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Yaboylaroy
LSU Fan
Member since Mar 2010
1310 posts

Complete Backyard Makeover - Zoysia or St. Augustine
Moved into a house last year where the backyard was really neglected. Overgrown orange trees, a fig tree that was out of control, and full of weeds. Low spots in the back corner, side of slab, fence line along side of house, next to house etc (if I get a hard rain for 20+ minutes I cant cut the yard for over a week).

This spring I cut down both orange trees, and plan on cutting down the fig.

The grass is a mix of centipede, bermuda, weeds, and who knows what else. I have a few ideas of what I want to do, but I'm fairly new to lawn care and it's becoming a hobby of mine.

This winter, or very early spring I'm planning on killing off everything. Everything. I have sprayed the whole yard with spectracide and Atrazine but weeds continue to come back in low spots. After I kill off everything, I plan to rake the dead thatch and rototill the whole yard. Top soil, then level as best as I can.

Now I guess my question is St. Aug or Zoysia? Seed or plug? I think laying sod in my backyard (probably 2000-2500sq/ft) would be too expensive to justify. I have irrigation set up for my front and back flower beds and I'm wanting to extend off off that and run sprinklers in the backyard.

How much shite am I getting myself in to?



bootlegger
Southeastern LA Fan
Ponchatoula
Member since Dec 2012
3574 posts

re: Complete Backyard Makeover - Zoysia or St. Augustine
If you enjoy it as a hobby, it's not all that bad. Some people hate lawn care, some enjoy it. I'm of the latter. I don't have much Zoysia experience, but plenty here do. No matter what you decide, there's always great info to be found on this board. Keep us posted


jimbeam
USA Fan
University of LSU
Member since Oct 2011
45745 posts

re: Complete Backyard Makeover - Zoysia or St. Augustine
St aug. Plug it.
This post was edited on 7/23 at 10:28 am


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Daponch
Da Nortchore
Member since Mar 2013
403 posts

re: Complete Backyard Makeover - Zoysia or St. Augustine
I would install St Aug. The more sunlight you have in the backyard the better. Zoysia does well in full sun but St Aug is a prettier grass and easier to mow. Obviously do any irrigation work before you lay the sod. Palmetto is a great St Aug variety. Make sure to have a maintenance plan with any turf grass install for insects, fungus etc for best results long term


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Yaboylaroy
LSU Fan
Member since Mar 2010
1310 posts

re: Complete Backyard Makeover - Zoysia or St. Augustine
I've read a lot of mixed reviews on Zoysia. Some say it takes up to 3 years for plugs to fill in and it's easier and more efficient to seed. Others say it's really hard to get seed to germinate and spread. I'm probably leaning St. Aug.


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Geauxtiga
TBD Fan
No man's land
Member since Jan 2008
30644 posts

re: Complete Backyard Makeover - Zoysia or St. Augustine
Spray MSMA and go with the bermuda.


Yaboylaroy
LSU Fan
Member since Mar 2010
1310 posts

re: Complete Backyard Makeover - Zoysia or St. Augustine
quote:

Spray MSMA and go with the bermuda


I want something that requires a little less maintenance. I work 7 on 7 off in the Gulf.


wickowick
LSU Fan
Head of Island
Member since Dec 2006
35394 posts

re: Complete Backyard Makeover - Zoysia or St. Augustine
quote:

This spring I cut down both orange trees, and plan on cutting down the fig.


You deserve all the bad karma coming your way...


Yaboylaroy
LSU Fan
Member since Mar 2010
1310 posts

re: Complete Backyard Makeover - Zoysia or St. Augustine
Come home after being surrounded by water for a week and pick up 12 garbage bags of molded oranges that fell off the trees due to a freeze then get back with me
This post was edited on 7/23 at 11:32 am


Grassy1
LSU Fan
alligator bayou
Member since Oct 2009
4236 posts

re: Complete Backyard Makeover - Zoysia or St. Augustine
One thing, know that there are many varieties of zoysia and they difffer greatly.

Be sure you know what you're buying.

Same with st aug, the the differences arent as great.


Yaboylaroy
LSU Fan
Member since Mar 2010
1310 posts

re: Complete Backyard Makeover - Zoysia or St. Augustine
Yea I was looking at empire or zenith. For St. Aug I was looking at Palmetto.
This post was edited on 7/23 at 12:26 pm


Daponch
Da Nortchore
Member since Mar 2013
403 posts

re: Complete Backyard Makeover - Zoysia or St. Augustine
I have installed a lot of varieties of zoysia but even the nicest zoysia isn't as nice as Palmetto


Yaboylaroy
LSU Fan
Member since Mar 2010
1310 posts

re: Complete Backyard Makeover - Zoysia or St. Augustine
Do you work in lawn care or landscaping? You may have just sealed it for me.
This post was edited on 7/23 at 1:38 pm


