Monday, October 08, 2007
Many communities across the country are asking homeowners to conserve water, and power, throughout the Summer season. In addition to that, we have an increasingly environmentally conscious country, which is a great thing. There are many great ways to conserve energy. Everyone is familiar with the Compact Fluorescent light bulbs, but have you ever considered switching grasses? Bahia grass is a warm grass and is typically found across the Southeast, and in Southern California. It is known for it's drought resistance, and low maintenance. It's a great seed starter. Bahia grass is a perennial grass that lasts indefinitely. Another popular feature is high disease and insect resistance. In addition, it survives in a variety of soils, from sandy to clay. Bahia grass is very resilient, to close grazing and traffic wear. It will grow thick enough to compete with weeds, and respond well to nitrogen applications, creating the coveted green lawn. Disadvantages include yellowing in the Spring, and Fall. However, this is easily overcome with a product like Ironite. Another thing to watch out for is an open growth habit over time, or thinning spaces. You can control this with good lawn aeration. There are several way to do this. You can use a machine that you pull, or push, or you can just use aeration shoes, as you mow. One other obstacle that you may encounter is weed control. Just like most other Southern grasses, it is not tolerant of weed control products. It is in the weed family, itself. You will need to mow, and fertilize the grass, and be careful of over watering, to avoid having an infestation of undesirable growth, just like St.Augustine, or other Southern varieties. If you do have a problem, you will want to spot treat. Bahia grass can have a coarse texture, and is not suitable for high PH soils. There are three varieties. Argentine is preferred by homeowners in Florida. Pensacola is noted for it's resilience in the transitional regions; And, Tifton 9 is enjoyed by cows, and horses across the Southeast. It's perfect for a pasture. Bahia grass should be mowed at three to four inches, at intervals of seven to seventeen days. You will find that a rotary mower works best. Be sure to post your suggestions, and experiences, good or bad, with Bahia grass. Let's all learn from each other!