This Grass Is Suited for the Conditions of the Gulf Coast
If you live in a coastal area in the South, chances are your soil is sandy and acidic. Temperatures range from warm to sweltering. That's why you need a grass that can take the heat, handle dry spells, and still look good. That sounds like a job for bahiagrass. Bahiagrass is native to South America and traditionally has been used in this country for low-maintenance areas, such as roadsides. Nowadays, there are several improved varieties on the market that produce beautiful turf that's ideal for lawns along the Gulf Coast.
Bahiagrass is a sun-loving grass that doesn't like cold or shade. It grows by thick stolons, or root-like stems. It doesn't spread aggressively, but forms a very thick carpet of grass. So a bahiagrass lawn is tough enough for foot traffic, but a challenge to mow (keep your blade sharp and use a heavy-duty mower). Bahiagrass is less likely to invade garden beds than other warm-season grasses. Better yet, it tolerates poor soil conditions well, and doesn't require much fertilizer*.
*Southern Lawns: Your Guide to a Beautiful Yard; Nick Christians, Ashton Ritchie, David Mellor; Meredith Books.
On new lawns, you can plant seed or sod, depending on your time and budget. If you're seeding over bare soil - either a bare spot or your entire lawn - choose a quality seed, such as Scotts® Turf Builder® Pensacola Bahiagrass. Loosen up your soil and then spread the grass seed with a spreader. If your area is large, use a broadcast spreader, such as the Scotts® Turf Builder® EdgeGuard® DLX. For small areas, use a Scotts® Easy® Hand-Held Spreader. Be sure to use the spreader setting indicated on the product label. Keep in mind that putting down too much seed creates weak seedlings that often die because they cannot get the resources they need to develop into strong grass plants
Maintaining Your Bahiagrass Lawn
Bahiagrass doesn't need to be fed as often as many other grass types. If you do fertilize, be sure to use a product that contains iron, especially if the soil pH is higher than 7. You'll want to keep it mowed to about 2-4 inches, because the grass has a tendency to grow straggly seedheads.