History of Sea Spray Seashore Paspalum
During the 1980s, the University of Georgia-Griffin began to conduct research on the salt tolerance of Seashore Paspalum. They examined how the species was able to thrive under saline conditions that no other species could even survive in. Previous work helped establish Seashore Paspalum as a viable option for turf grass areas that were constantly under stress from high salt levels.
The first breeding program was initiated in 1993 and was funded by the United States Golf Association. Before long, the golf industry became the foremost advocate of the species and continues to be so to this day. This early breeding work directly led to the development of the first successful sprigged turf grass varieties.
In 1998, Pure-Seed Testing, Inc., in cooperation with the University of Georgia, started work on developing an improved, seeded variety of Seashore Paspalum. For many years Pure-Seed Testing, Inc., evaluated Seashore Paspalum clones to determine the parents of Sea Spray which would produce viable seed. Turf-Seed, Inc., licensed Sea Spray in 2003 and continued research in seed production techniques while increasing production of the variety. Sea Spray was introduced into the golf course industry in 2005.
Why Sea Spray Seashore Paspalum is Right For You
Sea Spray Paspalum is the first release of an improved, seeded Seashore Paspalum. Seashore Paspalum grass seed produces an extremely salt tolerant turf grass, it provides outstanding turf quality, a bright blue-green color, and a beautiful, uniform appearance. Sea Spray Paspalum turfgrass is ideal for temperate-to-hot, humid coastal climates and affords excellent drought tolerance due to its deep and extensive root system. Sea Spray is excellent for use on turf grass areas irrigated with effluent water or subject to naturally high saline conditions, as it is capable of germinating with water containing less than 2,000 ppm salt (although fresh water is recommended) and tolerating soil with a pH range of 4.5-9.0. It has also been found that Seashore Paspalum transitions out of over-seeding better and more smoothly than bermudagrass.
Sea Spray, like all Paspalum, is an excellent environmental turf grass. Sea Spray is a salt tolerant grass, and it also tolerates drought, water logging/low oxygen, low-light intensity, and traffic. It needs less nitrogen, due to rapid nutrient uptake and use characteristics. It also requires less water than other grasses and has bio-remediation/land reclamation benefits, as it is capable of actually removing salt from the soil.
From a player’s point of view, Seashore Paspalum is often considered an improvement upon bermudagrass and other varieties typically found on southern golf courses. Many players find an improved lie on tees and fairways, due to its dense and upright growth characteristics, but the species also offers better striping, a vibrant green color and increased cool-weather color retention. Add the ease of use through the seeded variety and Sea Spray becomes a clear and natural choice.
When To Plant Seashore Paspalum
Warm-season turf grasses grow best in a temperature range of 80° to 95°F (27°-35°C). A light top dressing of sand or dark mulch may help if temperatures are less than optimum.
Where To Grow Paspalum Grass
Seashore Paspalum is, of course, a warm season grass, so Sea Spray is best for areas no farther north than 30−35° of latitude. Within its “comfort zone,” it displays excellent resistance to dollar spot in addition to its primary characteristic of salt tolerance. Sea Spray is an excellent choice for environmentally conscious superintendents, especially those with water quality issues such as a need to use effluent water for irrigation. Certainly in areas where water shortages occur, or where saline conditions are unusually high, or where water reclamation projects are undertaken, Sea Spray provides an attractive option for beautiful turf despite these conditions.
- Turf areas irrigated with effluent water or subject to naturally high saline conditions.
- Inter-seeding improved, vegetative Seashore Paspalums
- Golf Tees / Fairways / Roughs
- Parks / Recreational turf
- Sod production
- Low maintenance turf
- Erosion control / Coastal sites influenced by salt
- Aggressive, prostrate, spreading growth habit
- Uniform, moderately dense turf with bright green color/medium blade texture
- Aggressive stolon and rhizome growth
- Prefers soils with moderate to high salinity. Tolerant of most soil types, pH range of 4.5 - 9.0
- Very high salt tolerance/greater than bermudagrass
- Full sun to moderate shade tolerance
- Excellent drought tolerance
- Better cold tolerance than most bermudagrasses
- With high nitrogen/lower mowing heights afford good winter color in mild winter climates
- Good wear tolerance/Moderate recovery
- Very good performance in wet, boggy conditions
- Tolerates 0.5" to 1.5" cutting height
- Very good disease tolerance in saline conditions
Estalishment & Seashore Paspalum Maintenance
- Sow Sea Spray Paspalum seed at 1 - 2 lb per 1000 sq. ft.
- A Sea Spray Paspalum lawn is best planted late spring through mid-summer
- Paspalum turfgrass requires good quality water for establishment (30 days)
- Seedbed should be kept moist during germination
- Paspalum lawn grass seed germinates in 10 - 17 days with optimal soil conditions, 65-80 F. Do not plant warm climate grass seed with soil temperatures below 60 F. Full coverage in approximately 8-10 weeks
- A Sea Spray Paspalum lawn is able to tolerate cutting heights as low as 1/10 inch (0.25 cm) making Sea Spray an excellent choice for greens, but it serves equally well on tees, fairways, and roughs as well as sports and recreational turf. The recommended mowing height is 0.5 to 1.5 inches (1.3-3.8 cm) with a reel mower. To minimize the possibility of scalping, especially during the summer season, gradually reduce the mowing height during peak growing conditions.
- Deep, infrequent irrigations—about 1 inch every week or two—are best throughout the growing season.
Fertilizer applications should emphasize potassium and phosphorus over nitrogen— the recommended ratio for the first month is 1:2:3 or 1:3:4. Apply 0.3-0.5 lbs of nitrogen per 1,000 sq ft (1.5-2.4 g/m2) in the nitrate (NO3) form weekly until uniform turf coverage is achieved. This can be applied either in granular, liquid form or through the use of fertigation. Then, fertilize annually at a rate of 2 to 3 lbs of nitrogen per 1,000 sq ft (9.8-14.7 g/m2) during early fall or spring, and do not exceed 4 lbs (1.8 g) per year. Also, avoid applications of more than 0.5 lbs of fast-release, water-soluble nitrogen per 1,000 sq ft (2.4 g/m2)—high-index salt fertilizers work very well with Sea Spray. High levels of phosphorus should always be available to the plant. In salt-affected environments, calcium, magnesium, manganese, and iron should be monitored for deficiencies.
Sow Seashore Paspalum grass seed at 1 lb - 2 lbs per 1,000 square feet.
The Grass Seed Certification program establishes the genetic purity and germination of varieties, blends, and mixtures. The certification process begins with the proper field history before production and continues through the bagging of a grass seed lot with every step independently verified by Seed Certification personnel. Each seashore paspalum grass seed lot to be certified is sampled by Certification personnel and tested in the state seed laboratory, so the grass seed you buy is the seed that was tested If even one standard in this process failed, the lot is uncertified. You can rest assured that your seashore paspalum grass seed is certified!