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Buy Floratam St. Augustine Grass



St. Augustine grass (Stenotaphrum secundatum) is a water-efficient turf grass used in many warm-season lawns. Several types of St. Augustine are available for lawns, but one of the most popular is 'Floratam' (Stenotaphrum secundatum 'Floratam'). Since its introduction by the University of Florida and Texas A & M University in 1973, this variety has become one of the most produced and prevalent St. Augustine grasses used in warm-season lawns.




buy floratam st. augustine grass



St. Augustine grass is a warm-season grass that is hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 8 through 10. This broad-bladed, medium-green turf grass thrives in sunny locations, but unlike some sun-loving grasses, it also has a high shade tolerance. Common St. Augustine grass grows quickly during summer, but more slowly in fall and spring. It is a salt- and drought-tolerant grass that requires moderate maintenance.


Like most St. Augustine grasses, Floratam is coarse-textured grass, but a distinguishing feature of Floratam is its longer and wider leaf blades. This dark-green cultivar grows rapidly in both spring and summer. It is less cold and shade tolerant than other St. Augustine grass cultivars and can suffer from freeze damage when temperatures stay below freezing for an extended period of time; it is hardy only in USDA zones 9 and 10. Floratam needs plenty of sunshine and will perform poorly if it receives less than six hours of sunlight a day.


Floratam can be established by sod, sprigs or plugs. For the first seven to 10 days after planting, water grass several times a day for five to 10 minutes. Established Floratam should be cut to a height of 3 1/2 to 4 inches, watered 1 inch weekly and fertilized every four to eight weeks with 1/2 to 1 pound nitrogen per 1,000 square feet. Do not over-water or overfeed - use less than 4 pounds of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet annually - as this leads to thatch buildup. When mowing, be careful not to scalp the grass, cutting it low enough to expose the dirt, because weeds can establish in the damaged area.


Floratam is a coarse, vigorous variety of St. Augustine grass that thrives in warmer climates, requiring more than 6 hours of daily sunlight. Its broad leaves create a plush look. Perfect for a sunny lawn, Floratam is also the most drought tolerant St. Augustine variety on the market.


Keeping it at a height of 3 to 4 inches gives it a thick, lush appearance. Floratam is a coarse grass with broad, flat blades. Floratam will have a deep green to bluish-green hue during the summer months, but it will fade a bit during cooler temperatures as it goes dormant.


A healthy Floratam lawn will have deep purple stems, green foliage and long white roots. St. Augustine grass with brown, diseased leaves and short brown roots is a sign of the dry-root fungus that plagues this type of grass.


St. Augustine grass (Stenotaphrum secundatum) is a popular warm-season lawn grass. Several varieties are available, but 'Floratam' (Stenotaphrum secundatum 'Floratam') has become one of the most widely produced and used St. Augustine cultivars in lawns. Since its introduction by the University of Florida and Texas A & M University in 1973, this variety has gained popularity due to its water efficiency and disease resistance.


Floratam St. Augustine grass was released by the Florida and Texas Agricultural Experiment Stations in 1972 as a SAD virus and chinch bug resistant selection. It has since been observed to be brown patch tolerant. Like other Florida types, Floratam is a vigorous, coarse textured St. Augustine grass variety. Floratam has a purple stigma color and is sterile. Stolons of Floratam are large, purplish-red in color with internodes averaging 3 inches in length. Leaf blades are wider and longer than common St. Augustine grass. According to James Beard, TAEX Turf Researcher - retired, test at A&M concluded it is the most drought-tolerant of all St. Augustine grasses.


Some feel that Floratam is not as cold tolerant as the common type found in Texas so preconditioning by use of Winterizer fertilizer (3-1-2 or 4-1-2 ratio) in the fall (October) is CRITICAL. Floratam may suffer freeze damage in areas north (cold) and west (dry) of San Antonio so the grass variety is especially suitable for all areas South of Highway 90 including San Antonio, Houston, Corpus Christi and the Rio Grande Valley.


We believe that the recommended Floratam St. Augustine is the best available for the diverse growing conditions of South Central Texas. It tolerates and even thrives in periods of excessive rainfall. A study of the drought tolerance of grasses entitled: "Comparative Intraspecies and Interspecies Drought Resistance of Six major Warm-Season Turfgrass Species" was conducted by S. I. Sifers and J. B. Beard at Texas A&M University.


