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Ultimate Flora versus Empire Zoysia

Discussion in 'Florida Lawn Care Forum' started by billyandholly, Apr 13, 2012.

  1. williams lcm

    williams lcm LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,012

    I have a few customers that want the zoyia cut high. 4.5 or 5 inches.it looks amazing. The lawn stays green before and after cutting. I see some lco's cut it super short and it looks brown when they get done cutting it. Yes they are cut with a ztr and not a reel mower.
     
  2. Landscape Poet

    Landscape Poet LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,637

    I would be interested in Gregs opinion in jamur currently as his orignial post was a while back. I have one Jamur lawn that is reel cut and looks very good and as he indicated the color is a darker color in most cases of Empire with less inputs being delivered, however it does appear that it does suffer from drought stress issues if not given proper watering/aka a little extra boost during our hottest periods where as Empire I do not see the same effects unless watering is completely avoided by the homeowner when they forget to turn their irrigation system back on after shutting it down for whatever reason during a rain event.
     
  3. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,802

    Any zoysia or bermuda will not look good if a low cut is attempted with a rotary mower. My concerns with keeping a lawn high is water loss, disease, and thatch. Let me explain the water loss. Two zoysia lawns under the same conditions. One is cut at 1" or less, the other is at 2-4". I see the high cut one wilt first.
     
  4. Landscape Poet

    Landscape Poet LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,637

    I would say some lawns can look acceptable if cut low with a rotary IF it is properly installed. This means a lot of prep work upon installation ensuring the grating is correct.
    I have one lawn that they will not pay for the reel but we installed two years or so ago. I can take my 36 inch on and cut at 2.5 inches all day (Empire) and it looks very respectable. For sure it does not look as nice as a reel but still what would be consider nice for a residential lawn.

    Now with that said I have seen lawns where they have attempted to lower the cut height below 3 inches and cut it with larger zero and the sod installation was basic and simple. The result is a lawn that is scalped all over and never seems to adjust to the lower cutting.


    Can you explain why a lawn cut at 1 inch for example would be less likely to experience drought?
     
  5. Keith

    Keith LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,977

    I would assume due to there being less leaf for the root system to support.
     
  6. Landscape Poet

    Landscape Poet LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,637

    But would the root system be as strong as there is not as much leaf to support root growth/plant health? Which came first the root or the leave?
     
  7. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,802

    Correct. Under the same management, water, fertilizer, soil, high cut zoysia is the first to wilt.
     
  8. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,802

    Grass can be kept as high desired. But, the question becomes, how much are you allowed to water and fertilize it? The people making those rules do not have a legitimate horticultural or agronomic background. Last thing they have in mind is the health of the grass or the practicality of their mandates. I am quite aware of rooting depth vs height of cut. There are times when I want grass to put down roots. Like during a grow in. So I let it grow 4x its normal height of cut of 1" or less. Then it is cut down. Lots of people in the business at least know not to mow newly laid sod until it has grabbed the ground. Then again, trying to run a Tru-Cut or McLane on zoysia that has not grabbed can't be pretty.
     
  9. Landscape Poet

    Landscape Poet LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,637

    Talked to one of Gregg's ( post #2 ) partners today to try to figure out there experience with ultimate flora zoysia. As stated above it was not good. Rooting issues seem to be a concern. After discussing with Gregg's partner Ric today his experience and what I have seen on this turf the last couple of week, I have giving up on regular routine FL watering schedule. The turf in full sun especially seems to be in drought stress on every visit.
    Rooting depth or establishment of any root system seems to be the common factor. SO my line of thought is this.....if the root system is not there...why water like it is? What good does twice weekly watering deeply do if the root system is not there? I kicked the irrigation system on for daily waterings. Lets see if the grass responds well to this treatment. I figure we have established it does not have a good root system, is being reel cut like a golf course....why not try watering it like one and see what the result is.
     
  10. Or just scrap it for empire.
     

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