what do you plant in marginal spaces?

cousinfloydApril 18, 2014

I often have marginal spots that I'd like to fill with some kind of useful plant, but those spots often just wind up growing junk because I don't know what to put in them. Mainly these spots are marginal because they don't get full sun and they have large trees to compete with nearby. All these spots would get direct sun for at least two or three hours per day, though. Are there edible (or other useful plants) you'd recommend for spots like these? Here's what I'm looking for:

1. something that won't sacrifice quality (especially sweetness if it's a fruit) even if it doesn't do as well as it would do in a better spot
2. something that's cheap and easy to propagate; if it takes very much time or really any money I'm going to invest that time/money in a better location
3. something that will produce something even in this marginal spot
4. if I haven't already ruled everything out, something that isn't highly attractive to squirrels, because being next to big trees generally means lots of squirrel pressure

Pawpaws seem like they might score well enough on points 1, 3, and 4, but not so well on point 2. Would tame, thorny blackberries lose fruit quality? Maybe I could grow pollinators like male kiwis or muscadines in these kind of spots. What do you all do? Any recommendations? Thoughts?

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Fascist_Nation(9b)

I plant alpine strawberries (red, yellow and white) up against the north side of the house. USDA zone 2-10!

Here is a list of plants from Raintree Nursery, look for ones suitable for your climate:
Partial Shade
May have less fruit.
Alpine Strawberry
Bamboo (some types)
Dogwood
Elderberry
Evergreen & Red Huckleberry
Filbert
Gooseberry
Hydrangea
Jasmine
Lipstick Strawberry
Lingonberry
Magnolia Vines
Musk Strawberry
Paw Paw
Pie Cherry
Salmonberry
Serviceberry
Sugar Maple
Thimbleberry
blackberry

Full Shade
Bamboo (in sunny climates)
Currants
Carolina Allspice
Evergreen Huckleberry
Flowering Currant
Wasabi
Highbush Cranberry
blackberry

Some of the most common and beloved vegetable garden favorites are perfectly suited for shade (Mother Earth News), including:

Arugula
Basil
Celery
Kale
Lettuce
Peas
Potatoes
Spinach

This post was edited by Fascist_Nation on Fri, Apr 18, 14 at 21:12

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 9:00PM
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