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Pensacola Bahia Grass vs Argentine Grass

Pensacola Bahia Grass vs Argentine Grass: Comparison

South America is the home of Bahia grass. Bahia grass is the best choice for warm and humid areas. Pensacola and Argentine are the two main cultivars of Bahia grass. Therefore whenever Bahia grass is discussed, the topic of Pensacola Bahia vs Argentine grass always comes to light.

Bahia grass has a lot of uses apart from being just lawn grass. Bahia grass plays an important role to keep the farmer’s crop fields nutritious in the southeastern united states and has proven to be the best insect control. Although bahiagrass seed germinates slowly, once developed it can perform miracles for the field.

Argentina grows perfectly in the full sun whereas Pensacola Bahia is a little bit more tolerant toward shade. Both argentine and Pensacola perform best in warm conditions but Pensacola Bahia grass can tolerate cold weather as well. Unlike other grasses, both of these lawn grasses have high pest tolerance and need really little maintenance.

A Quick Comparison of Pensacola Bahia Grass vs Argentine Grass

Let us now compare these two types of grass, so that we can get an idea that what grass is suitable for your land.

  • Due to its high sensitivity to shady areas, Argentine Bahia Grass is best for home lawns along the Southern Coastal plains and Gulf Coast. where Argentine can grow perfectly due to tropical weather.
  • On the other hand, Pensacola grass can be planted in southern Coastal areas, the Gulf coast, and also in the farther north regions, because its cold weather resistance is far greater than Argentine.
  • Both of these warm-season grasses need very little maintenance although mowing Argentine Bahia is a little easy as compared to Pensacola because of fewer seed heads.
  • although growing these grasses is another story, you need very specific soil pH levels and specialized fertilizers enriched with potassium and phosphorus. so, make sure that the land is properly prepped before planting the seeds otherwise the grass will not grow properly.
  • The greatest challenge for a plant is to survive pest attacks, but luckily both argentine and Pensacola Bahia have high pest and disease resistance. but, everything has a weakness and so do our heroes (Bahia grasses). The only arch nemesis for our heroes is the mole cricket. so, seasonal pest management is really for the grass.
  • Diseases like brown patches are also common among grasses but when fully developed Bahia grass resists these diseases. make sure to protect the seeds when developing because during growth Bahiagrass lawn is fragile to these diseases.

Key Differences Between Pensacola vs Argentine Bahia grass

Parameters

Pensacola Bahia Grass

 Argentine Grass

Color

Light green

Dark green

Leaf type

Long and narrower leaf blades

Small and thick leaves

Sunlight

Full sun

Complete sun

Shade

Tolerant towards the shade

Intolerant

Preferred areas

Coastal and N. of S. America

Coastal and tropical regions

Seed heads count

In abundance

Average

Soil type

Sandy soils

Tolerant to a wide range

Soil pH

Acidic (6.0 to 7.5)

Acidic

Pest and disease resistance

Highly resistant

Highly resistant

What is Pensacola Bahia grass?

What is Pensacola Bahia grass

Pensacola is a native Southeastern United States pasture grass that gained popularity in the 1930s. Due to its high resistance to harsh weather and pests, it became one of the most popular warm-season grasses in the region.

Pensacola Bahia grass identification:

  • You can distinguish Pensacola from Argentine by carefully examining the leaf blades. Pensacola leaves are long and thinner.
  • Pensacola develops deep roots that help it to survive cold weather.
Pros
  • Can withstand cold and warm temperature conditions.
  • Low maintenance for common Bahia grass.
  • Highly resistant to heat and extended drought.
Cons
  • Difficult to control growth once fully developed.
  • Need very optimum and specific conditions to grow.

 What is Argentine grass?

What is Argentine grass

As the name suggests Argentine Bahia Grass came from Argentina located in the Southeastern United States. this pasture grass was developed by a university but its amazing characteristics made it a local brand. A brand that is making the majority of south Florida lawns look amazing without asking for any additional maintenance.

Argentine Bahia grass identification:

  • This lawn grass has small but thick leaf blades as compared to Pensacola’s narrower leaf blades.
  • Although this warm season grass does not have deep roots, which makes it weak and fragile in cold weather conditions.
Pros
  • Unique dark green color palette.
  • Best for crop rotation due to its pest and disease resistance.
  • Best weed control warm season grass.
Cons
  • Need acidic and sandy soils for proper growth.
  • Need special chemical herbicides without nitrogen for protection from mole cricket.

Comparing Pensacola Bahia and Argentine Pasture Grass:

Comparing Pensacola Bahia and Argentine Pasture Grass

Appearance

These warm-season grasses can be distinguished based on the following visual traits.

