Before we get to how to kill bahiagrass, let’s understand what it is.
What is bahiagrass?
This type of grass is heat and drought tolerance and can do well even in the hard soils. Bahia grass has deep roots and is very stubborn on lawn. Homeowners are finding ways to eradicate the grass when it becomes unattractive in lawns. The grass was introduced into the United States as a forage grass for cattle in the 1930’s. The grass spreads fast and could destroy your lawn if left untreated. The grass has a rough, unattractive appearance that can invade green lawns. So it’s important to get rid of them as soon as you identify them on your lawn.
How to identify bahiagrass
The grass is ‘V’ shaped and has two spike like raceme that has numerous tiny, smooth and shiny spikelets that will overlap in the next two rows. The spikelet is about 3 mm long. The grass forms a mat like surface and spreads by rhizomes.
The grass has a light green color and a very coarse texture with two ascending heads from a very unique ‘Y’ shape. The seed head can easily be spotted above the turf and they grow quickly. By correctly identifying the plant, that’s how you will be able to tackle the control of the bahiagrass.
How to kill bahiagrass?
Before you can think of eliminating bahia grass, do you know that you can use the grass for roadside soil erosion prevention in some parts of your garden or lawn? Apart from that, the grass is viewed as a weed and especially if it grows around desired grass like Bermuda and centipede. This grass is hard to get rid of but with determination and will, you can get rid of bahiagrass.
Here are some of the options if you are looking at how to kill bahiagrass.
- Planting trees. Bahia grass will not do well in the shade and therefore having shade trees and shrubs will weaken the growth of the grass. However, this method might not work effectively since newer varieties of the bahia grass might prove to be shade- tolerant.
- Fertilize the grass heavily. The grass does not do well in acidic soils and there a soil with a higher pH will discourage the growth of the grass. One of the best fertilizers to use is the nitrogen rich fertilizers. Again, fertilize the lawn at the right time. Doing so at the wrong time can promote the growth of weeds.
- Keep the bahia grass cut short all through the season. By keeping the grass at 1 to 2 inches, it won’t be able to store water effectively and therefore reducing the development of the grass.
- Use growth regulator. Apply a growth regulator to the lawn or you can pick the spots where bahiagrass is growing. This will however affect the growth of the regular grass as well.
- Use herbicides to kill. Another alternative to killing the bahia grass is by use of weed killers. However, when spraying the herbicide, it is always good to take great caution of yourself. Wear protective gear- clothing and mask. After finishing, remember to clean the equipment and wash your hands as well. The type of chemical to use will depend on the season as well as the type of lawn that the bahiagrass is growing on. Having this knowledge will prevent you from killing your turf as well. One of the preventive measures that you can take is ensuring that you don’t introduce the grass seeds to your lawn.
- Digging it out. Another idea is to dig it out. Dig out the weed and prevent it from spreading. In order to find it easier to remove the weed, wet your lawn beforehand. After digging out the weeds from flowerbeds, cover the spots using mulch to prevent sunlight that would in turn prevent the weed from returning.
- Regular mowing will curb the growth of bahia grass. By maintaining the grass a little bit taller than the normal height, you can inhibit the growth of bahiagrass as you will be depriving it of sunlight. In this scenario, the weed won’t form seed heads and this will prevent the spread of grass seeds.
- Fill the bare lawn spots after digging out the weed. Reduce as much as you can the space for the growth of these weeds.
- Use of cultural methods. The grass does not like shade and high nitrogen soils.
Trying to get rid of bahia grass require vigilance and persistence as well as application of treatments repeatedly. The grass is perennial and manual removal could pose to be difficult because of the rhizomes. By using the above methods either individually or a combination of two or more, you can get rid of the bahia grass. However, one thing that you need to note is that the process will not be easy, quick and might need time. Using these tips on how to kill bahiagrass will eventually kill the weed.