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The Lawn Guide
Empire Turf Better Than Blue Couch

'New Content'

By Kate Wall

Couch has long been a highly popular fine leafed grass. It is certainly very hardy, and has earnt its place in the Australian psyche but as our lifestyles change and plant breeding offers us more choices of lawn turfs, couch may not always stack up as the best grass choice. Queensland Blue Couch has been very popular in warm parts of Australia as a couch alternative, and this grass certainly does have certain advantages over couch, being somewhat less aggressive and with less thatch production.

Couch and blue couch are not the only fine leafed turf varieties suited to Australia, and in fact may not even be the best fine leafed turf for many Australian lawns. Empire™ Zoysia japonica 'SS500' PBR is a low care fine leafed lawn grass which is exceptionally heat and humidity tolerant, as well as cold and frost tolerant. It has earn't the nick name of E.Z. Turf (easy turf) for good reason.

In addition to being easy to grow, Empire™ Zoyisa is also a very high performing turf variety that looks great. It has a fine leafed texture, similar to couch, making it a very good alternative to using couch while maintaining a similar look and feel, if anything being somewhat softer to the touch.

Both couch and blue couch are warm season grasses, meaning they perform best in warm climates. While almost all of Australia experiences summers which are warm enough (>15 degrees Celsius) to see these grasses perform well, in areas which experience cool to cold winters blue couch particularly will suffer. This grass is not frost tolerant, and can lose colour and vigour quickly in cold winters. It is therefore best suited to areas with mild winters and no frosts. Empire™ turf is the perfect substitute in cool areas and will maintain winter colour when other grasses won't.

Empire™ offers an excellent alternative fine leafed turf grass for all areas of Australia, from Darwin to Tasmania.

Empire™ Zoyisa is a dense, fine leaved grass which is gaining significant popularity over both couch and blue couch for its pleasing look alone. As a lawn choice, Empire™ offers many advantages over other turf types, and is well worth considering for a low maintenance lawn.

It has a slower growth rate than couch or blue couch but it still a fast to establish turf due to its deep root system. Its greatest advantage in significantly less need for mowing - it will require 35 - 50% less mowing than couch. It is NOT the grass for someone who enjoys mowing. This slower growth rate also makes it a far less aggressive grass, needing significantly less edging to keep it from invading the garden beds. Empire™ turf is less likely to scalp than Couch is if mown short. In other aspects it can be mown in the same way as couch, to your preferred mowing height, although very short mowing is not recommended for any grass, particularly during drought.

If left unmown it will not get as long as couch will, and will not look as untidy. For a high quality dense lawn, regular mowing is recommended but even with irregular mowing Empire™ will still result in a great lawn, something which is unthinkable with traditional grasses like couch, blue couch or kikuyu.

Like couch, Empire™ can be used for a dense fine leafed lawn, but unlike couch it is an exceptionally low maintenance lawn, hence the nick name E.Z. Turf.

Empire™ is proving to be as tough as or even tougher than couch or kikuyu when it comes to wear and tear. It is a dense grass with deep roots and rhizomes, making it highly wear resistant and also able to recover from wear very readily. Empire™ is not just great for home lawns but is also great for high use public spaces such as schools and sports fields. It has greater shade tolerance than other hard wearing grasses, making it suitable for high wear lawns in partially shaded situations. It will take high wear in up to 30% shade, and moderate wear in up to 50% shade. It should be mown higher in shady areas to maintain its performance.

Having such deep roots and rhizomes makes Empire™ Zoysia a highly drought tolerant lawn, with significantly less need for fertilising and watering than other lawn varieties. Annual fertilising will be sufficient in most cases, but fertilising more often is recommended for high wear lawns.

Empire™ turf has outperformed couch and other grasses with regard to drought tolerance. Like couch, it will brown off during extended dry times as part of its survival strategy. It has shown to survive longer and recover faster than couch from periods of extended drought. The dense rhizomes of Empire™ Zoysia recover well without leaving gaps for weeds, which is common in recovery of couch and other grasses after dry induced dormancy. It has successfully been used around Australia in public spaces without irrigation with outstanding results. Even after 3 years without irrigation, the lawn remains dense and green and almost free of invading weeds. This can be attributed to the deep dense roots and rhizomes, which make this one of the toughest turf grasses available.

Empire™ Zoysia has proven to have greater pests and disease resistance to most other lawns types and while not completely immune, suffers far less with pest and disease problems. In trials it has been shown to be far more resistant to lawn grub than any other turf type. It is a low thatching grass which is also highly beneficial in reducing the opportunity for pests and diseases to take hold.

Empire™ turf has proven itself to be not only beautiful and soft but also a hard wearing lawn perfectly suited to Australian lawns. In fact, of all grass types, It is possibly one of the hardiest and most adaptable lawns in all parts of Australia, and an excellent choice for areas where blue couch is not suited.

Please note: Where 'New Content' is written at the top of an article this content has been added by the new owners of this website. If 'New Content' is not written, the information is from the previous site owner.





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Lawn Care Facts
Lawn Fact:
The short list of the most shade tolerant lawn varieties for homeowners:

1. Durban Grass
2. Soft Leaf Buffalo
3. Zoysia

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