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Alicehunter2000's Beach Party by Ken Johnson

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Alicehunter2000

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Good bye....and good riddance.....pine trees!

Too late to chip and mulch.....wheels are in motion......but the back 20ft. and sides will have mulch mixed in the sand down to about 5 ft. or so. Should improve water retention and temporary nutrients to help establish the new plantings.

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sonoranfans

Yes chipper

David this is when you listen to Ken, he is saying you need some mulch in that soil to get better results. Take this advice and add mulch and chip those plants. Straight sand is not really the best scenario. Your sand looks like mine... before the mulch.

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Alicehunter2000

Yes Tom, it will be heavily mulched, just not with the onsite chipped material. The land clearing contractor is bringing in a sifted organic mix that I assume he chips/mixes himself at his workplace, will find out more this morning. Believe it or not there are some pretty severe restrictions as to what I can put down. Anything south of Hwy. 30a in South Walton county has these restrictions.

The local government here does not want anything that can possibly be detrimental to the gorgeous sugar white sand beaches that are so vital to our tourist industry. I don't think red clay can be used for the house pad for instance. I have instructed the contractor to dig down 5 ft. along the back, sides, and front, mix his material with some sand, then cover with a foot of sand on top. The sand is so nutrient poor and has so little water retention that this has always been a concern. Thanks

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Walter John

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Jerry@TreeZoo

then cover with a foot of sand on top.

Unfortunately, this one foot on top is where 90% of your feeder roots will be. If you must leave the sand on top, plan on about a foot of chipped tree mulch that will compost down to 3" or 4" and enhance that sand. Putting too much organics 5 feet down could invite unwanted settling later.

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Alicehunter2000

This is the kind of advice that is invaluable....Jerry, how would you do it?......I get the top part( maybe only put a few inches of sand just to dress it up)......I don't quite get the other comment. Invite unwanted settling.....do you mean that everything might sink? or do you mean that the organics will stratify down deep and hold water causing possible root rot? Should I only go down a couple of feet with my ammendments. These are very large trees I'm putting in won't the hole be at least 3 ft. deep to begin with? Thanks

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Jerry@TreeZoo

It is hard to say exactly what will happen. Organics deep in the soil will eventually decompose, if there is too much organics, it could cause settling as it decomposes. This is bad if it is under your heavy, large trees as they will eventually be deeper than you planted them and then have root rot problems. Some trees and palms don't mind this but depending on the species, it could cause problems down the road. Organics deep in the soil could also decompose using anaerobic respiration, that is, without oxygen. The product of anaerobic respiration is alcohol, which could burn roots. You could also create some weird perched water table effect with that soil profile. You want a stable structure to your soil. 100% organic soil grows plants like crazy but any little hurricane will knock them all down.

I don't know how strict they are there, but I would say put your effort into the top foot with organic and inorganic amendments (that is amending the existing soil, not replacing it) and then topdress with a couple inches of sand if code demands it. Then I would plant all my palms and trees and shrubs, fertilize with a Nutricote type 360 fert, heavily broadcast in all planting areas. Then top it all with tree chips or pine straw very, very thickly. Re-apply the mulch at least yearly.

If there are any bottled water plants close by, you might be able to score a few tons of charcoal. That stuff is gold in the soil. If you can find a supplier of zeolite, get a couple, or three tons of that. Both increase water holding and cation exchange in the soil and last virtually forever. Take those two items along with compost soil and till them into the top 10" or 12" of soil.

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Mark Heath

This is the kind of advice that is invaluable....Jerry, how would you do it?......I get the top part( maybe only put a few inches of sand just to dress it up)......I don't quite get the other comment. Invite unwanted settling.....do you mean that everything might sink? or do you mean that the organics will stratify down deep and hold water causing possible root rot? Should I only go down a couple of feet with my ammendments. These are very large trees I'm putting in won't the hole be at least 3 ft. deep to begin with? Thanks

Hey David,

I would only go down a cpl of feet w/ your amendments. When you dig your holes for your new additions use that for the temporary berm.

I have the same sand at the ranch when i plant a 3 gallon palm out of a pot. I dig the hole larger than needed and after the palm is seated in it's new home i fill w/ compost/sand mixture. I make my own compost and after seeing your sand i will bring some for each Mule for you.

The holes that you will be digging should be 3 feet deep but some of the palms will have a deeper hole needed, depending on the conditions it was grown in.

I love seeing the pics so keep em comin!

I can't wait to see this place, it's going to be awesome!

