Bahia grass is tropical perennial grass that is native to South America but it is also now found in various parts of North America. It is said that Bahia grass was imported in United States from various parts of South America in the early 1900’s as turf grass or forage. However, now it is considered as a weed in most parts of the country. Bahia grass has deep roots and has tough stolons making it very sturdy. They compete with other grasses and are harmful to other grass growth like centipede or St. Augustine by taking away the necessary nutrients. Bahia grass can be easily identified with a “V” shaped seed head on the top. Bahia grass is often found long the highways, roadsides and can withstand almost any weather especially a drought season. However, it does not grow very densely and thus some people want to get rid of it. Here are few ways to get rid of Bahia grass.
5 Ways To Get Rid Of Bahia Grass
1. Grow Trees And Other Competitive Grass
Bahia grass needs sunlight to grow and thus planting trees and bushes will starve the grass. Bahia grass in known to weaken in a shade and it loses its strength. Moreover, some trees and shrubs compete very well with the Bahia grass taking away most of the nutrients from the soil that Bahia grass needs and thus killing it eventually. You can also consider the option of growing centipede or Bermuda grass in the area, as they are known to compete quite well with the Bahia grass. However, this is going to be a long process and you will have to wait for a few seasons before you can start seeing some results. In the mean time, it would be good idea to regularly cut the Bahia grass especially before they form the “V” shaped seed head. Bahia grass grows by sprinkling the seeds from its “V” shaped head that contains the seed and hence cutting the grass before the head is formed would limit the future growth of fresh Bahia grass.
2. Mow The Grass Regularly
If you have Bahia grass and you do not want to go through the process of redoing the whole lawn or garden then you can probably mow your lawn regularly. Bahia grass is a tall grass with a “V” shaped head on the top containing the seeds. The water is transferred from the roots to the “V” shaped head and this is the source of the strength for the seeds. After some time, the seeds from the head fall on the ground and then naturally seeping into the soil leading to growth of fresh Bahia grass. Therefore, when you cut the grass regularly by mowing it, you attack the grass in two ways. Firstly, you cut the head of the grass containing the seeds, which limits the fresh growth. Secondly, you also limit the water retaining capability of the grass making it weaker and less agile. The idle length of Bahia grass in order to limit its growth should be 1 to 2 inches from the ground and not more than that. Hence, you might need to use a fine rotary mower and make sure that you do not use the waste as compost.
3. Make The Soil More Acidic
Bahia grass is known to survive very well in alkaline soil. Hence, if you make the soil more acidic, you are creating an unfavorable condition for the Bahia grass to grow. PH level of 7 or below is ideal for the growth of this grass. However, there may be a flip side to it especially if you have other plants in the area. Most plants prefer alkaline soil barring a few. Therefore, you need to check with your local agricultural department before making your soil more acidic. Most people spend a lot of money in trying to make there soil more alkaline. However, you can ask your local department of agriculture for the right fertilizer that limits the growth of Bahia grass but helps in growth of other favorable grasses like centipede or St. Augustine.
4. Use Herbicides
Some herbicides act very well against the Bahia grass. One of them is Manor. Manor attacks Bahia grass and helps in growth of other favorable grasses like centipede, St. Augustine and Bermuda. You just would need to spray .25 to .75 ounce of Manor mixed with non-ionic surfactant for every one acre of land depending on the density of the Bahia grass. Another herbicide that is known to act well against the Bahia grass is Cimarron.
5. Consult Your Local Department Of Agriculture
If nothing else works then you might need to consult your local department of agriculture for a suggestion and a solution. They can customize a solution for you depending on the soil type, climate in the region and water quality.