SaltScape Solutions for Seaside Paspalum

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The Basics:
Salt Tolerant Seashore Paspalum Turfgrass


Paspalum is certainly the newest golf and sports turfgrass to hit the industry in many years. Though it is not difficult to cultivate paspalum for the well trained Turf Manager, its maintenance guidelines are different from other turfgrass species-especially Bermudagrass.

And then, if introduced into an environment that Bermudagrass could not, or should not be grown in, it becomes a little more challenging, so different avenues of construction techniques and turfgrass cultivation must be implemented.

SeaWay Paspalum

Spring at Alden Pines with a Tab Tree shedding blooms on top of SeaWay® paspalum

Paspalums many favorable attributes makes it much tougher than our presently well known turfgrasses, but it does have its limitations. Just because Seashore paspalum is tough, it does not mean that it can be installed in a sports turf environment with no attention paid to the same important factors that would be considered for other turfgrasses. And again, if we are contemplating using paspalum in a challenging environment, then we will need to pay very close attention to its installation environment and the golf course construction techniques.

Anytime we use the term "challenged environment", or "non Bermudagrass environment", etc., we are describing any of the following; water other than "fresh" which would include: effluent, brackish, or any water with any amount of salinity levels above 500 PPM, TDS. Other challenged sites, regardless of the quality of water available could include low rainfall regions (arid sites), high rainfall and cloudy regions, areas prone to salt spray, tropical storm flooding from either fresh water or salt water, hurricanes, or sites that have salt affected soils, high or low pH soils, and most any other "harsh" turfgrass environment.

Let's take for example a site that has high pH soil, high pH water, low salinity water in the 800-1,500 PPM range and times of low rainfall and very high ET rates. I have experience in a site of this type and we may all consider it a potential disaster (or very high cost) to grow a Bermudagrass variety in such a site. So, we decide to use paspalum, but that cannot be the only concluding factor to consider. Paspalum will survive in such a site, but of course we want it to flourish and without strict design and construction protocols, even paspalum will fail, or give a less than outstanding playing surface.

This is where the experience of a well seasoned paspalum consultant can make a big difference. There is plenty of education to rely on, but experience and common sense will play the biggest role in the end.


SaltScape Solutions LLC14261 Clubhouse Dr.Bokeelia FL 33922 Phone: 239-283-3766
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Golf Course Architects (experienced in paspalum)
Mackenzie and Ebert