Zoysia grass produces some of the most beautiful lawns for homeowners.
It is lush and dense and feels like a carpet under our feet.
Fostering a thriving Zoysia lawn requires regular mowing, aeration, watering, and fertilization.
Each grass type requires different nutrient ratios for optimal growth, and Zoysia grass is no different.
It’s essential to become knowledgeable on your Zoysia lawns to pick the best possible fertilizer.
Luckily for you, we’ve compiled a comprehensive list of the 5 best fertilizers to grow an awesome lawn and let your Zoysia thrive by providing essential nutrients.
Table of Contents
Best Weed And Feed Fertilizer: Hi-Yield Weed And Feed 15-0-10
Weed and feed fertilizer serve as both an herbicide and fertilizer.
The selective herbicide targets unwanted weeds while the fertilizer promotes healthy growth.
The Hi-Yield Weed & Feed 15-0-10 fertilizer is an excellent choice and our overall top choice for Zoysia fertilizer.
Nitrogen may burn grass in improper ratios.
The Hi-Yield Weed and Feed is a granular fertilizer providing ample nitrogen and phosphorus by absorbing through the grass blades.
For this reason, we recommend watering extensively after applying any nitrogen-rich fertilizer.
Some people even plan their fertilizations with rainstorms to ensure an adequate drenching of the soil to distribute the nitrogen and prohibit burning.
With this particular product, you’ll want to do a heavy watering 1-2 days after applying fertilizer.
- The instructions are clear and easy to carry out, making this a very easy-to-use fertilizer.
- The herbicide portion of this product targets and kills over 200 broadleaf weed species.
- Excellent source of nitrogen and potassium.
- Not the ideal nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium (NPK) ratio for fertilizer.
Best Pre-Emergent Fertilizer: Hi-Yield Grass And Weed Stopper
We are big fans of the weed and feed varieties of fertilizer.
Fertilizers without herbicides tend to boost all growth without discrimination, and this often includes unwanted weeds.
Using combination products allows you to tackle weeds and encourage growth simultaneously.
Hi-Yield Grass And Weed Stopper incorporate Dimension herbicide which is particularly effective against crabgrass.
Pre-emergence works by absorbing into the soil and killing weeds off from the root.
Pre-emergent fertilizers are great to use in the spring and winter.
In the spring, pre-emergents work to wrap seeds and form a barrier keeping soil and water from supplying the necessary resources for growth.
Applying pre-emergents like the Hi-Yield Grass And Weed Stopper in the spring allows you to kill the first emerging weeds.
Applying it in the winter gives you a head start on weed seeds and reduces the number popping up in the spring.
- Works extremely well at killing off crabgrass.
- Works with applications conducted up to 4 weeks later than other pre-emergent products on the market, allowing you more wiggle room to get ahead of weeds.
- Prevents annual grasses and broadleaf weeds.
- Not as effective on well-established weeds and must be applied during the early growth of weeds.
Best All-Season Fertilizer: FertiLome For All Seasons Weed And Feed
One of the most alluring advantages of all-season fertilizers is the ability to use them throughout the year for fantastic results.
FertiLome boasts a 16-0-8 ratio making it rich in nitrogen for your Zoysia lawn.
Regular fertilizer applications throughout the year give your Zoysia grass all the nutrients it needs to thrive as an awesome lawn.
The manufacturer recommends applying the For All Seasons Weed and Seed to your lawn in early spring and fall.
Applying the fertilizer 2-3 weeks before seed germination helps control pre-emergent broadleaf and grassy weeds.
This product uses the active ingredient Prodiamine to target weed seeds for a wide variety of invasive plants.
- Contains a highly effective pre-emergent herbicide.
- Helps fertilize and treat weeds in cool and warm-season grasses.
- Works well during different seasons.
- If not adequately mixed or rinsed from leaves, a high nitrogen ratio may burn grass.
Best Slow Release Fertilizer: The Andersons Professional PGF Complete 16-4-8
The Andersons Professional PGF Complete 16-4-8 fertilizer is an excellent choice for fostering a green and lush Zoysia lawn.
The product ratio of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium makes it ideal for the unique needs of your Zoysia grass.
