Selecting the right plants for the shorefront

HEATHSVILLE—For shorefront homeowners, the area between land and water offers a planting zone with specific demands and requirements.

According to Northern Neck Master Gardener and Shoreline Evaluation Program chairman Mary Turville, it is easy to create and encourage a healthy and beautiful shoreline.

“Only one plant, smooth cordgrass, grows along the water’s edge,” said Turville. “Smooth cordgrass provides the basis of our marshes and is uniquely adapted to shoreline conditions.”

Smooth cordgrass needs to be inundated by brackish water twice a day; however, its roots cannot survive if permanently underwater. Smooth cordgrass needs six hours of sunlight each day and prefers a sandy bottom.

“If you have these conditions, you have a marsh….

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