Messages posted to thread:

Doug10-Mar-02 11:06 AM EST 6   
Susan10-Mar-02 12:05 PM EST 6a   

Subject: wet area in clay
From: Doug
Zone: 6
Date: 10-Mar-02 11:06 AM EST

I have a wet drainage area in clay soil at the back of my yard. Always wet, usually a half inch of water. Dappled shade. Any suggestions of plants to do well? Would like to cover the fence if possible. Area cannot be changed, as is route to drain for about 6 houses. Would large hosta's do? Any grasses about 6-7 feet?? Please give suggestions. Thanks.

Subject: RE: wet area in clay
From: Susan
Zone: 6a
Date: 10-Mar-02 12:05 PM EST

I have a wet corner like that; 4 properties drain down to that area. We have clay soil too. My area is fairly shady from old trees in my and my neighbours' yards. In my case, there isn't standing water but, if you dig a hole in spring, it immediately fills with water. The area stays very moist through the rest of the summer, although it actually got reasonably dry in last summer's drought....

Try planting Ostrich Fern - it likes being flooded in spring and will grow to a very large size and spread through the area. I planted mine on the margin of the wettest spot and am letting it decide how much wet it prefers by seeing where it spreads to. Candalabra primroses and Mrsh Marigolds do well - the Marsh Marigolds appeared on their own - I didn't plant them...! I also have a variegated doowood nearby and iris pseudocorus. I tried ligularia but the slugs ate it! Rogersia is struggling but surviving. Cardinal Flower and some other, related blue types of lobelias are growing well a bit further back. Goatsbeard is also doing reasonably well there. Add mulched leaves in the fall for organic matter.

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