Messages posted to thread:

Andrea11-Feb-03 06:47 AM EST 4b   
Ed11-Feb-03 09:34 PM EST 5a   
Nancy12-Feb-03 06:09 PM EST 5   

Subject: dry rocky sandy soil.
From: Andrea
Zone: 4b
Date: 11-Feb-03 06:47 AM EST

I need help, I want a garden this year but I live on Pigeon lake near Peterborough Ontario.

We moved to this location last August, at that time there were weeds galore.

I have two large sloped areas that get a fair amount of sunlight and have dry sandy soil from what I could determine last year.

The house is located at the top of a hill overlooking the lake so the gardens slope downward.

I would like to have colour there, and am not adverse to annuals but would really like to have perennials.

Can anyone help me with my quandry ?

Subject: RE: dry rocky sandy soil.
From: Ed
Zone: 5a
Date: 11-Feb-03 09:34 PM EST

Andrea, You do have a problem, but by no means insurmountable. Don't expect to solve it all in one season. Experiment with a manageable section the first year to get some idea of what, if anything, will thrive without adding additional topsoil and/or humus. Certainly, both would be beneficial; it's a matter of try, try, again, and if at first,well, keep on trying. That's what we all do !

Subject: RE: dry rocky sandy soil.
From: Nancy
Zone: 5
Date: 12-Feb-03 06:09 PM EST

There are a lot of plants that might do well under those conditions. Look for plants with gray, hairy or waxy leaves .... they're the ones that'll be the most drought tolerant. You can do a search using the term xeriscape and see what comes up.

Some plants that come to mind are yarrows (achillea), rudbeckia hirta (native black eyes susans), artemesias (although Silver King can be spread rather rapidly), Euphorbia myrsinites (donkey tail spurge), most sedums, thymes, some ornamental grasses, purple coneflower, liatris, scabiosa, rose campion .......

If you're ever in the Goodwood area (west of Uxbridge) this spring, check out the Mason Hogue nursery on Brock Rd, just south of Coppin's Corners. Marjorie's been working with almost pure sand for years and has absolutely gorgeous display gardens. She also has a free seminar this spring on xeriscaping on Saturday June 21.

Good luck!

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