[NAFEX] Fwd: Midwestern edible perennials?

Pat Meadows pat at containerseeds.com
Fri Nov 12 13:05:20 EST 2004


On Fri, 12 Nov 2004 11:00:39 -0600, you wrote:

>
>1.What varieties of any of the following do you find most disease
>resistant and successful? Apples, Pears, Peaches(!), cherries (sweet
>and
>sour), pawpaw, apricots, nut trees(!), root vegetables, strawberries,
>raspberries, jostaberries, blueberries, asparagus, any other exciting
>edible we missed

About fruit:

First: the USDA Zone Map tells you (very approximately) one
thing and one thing only:  average minimum winter
temperature for a given area. 

The USDA Zone Map lists DesMoines as being in Zone 5.  (See:
http://www.usna.usda.gov/Hardzone/hzm-nm1.html .)

I did quite a bit of research on plants that should survive
in Zone 4/5.  So the plants I identified as 'Zone 4/5 safe'
should be OK in Des Moines as far as average minimum
temperature goes.

But if you want the plant to bear fruit, you have to
consider:

* not only the minimum temperatures it can withstand, 

* but also if it blooms in early spring (leaving the flowers
subject to being killed by frost, and that equals no fruit
that year),

* and how long a frost-free season is required for fruit to
ripen.

I identified the following as 'possible edible landscaping
plants for Zone 4/5' - these are what you could call 'minor
fruits' I suppose: *not* included are apples, pears,
peaches, plums, cherries and apricots (for various reasons
including late frosts, need for spraying, etc.).

rhubarb (leaves are poisonous)
blueberries
gooseberries 
blackberries (iffy in Zone 4, should be OK in Zone 5)
raspberries
hardy kiwis 
jostaberries 
Lonicera (honeyberry)
elderberries 
goumi 
beach plums 
alpine strawberries
lingonberries 
red currants
white currants
black currants
hazlenuts 
the smaller quince - the bush one, not the tree
sea buckhorn (Hippophae rhamnoides)

There are other fruits that should survive in Zone 4/5 -
this is a partial list, not a complete list.  (It's actually
the list of fruits we either have planted already, or hope
to plant.)

I can't help with your other questions, but hopefully others
will.

Pat
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