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Shade tolerant plants for a forest Garden in Zone 8?

 
Benton Lewis
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I have a good portion of my land in native woods with most of the growing areas in it in partial to full shade. What are some good plant to plant here in zone 8?

I have high hopes that the tree collard will work well. Pipsissewa and prickly pear cactus naturally grow there in the understory.
 
Tyler Ludens
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I'm concerned that Tree Collard will not be perennial in Zone 8 where it freezes.
 
Benton Lewis
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I bought them from here: http://www.bountifulgardens.org/Tree-Collards/products/141/

They are in zone 8 in California. They say they loose all there collards once in 5-10 years and cannot take freezing temperatures that persist through the day (but if freezing through night they will be okay). Its more labor intensive than ideal but I think it would be a great crop to try, especially since they say it grows in almost full shade. Its more labor intensive because I plan to insulate it when it is in danger of freezing temperatures through the day and that is not often in my area.
 
Zach Muller
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I am doing tree collards here in zone 7, I just plan to take cuttings each year to winter over and root in a pot. They live easily in a pot. One thing I have noticed though is they grow very well in sun, a little spindly in shade. If you were worried about a harsh winter going the cutting route would be a good backup if the outdoor plants ended up not making it.
 
Richard Kniffin
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Location: Vermont, USA
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Benton Lewis wrote:I have a good portion of my land in native woods with most of the growing areas in it in partial to full shade. What are some good plant to plant here in zone 8?

I have high hopes that the tree collard will work well. Pipsissewa and prickly pear cactus naturally grow there in the understory.


I would be very interested in what "wild" foods are already growing in your woods, and whether they can be utilized. I can't help much with zone 8, but here in Vermont (zone 5) I get acorns, mushrooms, wild leeks, and wood nettles- just as long as I keep track of the time of year and get out there to forage at the right moment. I have much less control over these foods from year to year, but on the other hand, I don't put any effort or resources into them except for my time, and it's a real pleasure to have a good excuse for a walk in the woods

Good luck with all your projects,
-Richard
 
Benton Lewis
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The native wild edibles I forage so far out of my yard (still learning what I can eat) are smilax tips (they are like asparagus and taste excellent cooked), winged sumac, pine needles (tea and chewing the needles), deer berry, sparkle berry, dwarf paw paw, wood sorrel, sheep sorrel, sassafras, muscadine, prickly pear, acorns, pipsissewa, dandelion, winged elm leaves, elderberry, purslane, hopefully persimmons will produce but have my doubts, there's possibly a tupelo tree out there but not sure yet, scared of pokeweed haha, etc. If you are interested, eat the weeds dot com has great articles on all those wild edibles. Get spurge nettle, henbit, crab apples, mulberry and maypops from relatives yards.

 
Tyler Ludens
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Most plants grow better for me in partial shade here is super-hot Texas. Not sure how hot it gets in your neck of the woods. Here's a list of perennial vegetables for hot humid areas, but unfortunately they are not listed by light requirements: http://perennialvegetables.org/perennial-vegetables-for-each-climate-type/hot-and-humid/
 
Benton Lewis
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Thanks for the list Tyler. I see four plants I want to plant that are probably perennial with protection for me: tree collard, abelmoshus manihot, walking stick kale and malbar spinach.

I've ordered varieties of the alliums listed, particularly ready for egyptian walking onion. I read, besides staked tomatoes, the alliums can give you more vegetables in one place than anything else but not sure if I trust that.

Ready to research the one's on the list i've never heard of like: yellow asphodel, cardoon etc.
 
Tegan Russo
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Location: Maritime Northwest USA, zone 8b
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I saw a 6' tall tree kale plant growing here in zone 8b. Artichoke/cardoon are also good. When you grow your own artichokes you can harvest them earlier than they usually are in the US so that more of the flower is edible.
 
Cal Burns
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Interesting thread.
Have several spots where I could plant some of these.
My number one concern other than the plant getting enough moisture is the plant getting eaten primarily by squirrels or deer. Have an abundance of. Spend way too much time this time of year with pellet gun keeping squirrels away from my pecan orchard. For weeks we hear the falling of green pecans being dropped by squirrels over our house. They are so damaging. With our neighbor woods, it's a problem that won't ever go away. Just have to keep putting protective fencing around plants. Have looked at sensor water sprayers, that's an option for certain spots.
 
After burning through the drip stuff and the french press stuff, Paul has the last, ever, coffee maker. Better living through buying less crap.
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