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Bahiagrass - Site Preparation

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PLANTING BAHIAGRASS WITH SEEDS

Bahia seedlings


Preparing a site to plant grass seeds should be done in a scientific manner involving the step by step procedures listed below.  While each and every particular planting has its various differences...

We have found that the best procedure is to follow as many of the steps below to achieve getting your seed to sprout and grow such as those little seedlings in the picture above.

One of your best preparations will be obtaining a soil sample on your site.  Just as you wouldn't want a doctor to operate without ex-rays, you should not plant your lawn, until you know what is healthy and what is not.

PRELIMINARIES -  BEFORE YOU START
STEP 1-  Make sure that Bahiagrass is suited for the area location, weather and soil type that you have.  Also make sure before you plant that it is the type of grass you want.  See our www.lawngrasses.com web site for help in determining and selecting the best grass for your particular lawn.   Remember that seeding takes time to establish a lawn and perhaps some areas might be more suitable sodded?

STEP 2- Measure and lay out your site - record the square feet lawn area that you have.  Different lawn grasses handle different aspects of your site in unique ways.  What may be a suitable site for some grasses is not for others.  Allow for other types of shrubs and ground covers for use in the areas that are not suitable.

STEP 3- Pull soil samples and have a qualified laboratory test your soil for nutrients and deficiencies.  Then you will be able to fertilize correctly and make other soil adjustments as needed.  You can apply the adjustments before tilling so as to incorporate them uniformly.  Fertilizers are best applied after tilling but before dragging / raking the soil areas level.  You can also apply the fertilizers immediately after planting to Bahia grass lawn areas you have seeded.

PREPARING THE GROUND FOR SEED & SOD
STEP 4- You next step is to prepare your site for your seed.  We are going to assume that you will be "killing" off your existing grass and/or weeds.  If you need to overseed see the section on 1-2-3 Easyseed.

STEP 5- There are two methods you can use to "kill" off your current lawn. The best method is to spray the lawn with a "Roundup" type product before you roto-till.   This ensures that the existing grasses and weeds will not stay around to compete with your newly seeded lawn plants. The second method is to just tiller (roto-till) the existing weeds and grasses without killing the plants with chemicals. 

STEP 6- Most likely you will need to tiller the lawn at least two times so as to incorporate the soil and old plant material uniformly.  This is especially true if you do not use a chemical to kill existing plants.  A good method is to till the lawn and then wait a week before tilling a second time.  This results in more "kill" of current plants in your lawn area.

STEP 7-  After tilling the lawn ... you need to drag and level the surface to provide for a clean, smooth and level surface to plant within.  Properly leveling your lawn now will help to avoid the lawn being scalped by your mower.  You can use a rake to do this step or for bigger areas some sort of heavy drag like device drug behind a tractor or riding lawn mower can achieve similar results.  Remove any clumps of weeds or grass left, and break up clods of dirt to create a fine seedbed in the top 3 inches of soil.

Smoothing soil

READY TO SEED
STEP 8 - READY TO SEED
Now that your lawn surface is ready to seed... continue on to our 1-2-3 EasySeed steps for HOW-TO's on seeding your lawn. Or visit www.sodding.com for sodded lawns.

 
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Argentine Bahiagrass seed

PASTURE USE: Preparation for seeding for pastures means first having a soil test first. Removing all vegetation as close to the ground as possible either by grazing, burning, or mowing, or herbicides if recommended. Applications of lime could be added at this time. It takes several weeks or a month or two for the lime to react with the soil depending upon the amount of moisture available to precipitate the reaction. Full cultivation of the ground follows by plowing and disking to break the soil up and providing a weed free environment at the same time. Cultipacking (using heavy rollers) pack the soil in preparation to seeding helps keeps the soil from drying out in the process and forms an even flat surface for the pasture, removing holes and hills that may have developed during plowing. Some machinery used can cultivate, seed and pack in one step (this is for seeded varieties only).

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