For residential landscaping, nothing beats the appeal of thick, green lawns. They provide open areas for viewing and play, while cutting down on dust around the home. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, the state of Florida exists within three growing zones, so selecting the right features in your turfgrass can be a little tricky.
Thanks to the patented zoysiagrass cultivar, Empire Turf, offered by Duda Sod, your choice has become much easier to make. Its features stand up well to the impediments homeowners encounter when growing and maintaining a lovely Florida lawn.
Florida Growing Zones
Northern Florida rests in the plant hardiness zone number 8 where temperatures can fall into, and below, the twenties in the winter. Mid-Florida, in zone 9, can see winter temperatures hitting at or below freezing from time to time. Zone 10, covering the southern tip, rarely witnesses a mercury drop below freezing, making it a true subtropical environment. Being mostly a warm state, overall, warm season lawns usually do well here; however, you certainly wouldn’t want to expend the resources to install a warm season-only turf just to have one odd year of unconscionably cold temperatures damage it almost to death.
Other Lawn Challenges Faced by Florida Homeowners
Borderline growing zones aren’t the only issues you face when selecting the best sod for your yard. Many other conditions can affect turf. These include the following.
Soil composition often verges towards either sandy or clay-heavy. Sandy soils can’t hold water but do allow for good aeration. Clay-heavy soils compact, making it difficult for deep water penetration and deep root growth. Near the surface, clay holds water very well.
Grass loves the sun. But we love to have trees and shrubs surrounding our homes. Without enough sunshine, lawns tend to thin out and become weak.
As a ground cover, many turf varieties can suffer underfoot. A lot of traffic compacts the soil, breaks the blades and generally wears out the lawn.
Although the annual rainfall in Florida averages a significant 50 inches or so, droughts can strike anywhere any given summer. Often, during droughts, municipalities will restrict irrigation, so not only will Nature deprive the lawn of critical moisture, by necessity, so will you.
The heat, humidity and rainfall make Florida the perfect breeding grounds for every insect, common and exotic. Several species of bugs flourish on our turfgrass, especially when it is weakened from winter kill, drought, over watering or malnourishment.
Salt spray from the ocean can disrupt the happy growth of sod if it has not been bred to withstand it.
Features of Empire Turf
One of the most well-rounded grass varieties is Empire Turf, grown by Duda Sod. What is Empire Turf, and what are its best features?
- Dense zoysiagrass — Empire Turf is a densely-growing zoysiagrass, one of the best species for any Florida growing zone.
- Grows in your particular soil — This variety grows well in both sandy or clayey soils.
- Resists weeds — Because of its density, Empire Turf automatically crowds out opportunistic weeds, allowing for far less chemical applications to control them.
- Tolerates shade — Empire Turf, like all lawns, would prefer full sun, but it can take some shade, too, and remain in good health.
- Resilient underfoot — This grass isn’t just ornamental. It holds up under foot traffic and play.
- Drought dormancy — If the rain dries up and you can’t irrigate, Empire Turf will go into dormancy until the waterworks resume.
- Survives temperature extremes — Just as this sodgrass tolerates the Florida heat, so, too, will it power through those more severe winter temperatures.
- Salt tolerant — With its hardy root system, Empire Turf takes the salt spray of the coastal regions with aplomb.
- Pest resistant — Insects find it difficult to get a foothold in Empire Turf, especially the much-hated cinch bug.
Not only is Empire Turf tough enough to endure your soil type, the climate, wear and tear, shade and salt, its medium-wide blades lend it a beautiful rich color and soft-textured feel. You can’t go wrong with Empire Turf as your sod of choice. Please feel free to call Duda Sod for more information. Also, visit our blog to learn more about growing your Florida lawn.