Discover a better blade of grass

By Joanne Loos Posted in: ImproveThe Fix is In

The past few summers have been the hottest to date, and this time around is no exception. As the heat gets hotter, we have had to get creative in finding activities that let our little ones release their energy while keeping cool. Lately, our activity of choice has been running around in the sprinkler after dinner.

Our kids anxiously await the time when they can giggle and scream as they get wet and run circles around the yard. I can’t help but capture the memories on my phone as they go. At the same time, however, looking at the images reminds me that our lawn is in desperate need of a makeover.

We moved into our home a little over a year ago. While we concentrated our resources on the necessities, including a growing family, we always knew that the lawn would get some love eventually. Now, as we consider our options, I am learning about the new kid in town: The Zeon Zoysia.

A member of the Zoysia family, the Zeon is similar to its more widely known and used relative, the El Toro Zoysia.

“The El Toro Zoysia is the most common,” said Sean Fong of Hawaiian Turfgrass. “It’s very homeowner-friendly. It has little insect or disease problems, it’s drought-tolerant, salt-tolerant and very hardy.”

The maintenance includes mowing every one to two weeks, according to Fong, who recommends keeping it under an inch.

The Zeon Zoysia is a fine blade Zoysia, as opposed to the El Toro, which is a medium-blade. This means that it is softer to the touch. However, because it is a Zoysia variety, it retains the same desirable characteristics of the El Toro, but with the added bonus of feeling soft underfoot.

“It’s soft with a wow factor,” Fong said. “The finer the blade, the softer it tends to be. The look in general is more carpet-like.” When choosing a grass for your lawn, remember that location is key. Think about how much sunlight your yard gets.

“Five hours of sunlight is considered direct, and anything below four is considered shade,” he said. “If you have full sun, then you can choose any grass. It comes down to preference and budget.”

The Zeon Zoysia, which costs $3.75 per square foot at Hawaiian Turfgrass, is priced slightly higher than the El Toro, which costs $3.25. It is comparable in all aspects except for the blade. Feel it out in person before making a decision. You may decide to go with another variety all together.

“All the grasses are great,” Fong said. “All of these varieties that we are selling are improved varieties. For the homeowner, it is about mowing and having the right grass for the sunlight.”