How to Maintain your Empire Zoysia in the Fall?
How to maintain your Empire Zoysia in the Fall? So before I even begin always our first response when it comes to maintenance is to recommend hiring a turf care professional. The money in the long term will be well spent. Call the farm, and we will be glad to refer you to someone. So mainly what I want to talk about for the fall is over-fertilizing. The mentality that more fertilizer is better is just not true with turf grass. This time of year your Empire turf may seem a bit off-color from an active summer growing season. For the short term color issues apply Manganese and Iron if needed. There are a number of products on the market with these minor elements in them. Long term I would suggest preparing your grass for the coming months with a Winterizing fertilizer with an analysis with a ratio of 1-0-2. Twice as much potassium as Nitrogen. The fertilizer tag is layed out with an analysis that will consist of three numbers with dashes between them: Nitrogen first, then Phosphorus, and finally with Potassium. The reason I am recommending cutting back on the Nitrogen is to avoid disease issues in the Spring amongst other issues that over fertilizing will create…
Our friend Mathew at Green Solutions Lawn and Pest Control mentioned the following things:
“The major risks as I see it for over fertilizing in spring and fall are:
1, Increased likelihood of Zoysia patch (AKA large patch, brown patch)
2, A weaker turf that is generally more susceptible to stresses from shade
to foot traffic to pests.
3, In spring pushing too hard, too early with Nitrogen for greenup increases risk of frost damage.”
Green Solutions is a leader in the care of Empire Zoysia in the Tampa Bay area and I highly recommend them. See the link above for more information about turf care.
I would recommend 1/4 to 1/2 pound of pure Nitrogen per 1000 square feet. So as an example, if you were applying 8 – 0 – 16 (8%-0%-16%) to your Empire yard of 4000 square feet, you would use 25 pounds of fertilizer. Broken down like this: 8% of a 50 pound bag is 4 pounds of Nitrogen. So at the rate of 1/2 pound of pure nitrogen per 1000 square feet you would use 25 pound of this fertilizer in one application this Fall. I know this can be confusing- once again I go back to seek professional advice.
Two other quick tips, first raise your mower up one notch this time of year to allow the grass to grow a bit deeper root system. Second reduce your irrigation with cooler weather also to encourage a deep root system and to save this precious resource. Obviously there are other tasks to deal with in the fall, but to keep this turf blog short check out our website at freshsod.com for further details. Cool weather is right around the corner, get out and enjoy our great Tampa Bay area weather.