Need multipurpose shrub for septic spot?

oath5(z6b/7a MD)April 22, 2011

We have a patch in our backyard that's partial shade and perpetually wet and lush due to the septic tank. It's generally wet year round and the grass is always thick and green. Violets love it around there. I was thinking of doing a bog garden-type deal with ladies breeches and milkweed but I thinking maybe a medium sized shrub would be better. I know any type of willow is a bad idea due to their aggressive nature with pipes, but I was wondering if anyone had any ideas for native, multi-purpose shrubs to plant there to kind of keep the wetness down.

Any ideas? I was considering native elderberry varieties but unsure if that is ideal.


- Max

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Max, nice to see you here. I would suggest Black Currant. For example, Black Down. It is a very good variety with big sweet berries and mild flavor. Many people here don't like strong flavored black currant varieties. So mild flavor is a plus. has by far the best selection of black currants. They are chip, easy care, would grow well here in MD in conditions you describe, make beautiful bush in just a year or two, will give you plenty of berries next year and if you will not like them fresh ( I love them), you can always use them for Jam.
I love them all, the stronger flavor the better, but I was raised on them. They have more vitamine C than most other berries.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2011 at 9:00PM
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oath5(z6b/7a MD)

Thanks Olga, I'm trying to convert our yard into more of a "homestead" to inject some energy back into the place so I really do want edibles everywhere. Might be a good choice. If you know of any other good fruit shrubs/trees for here, I'd love to hear your suggestions.

- Max

    Bookmark   April 25, 2011 at 2:10AM
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The easy no care (no spray) fruts for me here in MD are:
Raspberries (caroline, Anne, Prelude are very good here)
Blackberries (thotnless varieties like Triple Crown)
Asian Persimmons -by far my favorite. The trees can be kept small, ~8 feet. They are healthy, good looking and provide great crop of persimmons starting from year 3 or 4. I would recommend for you varieties like Hana Fuyu, Jiro, Ichi. There are many others that are hardy here. Just ask if you found some other variety you want to try. I have experience with too many of them.
Figs are great, but it takes some patience at first to keep them going. First couple of years they will die back almost to the ground here (I don't winter protect). But eventyall they gain strenght and become quite hardy and very productive. I love Celeste, Hardy Chicago, Verte, Desert King and many others
Currants, red (for example Rovada) and Black are great, as already mentioned
Cornelian Cherry (for example Elegance and Red Star) make stunnig bushes
There are very good new varieties of Sea Berries, they make good hedge and great juice,/preserves
Nanking bush cherries are absolutely care free and also great for hedge and eating from the bush

All these are easy care and good for eating in my opinion.
The good places to but are Edible landscaping, Raintree Nursery, Onegreenworld, Whitmans Farms, Burntridge Nursery,
Rollingrivernursery and some others. I would recommend to avoid Tytyga and Willisorchard by all means.
You can always ask here or send me e-mail if you have more questions.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2011 at 8:55AM
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