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Care of El Toro Zoysia  

WATERING—Incorrect watering is the most common mistake made while establishing a lawn. Newly installed sod should be kept well watered for a period of 10 days to 2 weeks. This is the most critical period in the life of your lawn. Water several times a day increasing frequency for extremely hot or windy weather.

After your lawn is established (approximately 6 - 8 weeks) less water will be required. El Toro Zoysia grass does not tolerate a water logged condition. A thorough irrigation every 3 - 4 days in warmer weather ( 5 - 7 days in cooler weather) of one hour or until run-off appears is sufficient in most situations. Your goal is to achieve water penetration to a depth of 6 inches. This will encourage deep rooting and a healthier lawn. (Short frequent waterings on established sod creates a shallow root system and susceptibility to insect and disease problems.) Verify the depth of watering by probing soil with a screwdriver or sharp instrument. If the screwdriver enters the soil easily to a depth of 6 - 8 inches you have achieved proper moisture penetration.

MOWING—Mowing height may vary between 1 to 2 inches depending on preference. Minimally a mowing height of 1 inch is recommended twice per month. More frequent weekly mowings during the growing season of ¾ inch will prevent thatch build up and puffy, irregular surfaces. A sharp well adjusted reel mower is recommended, but a rotary mower can be used if a taller, blade-grass look is preferred. Clipping removal is recommended for a healthy lawn.

FERTILIZING—The pre-plant fertilizer put down before you installed your sod will take care of the fertilizer requirements for the first month. Maintenance fertilizer such as Gro-Power should then be used with subsequent applications monthly during the growing season to achieve good growth and color. Follow label instructions on all fertilizer used. On established lawns, make the first application in the spring when your lawn begins to recover from dormancy. Well fed lawns resist disease, weed, and pest infiltrations and have a shorter dormancy period. Avoid fertilizer burn by thoroughly watering fertilizer particles off the leaf blades and well into the soil area.

INSECTS, DISEASES AND WEEDS—El Toro Zoysia grass is relatively resistant to common insects or diseases. A well maintained irrigation and fertilization program, generally, prevents problems from beginning. Be especially careful if you resort to chemical means for controlling weeds. Be sure to follow written instructions provided by the manufacturer.

DORMANCY—El Toro Zoysia will slow its leaf/blade growth as the average temperatures cool. When soil temperatures drop below 40 degrees, your lawn will turn brown to reddish brown until temperatures rise again in the spring. During this period fertilizing and mowing are not necessary. (Note: El Toro Zoysia sod can be installed anytime of year in most areas of California because, although leaf growth ceases, roots continue to grow even during winter dormancy.) Winter color can be maintained by overseeding or the application of WinterGreen turf dye

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