Favorite Understory Choices?

Discussion in 'Planting, growing, nurturing Plants' started by insipidtoast, Dec 27, 2011.

  1. insipidtoast

    insipidtoast Junior Member

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    Hey all,

    I haven't been over to the planting forum in a while. I'm just curious to hear what are all of your favorite understory/shade-tolerant plants you use in your climate?

    Mine are: Gynura crepioides (Somehow avoiding our frosts and now flowering for the first time) and aloe vera.
     
  2. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    I don't have to take frosts into consideration. Strawberries and oregano have worked well. I've got a few lucerne plants going and want to try more - it is doing OK in part shade under smaller trees so far. Same with red clover. Pennyroyal. I'm going to try dogs bane as well. Given it's smell I'm hoping it'll keep insect pests away.
     
  3. Grasshopper

    Grasshopper Senior Member

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    Ive got dogs bane its supposed to be good for citrus
    I was hoping it was going to be a good bush turkey deterrent (he kicked it out when he first saw it.)
    I also grow pineapples
     
  4. insipidtoast

    insipidtoast Junior Member

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    I heard Lawton talking about DogsBane in conjunction with citrus? Is it a good companion? Or just neutral?
     
  5. Pakanohida

    Pakanohida Junior Member

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    Comfrey with my pears.

    Variable with the rest. Some areas have blueberries & Rhododendron . Others have huckleberry & azalea... so far. I also have wildflowers on swales at the moment apple, plum, and cherry trees.

    The fig is growing with blackberry underbrush to protect it from deer.

    I just started clearing out a (Chop and drop) crab apple from the blackberry.

    Blackberry, & thimble berry also are understory for elderberries in places which are the understory of myrtlewood.
     
  6. Grasshopper

    Grasshopper Senior Member

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    Ive only read about it recently,that its good for all fruit trees but especially citrus. I haven't had it long enough to know.
    My plants have only been in for a few months. I'm hoping the smell will also help keep fruit fly at bay and maybe other pests.
    I've grown it before to keep dogs away from my previous house,it seemed to stop them leaving a deposit on my nature strip.

    I also grow marigolds and basil as under story plants for fruit fly deterrents.
     
  7. Wombat

    Wombat Junior Member

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    I'm growing sweet potatoe between our fruit trees - both for the tubers (which only get dug as needed) and as a ground cover to keep the weeds down. The area is in the process of being drip irrigated from the sewerage treatment pump out so there should not be any competition for moisture.

    Grasshopper - how effective is Basil and Marigold at detering fruit fly? We give up on tomatoes this time of year even with traps.
     
  8. Grasshopper

    Grasshopper Senior Member

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    Not sure yet on the basil and marigolds.
    Its a new experiment based on what I read somewhere.
    It will take a while to establish a thick carpet around the fruit trees.
    Im guessing fruit fly that come in on the wing are smell driven looking for a bit of fruit to lay their eggs,so the more stuff they supposedly don't like maybe keeps them away????
    So I just fill my pockets with marigold and basil seeds and throw them around every where I go in my garden.
    Fruit fly hit my cherry guavas bad,they get the peaches a little bit and they love my capsicums(even in winter). I grow mainly cherry tomatoes and they seem to leave them alone.
    The guy below me has been throwing anything fly struck into the empty block beside him for the last 20 years. So I think he built up quite a colony.
    I also hang empty pet bottles full of yeast, apple juice and molasses, painted yellow with holes drilled in them as bait traps and hang them in non fruiting trees.
     
  9. wormwood scrubs

    wormwood scrubs Junior Member

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    has anyone tried wild garlic? allium ursinum?
     
  10. FREE Permaculture

    FREE Permaculture Junior Member

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    pepino's do really great, makes a great living mulch with fruit everywhere!
    very easy to layer and you could keep it spreading out for acres if you like.
     
  11. Finchj

    Finchj Junior Member

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    Garlic in USDA zone 7b (average min temp -17.78 C) can grow alright as an understory, but only during the fall-early spring months before your trees leaf out. We grew three garlic plants each under a willow oak (dense shade) and river birch (moderate shade) along with our main plantings in full sun. As soon as shade sets in the garlic retreats to bulb form, but will return in the fall. Although I have to add that the overall temperature underneath even the oak can pass 30 C, so it is probably a combination of shade and high heat!

    My favorite understory plant this year were volunteer tomatoes that grew under the same oak tree. But then again, we just started this past year so our experience is very limited.
     
  12. Grasshopper

    Grasshopper Senior Member

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    I've heard the fruit fly love them.
    Can anyone in a fruit fly area confirm?
     
  13. FREE Permaculture

    FREE Permaculture Junior Member

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    no idea about fruit fly, I guess they would love pepino and other fruits since their called fruit fly.
    ants like them too, they start a little hole and eat 'em out, but the're considerate, unlike birds that like to take a peck from every fruit, ants stick to it until it's gone, then move onto the next.
     
  14. FREE Permaculture

    FREE Permaculture Junior Member

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    went out and took a pic of my pepino under the lemon/orange tree, the spread here is about 3m x 3m, the height is around 2 ft, they have a lower and slower spread with more sunlight..

    [​IMG]

    some fruit ready to pick, and the vines tangling through, you just need to throw a shovel of compost over the vines and they set root and continue on from that point.

    [​IMG]
     
  15. annette

    annette Junior Member

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    Looks great free!
     

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