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Zoysia Grass - Lawn Turns Yellow in the Fall

by Sally
(Illinois)

Dormant Zoysia Grass

Dormant Zoysia Grass

QUESTION: My grass turned yellow in the fall. I am not sure the type of grass, but this is the second year in the grass has turned yellow. It is an established lawn for over 25 years. I had a soil test performed, The Phosphorus and Magnesium levels are optimum, the Potassium is below optimum (53ppm). Should I kill the existing grass and reseed or is there a better solution?


ANSWER: It sounds like you have a Zoysia grass lawn. Zoysia grass has been touted in the past as "the miracle lawn" for the mid-west. Zoysia is a warm-season grass. Warm-season grasses thrive in the summer heat and go dormant, turning brown/yellow in the fall. See this link for more information on zoysia: Zoysia Grass

You have a couple of options:

1. Kill the existing grass with a non-selective herbicide such as 41% glyphosate (which is Roundup - but look for the generic brands, they are much cheaper). Then seed it with a slit-seeder.

2. The strip the existing grass with a sod cutter and then re-sod with Kentucky bluegrass.

3. Over-seed the zoysia with a perennial ryegrass/Kentcuky bluegrass seed blend in the fall. Over-seeding will not get rid of the zoysia however it will keep it green over the winter.

Comments for Zoysia Grass - Lawn Turns Yellow in the Fall

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Jul 01, 2016
Best Sod for Southern State
by: Jacksonville (FL)

I had St. Augustine, but I ended up getting signal grass weed, which was choking out my St. Augustine. Tried to kill the Signal grass without harming St. Augustine. Killed the St. Augustine, although, I used a chemical that was safe for St. Augustine. Needless to say, I need to replace my St. Augustine sod. Wanting something similar to the look and feel of St. Augustine, but doesn't grow as high as St. Augustine. St. Augustine is also prone to chinch bugs. Thinking about Zoysia, but heard it gets brown patches easily. Thank you in advance!

Aug 25, 2017
Lawn turning yellow
by: J. Small

We have the very same problem but this
has been going on for years now.
It is a nice lawn in the spring and summer
but then when September rolls around
the lawn starts yellowing.
My husband usually can mow our lawn
like until October.
it would be very nice if the lawn
stayed green all year long.

Feb 22, 2020
I like it
by: Grumpa

I like the grass that turns yellow in the winter. It is slowly spreading over my entire lawn. It is soft and a pleasure to walk on barefoot. I hope it is zoysia so I can buy some and help it spread.

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