Mark

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redbeard917

I can't wait to see how this turns out. I grew up near there (close to Tyndall AFB). Here in south Leon Co., FL, the soil is sandy, but you are allowed to bring in red clay for the foundation. BTW, you have a serious 'container ranch'.

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Alicehunter2000

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New view of cleared lot.

15 dumptruck loads of "soil ammendment" My daughter said it stinks like horse poop.....I told her that was good :)

You can see the contrast with the existing sugar sand.

One more shot looking to the front. The foundation dirt is a light color, they have restrictions on red clay south of Hwy. 30a.

Thanks Lucas, but the container ranch just about made me think of palms as work rather than a hobby. Will definately be either putting things in the ground, giving away or trading most of the potted stuff.

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redbeard917

The soil amendment looks like good stuff. I think the plants will love it. It kind of looks like the stuff I use, which is ground up yard waste from the dump. I just put in on top of the sand as mulch, personally, though that works better on flat ground because being relatively fine it tends to wash away on sloping spots. Will you have any citrus in your landscape?

I completely agree about the container ranch being more of a hassle than a joy most of the time.

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Mark Heath

This is so cool, your daughter looks like she is ready to move in!! You are going to cherish these pics for a long time to come. I remember the pics of my cat doing number 2 (under the office area) the day before we layed the plastic down for the slab. I left it there and covered it up. I look back and laugh seeing it is right under the computer area where i am sitting right now.

Little things will be a momento for years to come!

I miss that furry friend and i cherish the pics. You are going to as well as your place becomes a beautifull tropical garden!

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Don

Moving on at a steady clip and looking good :yay:

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Alicehunter2000

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These are all palms from my neighborhood. All established and handling both cold and salt.

Butia capita is almost naturalized in the entire panhandle of Florida. They are so common that I hardly even notice them unless they are really nice. This one is next door to my lot so it was convenient to take a picture. Although pretty nice, it is still not as outstanding as some around the area.

Palm 2 is your common Sabal Palmetto. Florida's state "tree" it is so common as to be almost boring to the eye for those that live here. I realize that for you in California and elsewhere it is more desirable.

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Alicehunter2000

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My neighbors on the east side have a P. canary? or P. canary x sylvestris hybrid. In person it looks to be more of a strait canary but in the picture looks to be mixed.

The same neighbor also has a queen.....very boring for you all down south but up here it is still a welcome sight as they have yet to become overused in the landscaping.

Both doing pretty well for salt and cold.

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Alicehunter2000

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S. repeons ...can never spell that right....anyway this silver form is not native to this area. It is only found on the east coast of central Florida around the Melbourne Beach area....plus or minus 100 miles north and south. A very desirable form, it is used quite a bit around this area. The native green are too numerous to contemplate and are considered by most to be a weed.

This nice W. robusta is almost on the beach, only separated by a house. Looks to be handling the temps and salt very well.

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Alicehunter2000

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This is about 300 meters to my east in the Aly's Beach neighborhood. These P. dacts. are gorgeous and so well maintained. They are all perfectly symetrical and the neighborhood reminds me of somewhere in California.

Ran down to catch the sunset today. Seems the neighborhood ladies were doing the same....all with cocktails in their hands and chatting about their "stressfull" day. A lone fisherman was enjoying the rolling surf....sure wish I had a long board today, would have been perfect to catch a few ankle snappers.

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Alicehunter2000

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Almost forgot this one....L. chinesis just a few steps from the water located in the second row of houses facing the beach. This palm is in excellent shape. It is sure to get some salt spray during "salt events" but seems none the worse for it. These seem to do so much better in shade.

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Ken Johnson

Thanks for pix. Some great looking palms considering the harsh environment.

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Alicehunter2000

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I drove down 30a today to look and see what other palms people might be growing along the coastline.

All the following pictures are taken within 200 yards of the beach.

Although not a palm...couldn't help but notice this large grouping of "cardboard cycads" in front of a Blue Mountain Beach shopping area.

I always wondered about this home in the second picture. Home sits right on the beach in Seagrove Beach Florida (they filmed the movie "The Truman Show" here). I always noticed driving by that they had some variety to their dense roadside planting bed. P. sylvestris, W. robusta, S.repeons (silver form)....and what is that in back?

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Alicehunter2000

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I can't believe my eyes :yay: a D. decary in Northwest Florida! Looked like it has lived there for a few years. Had about 3 ft. of clear trunk.

