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View Full Version : Bad Rap for Bahia???


Landscape Poet
04-19-2012, 06:49 PM
So here is my thoughts - Bahia can be a very attractive turf grass for a residential lawn if properly cared for, meaning you feed it, water it, remove pest from it...just like you would with a St. Augustine lawn if you wanted it to last, however I think it generally gets a bad rap because of neglect.

So thought I would post a picture of a Bahia lawn that I care for and was on today. Tell me if you see anything wrong with this lawn and why it does not make a attractive turf in your opinion.


Post pictures of your Bahia lawns if you have ones that you feel are good lawns too.


http://a1.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/544779_441204119227813_100000146856528_1891461_246878975_n.jpg

http://sphotos.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/562458_441204849227740_100000146856528_1891463_1741691853_n.jpg

Ric
04-19-2012, 07:12 PM
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Mikey


Bahia isn't a bad grass if you have the Correct soil for it. Unfortunately the S W Gulf Coastal of Florida where I am, has calcareous sandy. Bahia likes a pH of 6 and my area has a 9.5 natural pH. Therefore Bahia Doesn't do very well in my area.

BTW Bahia on good soil is like Bluegrass in the fact you really can't mess it up. Any one can take care of it.


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Landscape Poet
04-19-2012, 09:51 PM
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BTW Bahia on good soil is like Bluegrass in the fact you really can't mess it up. Any one can take care of it.


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From what I have seen on the lawns that have irrigation and have the lawn properly cared for with maint and fert and squirt....I would tend to agree with you. Like we have discussed it would be a little more forgiving if something did go wrong as you could simply overseed like the guys up north vs the high cost of sodding.

The green that these bahia lawns have in the early early spring here is much much darker green compared to the St. Augustine lawns that surround them.

How is weed control on them Ric...is there a wider selection of herbicides that can be used on them than say S.A?

Ric
04-19-2012, 11:49 PM
From what I have seen on the lawns that have irrigation and have the lawn properly cared for with maint and fert and squirt....I would tend to agree with you. Like we have discussed it would be a little more forgiving if something did go wrong as you could simply overseed like the guys up north vs the high cost of sodding.

The green that these bahia lawns have in the early early spring here is much much darker green compared to the St. Augustine lawns that surround them.

How is weed control on them Ric...is there a wider selection of herbicides that can be used on them than say S.A?

Mikey

Believe it or not I use a low rate of Roundup to control broad leafs. But the real point is there are several good herbicides for Bahia. There are Ag labeled pesticides that work even better.


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ArTurf
04-20-2012, 07:13 PM
I would agree it can make a decent looking lawn. But when it starts producing it's seedhead is the problem. Do you do anything to suppress the seedhead, growth regulator? How do you fert it, how much N or K?

Ric
04-20-2012, 07:55 PM
I would agree it can make a decent looking lawn. But when it starts producing it's seedhead is the problem. Do you do anything to suppress the seedhead, growth regulator? How do you fert it, how much N or K?

ArTurf

Seed Head are a bigger problem on Pensacola Bahia than Argentine Bahia. Pensacola Bahia is used more in Pastures and Road & Right Away setting than Residential lawns.

However Roundup applied at a lower rate can suppress Pensacola seed heads. You may want to use the search feature with the Key Words CHEMICAL MOWING for more information. I am not going to retype what I have already typed many times.


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Florida Gardener
04-20-2012, 08:09 PM
IMO-Bahia that gets fert/irrigation is like a skirt steak with seasoning, it's still a skirt steak. It's funny how customers in your area irrigate/fert Bahia but will request you to cut zoysia at 4" with a big ztr.
Posted via Mobile Device

oviedo
04-20-2012, 11:30 PM
Do you recommend a 4 day per week cycle on Argentine as far as water? (meaning dry season anyway). Hoping to get something going soon over here.

MR-G
04-21-2012, 09:21 AM
bahia is crap....you can make it look good for a while but eventually it will be nothing more than weeds...

oviedo
04-21-2012, 12:05 PM
bahia is crap....you can make it look good for a while but eventually it will be nothing more than weeds...

Even with Chemical Mowing, or using herbicides?

gregory
04-21-2012, 04:05 PM
i agree with what ric said. i am alittle futher south then ric and bahia looks good for a few years but the ph catches up with them and it starts to thin and looks like crap.

i guess if you have the right soil for it then it would be a great choice.. but i'll pass and keep my floratam....