Granules in this top-performing fertilizer are coated with MUtech.
This fertilizer will feed your lawn for up to 8 weeks after application with the special granular coating.
Not only are the granules slow-release, but they are also smaller sized than those you may find in other fertilizers.
The small size allows them to absorb water very quickly and get to work, making our Zoysia grass lawns as beautiful and thriving as possible.
While the quick absorption helps immensely, it makes the granules more easily washed away by rain or wind.
It is vital to consider rainfall and wind speeds during applications of this particular fertilizer.
- MUtech slow-release granular coating allows for continuous feedings for up to 8 weeks.
- Small granule size allows for quicker absorption into water.
- Ideal NPK ratio for Zoysia varieties of grass.
- Small granules are easily washed away by rain.
Best Organic Fertilizer: Milorganite Organic Nitrogen Fertilizer
There are many reasons lawn care enthusiasts opt for organic fertilizers.
Some people do not like to risk their dogs and children playing on chemically-treated lawns.
Others may need to use organic fertilizers based on local rules and regulations.
Whatever your reasoning, Milorganite Organic Nitrogen Fertilizer is a fantastic choice for an all-natural alternative to fertilizing your Zoysia grass and growing an awesome, lush lawn.
Many people prefer organic fertilizers to chemical products for a variety of reasons.
Some feel organic products help extend the longevity and lifespan of their lawns.
Chemicals also tend to reduce nutrient concentration in soils and kill microorganisms vital to the overall health and quality of the soil.
- All-natural, so there are no risks from chemicals.
- The slow-release formula continues to feed and nurture roots for 10 weeks after applications.
- Rich in nitrogen, phosphorus, and iron.
- Does not contain any herbicide to treat emerging weeds on your lawn.
- Some users find the smell to be rather pungent and undesirable.
Best Type Of Fertilizer For Zoysia Grass
Chances are you need some help with your Zoysia lawn if you’re reading this article, or maybe your lawn is beautiful, and you want to keep it thriving.
Either way, if your lawn consists of Zoysia grass, you need to regularly fertilize it to foster a beautiful and lush lawn.
One of the most alluring aspects of Zoysia varieties is their dense, soft feel while also durability against foot traffic.
Many families choose this type of grass for their lawns to provide an amazing lawn for their children to play with.
Zoysia primarily needs nitrogen.
Often, there is insufficient nitrogen present in the soil, and the lawn suffers.
You’ll notice weak leaves, patchy growth, browning spots, and overall lackluster when you skip fertilizations for your lawn.
Regular fertilization keeps the lawn vibrant and thick.
You’ll want to hone in on products with the best ratio for your lawn.
Zoysia grass does excellent with specific ratios of nutrients.
The ideal fertilizer for this type of lawn is 15-0-15, 15-0-10, or 15-0-5 ratios of NPK.
NPK stands for the main nutrients making up the fertilizer. Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), and Potassium (K) are the main components of the ideal fertilizer for Zoysia varieties.
It is also advantageous to choose a fertilizer with a slow-release formula.
This allows you to get a bit more from your application, and rest assured knowing your grass is being continuously fed.
Many fertilizers on the market tend to use a slow-release formula to reduce the labor and time required from multiple applications.
For other bagged compost fertilizers, check out our article at the link.
Importance Of Soil Health
If you are well-seasoned in lawn care or gardening, you know the importance of soil health.
Grass requires specific requirements of the soil in which it grows.
Adequate space for air and water, pH, and general composition is incredibly important to consider.
Hard-packed soil is often devoid of nutrients and does not hold water or air well, making it very inhospitable for growing grass.
Fertilization will help your lawn, but to get the best results, you must also regularly aerate and test your soil to determine its needs and where you need to compensate for nutrients.
Lawn care enthusiasts recommend testing the pH of your soil annually.
This allows you to get ahead of any problem before it negatively impacts your lawn and all the hard work you put into it.
Sulfur and limestone are the most common treatments for problematic pH in the soil.
The ideal pH for soil is 7.5, which makes it alkaline.
The soil on either extreme of the pH spectrum negatively impacts the chances of Zoysia thriving.
If your soil test reveals a low pH, your soil is likely acidic and inhospitable to grass growth.
