Bahaagrasses are very common in Florida, but they have been getting more popular due to their ability to grow in areas where other plants cannot. They are also easy to cultivate and maintain. Bahaagrasses are a great alternative for those who want to increase their lawn’s value without having to spend any money on chemicals or fertilizers.
In addition, bahias provide excellent food for birds and fish, which helps keep the soil healthy and balanced.
The problem with bahias is that they have become invasive species in many parts of the world. Many countries have banned them because of their tendency to spread disease and compete with native plant life. Some states even ban the planting of these plants altogether.
However, there are still places where they thrive and grow well. One such place is Florida, which has had a long history of farming and ranching that includes large tracts of land used for grazing cattle. These lands were once covered with native vegetation that was easily managed by humans. However, over time, most of these lands have been converted into pastureland and now only a few areas remain untouched.
Florida has some of the best soils in the country. The state gets its water from numerous rivers flowing through it and rainfall patterns cause abundant rainfalls year after year. Unfortunately, the state is also very prone to hurricanes and other extreme weather patterns that can cause damage to farmlands.
This makes it very difficult to maintain crops in some areas.
Bahia grass has become a popular replacement for many farmers because of its hardiness and drought-resistant qualities. It can survive in sandy soils that most plants don’t like, it is easy to maintain and doesn’t require much extra care, and it grows back quickly if grazed upon too severely.
However, most farmers still don’t like bahia grass because it is a member of the Poaceae family. This means that it shares similar attributes with other types of grass and can be difficult to kill. Most of the time, if you just cut the grass to the ground it will regrow back very quickly unless you put a lot of effort into preventing it from reseeding in that area again.
Most farmers don’t have the time or resources to maintain a pasture filled with bahia grass, so they end up fencing it off from their other pastures and only allowing their cattle to graze on it occasionally.
This is the situation that most Florida farmers find themselves in. There are plenty of areas that can be converted into pastureland for their livestock, but the state seems to be lacking in people willing to do the initial setup work. This means that there are plenty of bahia grass plants growing in fields that aren’t being used.
You find yourself in a position where you own a large tract of unused land that is perfect for grazing cattle. The soil here isn’t the best, but you have a lot of experience with this sort of thing and know that with proper management this field can be used to grow crops or graze livestock very effectively. The only problem is that you don’t have the time or resources to set this up yourself.
You need workers willing to do the initial setup work to get this project running smoothly, and you need them now.
You’ve heard about how invasive bahia grass can be and how hardy it is, so you aren’t worried about these issues. You have also heard about how the plant can be harvested for cattle feed and that it is resistant to hunger strikes from your livestock. You’ve even heard rumors about this grass being nutritious enough for human consumption, but you would never consider eating it yourself.
The rumors of the plant’s abilities are mostly true. It’s a wonderful plant for growing as cattle feed and it can also be harvested and then ground up into a nutritious protein powder for humans. While it isn’t as efficient as other crops for either use, it grows back quickly and can be harvested multiple times a year.
With all these factors in mind, you decide to go ahead with this project. You have plenty of unused land that can be used to grow this grass, so you want to get the seeds as soon as possible. Because you have to import the seeds for this plant, you need to order them and that will take a week or two.
While you wait for the seeds to arrive, you research some online farming communities to see if any local people would be willing to help you plant and manage this field.
The internet is a wonderful tool for learning these days. All the information you could ever want is at your fingertips for the taking and it’s all accurate too, at least from what you’ve seen. You’ve found a few websites where farmers gather to discuss different methods, techniques and other things relating to agriculture.
After signing up and making a post on one of the forums, you sit back and wait for the replies to roll in.
Most of them are a bit negative towards your idea. It would seem that most farmers want to stick with what they know rather than experiment with new crops. This isn’t surprising to you given that most people prefer the status quo.
There are a few people who reply positively though, some of which even have their own farms and could potentially help you out.
You send a personal message to these people and explain your situation in greater detail. One of the responses you get seems very enthusiastic and promises to send their field hands over as soon as the seeds arrive. You thank them for their offer and wait for your package to arrive.
Finally, the package arrives a week later. You rush down to your local post office and pick it up, then head home to prepare the seeds. You wonder if you should plant all of them or just some of them to see if they grow properly.
You also wonder which variety of the plant you should get. There are a number of different types, each with their own color and uses. You decide to go with a more common green variety to see if it’s hardy enough before you try the more colorful types.
Having arrived home, you rush up to your room and grab a small plastic container from under your bed. You head back down and into the kitchen where you grab a glass of water and begin filling the container with water. Now prepared, you open up the package and dump all of the seeds into the container.