Dawg_Fan
Georgia Fan
Lafayette
Member since Jul 2017
20 posts

re: Complete Backyard Makeover - Zoysia or St. Augustine
I own a spraying business, so I deal with all types of warm season turfs. Zoysia hands down if your choices are between those two, however, Bermuda is the cheapest and easiest option!!! There's a reason the state and local municipalities spray roadsides with glyphosate/ 2,4-d mix...they're trying to encourage Bermuda to take over because it's extremely hardy and the amount of maintenance is minimal in that setting. Put bermuda in a lawn setting where it's mowed regularly and gets watered/rain 2x per week and you end up with a beautiful lawn. St Aug is prone to Brown Patch in Spring and Fall. It will thin during times of frequent rain...like we've had this summer. It doesn't tolerate traffic, so if you have a dog or kids, they will wear it thin and Bermuda or weeds will fill in the areas worn by foot traffic. Zoysia on the other hand is pretty disease and insect resistant. When planted next to St. Augustine, it will eventually take over the lawn. It does fairly well in traffic areas, though not as well as Bermuda. Like Bermuda, it grows via rhizomes and stolens, which adds to its resiliency when stressed.
To answer your question about sprigging, you're probably not going to be happy with the results because your going to be dealing with a lot of weeds until the lawn fills in. If your on a budget, seed with Bermuda. If not, sod with Zoysia.


coonasswhodat
LSU Fan
Gonzales, Louisiana
Member since Dec 2013
1093 posts

re: Complete Backyard Makeover - Zoysia or St. Augustine
I had a house built in Gonzales this spring. The builder only put St Augustine sod in the front of the house. Once the sod was well rooted and established, I dug up a few hundred plugs of St Augustine with my posthole digger. I back filled the holes that I dug up with black dirt that I bought in bulk at a local nursery. The plugs I dug up with the digger were about equal to a 4" circle, and about 4" deep. The roots of the plugs were still intact and transplanted well. My best guess is the plugs will continue to grow till dormancy sets in, around late November.


GFunk
LSU Fan
Denham Springs
Member since Feb 2011
13170 posts

re: Complete Backyard Makeover - Zoysia or St. Augustine
Just got my entire Front and side yards pulled, redid the grade and responded with St. Aug. I am absolutely pleased with the results. The backyard is still this crap mix of centipede/Bermuda mix that my builder put down without grading the yard. I'll have to regrade it also. It looks okay but mowing it is like trying to mow across a plowed field.


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Yaboylaroy
LSU Fan
Member since Mar 2010
1310 posts

re: Complete Backyard Makeover - Zoysia or St. Augustine
quote:

To answer your question about sprigging, you're probably not going to be happy with the results because your going to be dealing with a lot of weeds until the lawn fills in.



I was planning on using a pre-emergent. I'm going to price sod after I figure out the exact or around the exact amount I need.


Tiger-Striped-Bass
LSU Fan
The Bay Area
Member since Dec 2004
1043 posts

re: Complete Backyard Makeover - Zoysia or St. Augustine
I planted 30 pallets of emerald zoysia around my house, and planted about the same area across my driveway with zenith zoysia from seed, both 12 years ago. When it's right and perfect, there isn't a prettier warm season grass than emerald zoysia. If anyone says differently, they have never seen it in top shape. But rarely is it in perfect condition. It is very maintenance intensive. It looks best when cut with a reel mower. I had one that sells in the $2k range. But I sold it because it was ridiculous for getting sharpened and it woukdnt stay sharp with emerald's fine, dense, and wiry blades ($100/month) Emerald is also very thatch prone. I sold that reel mower and bought a power rake instead because I had a hard time finding rentals. Without regular detahtching, there's no chance with emerald. I now just cut with a rotary. It takes several days for the frayed ends to heal after a rotary cut. I would not recommend emerald. It's gorgeous when perfect, but really hard to keep it that way.

The zenith seeds did come up very well, but I kept it wet with my sprinkler system and a good timer program. It is a lot easier to deal with than emerald, and probably comparable to empire or Meyer zoysia in appearance. It is not as fine as emerald, but softer and easier to maintain. All zoysias require dethatching in this climate if you fertilize and water a lot and give them what they need to look like what they're known for. If you don't plan on doing that, there's really no point to having it. That's because the clippings, and natural attrition even if you bag, decompose very slowly and accumulate. The more you feed and water, the more you encourage the cycle.

I went to a sod farm in Foley AL to look at Emerald, and Meyer zoysias. I went to a sod farm in poplarville MS to see empire zoysia. Both places had different varieties of st aug. as well. Looks are a matter of opinion. In my opinion, no st aug can match zoysia at its peak appearance. At the same time, no zoysia can match st.aug's lower level of attention and still have as good of an appearance as st aug. if not cared for.

From my 12 years with two varieties of zoysia in separate areas, if you're committed to long term more intensive maintenance, get zoysia. If not, there's no point. St aug will make you a much nicer lawn.



Yaboylaroy
LSU Fan
Member since Mar 2010
1310 posts

re: Complete Backyard Makeover - Zoysia or St. Augustine
Thanks. I don't mind putting in the work of maintaining my yard, and actually enjoy it. I just don't think I would have the time to keep up the zoysia after reading your experience with it. Leaning further and further towards St. Aug.


jimbeam
USA Fan
University of LSU
Member since Oct 2011
45745 posts

re: Complete Backyard Makeover - Zoysia or St. Augustine
I wouldn't count out centipede as it grows slower than st aug.


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