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Gardening on a CA sand dune, going square foot

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Gardening on a CA sand dune, going square foot

Post  Nancy O on 6/24/2010, 12:22 pm

I live in Nipomo on a sand dune that has a water table 3-5 feet underground. Successful plants find the water after 5-7 years and become self sufficient, in the meantime, I have to water. Most of my acre is "wild cottage garden' or whatever lives 1 mile from the beach with wind from all directions half the year. I have used a wild mallow tree/shrub that reseeds prolifically to stabilize the blowing sand, but as my plants thrive, I remove the mallows and transplant them into the next acre for sand stabilization, or feed to my rabbits and horses as a treat. I cleared off a space 10 x 20 in the middle of mallow walls and wanted ideas for civilizing it and then found my 1981 Square Foot Gardening book. I don't want just a square and do have to consider varmints, from my Labs to horses to chickens to gophers. The ideas that seem the neatest from the quick perusal on the site of using netting above and hardware cloth under, plus Mel's Mix seem appropriate for my space. Someone used boxes on top of one another and turned the flat space into a vertical sculpture. Thanks for the ideas!
Nancy O

Nancy O

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Join date : 2010-06-24
Location : Sand dune off CA coast

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Re: Gardening on a CA sand dune, going square foot

Post  junequilt on 6/24/2010, 1:33 pm

Ah, another gardener who lives on sand! I'm across country from you on the sandhills of South Carolina. Our water table is about 110 feet down and we don't have the wind problems you face, but gardening on sand is still a challenge!

You reference Mel's original book; have you read the new one? Mel's Mix as recommended in the new book is such a wonderful improvement for those of us who don't actually have soil.

I'd love to see the mallow you describe. Could you post a photo?
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junequilt

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Location : Columbia, SC (Zone 8)

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Mallow, sand dunes and erosion control

Post  Nancy O on 6/25/2010, 2:58 pm

I have mallow photos, but cannot insert them into this discussion. At first, I used the mallows to protect the plants I wanted to have a chance to grow. Protection from wind, sun, Lad play, and gophers were all used as reasons throughout the years. Now, I am using them to control the bare sand in the acre with real wind and slope challenges, the northwest side of the yard. I am cutting them down if too big so I can plant what I want, but the smaller ones I transplant, with little loss/death, to other uncivilized areas.
It is interesting that if you look at latitudes north and south of the equator for plants that might grow in your yard. There must be lots of sand in Australia, because their plants grow on my sand dune.

Nancy O

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Re: Gardening on a CA sand dune, going square foot

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