Living on the coast is beautiful. The sound of the waves, the motion of the sea grass and the smell of salt water awaken the senses. From tropical storms to invasive plants, sandy soil with few nutrients and, of course, the salt, coastal gardens have their challenges. By thinking beyond the boundaries of your property, you can borrow the majestic view of the ocean and incorporate it into your coastal garden design.
Tips for Coastal Gardeners:
- Test your soil to determine soil pH, salinity and nutrient deficiencies.
- Amend sandy soils with compost to enhance soil texture and maintain moisture.
- Build a natural windbreak. Use fences, hedges and low walls to block drying winds and salt spray. Openwork fences and living screens are good choices because storm winds can pass through them instead of breaking them.
- Choose plants with saltwater-tolerant leaves and roots. Ask your Garden Center associate for a list of the best plants for your area.
- Leave natural areas intact. Don’t remove plants that have adapted to your local conditions because they hold sea dunes in place.
- Research before you plant and don’t bring in invasive plants that spread and crowd out natives.
- Choose low-growing plants such as shrubs, grasses and perennials to enhance your landscape while framing the ocean view.