreign soils, causing some confusion concerning its native country. It is mistakenly said in several internet sources as being American. It is a type of grass belonging to the Poaceae family, consisting of flowering and monocotyledonous plants accounting for 668 genera with 10,035 species.

Its main characteristics are narrow leaves with intense green coloring, long life cycle (perennial), adaptation to climates: sub-tropical and tropical equatorial, 40 cm at the maximum height of its leaves; it has accelerated growth, its roots are deep, which allows obtaining a better resistance to trampling. Its appearance is similar to emerald grass (Zoysia Japônica), having as main attraction and difference; high regeneration and speed to excessive wear. For those looking for grass for the football field with frequent games during the week, Bermuda grass is ideal for you.

Zoysia vs Bermuda price

Weather

The recommended weather for cultivating the Bermuda grass is in full sun, with soils rich in organic matter. If your soil is poor in nutrients, it is recommended to do a post-planting revitalization using urea, limestone, and fertilizer. Multiplication/reproduction occurs asymmetrically through its stolon’s and rhizomes. In addition to trampling resistance, it also has resistance to high temperatures, surviving equatorial climates of up to 40 degrees Celsius. In contrast, it does not develop very well in shaded places, as it’s not one among the cool-season grasses. Areas with over 50 percent shade will also give rise to a poor St. Augustine lawn.

Care

Regarding its maintenance, the Bermuda grass must be trimmed whenever it reaches 5 cm in height and if planted in a soccer field, up to 3 cm. Irrigation should be done at least five times a week, watering in the morning and the late afternoon. The need to repeat fertilization will depend on the soil, but it is usually done every six months. Furthermore, species such as the TifTuf require 38% less water than Tifway 419 Bermuda and stay green during times of drought rather than dormant.

Invasion

 Another advantage is that the Bermuda grass does not compete for space with other plants and can be planted together. It is also commonly sold in rectangular plugs (plates), with dimensions of the carpets in dimensions of 0.40 cm wide x 120 cm long. 

Temperate colors

The Bermuda grass is a variety of grass with a moderately warm climate that best adapts from latitude 45 ° to latitude 0 ° (Ecuador). It falls asleep after a few touches of frost and recovers quickly when the temperature heats up, even in winter. Healthy lawns easily withstand temperatures up to 40º without experiencing a color change. 

Weed resistance

It has dense growth when properly maintained, and it will compete moderately against the presence of weeds. It also tolerates the application of selective herbicides. 

Insect tolerance

This variety demonstrates good tolerance to insect damage—rapid recovery after control treatment. 

Planting

When planting Bermuda grass, soil preparation is necessary, reducing its pH to neutral. Therefore, for at least 30 days before planting, it is necessary to apply 250 to 400 grams of dolomitic limestone per square meter. Next, start planting the Bermuda grass. This can be done through the plant seeds, which must be incorporated at a maximum depth of 0.5 cm.

Controlling Bermuda Grass in Flower Beds

Effective management of grass in beds established with other plants can often be done by simply digging up the plant. Make sure you have all the rhizomes and runners and do this before the plant sets seeds. If the seed is present, all bets are off, as it can persist in the soil for two years or more.

After a while, intensive and manual cutting of the grass will minimize its presence. If you don’t have the patience for this type of work, use a glyphosate herbicide. This is a non-selective chemical that consistently kills any plant it comes in contact with and should only be used for precise spot control. Do not use in windy conditions or when other plants may be affected. For more specific treatment in crowded beds, try a product with the active ingredients Sethoxydim or Fluazifop. They can be used safely near broadleaf perennials, shrubs, and trees too.

Zoysia vs Bermuda cost

Zoysia Grass Vs. Bermuda: Summary table

The differences between the Zoysia Grass and Bermuda have been highlighted below:

Zoysia GrassBermuda Grass
Does best in warm, tropical and sub-tropical climatesDoes best in moderately warm climates
Its color can be affected by temperature changeIts color can’t be affected by temperature change
It can’t be easily controlled in flower bedsIt can be easily controlled in flower beds
The Zoysia grass usually competes for space with other types of plantsThe Bermuda grass does not compete for space with other types of plants

Zoysia Grass vs. Bermuda: FAQ Section

Which grass is better, Bermuda or Zoysia?

From the highlight above, the Zoysia grass tends to be better than the Bermuda grass.

Will Zoysia grass take over Bermuda?

The Zoysia grass usually competes for space with other types of plants, including the Bermuda grass.

Is Zoysia more expensive than Bermuda?

Yes. Zoysia usually costs over $180 per pallet, while Bermuda usually costs over $160 per pallet.

Conclusion

In conclusion, just as there are different models and types of paints, wood, and everything, there are also different models and grass species, and it is wrong to say that grasses are all the same. This is quite evident in the highlight of the Zoysia Grass vs. Bermuda grass above.

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