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Thread: Zone 5 Bog Construction, Suggestions? Have Q's

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    allegedhuman's Avatar
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    Zone 5 Bog Construction, Suggestions? Have Q's

    Even though I still have a decent covering of snow on the ground here in Michigan at zone 5 I am plotting and planning for a carnivorous bog garden I would like to install this spring. I would like to outline my plan and intended plants and see if anyone else (especially if you are a zone 5 Michigander) to critique or offer suggestions as to improvements and the feasibilities of the plan.

    While I am not sure of the final dimensions of the bog I was hoping to have it be at least 2ft wide by 3ft long (although the exact dimensions will depend on how much liner is still leftover from a pond installed last summer). I was think maybe 18 inches deep, I would like it deep enough to be a better water reserve for summers and less likely to up and croak when we get a dry spell. What depth seems to work well for you if you have a bog in a similar climate as me?

    I saw one recommendation of putting buckets or plastic storage containers upside down in the bottom to reduce the amount of peat/sand soil mix to fill the hole with and it was supposed to help retain water too. Anyone else try this before and does it actually help store water? Or just make a mess? I also planned on having the bottom layered with some straight sand for drainage as well too. I donít plan on putting any holes in the bottom or sides initially and instead would watch and see if it needs them later.
    Plants which I found are supposed to be native to Michigan and I would like to include in the bog are:

    Sarracenia purpurea
    Pinguicula vulgaris
    Drosera rotundifolia
    And/or
    Drosera intermedia
    Drosera angelica
    Depending on what I can get a hold of.

    I would love to have more types of sarracenia but wondered if any of the hybrids with purpurea had a higher tolerance for the cold which could overwinter outside in zone 5? I also thought that now would be a good time to decide which Drosera species would be better suited and perhaps easier to obtain. I hoped maybe I could try to find some Drosera seeds and have time to stratify them for them to start germinating in the spring so I would have a decent amount of plants and be able to have a well planted bog instead of a scantily planted expanse of open soil with a small number of sad little plant islands in between.

    All righty, I guess after this load of rambling and questions I should sum up the overall thread topics:
    Does my construction plan sound ok? Any additional tips you discovered when constructing your bog? I want this to be low cost, low maintenance.
    Finally about plant choice; are they appropriate or am I overlooking an ideal plant? I would love suggestions or comments, I have plenty of time before spring so I figured all the better for me to plan and maybe get it right and avoid later headaches.

    Thanks for sticking it through to the end of this ramble and looking forward to your comments and suggestions.
    ~Evin

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    Doing it wrong until I do it right. xvart's Avatar
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    Hi AllegedHuman - Good planning I'd say. You might find this thread interesting. I'll let some other people chime in for more detailed answers.

    xvart.
    "The tragedy of life is not that every man loses; but that he almost wins."

    "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?"

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    I still haven't been able to find a zone list. I even searched google like crazy one night. Does anyone have like a US picture with the zones mapped out on it. I'm not even sure what zone I'm in lol

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    Doing it wrong until I do it right. xvart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by creepa200 View Post
    I still haven't been able to find a zone list. I even searched google like crazy one night. Does anyone have like a US picture with the zones mapped out on it. I'm not even sure what zone I'm in lol
    Here you go: Hardiness Zones. There's a couple different ones on there but you should get a good idea of what your plant hardiness is.

    xvart.
    "The tragedy of life is not that every man loses; but that he almost wins."

    "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?"

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    Thanks a ton

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    I will try to help some. I live in TN zone 6/7. I have 5 bogs that I built. Here is a couple of pics of them:








    The 4 on the outside are 4' x 12' and 10" deep with a few areas that are 14" or so deep. The one in the middle is 3' x 12' x 10". You said that you're not sure about drain holes but I would recommend it, especially since you are going to build just one. Drainage will only help and it shouldn't be too hard to water one! I didn't use upside down buckets in mine but did use about 2" of sand in the bottom of each one. As for other Sarracenia that you could put in your bogs, S. Dixie Lace is supposed to be very cold hardy and I would think that most Purp hybrids would be ok. Not sure of how cold your temps get but we have seen temps as low as 6 degrees this year and all of my plants seem to be fine. In years past it has gotten down to 0 with no ill effects. When it gets down in the teens, I do cover the bogs with plastic though. Our average temps in the winter is about 40s for the highs and 20s as the lows. A friend of mine lives in Atlanta and it got down to 7 degrees this year and he didn't do anything to his and said they are fine. Something that you can do to protect your bogs a little more from the cold is to dig a square out and bury your bog in the ground half way or so. Just a few ideas that will hopefully help.
    I don't want EVERY Sarracenia, just everyone that I see!!
    Growlist/Wantlist Updated 2/23/12:http://terraforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=103039

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    allegedhuman's Avatar
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    xvart, that thread is fantastic. I think I will need to perhaps experiment with some of the plants listed in that thread which survived the winter even w/o heavy covering in Canada so they should be ok here too...I hope.

    Wow, those raised beds are fantastic looking. I would love to aim for plants like those in my bog as long as I thought they would have a chance over the winter. I intend to have the bog mostly, if not completely, recessed into the ground since with any luck that would help minimize the temp in the winter. While generally for winter the temps are around 20F if it is a normal winter lately there are often wide ranges of temps where it swings from the upper 40's to -11 w/o even factoring wind chill (Man, that was a sucky weather shift) all within a week. Especially with that in mind I think digging the bog into the ground as opposed to a raised bed would be best. I wondered about mulch though. So I imagine you mulch in preparation for winter as well as using a plastic tarp for quick drops in temp? So what mulch seems to work well? Pine Needles? Oak Leaves?

    I like the suggestion of Dixie Lace as being cold hardy-er. Also based on the link to the other thread I would love to use Judith Hindle or Danas Delight. Sounds like for some of the hybrids their zone hardiness is not always an absolute number. I will look (and lurk) some more for other possible sarracenias....

    Yeah, depending on which Hardiness Zone Map you look at I am either a 5 or 6, although I would rather go by the more conservative number and be pleasantly surprised when something kinda-iffy overwinters rather than say I am 6 and count on it returning only to be pissed when it doesn't.

    Thanks for the suggestions so far and any more advice/suggestions are quite welcome.

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    Always a newbie glider14's Avatar
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    good lord Bucky!!! do you protect them in the winter?
    Everything is explainable. The seemingly unexplainable is but a result of our insufficient knowledge.- Hans Brewer

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