Bahiagrass Mowing Aeration and Dethatching
Mowing Bahia Lawns
When mowing a Bahia lawn, the recommended lengths range from the low end (2.5”) to the higher end (4”). Anywhere in between these two will work well for your Bahia lawn. Be careful not to mow too low. Bahia looses it’s tolerance to heat and drought if mowed too short. A 3” cut will produce the best results. Never cut more then 30% of a lawn’s height. Subsequently, you can let your Bahaiagrass lawn grow to roughly 4½” and then mow it down to 3”
Bahia lawns require aeration and need to be aerated at least once a year. Use a core or plug type aerator when aerating. Most Bahia lawns are on sandy soils. These lawns are less likely to get compacted. Hence, you can get away with not aerating as frequently as with other soil types. Refer to my Lawn Care section on Aerating for more information.
Dethatching Bahia Lawns
Thatch is the presence of dead leaves and stems that build up on the surface of the soil. A buildup of thatch is really not contributed to by grass clippings. Most thatch is from live growth that has died off. For Bahiagrass dethatching, follow the general recommendation for dethatching. If there is more then 1/2” of thatch present you should dethatch . Dethatching has a tendency to damage turf. This is especially true for grasses that spread via rhizomes. Use a power dethatcher that cuts through the thatch. That way you will minimize disturbing the lawn bed.
My preference is to aerate, aerating breaks up thatch and helps it along in the decomposition process. This is especially true for Bahiagrass. However, if your thatch has built up enough, simple aeration is unlikely to provide short term relief. Dethatch in the Spring, prior to the heaviest growth season. This gives Bahia a chance to repair itself quickly. The use of a power rake is highly recommended when dethatching Bahia Lawns.