Many lawn care enthusiasts use lime to alkalize the soil to remedy this.
Lime works to slowly raise the pH of the soil.
It is not a quick process, but regular applications and testing will eventually yield the desired results of an ideal pH.
Treating the pH is easiest in the winter months when you don’t need to apply fertilizer.
Alternatively, you may discover a high pH in your soil. High pH is considered basic and is also inhospitable for lawn growth.
A great way to naturally lower the soil pH is through sulfur applications.
Applications in the spring and fall tend to be most effective.
Like lime applications for low pH, you’ll need to regularly apply sulfur and conduct frequent testing until the ideal pH is reached.
Soil Testing and Composition
Composition is important information to consider when working on your lawn.
Soil composition varies based on location, wear and tear, and climate.
Many things impact the composition of the soil.
The main thing you’ll want to consider is the clay and sand composition in your soil.
Soils with high ratios of sand tend to drain quickly and dry out fast due to their inability to hold water.
Sandy soils may require more frequent waterings or incorporation of more organic material to increase their ability to hold water.
On the other hand, clay soils stay moist for a long time after watering.
While some clay is good for holding water for roots to tap into, plants also need to dry out to prevent disease, rot, and pests.
How Much Fertilizer Should I Put On My Lawn?
The exact amount of fertilizer needed for your lawn depends on a few factors, namely the overall size.
On average, for 1,000′ square feet of lawn area, most lawn care professionals recommend applying about 4 pounds of nitrogen annually to foster healthy growth.
Finding a great Zoysia grass fertilizer helps to promote the lovely green color of a healthy, thriving lawn.
Once you decide on your fertilizer, distribute the recommended nitrogen fertilizer over three separate applications throughout the growing season.
It is vital to meticulously follow the instructions of the specific fertilizer of your choosing.
This is especially important when using chemical herbicides in conjunction with your fertilizations.
Improper applications of herbicides are harmful to humans and animals.
Make sure to follow the directions and adhere to mixing ratios to protect your lawn, family, and any animals enjoying your lawn.
Regular fertilization ensures the consistent release of nutrients to your lawn.
Ensuring your lawn gets plenty of nutrients helps your lawn establish proper root development and healthy growth throughout the year.
Following proper instructions on specific products ensures a greener lawn.
Both pre-emergent and post-emergent herbicides should be added to your fertilization to promote an awesome Zoysia grass lawn depending on the time of year.
Fertilizing Strategies By Season
Your ticket to a healthy, lush lawn is regular fertilization throughout the year.
Different methods should be used depending on the season.
Seasons like spring and fall are fantastic times for fertilizing, but there are also steps to take during the summer and winter to encourage a beautiful Zoysia lawn.
Springtime is when, for most of us, the world starts turning green again.
While we tend to welcome the growth with open arms, it also brings the first emergence of weeds.
We all celebrate the trees filling out with leaves and our lawns coming back to life, but applying fertilizer with pre-emergents is imperative at this time.
Once you start to see the first signs of weeds emerging on your Zoysia lawn, we recommend applying 0.5 to 1 pound of nitrogen-rich fertilizer to the lawn.
This is also the most important time to apply pre-emergent fertilizer to the lawn.
After the herbicide application, make sure to generously water the lawn to encourage the pre-emergent solution to soak into the soil.
It is imperative to allow the solution to soak deeply into the soil to stop weeds in their tracks.
You’ll end up kicking yourself in the summer and fall if you skip the pre-emergent herbicide application in the spring.
It is much easier to kill vulnerable new growth than eradicate well-established weeds later on.
In early spring, you may notice yellowing grass.
Often this indicates a deficiency of iron or manganese.
A soil test will accurately determine this, but likely causes include discrepancies between soil and air temperatures, high phosphorus levels, and high pH.
If you see yellowing grass in early spring, we recommend conducting a soil test to assess possible causes and treat accordingly.
The yellowing may remedy the temperature as temperatures even out and warm up if the temperature is the culprit.
Hot summer days dry out lawns and often leave Zoysia grass hungry for more nutrients.
We recommend applying another healthy application of 0.5 to 1 pound of fertilizer to your lawn.