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Xhoniwaters1

Real cool! Nice find David

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Alicehunter2000

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Shocked from seeing a triangle growing in the ground in North Florida.....I turned around and almost ran into this! ......2 C. crinita that look to have also been there for many years. The smaller one had about 7 ft. of hairy clear trunk, and the larger one appeared to have about 12 ft. of hairy clear trunk.

My suspicions have been confirmed.....the immediate coastal area may allow for zone pushing to the max. :greenthumb: .......and these palms were on the north side of the home.

I understand it is still a crapshoot.....but this find gives me hope for several more species.

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Alicehunter2000

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After seeing those two unexpected species, I'm now not sure what I'm looking at?

Is this just a more common R. humilis (european fan palm) or is it a Rhapidophyllum hystrix or needle palm?

Is the tall palm just a W. robusta or is it something else?......It had no shag ....maybe they are just keeping it well trimmed.

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Alicehunter2000

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Ok, back to the common (boring) palms. First we have a bevy of beauty queens

Then we have a nice fat Canary

Then we have a whole series of canary's that have been trimmed very formally

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Alicehunter2000

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Moving west of 30a we are now beachside in the Sandestin/Destin area, the girls love exploring in this great fall weather.

Butia is very salt tolorant and is used extensively throughout the area. Here is a nice big fatty growing across the street from a public beach access.

The wifey and daughter #1 with some nice Phoenix canariensis in the background.

Tall boy butia nearby.

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Alicehunter2000

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About a mile north of the very west end of 30a....just before Sandestin we are renting a house while ours is being built. Our neighbor wanted to show me his plants.....he is into edibles.

The first plant is what I believe is a "Borneo Giant" The neighbor is standing close to the camera so it is hard to see how big this plant actually is...the roof is 10ft. I believe....the leaves and stalk are massive!

Here is a grafted avocado, he said he had a tree that was above the house that he grew from seed. He cut it down because someone told him that it would not have any fruit because it wasn't grafted.....I told him differently.

He is growing about 8 different varieties of citrus....this is a key lime.

Who says banana's can't grow here?

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Alicehunter2000

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Loquats grow good here

He said this was a guava...he has trapped 2 coons and 1 possom from stealing the fruit from it. I didn't think guava would grow here.

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Alicehunter2000

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I went one hour north to where we have some of our liquor stores in Bonifay, Florida....zone 8b and on rare occasions maybe 8a temps. I was visiting my elderly aunt and never noticed this beauty in her yard. I had to get some pictures.

As you can see, I am almost 6'2" and standing on my toes and reaching as high as I can .....I still could not touch the lowest fronds.

I love hugging big bootia.

One more parting shot from a different angle.

My aunt thinks that my parents took a picture in front of this very tree when they got married......58 years ago.....maybe we can find the picture and look at the growth rate....that would be interesting.

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Ken Johnson

That Butia may end up in your new backyard?

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Tulio

David,

Those two palms in post #104 may not be C. crinita they look like T. fortunei to me.

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Alicehunter2000

You might be right...but they are the hariest ones I've ever seen. But you may be right on closer inspection. :( I might try a small one anyway.

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Zeeth

Yeah, definitely Trachycarpus.

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Xerarch

FYI, the guava is post 109 is a strawberry guava, also called Cattley guava, Psidium cattleianum. It is significantly more tolerant than the true or tropical guava, psidium guajava. It still has good fruit though although smaller and probably not as good as true guava, they are still good and worth having. They are supposed to be hardy to about the mid 20's.

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Xerarch

Post 105 is C. humilis and W. robusta for sure, it's just well trimmed.

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Alicehunter2000

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Here is a Beaucarnea recurvata (ponytail palm) in Panama City about a mile from the coast. It is about 12 ft. tall total. The base is very large but is covered by grass and weeds. There are actually 2 of these planted in the ground in this yard. The other is smaller and has been cut back by freezes worse than this one. They have been there for years, at least 8 years that I know of. This area is probably a bit colder than what I will experience in my back yard.

I have a question about bracing palms, how do you brace tall newly planted palms if on one side their is no place for the brace? (such as a fence or other obstruction). Would you use tie downs and tension wire on the side that is accessible? Is this done very often?

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Alicehunter2000

Some updated pics......landclearing, pad and mulch installed. Meeting with the contractor today to finalize plans before sending to the engineer.

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Alicehunter2000

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Here

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Alicehunter2000

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Keeping it palmy.....Ken had some concerns about salt tolorance of Livistonia species....Livistonia chinesis right across the street from beach getting full force of salty wind. Just another silver Butia in the neighborhood.

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