Captiva St Augustine

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by GreenT, Aug 23, 2010.

  1. Landscape Poet

    Landscape Poet LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,637

    I would not put this as a selling point to a customer. The University does not recognize any cultivator of SA as being chinch bug resistant, they state it has improved tolerance (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep398), but that is not resistance, until then, I would not tell a customer that, because you know who they will blame when damage occurs! If they want chinch bug resistant turf - zoysia is what you should give them.

    Second - I think Floratam can get by pretty good during our rainy season without much additional irrigation if it has been properly feed. Still needs it during our dry periods like our last little 30 day period of no rain.
     
  2. GreenT

    GreenT LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 43,014


    1. I don't sell it to my clients. This was originally the homeowners' idea, I provided the service of finding a supplier, installation, and BMP in maintain it.

    2. Your splitting hairs with the semantics involved... resistance v. improved tolerance. It's the same thing. "Immune" would have been an inappropriate characterization.

    3. The definition of plant resistance as per Wiki:


    Plant disease resistance derives both from pre-formed defenses and from infection-induced responses mediated by the plant immune system. Relative to a disease-susceptible plant, disease resistance is often defined as reduction of pathogen growth on or in the plant, while the term disease tolerance describes plants that exhibit less disease damage despite similar levels of pathogen growth.


    If you prefer to be more specific and narrow the focus to insect damage, here's their definition:


    Plant defense against herbivory or host-plant resistance (HPR) describes a range of adaptations evolved by plants which improve their survival and reproduction by reducing the impact of herbivores.


    4. From the IFAS page you cite...


    Research conducted prior to release of 'Captiva' indicates that there is a higher mortality rate for southern chinch bugs with 'Captiva' (91.3%) compared to Floratam (47.2%). Similarly, plant hoppers survived for an average of 3.2 days on 'Captiva', compared to 18.2 days survival on 'Classic' St. Augustinegrass, which had the highest susceptibility of the cultivars tested.


    Both the definition and the research concur: a reduction of pathogen growth... higher mortality rate for southern chinch bugs.

    Btw, the University is not always right, they recommend cutting at 2-2.5 inches which is ridiculous.

    I thank you for the advice nonetheless.

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  3. GreenT

    GreenT LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 43,014


    I haven't responded to you sooner because I was out of town last week. I plan to visit the property sometime this week and will update you on the status.

    Re options, I'd suggest you follow Keith's advice. It is way early in the life/usability cycle of this new variety to make an informed decision. I would like to see its performance for at least 2-3 seasons before making any determinations.

    One of the reasons I started this thread was to find out if anybody else had more experience with this variety, however, that doesn't seem to be the case.

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  4. Keith

    Keith LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,977

    Yeah, that would pretty much be a disaster.
     
  5. Patriot Services

    Patriot Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 12,532

    I agree. Floratam hasn't exactly lived up to it's early claims. I've seen a lot of decline this season. Thinking it is the long term fallout from last winter.
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  6. Keith

    Keith LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,977

    Floratam didn't have chinch bug problems for about 12-13 years. Bugs will always adapt. If Captiva becomes widely used, it's just a matter of time before it loses it's resistance. Maybe five years, maybe twenty. Of course, I guess it's always possible that they could adapt to zoysia as well.

    On the subject of Captiva though, guess what's back? Mine has a good deal of dollar spot this morning.
     
  7. Patriot Services

    Patriot Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 12,532

    More baking soda?
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  8. Keith

    Keith LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,977

    Nah, I'll let it correct itself...or not. I wouldn't expect a customer to show it any special attention. I want to see what this grass does with minimum input. Hopefully I am not looking at like I did the Palmetto eight years ago.
     
  9. GreenT

    GreenT LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 43,014


    Same here. Water, nutrients, chemicals...

    How prominent is the dollar spot Keith?

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  10. GreenT

    GreenT LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 43,014


    Let me tell you a little story... we live on five acres in Central Fl. We bought the property in the mid 80's from an older lady whose husband had recently passed away. The house is a 70's ranch and in those days it was common for home owners to lay St. Augustine only on the front yard and the rest leave it to the Bahia.

    From what I could tell then, they never fertilized nor irrigated anything. For environmental reasons we also decided not to do any of it either even though we have a well.

    The result?... In season, our SA looks better than any I have seen, off season it goes dormant but never really dies off, and once the rains start again it takes off. For over 20 years at least, this grass has never been fed nor has it ever needed any pesticide.

    Let me make it clear, it has never had cinch bug or any other problem other than some assorted weed here and there.

    I'm of the opinion that over-watering and a never ending cycle of nitrogen feeding weakens SA to the point that it becomes susceptible to diseases and infestations.

    IMO any turf, if given the proper conditions to develop resistance naturally, will perform in the same manner.

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