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Please suggest Plants with shallow roots...

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by thistledown on June 01, 2006 05:01 PM
I need suggestions!

In the corner of our yard is a pre-existing raised bed. It is in constant shade and is under a Larch tree, so the soil is probably very acidic. We are in Zone 5.

I need suggestions for plants that have very shallow , delicate roots. The raised bed is there, because our neighour's sewer pipe comes out of his trailer there and the raised bed basically has "buried" it in soil. The pipe is only JUST under the dirt, and I don't want roots interfering with the pipe.
The sewage clean-out access is sticking up from the soil (which of course it must) so I'd also like the plants to be "fluffy" or "bushy" to disguise it, but still allow someone to push back the foliage and gain access.

HELP! Please Gardening Gurus! I am a pathetic newbie-gardener!

[Smile]
AT

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by tkhooper on June 02, 2006 12:48 AM
My miniature snapdragons are in the shade and do very well in acidic soil and they have delicate shallow roots. If you allow them to lay down they will create spires all along the main stem giving them a bushy appearance but only to a height of about 4 inches from the ground.

When looking for shallow rooted plants look for those that require a lot of water. That is the environment that will usually produce plants that have shallow roots.

Althought mints are full sun if you get a well established clump you may be able to get it to grow there with a little luck. It can be pretty tenacious sometimes.

I really don't know of one that would be the perfect fit for your situation but I hope you find it.

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by joclyn on June 02, 2006 07:14 AM
cranesbill geranium might work okay. the roots are pretty shallow - it does send out feeder/spreader roots, so it will fill in the area within a few years - and they're not too big so i don't think they would interfere with the pipes any.

the plant is a hardy type and it gets a bit over a foot with a nice purple flower - the stems are easy to move to gain access for working on the pipes, if needed.
by Longy on June 02, 2006 06:15 PM
Bromeliads, birds nest ferns, think forest floor type plants like ferns and shadeloving ground covers. These are generally shallow rooted or epiphytic plants which live in naturally falling vegetation and humus.
Alternatively, azaleas are shallow rooted and like acidic conditions and can tolerate full shade.

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The secret is the soil.
by thistledown on June 02, 2006 10:23 PM
Wow! Thanks for all the responses!

You've all suggested BEAUTIFUL plants! I'm noticing too that they're all very different heights. It's a triangular bed so maybe I can put the taller ones in back and the smaller spreading ones in front!

YAY!!!

Oh, thank you, thank you!

[Smile]
AT

* * * *
Work like you don't need the money.
Sing like nobody's listening.
Dance like nobody's watching.
Love like you've never been hurt.
 -
by twwright on June 04, 2006 11:42 PM
Check out Sweet Alyssum and other plants that do well in a Rock Garden. Also, moss rose, portulaca does well in shallow soil areas and won't hurt the pipe.
by mizzeliz on June 05, 2006 02:32 AM
You might try trillium and lilly of the valley. The trillim can have flowers of white, Maroon, yellow, or white w/darker flecks. I have all but the yellow growing in an area filled with tree roots. They bloonin may in Massachusetts and make great green foliage for the rest of the summer.

Let us know what you choose and how it looks at summer's end.

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May you be Blessed with the Love of Jesus today and always
by thistledown on June 07, 2006 04:13 PM
Thank you for the suggestions, twwright and mizzeliz!

Admittedly, my gardening has benn put on hold the last couple of days as raccoons have started living under our trailer! ~~despair!~~

I look forward to being able to focus on lovely growing things again!

[Smile]
AT

* * * *
Work like you don't need the money.
Sing like nobody's listening.
Dance like nobody's watching.
Love like you've never been hurt.
 -
by Karrie on June 08, 2006 03:41 PM
I had an area like that if you want a prennial you could go with dragons blood sedum or the tri color it looks great in that area this year. The dragons blood is just beautiful full and just bushy enough that it is starting to cover the decorative rocks there around it. I was so impressed with it. Also is dead nettle. It lookes great this year I started with 2 four inch pots and they are huge now. I imagine that after this growing season they will take over the bed they are in. They like the shade too. They also have nice folige adn flower a bit too.

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It doesn't matter where you go in life... It's who you have beside you when you get there.

Karrie's Photos
by joclyn on June 08, 2006 03:56 PM
geez, how could i miss dead nettle!! and i just planted some myself!!

i've got the 'pink chablis' it's doing really well (i planted one 4 incher and it's already doulbed in size! that would be perfect for the spot you have...

the sedums are another good suggestion!
by thistledown on June 28, 2006 03:12 PM
I planted sedum angelina from a "hijacked" sprig I stole (heh-heh) and it's doing quite well....maybe I should move it once it's bigger!

~still dealing with raccoons.
~they are devil creatures.

[Frown]
AT

* * * *
Work like you don't need the money.
Sing like nobody's listening.
Dance like nobody's watching.
Love like you've never been hurt.
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