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Captiva St. Augustine Maintenance

Installation and Establishment

Installation and the care taken during the initial days that follow are the most critical factors in determining the long-term quality and performance of any turfgrass, including Captiva St. Augustine. Harvesting and transplantation are extremely stressful to turfgrass and precautionary measures should be taken to help reduce further cultural and environmental stresses.

Captiva is a tough, hardy turfgrass that, once established, produces a beautiful lifetime lawn and landscape. Proper care, including pre-installation soil preparation and limiting time on the pallet to less than 24-hours, yields positive results (see Installation). Improper care, especially during the initial 24-hour period after harvest, can cause death of the turfgrass or damage that results in lengthy recovery and additional expense.

This potential damage is magnified during hot, humid months. An installation procedure that is acceptable during cool weather may cause extensive damage during hot weather for any St. Augustine grass.

Post Establishment

Mowing

Mowing is a critical and often underappreciated cultural practice:

Maintain Captiva at 2″-2 1/2″.
Mow every 14 days during the active growing season.
Mow as needed during all other periods.
Never cut more than 1/3 of the total length of the blade at any one mowing.
If a mowing is missed and clippings clump on top of the Captiva, bag or vacuum clippings to reduce shade-out.

Insecticides

Avoid stress from insects by performing insecticidal applications as needed:

For any insecticide application, always read and follow label directions carefully.
Early identification and treatment of insect stress minimizes inputs and injury.
Make routine observations of the landscape and be aware of seasonal pests like chinch bugs, webworms, armyworms and grubs.
Control armyworms and webworms with Sevin, Orthene, Diazinon or Pyrethroid-based products.
Control chinch bugs with Talstar.
Control grubs with Bayer Advanced Lawn® Season-Long Grub Control Ready-to.
Spread Granules annually in the late spring.
Remember: Read labels for compliance.

Herbicides

Proper mowing, irrigation and fertilization of Captiva will reduce weed problems. If a weed problem persists:

For any herbicide application, always read and follow directions carefully.
Improper use of herbicides can severely damage or kill Captiva.
Make routine observations of the landscape being aware of seasonal weeds.
Identify the type of weed causing the problem before using any chemical controls.

Fungicides

Although Captiva exhibits good disease resistance, fungal problems can occur during prolonged periods of adverse environmental conditions.

For any fungicide application, always read and follow label directions carefully.
Early identification and treatment of disease stress minimizes inputs and injury.
Make routine observations of the landscape being aware of unusual symptoms.
Consider a broad-spectrum fungicide application if predictable seasonal problems are noted.

Irrigation

Once established, Captiva requires water on an as-needed basis. Overwatering encourages excessive growth, disease, root rot and poor aeration of soils. Most lawns are overwatered, not under watered, which wastes resources, creates a shallow rooted “water dependent lawn” and potentially damages the turf.

Watering requirements are greatly dependent on soil type, season, geography and other factors.
Ensure irrigation systems are working properly and covering all areas covered by Captiva.
Make routine observations of the landscape and learn the signs (i.e. wilting) that indicate when irrigation is required.
Shaded areas and heavy soils require less water than full-sun areas and sandy soils.
Encourage deep root growth by watering until the soil is moist to a depth of 3″; shallow watering encourages shallow roots.
Infrequent deep watering maximizes drought resistance and tolerance.
During drought conditions, irrigation needs are generally 1″ of water per week.

Fertility

Proper fertility practices will encourage healthy, disease and insect free Captiva:

Perform a soil test to understand your soil type(s) and condition and best determine your specific fertility needs.
Generally Captiva requires 3-4 fertilizer applications/year: spring (one early, one late), summer and fall.
Make routine observations and fertilize according to what the landscape indicates.
Understand what and how much fertilizer you are applying.