Color:

  • Argentine Bahia Grass has a dark green color as compared to other Bahia grasses. That gives your lawn a mat finish.
  • Pensacola Grass has a light green tone to it and is a little glazy.

Leaf blades:

  • Argentine Bahia Grass has wide broad leaves that make your lawn look dense.
  • Pensacola has thin long leaves that make your lawn look more sophisticated and well-trimmed side.

Weeds, growth, and sod formation

Argentine Bahia Grass:

The same is the case with Argentine Bahia Grass, a harsh temperature baring grass that is not so strong right from the start, instead it is really fragile.

So, in order to help it grow properly, we really need to take care of the Bahia seed’s nourishment and protect it from most weeds and harmful herbicides. Argentine seeds are really weak when planted and they cannot fight the growth of weeds on their own.

Therefore, the weed in the planted area needs to be trimmed down on a daily schedule so that we can help establish a dense sod. Once the sod is fully established then Argentine can hold on its own against weeds.

Aside from trimming the weed we also need to control mole cricket growth using herbicides, but we cannot just use any type of herbicide with Bahia Grass seeds, instead, we need to be very specific with the turf conditions while choosing the best herbicide that will kill the crickets but not our grass.

Pensacola Bahia Grass:

Pensacola grass is very durable and grows really well even in poorly drained soils. If you plant it in spring then it will take about 20 days to start growing. It is really quick growing which makes it excellent as a pasture grass. Due to its deep roots, it forms a really durable carpet on the ground. You will get the best pensacola bahiagrass sod with proper care.

If there are weeds growing in the Bahia grass then you can use glyphosate to get rid of the weeds. It is really effective and will get the job done.

Best Uses For Pensacola Bahia vs Argentine grass

Both lawn grasses have their fair share of uses. Pensacola Bahia grass is widely used for pasture. But this isn’t its only purpose as it is also used for erosion control, wildlife habitat, and hay production as well.

On the other hand, Argentine is excellent as a pasture and turf grass. It is easier to maintain and has high drought resistance. Therefore, it is quite versatile and has a lot of uses.

Soil Types and pH Needs

These highly sensitive grass seeds needs specific soil conditions in order to sprout. Both Pensacola and argentine Bahia lawn grasses need acidic soil with pH (6.0 to 7.5) to grow perfectly.

Bahia grass prefers sandy soils but can also be grown on a vast range of other soil types given that they have been prepped properly.

Prepping the soil:

  • Make sure to run soil testing in order to confirm the pH of the soil. if the pH lies in the desired range then you can proceed with the next preparation measures.
  • Cultivate the soil up to 6 inches pre-planting.
  • Also, add phosphorous and potassium fertilizers to the soil to help in better growth, but avoid using fertilizers with nitrogen for controlling weeds

Water needs

The water requirement of Bahia grass is very low due to its deep roots. It is very drought-tolerant and doesn’t need much water at all. Avoid watering too much as it damages the grass. Root growth is good without too much water.

Argentine needs about 3/4″ of watering. It also needs very less watering due to its high drought tolerance. So, both of the lawn grasses have a low water requirement.

Fertilizer requirements

Fertilizers are the ingredients that help prepare the dish of highly nutrient Bahia grass quickly. Bahia grass seeds need fertilizers to sprout quickly and get stronger to provide high weed control.

Make sure to use phosphorus and potassium-based fertilizers. These fertilizers will work best with both Bahia as well as Argentine.

Sun, Shade, and Temperature Requirements

We have been discussing this right from the beginning, but still, we cannot emphasize the importance of temperature and sunlight for the growth of Pensacola and argentine Bahia grass enough. Bahia seeds need tropical temperatures for growth, therefore try to plant their seeds in early spring or the beginning of summer for optimum temperature and the sun’s heat.

Pensacola grass seed can survive little shade but argentine is really sensitive towards shade and even little shady areas can affect the growth in that region. therefore make sure that the land where the Bahia seed is planted does not come into shade during day time and if any tree is causing the shade, then you should trim the branches down to give Pensacola and argentine Bahia seeds a better chance to sprout and grow quickly.

Durability

Argentine grass does not have a deep root system therefore, it cannot withstand cold temperatures. Even a little bit of shade can affect its growth.

Pensacola develops a deep root system, which allows it to stand much colder weather, although in cold conditions its leaf blades break down but as soon as the temperature shift towards warm, Pensacola recovers quickly.

Common Pests and Diseases

Whether it is Argentine or Pensacola, both of them are threatened by mole crickets. The crickets can get into the soil, down to the roots of these grasses, and damage them. This can completely ruin the grass. So, you need to use insecticide to rid of the mole crickets and keep your grass safe.

