Will my raised-bed gardens do okay located 200 feet from the ocean with prevailing winds from the north?
We recently purchased a home in North Lubec and are eager to create two large raised beds for vegetables and herbs for this June-September growing season. We have 8+ hours of south and southwest sun, which is where the beds will be located. We noticed that many vegetable gardens are not anywhere as close to the water as we plan. In choosing a specific location, how much consideration should be given to beds being within 200’ of the water and the effect of wind, particularly from the north?
Tori Lee Jackson, Extension Professor of Agriculture and Natural Resources,
University of Maine Cooperative Extension Androscoggin and Sagadahoc Counties
Since you are planning raised beds, you eliminate any potential issues with native soils so close to the ocean. The big concern, as you have indicated, is wind. Many of the vegetables we tend to grow as annuals in our gardens are tropical plants and are not designed to withstand much wind which can dessicate, lodge plants, break branches, inhibit pollination, and cause other damage. Consistent, strong winds will require some sort of windbreak to protect your plants. If there are any natural windbreaks (trees, hedges, rock formations, buildings) that won’t shade your beds, you might take advantage of them. You could also plant something for this purpose, such as native tree and shrub species that are well-adapted to the climate, however most options won’t put on enough growth before you install your beds this season. For something fast-growing, you could plant something like sorghum sudangrass as described in University of Delaware’s article Wind Protection for Vegetables.