Looking for ideas for my backyard - Marietta, GA

basu76(7a)January 31, 2013

Hi All,
We recently moved from Chicago to Marietta, GA. We are thrilled that we have got a bigger yard. Yes we did cut down about 40 trees, to make the yard we have. I got a very good deal on cutting down huge pine and sweet gum trees. Now we have the yard, my landscape guy is saying, we need to put 20 trucks of dirt, to level it up. Any way that apart, here are some pics of it.

From times I remember, I am very passionate about growing my own food, we couldn't do that in Chicago, because of the short growing season we have. I am looking to make a decent grass area in the backyard and planning on having areas for growing vegetables, berries and fruits. I also thought of a green house (it would be awesome to grow pappaya, guava, sapota and citrus fruits).

Any pointers on where we should plant Apple, Pomegrante,Peach, Pear, Blue berry, Raspberry, Strawberry plants. Attached are a couple of pics. I was thinking I have them on the perimeter.

Also where to get these plant? Thanks for your time

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Buck Jones in Woodstock (between Roswell and Canton) is a good source of fruit trees.

Here is a link that might be useful: Buck Jones

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 6:37PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Shane86(zone 7b)

hay basu76 im right bown from ya in smyrna i like to get my plants at the flea markets in bremen and lithia springs cuz there all grown by local home gardeners corse its mostly in spring and summer that you find them

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 8:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Stellabee(7, Atlanta)

Hey, Figs do best here in this part Georgia-can't say I know where you should put a fruit tree though (far from the vegetable garden for sure! If you have a sloped area far from trees that you want to dig out and compost, you can have a good amount of cantaloupe and watermelon (rattlesnake, moon and stars, etc) too.

For vegetables, try patty pan squashes (prolific here), certain varieties of zucchini do very well, cucumbers like White Wonder, Bush Champion, and Suyo long handle the heat and produce quite a bit of food. Corno di Toro peppers produce well too along with tomato varieties like Eva Purple Ball, Cherokee Purple, Creole, Souix, Homestead 24, Roma. Oh, and a lot of people in Decatur like to grow Chinese Okra a.k.a Louffa gourd-picked small as food or let grow into large louffa sponges for cleaning and such...

Fall gardens with collards, kales, broccoli raab, arugula, mustards,French Breakfast radishes, and the like produce hideous amounts of food when composted properly:-)

Hope this helps

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 10:04AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

esh_ga - thanks I will visit Buck Jones today or tomorrow.

Shane86 and Stellabee, thanks for taking time and giving me advice.

Have you come across people who grow apple, muscadine, pomegrante, cherry in the area. I was looking online and saw that there are 4 in 1 trees for apple and cherry, not sure if they grow well, but was wondering..

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 10:19AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Stellabee(7, Atlanta)

I always feel that apple and pear only grow well with lots of pesticide/fungicide. If you're okay with that, then go for it. I know fig and muscadine do very well here on their own without sprays and such. Blueberries (rabbit eye) are supposed to also, as they are native. I personally have never seen a cherry tree here. I've noticed apple trees that are struggling and usually sick. Oh! Persimmon grows very well in Georgia-makes great jelly/jam! Good on salads too for crunch/beta carotene...

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 2:36PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thats good to know about apple, no I am not big or pesticides and stuff, if we have to use lot of chemicals, then growing our own stuff is moot point.

You know what, I have never tried Persimmon before. Great, any fruit is good.

One thing when we moved to chicago to here, I was excited is, the proximity to farms, to get raw milk (of course sold as pet milk) and goat milk...

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 3:02PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
buford(7 NE GA)

Welcome to Georgia. I'm a New York transplant. I love it down here. I sometimes travel to Chicago for business. You are going to love spring in late February :)

I have luck with eggplant, squash, tomatoes and asparagus. Also onions if you have the room. The hardest part for me is keeping the veggies irrigated. We always seem to gt these hot dry spells which can set back a veggie garden.