Both types of grasses are the same when it comes to diseases as well. Bahia grass is affected only by a few diseases and is safe from the major ones. The same is the case with Argentine. But it also takes quite a long to establish to make sure to get rid of any crickets and diseases by using nitrogen. It is better to stay on the safe side.

Mowing Needs

If you won’t mow the field regularly then it is possible that the wild weeds will take over the growth area and kill the seeds. You should start mowing the field as soon as Bahia grass reaches a length of around 3 inches, this helps in weed control. You should try to maintain Bahiagrass lawn length at around 2 to 2 and a half inches. You essentially need to turn into a weed killer for your grass.

When it comes to mowing Argentine, it is best to mow it to 3 inches every one to two weeks. Just make sure to not mow at a lower height as this will reduce its tolerance.

 Cost of maintenance

Although it seems like growing Bahia grass is a headache, it’s really not. Also, the cost of maintenance is really low compared to other crops.

The maintenance cost of Argentine is more or less the same as Bahia grass. Both lawn grasses require low maintenance so the cost is also low.

Pensacola Bahia vs. Argentine grass: Which Option is Right for You?

You can choose the best option for yourself depending on the following conditions:

Depending upon climate

If you live in areas more towards the north of the southeastern united states where there are warm and cold extremes, then you should go for Pensacola, because it can survive both hot and cold climate conditions. But, if you are alive in coastal areas then Argentine is the best choice for you.

Summary: It is basically a toss-up and you should choose the grass type that is more suitable according to the area that you live in.

Choosing the Best Option Based on Maintenance

When it comes to maintaining an argentine or Pensacola bahiagrass lawn, it is quite similar, as they both need quite specific soil conditions and specialized fertilizers for their growth and cannot grow properly in poor soil conditions.

Summary: There is no clear winner as both have really good durability. So, you will be fine with either one of them.

Choosing the Best Option Based on Susceptibility to Pests and Disease

The biggest threat to Bahia grass seed is from the mole crickets. They can get into the soil and damage the roots. Bahia grass is mostly safe from diseases as there are only a few which affect it. You can use insecticides to get rid of the insects and nitrogen to keep them safe from diseases. This is a necessary procedure that you should always do.

Argentine is also threatened by mole crickets. But the problem is that it is difficult to establish so it is better to use insecticides and stay on the safe side.

Summary: Bahia grass comes out on top due to less susceptibility to diseases and pests and a faster establishing time. It is the best option when it comes to susceptibility to pests and diseases.

What are the similarities between Pensacola Bahia vs Argentine grass?

Maintenance

When it comes to maintenance and care, both of these grasses need specific conditions:

  • We need to make sure that the soil in which we are planting the Bahia grass seeds is acidic (pH between 6.0 to 7.5)
  • Also, the soil should be treated with just phosphorus and potassium-rich fertilizers.
  • Once developed, your low-maintenance bahiagrass lawn will prove to be the best choice for your time and money.

Uses

Both of these grasses are used for crop rotation, lawn decoration, and sod production.

Planting Season

Pensacola and argentine lawn grass both need to be planted in late spring or early summer so that they can grow in optimum temperature and sunlight. So, late spring is the best growing season for these grasses.

FAQ

Is Pensacola Bahia grass good?

Pensacola Bahia is amazing for lawn decoration, sod production, and crop rotation. it is used widely in south America and is trusted by millions of farmers.

Does Pensacola Bahia grass spread?

Once developed properly, Pensacola grass can spread using seed heads and can cover a large portion of land.

Which Bahia grass is the best?

Both Bahia types of grass have their advantages and disadvantages but mostly both of them are the same and can be grown and maintained with the same amount of effort.

Can I overseed with Bahia grass?

Yes, it is possible that you overseed the field with Bahia grass, so make sure to plant 9 to 10 pounds of Bahia seeds per one thousand square feet.

What is the main disadvantage of Bahia grass?

The main disadvantage is that once it’s fully developed controlling the growth is difficult.

Conclusion

It is difficult to choose between Pensacola and Argentine. But you have to decide one of the grass that you are going to choose. Both of them have their pros and cons. Neither is a clear better choice but depending on the area you live in, one will definitely be the more obvious choice.

So, which type of grass are you going to choose for yourself? Share your feedback and Let us know your choice in the comments!

References:

https://www.pennington.com/all-products/grass-seed/resources/all-you-need-to-know-about-bahiagrass

https://keys.lucidcentral.org/keys/v3/pastures/Html/Bahia_grass.htm

https://hayandforage.com/article-2364-finding-a-solution-to-declining-bahiagrass-pastures.html

https://hgic.clemson.edu/factsheet/bahiagrass/

https://warcapps.usgs.gov/PlantID/Species/Details/3517

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