What is Seashore Paspalum?


Paspalum Maintenance


Seashore paspalum is a warm-season grass that has a high salt tolerance. It’s usually installed in warm-season areas where the soil or water irrigation system also has a high salt content. This type of grass does well in warm weather and thrives near the ocean. During warm weather, it exhibits aggressive growth habits, accompanied by a dense root system and identified by its medium to course-bladed appearance. Also, since it’s a warm season grass, it goes dormant during the winter. Overall, paspalum needs moderate amounts of watering a fertilizing but requires frequent mowing to maintain a low cut. However, it’s also prone to scalping when mowed too short which is where proper paspalum maintenance techniques come in handy.

Follow these guidelines for proper lawn care and you’ll enjoy a healthy warm season grass that thrives throughout warm months and continues to survive throughout the colder ones.

Proper Paspalum Maintenance Techniques during Growing Season

Fertilizing – Paspalum uses 66 percent less nitrogen than bermudagrass, so the amount of nitrogen based fertilizer used should be specific to the type of paspalum variety installed. However, as a general rule of thumb, do not exceed 4 pound of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet per growing season. Ideal fertilizers for this grass include Soil Burst, Milorganite and “Seasonal Booster” 7-7-7. Overall, try to use organic or slow release fertilizers as it seems to dislike nitrogen and thrive on organic materials such as milorganite.

Watering – For established paspalum, watering deep and infrequent is best. Generally, you’ll want to water every 3-4 days during the growing season and apply about an inch of water per week. When watering, try to water for 10 minutes for every day that your lawn is not watered. For instance, every third day you’d water your lawn for 30 minutes and you always want to water paspalum in the morning for best results.

Mowing – Paspalum is very sensitive to mowing and therefore is prone to scalping, which can cause the grass to yellow or brown as it exposes the stem tissue. On average, your grass should be mowed once or twice a week and the same height setting every time. Paspalum can be maintained between 1/10” for the finer leaf blade varieties and between ½” to 2 inches for the more course varieties.

Off-Season Paspalum Maintenance Techniques

Overseeding – During the cooler months of the year, paspalum can be overseeded to maintain color during the winter. When nighttime temperatures are in the low 60’s it is ideal to begin the overseed process. For full instructions on overseeding, read our fall transition guidelines.

Spring Transition – Once soil temperatures reach 64 degrees for three consecutive days, you’ll begin to see paspalum start growing again. This is when you’ll want to begin transitioning your lawn for spring and summer. Begin gradually taking your ryegrass mowing heights and stop any fertilization. Eventually, the paspalum will emerge to take over the ryegrass as temperatures continue to become more favorable for growing. Then follow the steps above for healthy growth and maintenance throughout the warmer months and prime growth season.

Now, you’re ready to take care of your seashore paspalum lawn!