Are There Grasses That Can Be Irrigated With Sea Water? May 20, 2014

Yes, seashore paspalum is a grass used on golf courses in warmer climates that is tolerant to salty or brackish water. Once established, cultivars of seashore paspalum can withstand water containing high levels of salt. While it is not recommended to irrigate with seawater, a few golf courses are forced to use brackish water for the golf course. This allows the construction of courses in places where fresh water may not be available either physically or politically. Courses in the Bahamas and Caribbean are natural locations for this grass.

In Florida, some courses with paspalum use deep wells to pump brackish water from the Lower Hawthorne Formation. Special attention to manage salt accumulation in the soil is required, as well as keeping brackish water away from salt sensitive plants on the course. The modern cultivars of seashore paspalum, released from 1999 to 2014, include ‘SeaIsle 1’, ‘SeaIsle 2000’, ‘SeaDwarf’, ‘Salam’, ‘SeaIsle Supreme’, ‘Platinum TE’, and ‘Sea Star’.