Q. How do I plant the stolons?
A. First, install your irrigation system. Then, prepare your surface by leveling the grade. Check to see it is firm enough by stepping on the soil. If you can see a footprint, it’s too soft. Spread stolons in a thin layer, so they cover the ground completely. Break up any clumps of stolons. Top dress with compost, which helps to retain moisture and add nutrients. We use a compost drum hand spreader, but you can use whatever works for you. Keep the stolons constantly wet for two to three weeks. For eight weeks after planting, fertilize once per week with 16-16-16 fertilizer (otherwise known as triple 16). It contains 16 percent each of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.
Q. How long does it take for stolons to grow into a healthy lawn?
A. Typically, about eight weeks.
Q. After establishing a lawn, how often should it be fertilized?
A. Once the lawn is thick and mature, one to three applications of fertilizer per year should be sufficient. An occasional application of iron and micronutrients can “green up” a lawn without causing excessive growth.
Q. How often should I mow?
A. Seashore paspalum should be mowed every five to 10 days at 3/8″ to 3/4″ mowing height for optimal appearance. Try to avoid mowing more than a third of blade length to avoid “scalping” your lawn.
Q. How should I remove weeds?
A. This is where seashore paspalum will shine for those of you who want to avoid chemical weed killers. Because seashore paspalum is salt-resistant, you can use rock salt to remove weeds in a mature lawn. The pesky weed will die while the grass around it survives. We use this method to remove weeds on our sod pads because it’s effective and gentler on the Earth.
Q. What are the benefits of choosing seashore paspalum or El Toro zoysia?
A. The most popular turfgrasses in Hawaii are seashore paspalum and El Toro zoysia because they are:
- reasonably drought tolerant, although it requires regular irrigation for the best appearance
- salt-tolerant, which allows you to irrigate mature lawns with brackish water
- dense enough to choke out grasses and weeds
- healthy in full sun and can tolerate partial shade
- cost effective