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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What kind of plants would make a good annual windbreaks that would stand up until the following spring? This past June 15th or so I planted a dense row of sunflowers and they worked pretty well, and now are helping to maintain snow cover. But sunflowers carry wilt (disease) and I'm looking for another kind of plant.
Corn might be a decent option if planted late enough to not produce viable seed. (In a narrow row pollination wouldn't be good enough for a harvestable crop.) Or maybe some type of sorghum or sorghum sudan grass?
Or some type of food-producing plant--like what?
Thanks. :)
 

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We once planted annual kochia and while it didn't get more than about 2 feet tall, it was dense, ferny, and a beautiful green. Turned red in the fall, and did not form seeds. It looked like a hedgerow of little bushes -- someone sent the county agent out to see what kind of shrubs we'd planted!

How about Jerusalem artichokes? I don't think they have the disease problems that sunflowers do. And they are the same kind of perennial that horseradish is: get out all you can, and it will come back from any bit you leave behind. Perhaps it's not really an annual in that sense, but it does die back to the ground in the winter.
 

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Master Of My Domain
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i can't think of anything but shrubs. something like willow or forsythia pruned low every spring would result in lots of shoots for a wind break, but they could get out of control.
 

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I was watching a deer program last night and they were planting switchgrass for a boundary blocking people from viewing deer in fields. They said it gets about five foot high and every spring they mow it,then it grows for another year or it can be burned.The switchgrass is a perennial though. How about castor bean, they make a good screen and they are annual. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castor_bean Eddie Buck
 

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Most years I have to cut down the asparagus that has gone to seed, they're pretty bushy. Oh, that's not an annual. Sorry
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks to all for the replies. I'm leaning toward corn because of low cost and low risk of it going to seed as I can break off any cobs that form. But now as I think about corn it seems like these days most of the varieties are patented and who can grow them is controlled. Seems that some open pollinated type would be good, probably about half a bushel. So I'll try to find some around here first.
 
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