edibles for soggy soil?

rob_in_westernwa(7b?)April 24, 2013

Hi all,

We recently moved to a new location that has a large piece of flat, soggy pasture. The entire property is on a hillside above a drainage, and one of the previous owners did some dirt work in an attempt to build a soccer field. Now there's a flat bench that frequently holds water after even moderate rains. (I miss my old garden already.)

Any suggestions on edibles I could grow in almost-always wet soil? I thought about rice, but I believe that requires more heat (we're at 1,000 ft in the Cascade foothills, on a north-facing slope). I'm not really into ornamentals - I like to keep the land producing food - but I'm not sure what might "thrive" in that environment.

Eventually I'll have to fix the drainage issues, but that won't happen in the near future. Still getting settled in. Cranberries? Any veggies/fruits/nuts come to mind?

Thanks for any suggestions.


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Merilia(8 PNW)

Unless you really love cress, you might want to think about putting in some raised beds.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 2:00AM
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It will probably take less time to restructure that area than to try growing food crops in it.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 11:32PM
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sundevil(z7 WA)


    Bookmark   April 26, 2013 at 12:27AM
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George Three LLC

celery. taro. ??

    Bookmark   April 27, 2013 at 12:05AM
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Rob, if the previous owner moved dirt around, he may have left you with subsoil clay, or a thin layer of soil on top of bedrock. Neither will be useable as garden soil. Can you provide more information? Do weeds grow well on the site?

    Bookmark   April 27, 2013 at 12:12PM
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Thanks everybody. I'm no soil expert, but to me the ground looks sandy and has lots of larger rocks in it (it's definitely not red clay). It also seems similar on other parts of the property, so I'm thinking this is just the nature of this area.

Given that it's so sandy/rocky, it's a bit surprising that it holds so much water. I'm going to eventually have to divert some of the runoff to be able to do anything with it, but I'll never want to get it too dry because the well is close by.

It may actually be a plus in the summer when everything dries up a bit, but I like to garden year 'round so I thought I'd pick everybody's brains for edibles that were known to be particularly wet-feet tolerant.

That said, I have bigger problems at the moment. As far as I can tell, the ground is devoid of nutrients and organic matter (though I need to do an actual soil test). It does grow some weeds and field grass, but nothing is thriving. I also had several cool veggie starts going so I planted those into a small dry hump in the field a month or so ago. As of now they are looking anemic and showing very poor color. I guess I'm not gardening in the fertile river valley any more. :(

Luckily I have a pretty good stock pile of horse/rabbit manure, and we compost diligently. So hopefully I can at least get the dry hump fertile by next year while I plot my drainage issues for the majority of the field.

Thanks again for the suggestions everybody.


    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 8:00PM
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