Should you winterize zoysia grass?

Answered by Cody Janus

As an expert in lawn care, I can confidently say that winterizing Zoysia grass is not necessary. Zoysia is a warm-season grass that naturally goes dormant in the winter months. This means that it enters a state of hibernation and slows down its growth. During this time, the grass turns brown and stops actively growing.

One of the great advantages of Zoysia grass is its ability to withstand harsh weather conditions, including cold temperatures. Its deep root system helps it survive winter dormancy and bounce back in the spring. Therefore, you do not need to take any specific steps to prepare your Zoysia lawn for winter.

Unlike cool-season grasses that require special care in the winter, such as overseeding or applying winter fertilizers, Zoysia grass is low maintenance during the cold season. This is a major benefit for homeowners who prefer a more hands-off approach to lawn care.

However, there are a few general maintenance practices that can help ensure a healthy Zoysia lawn come springtime. Here are some tips:

1. Keep the lawn clean: Rake up any fallen leaves or debris on your Zoysia lawn during the winter. Leaves left on the grass for an extended period can smother the turf and potentially lead to disease or pest issues.

2. Avoid heavy foot traffic: While Zoysia is known for its resilience, it is still best to minimize foot traffic on your lawn during the winter. Frozen or dormant grass is more susceptible to damage, so try to avoid walking or playing on the lawn until it starts actively growing again.

3. Maintain proper mowing height: Before winter sets in, make sure to mow your Zoysia lawn at the appropriate height. Generally, Zoysia should be mowed to a height of around 1 to 2 inches. Keeping the grass shorter before winter helps prevent snow mold and other fungal diseases from developing.

4. Address any existing issues: If you notice any areas of your Zoysia lawn that are thinning or showing signs of disease or pests, it’s best to address these issues before winter. Consult a lawn care professional or apply appropriate treatments to mitigate potential problems during the dormant period.

Zoysia grass does not require winterization like some other grass types. Its natural ability to go dormant and withstand cold temperatures makes it a low maintenance option for homeowners. By following a few basic maintenance practices, you can ensure a healthy and vibrant Zoysia lawn when spring arrives.