Fertilizers are vital to keeping zoysia grass greener, thicker, and healthier. However, they only keep the grass healthy and thriving if the right type is applied correctly, following the right schedule. But what is the best fertilizer for zoysiagrass?
The rule of thumb is that a 15-0-10 or 15-0-15 NPK fertilizer is the best for zoysia grass. The grass requires about 4 pounds of nitrogen per 1000 sq. ft. per year. However, the right type of fertilizer for you should be based on a soil test that determines the deficient nutrients.
The 7 best fertilizer for zoysia grass
You can work with many brands to feed your zoysia lawn and keep it healthy. While you may not always get the exact 15-0-15 NPK formulation, you want to make sure you give your lawn the right amount of nitrogen throughout the season.
Here are my reviews of the top 7 fertilizers for zoysia grass:
1. Scotts Turf Builder Southern Triple Action
This fertilizer has an NPK ratio of 29-0-10 (29% Nitrogen, 10% potassium, no phosphorus) and additional 4% Sulfur that you can use to raise low soil pH. The triple fertilizer not only feeds your lawn with nitrogen and potassium but also kills weeds like dandelions and oxalis and keeps away fire ants for up to six months after application.
Scotts Turf Builder Southern Triple Action has 1.352% Atrazine to kill the weeds and 0.139% Bifenthrin that kills and keeps away ants. Due to its three main functions, I find Scotts Turf Builder fertilizer is excellent for zoysia grass.
2. Anderson Innova Premium Organic Fertilizer
The Innova organic fertilizer contains nutrients from soybean meals, no manure, biosolids, and animal waste. It has an NPK ratio of 7-1-2 and amino acids with 1% water-soluble, quick-release nitrogen for immediate greener foliages and 6% water-insoluble slow-release nitrogen that feeds the lawn for up to eight weeks.
Since Anderson Innova fertilizer is organic, it’s safe for children and pets and has no foul odor. Also, it has highly digestible carbon that encourages the survival of microbes, thus more soil nutrients.
Anderson Innova fertilizer can be used on all types of grasses and is applied at an interval of 6 weeks in summer.
3. Grass so Green Maintenance Formula
Suppose you want your zoysia grass to be greener, grass-so green fertilizer, should be your go-to choice. It has an NPK ratio of 19-0-0, with nitrogen as the major constituent nutrient. We all know nitrogen is essential for growing greener grass blades as it’s a significant component of chlorophyll, a green coloring matter in leaves.
You may panic because of the high nitrogen concentration in the fertilizer; however, this formula doesn’t burn grass, nor does it leach away when applied. It’s versatile and thus used on all types of grasses.
Since it is a liquid fertilizer, siphon or inject it into your sprinkler for automatic application.
4. Scotts Turf Builder Starter Food for New Grass
This is the best fertilizer when establishing a new zoysia grass lawn. It can also be used on new sods and plugs.
Scotts Turf Builder has an NPK ratio of 24-25-4. High nitrogen concentration is essential to establish thicker, greener, and denser leaf blades on new zoysia grass. Phosphorus establishes stronger fibrous roots, while potassium improves the grass’s resistance to drought. A new fed lawn grows 35% quicker and 70% thicker with this fertilizer than an unfed lawn.
This fertilizer is granular, thus applied with a spreader and watered daily. You can use the stater food on all types of grass when establishing a new lawn or reseeding fresh turf.
5. The Andersons PGF Complete Fertilizer
This fertilizer has an NPK ratio of 16-4-8 and Humic DG. Humic DG contains humic and fulvic acid, which enriches the soil and encourages zoysia turf to absorb nutrients better.
The Anderson’s complete fertilizer has finer particles making it easy to distribute with more coverage than most fertilizers. It is a slow-release lawn food and can feed a lawn up to eight weeks after application.
6. Balanced Nutrient Liquid Fertilizer
Balanced Nutrient Liquid Fertilizer is a premium lawn starter with an NPK ratio of 16-4-0. It contains other organic materials such as seaweed that replenish the soil, making it healthy for soil microbes to survive, hence supplying more nutrients.
It was made from quick-release nitrogen sources for faster, greener foliage and slow-release sources that feed the lawn longer. The balanced liquid fertilizer is ready for use; you only need to attach it to a sprinkler system or use the ready-made hose attached to the handle to fertilize the lawn. Water the lawn frequently after application.
