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A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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Sunday - April 22, 2007

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Invasive nature of non-native Zoysia japonica grass
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

I have been reading up on Zoysia grass and I am curious about its invasive nature. Is there a good way to keep it from going into my neighbors' yards? I was thinking about using some edging material along the property lines. Would this help control it? I was also wondering how to control the thatching problem I have been reading about.

ANSWER:

Most zoysia grasses will outcompete Bermudagrass and St. Augustine grass, the two most common lawn grasses in your area (Central Texas). However, most cultivars spread quite slowly and some, like Zoysia japonica 'Meyer', is exceedingly slow-spreading. None of the zoysia grasses are North American native grasses.

Check with your neighbors; many would encourage zoysia to replace their existing turfgrass. If your neighbors wish to keep their grass as it is, edging will help. Your zoysia may still find a way to go under or over most edging, though.

Thatch is not usually a serious problem for zoysia if it is not over-fertilized or mowed too infrequently. If you find that dethatching is necessary, many equipment rental companies have machines for that purpose.

 

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