Bad Rap for Bahia???

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

  1. Tri-City Outdoors

    Tri-City Outdoors LawnSite Member
    Posts: 152

    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.
     
  2. Landscape Poet

    Landscape Poet LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,638

    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.
     
  3. ted putnam

    ted putnam LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,539

    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:
     
  4. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,956

    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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  5. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,956


    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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  6. Landscape Poet

    Landscape Poet LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,638

    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.
     
  7. zturncutter

    zturncutter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,308

    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.
     
  8. Landscape Poet

    Landscape Poet LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,638

    And I thought the dog poo left by one of my customers was bad, I bed the cow patties are outstanding.



    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.
     
  9. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,956

    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.
     
  10. zturncutter

    zturncutter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,308

    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.
     

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