Q: I am interested in a new grass developed by University of Georgia researcher Dr. Ronnie Duncan. It is called seashore paspalum and is relatively new. I am considering it for a front lawn with little shade.
A: A great deal of interest has been shown in this new grass. It is native to South Africa and South America, where it has grown in seashore environments for centuries. It can easily tolerate saline water as well as dry weather. Researchers are experimenting with its use on golf courses, highways and waste water treatment fields.
Seashore paspalum is chameleon-like in appearance. When left unmowed it is coarse like St. Augustine grass. When mowed regularly (twice per week) it has a fine texture like hybrid Bermuda grass. It is deeper green in color than Bermuda grass but does turn brown in winter. It requires less fertilizer than Bermuda grass.
The limiting factor for seashore paspalum is cold weather. It can not survive where the ground freezes regularly. Dr. Duncan feels that areas south of a line from Raleigh, NC to Chattanooga, TN would be able to successfully host the grass. All in all, I think seashore paspalum could make a very nice lawn in your situation. For more information, visit The University of Georgia Turf Research Site.