Sunny, flat...but wet land - need help on planting here

Part of my property is a nice, flat, sunny spot, but it is wet! This spring, some spots had standing water. The rest squished and filled with muddy water in the footprints. Even now, after 5 dry days, the soil gives and the grass is a completely different type than the rest of the property (goes brown in August). When I bought the property in late summer, I did not notice that it was wet, so the worst may be in spring. But the son of the previous owners confirm, oh yes, it is a pain to mow and wet.

The area is maybe a 1/2 acre and goes from the magnolia on the right to the river birches on the left. Could some of my berry bushes survive straight planting in this area? Should even the wet-tolerant ones be put in raised beds or berms? These are the berries I am considering for this spot (still in pots from the move), but could other fruit/hazelnut be added to this area with a mounded planting? How high?

  • Blueberries
  • Jostaberries
  • currants
  • seaberries
  • goumi
  • goji
  • elderberry - could these go in the standing water spots? Still on hills?
  • gooseberry
  • aronia
  • honeyberry
  • (please suggest any others that might do well here)

After living on a very small property, it is hard to resist a flat, sunny space! Thank you for your help!

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Pawpaw trees will probably thrive there.


This is an image that is from Fedco that adds to your list:

I would also add that if you can find an appropriate rootstock, then you may be able to put trees that are not otherwise tolerant to wet conditions in that location. For instance, with apples you could use Swamp Crabapple as a rootstock.

Good luck!


I have a similar situation in zone 5a. I brought lots of dirt in and planted peaches, plums, and cherries on mounds (12-18" high, 6-8’ daimeter). Works well. Also, pears and apples might be fine even without being mounded or just mounded slightly, as well as plums on Marianna 2624 rootstock.


Highbush Blueberries natural habitat is swamps and bogs. If you chose to include apple trees P.18 rootstock is noted for being tolerant of wet feet (it’s a standard) and I believe M.111 tolerates wet ground as well.


I think honeyberries do well in wet conditions.


get someone to make you some 2-3ft mounds to plant in. add some compost and perlite in the holes when you transplant. only way i could get anything to grow here. my honeyberry, currants, elder and aronia survive in ground but i dont have standing water like you do. wet tolerant root stock will help but nothing will survive that long in ground that stays wet that long. gotta get them into higher ground.


Any thoughts on Raspberry and Blackberry? I have a dry area where the main garden is going and could add them there if they do poorly in wet.

mine are on a rise about 2ft. higher than the north part of my property. if they are too wet they can suffer the same issues. id put them in the drier spot. they too could do well in the wetter spot if on mounds. they have shallow roots.

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