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How to Plant Bahia Grass Seed in Florida

By Angie Mansfield ; Updated September 21, 2017

Bahia grass is a good choice for Florida lawns where the soil is sandy or infertile. It has a deep root system to provide tolerance to drought, doesn't need a lot of fertilizer and has few problems with disease or insects. While bahia grass will not become a dense, dark green cover like some other grasses, it is a low-maintenance alternative if you don't mind the slightly reduced visual quality.

Plant your bahia grass in full sun; this type of grass does not tolerate shade.

Use scarified seed to plant your bahia grass lawn; this seed is treated with chemicals so that it germinates more quickly.

Remove debris, rocks, weeds, large roots and other obstacles from the lawn prior to seeding.

Send a soil sample to the Florida Extension Soil Testing Laboratory for best results; the lab will test the pH, lime and nutrients in the soil so you can add necessary soil amendments to ensure good establishment of your new lawn.

Till the soil 6 to 8 inches deep after adding compost or other soil additives.

Use a hand rake or tractor-drawn equipment to smooth the soil surface after tilling.

Compress the soil with a water ballast roller; this will provide you with firm soil for planting and will help reduce erosion.

Spray your existing lawn with a nonselective herbicide if you're replacing it with bahia grass; once the lawn turns brown, you may start reseeding.

Plant bahia grass in the spring or early in the summer to allow your lawn to grow a good root system and fill in before cooler fall and winter weather slows growth.

Water your new bahia grass lawn frequently until it becomes well established; you may need to water up to once or twice a day.

Do not mow your bahia grass until it has had a chance to develop a strong, deep root system.

Apply a balanced fertilizer to your bahia lawn in the fall and in early spring.

Water your bahia grass twice a week after it is well established.


Things You Will Need

  • Scarified bahia grass seed
  • Tiller
  • Hand rake or tractor-drawn equipment
  • Water ballast roller
  • Nonselective herbicide
  • Balanced fertilizer


  • Bahia grass has a low tolerance for saltwater, so consider alternatives if you live in a coastal area.

About the 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.