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"Hard to Kill" rather than "Easy to Grow" Container trees/bushes; fruit and veg Zone 5/6

 
Helen Temoin
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I have lurked. I have read. I have used the search function and have laughed and cried reading all the stories.
Honest, I *did* try to find the container gardening section. Honestly did! So, since this section was the closest to what I wanted to query about, here goes! ^_^

My Mom could grow just about anything that wasn't already dead, brown and crispy for two years. No questions asked, give her a withered stick and she'd use her Lazarus-Come-Forth phoenix on it.
. . . Some of us just aren't that talented. XD

Looking for Ontario Zone 5b - 6a, container-able fruit trees and bushes. Need things that are 'hard to kill' and not just 'easy to grow'. I get to grow them in the back of a townhouse, facing north (joy) over swampy moss atop clay soil. Containers to the rescue! We're going to move within 4 years, and do not expect the things we start now to be able to fruit, multiply, and feed us. (Just. Need. To. Keep. Them. Alive. Reasonably. Well.)

So far we have Jerusalem Artichoke that pop up like clockwork(freaking love those things!). They are real troopers; even in 3-4 hours of sun, they give generously.

Last year I was able to coax a goji seed into something resembling a scrawny bush and a puny red raspberry stick into something with leaves that kept getting mown down, eaten by slugs and sow bugs, sun burned, stomped on and chomped by fast-moving furry animals that were yelled at by the neighbour's dogs. I don't know if either will spring back to life. We'll be seeing. Both bush-type fruit plants actually didn't do so badly. The gogi was 2.5 feet tall when I bundled it into burlap, and sank the container into the ground. The raspberry was on a 45 degree angle, 20 cm long, and I despair of ever seeing it alive again.

My exman was kind enough to lop off a pencil thick, 40 cm long mulberry branch. Forgot it completely for about 3 weeks in rooting hormone water, by a 12 hour on, 12 hour off grow light. It's alive. The roots were about 1 cm, all around, the thing was trying to make fruit so I rubbed that nonsense off. Now, a few 1 cm leaves are clinging precariously to it. It's now in a smaller 2 gallon self watering container. Every day I talk with it. "Please stay alive; you can rule the world, you know, if only you stay alive!"

A moringa oleifera decided to grow into the larger pot I had put aside for it. Each day I marvel at how tall it grows. That's an inside plant. I *may* allow it to harden off nearer the beginning of summer on the patio, but am a little afraid of any consequences. It's also coming in before September. No need to risk it at all. It was the only seed out of 20 that I got that lived anything at all.

Have also ordered a Chicago Hardy Fig, three alpine strawberries, some wild ginger (all from Richter's) and also am getting a gooseberry (Poorman - apparently renown for able to take the shadier side and damp?) and a Balsor's blackberry. The latter two are from Vesey's.

Found a B.C. supplier of blueberry seed. Terrified to try to grow it, but willing to give it a try. Also bought some Fall Gold raspberry seed from the same place. Have a peach pit in the fridge, in some soil and plastic bag, and some green and red grape seeds along with a buffalo currant seed or three. The grapes - just want them for the leaves, sincerely. The birds can have the fruit. That is, if I don't manage to murder these plants. If they even come up.

My buddy at work is hoping to give me 'a green fig cutting or ten' so that I may grow it out - he claims there's never many fruit on each tree, but they never protect them or anything during the winter. Unnamed figs that grow out in THIS weather in Ontario, with minimal die back? Sign me up. Figs are delicious, friend says, just not terribly plentiful. That's hard to kill indeed.

Sort of want to find hazelnuts, and sort of want a Red Lake Currant. Would pot up two hazelnut trees in the same large container, so that way they can pollinate each other. The Red Lake can be had at Vesey's - and it will cost me about $40 to have it delivered. Ulp. Want, but am afraid to do something that will harm that 4 hours' worth of pay.

Does anyone have any suggestions for me? Please understand again that I'm not expecting any fruit right now - just want to start some stuff, transplant it into a bigger pot each year, and do the learning bit so that when the fellow and I do move to the 'forever-enough' place, we can start on a good foot, and possibly even have stock to start with.

Thank you for your kindly responses, and not being hard-hearted towards these efforts. ^_^
 
S Bengi
Posts: 1355
Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even distribution
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Akebia
Artic Kiwi

Currant
Gooseberry

Blackberry
Raspberry to a lesser extent

Elderberry

Huckleberry (cranberry/blueberry family)

Highbush Cranberry (Viburnum family)

Honeyberry

Oregon Grape
 
Helen Temoin
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Oh thank you! I will start looking up a few of those - have not heard of a couple of them. ^^

The arctic kiwi - think I've read somewhere you need two of them, and they're vines. Maybe I'll grab just one, and learn to grow it that way. Or from seeds.

Seeds seem to be almost insurmountable to me. You take these teeny tiny grains, put them over potting soil, and hope. When you start with a plant, you can see it. It talks to you. It tells you, "Hey, water, please?" by a slight drooping of the leaf. It tells you whether it's getting too much sun by showing signs of sunburn, or throwing on the lighter green varigation of it's leaves. Judging soil for seeds is so much harder. Seeds are easier to ship, though, and cost far, far less. Guess I will just have to continue learning until I figure out a good thing for me to do with them.

Read somewhere that to become a Master Gardener you end up killing about 10 000 plants. Half way there, folk. lol

 
S Bengi
Posts: 1355
Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even distribution
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In full sun artic kiwi leaves will wilt and probably die even with all the water it needs. Unlike regular kiwi or hardy kiwi which are 100ft monster. Artic kiwi is only 10ft, and yes you do need a male and a female. The male should be pruned to 1/8th the size of the female, it should be pruned after it flowers.

