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By Mark Govan, Host “Florida Gardening” on 970WFLA Live on Sunday’s 7-9am

New Florida Turf Grass “ProVista” may be a Game Changer for Florida Residents

ABC Pest Control Services

Every dozen or so years, new varieties of turf grass are introduced to residents of the southern states. Some of these varieties promise greener color or disease resistance, while others may promise improved insect control or a softer appearance to the touch. Many of the choices we now have are much superior to cultivars introduced years ago. However, there is a new kid on the block that just may be the game changer we have been waiting for. If you have grown St. Augustine grass or one of its cultivars, then you need to pay attention to this article. This new turf grass touts the ability to reduce lawn mowing by fifty percent, will provide a darker green color with reduced fertilizer and can tolerate glyphosate, the active ingredient found in RoundUp herbicide. Sound interesting? Then let’s get started.

ProVista turf was developed by the Scotts Miracle-Gro company at a cost of one hundred million dollars spent over twenty years. ProVista is a genetically altered Floratam turf grass. Floratam has been widely grown by millions of homeowners for many years. What Scotts Miracle-Gro has done is to add a gene to the grass that decreases its height. They also designed the turf to be greener than its parent without the use of additional fertilizer. Finally, what I consider revolutionary, this turf is resistant to glyphosate which allows more control options for weed grasses. This can be a major cost saver.

Anyone who has hired a lawn service company to care for their turf knows that they need to service your lawn at least forty to forty-five times yearly. The monthly charge for this service can be seventy-five dollars or more a month. With Pro-Vista turf, you can cut that mowing bill in half. You only need to mow Pro-Vista every two weeks. For a condominium association growing ProVista, this could mean an eighteen hundred dollar, per acre savings, per annum. That is real money.

Side by side, testing of Foratam and ProVista turf has shown that if both grasses were mowed today at a height of three and three-quarters of an inch, then they were left to flourish naturally, on day fourteen the Floratam sod would have grown to six and a half inches tall, while the Pro-Vista sod would have grown to only four and three-quarters of an inch. For the ProVista lawn, that is merely a one-inch difference in two weeks. Plus, with the reduced need for cutting, you will have less noise pollution, less gas used, and you would have one-half the wear and tear on your equipment. With less grass to cut off, you will also decrease the thatch build-up in your lawn. Mulching mowers will love this. Mowing companies may have to rework how they price services, or they will need to become more attentive to the plants and bedding areas of your landscape to keep their prices constant.

ProVista will also remain greener with less fertilizer than standard Floratam. That means you can cut back on the fertilizer you use again saving you real money. Using less fertilizer will also keep excess nutrients out of the environment. The next benefit you will get is the real game changer, grassy weed control.

Probably one of the most serious problems facing homeowners growing St. Augustine grass is the consistent problem with invasive weed grasses attacking our lawns. Grassy weeds like Carpet grass, Wild Bermuda, and Torpedo grass invade our lawns without mercy. There are some pre-Emergence herbicides available that will control some of these grasses, but they are very expensive, and you must make several applications each year to have only limited control. ProVista has put an end to this.

Once ProVista turf is installed in your yard or business, you will get all the benefits I mentioned above plus you will be able to spray the lawn with glyphosate herbicide to kill off the unwanted weed grasses while leaving the ProVista intact. I cannot tell you how many homeowners have spent thousands of dollars fighting grassy weeds by re-sodding only to have to do it all over again in a few years. If you are thinking of replacing your lawn, or if you have dead areas throughout your yard, then you should consider making the change to ProVista once and for all. Condominium complexes regularly replace large areas of turf grass. Please consider a plan to start implementing a switch to this new grass. Currently, ProVista is only available for professional installation through Big Earth Landscape supply. Contact for a free estimate for the turf and installation.

I would like to thank Scotts Miracle-Gro for producing this new turf grass and Bethel Farms for growing it right here in Central Florida. Bethel Farms now has over seven hundred and fifty acres available for residential and commercial applications. There are no plans currently for plugs to be sold. Concentration is being focused on complete residential and commercial landscapes first. Add up the numbers and you will see that ProVista will save you money over time.

Every so often, new grass is developed to make our lives easier. ProVista may be exactly what we are looking for. With qualities like low growing heights, greener color, and resistance to glyphosate, this turf may just be the right grass for your lawn. Run your cost numbers and see if it will work for you. Remember to enjoy your landscape and as always, without plants, we would not be here!

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