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No more Bahia grass for me!

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by DennisF, Aug 3, 2004.

  1. DennisF

    DennisF LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 1,381

    I've informed my customers that have Bahia grass lawns that I will not be doing their lawns after this season. I've tried everything I can think of to get a good clean cut on this stuff and it just looks like Sh/t when I'm finished. It clogs the deck, dulls the blades quicker, and won't mulch cleanly. I hate to lose those customers, but I'm losing money on the accounts because of the extra time needed to cut the lawns. Any other Florida LCO's doing the same thing with their Bahia customers?
  2. RedWingsDet

    RedWingsDet LawnSite Gold Member
    from Detroit
    Messages: 3,556

    im just curious. what does bahia grass look like?
  3. bp418

    bp418 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 33

    If you have ever visited Florida, Bahia is the grass that is usually in the medians of the Interstates, like I-75 or I-95.:D
  4. DennisF

    DennisF LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 1,381

    Bahia is a thin blade grass that is very dense. It's also very tough with a stringy feel. The seed stalks can grow to 2 feet tall in a weeks time. If you fertilize and water it regularly it will grow incredibly fast. As far as I'm concerned is only fit for pastures.
  5. Sooners

    Sooners LawnSite Member
    Messages: 190

    I just got back from a vacation in Florida. You're right about the bahia in the medians. I saw it in Miss, La, and Ala. too. I know it handles heat better, but why would any sane person plant it? I'm going to the Co-op and buy some Ally to kill the Bahia in my yard. I don't have luck with MSMA. I cut several properties with it and the only good thing I can say about it is that it keeps growing when the Bermuda is stressed. At least I'm still mowing.
  6. 42homers

    42homers LawnSite Member
    Messages: 102

    Bahai is king down here in Al. If it weren't for this grass there would have been times I'd a starved. It's good in a way and bad in many more. The good is that when everything else quits growing this stuff continues on..............people hate it and want it cut.

    I've gotten so used to double and triple cutting the stuff that I really don't give it much thought. If you catch it before it really gets thick it actually looks good when it's cut. The easiest solution is to bag it..........and it's actually faster (for me) than trying to mulch it into submission, although I don't do it.

    My method with the Choppers is to run over it with the OCDC down.............grind the heck out of it then run back over it with the chute up and disperse it as best I can.

    If I gave up all the customers that had this grass then I'd be broke and without..............I can't beat em so I just figure out the easiest ways to join em.
  7. MTR

    MTR LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 1,280

    DennisF, why it takes you so long to figure out about the bahia? I cut bahia customers like almost 2 years ago with 21er, and within 3 months when summer was hitting high, I realized how difficult and bull..it the bahia was, so I have not served bahia customers since the fall of 02...life is much better from that day!

    Let's think this way, houses that grow bahia are mostly lower-end properties and you will deal with likely ignorant customers who will give you more of problems than business, besides taking away your much more productive time with St. Augustine customers. There is no profit in cutting bahia, that is why they put on expressway median and I-4, so no water and care need.
    I make much better money out of St. Augustine customers than folks who own bahia houses. You put 100% effort into St. Augustine and it will repay you back with its beauty and professional look. You try that effort with bahia, you get pissed on and customers of that bahia give you bad nameplate.

    Just a little sidetalk from fellow Florida LCO.
  8. QualityLawnCare4u

    QualityLawnCare4u LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,758

    42 homers, you are right. If it was not for bahia I would litterally starve. I only have one yard that does not have it. It will grow when everything else is brown and dead. I have 2 acres of it myself in my yard because its the only thing that will grow. I just mow my yards with it and never give it a second thought, no matter if I have to double cut it.I wished I could choose only yards that did not have it, which is less than %1. BTW even our high end properties have plenty of it too.

    Quality Lawn Care
  9. txlawnking

    txlawnking LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,905

    I have yet to see an entire lawn composed of nothing but Bahia.. It grows around here as a weed, on some right a ways and on trash lawns, but I can't imagine an entire lawn..Wow
  10. TJLC

    TJLC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,308

    Unfortunately, cutting Bahia is probally 75% of my business. I just mulch it and try to make it look the best I can. I would love to have ALL St. Augustine lawns but I don't, so I deal with what I have. But I do definately feel for anyone who has to deal with Bahia on a daily basis. Now if it would only stop raining so I can catch up, sorry that's another story.LOL

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