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EMPIRE Zoysia Fall Maintenance and Winter Preparation

Many of us look forward to the fall season for its cooler temperatures and festivities after a long, hot summer. After all, who doesn’t love the plethora of pumpkin flavored food and drinks?

If you’re a homeowner, one of the major bonuses that comes with autumn is the reduction of yard work. Although Florida lawns enter dormancy later in the season compared to other states, fall maintenance and winter preparation are still crucial if you want your lawn to green up properly come springtime. EMPIRE® Zoysia, The Proven Zoysia Grass®, has been the standard across Florida lawns for over 20 years. With its superior durability, adaptability and performance, EMPIRE is among the easiest grasses to maintain in the Sunshine State. Here are some tips and tricks to keep your EMPIRE looking its best and to have it ready to shine in the spring.

1. Mow at a Slightly Taller Height

The maintenance you perform on your established EMPIRE lawn during the fall not only prepares it for winter dormancy—it directly affects how healthy and vibrant it will look in the spring as it greens up again. Although EMPIRE typically performs best at a mowing height of 1–2 inches, it’s okay to keep it half an inch or so higher during the fall as this promotes root growth. Root health below the soil is important in the fall because it helps EMPIRE survive during the winter while the blades above the ground enter dormancy.

2. Water EMPIRE Properly

As temperatures drop, EMPIRE will require a little less than one inch of water per week including rainfall. Be sure not to over water EMPIRE as this may encourage disease outbreaks.
3. Watch Out for Disease Outbreaks and Prevent Weeds

Fall is one of the most opportune times of the year for disease outbreaks in any grass including EMPIRE. This transitional period consists of warm days with cooler nights which causes heavy amounts of dew on the leaf blades. They stay wet longer, allowing disease to creep in. It’s recommended that you apply a systemic fungicide at the beginning of the fall season to keep disease outbreaks at bay. Often a lawn will get a disease late in the season and it won’t be noticed until the spring because a lawn disease is hard to spot when the grass is dormant. The fall season is also a great time to apply a pre-emergent herbicide, which functions to prevent winter weeds from taking over your lawn while your EMPIRE is not actively growing.

4. Keep an Eye Out for Insect Invasions

Some of the common insects found in EMPIRE lawns during the fall include grub worms (or white grubs), mole crickets and sod webworms. The best way to keep them from damaging your EMPIRE is by applying preventative applications of a broad-spectrum insecticide and by regularly inspecting for symptoms of damage or infestation.

5. Give Your EMPIRE the Nutrients It Needs

Lastly, Lawnifi® offers an easy-to-use, liquid fertilizer program that will help you get the best results out of your EMPIRE during the fall with the Lawnifi Fall Fertilizer Box. Each of three bottles included in the Lawnifi Fall Fertilizer Box attach to the end of a garden hose for an even spray distribution. With fertilizer mixtures designed to help your lawn recover from hot summer temperatures and transition into cooler ones, the Lawnifi Fall Fertilizer Box is the best fertilizer for EMPIRE Zoysia lawns in Florida.

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