Landscape Poet
04-22-2012, 05:12 PM
IMO-Bahia that gets fert/irrigation is like a skirt steak with seasoning, it's still a skirt steak. It's funny how customers in your area irrigate/fert Bahia but will request you to cut zoysia at 4" with a big ztr.
Posted via Mobile Device


Not all Bahia here gets irrigation and fert.....just some. That is the funny thing though why I bring up this post..most people think that Bahia is what they see when they go by the lawns that do not irrigate or fert or do any kind of weed control. When in fact this lawn looks pretty darn nice overall. Like I said it is not as thick as St. Augustine when you are on top of it, but from the road side it is a attractive turf as it is generally deep deep green. The company that does the pest and fert does a good job on weed control too. The lawn is generally pretty weed free.

Landscape Poet
04-22-2012, 05:15 PM
bahia is crap....you can make it look good for a while but eventually it will be nothing more than weeds...

That has not been the case on this lawn or a couple other of the bahias that I have that are treated the same way. I think in the end it is about mgmt of water, mechanical and fert and pest control just as any turf grass.

MR-G
04-25-2012, 08:06 AM
That has not been the case on this lawn or a couple other of the bahias that I have that are treated the same way. I think in the end it is about mgmt of water, mechanical and fert and pest control just as any turf grass. The most we have been able to get out of bahia is 4-5 yrs...then it starts to decline no matter what we try...i would love to be able to keep it looking great as there is a lot of it in our area..we just cant seem to get past the 5 yr point...and that is with a lot of tlc...way more than flor./st.aug. ect.

bugsNbows
04-25-2012, 08:29 AM
I've been messing around with bahia grass for over 35 years. IMO, it's just a basic soil covering...the least desirable of all residential turf species. As stated above, it can look presentable from a distance or on a "drive-by", but closer inspection usually reveals a thin canopy with systemic weed invasion. Given too much water, fertilizer and "love", bahia tends to respond negatively...especially over time.

Ric
04-25-2012, 09:36 AM
I've been messing around with bahia grass for over 35 years. IMO, it's just a basic soil covering...the least desirable of all residential turf species. As stated above, it can look presentable from a distance or on a "drive-by", but closer inspection usually reveals a thin canopy with systemic weed invasion. Given too much water, fertilizer and "love", bahia tends to respond negatively...especially over time.



Just East of me in the center of the state, is grassland that made Florida the 2nd largest cattle state after Texas, at one time. The soil in that area is such that Bahia does extremely well. Bahia Sod is actually cut from those pastures. But once the sod is relaid on our Gulf Coast Calcareous sand it start to decline.

Many years ago I went to a seminar. The speaker's first statement was. He would tell us the least expensive way to have grass in a Yard. His method was to replace Bahia every 5 years spending no money on it during that time. The Math he showed worked out. As cheap as Bahia sod is, Fertilizer and Pesticide over a 5 year period cost more than replacement.



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zturncutter
04-25-2012, 04:30 PM
Just East of me in the center of the state, is grassland that made Florida the 2nd largest cattle state after Texas, at one time. The soil in that area is such that Bahia does extremely well. Bahia Sod is actually cut from those pastures. But once the sod is relaid on our Gulf Coast Calcareous sand it start to decline.

Many years ago I went to a seminar. The speaker's first statement was. He would tell us the least expensive way to have grass in a Yard. His method was to replace Bahia every 5 years spending no money on it during that time. The Math he showed worked out. As cheap as Bahia sod is, Fertilizer and Pesticide over a 5 year period cost more than replacement.



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Ric is right on the money on this !

Ric
04-25-2012, 06:29 PM
Ric is right on the money on this !



Real Dirt with a pH of 6 and Bahia is hard to kill. It is a fairly good utility turf under those condition. It doesn't require irrigation and Greens up with the first rain in spring. If any thing you can over fertilize Bahia but you can never under fertilize Bahia.

Fact is Zturncutter makes a very nice living doing mostly Bahia Turf. It works well for him because of his area's soil.

AS for the Blue Hairs. I have a few. I told both my children, My town is a nice place to be FROM. My son lives in Las Vegas and My daughter lives in Miami.


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zturncutter
04-25-2012, 09:25 PM
I also have had and currently maintain some interesting St. Augustine lawns that were started decades ago by pulling plugs from grandmas lawn or some other friend or relative. They are much tougher than the current types of St. Augustine sod available today, they are generally not as dense though. I think some of the lawns may be what used to be called Florida common. One of the ranches has nice bahia in the open areas around the lodge and St. Augustine around the borders of the Live Oak hammocks, never watered or pesticides applied.

