Bahiagrass & irrigation

Bahiagrass & irrigation

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KenH – posted 20 September 2003 06:13

I am building a home in SW Florida and have contracted with the builder to have bahiagrass sodded. I initially thought it would be a good idea to have an irrigation system installed as the lot is on a canal and I can pump water from it at no cost. After speaking to several sod suppliers, I’m not sure if spending $3k on the irrigation system and pump is a wise decision. It seems that bahiagrass islow-maintenance and doesn’t require much water. Also, I’ve been told over-watering during the winter months can be promote weed growth.

I don’t mind spending the money if it will be beneficial and produce a nicer looking lawn But if it is not needed the money could be better spent elsewhere. Please give me your advise.

Thank you very much.


certified-in-florida – posted 21 September 2003 14:27

I replied to your post at garden web.

seed – posted 22 September 2003 08:16

KenH, bahiagrass provides a rough and wild appearance and can be quite successful in level, large, sunny turf areas in southern Florida, with no supplemental irrigation.

With any reasonable rainfall around this time of year, bahiagrass should have enough chance to get its roots into the soil, but you should have a hose handy to ease its establishment, if we go into a week without rain. If you have an irrigation system, you won’t need to use it much for this grass, and I agree with the comment about winter weeds being a more severe problem caused by winter irrigation.

In general, the Argentine variety has better characteristics for southern Florida, compared with Pensacola. Argentine has fewer seedheads, deeper root systems, and lower, more prostrate leaf angle, which provides better apparent ground coverage.

Be cautious about problems of weed introduction, as bahiagrass sod is sometimes contaminated with bermudagrass and torpedograss, which are very difficult. Some other weeds that you might find, such as the tall Vaseygrass, usually disappear with regular mowing.

If you later replace the bahiagrass with St. Augustinegrass, as many people ultimately do, you will need an irrigation system which you can install at that time.


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