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Seashore paspalum turf update Oct. 15 in Savannah

By Sharon Omahen
University of Georgia

Imagine being able to water your home lawn with salt water. Yes, salt water.

Thanks to the new seashore paspalum grasses, this isn't a dream for those who live along the coast. Seashore paspalum can tolerate a wide quality range of water, including seawater, brackish water and recycled water.

"The grass requires only minimal pesticides and judicious applications of fertilizers," said Clint Waltz, a turf specialist with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

The grass uses key fertilizer nutrients efficiently, Waltz said. It can easily be managed to comply with many environmental water regulations.

Coastal golf courses

Retired UGA professor Ronny Duncan bred a number of seashore paspalum grasses. They're being used on golf courses along the Georgia coast and in Hawaii and Guam.

"Aside from its uses as an athletic turf, seashore paspalum may be used to clean up polluted or contaminated waters or soils," Waltz said.

"It may be effectively used to transition into wetland sites or other environmentally sensitive areas," he said. This can help reduce pollution from industrial or other problem areas.

Update in Savannah

Waltz and others from UGA, the University of Florida and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources will present an update, "Seashore Paspalum: The Environmental Steward," Oct. 15 at the Coastal Georgia Center in Savannah.

Duncan will be on hand to provide a history of seashore paspalum. UGA agronomist Bob Carrow will discuss its characteristics and water conservation qualities. And he'll tell how to manage the grass.

Other sessions will look at seashore paspalum as a recreational, amenity or forage grass or for land reclamation, stabilization, bioremediation and other uses.

Details

The update was planned by the Georgia Center for Urban Agriculture and the Coastal Resources Division of DNR. It begins with registration at 8 a.m. The program starts at 8:30 and ends at 5 p.m.

The cost is $50 before Oct. 4 or $60 after that. To preregister or learn more about the update, call the UGA Griffin campus Office of Continuing Education at (770) 229-3477.

To learn more about the UGA seashore paspalum breeding program, see www.georgiaturf.com on-line.

(Sharon Omahen is a news editor with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)

(Sharon Omahen is a news editor with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)

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