When and How should I
the Plants on my Dune?
Is this a good
time of the year to be planting a
The best time to plant dune species is while they are
dormant, which happens in winter and early spring. By April or early
May the plants have broken dormancy. As a result, dune
vegetation should be planted between late fall and to Memorial Day. In some years,
planting into early
June at the latest may work. After that date, the risk of plant failure goes up
exponentially. If you must
plant dunes later in the season, using plugs rather than bareroot plants
will increase survival, but will increase the cost of your project since
plugs are generally more expensive.
to plant beachgrass|
Plants need to be installed deeply for better survival. For instance,
beachgrass stems should be planted so 2/3 of the stem is in the sand.
Planting 2 stems/hole is sufficient. (The old recommendation was 3 stems.)
This is referred to as a planting unit.
to earlier suggestions (e.g. army corps of engineers) Plantings should be
irregularly spaced and offset from one another rather than in straight rows
approximately 24 inches apart, 7-9 inches deep, throughout designated
planting area(s). The plants in the picture to the
right are planted too close, in a straight line and WAY too shallow.
Its the perfect "how not to" plant beach grass picture!
here are two tools commonly used when planting
American beach grass in sand dunes: A straight
blade shovel and a "pogo"
style planter. During times of adequate rainfall and good
soil moisture, the pogo planter is adequate. During dry times, the
small hole normally made by the pogo planter will instantly
backfill with sand once the tool is pulled out. The
shovel then becomes a necessity.
Once you are done, don't forget to install
OFF THE DUNE" signs because dune plants are extremely sensitive to
trampling and a few people walking over your newly planted dune can
completely ruin all of your hard work!
Click here to
learn about other ways you can help your newly planted dune plants to thrive
list of suiable plants, click
here or visit the Cape May Plant Materials Center website:
Content of these pages was contributed by Chris Miller, Jon
Miller, Michael Peek, Ray Bukowski, and Louise Wootton. Edited by Louise