It’s been said that a weed is any plant growing where it’s not wanted. When annoying weeds mar the look of “Palisades” zoysia grass (Zoysia japonica “Palisades”), weedkillers help restore its pristine beauty. But if you aren’t a zoysia lover, “Palisades” could be as undesirable as weedy intruders. Whether you are maintaining a “Palisades” zoysia lawn weed-free or moving on to new turf, knowing zoysia-safe and zoysia-deterrent herbicides is essential.
Understanding “Palisades” Zoysia
The same features that attract individuals to “Palisades” influence its answer to grass killers. Hardy at U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 6 through 10, “Palisades” is a drought- and also shade-tolerant, warm-season grass. Its active growing season in Mediterranean climates runs from April through October. As the weather cools down, so does “Palisades” dense growth — it still spends winter dormant and visibly red. “Palisades” has greater cold hardiness and endurance than many zoysia grasses. It bounces back early and greens up fast come spring. “Palisades” bears several seeds. Instead, it spreads aggressively through both above-ground stolons and below-ground rhizomes.
Using Pre-Emergent Herbicides
To work, pre-emergent herbicides must hit bud seeds before they germinate. This happens when soil warms to 50 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit for several consecutive days. In Mediterranean areas, this frequently occurs right as spring starts. Limit pre-emergents to well-established “Palisades” lawns, and never apply within 90 days of seeding. They stop grass seed from sprouting as well as weeds. Choose herbicides labeled zoysia-safe and aimed to particular weed pests. For example, pendimethalin products safely fight annual crabgrass (Digitaria spp.) When applied to zoysia at rates of 1 ounce per 1,000 square feet, or according to the label instructions. Water “Palisades” with 1/2 to 1 inch of water immediately after pendimethalin applications.
Fighting Established Weeds
In warm desert and interior spaces, healthy “Palisades” out-competes most weeds, but cooler coastal zones sap its advantage. Regular mowing helps prevent new grass seeds, but once weeds emerge, zoysia-safe choices are restricted. Most postemergent herbicides require licensed professional applicators. Nonselective herbicides — that destroy all plants — are readily available to spot-treat weeds. Wait till “Palisades” goes completely dormant and green weeds stick out against hangers. Dormancy helps protect zoysia from absorbing herbicide. Utilize a ready-to-use grass and grass killer with 2 percent glyphosate, and carefully spray weeds until wet. Be precise, so the weedkiller does not touch the “Palisades” or other plants.
Eliminating Zoysia Grass
When “Palisades” wears out its welcome, killing the grass isn’t simple. Glyphosate-based products timed to coincide with zoysia’s active growth period deliver the best results. Because its extensive roots reach around 30 inches deep, killing zoysia might take several applications. Water “Palisades” well to support active development, and leave it unmown for more leaf surface. Mix 13 ounces of 41 percent glyphosate focus on 1 gallon of water for an optimal-strength solution. Spray unwanted “Palisades” thoroughly and carefully; avoid all contact with desirable plants. Wait one or two weeks, then water well, and re-treat any grass that reacts. Repeat two to three times, as required.
Using Weed Killers Safely
Zoysia’s tenacious temperament pairs having some sensitivity to common herbicides. Always check product labels for zoysia security to get rid of weeds and maintain your grass. When handling zoysia itself, equal care is necessary since nonselective herbicides kill all plants that they touch. Spray herbicides on quiet, wind-free days, with no rain in the forecast. Wear protective eyewear, chemical-resistant gloves, a long-sleeved shirt, long pants, gloves and shoes when using grass or grass killers. Keep the places clear of kids and pets, and follow label instructions about when it’s safe for people and pets to return in the region. Avoid contact with exposed skin, and wash well with soap and shake after managing chemicals.