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Plantings on fire island

Posted by beachhouse4us Suffolk, long island (My Page) on
Sun, Apr 22, 12 at 16:40

We will be purchasing a home soon on fire island and the house needs planting in the front and back yard. What plants can be planted since our yard is covered with sand? Also, they need to be deer resistant as well since we won't have a fence.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Plantings on fire island not plant bamboo of any sort.
Get on your bike and go see what other people have planted.
Fences are a waste of time, the deer can get over them.
You could probably get vitex to grow for shade and underplant them with blueberries and some evergreens.

But you need to gather up some books on coastal gardening.

I do know the deer will ignore the vitex and I've never seen them hit the blueberries but you'll want to train the blueberries by limbing them up for air circulation.

Check with Suffolk Cty may be able to set posts and string cable between them to deter the deer from running through your property.

Wish I could hook you up with my sister who has been gardening on F.I. for 40 years.
She'd probably tell you that you need to work down below the sandy surface and find dirt that you can amend. F.I. does have soil under the sand.
I'm usually on the Carolina forum (subset of Southern forum) and an old 'F.I. mother's helper'

RE: Plantings on fire island

Look for a list of salt tolerant species. I know some off hand. Roses, rose of sharon, hydrangias(hortensias need to be out of hot sun and /or getting watered) ,junipers-I love 'grey owl' a strain of our native juniperus virginiana,bayberry is great,Baccharis is another interesting native. Limonium latifolium and seaside golden rod grow wild along the shore. Montauk daisies like sandy conditions best. Aster.tartaricus,gallardia,dictimnus,peonies,stokesia, dianthus, agastanche,iris,physostegia, nepeta, calamintha.neptoides, lavender, allium,asclepias"tuberosa",artemesia,perovskia,poppies,day lilies,geraniums, asters,crambe cordifolia, echinops, echinacea, heliopsis,sedum, rudbekia,lysimachia clethroides,are some perennials that are drought tolerant. Shrubs that are tough are,lilac, spirea,buddlea, caryopteris,ledpedeza,tamarix,vitex,junipers,calluna,erica, arctostaphylos,vaccinium,weigilia,viburnum.carlesii,taxus, potentilla,hydrangia.peegee,daphne.carole.mackie,cytisus,
genista,aesculus,prunus[beach plum],sophora davidii,privit hedge,rhus(I love rhus "tigers eyes")... Trees that are tough are Amalanchier,celtis occidentalis(salt and drought),aesculus,carpinus,
cornus kousa maybe c.flordia too,cotinus[large shrub, small tree,kolkwitzia[large.shrub]crataegus,pyrus,prunus,malus,
styrax,ulmus,zelkova... I would check for salt tolerence. You can sneak some zone 7and 8 plants into the leeward side of your house.I planted a large garden in Sagponic where camellias would overwinter behind the house!The wind is an enemy to many plants that tolerate drought and salt spray.There are also grasses that would do well but I would check with your local extension office for non-native invasives. Some things that I have used in the past -like miscanthus-are now on the list in coastal areas.

RE: Plantings on fire island

I recently researched something similar.

Massachusetts has a list of plants they recommend for erosion control on the coast. Probably most of them would work where you are.

Not sure of their deer resistance.
Consider Virginia Rose, Beach Plum, Bayberry, Beach Pea,elderberry, seaside goldenrod.

RE: Plantings on fire island


First thanks for all the ideas and lists of plantings this helps. Our property has 100 % sand no soil! can plantings survive with just sand should I incorporate some soil into the sand?

RE: Plantings on fire island

A few plants can survive pure sand. Cape Beach Grass, Beach Pea, Beach Plum. Possibly Bayberry, Virginia Rose, Eastern Red Cedar, Northern Sea Oats. Mixing organic matter in with the sand would expand your options, of course.

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