Four years of field drought resistance studies were completed on grasses growing on a modified sand root zone.In the fourth year of the study, 29 bermudagrass, 2 seashore paspalum, 2 buffalograss, 8 St. Augustine grass, 6 centipede grass, and 11 zoysiagrass cultivars were subjected to 158 days of progressive water stress with no supplemental irrigations applied and less than 7.5 cm. of natural rainfall.Degree of leaf firing was used as an indicator of dehydration avoidance and post-drought shoot recovery was used as the indicator for drought resistance.Significant drought resistance differentials were found across the cultivars and among the species. Results were consistent with the first three years of the study among the bermudagrass, seashore paspalum, St. Augustine grass, and buffalograss cultivars.Among the centipedegrass cultivars only Oklawn fully recovered.


Leaf firing of all zoysiagrass cultivars was in excess of 50%. All recovered, except Meyer at 20 percent and Belair at 45% after 30 days.Excellent dehydration avoidance was seen in Floratam and Floralawn St. Augustinegrass. There were large variations in drought resistance among the five St. Augustinegrass cultivars. Floralawn and Floratam showed high green shoot recovery. They showed less than 50% leaf firing after 34 days of drought stress and recoveries of over 90 percent. However, Texas Common and Raleigh St. Augustine grass as well as Prairie buffalograss showed over 98% leaf firing and less than 20 percent recovery.The performance of Floratam and Floralawn was excellent throughout the study in terms of shoot color, turgidity, and uniformity. They were comparable to 609 Buffalograss.


"Everything on 4 inches of soil died - even the Bermuda grasses," said Karen Guz, SAWS conservation director. "That's disconcerting for people who live up on the edge of the Hill Country and have less than 4 inches of soil under their grass."


Half the replicated plots were planted on deep native soil and the other half on 4 inches of soil underlain with a plastic liner to simulate a city ordinance requirement for 4 inches of soil under grass at new developments.


"What we're debating here is whether 60 percent recovery is OK after two months, or should we go up to 80 percent recovery," she said. "The question becomes, would a homeowner feel they needed to replace their grass if only 60 percent of it is alive two months after the drought ends."


"Among those varieties, you'd have lots of Bermuda, several well-known zoysia, one buffalo and one St. Augustine variety," Guz said. "If the cutoff goes up to 80 percent, then none of the zoysia varieties make it, and zoysia is a pretty popular grass."


"The one St. Augustine grass that did well Floratam - has a reputation for poor tolerance for extreme cold," Guz said, adding it might be OK for those in South San Antonio but not for those who get lower temperatures in the higher elevations of the North Side.


Guz said it's clear from the study that for grass to do well without a lot of supplemental watering needs at least 6 inches of soil. "The lesson we're learning from this is that soil is incredibly important," she said.


Some grasses are tougher than others. A study of turf grasses showed some varieties recovered well with 60 days of care with no water. The San Antonio Water System will update its list of approved grasses for new development after consulting this week with researchers.


Jerry, this information is definitely interesting. Outlined below is how our Georgetown drought study went. This rating is the amount of turfgrass left in the spring, after three full years of no supplemental irrigation on the plots.


2. The Floratam actually was doing almost as good as the buffalograsses until the last winter. Freezing temperatures killed out the Floratam, not drought. Even though the plot was dead in the spring, it was still a thick stand of Floratam.


3. In our study, the first grasses to show drought injury or go brown were all the zoysiagrasses, especially the fine textured zoysiagrasses. Milt chewed us out, saying we didn't give the zoysiagrasses enough time to get established. However, in my mind if a grass can't get established from sod in 10 months, then I question how good is it.


5. In the first year, the summer was very hot and dry. By September, most of the grasses in all the plots looked dead or severely thinned out. However, the Georgetown area received about 7 inches of rainfall that next winter and the next spring, all turfgrasses recovered 100%, including the three St. Augustinegrasses.


As to the current study, I am a little surprised that all the grasses died in the 4 inch soil test. I know some of the guys involved with the project believe that heat (the black plastic) also played a major role in the grass dying. I know I have seen plenty of buffalograss and some bermudagrass survive in less than 4 inches of soil for longer than 60 days. Don't get me wrong, I would like to see at least 6 to 8 inches of soil were possible for growing turfgrasses.


================================== COMMENT: Notice the McAfee #2 comment: *2. The Floratam actually was doing almost as good as the buffalograsses until the last winter. Freezing temperatures killed out the Floratam, not drought. Even though the plot was dead in the spring, it was still a thick stand of Floratam.* This means that Floratam is cold hardy if well-cared for going into the winter. This means that a *Winterizer* fertilizer with a 3-1-2 or 4-1-2 ratio should be applied in October (See: _column/101301.htm) and an inch of water should be applied to lawn grasses every two or three weeks during the winter months in lieu of adequate rainfall. 041b061a72


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