Planting a garden near the seashore presents a specific set of problems that most home gardeners don't have to face. The beach can be an advantage to the gardener who is interested in raising plants that thrive under those seaside conditions. Be prepared to do some extra maintenance if you want to enjoy both being near the beach and being a successful gardener.
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Include some gravel, compost or wood chips to help keep beach soil moist and stable. Erosion of your garden on the beach will be a constant worry, unless you take some steps to forestall the loss of sandy soil. You can improve your chances of beating back erosion by planting your vegetation close together and decorating with ground-cover plants so that the soil is not exposed.
Help give your beach garden a chance for living a long life by installing a natural windbreak or installing board fencing. A double row of shrubs is an effective natural windbreak, though it may take a few years to achieve peak security. During those first few years of growth, use a man-made windbreak that includes small-mesh plastic netting to help filter the wind down to a less damaging velocity. Shrubs to plant include cabbage palm, daisy bush and Southern yew.
You can raise evergreens as part of a beach setting, but it will require a significant devotion to maintenance to achieve the best results. Salt from the water can wreak havoc with evergreens, so you potentially need to take daily steps to keep the salt away. Do this by washing them down with a hose that provides a fair amount of pressure.
Stabilzing Sand Dunes
You can protect your beach garden by making surrounding sand dunes less susceptible to erosion. Effective windbreaking anchors you can plant include wild-oat grass, wild rye and canary grass. Stabilised sand dunes can then be used as windbreaks to protect your own plants.
Groundcover and Vines
Make effective use of ground cover plants and vines to buffer against the forces of wind. Among the types of these plants that are hardy enough to withstand beach forces, such as wind and salt spray, are bearberry, Carolina yellow jasmine, honeysuckle and shore juniper.
A perennial beach garden is quite possible, and several plants look pleasing in a seaside atmosphere. Among perennials to consider for your beach garden are the appropriately named blanket flower and sea lavender, as well as Livingstone daisy, fleabane and butterfly weed.
A single tree can make a dramatic impact on a beach garden. A tree planted in sandy soil will require consistent maintenance and care, but a few species are likely to do much better. Among those tree species are sycamore, Monterey pine, White willow, coast live oak and American holly.
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