How to Manage Pensacola Bahia Grass


Pensacola bahiagrass is a favorite grass for lawns with sandy or infertile soil. It is a low-maintenance grass with extensive roots which allow it to thrive even in dry conditions. It does not require as much fertilizer as other grass types and is not susceptible to as many diseases. Left alone, bahiagrass grows tall seedheads. It does not grow as thick as other grasses, so weeds may gain a foothold in the thin spots. Regular mowing and monitoring helps to catch these problems before they get out of hand.

Step 1

Test your soil every year. Your county extension service has instructions for taking a soil sample. Send this sample back to the county extension, which will test it for pH and composition.

Step 2

Apply a complete fertilizer, such as 16-4-8, according to the instructions on the bag. Fertilize your bahiagrass lawn about two weeks after the grass begins growing in the spring and two or three more times spread out through summer and fall.

Step 3

Use two oz. of ferrous sulfate in 3 to 5 gallons of water per 1000 square feet of lawn if the grass yellows, which is a sign of iron deficiency.

Step 4

Monitor your bahiagrass to determine when watering is needed. If leaves wilt, turn blue-gray or begin to fold, it's time to water.

Step 5

Water your lawn regularly, providing 3/4 to 1 inch of water each time. Determine how long your sprinkler takes to apply this amount of water by placing three or four cans or other containers in the sprinkler's range and noting how long it takes to accumulate 3/4 to 1 inch of water in the containers.

Step 6

Mow your bahiagrass every 7 to 14 days. Set your mower blade high (3 to 4 inches is ideal); leaving the grass a little longer will encourage a deeper root system, increasing its resistance to heat and dry spells.

Step 7

Use chemical herbicides as needed to keep weeds under control.

Step 8

Watch your lawn for mole crickets, which can cause serious damage to the grass roots when they burrow through the soil. Signs of mole crickets are dirt mounds and tunnels. Apply insecticides as needed to control mole crickets; your county extension service can recommend specific chemicals.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not over water your bahiagrass; this grass is drought tolerant, and too much water can encourage weed growth. Avoid fertilizers that include the herbicide atrazine, which can damage bahiagrass.

Things You'll Need

  • Soil test kit
  • Lawn fertilizer
  • Ferrous sulfate
  • Herbicide
  • Insecticide


  • University of Florida Extension: Bahiagrass for Florida Lawns

Who Can Help

  • Pensacola Bahia Grass
Keywords: Pensacola bahiagrass, bahiagrass lawn, mow bahiagrass

About this Author

Angie Mansfield is a freelance writer living and working in Minnesota. She began freelancing in 2008. Mansfield's work has appeared in online sites and publications such as theWAHMmagazine, for parents who work at home, and eHow. She is an active member of Absolute Write and Writer's Village University.