I don't have any fruit bearing trees, but muscadine and raspberries grow wild in my yard. I'm thinking of doing some blueberry bushes.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 8:11PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Welcome to GA, it's a different world. I have been here 3 years now, I came straight from the NW suburbs of Chicago, McHenry. I will take some time and come for a visit, we did a major lanscape project starting 2 years ago. Just don't bite off more than you can chew all at once, like we did. Fuyu Persimmons are my favorite, see if you can stil find some in the stores. I will get back to you later, you are welcome to come see our project and learn from our mistakes. Lorinda

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 9:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Shane86(zone 7b)

yah i got my persimmon tree from a clipping in smyrna park you could also try mulberry trees mine do great on there own i have 3 of them in my yard makes a great jam

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 9:43PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Sometimes in the spring even Home Depot has apple trees. Be sure to get one with a "name". Those are grown from cuttings and have reliably good tasting fruit. Apples grown from seeds are usually very tart (good for cider).

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 9:46PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
girlgroupgirl(8 ATL)

I also understand the learning curve from northern to southern gardens. I'm a Canadian transplant!
I grow some fruit that does not need spraying of any kind and is pretty easy to grow:
Pomegranites - Angel Red is a superb variety
Jujube: I have Sherwood. It is a beautiful tree, but there are many others. I harvest the fruits just as they are getting brown spots. They are too sweet for us when browned. They have a tiny pit like an olive, but taste more like an apple (similar texture). Small, I use them for fresh eating, baking as you would apples (makes great dessert bread with pecans), crumbles and I put them in the BEST chili this year!
Persimmon of course. Natives are good after a chill, but there are many others.
Paw Paw: you need a few, and you need to get them from a reliable source so you can make sure you get a male along with your gals. I planted three, just to be safe! Squirrels like them, and they take awhile to fruit but I'll wait!
Pineapple Guava: large shrubby bush with sweet tart fruits. The sweet blossoms are edible too!
Nanking Cherry: A tart cherry, easy here. I like to eat from hand, but they can be baked, or added to tasty drinks and also easily frozen.
Blueberries: A no brainer here. I find a hard pruning every few years (hard for a Blueberry!) and acidifying soils every 2nd year gives amazingly abundant harvests and keeps the plants really healthy. Mulch well.
Goumi: in the Eliagnus family, most of which are invasive here, but Goumi is not. It also fixes nitrogen so is good near fruiting trees. Tart little berries, great for freezing, baking or if you like tart fruits, from hand.
Strawberries: Quinalt does very well, so do a few other kinds.
Figs: as said above, another no brainer.
Loquat: tall and evergreen. Some years it may not fruit but as our climate is changing people are finding they are fruiting annually. I have three babies.

I grow perennial onions, so easy! Many herbs are very easy. I have perennial herb gardens and annual herb gardens (and medicinal and nutritional herb gardens....).

There are other fruits that do fine here with no spraying and no care the Atlanta Fruits yahoo group discusses them, and now has an annual meeting. Really nice group of people will discuss more conventional fruit trees with you and also non-chemical means of growing them.

My favorite source for fruits is Hidden Springs nursery in Tn. The plants come bare root, and last year I was charged $15 for the entire lot to be shipped to me overnight! What a deal. For the price of one large fruit tree I got three trees and many bushes.

Last note about cornus mas. I learned this year they are very low growing, almost ground covers. That limits where they can be planted (mine need to be moved!!!).

I hope you enjoy growing in the South! Your backyard is beautiful, what a view!

    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 12:03PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


You will get the best fruit and vegetables by planting where the sun shines all day, have a soil sample analyzed by the extension agency so you know how to amend your soil and then regular maintenance (water, fruit tree sprays, pruning, fertilizing). I suggest Johnsons nursery in ellijay for fruit trees. see their website.

Google "pick your own " and visit local farms to see what grows without too much work. Beware that you need to have a plan to keep squirrels and birds away from your harvest or you will be feeding them and not yourself!

Not yet mentioned are blackberries and raspberries which are also easy to grow.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 9:11PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hi Lorinda,
I would love to come take a look at your garden. I think we are putting in about 10 truck loads of dirt next week, at the same time I have started looking around for plants. It would love to take a look.

thanks for the offer.


    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 7:26AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hi girlgroupgirl,
Thanks for writing a detailed one. Wow, there are so many options. I am also going to go to a meeting at the Convention center by the airport on Feb 23. They say they sell some organiclly grown plants.. Kiwi among others.

