• Low tide — Planting on a low tide, regardless of season, is very important for success in establishing Spartina alterniflora, which can grow in the deepest water along the upland-to-wetland profile and can keep its feet wet the longest. The higher the tide, the harder it is to install alterniflora
• Planting depth — Since winter tends to experience more extreme tidal range, and summer tends to have more storm activity, our most favorable tidal conditions for planting are fall and spring in the panhandle. So we tend to plant Oct thru Dec, and all of March. However, we do have a long growing season in NW Florida. We can and do plant throughout the year, but not on high tide.
• Healthy plants – Healthy plants with established, actively growing roots are grown in our greenhouse in 4in pots. They are planted in staggered rows, about 1 foot apart, along the profile in the zone where their specific moisture/salinity requirements are met. [link to plant list]
• Native plants – use only natives [link to plant list]
• Geographic location – use only native plants appropriate for the climate and conditions. Salt marsh occurs all along the
Florida coastline, so salt marsh plants are likely to be an appropriate choice. Mangroves, however, should only be used in
• Zonation and plant along the entire wetland-upland profile.
• Invasive/exotics – remove prior to LSL construction, and plant only natives
Planting on low tide helps ensure proper planting depth, which is very important to project success, and deeper is better. We use post hole diggers to remove a 10-12 inch core of soil, and install marsh plants at least 8-10 inches deep.
The shoreline in this slide was previously stabilized by a seawall, which failed and was removed. The native shrub Baccharis then grew in naturally above the high water line. Then we installed Spartina alterniflora and some Juncus roemerianus here.
We also monitor success of the planting and replace plants as needed.