The south side of our house is the exterior wall of our garage.
There are no windows, and the edge of the property line is too close to
put a lean to greenhouse or anything like that on there. Last year I
tried establishing a blueberry hedge up pretty close to the house there.
I used peat, coffee grounds, a small amount of aluminum sulfate mixed
in to the soil, plus a slow release acidifier. (soil is rather alkaline
here) I tried watering every day, but there was simply no rain for a
couple of months, and it was so hot and dry. Only 1 or 2 plants made it
out of 6 or 7. I am going to take the healthiest plant and put it in a
pot. This is actually the first time I've tried growing blueberries and
had one live more than 6 months. However, I think that spot would be
better used for something else.
Can anyone suggest something that is heat and light loving, which
could be productive in such a spot? It will essentially get direct
sunlight all day long, and the spot can really concentrate heat from the
sun in spring and fall. Thanks!
I supose moving them away from the drain field pipes would be a good
idea? A backed up drain field due to root infiltration can be pretty
expensive. Is this a good time to move them? We live in western WA
Okra for zone 5 ?
I remember going to Disney World in March. It was sixty five degrees, I am
from Michigan, I wore long pants with a long sleeve shirt no coat. The
person in front was from Florida he wore a light jacket. The person behind
me wore shorts and a tank top and was sweating, he was from Alaska. Ones
heat is another's chill.
Perhaps a variety of herbal plants. Rosemary, thyme, mint (put a hollow
bottom bucket in the ground for mint. Herbs can act like weeds if not
Enjoy Life... Nad R (Garden in zone 5a Michigan)
I'm in a warm zone 5 [NY] & never had any luck with Okra. Maybe
one or two pods per plant. Just enough to remind me what I was
missing out on. OTOH- I wasn't planting along the hot side of a
My house is mostly shaded on the south so I have Hostas & such on that
If I were the OP I'd stick with fruits- maybe plant the herbs amongst
them as they grow.
Blueberries, cherries, . . . peaches . . . Almond trees are gorgeous
in the spring and feed the squirrels in the fall. [mine did- I used to
get a quart of nuts- the squirrels got a bushel]
South side is a lot easier than the north side.
Since the location is hot and dry there's some sense in putting annuals
for a higher zone number there. Since the location is subject to snow
that approach won't work all that well with perrenials. It becomes a
little like a hot house in the summer yet like a freezer in the winter.
I solved a similar issue in Chicago metro by planting bushes and bulb
forming plants. Hostas (already mentioned in another post) and day
lillies did fine. Not edible so not sure how that works for
rec.gardens.edible. Hostas aren't actually bulb formers but close
I like to grow herbs in pots on the deck. They grow great. Most don't
survive the winter. So far I've never gotten a rosemary to make it
through the Chicago winter. I have transfered plenty of herbs from the
pots on the deck to the southern edge of my back yard. The thyme and
the tarragon are the only ones that survived across the winter so far.
The thyme lasted two years before it got overwhelmed by the size of the
It was a thought that the garage might offer some protection for the
Rosemary. I too have been unsuccessful at growing Rosemary. Herbs can get
away from you :)
Would that be the "French" Tarragon via cutting?
Or the Russian Tarragon via seed?
Enjoy Life... Nad R (Garden in zone 5a Michigan)
I get a little rosemary plant each spring since we moved to (zone 5)
Chicago metro. They get pretty big by the first snow. Then they croak.
Each year I try to trim it back and keep it on the deck out of the snow
but some storm tips it over and spills it out.
I'm not sure which type of tarragon it was that has done so well out in
the back yard with the hostas. Home Depot bred tarragon. Draws bees
like crazy late in the season when it's in flower.
Here is a hardy rosemary good to zone 6.
I've lost quite a few here in zone 5 but wall of water can keep it
alive if the moles/voles miss them. One is perking along right now.
One of 4 planted 2 years ago.
OP may want to look into.
South side solar gain maybe trapped. Look into "passive solar designs".
My experience differs in Zone 5 London Ontario.
Rosemary doesn't survive our winter outdoors. Full stop.
The only way we can overwinter rosemary, is indoors.
We have two, ten year old potted ARP rosemary plants. They withstand
frost very well and have survived the occasional subzero (to -4 celsius
uncovered and -6 covered) late fall night but when it looks like winter
is settling in for real,they get a final shearing and are put on the
table by my office window.
ARP was originally considered to be hardy to zone 5, and then it was
supposed to be hardy to zone 6. My favourite herb seed supplier
considers it hardy to zone 7. YMMV
I like the grape idea. I've already tried blueberries, and it hasn't
worked out. Perhaps I need to start out with adult sized, 3 or 4 year
old plants, and transplant them. In any case, this is the second time
I've tried blueberries, in 2 different parts of Ohio, and they have died
I already have 1 pear tree with 5 fruit varieties on it, 2 hale haven
peach trees, a nectarine and a plum. I don't think there is really room
for another fruit tree in the area, because I would need to plant it
close (right on, really) to the property line, and the neighbor would
not like it because that would be pretty close to the gate he used to go
between his fenced back yard and his front yard.
So, I am limited to perhaps planting something small right up against
the house, and maybe a row of something out closer to the property line.
Either or, or perhaps both, if both plants are pretty orderly and not
I like the idea of grapes, because I've always wanted to grow them,
and I've seen that they can be pretty productive. How long does it take
to get a harvest from them?
Other ideas I've had are rhubarb or everbearing raspberries, such as
heritage. Anyone have thoughts on these? My parents always got a good
harvest off of the rhubarb, and never have to put any time into them,
other than good soil preparation up front, with some cow manure at the
bottom of the deep pits.
Pull! I start to pull as soon as the plant is putting out stalks
bigger than a pencil. These have been producing for 15 yrs or so-
so even the first spring stalks are plenty big.
I pull seed stalks, too- and discard them.
Probably not the best practice-- but I trim the leaves on the spot and
mulch with them. Every 4-5 yrs I might remember to feed them. They
get covered with 5-6' of hard packed snow through the winter as they
are to the side of the turn-around that gets all the snow blown to it.
Dad in Buffalo grew rhubarb and it got bigger every year until they
finally moved to a retirement home. I bet it's still in the old back
yard. It was in a pretty moist spot in the yard though. It's Buffalo
where there aren't any dry spots in many yards.
I saw blackberries grow wild in the Pacific Northwest when we lived in
Seattle metro. I have no idea if raspberries grow well in a dry spot.
I've only seen them in places with okay moisture through quite damp.
Others suggest grapes. At my old place in Chicago metro we had a
volunteer grape that I had to trim regularly to keep it from eating one
of the neighbor's crabapple trees. I never watered it and its root was
behind the shed so it never got watered. Grape sounds like a good plan
for a hot dry spot in this zone.
I find French tarragon too fiddly, it likes excellent drainage and in my
hands it dies at the drop of a hat. I don't think my climate (hot often
damp summer) and soil (heavy) are suitable. If your climate and soil are
more mediterranean it may be easier to grow. Russian tarragon grows more
easily but has little flavour.
I find a good compromise is winter tarragon (Tagetes lucinda). The flavour
is nearly as good as French and it is much easier to grow. I don't know why
it is called "winter" tarragon as it dies down in winter but reliably
re-shoots from the roots in spring. You can harvest it fresh from spring to
autumn and dry a bunch picked before the first frost in autumn.
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