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22

It sounds like the best thing for you is a clover lawn, although of course it will only "look like grass" from a distance. Recently, after noticing that many homes in my neighborhood have large patches of clover in their lawn, and knowing how difficult it has been to battle in my own lawn, I did a search on it. Instead of finding many resources on how to ...


18

Many houseplants can withstand low light intensity. You can google "houseplant". Some of them can clean the air too, according to a research done by NASA. I have a copy of that research in google doc here. Here is a shortlist of houseplants: Hedera helix English ivy Chlorophytum comosum spider plant Epipiremnum aureum golden pothos Spathiphyllum ...


14

Don't really have plant based solution, but if you just want a potential organic solution to keep mosquitoes in your general area in check, then you could build a couple of bat houses. Mosquitoes are some of bats favorite food and if you can successfully attract bats to live in the houses you provide, they'll cause the mosquito population in your area to ...


14

Lots of herbs are perennial, including these basic favourites: Chives Mint Oregano Rosemary Sage Tarragon Thyme Parsley will be around for a year and a bit but will start to bolt in its second spring/summer. There's a very full list of perennial herbs here or else here.


13

Look into native plants that are attractive to wildlife such as birds, butterflies, bees, etc. You can find more information at the Minnesota Native Plant Society website. In Garden Gatherings (PDF) from the University of Minnesota Extension, there is some information on page 6 that relates to your location: Attracting Birds to Your Yard by Jane ...


11

I planted "shorty mix" from DirtWorks (no affiliation, just a happy customer): 40% Discovery Hard Fescue 30% Blazer IV Perennial Ryegrass 30% Moonshadow Kentucky Bluegrass It does not grow very tall or very quickly and does not need frequent mowing. I also knew some people who planted a low-growing clover on their lawn that they almost never ...


10

If you want to grow kitchen herbs look for varieties that are hearty in warm climates. Basil is a good one, I'm not sure of others. Make sure that plants that want to be watered are watered well and others that do not like as much water are kept to appropriate moisture levels. Rosemary, sage and thyme grow really well in heat if you have good soil and keep ...


9

I know it sounds crazy, but part of my backyard is filled with wild strawberries. They don't grow to be very tall. I only have to mow it when the other weeds get tall. It's kind of fun to walk on in the spring because of the red berries sprinkled in the salad! I'm not sure where you would get enough seed for a lawn.


9

This is not really an answer to your question, but may be a step towards an answer. If you want a plant guild adapted to your area that contains Prunus species, you may want to look at your local forest to understand how it is put together and where Prunus species fit into it. In Vegetation of Wisconsin, John T. Curtis measured the prevailance of plant ...


9

Pollinators are no different than people, they need the same things: food, water, shelter. Food: Some butterflies like a bit of mud to puddle up minerals Shelter: many bees are under-served in the shelter area. Nesting tubes can be as simple as groups of bamboo 4-8" long, smooth with a 5/16" diameter hole. Group them together in a bundle off the ground ...


8

Mike Perry's answer covers much of the food and water aspect. There's also the perspective of shelter. Depending on what kind of birds you want to attract, planting trees and landscaping in a way that provides small birds with protection from predators encourages them to stick around when they've discovered that your yard is a good source of food. A ...


8

I'm in Newcastle, Australia, and have a very happy Murraya growing in my front yard. It receives full sun in a Northernly aspect. It grows like mad in summer and requires trimming once a week. Top temperatures here are usually 30-35C, but 40C is possible. It is fertilized with cow manure. I rarely need to water it but the topsoil here is not sandy.


7

I will recommend two excellent (at least I think they are) low level ground covers, that I have personal experience with (have both of them in my garden), they: Love sun. In the heat of summer (MO, USA: 90°F to 115°F / 32°C to 46°C) they do best if given a good drink of water once a week. Neither of them need to be trimmed. From what ...


7

If you're willing to grow veggies, snap peas are great! They don't need much tending, they're one of the first things to pop out of the soil in the spring, long before the last frost. And they are one of the best things to snack on straight off the vine. They can be planted densely, will climb any trellis you give them without much direction. And they ...


7

My experiences with clay: My area (Fairfax, VA) is completely fine clay from the surface to deeper than you can dig and gets 44 inches of rain a year, but is probably a lot warmer than your climate in the summer. I would describe my area as lush, except for short cut yards in the heat of the summer, with high undergrowth in the forests and vines on ...