Ric
04-25-2012, 09:38 PM
I also have had and currently maintain some interesting St. Augustine lawns that were started decades ago by pulling plugs from grandmas lawn or some other friend or relative. They are much tougher than the current types of St. Augustine sod available today, they are generally not as dense though. I think some of the lawns may be what used to be called Florida common. One of the ranches has nice bahia in the open areas around the lodge and St. Augustine around the borders of the Live Oak hammocks, never watered or pesticides applied.

Interesting.

I have some Straight Ant Kill customers who also have St Augustine and no Irrigation. The only treatment they get is Ant Kill which also takes out Chinch bugs. Even as dry as this has been, these Lawns are doing well. While I can't call them WEED FREE, I will say they have less weeds than yards with irrigation and TG/CL type treatments.


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Tri-City Outdoors
04-27-2012, 05:42 PM
Bahia can be nice but it will always be Bahia. We install a lot of Bahia for people who can keep the S.A. alive for whatever reason (Mowing,Irrigation, F & P). In our area we feel a soil test is very important with Bahia. We have notice the thinning of turf after several years also. Beside it thinning out being the nature of Bahia. Often wondered in a residential situation regular mowing dose not allow for it to reseed it self. With weekly mowing nice Bahia often never grows a seed head.

Landscape Poet
04-27-2012, 07:07 PM
Bahia can be nice but it will always be Bahia. We install a lot of Bahia for people who can keep the S.A. alive for whatever reason (Mowing,Irrigation, F & P). In our area we feel a soil test is very important with Bahia. We have notice the thinning of turf after several years also. Beside it thinning out being the nature of Bahia. Often wondered in a residential situation regular mowing dose not allow for it to reseed it self. With weekly mowing nice Bahia often never grows a seed head.

I do not think not allowing Bahia to not go to seed would effect turf density in such a manner which it would limit the turfs health. If allowed to go seed the turf would be using resources to put itself into seed instead of other areas like root growth. My guess would be if you want Bahia to remain thick slit seed or even overseed at the first signs of decline, no different than if you would fill a small bald area of the lawn of SA with plugs for the best results in turf appearance to not allow other weeds a home.

ted putnam
04-27-2012, 09:20 PM
I've learned something new from this thread. I had absolutely no idea there was more than one variety. Around here, it is a weed unless you are a cattle farmer or a Hay baler. Whatever variety it is that we have here is absolute crap as far as a lawn goes. Once it starts seeding, there is no way you can get or keep your lawnmower blade sharp enough to cut it and have it look nice. Tough, stringy stems with seedtops. Nasty stuff for sure. There's only one thing we treat it with around here and that's Metsulfuron:laugh:

Ric
04-27-2012, 11:26 PM
I've learned something new from this thread. I had absolutely no idea there was more than one variety. Around here, it is a weed unless you are a cattle farmer or a Hay baler. Whatever variety it is that we have here is absolute crap as far as a lawn goes. Once it starts seeding, there is no way you can get or keep your lawnmower blade sharp enough to cut it and have it look nice. Tough, stringy stems with seedtops. Nasty stuff for sure. There's only one thing we treat it with around here and that's Metsulfuron:laugh:

http://www.bahiagrass.com/varieties/index.html

There are many Varieties of Bahia. I grew Coastal Bahia and Alicia Bermuda Hay in Louisiana for 12 years before moving back to Florida. Gumbo Mud was great soil and some years I would get 5 cuttings.

After each cutting I would burn the field as a form of weed control. I bet you just learned something else new.


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Ric
05-03-2012, 10:30 AM
http://www.bahiagrass.com/varieties/index.html

There are many Varieties of Bahia. I grew Coastal Bahia and Alicia Bermuda Hay in Louisiana for 12 years before moving back to Florida. Gumbo Mud was great soil and some years I would get 5 cuttings.

After each cutting I would burn the field as a form of weed control. I bet you just learned something else new.


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Re reading this today I got thinking about how up until the late 70's Florida Ranchers used to burn off the land each spring. This was not so much pastures because there really weren't any improved pastures, just scrub land. Bahia and other forage would out compete the slower growing plants in the short run and allow cattle to graze. Even today the type of pasture and the type of cattle go hand in hand. Florida short horn & Texas Long Horn cattle can make it anywhere. They are hardier breeds but don't have the meat production of the hybrid cattle that run on improved pastures. Ranches here look at the cost of good cattle verses the Return on investment and take a more pragmatic approach and spend no money on raising scrub cows.



