When most people close their eyes and think of summer in Australia, their mind’s eye will conjure up images of endlessly long sandy beaches and a quarter acre block with a big patch of lawn, perhaps with a backyard cricket pitch in the middle. But while these two images capture the Australian summer beautifully, they can be a tricky pair to match together.
Most lawns struggle with life by the sea. The saltiness of the air and the ground, combined with the sandy soil that leaches moisture almost instantly, means that backyards which find themselves close to the beach have always been a challenge to grow a good looking lawn in. And with upwards of 90% of the Australian population living within 50km of the coastline, this is a problem faced by huge swathes of those down under.
McKays may have the answer, and it comes in the form of Sea Spray Seashore Paspalum. A Bermuda grass specially bred for life by the ocean, it seeks to solve the coastal lawn dilemma that has plagued many an Australian front and backyard for decades.
Let’s take a quick look at what makes this grass tick.
A warm season perennial grass with a hardy demeanour, Sea Spray Seashore Paspalum can be grown in all bar the coolest reaches of Australia. When planted in suitable conditions it will retain a deep green hue all year round, and will grow densely and evenly.
Sea Spray Seashore Paspalum has a deep root system which makes it fantastically drought tolerant. What’s more, it is as drought tolerant in quick-draining sandy soils as it is in a more moisture friendly loam or clay-based soil. Sea Spray is unfazed by extended dry periods, retaining its colour in the most challenging conditions.
It is also one of the most salt-tolerant grasses available, making it perfect for coastal areas that not only have relatively saline soils, but also get bombarded with salt via sea spray (hence the name). This tolerance of saline conditions also allows Sea Spray Seashore Paspalum to be watered with recycled and bore water, both of which tend to be quite a lot saltier that mains and rain water.
Sea Spray is one of the most shade tolerant Bermuda grasses on the market. While it will do best in full sun, it will survive just fine in the shadier conditions that might be found on your garden’s fence line, or beneath trees and shrubs. Where many other warm season grasses can cope with no more than 10% shade, Sea Spray can deal with up to 40%.
Sea Spray Seashore Paspalum has been bred with low-lying flood and tide prone areas in mind. It will happily deal with short term inundation, even by salty sea water. The effect that these events will have on your soil’s pH are of little concern, as Sea Spray can happily deal with soils as acidic as 4.5pH, and as alkaline as 9.0pH
The main con of Sea Spray Seashore Paspalum is its cold tolerance which in truth is exactly the same as most other Bermuda varieties. It doesn’t cope well with frosts, and one particularly chilly morning can serve to severely affect the health of the grass. If you live in an area prone to frosts, even only once in a while, Sea Spray Seashore Paspalum may not be your best choice.
McKays Sea Spray Seashore Paspalum
McKays offers Sea Spray Seashore Paspalum in 1kg, 2kg and 5kg bags, and each kilogram is capable of seeding an area of 100 square metres. Uses include:
- Residential yards (particularly those in coastal areas)
- Golf tees, fairways, roughs and greens
- Parks and public spaces
- Erosion control on coastal land
- And much more…
If you’ve got any further queries as to whether Sea Spray Seashore Paspalum represents a wise turf choice for your situation, don’t hesitate to contact the friendly team at McKays!