Placing the container in a windowsill, you hope that some of the seeds will grow. You’ve never really grown plants indoors before, so this will be a new experience for you. You also wonder if it’s even worth it to bother as the seeds are valuable, but if they grow into sizeable plants, you could potentially earn enough money to buy several more games than you would otherwise.
Time passes and despite your worries, the seeds do indeed sprout. You find that you have enough room for three plants, which is exactly what you planted. You have somewhat suitable lighting and a makeshift growing system set up, with a bulb shining on the plants about 12 hours a day and a bucket of water to water them with.
It’s not the best system, but it’s working well enough.
After the plants grow bigger, you find yourself having to go back to the internet to search for tips on how to take care of your newly acquired plants. It takes awhile but you finally manage to get them to grow big and healthy and are ready to produce seeds. You’ve learned that your green variety produces typical green tomato seeds while your other two produce a rare purple and golden yellow color.
You harvest all of the ripe fruits and save the seeds, putting them into a safe location once you do. With that, the gardening project is officially over.
Money-wise you managed to make a profit of $200 which isn’t too bad, but you wonder if it’s really worth your time. The games were fun while they lasted, but now you have more free time than ever. You could always go back and do part time work at the market stand again or try to find something else if you get bored.
You’re also eager to try your hand at selling some of the more colorful seeds you harvested. You check to see what the going price is for the seeds on the market and see that they seem to go for around $800 a piece. You have 10 of each color, which should bring in a nice sum of money.
You put together an ad for your seeds and post it on the Internet along with a picture you found online of the plant growing. While you wait for responses to come in, you take some time to yourself and play one of the new games you bought.
A couple weeks passes and you get a message from someone, telling you that they are interested in your seeds. When you tell them the price they seem very happy and tell you that they will send you payment right away. As you wait for your payment, more messages flood in and you set up a few more sales.
You end up selling all 10 of your purple seeds at $1,000 a piece, as well as all 10 of your yellow seeds at $1,200 a piece. Your green variety sells the most out of all of them, with 25 sold at $800 a piece and you ended up keeping the last five to grow and try your hand at it again some time in the future.
With your sales finished and money received, you have now made a total profit of $98,000 from this experience. Not a bad sum of money to show for spending a few weeks doing something you enjoy. You decide that your green tomatoes will become your main source of income for the time being, until you get bored with them like you know you eventually will.
Now enriched with this new source of income, you spend some more of your money on games again. You figure if you’re going to get bored of the green tomatoes at some point, you will always have your games to keep you company.
You walk down the games isle, cell phone in hand, doing a little price comparison to see where you can save the most money on your future purchases.
You avoid the dollar store since they tend to have low quality generic games, and check out the competition.
The next store over is a big box store that has pretty much everything you need, but the prices are a bit on the high side.
There’s also a small shop a few blocks away that specializes in games and sporting goods. They probably won’t have everything you need, but their prices are generally lower than the big box store’s, so it might be worth checking out.
While the big box store is perfectly fine for most of your needs, it might be worth checking out the smaller store since you can probably save a lot more money if you buy in bulk.
You take a stroll over to the other store to see what they have to offer.
When you get to the store, you are greated by a young high school aged boy. He apologizes for him and his girlfriend taking up the two registers. You assure him its no problem and take a look around.
The store is much smaller than the big box store, but seems to have all the basics.
You take a look at their video game selection. They seem to have the latest games, but they’re a bit more expensive than the big box store. $60 games vs $50.
Sources & references used in this article:
Mechanism of dormancy in Pensacola Bahiagrass by SH West, F Marousky – Crop Science, 1989 – Wiley Online Library
Bahiagrass regrowth and physiological aging. by E Sampaio, ER Beaty… – … Ecology & Management …, 1976 – journals.uair.arizona.edu
Preplanting Bahia Grass or Wheat Compared for Controlling Mesocriconema xenoplax and Short Life in a Young Peach Orchard by AP Nyczepir, PF Bertrand – Plant disease, 2000 – Am Phytopath Society
Absorption, translocation, and metabolism of sulfometuron in centipedegrass (Eremochloa ophiuroides) and bahiagrass (Paspalum notatum) by JH Baird, JW Wilcut, GR Wehtje, R Dickens, S Sharpe – Weed science, 1989 – JSTOR
Litter decomposition and mineralization in bahiagrass pastures managed at different intensities by JCB Dubeux Jr, LE Sollenberger, SM Interrante… – Crop …, 2006 – Wiley Online Library