Gardening with a Norway Spruce (I think)

jamstrazMay 20, 2006

I'm not to sure of the type of pine tree but its pretty damn big. Long story short, I need to find out what I can plant in an area that used to have an above ground pool. It starts about four feet away from the tree and the area is densely packed with roots. I can clean out the sand and some roots but my problem is twofold. The roots will grow back and I can't afford to get rid of the tree (its taller than the house (2 stories)) But I want to plant a garden there. Any suggestions? (area gets partial shade, maybe about 4-6 hours of direct sun in some areas, am in USDA zone 6))

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blueheron(z6 PA)

Planting under a tree is problematic - the competition with roots and moisture makes it difficult for plants to get a foothold. There are some perennials that will grow in dry shade, like barrenwort. Offhand, I can't think of any more. I assume the roots you mention are from the tree?

    Bookmark   May 20, 2006 at 8:22PM
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Yes it is from the tree, but the area was able to handle weeds and forget me nots and money plants (luminara annua) grow pretty well there. A rose of sharon is not more than 6 feet from the tree and it does quite well.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2006 at 10:36PM
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The short answer to your situation is raised beds. They are an excellent solution to soil that can't be made friendly to growing plants and give you the opportunity to have a fertile, almost ideal growing medium for whatever you decide to plant.

Then you need to consider the shade/sun situation you have. Is the 4 hours in the heat of the day or early morning/late afternoon? A lot of shade lovers can take some sun if it's not too intense.

Vegetables or ornamentals is the next consideration. Few vegetables will be ideal with that much shade but root crops and leafy crops do reasonably well with part sun if it's in the more intense times of day and the shade is light from high limbed trees. Tomatoes and other "fruiting" veggies require more sun to do well. They tend to get very tall and produce lots of vegetative growth with little energy going to making the parts we want to eat when they get less than 6 hours of good sun a day.

Some things to think about.


    Bookmark   May 21, 2006 at 12:50PM
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Here's the deal. My plans call for a circular garden (because the patio encircles it) where the above ground pool was. About 2 inches down you hit pine roots. I can cut out the roots and amend the soil for my current plan which is a cross pattern of stone with a centerpiece of perhaps a statue or something and then plants in each of the four corners. I dread to think of how I could possible cut a raised bed to fit inside those pie pieces. Plus, wood tends to rot under ground in my soil (had a raised bed that fell apart about a year ago)

In regards to the sun, the sun hits the area from about 9-10 AM and then from about 3-6:30ish PM. Other than that its mostly in shade with dappled light on occasion

    Bookmark   May 22, 2006 at 1:26AM
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