WIll look around the plants you suggested. How do you irrigate them, do you have drip irrigation?


    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 7:33AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hi garedneck,
Thanks for the advice, I will have my soil tested, once we level it with some dirt, next week.

Yes looked at Johnson nurseries website, looks good!!


    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 7:46AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
girlgroupgirl(8 ATL)

I currently only hand irrigate, not a lot: only when things are getting to the point where they HAVE to have water. Eventually I plant to have a better set up, but probably drip irrigation and swale irrigation (a more natural alternative) along with other alternative forms of irrigation.
I will say that if your land slopes away from your home, I wouldn't worry about leveling the land too much. Be thankful. My entire property, the water goes TOWARDS all buildings (especially since neighbor removed her gutters). It's been a huge problem and a very $$$: we get more frequent torrential rains now than when I moved here 15 years ago: meaning it doesn't rain as often, but when it does: boy, lookout!! it's hard to deal with.
I have purchased some plants from Johnson's but I have found their current catalog lacks any of the wonderful cultural information their previous catalogs has, but their website still seems the same. Their orchard supply has many organic or low toxicity sprays for conventional fruit, but you'd still have to do it unless you find the "magic tree" (yes, sometimes they exist!!). You also have to hope that the climate works in your favor and flowering for fruit happens when the bees are able to do their work. It's becoming more variable with climate change. New and alternative fruits (for this climate) often flower during warmer periods, and provide a new source of fruit during challenging times.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 6:46AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

the link below has some good information about fruit trees, bushes and nut trees that have been promoted for cultivation in the south, both as wildlife and human food sources. they list several apple, crabapple, pear, berry and persimmon varieties that have been found to do well in our climate. your local county extension service is another good source of information along with the detailed replies on this thread from your gardening friends.
hope this helps with ideas for local shopping or you can order from their site.
click on the 2013 catalog for a complete listing with descriptions and photos.

Here is a link that might be useful: the wildlife group

    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 12:01PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Girlgroupgirl: You mentioned that you have angel red pomegranate, is yours in the ground or in a pot?

I have recently purchased angel red and a view other soft seed varieties, I am in a northern suburb of Atlanta, and I would prefer not to pot them but not sure if that is the only safe option.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 5:15PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hi Lorinda,
Tried to reach you by email, it bounced back.

Folks - Any of you, planning to go to the conference at the convention center by the airport next week (I think it is on the 23rd of Feb). They are selling plants, I was thinking to go get some.


    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 2:34AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Just wanted to say hello! I moved here from Illinois as well! How funny!
I didn't have time to read all the responses, so I hope I'm not duplicating what others have said. We are near Kennesaw Mountain battlefield -- lovely neighborhood with lots of trees and wildlife. If you are in a similar area, get ready to defend your food crops! I completely gave up trying to grow anything but herbs. Once the squirrels found my tomatoes, they told their squirrel children, who told their children, etc. Forget tomatoes. The deer like the okra. Then the squash bugs and stink bugs found the zucchini. I just wanted you to be mentally prepared for battle! Maybe if you plant extra, you will have enough to share with the critters, and still have some for yourself! Enjoy it all!

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 10:57AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Basu- I am not sure why, solittlethyme@ymail.com
I will watch for you today, since we are all here, it's really cold out here right now.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 12:32PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We should all connect on fb, I have never figured out how to post my photos here, but have a few there.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 12:36PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We should all connect on fb, I have never figured out how to post my photos here, but have a few there.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 12:37PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Basu- I forgot to bring your attention to the Spring Swap thread, it's listed as Wrong time of the year. We went the first year we were here, it was great to put names to faces and get started with some GA favorites.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 12:42PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Getting completely rid of invasive vines
Is this possible? We moved in to an extremely neglected...
Native shade plant recommendations
I live just north of Atlanta and am looking for recommendations...
FREE lime tree in pot (Atlanta/Buckhead)
Free to good home -- you must know how to care for...
Lake hartwell
Does anyone live on or near the lake? My husband saw...
free partially bags of fertilizer, lime, etc.
Can't move these. I have partial bags of fertilizer,...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™