All Things Gardening forum: Gardening in Wetlands.

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(Zone 6a)
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TomNJ
Jan 31, 2012 9:10 PM CST
Hi,

My property is predominantly wetlands. I have a stream that is about 10' wide that flows through it. Two to three times a year it will flood. Generally, this is a shallow, short lived event - about 8" of water that comes and goes in about two to four hours. During Hurricane Irene, however, I had about three feet of water that flowed for about six hours. This was the worse that I had seen.

My question is, what type of edible planting can I do in this area? The ground, itself, is about a foot of rich dark soil, with red and grey clay beneath that. It is always moist, even in the longest drought.

Thanks for you input.

Tom
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Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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dave
Feb 1, 2012 1:25 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

Tom,

A beautiful arboretum at the university in Nacogdoches, TX (East Texas) is built almost entirely in a flood plain. Every few years a hard flood will pour through and trash the place and they then have to work to get everything back in order. But even with the flood, most of their plants survive.

If you have annual vegetables and they do get swept away by a flood, then you are only out that season's production. If you don't get a flood they don't get swept away, then you win.

But if it was me, I'd probably grow fruit trees and leave the annual stuff for a safer location, a higher ground. There are so many fruits and nuts that can grow in a bottomland and those trees can handle a few hours of flooding every so often. Thumbs up
(Zone 6a)
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TomNJ
Feb 1, 2012 2:28 PM CST
Thanks for the response Dave. It was a comment you made about bottomlands on the Survival Podcast that led me to post this. What type of fruit and nut trees like bottomland? I currently have a peach planted down there, but nothing else.

Thanks again.
Name: Bob
Vernon N.J. (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Database Moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Forum moderator Heucheras Echinacea
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NJBob
Feb 1, 2012 2:43 PM CST
Tom have you ever tried Cranberries . I do not have them but from what I have read they grow in the wetlands of N.J.
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Beekeeper Garden Sages Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
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dave
Feb 1, 2012 2:49 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

Good idea, Bob. I would add blueberries, too. Blackberries would do very well along the edges. Strawberries would make a fine groundcover. Some elderberries along the edge would make fine companions to the brambles.

For trees, I would consider the usual suspects: apples, pears and plums for certain. I would also look into some native fruits (I can't help you know what those would be, though, for New Jersey). Once those trees are established, I doubt there's much risk to them from floods. They will benefit from all the material that gets brought in each time it floods, too!
(Zone 6a)
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TomNJ
Feb 1, 2012 3:48 PM CST
Good food for thought. Thank you both.
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Beekeeper Garden Sages Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
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dave
Feb 1, 2012 3:53 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

I tip my hat to you.

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