gardening at the beach

love2garden-nc(7)November 4, 2008

What will grow at the beach? I have a friend (avid gardener who loves perennials and antique roses) that is trying to get things to grow at her beach house in Sneads Ferry, NC (close to Top Sail). Her house is about 200 feet from the beach--so she gets a lot of salt/wind. I was hoping some of you would share your successes/failures with what you can grow at the beach. Any tips to make things grow better?

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nandina(8b)

First, your friend should purchase a book titled "The Southern Gardener's Book of Lists" by Lois T. Chaplin. Therein will be found lists of annuals/perennials/shrubs/trees that will grow in this adverse situation. Wind is the enemy. To be successful one must figure out ways to foil the wind using fences, stone walls or shrub rows of Wax myrtle and/or other shrubs which are listed in the book. Based on my years of landscaping in this type of situation it is important to amend the soil with compost and manures at the soil surface annually. Also, one must be content to start with small, young plants which will adjust to the winds in time. During periods of high wind your friend should walk slowly around the property 'feeling' the wind trying to find quiet spots. These spots are very often found tight to a building or on the leeward side and can be utilized for growing roses and other blooming shrubs. It is possible to have a salt build-up in the sandy soil. Scant handfuls of gypsum worked throughout the garden beds every few years would probably be a good idea.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2008 at 5:24PM
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