How to Plant Bahia Seed
Bahia grass (Paspalum notatum) is a low-growing perennial grass suitable for planting on sandy soils, shaded lawns or high-traffic areas. Its deep roots make it more resistant to drought and able to withstand summer heat, once established. Bahia grass grows in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 8 through 11. Because it’s a warm-season grass, plant bahia grass seeds during the spring or summer for the best germination rates.
Test the soil for the lawn area to determine required nutrients.
Remove existing grasses and weeds, if you’re planting a new lawn. Till the soil, breaking up large clumps and removing rocks and other debris. If you’re over-seeding with bahia grass seed, mow the existing grass closely and pull all weeds.
Amend the soil as recommended by your soil test, adding lime, sulfur, potassium or phosphorus, if recommended, and bringing the soil pH to between 5.5 and 6.5. Wait to apply any recommended nitrogen after seeds sprout.
Rake the area smooth. Create a gentle slope away from the house. A level yard or a slope towards the house encourages water to stand or directs it toward the house’s foundations.
Sow bahia grass seeds using a broadcast seeder or throwing them by hand. Apply 1 pound of seed evenly over 100 square feet of lawn. For over-seeding, apply 1/2 pound of seed per 100 square feet, applying only to bare or thin spots. Rake the soil again, covering the seeds with a fine layer of soil.
Water the lawn with a fine mist sprayer, being careful not to wash away the soil and seeds. Water daily, keeping the soil moist. In hot, dry weather, you may need to water twice daily. Bahia grass seeds may require up to three weeks to germinate. Slowly increase the time between waterings to once or twice a week, once the seeds have sprouted. Continue watering weekly throughout the first season.
Apply a high-nitrogen lawn fertilizer such as 16-4-8 once the seeds sprout and again in midsummer. Apply 8 ounces of fast-release fertilizer or 16 ounces of slow-release nitrogen fertilizer per 1,000 square feet of lawn. Water the fertilizer in thoroughly to avoid burning the new grass.
- U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service: Bahiagrass
- The University of Georgia Cooperative Extension: The Management and Use of Bahiagrass
- U.S. Department of Agriculture Plants Profile: Paspalum Notatum Fluegge Bahiagrass
Diane Watkins has been writing since 1984, with experience in newspaper, newsletter and Web content. She writes two electronic newsletters and has a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from Clemson University. She has taken graduate courses in biochemistry and education.
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