Timing depends on your conditions and location but should generally be carried out after 4 or 5 mows.
After a few cuttings, your Zoysia grass will undoubtedly appreciate another dose of nutrients.
Ensure to adequately rinse nitrogen-rich fertilizers from the blades of grass to prohibit burning.
The summer sun puts your lawn at an increased risk of burning.
The heat of summer allows for the prolific growth of our lawns, but it also makes the ideal conditions for weeds to thrive as well.
Around this time, you’ve likely started to see weeds start popping up around the lawn.
We recommend applying a great post-emergent to the lawn around this time.
Post-emergents kill off established weeds.
If you are using one of the weed and feed products mentioned above, you’ll be able to accomplish both the unwanted weeds and fertilization of your lawn in one application.
Other important maintenance tasks are needed to ensure your lawn thrives in the summer.
Most lawn care professionals recommend mowing at a higher height when environmental stressors like drought and excessive heat.
Since these conditions tend to occur in the summer, it’s a good idea to mow a little higher than normal until the stressors are gone.
The growing season is beginning to taper off during the autumn season, and less growth will be observed.
It is not necessary to apply fertilizer at this time, but we recommend keeping up with mowing.
If your soil test showed an undesirable pH, this is a fantastic time to spread lime or sulfur to raise or lower the pH.
We do recommend applying pre-emergent to your lawn if there are little to no visible weeds on the lawn.
This helps to combat winter weeds from taking hold.
If active weeds are established on your lawn, it is also a great idea to apply a post-emergent to kill off the weeds.
Post-emergents also help to combat potential winter weeds.
Applying fertilizer and herbicides to your lawn in the fall is important, but there is another factor capable of causing damage.
During the fall season, there is usually more rainfall and moderate temperatures leading to soil holding onto more water and increasing the chances of disease.
It’s important to observe signs of disease, mold, and fungus and treat them quickly with fungicide.
The disease weakens turf grasses like Zoysia and leads to a slow recovery in the spring.
Wintertime is a great time to aerate the soil for the upcoming spring.
Thatch also tends to become a problem you should address around this time.
Zoysia grass tends to produce a decently thick layer of thatch capable of prohibiting healthy growth in the spring.
We recommend using a dethatcher to break it apart.
Applying pre-emergent is also highly recommended during the winter months.
This gives you a head start against the spring weeds.
Winter should be seen as a time for preparing your soil and lawn and setting it up for success once the warmth of spring hits.
Does Zoysia Grass Need Fertilizer?
If we lived in a perfect world, our lawns would feed and weed themselves.
Unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world, and our lawns need some TLC to thrive.
Zoysia grass is no different and requires regular fertilization.
If you dream of a lush, soft, dense, and green lawn, you’ll need to fertilize your Zoysia grass regularly and properly to promote optimal growth.
Luckily, Zoysia varieties are very resilient.
They tend to tolerate extreme heat and drought but may lose their deep green shade or luster in severe conditions.
Regular fertilization helps replenish the grass and help it thrive in tough conditions.
Is It Possible To Over Fertilize A Lawn With Zoysia Grass?
We all want our lawns to thrive and grow to the best of our abilities.
Some may think more frequent fertilizer applications will help, but, unfortunately, this is not the case.
Lawns with Zoysia grass will suffer from over-fertilization.
Over-fertilized lawns tend to grow thick layers of thatch and impede the grass’s ability to grow thick and healthy.
Caring For Your Lawn After Fertilization
Careful applications of fertilizer help to foster the lush lawns of our dreams, but after-care is equally important for sustaining a healthy and thriving lawn with Zoysia grass.
The most important part of caring for your lawn post-fertilization is ensuring your lawn receives adequate water.
Zoysia grass needs the top inch or so soaked weekly.
This deep quench is especially important after fertilizer applications as your grass may soak up water quickly due to the added nutrients it receives.
Water after herbicide applications is equally vital.
It distributes the solution into the soil, where it gets soaked up by roots and attacks unwanted weeds by forming an external barrier between seed and soil to stop them from growing.
Applying granular fertilizer helps to wet the grass beforehand to encourage the sticking of granules to the leaves where it is most efficiently absorbed.