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Which plant for a shaded, not very well drained area ?

 
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Hello there ! I've been making all sort of plans and buying all sort of seeds for the spring, to grow a lot of stuff in the best area of my garden. Thing is, if I use just those area, I can say goodbye to half of the garden.

There are a few hedges and tree around the property (I'm leasing, so nothing I can do about that AFAIK), and there is also one tree in the garden (seem to be of the prunus family, but I'm not sure exactly what it it. The area around that tree is often shaded, and when I moved in in late August, there was almost nothing growing around that tree, and now that there is a lot of rainfall, the area get muddy, and doesn't drain water very well.

I still need to learn a lot about permaculture and the like, so as far as I can tell, I would need to add some ground cover there, maybe some mulch too ? But I'm not sure at all, and there is also the shadow problem. In the summer, at best, maybe this area get about 2 hours of direct sunlight. So, what plants can grow there ? Is there plants that I could even start growing there in January ?

In short, what would be a good plan to have this area of the garden be not only productive, but also healthy and pretty ? Ideally, plants that can have some purpose (ornamental plants bore me), something edible, medicinal, some aromatics, or at "worse" something that can help maintain a healthy ecosystem (flowers, etc).

Thanks
 
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Hey Mike! Sounds like you've got some good goals for that space!

If you can post your general location, that can be really beneficial, and people near you on here can hopefully give some good sugestions specific for your area.

Here's a few threads I like on shade loving plants.

https://permies.com/t/82563/Shade-Partial-Shade-tolerant-plants

https://permies.com/t/110822/favorite-shade-loving-edible

https://permies.com/t/120542/Edible-Vines-Partial-Full-Shade

https://permies.com/t/102178/Shade-loving-medicinal-herbs

The water issue may be a bit trickier. I know you said you were leasing, so some of these may not work, but these would require just minor digging which may be allowed, especially if there is a designated garden area. If the water can be diverted or encouraged to run off to another place that can help a lot. I just built these raised beds that can help create dry soil planting areas, even in really wet places. Hope this helps a little, would love to see how it turns out!

 
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In what USDA zone are you located?
That is verry important in making a recomandation.
 
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Miner's lettuce might grow well in those conditions. It grows in fairly wet (seasonally wet not year-round) shady areas in the wild. Might be worth a try and if it did get established it would just self-seed and "go wild". It's a great green and a nice easy crop to grow. You could sow seeds now but it won't likely come up until the spring.
 
Mike Lafay
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As I said, I still have a lot to learn, hence my oversight on the climate part. I live in a 8a zone.

Steve, I did a bit of digging to try some hugelkultur beds; there is some wood debris on the property that I can bury; actually you gave me an idea: instead of redirecting the water somewhere else, maybe I could just dig up the area where it accumulate, and bury those wood debris there ? This would raise the area, so less water accumulating (at least in a swamp-like way), and this would also help build some healthy earth layers. Would swales be required, as those you have in your video ?

Thanks for the tips too, those threads have interesting information and I'll take a look at them.
 
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I think that currants and gooseberries can handle some shade and like moisture.  I'm not sure though but that's where I'd start looking.  If you want a small shrub...
 
Steve Thorn
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Mike Lafay wrote:As I said, I still have a lot to learn, hence my oversight on the climate part. I live in a 8a zone.

Steve, I did a bit of digging to try some hugelkultur beds; there is some wood debris on the property that I can bury; actually you gave me an idea: instead of redirecting the water somewhere else, maybe I could just dig up the area where it accumulate, and bury those wood debris there ? This would raise the area, so less water accumulating (at least in a swamp-like way), and this would also help build some healthy earth layers. Would swales be required, as those you have in your video ?

Thanks for the tips too, those threads have interesting information and I'll take a look at them.



If it's not a whole lot of water, like you mentioned, possibly digging out the area a little, maybe to create a small pool to focus the water in a general spot, or also like you mentioned, digging a mini swale could spread the water out a little more, with raised beds around it to create drier growing areas.
 
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