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How to Get Rid of Zoysia Grass

How to get rid of Zoysia grass

Zoysia grass grows during the warm season and spreads very quickly invading your lawn or garden. When the weather is dry, the leaves turn yellow or brown. If it has occupied a large territory, it will be a real headache to get rid of it completely.

Why You Can’t Remove Weeds Forever

Whichever method you choose, you will most likely have to reuse it, because the seeds of wild species are carried by the wind or birds. They can sprout even from a small piece of the root system, and it is difficult to pull them out completely. Herbicides are also not a guarantee that you will forget about weeds. Besides, many substances are harmful to crops and the environment.

Gardeners advise to properly trim the lawn – do it regularly and never leave bald spots. Timely and sufficient watering and trimming help lawn grasses to develop better. In favorable conditions, they will displace weeds.


At first, identify the plant to be sure that it is Zoysia grass. Use the pictures on the Internet to compare. If you deal with some other weed you can waste lots of time and money and have zero results.

In the south or moderately warm climate conditions, Zoysia grass is preferred due to many reasons. The first is drought tolerance. Also, it is not afraid of foot traffic. In cooler areas, it is very thick, but rich green leaves can turn yellow or beige, which spoils the whole look of the lawn. 

Zoysia grass hates sharp fluctuations of temperature. It survives in any stable climate conditions. That’s why it is not preferable for most home gardens. After you have checked the information, go on with the inspection phase. 

Inspect the area for the most invaded spots and identify the reasons why exactly these spots are invaded with the weed. Later it will be easier for you to apply herbicide treatment if needed. This creeping weed grows horizontally forming thick mats of grass and chokes all the plants in its way. 

13 Methods of Weed Control

Aggressive species interfere with the growth of vegetables, fruit, or crops. If they are not pulled out regularly, they will invade the entire space. Gardening work will become very labor-intensive. It is more convenient to work in the garden with the help of small shovels, hoes, or rakes. The main thing is to do this regularly at the beginning of summer before the seeds appear.

  1. Digging. It is best to dig up the area with a pitchfork – this way there is less chance that you will damage the roots and a new plant will sprout from them. In the process of digging collect all the roots, and then remove them away from the site.
  2. Mulching
    Cover the free space between the plants in your garden with a dense layer (2-4 inches) of mulch. It will block the sunlight from the seeds and they will not germinate.
  3. What will fit:
    • Pine bark, needles, and cones
    • Peat
    • Paper
    • Compost
    • Sawdust
    • Mown grass
    • Wood chips
    • Geotextile fabric or black film

    Compost, peat, humus may contain seeds of wild species. To check if there are any, pour mulch with water in the spring and cover with film. If green shoots appear after a few days, do not use the mixture. Leave it in a pile for a year. When decomposed, the temperature inside increases greatly, and all seeds die.

  4. Hand weeding. It is best to pull out the weeds after the rain – they are easier to remove from the moist soil with the root, and this slows down the appearance of new shoots. After you finish weeding, collect the debris and move it outside the area.
  5. Mechanical weeding. Here a variety of tools will suit. After you remove the root, a hole will remain on the surface of the lawn. It is better to sow it immediately, adding soil. So the lawn will become more attractive faster and there will be no room for a new wild one.
  6. Folk remedies.There are two powerful recipes with ingredients that can be found in every home or nearby store.
    Boiling water with a little soda will do. The solution slows down the growth of grass.Boiling water with salt and vinegar 9%. For one liter of water, you need 2 tablespoons of salt and 10 tablespoons of vinegar. In a day or two, everything that you have processed will die.
  7. Herbicides. Chemicals help to get rid of weeds and grass not forever, but for a long time. In an area near vegetables, fruit, and trees, herbicides must be used with caution. To achieve the result, three mandatory factors are needed: windless, clear weather, slightly wet leaves, and time. That means that three weeks before treatment, the weeds must not be watered with other means. Read the instructions carefully and follow all safety rules.While working with chemicals never forget about your protection. Take care of your skin with gloves and a long-sleeved shirt, and your eyes with goggles or any other special safety equipment. Be careful when you use a non-selective herbicide as it will kill all plants it comes in contact with. Be accurate in application not to spray it on the rest of the lawn.

    Step 1 Prepare the chemical and measure the territory

    To get rid of Zoysia grass you can use a non-selective, glyphosate herbicide with no soil activity. This chemical kills all the plants in contact so use it only for spot application. You can use some shield to protect your desired plants. As a shield, any plastic or cardboard box will do. You can apply a line with a dye to border the area which must be treated with a spray.

    Do the procedure in calm and not windy weather. When’s the territory invaded by Zoysia grass is impressive you will have to treat all the lawn and continue with reseeding and renovating the surface.

    Step 2 Treat Zoysia grass with herbicide

    Spray the spots of the weed generously to provide an even coating with the mixture. To get the best effect apply the herbicide when the grass is young at the beginning of summer. Over time when the weed is mature, it gets resistant to herbicide treatment and you will have to repeat the procedure several times.

    After several days the grass will start to fade, the blades will turn yellow and brown, and after approximately two weeks Zoysia grass will die. After processing for three to four days, a haircut is not carried out. If the desired result is not obtained, repeat the procedure but increase the dosage by half.

  8. Mixed vegetable garden. You can grow flowers and vegetables in the same garden. The main idea is not to let the soil be empty. The secondary culture will leave no room for weeds. Planting must be tight. The only point to consider is the compatibility of plants. Combine cucumbers with radishes and tomatoes, peppers with basil.
  9. Green manure. For the same purpose, green manure is sown. Colza, rape, mustard, phacelia, legumes enrich the soil with nitrogen and fill the free space. Don’t forget to cut green manure and dig the site in the autumn. Besides, it will be a great fertilizer
  10. Re-seeding. Another option is to re-sow fast-growing vegetables or herbs, for example, salad.
  11. Fire treatment. The surface is treated with a sliding flame of a blowtorch, without lingering in one place for a long time. After that, the ground is watered with cold water.
  12. A haircut. If you regularly cut the entire top of the weeds completely, then their number will be reduced. This is because the root system will use up nutrients to grow the stem again. This method will not work with all plants, but why not try it in combination with other methods?
  13. Black file or cloth. The main idea of this method is to prevent sunlight. Weeds like all other plants need sunlight to grow. You can use a black file, cloth, or any black roofing material. If it is not very heavy fix it with any boards or bricks on the surface of the soil. The only minus of this simple method is that you have to keep the territory covered all the season.
  14. Drip irrigation. If you water the cultivated plants directly to their roots weeds will suffer from the lack of moisture and die. Don’t splash water from a hose all over the site. Though it is very simple, it stimulates the growth of weeds.


Prevention is better than cure, especially in the case of stubborn Zoysia grass. Take certain preventative steps to be sure that it will not return. 

  • Trim and maintain the height of your lawn at about 3 inches. This way you will encourage intensive growth of the root system of the preferred species and prevent the reappearance of weeds. 
  • Don’t forget to add fertilizer at the most appropriate time for example in the fall.
  • Water is important to keep your lawn in a good condition. Deep and infrequent watering is the best – one inch of water once a week.
  • If you have a problem with poor drainage and you want to increase the aeration of your lawn, rake it regularly. 


Sometimes Zoysia grass is planted on purpose due to its unique look, but if it’s an unwelcome guest, it will be challenging to say goodbye. Of course, the listed methods will not solve the problem permanently, but some of them will greatly facilitate the life of gardeners.