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  #11  
Old 10-16-2011, 12:32 PM
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jvanvliet jvanvliet is offline
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Originally Posted by fobaum View Post
Anybody have any expedience w/ sapphire SA? I personalty don't like palmetto it seems way more vulnerable to insect & fungus than flora tam or classic SA. I'm getting my first house Nov. 1st!! and i need to SOD the whole property about 10,000 sq ft. and i was thinking of using sapphire SA for the front yard..
There's no such thing as a cinch or fungus resistant strain of SA; Floratam is notoriously subject to infestation and disease, used to not be that way. All SA's are susceptible to a degree, some more than others, I'd put Floratam in the "more" class.

Palmetto actually stacks up well next to Sapphire.

http://www.bethelfarms.com/turf-sapphire.php

And you can get Sapphire @ Home Depot, Lowes, Walmart; hmmm...
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  #12  
Old 10-16-2011, 07:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fobaum View Post
Anybody have any expedience w/ sapphire SA? I personalty don't like palmetto it seems way more vulnerable to insect & fungus than flora tam or classic SA. I'm getting my first house Nov. 1st!! and i need to SOD the whole property about 10,000 sq ft. and i was thinking of using sapphire SA for the front yard..
I put some Sapphire plugs in my back yard in a small area. I'm not impressed. But I have to even question if what I have is Sapphire. They are from Bethel, but I could have sworn that they claimed the stolons of Sapphire were purple. And what I have ain't purple.

Palmetto, you guys can have it. I tried it on several occasions and had lots of problems with it.

Captiva is chinch bug resistant, but not fungus, and webworm resistant. In the shade you may love it. In the sun, forget it.

Seville is a notorious thatch builder and can get terribly spongey in the sun. It wouldn't be a bad idea to roll it with a a sod roller every few months.

In the full sun, it's just really hard to beat old Floratam. It grows too fast, and does not have the prettiest shade of green during the summer, but it does what it is supposed to. And even though it is not resistant to chinch bugs now, it would be an absolutely terrible outbreak to lose more than 20% of the lawn if left completely untreated. I can't say that for other varieties. And it mostly grows out of any fungal problems.
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  #13  
Old 10-16-2011, 07:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jvanvliet View Post
There's no such thing as a cinch or fungus resistant strain of SA; Floratam is notoriously subject to infestation and disease, used to not be that way. All SA's are susceptible to a degree, some more than others, I'd put Floratam in the "more" class.

Palmetto actually stacks up well next to Sapphire.

http://www.bethelfarms.com/turf-sapphire.php

And you can get Sapphire @ Home Depot, Lowes, Walmart; hmmm...
Floratam for all the faults people claim it has, does have the ability and has shown the deepest root depth of the SA cultivators if I remember a presentation put on by U of F last winter at the county extension.

The biggest factor other than shade tolarance for me other than the quality of the sod is will it match up with the existing lawn well. Palmetto tends to do that very well with Floratam, while offering better cold tolerance.

The biggest factor anyone should concern themselves with other than a quality install (properly removed the old/proper shade tolerance and environment)....is a quality L &O company that can address issues before they become issues and for those that do arise....they can be resolved quickly.

All the SA varieties I have used have the ability to be a attractive turf grass if properly managed ....... We can not stop the homeowners choice after install. If they fail to provide proper irrigation...the turf will not be a attractive lawn.......If they fail to provide nutrition and pest suppression......it will not be a attractive lawn......If they mow or hire someone to maintain and they cut it too short......they will not have a attractive lawn. If they do all the above properly...they will have a attractive lawn for as long as these procedures are kept in place. Remove one of them and they just increased the likely hood of their lawn experiencing some type of failure.

Hell even Bahia that most of us despise can be a very attractive turf ...if properly irrigated, nutrition and pest control provided, and maintained properly.

The choice of which turf cultivator of SA is important....but other than shade issues as.....I feel the other factors are much more important.

In Edit - there is not a '' miracle grass" unless you buy into someones marketing. There is good sod, proper nutrition and pest suppression, proper cultural and mechanic procedures including cutting and irrigation....that is what makes a miracle grass.
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  #14  
Old 10-16-2011, 07:46 PM
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Seville is a notorious thatch builder and can get terribly spongey in the sun. It wouldn't be a bad idea to roll it with a a sod roller every few months.
Or topdress with green sand or a quality compost....over watering and fertilization can lead to this from what I have heard too but I do not have documentation backing that up.

You have it about right on Floratam.
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  #15  
Old 10-17-2011, 05:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Geist Yard Works View Post
Floratam for all the faults people claim it has, does have the ability and has shown the deepest root depth of the SA cultivators if I remember a presentation put on by U of F last winter at the county extension.

The biggest factor other than shade tolarance for me other than the quality of the sod is will it match up with the existing lawn well. Palmetto tends to do that very well with Floratam, while offering better cold tolerance.

The biggest factor anyone should concern themselves with other than a quality install (properly removed the old/proper shade tolerance and environment)....is a quality L &O company that can address issues before they become issues and for those that do arise....they can be resolved quickly.

