Empire Zoysia vs. St. Augustine Grass
‘Empire’ Zoysia is taking over as the lawn of choice at a rapid pace. After much research we have listed the major differences so you can decide for yourself.
Let us be clear that ALL lawns in Florida require maintenance.
Listed below are some of the most common difference between the two grasses
St. Augustine - Has above ground stems called stolons. When the above ground stems in St. Augustine grass dry out, the grass dies in that spot and has to be replaced with sod or plugs. Because of watering restrictions this happens often during drought periods.
Zoysia – Zoysia grasses have below ground stems called rhizomes. Below ground rhizomes survive extended periods of drought and grow back with rainfall or irrigation. Because of its deep, massive root system it can survive on 1/3 of the water used by St Augustine grass.
St. Augustine -One of the biggest problems with St Augustine grass is chinch bugs! These chewing insects leave brown, dead patches. Susceptible to other insects that are easier to control.
Zoysia - Chinch bug resistant. Billbugs are the most common insect problem with Zoysia and are easy to detect and control. Susceptible to other insects that are easier to control.
St. Augustine - Large brown patch and gray leaf spot are two major disease problems. Take all root rot and nematodes are also a problem.
Zoysia - Large patch, dollar spot and rust.
St. Augustine - Easily becomes over run with weeds because of its susceptibility to have dead areas where weeds can grow.
Zoysia - More weed resistant due it its tight mat and strong, deep root system. Called ‘Empire’ because of its dominance.
St. Augustine - High maintenance, grows to 7” in a week and only looks good 1-2 days after mowing. Can’t be mowed lower than 3”.
Zoysia -Low maintenance, slow growing. Nicknamed the ‘EZ’ lawn. Mow at 1-2” (1” is optimal). Bag clippings
St. Augustine - Quickly wears with minimal traffic.
Zoysia - High wear tolerance. Used in parks and recreational areas for its high wear tolerance.
St. Augustine - Coarse, straggly, uncomfortable on bare feet.
Zoysia - Dark green color, full, soft to the touch. The cost for Empire Zoysia is more.
Zoysia - Although seed is available we do not recommend seeding your lawn for the following reasons. This is a SLOW growing grass and it will take up to one year for coverage. In the meantime bare areas are susceptible to weed seed germination. It also takes a regular watering schedule for new seed germination and young plants once they have sprouted.
Winner: Empire Zoysia!
If your St Augustine lawn is in very poor condition it may be time to consider replacing with Empire Zoysia. Discovered in hot, humid Brazil this variety tolerates our heat and humidity well. It also has good salt tolerance. There are many types of Zoysia advertised and being used but VerdeGo only offers and installs the variety ‘Empire’.