Akebia is another vine

LOW LIGHT
Another trick is to get plants that are ok in zone 2 or 3, aka the growing season is only 2 or 3 months of sun.
If the plant is ok with just 2 months of full sun, then 5 month of partial sun, is even better.

LOW MINERAL
Nitrogen fixing fruiting plants are also pretty hardy, in nature they are the 1st to take over damage/neglected soil.
Goumi, seaberry, autumn olive, silverberry, serbian pea shurb.

LOW WATER
I would also look into drought tolerant plants,

Check out this link for some data.
https://www.onegreenworld.com/articles.php?article_id=27
 
Helen Temoin
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I truly appreciate you taking the time to assist. Please accept all my thanksgiving.

Reading about what you have suggested has found me this plant, too: Gaultheria shallon = lower light, understory, doesn't mind shade at all, and often grown with the Oregon grape.

YAY - now, to obtain seeds, and hope. Will be frantically searching on this site on how to best start seeds. They utterly make me whimper. Silly, n'est pas? I'm always in awe when something actually pushes forth from these little packages of life.

May the rest of your day be well, and may spring touch your garden sooner than not.
 
Mike Hart
Posts: 14
Location: Zone 7b, Georgia.
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S Bengi wrote:
Akebia is another vine


NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

It will take over everything. It is growing next door to me and it is easily out competing escaped wisteria, well established Chinese privet and Japanese honeysuckle.

http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/369/
 
Helen Temoin
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Mike Hart wrote:

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

It will take over everything. It is growing next door to me and it is easily out competing escaped wisteria, well established Chinese privet and Japanese honeysuckle.

http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/369/


So in this case, "Hard to Kill" is not necessarily a good thing then.
Do know that I've managed to kill established spearmint, in addition to mulberry tree starts, golden pothos, sage, amaranth, sweet potato plant, raspberry plants, moringa olefeira trees, zucchini plants, and potato plants. No one could accuse me of being a green thumb. I tried to grow a 'weed' garden of lambs quarters, purslane, plantain, chickweed, chicory, and mallow. The only thing that managed to survive was the lambsquarters, barely. It self seeded and we're eating it now.

The things that I'm not overly concerned/fussy with; my goji, the pineapple, the geranium and the strawberries which I grow for the spouse: gangbusters, reaching out to touch faith. The Jerusalem artichoke do well too. These things I neglect. I'm seeing a trend. On the lookout now for more of the things that I have murdered, and stinging nettle too. I want a pot of stinging nettle and soapwort in the corner where the squirrels like to travel. Bet you a smile they won't travel there quite so frequently. =D

Come to think on it, I like to water. Maybe I water too much.
 
Charli Wilson
Posts: 230
Location: Derbyshire, UK
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In my experience:
- strawberries, once up to a reasonable size they spread everywhere- I have them growing in the lawn and on paths- so they got mowed and stomped on and chomped on by chickens- yet they're still there and flowering! They all spread from a single plant that the old house owners left behind too- I've never planted any.
- blackberries and raspberries- mine have successfully spread under a path and are now popping up on the other side. They're also planted into what is pretty much just crushed brick, rather than soil (that patch was a previous owners dumping ground). Yet they're about 6 foot tall and flowering!
- blackcurrants- you just lop a branch off a blackcurrant and put it in the ground/pot.. and it magically grows roots and a few years later you have a blackcurrant of monster proportions.
 
Helen Temoin
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Charli Wilson wrote:In my experience:
- strawberries, once up to a reasonable size they spread everywhere- I have them growing in the lawn and on paths- so they got mowed and stomped on and chomped on by chickens- yet they're still there and flowering! They all spread from a single plant that the old house owners left behind too- I've never planted any.


The husband's going to love that one, if mine decide that "Sure, We want to LIVE." ^_^


Charli Wilson wrote:- blackberries and raspberries- mine have successfully spread under a path and are now popping up on the other side. They're also planted into what is pretty much just crushed brick, rather than soil (that patch was a previous owners dumping ground). Yet they're about 6 foot tall and flowering!


I have FINALLY gotten a blackberry shoot going, and am trying again with Pixwell and Poorman gooseberries, and my exman graciously sent three more baby raspberries. I'll try to keep them alive enough that they take over the whole of the yard. He's also been nice enough to send more mulberry branches, which I shoved into the ground, and watered in well. Each day I go up to these plants and say, "Hey, Guys! Take over the world, will you?" I hope that the stinging nettle and red dead nettle work the same way as the garlic mustard and lambsquarters. XD I'm trying to harvest the garlic mustard for now and later on in the winter. I'm drawing hope from you, sincerely!

Charli Wilson wrote:
- blackcurrants- you just lop a branch off a blackcurrant and put it in the ground/pot.. and it magically grows roots and a few years later you have a blackcurrant of monster proportions.


O-O So all I need to do is find someone in the region who grows these things? Was really hoping for some form of currant; have red currants in the fridge; hope they live!

To everyone who has answered, thank you. To anyone who wants to put in their two cents (not that they're produced still in my country) I would be appreciative.
 
Tom Harner
Posts: 87
Location: St. Louis, MO
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forest garden hugelkultur trees
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so I placed a large order from a nursery a couple years ago... all plants didn't make it except all the currents, strawberries, pomegrante and hardy kiwi plants. most didn't make the transit.

that should give you an idea of hardiness of these plants.
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://richsoil.com/email
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