Starting to Plan for a shade garden

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by cwgrl23, Dec 9, 2004.

  1. cwgrl23

    cwgrl23 Chief Vegtable Grower :) Supporter

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    Ok, I have finally reclaimed part of my backyard from dogs and kids. The dogs managed to pack the dirt around the trees and now roots are exposed! I have another tree that has just started pushing up it's roots for the last two years.

    The problem is that the roots are high enough to get hit by the lawn mower blade!

    I would like to build some kind of box/retainwall thingy to that I don't have to mow that area. I would love to fill about thingy with dirt so that I could grow some shade loving vegtables and flowers.

    Any ideas? Is this a good idea? If it is what veggies & "pretties" will grow in the shade? I am right on the border of Zond 4/5 in SD.

    Is this a bad idea? Why? I don't want to start an argument - just want to be smarter!

    Happy Holidays All!!!!!!!
     
  2. jackie c

    jackie c Well-Known Member

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    Hosta, ferns, astillbe(sp), lily of the valley, are a few fairly easy to grow plants that thrive in shade. What kind of tree is it. If it is black walnut, many plants will die from the toxin it expels. If it is a conifer, the soil will be acidic, rhododendrons and azaleas wiil work.
     

  3. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We have what you discribe under a few trees. One tree has Creeping Phlocks with grape hyacints. Another has Sedam right against the trunk where its dryer than a bone. Sedam will take a beating. The most showie is Hosta. All these are prenials here in the middle of zone 5.
     
  4. Mutti

    Mutti Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Keep in mind that if you put very much dirt over exposed tree roots you can kill the tree. Daughters landlord killed three trees by piling dirt by them while excuavating sewer lines...dead,dead,dead....and this in about two weeks time. So be careful. We have huge maple trees with many exposed roots which are a pain to mow around but would hate to loose the shade. DEE
     
  5. cwgrl23

    cwgrl23 Chief Vegtable Grower :) Supporter

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    Thanks for all the input! Keep it coming! One of the trees is a maple and the other is a Weeping Willow. I don't want to kill the trees, just protect the roots from the kids, dogs, and me! :haha:

    Could I put a shallow layer of rocks over them and not kill them? I am ok with putting planters on top of the rocks. I would just like to make it look nicer under the trees due to the dogs and kids have rubbed all the grass from the bases so the roots are very easy to see. :eek:
     
  6. farmmaid

    farmmaid Well-Known Member Supporter

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    A friendly reminder, some of those plants are toxic...Joan :no:
     
  7. cwgrl23

    cwgrl23 Chief Vegtable Grower :) Supporter

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    What vegetables or fruits could I plant under the trees? Either in pots or by digging a hole and then putting amended soil back in?

    Any thoughts?
     
  8. Marcia in MT

    Marcia in MT Well-Known Member Supporter

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    A lot is going to depend on just how dense that shade is, and whether it's all-day or sporadic. Most edibles take a lot of sun to grow and produce, but lots of them will accept less than ideal conditions and do ok, too. Try lettuces and other greens, and chervil actually likes some shade. There was an article in the now-defunct "Kitchen Garden" magazine which contained a lot of good information, if you can locate a copy. What I really came away with was: just experiment, you can be surprised!
     
  9. mamagoose

    mamagoose Well-Known Member

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    You can always try aggressive sun-lovers in the shade. I have found (by accident) that I like my mints best in the shade, because they don't get out of control.