Pro Tips From Central Florida Sod & Turf Experts

Lake Jem Farms – The Trusted Source for Sod & Turf for Over 30 years!

Empire Turf Winter Care Maintenance

Mar 28, 2012 | Lawn Care

If you have decided to add Empire grass to your lawn, you have to make sure you understand the proper watering, mowing, and fertilizing techniques to keep your lawn fresh and green throughout the year.  No matter what the season, water is needed whenever slight wilting is visible; usually one inch of water a week is sufficient during drought conditions to keep the grass looking healthy.  You have to make sure not to overwater, though, as this can encourage the grass to experience excessive growth, disease, root rot, and also suffocate the turf.  We recommend installing an automatic water system with a shut off device for when it rains.  
During the fall and winter, less frequent mowing is needed than during spring and summer months.  It is recommended that you mow to a 1-2” height every 10-14 days, as opposed to 7-10 days as in warmer months.  Note that keeping your lawn at a shorter height will require more frequent mowing.  If you plan on using fertilizer, products with iron can be used during the winter to improve color.  No matter the time of the year, soil analysis can help to provide the most optimal results from fertilizers.  
You should also keep a look out for insects and disease when tending to your Empire turf grass.  Although there are few pests and diseases that affect Empire Zoysia grass, if there is a problem it is best to catch it quickly.  If you have noticed or suspect a problem with insects or disease, you should call an expert immediately to figure out the best solution to the problem.  During the winter months, one of the most common causes of brown spots in the yard is damage from billbugs.  These insects can be discovered by lifting up a section of turf.  The larvae look like white grub worms, while the adults are small, dark colored weevils.  If you find these pesky critters, bifenthrin products can be added to the entire lawn and midaclorid to the effected areas.  If you cannot find any billbugs in your yard, lawn fungus may be the issue.  This can cause the grass leaves to thin and appear bleached out, and can be solved by using a peroxide based spray like Oxidate.  
Keeping these things in mind and setting a regular schedule for mowing and watering your grass will help your Empire turf grass look good no matter rain or shine, cold or hot weather.