BAHIAGRASS, Paspalum notatum, is reported to have originated in South America. It now provides utilitarian turf and forage throughout the southeastern United States. There is a unique bahiagrass seed production area near Dade City, in west central Florida. Sod is also available.

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Bahiagrass is best used in open, nonirrigated sunny areas away from salt spray. Despite its tough growth and high drought avoidance, it is easily smothered by weeds in the seedling stage, and it tends to die on the steeper highway embankments in south Florida’s sand soil. Both Argentine and Pensacola cultivars are available. Although more expensive, Argentine is better in drought resistance, lower growth habit, and produces fewer of the objectionable seedheads.

Although bahiagrass can be fertilized for winter color, is well adapted to survive south Florida’s normal wet-dry cycle, turning brown in winter and regreening in the spring. In fact, winter fertilization of bahiagrass lawn areas is associated with winter weed growth, and once weeds are well established, they cannot be removed chemically, except for broadleaf weeds which have some controls.

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