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Shallow root veggies? (cross post)

San Antonio, TX(Zone 8b)

Pardon my double-posting. I posted on Beginner Veg forum but will put it here too.

I have my line-up of cinder block holes planted (direct seeded carrots, chives, garlic, herbs, a small pointy cabbage, dwarf kale, and then some spinach that I planted too early so will have to re-do).

But my question is about in front of the cinder blocks. There is bare earth, that I dug down a couple inches and then mixed in "MG organic Garden Bed soil for vegetables and flowers." It's now banked up against the holes (about half way up). What can I plant?

What I'm *thinking* is shallow root stuff. I'd like a mix of flowers and leafy things -- a couple of kinds of lettuce, maybe alyssum (?), small marigolds, and then *possibly* punctuate with a few bigger things -- an occasional cauliflower? A Swiss Chard? Mustard greens?

I don't know. I'm not very creative or artistic, so if someone has a good visualization of what might look nice, I'm open to suggestions.

And I mostly need to know what has a shallow enough root system. My yard has rocks just a couple inches below the surface, so nothing will be able to go very deep.

I should add that about 1/3 of the line has dappled sunlight, the rest is in full sun.
Thanks for any ideas you may come up with!

Richland, WA(Zone 7b)

Hi Lise- Glad to hear that you are happily using your cinder blocks- Overall I like your list for shallow rooted plants except cauliflower, etc. They would grow too tall and shade your cinder blocks, I think. Moss Roses, Ice plant Purslane, etc would be good- They grow anywhere!

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

How about lettuce or a lettuce blend?

Richland, WA(Zone 7b)

Any lettuce should work fine- show us photos!

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

Jo-are you really in USDA zone 3? dang that must get cold.

San Antonio, TX(Zone 8b)

Thanks for the endorsement on my plan and for the suggestions.

I'm still loving my "holes" in the backyard, Jo. Nothing to take photos of yet but I'm tickled to see a few tiny seedlings peeking up today out of the holes/ Tomorrow I'll get busy planting some lettuces and things in front.

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

LisaP-some lettuce will not germinate in the heat. Some will do just fine but I don't know the varieties that will/wont.

Richland, WA(Zone 7b)

According to DG, I am in zone 5b-but the Sunset zone map says I am in 3b- I read a post awhile back that said the Sunset map is more accurate-? I sure don't know- It does get pretty cold here in winter.

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

That Sunset thing was mine. I think it is more accurate but it's not the same as the USDA zones. There are a ton more Sunset Zones. Im just glad to hear your not in USDA zone 3, it's cold enough in zone 5.

Durhamville, NY(Zone 5b)

Sunset uses a different numbering system than the USDA does. For example I'm in USDA zone 5b more or less. I'm Sunset zone 40.

San Antonio, TX(Zone 8b)

Thanks for the warning, 1lisac. Maybe I'll put them mostly at the shadier end of the row. I do have a flat box of lettuce started that is sitting under a live oak tree. I have a little germination as of today, we'll see if it's the start of more, or if that's it.

Meanwhile, pak choi (bok choy) seed is coming up like gangbusters! Seeds have peeked up out of both the block holes and a seed tray. Thus encouraged, I planted some more at 2-foot intervals along the row this morning. I've never grown pak choi before, but I would love it if it does well.

Richland, WA(Zone 7b)

Pak choi is fun- I grow the "baby" variety- just be on the lookout for aphids very soon after they sprout. Regular spraying with insecticidial soap or a home remedy will work.

San Antonio, TX(Zone 8b)

Thanks for the tip, Jo! (Ugh, aphids -- what don't they like?)

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