Empire Zoysia - The Most Popular Today
Empire Zoysia is the best selling Zoysia grass in Australia today. Often referred to as EZ grass, this name has a double meaning amongst the general public, EZ referring to how easy care the grass is, meaning lower maintenance than other grasses, and EZ being the initials for Empire Zoysia.
Of the different Zoysia types in Australia, Empire seems to be one of the more adaptable varieties, growing in regions where other Zoysia types cannot grow due to cooler weather. Empire does very well as far South as Victoria. So for everyone living in a slightly cooler climate who wants a low maintenance Zoysia lawn, Empire will be one of the first choices to consider when looking at Zoysia grass for a home lawn. And the main reason for this is the Zoysia family Japonica - of which Empire derives from, which makes this grass more tolerant of slightly cooler weather conditions than some other Zoysia families which naturally prefer hotter climates.
Lawn Care For Empire
Exempting its climate adaptability, Empire is very much a traditional Zoysia grass, it looks great, has a slightly olive colour, and has that unique tapering leaf of Zoysia. Empire has very good shade tolerance of around 40%, though not as good as Buffalo at 40%, but superior to Kikuyu and Couch at 10%.
Lawn care for any Zoysia, and for Empire is surprisingly simple. It's renowned for its naturally superior weed, pest and disease resistance, so these lawn issues are far less when compared to other grass types.
Switch off the automatic reticulation, and only water Empire when it shows signs of needing a drink - at slight discolouration and slight leaf wilt - this watering practice also helps to create a deep root system which is more drought tolerant. Fertilise in mid to late Autumn and again in Spring, and mow when necessary - which isn't very often compared to some other lawn types.
For a masterpiece Empire lawn, fertilise and water a little more often, and mow with a Cylinder Mower. Just be sure never to over-water or over-fertilise this lawn - it just won’t like it, so less is always best with any Zoysia lawn.
Breeding of Empire Turf
Empire was one of the first Zoysia types to be specially bred by turf breeders. As soon as the qualities of Zoysia over other lawn types became known to enough of the right people, specialised breeding began to develop a Zoysia that could be grown in as many different climate types as possible. Prior to this, the only people who had Zoysia as an option for home lawns were those who lived in tropical and sub tropical regions in the world.
Empire Zoysia is widely adaptable and from these first breedings, and many more people could now enjoy all the benefits that Zoysia brings as a high quality, and remarkably low maintenance and environmentally friendly lawn type.
* For people living in cooler regions, we can still only recommend to research any Zoysia type prior to planting, and especially try to see Zoysia lawns growing in your region first. Phone your local Empire supplier to ask about this.
Winter Lawn Care For Empire Zoysia
Generally speaking - some Zoysia grasses can be a problem in Winter which is due to Zoysia's origins in tropical regions. However, as discussed earlier, Empire does seem to do better in cooler regions than some other types of Zoysia.
In regions where frost and cold nights occur, Empire may be prone to brown off in Winter, this is normal for many grass types in the same cooler regions, and EZ turf will generally not brown off as badly as older grasses like Shademaster or some other older Buffalo types.
Testing by the people at Empire has shown that fertilising Empire Turf with a quality slow release fertiliser in mid to late Autumn does wonders for Empire over the Winter. Keeping the Empire lawn greener for longer over Winter, considerably reducing and sometimes reducing browning, and speeding the greening process in Spring substantially more for all lawns.
When To Plant Empire Zoysia
All Zoysia grasses will always have their roots in the tropics, and it will always be a slow growing turf compared to other lawn types (which makes Zoysia require so little mowing), with this in mind, it's always best to remember to plant Empire at the right time of the year when lawns are most actively growing, otherwise we may run into problems trying to establish a new Zoysia lawn at a time when the turf is dormant.
Credit: thanks to Empire Turf for their assistance with this article