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Kitchen Garden List For Emily

Okiedawn OK Zone 7
16 years ago

I almost forgot to include a listing of edible plants that grow well in clay soil.

All edibles, both fruits and vegetables, grow best in well-drained soil. However, there are some that tolerate clay soil fairly well and if it is well-drained clay soil, they do really well.

Blackberries and dewberries tolerate clay soil very, very well. Named varieties of blackberries that do well here are: Arapaho, Cheyenne, Cherokee, Choctaw, Shawnee, Navaho and Womack. Dewberries (trailing blackberries) are native here in Love County. Commerciallly available trailing blackberries include Bosenberries, Hull, Young, and Chester.

I grow peaches and plums in well-drained sandy-clayey soil.

Varities that do well in our soil and climate include these:

Peaches: Redskin, Ranger, Redhaven, Loring and Sentinel.

Plums: Methley, Bruce, Ozark Premier, Santa Rosa and Stanley.

Pears: Grow only fireblight resistant types or they won't stand a chance. These include: Maxine ad Moonglow.

Cherries: I haven't tried to grow these here, but my neighbor grows Montmorency.

Apricots/Nectarines: I haven't tried to grow Apricots or Nectarines because they tend to bloom early and freeze out 4 years out of 5. This year my neighbor had a bumper crops of Apricots, but he doesn't know what variety he planted long, long ago.

Apples: Although we grew apples in Texas, I haven't dared to try them here, nor do I know of anyone around me who grows them. With all the cedar trees in Oklahoma, I would think that cedar apple rust would quickly afflict any apple tree anyone tried to plant.

Grapes: Grapes actually do quite well on clay soil. There are many varieties available. A lot of people in southern Oklahoma seem to have success with 'Champanel', 'Reliance' and 'Venus'.

Blueberries: I would only try these on well-drained soil with a pH of 5.0 or lower. You can grow them in very large containers. Rabbiteye varieties that do well in Oklahoma are Tifblue, Climax and Premier. HIghbush varieties are Blueray, Bluecrop and Spartan.

Persimmons: In addition to the native ones we have hear, you can grow the larger fruited Oriental ones like Huchiya, Tanenashi or Fuyugaki.

Figs aren't bothered by clay soil. They need mulching in the winter to help prevent dieback. If they do die back to the ground after an especially severe freeze, they will regrow quickly. The best varieties for our climate are Brown Turkey, Celeste, Alma and Texas Everbearing.

Pecans grow well here. In addition to the native ones, you can grow many of the hybrids, including Desirable, Caddo, Kanza, Kiowa and Wichita.

Vegetables will grow well in clay ESPECIALLY if you amend the clay with organic material. If you decide to grow vegetables at some future point in time, we can list specific varieties when you are ready to buy the seed.

I grow these vegetables in my WORST unamended or barely amended clay soil: corn, pumpkins, ornamental gourds, winter squash, summer squash, okra, black-eyed peas, swiss chard, eggplant and green beans.

I plant these in better, well-amended to very-well amended clay soil in raised beds that are raised 4" to 6" above the surrounding soil: Irish potatoes, bell peppers, onions, carrots, radishes, lettuce, garlic, all cole crops, hot peppers, tomatoes and all kinds of melons.

Sweet potatoes, as you probably know from living in East Texas, prefer sandy soil. So do peanuts.

HERBS: Some can grow in clay soil and some can't. Most herbs do best in the same types of well-amended raised beds that I use for tomatoes. However, catnip and chamomile grow in my absolute worst clay soil, including in the garden pathways that have extremely compacted clay soil. Other herbs that tolerate unimproved clay include cilantro, perilla, dill, catmint, mints (which can be invasive in wet clay), chives, and Mexican mint marigold.

In improved raised beds, you can grow the above listed herbs plus the following: any and all basils, lemon balm, lemon verbena, parsley, thyme, rosemary, sage, borage, nasturtiums, oregano, sweet marjoram, lemon grass, scented geraniums, summer savory, fennel, and garlic.

I only grow lavender in clay pots. It doesn't do well in my clay soil, even in well-amended clay.

I think this is the end of the lists as far as I am concerned. I hope other Oklahoma gardeners will add their favorites because I am sure I forgot many, many plants.


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