Zoysia Sod Is a Smart Investment for Public Parks
Small communities around the country are developing “improvement” projects in an effort to provide short-term employment opportunities and improve tourist enjoyment. For many of these cities and towns, laying a little Zoysia sod has made all the difference.
Driving down Main Street of small town, USA may mean being stuck in traffic as construction workers wave vehicles around the newest project. What is this mystery project? Often, it involves improving, or building, a city park. Though much of the work entails rearranging monuments, landscaping beautiful perennials, and adding park benches, some of these construction crews have found themselves occupied with the task of laying new sod. But why pull up perfectly good grass to lay new sod? The economy may provide an answer.
The local Department of public works is responsible for maintaining public streets, monuments, and, not surprisingly, plants and trees. From pruning the rose blossoms that line the business district to paving busy city parking lots, city employees have their hands full during busy spring, summer and fall seasons. In the same way a homeowner would testify that maintaining the front lawn can be a daunting challenge, cityscape grass is no different. Public land doesn’t come naturally manicured but rather, it requires repeated hours behind a lawn mower. Many hours behind a lawn mower is a costly expense to any city landscaping budget.
Therefore, in an effort to reduce the amount of money that is spent on park maintenance, small cities have discovered that simply purchasing a high quality, low maintenance sod can save thousands of dollars over many years. With a small initial investment, these cities have determined the savings they will reap from less maintenance hours behind a lawn mower and have opted to use those savings on other projects. It’s been said that a good mayor starts from the ground up and this is certainly a star example.
Zoysia grass is a warm season, low maintenance turf grass. It tolerates heat and drought and cultivates a deep root system to pull moisture from greater soil depths. While Zoysia prefers full sun, it will tolerate some shade. A Meyer Zoysia variety of this grass will product beautiful dark green color with medium textured blades. However, zoysia grasses are known to stand up well to traffic but they are slow to repair. Therefore, this choice variety is not ideal for very heavy wear areas such as football or soccer fields.
I applaud local governments that are taking advantage of horticultural technical advances and optimizing their budgets to stretch tax dollars with smart investments. Zoysia sod is not only a great investment for public parks, but for any business owner or homeowner that wants to make the same small investment to create that small town look that is the envy of their street.