Argentine Bahia has wide broad leaves with a good darker green color, making it more suitable for lawns in Florida and other Coastal Southern states. Its susceptibility to cold, results in winter kill of stands planted North of approximately Tifton, Georgia. It is used extensively for lawns, because if its attractive look and the fact that it produces less “objectionable” seed heads than other Bahias. Argentine Bahia has good drought and insect tolerances, especially when compared to St. Augustine and other "sod only" yard turfs. The recommended planting rate for Argentine Bahia for yard applications is 50+ lbs per acre for over-seeding or existing stand enrichment, and 100+ lbs per acre for new yard establishment.
Argentine is also used extensively in Florida and other coastal areas for pasture purposes. It is popular for use in wetter areas, due to its ability to stand more than the Pensacola Bahia variety. It produces tremendous forage under proper conditions. The recommended planting rate for Argentine Bahia for pasture applications is 30 lbs per acre.
Argentine Bahia can be used in erosion control applications where the final look of the project and mowing rates are a determining factor. Erosion control jobs include road shoulders, embankments, retention pond slopes, etc. These applications require blended seeds to be effective. The blends vary depending on the time of year for planting, and the planting zone. A typical blend will consist of Bahia, a quick-germinating host (millet or rye depending on the time of year), and Hulled Bermuda. At Wise Seed Company we custom blend our seeds for any application, and will provide guidance to help our customers meet any of their erosion control needs. Please call us at (863) 635-4473, and we will be happy to help formulate the ideal blend for your needs.
Water is the key factor to initiate germination and keep the plants alive until they grow big enough for their root systems to establish. Argentine normally germinates in 10-20 days with 14 days considered the normal germinating time under ideal conditions.In applications where irrigation is feasible, the ideal watering schedule would be as follows: Water for one hour every day until germination occurs (two hours on extremely sandy soils), then one hour every other day for two weeks, then one hour every three days. If the area planted is receiving regular consistent rain, additional watering may not be required. Please bear in mind that local water restrictions may not allow for this schedule.
There are a few steps that should be heeded during soil preparation and planting to insure successful germination, and healthy growth of seed.
First a soil sample should be taken and analyzed. Soil samples can be taken to a local Agriculture Extension agent, fertilizer plant, or private lab for analysis. The analysis will reveal the soil type, pH, and other factors. The analysis will allow the agent to make recommendations as to what will need to be added to the soil to make it ideal for the type of seed to be planted. Most seeds will do well within a pH range of 5.5 to 6.5.
A properly prepared seed bed is essential for successful planting. The area to be planted must be cleared of debris and all existing vegetation removed. The area should then be chopped or disced as needed to create an even fluffy soil.
The preferred method of planting seed is with a grain drill or culti-packer. This equipment allows for precise metering of seed and depth placement. Most people will not have access to a drill and will instead use a broadcast spreader for planting. The broadcast method will work well, but also requires the area to be rolled to insure proper seed-to-soil contact. In areas with very fine sand, light dragging is preferred to rolling. In any case, seed should not be buried more then ½ inch deep with ¼ inch being ideal.
Fertilizer can be applied at the time of planting. Consult with an Ag extension agent or fertilizer plant for proper formula and application rates.
For any other questions about specific planting methods, please call us at (863) 635-4473 and we will be happy to assist you.