EMPIRE TURF MAINTENANCE

EMPIRE Maintenance Guides

Maintaining a healthy EMPIRE lawn requires a lot less than you may think! Our seasonal maintenance
videos and guides below will help you know what to watch out for and the steps to take to keep your lawn
looking its best throughout the year. At the bottom of this page are detailed BMPs for
EMPIRE for professional turf managers, although homeowners may find them useful.

Seasonal Maintenance Videos

These videos explain what you need to do to prepare your lawn for each season of the year

Summer

Fall

Winter

Spring

Empire Homeowner’s Guide

Learn to properly care for and maintain your yard using checklists for each season.

Florida Specific Homeowner’s Guide

Outside of Florida Homeowner’s Guide

Detailed EMPIRE Maintenance

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. Below are EMPIRE Turf Best Management Practices PDF downloads for professionals.

Florida Specific BMP

Outside of Florida BMP

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

 

  • Prior to installation, ensure irrigation systems are working properly and covering all areas to be planted
  • Water thoroughly upon installation ensuring that both the EMPIRE is wet and the soil is moist to a depth of 3”, which is approximately 1” of water per day
  • In hot weather, water within a few hours of installation to mitigate severe damage or loss due to heat / dehydration stress
  • Shaded areas and heavy soils require less water than full-sun areas and sandy soils
  • When proper rooting is evident, alter irrigation program accordingly

 

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

 

  • Mow within 10 days of installation and bag clippings for the first few mowings
  • After the first few mowings see post establishment instructions for proper mowing practices.

 

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

 

  • Use a starter fertilizer that is low in nitrogen and higher in phosphorous and potassium
  • For best results always perform a soil test and fertilize accordingly

Post Establishment

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

  • Maintain EMPIRE at 1-2″
  • Heights above 2″ will reduce quality
  • Can be maintained at heights of 1/2″ if regularly mowed with a reel mower
  • Rotary mowers are preferred for heights 1″ or higher
  • Reel mowers are preferred for heights below 1″
  • Mow every 7-10 days during the active growing season
  • Mow every 10-14 days, or as needed, during cooler weather
  • Never cut more than 1/3 of the total length of the blade at any one mowing
  • If a scheduled mowing is missed and clippings clump on top of the EMPIRE, bag or vacuum clippings to reduce shade-out
  • Vertical mowing (verticutting) may be performed to renovate EMPIRE

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

  • For any insecticide application, always read and follow label directions carefully
  • Early identification and treatment of insect stress minimizes inputs and injury
  • Make routine observations of the landscape, and be aware of seasonal pests like billbugs, armyworms and webworms
  • Grubs can reduce quality if critical populations are reached
  • Control armyworms and webworms with Sevin, Orthene, Diazinon or Permethrin-based products
  • Control billbugs with Sevin (adults), Talstar (adults), DeltaGuard (adults), Merit (larval/grub form), Mach2 (larval/grub form)
  • Consult with local experts for insecticide recommendations if you are unsure of label instructions

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

  • For any herbicide application, always read and follow label directions carefully
  • Improper use of herbicides can severely damage or kill EMPIRE
  • Make routine observations of the landscape being aware of seasonal weeds
  • Identify the type of weed causing the problem before using any chemical controls
  • EMPIRE is tolerant of most commonly used herbicides
  • Consult with local experts for herbicide recommendations if you are unsure of label instructions

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

  • For any fungicide application, always read and follow label directions carefully
  • Early identification and treatment of disease stress minimizes inputs and injury
  • Make routine observations of the landscape being aware of unusual symptoms
  • Consider a broad-spectrum fungicide application if predictable seasonal problems are noted
  • Ask your EMPIRE grower to apply fungicide 1-2 weeks prior to harvest during times of high, disease-inducing stress
  • Consult with local experts for fungicide recommendations if you are unsure of label instructions

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

  • Watering requirements are greatly dependent on soil type, season, geography and other factors
  • Ensure irrigation systems are working properly and covering all areas covered by EMPIRE
  • Make routine observations of the landscape and learn the signs (i.e., wilting) that indicate when irrigation is required
  • Shaded areas and heavy soils require less water than full-sun areas and sandy soils
  • Encourage deep root growth by watering until the soil is moist to a depth of 3”, shallow watering encourages shallow roots
  • Infrequent deep watering maximizes drought resistance and tolerance
  • Visit our Watering Tips for more information on proper irrigation

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

  • Perform soil tests to understand your soil type(s) and condition and best determine your specific fertility needs
  • Generally EMPIRE requires 3 fertilizer applications/year: spring, summer and fall
  • Make routine observations and fertilize according to what the landscape indicates
  • Understand what and how much fertilizer you are applying
  • Avoid disease and insect inducing growth flushes by reducing Nitrogen rates
  • Improve color and limit growth surges by utilizing iron sources
  • Higher Nitrogen rates should only be applied in the spring, for injury recovery, or for planned “peaking” of EMPIRE
  • Apply balanced fertilizers with lower rates of Nitrogen in the summer and fall

Developed by Sod Solutions, Inc., the world’s premiere turf grass development and marketing company, EMPIRE turf elevates the standards and expectations of homeowners for their lawns. EMPIRE Turf combines soft-to-the-touch feel with lush green color and fine, tight blade growth. EMPIRE is an attractive turfgrass for a variety of applications due to its low maintenance requirements and wear tolerance. Read More

EMPIRE TURF PROFESSIONALS

EMPIRE is a proven performer throughout the Southern United States in residential and commercial lawns and on golf course tees and roughs. Its drought toughness, low input requirements, and beautiful color make it an ideal choice for your next project. In fact, EMPIRE performs so well in Florida that it earns Green Credits when used in a landscape. We have specification and maintenance guides, videos, and other helpful information available to you. Learn More

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