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Florida Bahia Lawn Care

By Sarah Terry ; Updated September 21, 2017

Bahia grass is popular in Florida because of its low maintenance requirements and durability. Bahia grass grows well in infertile soils and is fairly drought-tolerant, so it can thrive in all Florida regions. Despite its overall low maintenance, you will need to mow your Bahia lawn a little more frequently than some other types of grasses. Bahia grass develops unattractive seed heads as it grows, making it necessary to mow more often. Also, you’ll need a mower with a heavy-duty blade, because Bahia grass is thicker and tougher to cut than most other grasses.

Feed your lawn about two weeks after the grass begins to grow again in the spring with a nitrogen-based fertilizer. Use a 16-4-8 NPK (Nitrogen--Phosphorous--Potassium) fertilizer. If you live in South Florida, fertilize in February; if you live in North or Central Florida, fertilize in March.

Feed your Bahia lawn again in early autumn with a 16-4-8 NPK fertilizer. This feeding is optional, but you should apply the autumn feeding if your Bahia grass is newly planted. Fertilize in August if you live in North Florida, September in Central Florida or October in South Florida.

Mow your Bahia lawn every five to seven days during the growing season. From early May to late August, mow the Bahia grass to a height of 2 to 3 inches.

Water your Bahia lawn two or three times per week during drought or dry conditions. Water the grass daily when it is first planted and establishing itself. Apply 3/4 to 1 inch of water during each watering to ensure that the top 8 inches of soil is moistened thoroughly. Bahia lawns in South Florida usually require more watering than those in Central or North Florida.

Inspect your Bahia lawn for mole crickets, which can damage the grass roots. Look for tunnels and mounds in the soil if your Bahia grass begins to wilt and you suspect mole crickets. Use an insecticide made specifically for mole crickets and follow the directions on the label exactly.

 

Things You Will Need

  • 16-4-8 NPK fertilizer
  • Lawn mower with rotary blade
  • Garden hose, water sprinkler or irrigation system
  • Insecticide (optional)

Tips

  • Use no more than 1/2 pound of water-soluble nitrogen per 1,000 square feet of Bahia lawn and no more than 1 pound of nitrogen total per 1,000 square feet. Ensure that at least half of the nitrogen you apply to the Bahia grass is slow-release fertilizer.
  • Use a mower with a rotary mower blade to cut your Bahia grass and sharpen the blade at least once a month during the growing season. A heavy-duty mower blade is required for Bahia lawns because this type of grass is thicker and tougher to cut through than other types of grasses.
  • To detect mole crickets, you can also gently mix 2 gallons of water with 1 or 2 oz. of dish soap and apply it to 2 square feet of Bahia lawn. The mole crickets will come to the surface in two or three minutes.

Warning

  • Avoid seeding or sodding a new Bahia grass lawn too late in the growing season. The best time to plant Bahia grass is in the spring or early summer, so that the grass has a chance to grow and establish itself before the cool weather begins. If you live in South Florida, you can plant Bahia grass later because your growing season extends longer than Central and North Florida.

About the Author

 

Sarah Terry brings over 10 years of experience writing novels, business-to-business newsletters and a plethora of how-to articles. Terry has written articles and publications for a wide range of markets and subject matters, including Medicine & Health, Eli Financial, Dartnell Publications and Eli Journals.