Fescue vs. Zoysia
Even the more desirable “turf type” Fescue is the heaviest maintenance lawn type for our area. They are usually a blend of several hybrids that offer different qualities. This helps you will have success with a wider variety of site and soil conditions. It requires re-seeding 1-2 times per year. It needs loose, well drained soil (sandy organic top soil works best), Fescue cannot tolerate the heat of our summers, they are prone to have fungus problems in spring and fall when ground temps are prime for germinating new seed, and weed control is much more difficult in fescues than in Zoysia. Common fescue “k31” type grass should be chosen for pasture like settings where it will be allowed to grow tall. In proper soil preparation applications, Fescue will germinate and stabilize soil quickly. This makes a great choice as a temporary grass.
Zoysia is a much more dense turf, far fewer problems with fungus, loves the heat and sunshine, never needs re-seeding, can grow in poor soils much better, and weed control is MUCH easier on the rare occasion that weeds are able to make a stand. As Sod, they are both about the same price if Fescue isn’t a bit higher. The rare Fescue lawns I see that are thriving year after year are always in excellent soil, shaded from the harshest summer afternoon sun and belong to people that spend an enormous amount of time and energy in their yards. Due to these factors, I only recommend Fescue as a way of stabilizing soil in new construction. Most of these wind up with lots of weed seeds that are present, germinating as the fescue does. If the owner simply wants a green lawn, fescue is by far the most economical approach. For information on Shade tolerant grass, follow this link.
You may have noticed most yards in our area have fine particle clay soils with limited to no sand or organic material. These poor soils compact MUCH more tightly than sandy based soils and because of the compaction, they block water and fertilizer from soaking into the ground and promoting deep, healthy root systems. Our process for preparing a yard usually includes amending the soil with at least 1 ton of sand/organic mix per 1000 sq.ft. of area. We spread the mix on the area then work it into the soil 3-4 inches deep. We then power rake the soil with the bobcat followed by hand raking. This process is what it takes to “insure” a healthy root system for seed or sod. Performing this kind of work takes a bit more time but will reward you with a much healthier lawn long term. The cheapest price will almost guarantee you a “quick & cheap” prep where the surface is scraped off, leveled and sod installed on the same poor soils. Contact us today for a quote.