I live up north. It’s cold (4b or so). The yard is covered by snow November- March.
I have a HUGE front yard and back yard. The front yard is split in half by a driveway. On one side I have 3 large mature trees that produce a lot of shade. On the other side it is wide open and has nothing but sun. The neighborhood is “ok”- lots of dandelions, cars parked in the yard, water heater sits outside on the front lawn for 9 months...as long as it doesn’t look super bad I say I can take some liberties. In the winter the snow plow will push up a huge snow pile about 3 or 4 feet into the yard (so plants may get squished in that zone), and moose frequent the area and rub horns or eat things in the front yard. There are no sidewalks so people constantly walk through the front yard all over the place (I don’t mind, but the dogs poop everywhere and they step on stuff). In the front I planted a row of Saskatoon berries and tried to plant a row of seaberries, but my male seaberry got kicked over and it died. I also planted a cherry bush and a cranberry bush. The cranberry is supposed to get 15 feet tall. The saskatoons are supposed to get quite tall as well.
Questions- small strip of land between fence and road- plant anything there or forget it? First pic below (if they render in the same order I attached- pic 1).
Shady area under the trees (pic 2 and 3)- can I do anything with this space? What would you recommend?
Big wide open front yard, lots of sun- what would you plant here? And where? See pics 4 and 5. Should I make an outside perimeter (like and outer ring) of shrub bushes? Any opinion on the seaberry, Saskatoon berry or amber autumn olive bush? Or maybe some apple trees? Or would you do something different? This area gets regular foot traffic.
I think the fact that you mentioned Moose frequenting the area should be one of your main concerns and it should help dictate what you plant, since moose will be moose and that means browsing tasty twigs and leaves.
Since you also mention bushes being knocked over and dying, perhaps you need to consider some sort of heavy duty fence to deter those pesky moose.
Once the bushes get established well, you could then remove the fence since the bushes would most likely be able to survive the moose encounters.
It sounds like you are mostly looking for fruits. The University of Minnesota has developed many cold-hardy fruit varieties, many of them available commercially. You might try dwarf "North Star" cherry trees (I have one of these in my back yard). If you are will to do some light construction, you could put some framework for grapes along that fence.
I don't have any experience with Moose as far as whether they would eat those plants. My strategy with smaller wildlife is to make it somewhat difficult for them to get at the plants I like (e.g. cherries) but leave some other things they like (mulberries) accessible nearby.
Weeds are just plants with enough surplus will to live to withstand normal levels of gardening!--Alexandra Petri
posted 1 year ago
I’ll probably need to put up a fence of some kind. Just last night a moose was in the front yard looking around at my plants. It didn’t eat anything, but once winter comes I’m sure it will change it’s mind.
The Minnesota cold fruit looks pretty cool. I’d like to try a frostbite apple it looks like it has unique taste.