I've written about this zoysia grass at False Bluff before and I'm pretty sure I'll write about it again - because the stuff continues to amaze me.
However, I admit I have never cared enough about what variety of zoysia grass we have out there so I can't identify this one. I've only cared about getting the grass started and about having it spread as far and as fast as possible.
This particular zoysia grows along many beautiful beaches on Big Corn Island, one of the two popular Nicaraguan islands in the Caribbean about 40 miles directly east of False Bluff; but there was none at False Bluff until I snatched - and then planted - some off a sidewalk in Bluefields.
I divvied up the stuff I pulled off the sidewalk into as many starts as I could...tiny things they were from the small amount I 'rescued.' I wanted the grass for lots of reasons, primarily its beauty that I had fallen in love with on Big Island. And it is wonderful to walk on...kind of like a very thick rug except where it pillows at the base of a tree.
Other reasons I wanted it include that covering the ground with it would reduce work because the grass:
- forces out weeds once it's established - we could stop the hard and time consuming work of chopping down weeds with machetes;
- thrives in the really harsh and salty environment along the caribbean; and
- has an affinity for coconut palms - and we were planting hundreds of those.
Other benefits...benefits that I wasn't aware of when I started propogating it out there...are:
- when the dry season arrives the stuff just gets greener when most everything gets brown; and
- snakes and biting ants hate it...probably because it forms such a tightly woven mat that neither of these pests can travel thru it - and both avoid traveling over it.
We planted the starts which began to spread faster than I thought they would. Once we had a good sized patch of grass etablished we began to cut out 4" x 4" plugs which we then planted at the leeward base of as many coconut trees as we had plugs for. Visible here are the newly rooted plugs moving away from their 'safe spaces' at the bases of coconut trees.
A final thing that I enjoy about this zoysia is the manner in which it spreads, shown above and below. The small plugs don't look like much when they're first planted. In fact they fade a bit due to transplant shock; but to the best of my knowledge we've never lost one. Then all of a sudden the plug turns green and begins its star-like creeping spread, going from the base of one tree to meld with the grass spreading from the base of another tree until all the ground is covered.