Seaside Success

Steve's tips for coastal gardening
By Carole McCray

"I've learned a great deal about seashore gardening―mostly through trial and error," Steve says. Here are his solutions for trouble areas.

Floodplain. Where salt water stands, plant groundsel bush, bayberry, and spartina grass.

Windy areas. Mulch heavily with shredded root mulch or pine nuggets around trees and shrubs. Spread grass clippings or leaf compost around flower beds.

Erosion control. Utilize shore juniper or rosa rugosa on slopes.

Vulnerable plantings. Look to the nearest barrier islands for hardy natives. Use these, along with ornamental grasses and structures, as windbreaks to shield smaller, more fragile plants. Deciduous shade trees should be at least two blocks from the ocean to avoid damage from the sea's wind and salt spray.