All the SA varieties I have used have the ability to be a attractive turf grass if properly managed ....... We can not stop the homeowners choice after install. If they fail to provide proper irrigation...the turf will not be a attractive lawn.......If they fail to provide nutrition and pest suppression......it will not be a attractive lawn......If they mow or hire someone to maintain and they cut it too short......they will not have a attractive lawn. If they do all the above properly...they will have a attractive lawn for as long as these procedures are kept in place. Remove one of them and they just increased the likely hood of their lawn experiencing some type of failure.

Hell even Bahia that most of us despise can be a very attractive turf ...if properly irrigated, nutrition and pest control provided, and maintained properly.

The choice of which turf cultivator of SA is important....but other than shade issues as.....I feel the other factors are much more important.

In Edit - there is not a '' miracle grass" unless you buy into someones marketing. There is good sod, proper nutrition and pest suppression, proper cultural and mechanic procedures including cutting and irrigation....that is what makes a miracle grass.
Agreed, mostly; I recall an extension presentation that mentions Palmetto as developing a deep and massive root system that results in a highly drought tolerant lawn, and as you said, the additional benefits are that it is tolerant to extreme temperatures and adapts well to a changing landscape environments such as maturing trees on the property and blending well with Floratam.

We are seeing extensive damage from pathogens in the Floratam lawns down here and, in my estimation, it offers no more resistance to cinch or fungus than Palmetto or Bitter Blue, but then I don't think I've ever seen any of our properties left untreated and so don't have first hand experience with the turf's ability to overcome and recover.

With the stress from fungus, and grubs on the way can cinch infestation be far behind? Here's where proper IPM is critical.

Can't say I know to much about Captiva other than what I've read, but I believe all would agree Seville is a limited application turf, ie shade or partial sun only.

As far as cultural and mechanical practices are concerned, I agree with you 100%. Any turf can make an attractive lawn with proper hydration, fertilizer, pest control and cutting, and so one might reasonably argue that turf selection is largly a matter of preference. (I like the feel & look of Palmetto and believe it holds up better to foot traffic).

Last edited by jvanvliet; 10-17-2011 at 05:55 AM.
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  #16  
Old 10-17-2011, 02:00 PM
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"Agreed, mostly; I recall an extension presentation that mentions Palmetto as developing a deep and massive root system that results in a highly drought tolerant lawn, and as you said, the additional benefits are that it is tolerant to extreme temperatures and adapts well to a changing landscape environments such as maturing trees on the property and blending well with Floratam."

Regarding a massive root system lending to increased drought tolerance...
that is a touted claim promoted by Sod Solution which has not been backed up the U/F research findings. Field users have had increased claims of a variety of problems with the use with Palmetto. IMHO, after it's all said and done, Floratam still looks pretty good after all. Not saying it doesn't have issues but being proactive goes a long way. You just can't believe all the marketing.
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  #17  
Old 10-17-2011, 02:21 PM
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Agreed. Completely. I see Sod Solutions is now promoting Captiva. Confirms to me it's an "iffy" variety that needs promoting. I did not realize they were behind Sapphire as well. I would have never wasted my time with it.
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  #18  
Old 10-18-2011, 05:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rob7233 View Post

Regarding a massive root system lending to increased drought tolerance...
that is a touted claim promoted by Sod Solution which has not been backed up the U/F research findings. Field users have had increased claims of a variety of problems with the use with Palmetto. IMHO, after it's all said and done, Floratam still looks pretty good after all. Not saying it doesn't have issues but being proactive goes a long way. You just can't believe all the marketing.
Thank you.

It's easy to get sucked into the hype especially when growers do the presentations. Here is the extensions take on the St. Augustine cultvars;

http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/lh010

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  #19  
Old 10-19-2011, 10:06 AM
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ONE of the primary function of the Extension is to provide an outreach to homeowners for U/F, which is Florida's Land Grant University.

Sometimes, when the folks at UF need info to publish, they have to seek out other experts in the field for information. In this case, it was the grower or developer of this turfgrass since they had no research generated data of their own yet.

A good example was Floratam, the grower said it was shade tolerant but through UF research (and it took 5 years to do so) they later found out different. As a result of their own trials and many field reports, that Floratam is best used in full sun applications.

This is why when funding is available to do the research, UF often revises findings since the original, conventional wisdom was found to be incorrect.

Just yesterday, I was sitting in an Extension presentation where I could tell the presenter was not nearly familiar with the subject matter as I was. Everyone has different areas of interest they're into. Even the PhD.s at UF don't always have the answers or as up to date as you might expect. Also, you'll find plenty of outdated info on the net ie.,Chinch bug resistance of Floratam even from reputable sites.

Bottom line: Do your due diligence and educate yourself as much as you can.
The Bad news is: You'll never stop learning !
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  #20  
Old 10-19-2011, 06:06 PM
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Good advice. I'm in the property maintenance business ten years and I've learned there is always something else to learn, and I'll never be to old to learn.

Gotta start somewhere, the extension is as good a place as any. I usually take the stuff with a little grain of salt specially when they have the manufacturers & producers making presentations.
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