Soon to be New Land Owner

Asked July 2, 2014, 7:50 PM EDT

I am purchasing 3 acres of undeveloped land behind my house in the middle (literally) of a neighborhood. It contains a class 4 wetland area (able to build with permits). My plan for the property is to use goats to help curb grass and blackberry bushes to a more manageable state. Do you have suggestions for plants that like clay soil, are native, and are deer friendly that also produce fruits/veg that I can harvest? Thank You. Patty

Marion County Oregon

3 Responses

Okay, you have asked for native plants that are eadible, their are many. Just because somthing is eadible dosen't mean it taste good. There are wild radishes, roots like carrots, cottentails to make flower of a sort.
Your wet land could host endangered species of many kinds.
All this would be wildlife friendly.
Can you narrow down your question?

I'll add in here to Randy's answer. I think the goats may provide alot of help with the blackberry, as long as the canes are not too thick -- If the overgrowth has exceeded the goats' ability to access the plants, you may need to do mechanical thinning and then allow the goats to play a maintenance role. They might or might not help with the grass - Is the grass native or one of the non-natives?
As for the native plants you'd like to reintroduce, you might consider willows (food & cover for birds, mammals, and even bees) as an understory that would both provide food for deer while still being resilient. You could consider planting a NW native elderberry (Sambucus genus) or flowering currant (Ribes sanguineum), but keep in mind that most native shrubs will grow and fill a space rapidly if they "enjoy" the site you choose for them.

Thank You both for your responses! I have a friend who will come in and identify any native or endangered plants for me as well as the large variety of trees the site holds. My number 1 priority will be to fence (wildlife friendly) since the city told me someone poached a doe recently on the property. Once I know the status of the grass being native or not, I will likely have more questions for you and pictures! I hope to plant some blueberries, raspberries and there a a few random apple trees already. The soil is only wet in the winter with a large amount of undergrowth and saplings that is difficult to get through over half the property, with the rest being very tall grass and blackberries. I imagine chicken wire would be the best deterrent around plants I do not want immediately eaten by the deer? Thanks!