SS-500 (protected by Australian Plant Breeder's Rights and United States Plant Patent), Empire™ (trade mark of TurfBreed Pty Ltd).
Empire™ is a medium- to slightly coarse-textured zoysiagrass suitable for recreational, commercial and domestic lawns. The variety handles shade, wear and retains adequate colour during winter. Empire™ does seed profusely during warmer weather and is very noticible if left unmown for several weeks in tropical conditions (e.g. Roche, 2013).
The main pro or con about Zoysia grass is its slow establishment and growth rate (although, Empire is slightly faster than some other zoysiagrasses). However, for a maintenance view point, Zoysia grass like Empire™ requires less attention than other common warm-season turfgrasses like blue and green couch. If infrequently mowing the turfgrass, Empire™ will scalp and take time to recover. Operators need to make sure mower blades are sharp and will not tear or damage leaf blades when the turf is mown. This is unsightly and can cause secondary problems like disease occurrence (Roche, 2012). Salinity tolerance of Empire is moderate to poor. However, in tough environments e.g. foreshore parks, where wear is also a factor, a variety like Empire is suitable compared to some seashore paspalum and green couch varieties. Since Empire's release in 2003 within Australia the variety has been used within roadsides, homes, amenity areas and developments, golf course tee boxes, parks and schools.
Pests, disease and weeds
Check to see which Pests, Diseases and or Weeds this turf variety may be susceptible to and how to successfully control them in your home lawn or sports turf.