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What can I plant under a conifer?

 
Posts: 1
Location: Burlington, VT (USDA Zone 4)
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Does anyone know what kinds of edible and useful plants can be grown under a conifer tree in the Northeast?

There is one in my yard that is about 15' -20' tall, and I think it is an Eastern Hemlock (although I'm not positive). I removed some of the lower limbs last year to allow more sunlight into the yard. Now there is a large space underneath the tree where I would like to plant. However, the spot receives limited sunlight, and from what I've read, the soil might not be welcoming to most other plant life. Do you have plant recommendations?

Should I just give up on planting and grow mushrooms on logs? Or just stick a bench under there?

Thanks for your help!
Brandi
 
Posts: 274
Location: Central Maine - Zone 4b/5a
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I know blueberries do well under white pines, not sure if they'd work under hemlock. In the forest, partridge berry seems to grow well in hemlock groves, and is both edible and medicinal. Perhaps other forest plants like ginseng would work as well?

Under the huge spruces behind our house the burdock seems to love it. Also dandelions and sorrel.
 
Posts: 72
Location: Edmonton Alberta
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I've seen goutweed doing just fine under a large spruce.. I recall it having some kind of use, thought I can't recall specifically. Trouble with going under conifers is that (at least here) no rainfall gets down there.
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