Bahia Grass – Great for Warm Season Growing
Bahia grasses are very deep rooted and tough grass that is used in the south and a very hot sun. Even in erosion prone soil, this grass can stabilize and live for a long time. It is very tough and low growing. Because it’s so thick, mowing this grass can be very cumbersome. You will want to make sure you have a very sharp blade on your mower before you get started for the summer.
Bahia grasses grow very well in the shade. They also do a very good during the drought and Sandy or in fertile locations. This grass will stay green longer than most of the other grasses will during the warm season months. Just like many other grasses, you can oversee this grass with annual ryegrass to get a greener lawn during the winter months.
You can plant the Bahia grass by either side or seed. If you choose to use seeds, you will want to use 8 to 10 pounds per 1000 ft.². The seeds will take time to germinate. You should allow 18 to 28 days for them to fully germinate. You can plant them with or without shade. You want to mobile this grass around 2 inches high with a very sharp blade.
You will have to water the Bahia grass a lot. It has very deep roots and will soak up a lot of water. If you go out of town or if you don’t have a sprinkler system, you will be okay since it can tolerate some drought. You will also want to fertilize it with nitrogen every year. 2 to 4 pounds per 1000 ft.² should do the trick.
Bahia Grass Care Tips
Water your bahia grass to supplement rainfall whenever the blades begin to turn bluish-gray, fold up or wilt. Water it to provide ¾ to 1 inch of water each time, wetting the top 8 inches of soil.
Mow your bahia grass once every seven to 14 days during spring through fall to maintain it at 3 to 4 inches in height. Never cut more than one-third of the grass’s total height in a single mowing.
Feed your bahia grass between spring green-up and fall with a 16-4-8 NPK lawn fertilizer, according to the instructions on the package. Use a rate of ½ lb. of water-soluble nitrogen to 1 lb. of slow-release nitrogen per 1,000 square feet of lawn, divided into two to four applications.
Treat your bahia grass lawn for infestations of mole crickets, which tunnel into the soil and feed on the grass roots and shoots, causing brown patches in your lawn. To control the infestation, you can introduce natural mole cricket predators, such as the Larra wasp or the beneficial nematode Steinernema scapterisci. You can also apply an approved insecticide or bait to get rid of the mole crickets.
Apply a pre-emergent herbicide to your bahia grass in late winter or prior to new growth in early spring, if you’ve had problems with crabgrass, sandbur, goosegrass or crowfootgrass weeds in prior years. Pre-emergent herbicides that are effective on common weeds found in bahia grass include dacthal, oryzalin, pendimethalin, dithiopyr, prodiamine, benefin and bensulide.
Apply a post-emergent herbicide to your bahia grass lawn to control annual and perennial broadleaf weeds that have already begun to grow, such as spurge, knotweed and lespedeza. Apply the post-emergent herbicide only when air temperatures are 60 to 85 degrees Fand the grass isn’t stressed from drought or other factors.