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Bringing Barefoot Back with Empire Turf - Floridas Premium Grass Solutions

Most of us transplanted Northerners can remember how magical it was when, as children, the winter snows would melt and spring would usher in warmer weather and sunshine, and everything would start going green.

We delighted in running barefoot in the grass, playing games on our lawns, and lying on our backs, staring into the sky, while we watched for faces and animal shapes in the clouds.

While we can enjoy having sunny warm weather most of the year here in Florida, we’ve been missing the joy of soft-to-the-touch, beautiful, lush, feet-friendly grass. Instead we’ve been living with different breeds of St. Augustine grass, which is the main type that most Florida homeowners use because it can withstand our climate. But Floratam, the most prevalent breed of St. Augustine, is coarse and prickly, has the unkempt appearance of weeds, and is not barefoot friendly.

Tobey Wagner, president and founder of Sod Solutions, wanted to bring feet-friendly lawns to Florida families. About 20 years ago, he came back from a trip to Brazil, bringing with him their premier grass breeder, Roberto Gurgel, along with some of Brazil’s soft, hearty and beautiful EMPIRE® Zoysia. EMPIRE, the grass Roberto developed in Brazil’s tropical areas, was a stronger strain of zoysia that could stand up to the Florida climate. In Florida it became known as EMPIRE Turf.

EMPIRE Turf, the Proven Zoysia Grass, was developed to stay soft but still wear exceptionally well, so that kids can practice soccer and Fido can run and do what dogs do, without harming the lawn.

Sod Solutions tackled another irritating issue that homeowners face with their St. Augustine lawns. Chinch bugs just love St. Augustine grass, but do not find EMPIRE Turf very tasty, so homeowners with lawns of EMPIRE have one less pest to deal with!

Another feature that makes EMPIRE Turf easy to maintain is that it was developed to withstand drought for those times when we face water use restriction. When EMPIRE Zoysia faces extended dry conditions, it will go dormant as a defense mechanism and turn brown, but it will survive the drought and quickly green up again when normal watering cycles return. Along with being drought-tolerant, EMPIRE Turf is highly tolerant of most herbicides, which makes it easier to keep weeds from invading your beautiful lawn.

This one grass has so many benefits. Its thick root structure requires less watering and guarantees a quick recovery from any damage that may occur. Besides its gorgeous blue-green color, and its softness and hardiness, EMPIRE Zoysia turf, the new standard in superior lawns, has a slower vertical growth than most grasses, which equates into less time mowing and more time enjoying your lawn!

Sod Solutions is committed to helping your family fully enjoy the Florida outdoor lifestyle, so on their website,, there are tools to help you choose the perfect grass for your needs, and to help you calculate how much grass is recommended for your property. “Sod University” is another tool that offers useful tips about the care and maintenance of your new lawn. The site also offers a convenient subscription-based fertilizer delivery service called Lawnifi™, which was specially developed with cutting edge fertilizer technology to help you maintain the health and beauty of your lawn.

Springtime is around the corner. If you visit and shop for your new EMPIRE Turf now, you’ll be kicking off your shoes in no time!