We often say that a zoysia lawn from seed will take 10- 12 weeks to develop a lawn appearance and be suitable for light use, or even up to 16 weeks, depending on the weather and time of year it is sown, and the degree of agronomic intervention. We try to have an effective usable grass surface for light to modest use in about this 10 -12 week period, and it is important to actively manage the turf development to achieve this goal - good stand density, adequate fertiliser, weed control, light mowing to encourage spread etc.
|Compadre zoysia in a shaded area sown from seed at approx 20 weeks - north Australia|
It is certainly hard to force a zoysia turf to grow a lot faster - more nitrogen fertiliser just does not work, although using slow release nitrogen is the better option. Do not forget adequate potassium either. After all, that aspect, of slower and maybe even less growth is one of the benefits of a zoysia turf area once established, and these turf areas can be used for many years. My own zoysia lawn at home is now about 35 years young........and still doing quite okay, and it receives minimal fertiliser, and mowing.
In the world of contracting, a period of 16 - 20 weeks is considered a common period for the development of a large turf area eg a playing field, from seed, suitable for sport use. It is often also the same time as allowed for full development of a sportsfield from laying of the turf to full sod suitable for use - it can be quicker - and often is - but this tends to be the time allowed contractually.
This is a useful concept to understand.........a turf area from seed will not happen instantaneously to be ready for use [not even if you use full sod at much increased cost - many times the cost of seed establishment!]. Also remember that most golf fairways are sown from seed, although the much smaller greens areas tend to be sod sown.
And there can be a few trials and false starts along the way.
Our common recommendation is to mow off the weeds, especially before they set seed. The zoysia continues to grow laterally close to the ground, filling in the space, even when a bit shaded by the weeds, and will normally choke out most weeds over time. In warm regions, summer growing grasses are vigorous and will grow above the zoysia, and sometimes using a wick wiper treatment of glyphosate carefully can kill them off - but avoid getting herbicide on the zoysia - it is susceptible to glyphosate.
Where broad leaved weeds are the main problem, there are a few herbicide options for use after the zoysia seedlings are well established [ say 3-4 weeks after sowing], both post emergent and some pre-emergent. Wick wiping can also be useful on taller broad leaved weeds, but a quick mow is often the better option especially if unsure about the correct or suitable herbicide.
I thought after the initial sowing it would be a total disaster............but it is successful, albeit not instantaneously.