The Q&A Archives: Lawn for coastal MA

Question: We're not looking for a beautiful lawn, just something that will hold up over time and that is comfortable for bare feet. We're 100 feet from the seawall and have fought the battle between yard and ocean for 13 years. The yard gets flooded by the ocean at least once every other year. Every 4-5 years it has significant ocean flooding at each high tide for several days in a row. We just went through this in April. In the past we've rototilled, brought in topsoil, fertilized organically, limed and put down sod. That lasted 2 or 3 years. We have children who want to play baseball on what is now just dirt. We'd be fine with ground cover or any grass that will withstand the ocean and be comfortable for bare feet.

Answer: I'm going to recommend you contact Master Gardeners through University of Massachusetts Cooperative Extension. The University has a turf research program, and the Master Gardeners should have access to their latest information on what performs best in regional conditions. I'm sorry I couldn't be more specific, but found very little detail on your specific situation. This is the only MG link I found online, but if it doesn't apply to your county, they should be able to direct you. Good luck!

Western Massachusetts Master Gardener Association
Wistariahurst, 238 Cabot St., Holyoke, MA
(413) 533-0414 (for Hampden, Hampshire, Franklin Counties)
Tuesdays, 9 am to noon, May 1 through October 1. Monitored answering machine October - March
E-Mail Hotline: Year-round

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