You will know you are getting the “real deal” if you buy your EMPIRE from one of our Authorized Distributors. Visit the “Where to Buy” section of our website to find an Authorized Distributor near you. While it is possible to buy real EMPIRE from someone not on the list, we will not be able to verify if it’s the real thing.
You should use a starter fertilizer that is low in Nitrogen and higher in Phosphorus and Potassium. This “transplant friendly” regimen will help reduce the shock and minimize disease. Lawnifi is the recommended brand for new and existing EMPIRE Zoysia lawns in either hose-end or granular applications.
Mow within 10 days of installation and bag clippings for the first few mowings. New installations are often uneven and care should be taken not to “scalp” any high spots.
Not until it is a mature lawn. Your EMPIRE lawn shouldn’t have much thatch since it is coming from a turf farm, so this method of de-thatching is not needed. Plus, your new lawn is in a “shocked” state, having just had roots cut at the sod farm. It will be trying to send down new roots into the soil. Scalping the lawn will add extra stress to an already stressed turfgrass. You should wait until your lawn is mature, approximately one year old before beginning to “scalp” the lawn the first mowing of spring.
You should maintain your EMPIRE lawn optimally between 1 – 2 ½ inches. Heights above 2 ½ inches will begin to reduce turf quality and encourage thatch buildup. Thatch can lead to turfgrass disease and creates the perfect environment for insects.
An established EMPIRE lawn needs approximately 1 inch of water per week, either from natural rainfall or irrigation. EMPIRE in shady areas will not need as much water. However, for soils with heavy sand content, it’s possible that the grass will need more than 1 inch per week because the soil wont hold enough moisture.
This is primarily the case but it does depend on what soil type you have. Some very sandy soils that don’t hold water well may need more than one inch per week. Turfgrass health always begins with the soil you have and we recommend you get a soil analysis done every couple of years to know if you need to make any amendments. There are steps you can take to help your soil retain more water.
EMPIRE doesn’t use less water than other grasses. What makes it more drought-hardy is that when it stops getting the water it will go into dormancy and not die as other grass varieties can. When the water returns, EMPIRE will green back up in a number of days. EMPIRE will probably need about 1 inch of water per week in the active growing season either from irrigation or natural rainfall to look good, much less to simply survive.
A local lawn care store in your area might have some specific recommendations that they know work well with EMPIRE, but generically, we recommend using the Lawnifi brand of fertilizers because they use a nano-technology to help EMPIRE get the nutrients it needs without the waste associated with standard fertilizers. Lawnifi comes in both hose-end and granular formulations. Otherwise, use a fertilizer in the spring with a 1-0-1 ratio (like a 15-0-15) and in the fall, a fertilizer with a 1-0-2 ratio (like an 8-0-16.)
Like any other turfgrass, when conditions are right, EMPIRE Zoysia is susceptible to turfgrass disease. You might have a disease or fungus in your lawn if patchy brown areas begin to show up. We recommend two applications of preventative fungicide per year, in the spring and fall, to ward off disease. But sometimes, in cool, wet conditions, lawns can still get one. If you believe you have a lawn disease, you can apply topical fungicide to the lawn. In order for it to be fully effective, you will have to repeat the step once or twice more, each time waiting 2-3 weeks in-between applications.
EMPIRE Zoysia has a dense, tight canopy which is a good thing because it helps to choke-out weeds and promote overall turf health. However, because of this dense canopy, new grass grows over the old which becomes thatch (the dead brown grass that is under the healthy green top.) De-thatching is a good idea. One way to avoid having to use an actual de-thatching machine is to “buzz cut” your EMPIRE lawn once per year. This should be done to mature EMPIRE lawns only. Usually, the best time to do this is the first mowing of the year when chances for the last freeze are over and EMPIRE is ready to come out of dormancy. Drop your mower a notch and cut that thatch layer off and either bag or rake away the clippings. This will make your EMPIRE green up faster and will take care of most of the thatch for the rest of the growing season.
EMPIRE is a zoysia japonica a wide-bladed variety that is very durable and drought tough. St. Augustine grasses run only on top of the ground using stolons. EMPIRE has stolons and does spread above ground, but also runs underground with rhizomes. It has a robust defense mechanism called dormancy when water is shut off for a long period of time. St. Augustine grasses will hold their color longer when the water is stopped, but when they start turning brown, they are dying.
No. EMPIRE is a warm-season turfgrass variety meaning it will go into dormancy when the weather turns colder in fall and winter. The duration will depend on a number of factors like your location, rainfall amounts, etc.
EMPIRE Zoysia has a moderate shade tolerance. We usually recommend that it needs 4-5 hours of direct, unfiltered sunlight per day. It will require more than that if it only receives filtered sunlight through branches. Like all grasses, EMPIRE needs sunlight to survive and will begin to thin out if it isn’t getting the sunlight that it needs. Other considerations are the number of tree roots beneath the grass and the competition for nutrients.
No grass is immune to the effects of pet urine. Some varieties will recover from damage faster than others. There are supplements on the market now that can be added to your pet’s food to help neutralize the high pH levels in urine that can damage the grass. However, we haven’t tried these and aren’t sure of their effectiveness. They make a wide variety of different varieties that you can find at your local pet store or online.
EMPIRE Zoysia is very rugged variety that spreads with both above-ground stolons and below-ground rhizomes. That said, it is not as aggressive a grower as a bermudagrass. EMPIRE should not encroach into your neighbor’s lawn if maintained properly.
EMPIRE Zoysia, like all grasses, loves the full sunlight. Remember when EMPIRE and other grasses are grown on sod farms, there isn’t a tree anywhere near the fields to provide shade. EMPIRE and other grasses will perform in sunlight. It is shade that causes issues for turfgrass.
No, EMPIRE Zoysia is naturally chinch bug resistant. Chinch bugs don’t seem to like the taste of EMPIRE.