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Landscape Poet
05-03-2012, 07:45 PM
Re reading this today I got thinking about how up until the late 70's Florida Ranchers used to burn off the land each spring. This was not so much pastures because there really weren't any improved pastures, just scrub land. Bahia and other forage would out compete the slower growing plants in the short run and allow cattle to graze. Even today the type of pasture and the type of cattle go hand in hand. Florida short horn & Texas Long Horn cattle can make it anywhere. They are hardier breeds but don't have the meat production of the hybrid cattle that run on improved pastures. Ranches here look at the cost of good cattle verses the Return on investment and take a more pragmatic approach and spend no money on raising scrub cows.



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I would venture to say that most cattle today as a whole, for better or worse, actually eat more grain (corn) than they do from any pasture. There of course are exceptions of course but we are a grain feed society in more ways than one and to find farms that do not raise grain feed cattle is the exception and not the norm these days.

zturncutter
05-03-2012, 09:57 PM
As a whole across the country you are probably correct, however in Florida there is a lot of grass fed beef. Today I had to push through about 40 grass fed Black Angus to get to the main house at one of the ranches and I have the grass fed cow crap on my truck and trailer tires to prove it. Also there are still ranchers that burn the pastures every year or two, they disc the perimeter and light it up. After the first rain the greenest bahia you have ever seen comes back in.

Landscape Poet
05-04-2012, 07:23 AM
As a whole across the country you are probably correct, however in Florida there is a lot of grass fed beef. Today I had to push through about 40 grass fed Black Angus to get to the main house at one of the ranches and I have the grass fed cow crap on my truck and trailer tires to prove it. And I thought the dog poo left by one of my customers was bad, I bed the cow patties are outstanding.




Also there are still ranchers that burn the pastures every year or two, they disc the perimeter and light it up. After the first rain the greenest bahia you have ever seen comes back in. Burning is still a acceptable practice back in the midwest as well. It is not uncommon for some of the homeowners even to torch there lawn in the early spring to only have it come back thicker and greener than the previous year. As dry as it is here currently then we might found out how well that works on residential lawns if someone throws out a cigerette on a lawn. I heard you guys got some moisture down that way. We are STILL dryer than heck here, even the lawns which are generally very well watered have gotten water notices the past week as we did our route.

Ric
05-04-2012, 10:40 AM
As a whole across the country you are probably correct, however in Florida there is a lot of grass fed beef. Today I had to push through about 40 grass fed Black Angus to get to the main house at one of the ranches and I have the grass fed cow crap on my truck and trailer tires to prove it. Also there are still ranchers that burn the pastures every year or two, they disc the perimeter and light it up. After the first rain the greenest bahia you have ever seen comes back in.

Zturn

I do see some improved pastures with good beef etc. I also see some sorghum being baled etc. But for the most part wouldn't you say 50% of ranchers in our area are running Scrub Cows? on scrub land?? I haven't seen a cow on the BlackHawk ranch in years. Maybe the cows are way in the back and not near the road.

Yep those grass fed cows are your next Big Mac.

zturncutter
05-04-2012, 12:11 PM
Ric, are you talking about the Red Hawk, http://www.landandfarm.com/property/RED_HAWK_RANCH-417704/

Pretty sure they graze the cattle in cross fenced pastures back away from the highway, less chance of rustling. As far as total percentages of different types of cattle I wouldn't know but the ranches I mow are probably 2/3 Angus on grass with supplemental minerals and 1/3 scrub with a longhorn bull with some supplemental minerals. One ranch I drive by has a herd Charolais cattle on grass at least some of the time, have no idea what else they are feeding.

easy-lift guy
05-04-2012, 08:17 PM
Do you recommend a 4 day per week cycle on Argentine as far as water? (meaning dry season anyway). Hoping to get something going soon over here.

Never. Your Argentine Bahia at best needs only 1/2" of rain per week. Any additional irrigation other than what nature can provide will cause many additional problems.
easy-lift guy

Ric
05-04-2012, 09:03 PM
Ric, are you talking about the Red Hawk, http://www.landandfarm.com/property/RED_HAWK_RANCH-417704/

Pretty sure they graze the cattle in cross fenced pastures back away from the highway, less chance of rustling. As far as total percentages of different types of cattle I wouldn't know but the ranches I mow are probably 2/3 Angus on grass with supplemental minerals and 1/3 scrub with a longhorn bull with some supplemental minerals. One ranch I drive by has a herd Charolais cattle on grass at least some of the time, have no idea what else they are feeding.

Yes I meant Red Hawk Ranch. I was kind of surprised at the Price of $ 7900 per acre @ 605 acres. I didn't realize it was for sale. Right after Hurricane Charlie some of that property was selling for closer to $ 30,000 an acre. The other thing that surprised me was Red Hank is only 605 acres. I was thinking it was a lot bigger. I believe the Wood fence and stone enterance on 769 makes the ranch look bigger.


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