Planting Bahia Grass


Bahia grass (Paspalum notatum) originally grew as a pasture grass, but quickly caught on as a common lawn grass in the southeastern United States. First introduced to the United States in 1914 from Brazil, the grass flourishes even in infertile soil. Bahia offers exceptional drought resistance and grows even in very sandy soils. Abundant in the south, Bahia grass seed provides an inexpensive lawn alternative. Regularly mow Bahia grass to keep the seed heads under control, or the lawn becomes unsightly. Planting Bahia grass requires little preparation, and the grass quickly establishes itself.

Step 1

Plant Bahia grass in the spring or early summer so the grass has ample time to grow and accumulate nutrients before cooler weather. For a full lawn, purchase enough seed to apply 10 pounds of Bahia grass for every 1,000 square feet.

Step 2

Till the location where the Bahia grass will be planted. Remove all weeds and discard. Level the area with a rake to provide the flat, smooth surface ideal for planting Bahia grass.

Step 3

Spread the Bahia seeds evenly with a handheld seed spreader or push seed broadcaster. Thoroughly cover the entire tilled area with grass seeds.

Step 4

Rake 1/4-inch garden soil over the Bahia seeds. Gently drag the garden rake across the sown seeds to push soil over the seeds. Roll the area using a lawn roller if available to ensure soil coverage over the seeds.

Step 5

Water the seeds twice a day. Maintain moist soil conditions so the seeds will successfully germinate. It usually takes three to four months to establish a full lawn.

Step 6

Fertilize the Bahia grass once the grass is well-established, ideally when the grass is five weeks old. Apply 1/2 pound of slow-release nitrogen for every 1,000 square feet. Apply a water soluble 16-4-8 fertilizer with the nitrogen at a rate of 1/2-pound per 1,000 feet. Water the fertilizer thoroughly.

Step 7

Mow Bahia grass every 7 to 14 days. Mow the grass down to a height of 3 to 4 inches. Clippings can be safely left on the ground without worry of thatch buildup.

Tips and Warnings

  • In some regions Bahia grass will suffer from an iron deficiency, which can cause the grass to turn yellow. Have your soil levels tested to determine if iron should be added to the soil.

Things You'll Need

  • Bahia grass seeds
  • Tiller
  • Roller
  • Handheld seed spreader or push seed broadcaster
  • Slow-release nitrogen
  • Water soluble 16-4-8 fertilizer
  • Lawnmower
  • Rake


  • University of Florida Extension: Bahiagrass For Florida Lawns
  • Florida Turf: Bahia Grass
  • Seedland: Bahia Grass

Who Can Help

  • Clemson University Extension: Bahia Grass
Keywords: seeding a lawn, planting bahia grass, care of bahia grass

About this Author

Kimberly Sharpe is a freelance writer with a diverse background. She has worked as a Web writer for the past four years. She writes extensively for Associated Content where she is both a featured home improvement contributor (with special emphasis on gardening) and a parenting contributor. She also writes for Helium. She has worked professionally in the animal care and gardening fields.