Pensacola Bahia is a perennial grass native to South and North America and is a flexible ground cover option. It has a low-growing, prostrate growth habit and a strong root system that spreads slowly by stolons. It can be used as a lawn, as a pasture, for sporting grounds, or simply for erosion control and is grown and planted on more acres than any of the other varieties of Bahia.
It has long, narrow leaves with an extensive root system that grows to depths of 7-10 feet.
Pensacola Bahia deals excellently with tropical conditions. It is able to handle long dry spells with ease, and will also cope well with the deeply soaked soils that are part and parcel of a tropical wet season. For tropical grass it’s also very shade tolerant, so will do well in areas that may be overgrown with trees and shrubs or bordered by any other structures.
As winter arrives, Bahia enters an annual dormant period and turns brownish tan. However, it stays green longer than Bermudagrass and greens up earlier than Bermuda in spring. In colder areas, the Pensacola variety produces more early and late-season forage growth than the other Bahia varieties. Pensacola Bahia has more cold-tolerance than the other Bahia’s and will grow in areas that experience frosts however the top of the leaf is usually damaged but recovers fast when growth resumes with the onset of warmer weather in spring.
It’s a competitive and aggressive grower, meaning it will usually overpower any weeds or unwanted growth that might invade your land. If you’re using Pensacola Bahia for pastures you can be sure that your animals are feeding on it rather than on a plant that may not be as nutritious.
Pensacola Bahia features a fine, bright green blade that offers a stunning look to any area, whether it’s a paddock on the farm or a residential front yard.
Optimal pH: Test your soil before planting Bahiagrass. This grass does well in poor, sandy soils with limited nutrients and pH near 5.5 to 6.5. In soils with pH above 7.0, Bahia suffers iron deficiencies that result in pale yellow color.
Sowing Tips: Pensacola Bahia grows best on fertile, light sandy, and acidic soils, but will grow on less fertile and clay soils. It is not well-adapted to alkaline soils. The Pensacola Bahia seed is very small. To ensure the best coverage and avoid seed wastage we recommend mixing with topsoil/sandy loam and dispersing with an appropriate seed spreader for the size of your area.
Optimal Planting Time: The best time for sowing Pensacola Bahia is early Spring as growth accelerates rapidly during this time, however, germination will still occur in climates with mild Autumn and Winter temperatures.
Germination: Average germination period for Pensacola Bahia is considered to be 28 days. During hotter summer months when rainfall is also plentiful, Pensacola Bahia seed can germinate in as quick as 10-14 days. Higher soil temperatures coupled with moist conditions will also cause more of the seed to germinate.
Water: Pensacola Bahia is especially well-suited to large, less maintained areas with limited irrigation. It is tolerant of moderate salinity.
Fertilizing: Established Bahia lawns need limited fertilizers and irrigation. Feed according to soil test recommendations, and water as needed to maintain the color desired. Pensacola Bahia used for grazing requires regular fertilizing and watering. Consider McKays Slow Release Fertiliser and Granular Soil Wetter for this purpose.
Grazing: Pensacola Bahia grass is suitable as a permanent pasture for intensive grazing and for hay production particularly in the higher rainfall areas. When grown for grazing, it combines well with legumes for added nutritional value. It’s a quick grower and is able to be grazed upon heavily by livestock without being negatively affected. it can withstand heavy herd trampling and recovers well if overgrazed. With Pensacola Bahia, you can be sure that your animals will have a constant supply of feed throughout the year.
Mowing Frequency: Bahiagrass used as a lawn is a fast grower. Mow at the recommended height of 2 to 3 inches to improve stress tolerance and encourage deep roots.
Disadvantages of Pensacola Bahia:
- Develops more seed heads than other Bahia varieties
- Will grow extremely long if left unattended, so if it’s used for lawn a regular mow will be required.
- Its aggressive nature will also mean that you’ll find it spreading into surrounding areas, which may not be ideal in some situations. If you’re looking to contain your Pensacola then it’s wise to physically border the area.
- Bahia stays green only during active growth. Periods of extended drought bring on dormancy and an unnaturally dark or tan color, but Bahia withstands these stresses better than other grasses.
Seed & package details: 100% Pensacola Bahia Seed
Independently Tested: 85% Min Germination, 98% purity. A seed testing certificate is available upon request.
Ideal Usage: Pastures, sporting ovals, residential lawns, erosion control
Where can I sow this grass in Australia? Area: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7
Shade Tolerance: Good
Daily Sunlight Required: 6+ hours
Drought tolerance: Excellent
Frost Resistance: Poor
Traffic Tolerance: Excellent
Pasture Seed and Animal Health
When purchasing seeds through McKays Grass Seeds, the buyer acknowledges that McKays Grass Seeds is not liable for any animal health issues that may arise from our pasture seeds. It is the buyer’s responsibility to contact a certified agronomist to ensure they are purchasing the correct seeds, in the correct quantities for their property and animals.
Warm season grasses thrive during the warmer months in Spring and Summer and may go dormant in cooler climates through winter.
Cool season grasses thrive during the cooler months in Winter
Shade tolerance (Weather)
- Full Sun
- Part Shade
- Heavy Shade
- Full Shade
Drought tolerance (Weather)
Traffic tolerance (Weather)
Average days to germination
- 2-3 Weeks
- 2-4 Weeks
- 3-4 Weeks
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Planted it 23 days ago after preparing the soil, have not seen anything in the way of germination so far, even after three bouts of rain.
A wealth of information
Planted some and it is growing well.