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Growing a Lawn

The right choice of grass – The first question you ask yourself when installing a lawn in the Tropics is what type of sod will work in these extremely hot and dry conditions?  When installing a lawn you first need to know the sun requirements of the type of sod you have chosen to install. There are few types of sod that will tolerate the hot dry conditions of our beautiful Islands so buyers beware.  Bermuda turf is one of your choices but requires lots of watering.  My choice is Zoysia grass because it takes a licking and keeps on ticking.  

In fact, Zoysia grass is probably your best bet when it comes to growing lawns anywhere in the tropics, and here are your reasons why.  Zoysia grass grows best in these climate conditions of high humidity and 80 to 90 degree heat. For best results plant during the months of July to October. Zoysia grows vigorously during this time and then turns brown and dormant during the winter months.

Zoysia grass forms an excellent turf when properly established and managed.   For best appearance, Zoysia requires cutting with a reel mower, although a rotary mower with sharp blades will get the job done.  After becoming established,  this type of grass will also require the occasional watering and periodic thinning and dethatching.  Once this grass has become established, thatch can build up, especially when heavily fertilized.  Remove thatch every two to three years.

Now, keep in mind there are different types of Zoysia. The one I would recommend for this time zone is Emerald Zoysia, a fine-textured hybrid that is possibly the most attractive.  It is well suited for top quality lawns where a good maintenance program is provided.  From my experience, this type of Zoysia is probably your best bet for true lawn success in the B.V.I.    It has a dark green color, a very fine leaf texture, good shade tolerance, high shoot density and a low growth habit.  

When installing this type of grass, sod in 2 by 2 foot sections is your best bet and will give you instant results.  I don’t recommend seeding because of the patchy growth habits.  Lawns are a very important addition to any landscape as they tie everything together and create separation where needed.

Prior to installation of your new lawn some prep work will be needed.  To ensure successful installation of your lawn, you will need to carry out some prep work. Check the gradient of the area of runoff  for excess water. Remember to add topsoil where needed – 4 to 6 inches is sufficient.  Watering systems are optional depending on the square footage of  your lawn.  If a sprinkler system needs to be installed be sure to consult with a professional before tackling this project alone.  It is better on the pocket book to do the install correct the first time.

Remember, lawns are great for families with children and can be used for hosting many outdoor events and activities no landscape is truly complete without one.  Until the next time keep plugging away and your efforts will soon develop into a lush green haven.  

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Tropical Landscapes Phone: 284-541-2378 Email: info@tropicallandscapes.net

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