7

Unfortunately, mosquitoes are pretty persistent, and most plants just seem like a very temporary roadblock. The most important thing to do for mosquitoes is to deal with the standing water nearby. But if you live near a bog or swamp, this might be simply impossible. If not, just making sure your gutters (and your neighbors' gutters) are cleaned out twice ...


7

I think your best bet would be to use a mix of various edible "weeds". The great thing about using weeds is that they're typically easy to come by and hard to kill! If you aren't prejudiced against dandelions, they fit all of your criteria. Clover Barley, if you're interested in the juice. (Wheat and other grains may work too.) Stinging nettles, if you ...


6

I have tried Citronella plant, Lemon Thyme, Lemon Balm, and Catnip. About the only thing that actually worked was rubbing Catnip leaves on my exposed skin, and that didn't deter them for particularly long. They all smell nice, though, and the cats enjoy having fresh catnip. I'm investing in screening my porch in this year.


6

The soil in my area is light and sandy (easy to dig, but less able to retain water and nutrients - quite a challenge during dry spells!), so, unfortunately, I can't speak from experience. However, you may find the following articles helpful: Top Ten Plants for Clay Soil Plants for Clay Soil Top Ten Plants for Heavy Clay


6

Regarding low maintenance, one of the things to bear in mind is choice of compost: in my experience, a peat-based compost dries out much more quickly than a soil-based one (however much moisture-retaining additive the first contains); this involves more frequent watering which, if you have a number of indoor plants, can be fairly time-consuming. Sooner or ...


6

A quick trip through the Fedco trees catalog suggests the following small-ish shrubs. None of them meet all of your criteria, but I suspect you're going to have to prioritize your criteria or pick and choose to find a shrub that meets the best balance of desirable attributes. I've listed larger or suckering shrubs where they have good fruit, flowers, and/or ...


6

White dutch clover attracts pollinators,fixes nitrogen, is a perennial and will grow in shade. It is best to mow it every couple of weeks to keep it flowering for weeks. Asparagus could be planted in the understory because they thrive in poor soil. They do not need attention. Shagbark hickories could be planted in the canopy because they have huge deep ...


6

alchemilla mollis Ladys mantle 8" - 12" works well under trees or in some shade Gallium odoratum Sweet woodruff ~ 6-8" troublefree, hides bulb foliage nicely,slow grower Oenothera speciosa Evening primrose and it's cultivars, good for hotter and dryer as bstpierre mentions thyme is an excellent choice, inexpensive, widely available, tough


6

Here are some things I have had experience with in this situation. They all will grow with proper care. thyme leaf lettuce radishes spinach pepper indeterminate tomatoes baby style carrots tophat blueberries poly variegated cat grass sage oregano strawberries catmint potatoes sweet potatoes


6

Yews should do the job as they can be trimmed easily and sprout new growth on old wood. They are slow growing unless you pamper them with water and fertilizer the first few years. Even easier, and thinner, is a wood/aluminium/steel fence with vines growing on it. You can get privacy, flower and fruit with less than three feet of width. Some vines that ...


6

Violets (Viola) instantly come to mind, they meet your definition of "hearty" and prefer some shade, though they also prefer constant moisture... English daisy (Bellis perennis) and Chamomile (Matricaria recutita) are another couple of possibilities, but they prefer a location that is more toward full-sun, therefore they may struggle somewhat in "mostly ...


6

You could try the Scurvy Grass Sorrell (Oxalis enneaphylla) - not related to the common scurvy grass in the northern hemisphere. It tastes really nice, and is very hardy (growing successfully all across the Falkland Islands). It looks nice as ground cover too.


6

If you want all of the plants to be the same type, you would probably want a row of shrubs that grow between 3 and 6 feet tall and don't spread much. Blueberries would do well in your location, if you have an acid soil high in humus. Thornless blackberries would produce lots of fruit, but take a lot of care in pruning and supporting. Grapes need more ...


6

If you simply want to maximize the number of pounds of vegetables you harvest, plant any of zucchini (courgettes), celery, swiss chard, leeks, rutabagas. Those will yield the most pounds per square foot of planting area. If you want to maximize the number of calories per square foot, plant any of jerusalem artichoke, lima beans (pole, not bush), beets (eat ...



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