Landscaping in sand

by Mike Mulroy
(Charlevoix Michigan )

Wild Roses like sandy soil

Wild Roses like sandy soil

We r building a vacation home in northern Michigan on Lake Michigan. The property is 100% sand. Was hoping u had recommendations for plantings, including trees that will thrive in sand.

Comments for Landscaping in sand

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Apr 09, 2020
Sandy soil?
by: Jacki Cammidge, Certified Horticulturist

There are very few plants that will grow in straight sand. Look at deserts, nothing will grow there, due to the poor soil, lack of nutrients, and the heat.

Some grasses don't mind some sand in the soil, and there are some leguminous trees and shrubs that will take it, even if they don't exactly thrive. Think Caragana and similar shrubs. Some of these are not something you want to let loose into the environment.

Are there any native plants in the area? I would go with those, as they're already adapted to the conditions.

That makes an ideal situation if you do use native plants, as they can take care of themselves when you don't want to be there, existing on the rainfall that falls naturally, and they'll look just fine when you show up for your vacation (plus you don't have to spend hours maintaining them). That's the ultimate in xeriscaping.

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