new to Ohio

rolf_jacobsApril 15, 2007


I am buying a mobile home park in E. Palestine, OH. It's located in Columbiana County. The place has no landscaping whatsoever and is hideous. Coming from California, this is unacceptable. I simply must get out there and get things into the ground:-) However, I know absolutely zip about growing anything in this part of the country. I am not even sure of what USDA zone I'm in. Is this forum the right place for me?



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tjsangel(z5 OH)

Hi Rolf! Welcome to the forum. Lots of wonderful people here.

I live in Warren, not far from Akron. Yes, the weather is a total transformation than in Cali. The winters might be shocking to you the first few years! First we need to know a little more about the site you want to plant in. How sunny it is, the soil (dry or moist) North South East West, do you want more foliage or flowering plants etc. There are many choices that will beautify your home.


    Bookmark   April 15, 2007 at 8:16AM
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bakemom_gw(z6 Central Ohio)

Welcome! I live in Columbus. If I recall correctly, your location is near the rust belt. I lived in Hubbard for a few years back in the 80s. It was very depressing way back when. I have no idea what's going on now.

Consider joining the winter sowing forum. Winter sowing works fabulous in Ohio and you can grow tons of plants for pennies - outdoors! Sneak a peek over there if you want and post if it interests you. Tell them Bakemom sent you and see what happens.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2007 at 4:53PM
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Hate to say this but I am totally ignorant of the locales you mention:-( Have only been out to the property twice. I am about 20 minutes to Boardman and 45 minutes to the Pittsburgh airport.

The site is actually an 8 acre mobile home community with virtually nothing growing inside of it. Outside, everything seems to grow really well. Rolling hills covered in mixed hardwood/conifer forests. The place is a giant rectangle oriented north to south so it pretty much gets sun all day. I have no idea what the soil is like.

My idea is to put in really tough deciduous trees and shrubs along with any evergreens that will survive. I want to put in a line of Gingko trees with blueberry bushes between and in front of them. Alberta spruce would work well in many places and Yew is already growing great in front of one home. I have a number of pines I'm bringing with me along with a couple of Cryptomeria japonica 'Elegans" and Chamaecyparis thyoides. Everything else in my collection must be, alas, given away.

Have been reading the Wayside Gardens catalog and it looks like a lot of things will grow there. I realize a lot of this is "eye candy" but I want to try some Thuja occidentalis for screening.

I'll have tons of questions as I proceed so expect to see lots of posts from me. What I'd really like to know at this time is the USDA zone for E. Palestine. Is it zone 5 or 6 or something else?



    Bookmark   April 15, 2007 at 7:42PM
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lynnem(5 Ohio)

From one of the zone maps, I'd say you're in zone 5. Same zone as I am, but you're still north of the snow belt, which really seems to run north of interstate 70.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2007 at 8:12PM
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Welcome! Sounds like you've got your work cut out for you.
Here are a few sites that might be helpful in selecting your plants.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2007 at 1:27AM
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hi Rolf and welcome to the neighborhood. I live in Rogers its about 7 minutes from Palestine.It is a nice little community i grew up there. I tend to stick with the zone 5 here but can get away with zone 6 plants lately. You should really check out the wsing fourm this is my first year winter sowing and ive had great results so far. I am sure you got your work cut out for you making this park baeutiful. look forward to your updates. Lindi

    Bookmark   April 16, 2007 at 7:51AM
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bakemom_gw(z6 Central Ohio)

The only things that concern me are the Gingko and blueberries. I have a gingko and it's beautiful, but the fruit really stinks like dog doo. I don't mind it and am used to the smell, but more sensitive people really hate it. So, if that doesn't bother you, have at it.

I have also tried to grow blueberry shrubs here, but my soil is not acidic enough. I was warned by my local nursery but tried anyway, so live and learn. That is one thing you might want to test for.

