Published April 2020 in County magazine
How Marc Marsh’s green thumb has yielded a successful, homegrown turf business
It all sprouted with 30 acres and one turf farm, and has now grown into nearly 400 acres across four partner farm locations in the Carolinas. “We started in 2003, when we were looking for a way to diversify our farm business, and we learned through our research that there was a need in our region for quality turf certied grass,” says Marsh. Raised about 35 miles north of Cheraw in Marshville, N.C. (an appropriate hometown, given his surname), Marsh earned a bachelor’s degree from North Carolina State, worked in the poultry industry for 13 years, then bought his rst farm – a poultry farm – with his wife, Melanie, in 2001.
When the couple decided to diversify their farm’s specialty, they rst began experimenting with
harvesting certain species of palisades and Cavalier zoysia grasses.
“We later became partners with Bragg Williams,” says Marsh, “and he introduced me to the source of grasses that had a lot of research behind them and seemed to be superior in research trials. We grew some others along the way and found out they were not as durable and ended up with the quality grasses we grow today.”
–Turf Connections Palisades Zoysia: The zoysia japonica species produces high-density turf for home lawns, golf fairways and roughs, sports elds, industrial parks and highway medians.
–Turf ConnectionsTifway 419: This F-1 hybrid was released by the Georgia Coastal Plain Experiment Station in the 1960s and is still a viable turf option for ne lawns, fairways and golf tee areas, with a darker green color, greater frost resistance, earlier spring growth, greater sod webworm and mole cricket resistance, better herbicide tolerance and stier leaf blades.
–Turf Connections Tall Fescue: This is a sod grown from a blend of three tall fescue varieties, plus Kentucky bluegrass, popular for homeowners, landscapers and homebuilders in areas of partial or full shade.
Marsh and his network of some of the best contractors and installers around have worked with clients to deliver turf to professional sports teams, college sports teams, like the University of Notre Dame golf team, homebuilders, and landscapers. The company also has a sand mining operation in Gaston County, which is a symbiotic relationship with sod. “A lot of times people need sand for leveling sod for sports turf,” says Marsh. “And we can also sell sand for a concrete mix asphalt as well.”
When they’re not running Turf Connections, Marsh and his wife of 28 years, who takes care of the company’s administrative duties, like to spend time shing on the lake. “We just enjoy the outdoors and being here on the farm,” he says. “I enjoy it every single day.” For more info on Turf Connections and their products and services, visit them at www.turfconnections.com or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TurfConnections/ or call 843- 862-8873.
Read the story at County magazine: https://www.county.cool/marsh-grass/