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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Ontario, on Lake St-Clair
    Posts
    2

    buried containers

    This is my first visit on this website and I am learning how it functions.

    I have a question to ask, and I will attempt to attach a photo in support of my question.

    My question: There is a beach on our property. I am trying to create a 'beach garden' by burying pots filled with potting soil and planting annuals and perenials in them. Part of the beach has full sun. Any advice on the type of plant, maintenance and upkeep, etc that would apply to this situation? The beach is covered with zebra mussel shells. BTW, can I use those shells in my gardening endeavours?
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Maryland zone 7
    Posts
    3,042
    Hi Andre,

    What a lovely setting you have! I'm not sure why you are sinking pots into the ground, but I suspect it's because you are trying to grow plants that don't grow well in sandy soil. Personally, if this were my land, I would plant native grasses, native forbs and native plants directly in the sandy soil. I think you are creating a garden that will require alot of maintenance. Every year you will need to pull the pots and either root prune or transplant into larger pots to allow the root systems room to grow.

    Unfortunately I'm not familiar with the plant material that grows where you live, but I did a google search with the term: native plants Lake St. Clair Ontario and there were many sites to look at.

    I'm not sure what you mean by using the shells in your gardening endeavors, but you can certainly use them as a decorative mulch or add some to the compost pile.

    Newt

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Ontario, on Lake St-Clair
    Posts
    2
    Hi Newt,

    Thank you for your response. I share your interest in native plants and appreciate their importance in our landscape.

    I hate to admit this, but I have to make compromises in order to please my neighbours for whom a nice beach is an empty beach. We have been living in this location for the last 16 years and I always tended to let Mother Nature have input in how the beach should look. As a result, my part of the surrounding beach landscape appears to many, let's say, to be out of place! Of course, I am not unaware of the irony that in a mid-western setting Florida-type beaches are 'in-place' while natural mid-western beaches are not!

    So, in order to keep everyone happy, I figured that if my 'cluttered' beach contained splashes of colour, I could get away with not pulling out all of Mother Nature's own contribution. Peaceful cohabitation is sometimes the only solution!

    Re the zebra mussel shells... I make extensive use of whatever the lake deposits on the beach in terms of organic material. I recuperate considerable amounts of lake weed for instance that I use as mulch. I also water our plants using the black sludge-like liquid that collects in our rock jetty as the lakeweed decomposes. The only thing I have not learned how to use is the enormous deposits of shells.

    Thanks again for your input, Newt!

    André

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Maryland zone 7
    Posts
    3,042
    André, you are very welcome! I had to giggle when you wrote:

    I hate to admit this, but I have to make compromises in order to please my neighbours for whom a nice beach is an empty beach. We have been living in this location for the last 16 years and I always tended to let Mother Nature have input in how the beach should look. As a result, my part of the surrounding beach landscape appears to many, let's say, to be out of place!
    With the added information, how about just edging the beach area closest to the house with colorful plants? It looks like you could have a colorful semi-circle of plants where your other plantings end. I would think a local nursery could be helpful with the selection of colorful annuals and perennials with colorful leaves that would thrive in those conditions.

    I was glad to know you make good use of what the lake provides.

    Newt

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