Coastal Gardening Guide

Beautiful Gold Coast beaches and calming sea breezes may be good for your soul, but the same can’t be said for your garden. High levels of salt, sandy soil and wind exposure is kryptonite to many plant and turf varieties. If you want your beachside home to have a beautiful garden, you need to create an environment that is perfectly suited to these conditions.

But how do you this? Check out our coastal gardening guide for tips and tricks to get the best results for your Gold Coast backyard.


Step #1 |Setup For Salt

It’s no secret that where there’s a beach, there’s salt. Strong sea breezes will carry this salt and deposit it onto your plants and soil. While it’s near impossible to completely stop this from happening, you can adjust your garden to limit the impact.

Choose plants that naturally occur in coastal areas and adjust the plan of your garden to suit. We’ve supplied a little list of salt-hardy plants, trees and shrubs to get you started:

Trees

  • Banksia integrifolia (Coastal Banksia)
  • Casuarina equisetifolia (Coast She-Oak)
  • Cupaniopsis anacardioides (Tuckeroo)
  • Hibiscus tilaceus (Cotton Tree)
  • Pandanus tectorius (Screw Pine)

 Shrubs

  • Acacia sophorae (Coastal Wattle)
  • Hakea actities (Hakea)
  • Acacia sophorae (Coastal Wattle)
  • Austromyrtus dulcis (Midyim)
  • Banksia robur (Swamp Banksia)
  • Breynia oblongifolia (Coffee Bush)

Groundcovers

  • Canavalia roseae (Coastal Jack Bean)
  • Carpobrotus glaucescens (Pigface)
  • Crinum pendunculatum (Field Lily)
  • Dianella brevipedunculata (Short-flowered Flax Lily)
  • Dianella caerulea (Blue Flax Lily)
  • Dianella congesta (Blue Flax Lily)
  • Hibbertia scandens (Guinea Flower)
  • Myoporum acuminatum (Boobialla)

Discover more plants that are native to the Gold Coast


Step #2 | Wind Breaks

Coastal properties and strong sea breezes go hand in hand. Over time, these strong breezes can damage your garden in a number of ways, from snapping leaves and foliage to carrying abrasive sand and salt. It’s crucial you protect your garden from these harmful winds to avoid any stunted growth and yellowing.

Building fences is key to stopping the influence of sea breezes on your coastal garden. Brick walls, timber fences or other permeable types of fencing are great for stopping wind altogether. Shade cloth, lattice and hessian are also other good solutions.

Finally, planting a wall of salt tolerant trees is also a great way to build a barrier against a strong sea breeze (see the list of trees above).


Step #3 | Tree guards

Newly planted trees and shrubs are the most susceptible to damage from coastal conditions. To help give them the best chance of surviving, make sure all newly planted vegetation is protected and supported by plastic tree guards or shadecloth. While this may take a long a little longer while planting, you’ll be repaid with flourishing growth and vibrant colouring.


Step #4 | Conserve Moisture

Does your coastal garden have sandy soil? If so, there’s a good chance you’ll have issues with water retention. Sandier soils are free draining and are quick to dry out. This could be deadly to plants that need large amounts of water to flourish.

In order to tackle this problem, you need to increase the amount of organic soil and mulch varieties in your soil. Keep adding more and more organic matter until you notice your soil is retaining more water. A more drastic measure can be using soil wetting agents from your local landscape supplies yard.


Step #5 | Fertilise

Coastal soils are generally impoverished and have limited capacity to retain applied nutrients. In addition to adding higher amounts of organic matter to your soil, coastal gardens need fertilising more often than traditional gardens. In order to promote healthier more sustained growth, apply slow release fertilisers often like Osmocote or blood and bone. You can find these at your local Bunnings Warehouse.


Tried everything on our coastal garden guide and still need a hand? You can rely on the coastal garden experts at Focal Point Landscape Maintenance to get your garden thriving. Call today!

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About the Author

Edmund Fisher administrator

With more than 31 years’ experience in landscaping, Edmund has a deep understanding of all facets of landscape maintenance, construction, irrigation and turfing

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