Guest blogger Laurie Wakefield is a Master Gardener and PR and Marketing Communications Consultant. She loves to spend time in her own garden and visit others, and learn new gardening techniques and tips for healthy living. She is creator of the GardenZeal website where experienced gardeners share their enthusiasm and share great information.
Landscape Architect, Caroline Leslie, Seeded her Own Lawn with Zenith® Zoysia and Soil3
Last month, we visited Caroline Leslie’s beautiful garden and admired her lush front lawn. She became hooked on Soil3 after she used it to establish her new turf lawn and now she uses it throughout her garden. Caroline has developed gorgeous beds with a variety of beautiful shrubs and annuals around her property. She also grows a stunning hosta collection in containers on her deck, and when she has time plants a vegetable garden as well.
Caroline became a Landscape Architect because she loves plants. She knows that good soil is essential for the success of any garden or landscape project. She always urges her clients to “put money in their dirt” and she practices what she preaches.
Soil3 is organic (OMRI Certified) composted humus soil. It’s full of organic matter that provides the nutrients that you just can’t get from fertilizers. This rich humus compost helps retain moisture for root systems to develop and deliver essential nutrients to lawns and plants. The organic matter also helps improve drainage in heavy clay soils like we have in several areas of Georgia and the Carolinas.
Caroline Chose Zenith Zoysia to Replace her Lawn
Four years ago, Caroline and her husband decided to replace their 5,000 square foot Fescue lawn and begin the process of establishing new grass. They had some challenges to overcome: most of the front lawn received full sun; several areas were shaded during part of the day; and they had terrible soil!
They were looking for a low-maintenance, economical turf and planned to do the work themselves. After much research, Caroline decided that Zenith Zoysia from Super-Sod seemed like the perfect choice for their new lawn.
Caroline had read that Zenith Zoysia grows well in full sun but is also tolerant of light shade - so it would thrive in both her open front yard and tree-lined back yard. It is cold hardy and can survive Atlanta, Georgia winters, and is tolerant of the area's extreme heat and drought. Because the lush turf is dense, it is more weed resistant. One feature that appealed to her husband: it is slower growing which means less mowing.
When Caroline learned that Zenith Zoysia was available in seed as well as sod, she knew it would be a cost-effective way to establish their new lawn.
Soil, Sunlight, and Water
These are key ingredients that are essential to establish a seeded lawn. When planted in the right conditions, the Zenith Zoysia germination rate is usually 97-98%. A new lawn can be established in a single season. The more she learned about Zenith Zoysia, the more Caroline was convinced that it was the right seed for their new lawn.
Super-Sod Recommends Soil3 for Planting Grass Seed
Super-Sod stresses that keeping the seeds moist during germination (at least the first 21 days) is essential. Soil3 humus compost is completely broken down to the smallest particle size, which releases macronutrients into the soil. It has a spongy texture that makes it great for water retention. This texture is also great for amending compacted soils (like Georgia red clay), making them looser and improving drainage. This makes water and nutrition from the organic matter more readily available to new tender roots during germination, without bogging them down.
Zenith Zoysia does not tolerate wet soil or standing water, so well drained soil was an absolute requirement to succeed.
Landscape Architect Caroline Leslie amended her soil with Soil3 before replacing her tired Fescue grass with a seeded Zenith Zoysia lawn.
Steps for Seeding Success
In 2015, Caroline used the calculator on the Soil3 website and ordered 6 BigYellowBags of compost. She and her husband watched a lawn seeding how-to video and followed directions on the Super-Sod website for new lawn preparation with Soil3 and planting Zenith Zoysia:
- First, the Leslies killed and removed their Fescue grass.
- Then they amended their soil with 6 cubic yard bags of Soil3.
- Next, they distributed 2½ bags of Zenith Zoysia seed on their front lawn and broadcast 1½ bags of seed on their back lawn.
- They monitored and watered frequently during germination and while the grass was beginning to grow.
There are detailed instructions for seeding lawns on the Super-Sod website.
By the end of the summer the grass was up and the lawn was walkable, and by the following summer the grass had filled in completely and the lawn was lush and beautiful.
Today, the Leslies love their turf lawn and appreciate its low maintenance requirements. They continue to top dress with Soil3 annually and fertilize regularly during growing season.
Caroline Keeps a BigYellowBag of Soil3 Around for All of Her Gardening
Caroline has a beautiful container garden on her deck that includes a lovely Dwarf Japanese Maple, Acer palmatum 'Mikawa Yatsubusa' and a stunning collection of Hostas including 'Fire Island', 'Empress Wu', and 'Guacamole'.
Caroline does love plants! She continues to develop new areas of her property, planting shrubs, perennials and annuals. After using Soil3 to establish her new lawn, Caroline decided to keep a BigYellowBag around so she could “grab a shovel or two whenever she needs it.”
Caroline loves the convenience and says that having a BigYellowBag of Soil3 delivered is “much easier than lugging 50 pound bags of soil into the yard.” She adds Soil3 to established plants and containers, and amends her soil with it whenever she plants shrubs and annuals.