Bad Rap for Bahia???

Discussion in 'Florida Lawn Care Forum' started by Landscape Poet, Apr 19, 2012.

  1. gregory

    gregory LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,068

    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....
     
  2. Landscape Poet

    Landscape Poet LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,638


    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.
     
  3. Landscape Poet

    Landscape Poet LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,638

    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.
     
  4. MR-G

    MR-G LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 479

    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.
     
  5. bugsNbows

    bugsNbows LawnSite Member
    Posts: 170

    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.
     
  6. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,956



    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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  7. zturncutter

    zturncutter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,308

    Ric is right on the money on this !
     
  8. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,956



    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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  9. zturncutter

    zturncutter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,308

    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.
     
  10. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,956

    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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