This fertilizer is ideal for application during summer when zoysia grass is actively growing. Not burning or scorching the grass is an added advantage you should look up to if you don’t want to burn any of your grass.
7. Super Juice All–in–One Supplement Lawn Fertilizer
Though used primarily on golf course turfs, most keepers add Super Juice All in One Fertilizer to supplement their regular lawn feeding practices during spring. This fertilizer has an NPK ratio of 14-2-4. Besides nitrogen, phosphorus, and potash, it has other micronutrients such as iron, copper, and magnesium that ensure healthier turf when added to lawns.
Super juice all in one fertilizer is a dry mix fast released lawn food and is absorbed by turf blades in 1-4 hours after application. You can see results such as greener and thicker turf blades within 5-12 days after applying it, and that’s why lawn keepers use it as a supplement.
Dissolve it in water and spray it on the lawn. One bag of this fertilizer can cover up to one acre (43 560 square feet) of lawn area.
A soil test is the best place to start when selecting the best fertilizer for zoysia. Even with our recommendations, you want to know what nutrient is deficient to determine the type of fertilizer you want to buy. That said, consider the following when choosing a good fertilizer:
Macronutrients (NPK Ratio)
Macronutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium are essential for growing healthy zoysia grass and other turfs. Nitrogen is the principal nutrient required to grow greener, thicker, and denser leaf blades faster. Phosphorus is necessary for strong fibrous roots. The soil must have enough potassium to help the turf withstand drought and resist diseases.
Do a soil test
Proper fertilization starts with a soil test to determine its pH (acidity or alkalinity), amounts of nutrients available, and ones absent. Knowing the type of soil your turf is growing on determines the kind of fertilizer to use and other maintenance practices such as watering.
Before any fertilizer application, perform a soil test to determine its pH and nutrients lacking to determine the correct lawn food to add. You can use a soil test pH kit or take a sample of dry lawn soil to a nearby university extension laboratory for analysis.
Weed and feed options
You might also want to consider a weed and feed formula to feed your lawn while getting rid of weeds like crabgrass, dandelions, etc.
Keep in mind that weed and feed formulations are not the best for a newly seeded turf as they can also affect the germination of grass seed. You, therefore, want to apply these on a well-established zoysia lawn.
Slow-release vs. quick-release lawn food
Another important consideration is whether or not you want to feed your lawn once a year, requiring a slow-release fertilizer. Some fertilizers such as Milorganite are organic and release their nitrogen slowly over a couple of months. They deliver the nutrients better and keep the lawn greener.
My recommendation is that you use a slow-release fertilizer for zoysia grass as it is the best for pushing the lawn into growing thicker and fuller while remaining greener over a longer period.
How often should zoysia grass be fertilized?
Fertilize Zoysia grass with a nitrogen lawn food maximum of three times per growing season as it doesn’t need a lot of fertilizer to grow healthy. A total of fewer than 3 pounds per 1000 square feet of nitrogen fertilizer is enough to keep it healthy while in the growing season.
When to fertilize zoysia grass
The best period to fertilize zoysia grass is May through August. Here’s a great schedule to follow to maintain a healthy zoysia turf:
- Apply 0.5 to 1.0 pounds per 1000 square feet of nitrogenous fertilizer in May. At this time, zoysia grass has come from dormancy, and the lawn is half green.
- Add another 0.5 to 1.0 pounds per 1000 sq. ft of nitrogen fertilizer in June or July. Depending on the soil test results, you may or may not apply a fertilizer containing phosphorus.
- Before mid-August, add another .5 to 1.0 pounds per 1000 square feet of nitrogenous fertilizer high in potassium. Potassium is essential for more turf hardiness to cold and diseases when entering the dormancy period.
Do not apply any nitrogen fertilizer from September to December, as zoysia grass will have gone dormant at this time. You can add potassium fertilizer to improve zoysia’s hardiness in winter.
Examples of potassium-rich lawn food to add at this time could be muriate of potash (0-0-60) and potassium sulfate (0-0-50).
Lime and sulfur could be added to the soil to raise its pH if a test indicated a lower than 6.0 pH level.