22 Jul Jersey Shore Gardening


Jersey Shore gardening can be challenging. But if you confront the limits and potential of the native conditions, and plan accordingly, you’ll have a gorgeous garden that flourishes.

The landscape experts at Bayview Garden Nurseries know the shore can be a hostile environment. Therefore, plants need to stand up to whatever Mother Nature throws at them and thrive.

Wind, Salt & Sand

A Jersey Shore landscape must endure continuous and often strong winds and the salt and sand it carries. Winds and salt spray can easily damage non-resistant plants. Therefore, you should create a windscreen. Plant a row of salt tolerant shrubs to form a wind break.  A good windscreen serves a dual purpose. Above all, it will protect your garden from wind and salt spray. And, equally important, it creates a more private garden refuge for you to enjoy.

Sea spray contains damaging salt. Salt spray and water can affect plants in three ways. First, it causes plants to lose water. Second, it can interfere with nutrient absorption. And, finally, salt can interfere with a plants metabolism. All of these issues will affect the health of your plants.

How can you combat this? Do a soil test and adjust your pH accordingly. Sand doesn’t contain the necessary nutrients for a plant to thrive and survive. Therefore, amend the soil with plenty of compost. This also increases water holding capacity. Water deeply to help flush the salt out of the roots. Above all, choose plants that are salt tolerant.

Generally, coastal native plants and desert plants tend to be salt tolerant. Some plants are naturally protected with hard-surfaced leaves, a high gloss or tiny hairs. Choosing these types of plants will help to ensure success. Furthermore, plants without natural protection should be sufficiently shielded to prevent the harmful effects from salt.

What are your options?

Jersey Shore gardening isn’t limited to just a few choices. There are many salt resistant plants to choose from. Choose the right plants to create a landscape that you’ll love to come home to. Look around your neighborhood. What plants do you see that are doing well?

For example, evergreens such as Japanese Black Pine, Southern Magnolias and Eastern Red Cedar thrive in coastal climates. Their sturdy branches and hardy foliage make them durable options.  Many grasses perform well. They are a natural choice for a seaside landscape.  Hydrangeas do well in sandy soil, but will require more watering. Maybe you’d prefer more of a desert like look. Both yuccas and prickly pear cactus are excellent choices.

Color can be infused into your coastal landscape with perennials. Some perennials that do well in salty air include: daylilies, yarrow, blanket flower,  gaillardia, red hot poker  and coneflowers.

Similarly, consider container gardens. They can be placed against a fence or wall where they aren’t too exposed to the elements.

The staff at Bayview Garden Nurseries will be happy to provide you with our extensive list of salt tolerant plants. We have over 60 years of experience in landscaping and maintaining properties at the Jersey Shore. We can guide you in your plant selection or plan and install a beautiful landscape just for you.