Empire Zoysia Maintenance

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Empire Turf Grass Logo EMPIRE Turf is a Brazilian Zoysia japonica developed by turfgrass breeders Minoru Ito and Roberto Gurgel that offers specifiers, landscapers, golf course designers, sportsturf managers and homeowners exceptional performance with low maintenance across a wide spectrum of applications. EMPIRE is a blue-green turfgrass that has a wider blade than most other zoysias (slightly broader than Meyer Zoysia) and grows in a wide variety of soil and climate conditions. EMPIRE performs well in sandy and clay type soils throughout the southern U.S. and has tough runners, rhizomes, and deep roots that provide excellent sod strength, wearability, and improved drought tolerance. EMPIRE performs well in hot, arid, sandy areas of the southwest U.S., and has proven itself drought tolerant in many challenging applications. Shade tolerance research is ongoing, as EMPIRE has performed well in field and homeowner sites, and exhibits shade tolerance typical of most Zoysias. EMPIRE is the first Zoysia to demonstrate improved tolerance to brown patch as compared to Meyer Zoysia in side-by-side plantings. Additionally, EMPIRE is highly tolerant of most herbicides making it easier to control weeds during production and for the end user.

Production and Quality Control

Genetic purity and preservation of the EMPIRE Turf variety is of primary importance. Only licensed turfgrass producers are authorized to grow EMPIRE for sale. All licensed EMPIRE production is monitored through ongoing quality control and quality assurance programs. Additionally, producers can choose to certify their EMPIRE through local state crop certification agencies that provide rigid standards and regulations for production, harvesting, and handling, that when adhered to, ensure a genetically pure, high quality, “certified” product.

Installation and Establishment

Installation and the care taken during the initial days that follow are the most critical factors in determining the long-term quality and performance of EMPIRE Turf. Harvesting and transplantation are extremely stressful to any turfgrass and precautionary measures should be taken to help reduce further cultural and environmental stresses. EMPIRE is a tough, hardy turfgrass that once established, produces a beautiful lifetime lawn, landscape, sportsturf or golf course. Proper care, including pre-installation soil preparation and limiting time on the pallet to less than 24 hours, yields positive results. Improper care, however, can cause death of the turfgrass or damage that results in lengthy recovery and additional expense. See our Turfgrass Installation page for more information on proper installation of turfgrass.

Irrigating Newly Installed EMPIRE: Proper watering upon installtion is essential to successful establishment

Mowing: New installations are often uneven and care should be taken not to scalp high spots:

Fertility: Use a transplant-friendly regimen that will help reduce shock and minimize disease

Post Establishment

Mowing: Mowing is a critical and often under appreciated cultural practice:

Insecticides: Avoid stress from insects by performing insecticidal applications as needed:

Herbicides: Proper mowing, irrigation and fertilization of EMPIRE will reduce weed problems. If a weed problem persists:

Fungicides: EMPIRE has shown resistance to most fungal problems and controls should be used only as needed:

Irrigation: Established EMPIRE exhibits drought tolerance due to improved plant genetics and growth characteristics:

Fertility: Proper fertility practices will encourage healthy, disease and insect free EMPIRE:


Read detailed description of BMPs

To ensure optimum quality and performance of EMPIRE, users must accomplish necessary care and maintenance. This care and maintenance has been formalized above in the Best Management Practices (BMPs) for EMPIRE Turf. These BMPs are written as a guide and should be modified as local climate, soil, and environmental conditions dictate. It is important to note that no “magic fertilizer” or “super-chemical” will solve all problems or make any turfgrass perfect. Through consistent application of the BMPs and on-going evaluation, education, and modification of these practices, however, users will greatly enhance the quality and performance of EMPIRE Turf.