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What to plant in damp area?

Shannon Asked

I have an area of my yard that stays damp most of the time due to an underground spring and the slope of the land. What could I plant in this area that would withstand this? Ideally, I would like something that lived year round or that would maintain a coverage.

The Gardener’s Answer

Hi, Shannon: There are definitely plants that can tolerate more moisture than others but the available sunlight will also need to be determined before choosing any plant material. Full sun is considered 6 or more hours of direct sunlight each day. Shade is anything under 3 hours and any amount in between is considered part sun.

When soil is constantly wet it is very compact and prevents oxygen movement. It will be a good idea to add compost to the first 12 inches of soil to help improve air circulation and drainage. Depending on the space you are dealing with, you may want to incorporate larger shrubs or even a tree into the design. You will have several options for year round interest with both sun and shade loving options. This is also a good time to have your soil tested.

This can be done for a small fee at your County Cooperative Extension Service. The results will give recommendations in terms of adding nutrients. For a list of hardy trees, shrubs and perennials that will tolerate wet growing conditions visit:

I hope this is helpful.

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