All Things Gardening forum: Plants under Trees

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Orange County, CA (Zone 10a)
Apr 10, 2016 2:04 PM CST
I have heard people mention not having plants grow under trees, I thought because of the loss of nutrients to the tree that might result, but not entirely sure. I was curious to know if letting nasturtiums cover the ground under a lemon tree was a bad idea. I have a bunch of them that are really creeping quickly and are already within the drip line of my lemon tree. They will likely cover the entire area (small as it is) if I let them. Should I prevent this? Pics below..
Thumb of 2016-04-10/maxcaviar/08d64d
Thumb of 2016-04-10/maxcaviar/fcbf56

Name: Deb
Pacific NW (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Deer Ferns Herbs Dragonflies
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Apr 10, 2016 3:50 PM CST
It is often difficult for plants to thrive under trees because the tree is using all the resources (water and nutrients). Nasturtiums are pretty tough. I'd let them go wherever they want to - that's a very nice combination.
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Orange County, CA (Zone 10a)
Apr 11, 2016 8:50 AM CST
Thanks it would be nice to keep them. I can't let him go the other direction because they would overrun a lot of other plants
Name: Dee Moore
Arroyo Grande, CA (Zone 9a)
Seller of Garden Stuff Seed Starter Garden Art Butterflies Annuals Cactus and Succulents
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Apr 11, 2016 10:10 PM CST
Plants under trees . . . some of the issues. Where I live the native Oaks shouldn't be watered, hence don't plant under the Oaks if you plan on watering. The other issue I've run across is that trees create shade, often deep shade and not much will grow in deep shade. I wouldn't worry too much about robbing the tree of nutrients, they have deep roots and you can always feed them if they are fruit trees. I have a Meyer lemon that I have been growing under for years. The thing provides lemons for three families and I rarely feed it. Nastutiums are wonderful, they are pretty and you can eat them too! I agree it's a nice combination.

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