Suggestions for a newly cleared area

tom_nwnj(z6 NJ)March 18, 2012

Hi folks,

we have a larger yard, plenty of grass to mow. This shady area, behind my tractor shed has always had my attention, but was always wild. There's a spring-fed creek that runs through it, and last year ran all summer long. This is a corner on our property. I started to clear it 20 years ago, got sidetracked. Now I want to get back to it.

I cleared this small area this morning. You can kind of see the creek in the first two pics. Third pic shows the skunk cabbage.

My question is, should I kill off the skunk cabbage (Roundup??) and replace with what? My DW is saying plant some ferns.


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Well Tom, I know you would not hire me because I am very partial to the structure and importance of skunk cabbage in the natural landscape. So, I plead its case. Leave it untouched to herald the arrival of spring each year.

I had a similar wetlands corner in my nursery which became my secret botanical playground as I did not allow anyone in there due to a preponderance of poison sumac.

When all leafs out so you can identify what to keep, clear out unwanted brambles. You might want to consider adding native plants in groups. This is the perfect environment for marsh marigolds (Calthus palustris). I am surprised they are not growing there presently. Yes to ferns. All varieties of the large Primrose family love this type of environment. I specialized and grew a great many different types started from seed. High bush blueberries thrive with a bit of sun. Many more native plants will grow there.
Read and learn, please. Could be that you decide to keep brush cleared, plant some ferns and let the natural appearance remain pretty much untouched. That works, also.

Hopefully I am leading you to an appreciation of the potential use of your natural ecosystem. It is special.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2012 at 7:51PM
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Skunk cabbage is so cool in it's natural setting! Are you really sure you want to get rid of it?
So that you can replace it with something non-native? Sigh.

If the answer is affirmative, the herbicide glyphosphate should work on the cut off stump. Just be aware
that any runoff and the overspray are toxic to amphibians who inhabit the wetland.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2012 at 8:05PM
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Rhodies and azaleas would be great. also daffodils are fun in the spring and hostas in the spring to fall. I have a creak and wild area beyond that I'm chipping away at. One of my favorite plants is skunk weed--I hope you reconsider.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2012 at 11:21PM
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Yes,I agree to add some tolerated shade plants and bulbs again.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2012 at 5:12AM
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tom_nwnj(z6 NJ)

OK, OK, I'm not going to remove any of the skunk cabbage. I am going to continue to clear out the brush (most of it dead), show more pics. I'll be back in a few weeks.

Thanks all!


    Bookmark   March 19, 2012 at 5:39PM
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