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Tallest shallow rooted plants?

 
Jamie Jackson
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Location: Zone 5b - 6a, Missouri Ozarks
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I'm online trying to find the tallest plants I can that are also shallow rooted and of course any that have other benefits like being medicinal, or helping the soil would be a big bonus. Any ideas? We're in zone 6 and the area is mostly full sun, but a little shade during the day. I don't really want anything that'll get wide like a shrub either or vines either. Right now I have yarrow that gets about 3 feet tall around here, but I'd like to get up to 6 feet tall if I can find something. Any tips would be greatly appreciated.
 
Judith Browning
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I've had some mullein flower stalks reach five or six feet, also evening primrose and poke. I'm not sure what you consider shallow rooted? as opposed to trees? My sunflowers seem shallow rooted for their height. Then there is corn, but are you talking just perennials?
 
Jamie Jackson
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Judith Browning wrote:I've had some mullein flower stalks reach five or six feet, also evening primrose and poke. I'm not sure what you consider shallow rooted? as opposed to trees? My sunflowers seem shallow rooted for their height. Then there is corn, but are you talking just perennials?


Sunflower and Mullien would be too deep for what I'm looking for. I mean truly shallow. Poke certainly not shallow. Evening primrose, now that's a thought. It grew really well in a pot I had (a volunteer) and it grows all around out here. Need to see how shallow their roots are. I mean shallow as in really shallow.
 
Judith Browning
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Can you say in inches? wet or dry conditions? maybe river cane or cat tails,
 
Jamie Jackson
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Location: Zone 5b - 6a, Missouri Ozarks
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Judith Browning wrote:Can you say in inches? wet or dry conditions? maybe river cane or cat tails,

Well I'd like to keep to roots w/in 6" if possible. Great soil and will be well watered.
 
C Englund
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Location: Bloomington, IN
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Is there a reason you want shallow roots? Most people want deep roots for soil building...

Would Jerusalem Artichokes be too deep? (same family as sunflowers, but they have that big tuber that's only just under the soil).
 
Dale Hodgins
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Xisca Nicolas
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Yes please, just explain so that we can learn about a new reasons to do things!
C Englund wrote:Is there a reason you want shallow roots? Most people want deep roots for soil building...

Would Jerusalem Artichokes be too deep? (same family as sunflowers, but they have that big tuber that's only just under the soil).


Tubers are not roots, so they can be deeper...
And they are invasive, so we need to understand better the aim of the search.
 
Jamie Jackson
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Location: Zone 5b - 6a, Missouri Ozarks
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Xisca Nicolas wrote:Yes please, just explain so that we can learn about a new reasons to do things!
C Englund wrote:Is there a reason you want shallow roots? Most people want deep roots for soil building...

Would Jerusalem Artichokes be too deep? (same family as sunflowers, but they have that big tuber that's only just under the soil).


Tubers are not roots, so they can be deeper...
And they are invasive, so we need to understand better the aim of the search.


How Odd, I know I replied to this yesterday but don't see it now? I want shallow rooted plants because the bed they are going in is for other things that are more deeply rooted. The bed is specifically built for some of my deep rooted plants and others. Behind the bed is something I want to disguise. Our soil is so horrible, I thought on the north side of this bed I would plant something that would get tall, but not too deeply root so as not to take away from the growing space and nutrients underground I want for the plants that are intended to go in that bed.
 
alex Keenan
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How about a shallow vine and a trelis?
 
Jamie Jackson
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Location: Zone 5b - 6a, Missouri Ozarks
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alex Keenan wrote:How about a shallow vine and a trelis?


Maybe, but I don't a vine crawling all over the stuff I plant in the bed. I'd have to really watch it and make sure it goes on the trellis.
 
Xisca Nicolas
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If your soil is horrible, then sow some deep rooted fabaceae.
Are the deep rooted plants already planted?
What are they?
If you do not plant heavy feeders (vegetables), then do not worry for nutrients.
On the contrary, deep roots will better your soil and leave some nutrient with their dead roots.
And these roots will prepare the soil because they will slightly loosen it thanks to the holes made by the roots.

Some tegetes can also be good because their roots fight nematodes.

Plant do not only compete, they also help each other.
 
Jamie Jackson
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Xisca Nicolas wrote:If your soil is horrible, then sow some deep rooted fabaceae.
Are the deep rooted plants already planted?
What are they?
If you do not plant heavy feeders (vegetables), then do not worry for nutrients.
On the contrary, deep roots will better your soil and leave some nutrient with their dead roots.
And these roots will prepare the soil because they will slightly loosen it thanks to the holes made by the roots.

Some tegetes can also be good because their roots fight nematodes.

Plant do not only compete, they also help each other.


I'm all for deep rooted plants and have them in guilds all around the trees to help improve the soil. I also have them in the garden and all around the property as well. But for this one particular bed that butts up against something I want to disguise I'd really just want to try to plant something tall with shallow roots.

I know plants help each other. I plant in clover beds and allow the "weeds" equal spacing in the garden.
 
alex Keenan
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OK put a verticle garden up in front of it. There are many styles of vertical gardens. Some are even acceptable to the most strict permie
 
Isaac Hill
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Location: Beaver County, Pennsylvania (~ zone 6)
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Hollow Joe-Pye Weed (Eupatorium fistulosum) gets 10 feet tall and has very shallow roots.
 
David Williams
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Tobacco plants are both tall (12 feet) and shallow rooted, they have the benefit of also containing nicotine that makes for a great pest repellent, Be mindful of your local laws in regard but we can grow 21 tobacco plants legally in NSW Australia, i'm not entirely sure as to why your so worried about root depth so much , as most plants when they hit a "bottom" or hard pan will then run laterally, as for nutrients , they tend to follow water paths , and i presume most water will be going from surface down....the addition of compost / fertilizer into your normal watering routine should fix any issues....
 
Jamie Jackson
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Location: Zone 5b - 6a, Missouri Ozarks
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Thank you guys for the last two suggestions. Off to do more research on them!
 
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