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Jan 31, 2012 9:10 PM CST
(Zone 6a)
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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Feb 1, 2012 1:25 PM CST
Garden.org Admin
Name: Dave Whitinger
Southlake, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Garden Research Contributor Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
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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
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Feb 1, 2012 2:28 PM CST
(Zone 6a)
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.
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Feb 1, 2012 2:43 PM CST
Name: Bob
Vernon N.J. (Zone 6a)
Bookworm Snakes Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Heucheras Echinacea
Hellebores Dog Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Hostas Region: New Jersey Ferns
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.
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Feb 1, 2012 2:49 PM CST
Garden.org Admin
Name: Dave Whitinger
Southlake, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Garden Research Contributor Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
Region: Ukraine Garden Sages Plant Identifier Avid Green Pages Reviewer Vermiculture The WITWIT Badge
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!
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Feb 1, 2012 3:48 PM CST
(Zone 6a)
Good food for thought. Thank you both.
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Feb 1, 2012 3:53 PM CST
Garden.org Admin
Name: Dave Whitinger
Southlake, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Garden Research Contributor Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
Region: Ukraine Garden Sages Plant Identifier Avid Green Pages Reviewer Vermiculture The WITWIT Badge
I tip my hat to you.
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