In my opinion you are zone 5. For some reason I imagine that anything north of Mansfield is the snow belt and think of it as zone 5. Not very scientific but perhaps practical.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2007 at 6:23PM
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Hi, Rolf, welcome. You are definitely zone 5. What fun to have such a large site to work on! There are many web sites that you can check to be sure that nothing you plant is considered invasive here -- I don't believe that anything you mentioned is -- I came here from CA also; the soil is completely different, mostly clay and somewhat alkaline, but as my (transplanted from Oklahoma) neighbors said, you can stick most anything in the ground & it will grow! Redbuds are smaller native trees that have lovely architecture in the winter, you might consider those!

good luck, raee

    Bookmark   April 16, 2007 at 7:35PM
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Thanks for the info, raee. Hadn't though about Redbuds but I know they are tough and easy to grow out here so they merit some attention.

I have never had such a large place and I can't wait to get to work on it.

Do you know of an arboretums or botanical gardens in the area?


    Bookmark   April 17, 2007 at 2:21AM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana(zone 5/6)

Hi Rolf, and welcome to the forum here. I am not close at all, as I'm in southern Indiana, but am also consideren in the Ohio Valley.

I second what Bakemom says about the Gingko trees. I think they should be outlawed within the city limits due to the terrible rank odor of the fruit which not only stinks to high heaven, but also can be extremely messy some years. A more mature can drop several bushels of the fruit, and the ground beneath the tree at that time is useless.
You could however cull any female trees once they matured and you knew which ones they were, but that could be a lot of work and waiting just to end up with few, or 'no' trees.

When will you be moving?


    Bookmark   April 17, 2007 at 9:17AM
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tibs(5/6 OH)

Get male ginkos. No fruit, no stink. Great nursury in Homeworth which is in Columbiana county but on the west side. And of course I cannot think of the name. Just know how to get there. So how in the heck did you end up here? People leave Ohio for California not the other way around! But I love my state, and have roots in Columbiana County. E. Palestine got hammered a few years ago by a major flood. Lost there water and wastewater treatment plant. But it is a tough little town.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2007 at 8:56PM
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Thanks for the info on the botanical gardens. I think I need to spend some time at these places before I go crazy with buying stuff.

For all of you wondering about why I would move from CA to OH, let me tell you that all is not what it seems in the "Golden State." While we have successfully outlawed winter in most parts of the state (you all should try it), making a living here can be difficult. I get $50/hour to put plants in the ground but try living in an area where land costs about $1,000,000 per acre. Gas in San Francisco has been over $4/gallon for some time. Get the idea? This property came along and it looks like it could be a good moneymaker once it gets turned around. Plus I have never gardened in a place with 4 seasons so I'm really looking forward to it.


    Bookmark   April 18, 2007 at 1:07AM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana(zone 5/6)

What gardening zone are you leaving? Many things can be grown and enjoyed here, that can't be grown in much warmer climates.

Spring Daffodils and peonies come to mind.


    Bookmark   April 18, 2007 at 1:32AM
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ellenp(z5 OH)

Hi Rolf, Welcome to Ohio. I'm in SW Ohio just east of Dayton. I just picked up my tree order from our county Soil and Water Conservation District. Each year they sell trees and shrubs at really great prices. I just paid $32.00 for 10 white dogwoods, 10 Sargent crabapples and and an assorted packet of 2 Colorado Blue Spruce, 2 Winterberry, 2 Dogwood, 2 redbud and 2 Callery Pear. They sell these in packets of 10 or 25. They have evergreens, shade and flowering trees including the redbud you are considering. I have purchased these in the past and while they are not big trees they have done very well. You might want to check in your county to see if these are available since you will be needing multiple trees. You could save some money. Best of luck in your new adventure. Ellen

    Bookmark   April 18, 2007 at 11:36PM
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definitely plan a trip to Holden Arboreteum Kirkland in lake county)& cleveland botanical gardens. Also Dawes Arboreteum (newark in licking county) as well to Secrest Arboreteum-- they have a plant sale and community day every spring ITS THIS WEEKEND 5/5/07!!!(as side trip kingwood gardens is nearby) and worth the trip as secrest is the agricultural testing center for OSU's agri/hort. programs.
the web site can give you particulars.

i do suggest that you wait a patiently as possible to see what all you have -- plants, sun, soil, water and what you would like begfore you start to plant like a crazy person.

will this property contimue to be a trailer park?


    Bookmark   May 2, 2007 at 2:45PM
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