What mower works well with Empire Zoysia?

What mower works well with Empire Zoysia?

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Grillking – posted 05 April 2013 10:51

Hello – I have 3/4 acres of Empire Zoysia, and my 18hp Troy Bilt mower has a hard time cutting the grass down to the right height. The grass is beautiful, but very thick – the mower bogs down and the belts slip when I try to cut less than about 2.5 inches. There doesn’t seem to be anything wrong with the mower. So I am asking the group what mower you use with this grass and how successful you are cutting it down to the proper heights? Thank you.

pyro – posted 05 April 2013 16:10

i was under the impression that if you are leaving it that short you need some type of reel mower. me personally, i keep mine at about 3-4″ and use a regular rotary push mower

Houndawg – posted 06 April 2013 06:29

Proper Height? If you cut it too short you’ll invite weeds . If you allow it to get too tall and cut it back , you’ll get bare spots. I’d have to say don’t allow it to get so tall that it clogs the mower. I can go two and sometimes three weeks without cutting it. It depends on the amount of rain it gets. I’d rather have a nice thick rug to walk on out there.

Houndawg – posted 13 April 2013 00:26

In my location. If I cut it real low, and there comes a large rain storm, most of the water runs down hill and out of the yard. My yard has a very slight slope to it. But even a slight slope will carry away tons of water.

SodSolutions – posted 15 April 2013 09:15

My company, Sod Solutions is the developer and patent holder of Empire Zoysia. We recommend mowing it between 1″ and 2″ depending on the season and weather. 1″ is optimal in most areas. When it gets very hot in the heat of summer, allowing it to get closer to 2″ is OK if you see the grass getting stressed. As far as mowers go, a standard rotary mower should be more than adequate for cutting your grass, but you should not be cutting more than 1/3rd of the leaf blade at a time. In most cases it will require mowing every 7-14 days in the growing season.

I saw that another user said that he mows his Empire at 3″-4″ and we strongly discourage mowing at such a tall height. It will create an environment for thatch build up, insects, and disease. You may be able to get by doing it for a while, but in the end it is not a good cultural practice for Empire. It is OK to keep Floritam and some other St. Augustines at 4″, but Zoysia and St. Augustine are very different grasses and need to be cared for in different ways.

mrmumbels – posted 15 April 2013 09:52

Hey sodsolutions. DO you have any tips for growing this stuff in sugary sand in central fl? I’ve had my empire for 6-7 years and have been struggling for 5 years. It just doesn’t seem to want to grow in my soil. I had my soil tested and they said it was fine but I don’t believe them. For some reason it seems to grow better near the road.

flturf – posted 30 June 2014 05:49


I just wanted to hear about the post above mine since I’m also from central fl and plan on buying some empire zoysia sometime this week. I bought about ten pieces of sod from lowes two weeks ago and so far so good but, I’ll be buying a pallet soon and would hate to run into the same problems as the above poster

Phil Busey – posted 30 June 2014 23:21


mrmumbels did not describe what kind of struggle Empire zoysiagrass had in sugary sand but seemed to grow better near the road. Zoysiagrasses are prone to nematode problems in sand soil, so was the soil near the road heavier and less prone to nematode infestation? And what did the soil test actual show and was the soil near the road analyzed as well? Without more detail there is very little to conclude.

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