Bahia Grass will establish itself in sandy acidic soils, requires little water or fertilizer, and therefore is considered a low maintenance sod grass. In comparison to other sod grasses it has a substantially less dense growth habitat and will not create a carpet like lawn. Because this grass requires little maintenance it is the sod grass of choice for roadways, industrial landscaping, and commercial landscaping. Bahia also has poor foot traffic, poor salt tolerance, and is susceptible to mole crickets. In times of drought Bahia grass will turn brown due to lack of water but will green up quickly after watering. Bahia has low shade tolerance and because of this will start thin at the onset of shade.
‘Common’ Bahia grass is light green in color with a very loose growth habitat and no cold tolerance. Like with all Bahia grass in Spring and Summer it will shoot up tall stalks of seeds. ‘Common’ has been replaced with ‘Pensacola’ and is no longer available commercially.
‘Argentine’ Bahia grass has a dark green color with a denser growth habitat and is cold tolerant. ‘Argentine’ is a good choice for a lower maintenance sod grass in a residential application with proper watering and fertilization. This cultivar is available for sod installation in Jacksonville and St Augustine. This grass is also established through seeding.
‘Pensacola’ is the number one Bahia grass cultivar grown in the Southeast. Typically grown on roadsides and pastures because it produces more seed heads than ‘Argentine’ which makes it less desirable for residential grass sod installation. ‘Pensacola’ Bahia grass is available for seeding application.
‘Tifton 9’ Bahia is typically grown for pasture horses and hay because it has a 40% higher forage yield than ‘Pensacola’. It has good foot traffic tolerance and cold tolerance making it the choice for pasture animals. ‘Tifton 9’ is not available for sod installation in Jacksonville or St Augustine but can be established through seeding.