Best Evergreens for Sandy Location

(Question)

CAN YOU SUGGEST THE BEST EVERGREENS FOR SANDY BEACH LOCATIONS. I have cedars but some did okay and others died.

 

(Answer)

Gardeners often curse sandy soil but there are many advantages to growing in this type of soil. A sandy soil is so much easier to work with than clay soils, it is lighter weight, doesn’t compact, and in general is easy to dig in or amend with compost, and most flowering plants benefit from the fact that it is well drained. You will rarely have to worry about over-watering and root rot problems are less likely. Transplanted plants seem to establish a little bit faster in sandy soils as well, since it is easier for their roots to get a foothold in this looser type of soil. Sandy soils also tend to warm up a little faster in the spring when compared to clay soils, this means that plants start growing earlier.

The biggest disadvantage to growing in sandy soil is its inability to hold onto nutrients and water.  Watering is the biggest challenge most gardeners’ face and most people over-water their plants, it is the single biggest cause of plants dying. The key to watering sandy soils is to water less frequently but for longer each time, this encourages deeper root systems on plants and also allows them to penetrate deeper into the soil where there is more water available than there is at the surface. Less frequent deeper watering will help develop deep root systems and frequent light watering encourage shallow roots which make plants less drought tolerant.

You don’t mention how much light ( full sun, part shade) or the size of your planting area.I have included a list of evergreens of varying sizes.

Eastern White Pine ( Pinus strobus) can grow up to 30m tall and tolerates partial shade when young. Eastern White Pine 

Austrian pine (Pinus nigra) Prefers full sun. Grows 50-60’tall and 40’wide. Austrian Pine

Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) Prefers full sun. Grows 60′ tall. Scots Pine

Mugo Pine (Pinus mugo) Grows best in full sun. A large number of varieties of various sizes are available. Mugo Pine.

Junipers ( Juniper sp.) Junipers come in a wide variety of sizes and shapes- from spreading to 60’trees. Junipers prefer full sun and well draining soil. Junipers