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5 boggy acres of cottonwoods. alder and fir - 6 months of the year

 
Posts: 173
Location: Western Washington (Zone 7B - temperate maritime)
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I am looking for advice on what to do on my property. I am in zone 7B, about 2 miles from Puget Sound, about 100 miles north of Seattle. I have many little projects going, but the bulk of the property remains zone 5. I would like to keep most of it that way, but I also do want to have some sort of food forest. After I remove some trees in a small section of land (maybe 125' x 125'), I figure I can either grow trees which will grow in very wet condition, and graft different varieties on top, or bring in lots of fill dirt and make hugelkultur beds (I have one 5 foot tall one already). I know some people would tell me to leave the land as is, but I do want at least a small patch of fruit and nut trees, and their understory. Thanks in advance.
 
steward
Posts: 3663
Location: woodland, washington
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there are plenty of productive plants that will do well in boggy conditions if you will be increasing the amount of light. trees/shrubs that come to mind most immediately: Vacciniums, quinces, plums, crabapples, et cetera.

it might also be worth moving some of the dirt there around. make some lower spots for more reliable wet spots/ponds and some mounds/raised beds for drier space.
 
pollinator
Posts: 1528
Location: zone 7
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blueberries will do good, currants also like wet areas.
 
Posts: 9002
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
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I believe that hugelkultur was first developed as a means of raising crops up off of saturated ground. If these trees were thinned and low branches cut, they could be used to build hugel beds.

Plants which thrive on more water could be planted lower down on the bed and those requiring good drainage could be planted on top. Squashes and other rambling plants could be rooted in the hugel bed but be allowed to fill in low areas with their vines and leaves.

In I've already started doing this amongst cottonwoods in low boggy areas on Vancouver Island, so a very similar situation.
 
Posts: 166
Location: Yucatan Puebla Ontario BC
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There was a tribe in Bolivia that made a system of motes and raised beds all in circles around a central point but rows would be ok too. You may have acid problems, perhaps you can ad calcium and potasium to counter act the acidity.
 
pollinator
Posts: 4437
Location: North Central Michigan
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I'm in zone 5 of MICHIGAN ..a little different, but also have boggy areas and lots of aspen (similar to cottonwoods) alder and hemlocks (not firs)..about 5 acres between me and our son combined, and we have done a little bit of making trails through it, used a riding lawnmower after clearing ahead of it..when there was a drought..those areas mostly dry up first too, but some of the boggier areas I can only get through in July and August as we get a general drought in that time of the year fairly regularly..

I'm attempting to use tree drops and other barer areas to put in some fruit trees and bushes and planted some nut trees in the edges on the south side..this year I hope to add more perennial and self seeding shade tolerant veggies as well as cuttings of grapes and other vines and bushes.

Maybe my blog will give you some ideas?
 
Charles Kelm
Posts: 173
Location: Western Washington (Zone 7B - temperate maritime)
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Thanks guys. I guess I will start by dropping some of the standing dead trees and creating some raised planing areas to begin planting a canopy. I'll see how that goes and take it from there.
 
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