Zoysia grass at beach

Asked March 16, 2015, 2:24 PM EDT

Looking to plant grass . Roughly 200 sq ft on sandy soil, between ocean and bay (east of route 1) in North Bethany. Ok sun in summer, limited in winter as land faces north with townhome in front. Will Zoysia from plugs grow? Is there something else I should consider. Thank you.-Dennis

Sussex County Delaware lawns and turf grass zoysia grass

1 Response

Zoysia grass is the best bet if you want turf grass for you beach house. Zoysia grass (Zoysia japonica) grows in USDA plant hardiness zones 6 through 9 where it will do well in sandy or gravelly soil with a pH level of 6.0 to 6.5. Established zoysia grass has deep roots, making it tolerant of drought and low fertility. It is slow to establish and will spread more quickly if the lawn area is fertilized with slow-release 5-10-5 fertilizer before planting and repeated every three to four weeks during the first season. Mow zoysia grass 1/2 inch to 1 1/2 inches tall.

There are several hybrids available. "Meyer," is a medium-textured grass tolerant of cooler weather and grows more quickly. "Emerald" is dark green with a fine texture and will tolerate some shade. "El Toro," is fast-growing and less cold-tolerant but has excellent root depth making it very drought tolerant. "Zenith," is more coarse and is probably the most cold and heat tolerant of the hybrids.

If you would like to consider other ground covers for this lawn area Bearberry (Arctostaphylos uva-urs) and Seabeach Sandwort (Honckenya peploides) would make interesting choices. There are also several low-growing Junipers that look well as a beach lawn ground cover. Also check out the Sussex County Master Gardeners' Demonstration Garden in Georgetown, DE http://extension.udel.edu/lawngarden/master-gardener-volunteer-educators/sussex-county/demonstration-garden for other ideas. You may also want to attend the 11th Annual Gardening for the Bays native plant sale on May 2. See http://www.inlandbays.org/events/native-plant/ for more information.