In the transition zone, the warm summer months are ideal for growing warm-season zoysiagrass on fairways. Zoysia will thrive in the summer heat and has relatively few pests compared to cool-season grasses. However, several key management practices and product applications should be done to make it shine.

Insect Control

Insect control can start in late spring or early summer on zoysiagrass. The primary pests we see are billbugs that can damage turf at the larval stage in mid-summer. It’s best to target the adults early in the season as they move and lay eggs. An application or two of Talstar Select, typically in May, will reduce the number of eggs laid and the potential damage from larvae. This can be followed up later with an application for larval control. IMD 2F or Merit are very cost-effective products. Or, if the budget allows, Tetrino or Triple Crown can give even broader control.

Traffic Management

With all the traffic on courses, summer aeration is critical for zoysiagrass. Alleviating compaction and limiting or removing thatch will help manage cart traffic damage. Also, finding creative ways to move traffic patterns around will help. Some courses use entry/exit points, some use stakes or directional signs, and some do neither to encourage carts to enter at random points. This one is tricky, but if you have a way to move traffic around, that will help. 


Even though zoysia does not require a lot of fertilizer throughout the year, applying a quality fertilizer in the summer will be beneficial. One of the best granular options is Lebanon 28-0-4 with MESA, which combines ammonium sulfate with methylene urea for a controlled-release product with the benefit of ammonium sulfate. Organic fertilizers, such as Nature Safe 18-0-2 with Armament, can also be highly effective on zoysiagrass. This will not give you the instant color that something like MESA will, but over time this improves plant health soil health in general. 

Growth Regulators and More

The use of growth regulators on zoysiagrass has gained popularity over the last few years. With smaller workforces, cutting out one mowing a week or reducing the need to blow off grass clippings has proven very cost-effective. ArmorTech PGR 113 is an excellent option, and SePro Legacy has become quite popular for this as well. Applying these on a three- or four-week schedule offers an opportunity to add other beneficial products to the tank. Carbosential Fe Turbo and Armament Concentrate are excellent products to apply during the summer months on zoysia. Carbosential elicits a great color response, and Armament will help make better use of nutrients that have been applied or those that are present in the soil. 

Wetting Agents

Managing moisture levels is key in the summertime on zoysiagrass. While zoysia does not require as much water as cool-season grasses,, drought conditions can still negatively affect its. The use of penetrants is a great way to even out moisture levels in fairways. It aids water infiltration in areas that stay too dry and will also help dry out low areas quicker. Diversion from Precision Labs is a very economical product that works well, or Aquatrols Dispatch is another excellent option. 

Contact your sales representative for help selecting the right wetting agent, growth regulator, fertilizer, or insecticide for your fairways. We’re always happy to consult on products and practices that will keep your course playing well all summer long.