I’m also in zone 7b and struggling with slugs, excess moisture (rain, rain, rain!), and mild temperatures.
This will be my second full growing season with real gardens and I’ve been able to complete a few experiments, and grow some things successfully despite the constraints.
Looks like I’m finally going to commit to staying here, so I’m looking to expand our production with new experiments over the coming years. We do get a good amount of forageable items around here (So many mushrooms), and there is salmon and halibut and cod to be caught right across the road from my property, and so many berries to collect throughout summer and fall (crow, salmon, salal, blueberry, huckleberry, thimble, Wild strawberry, lingonberry). We do alright in that regard, and enjoy making fermented beverages and baking with this surplus through the rest of the year.
Things that grow well, despite slugs and rain:
- plum (green gage, Italian plum)
- apple (Frankenstein)
- lemon balm
Useful green things that grow wild, and fill in the wild areas:
- red alder
- salmon berry
- stink currant
- pearly everlasting
- curly dock
- red huckleberry
- rhododendron (many types)
- miner’s lettuce
- pacific crab apple
Other things that I haven’t found use for yet:
- 9,000 types of grass
- western hemlock
- red elderberry
Some things I’m experimenting with:
- carmine jewel cherries (growing and green for past 18 months, but still young)
- hazelnut shrubs (about 2 years old, still young and early to tell but most look happy)
- Saskatoon berry (still young, but some of them are growing very quickly)
- apples from seed
- Greenhouse growing annuals that don’t like being wet all the time (tomatoes, squash, cucumber, lettuce, spinach, carrots)
Some experiments I’m planning:
- growing loads of crabapple starts on which to graft more tasty varieties
- found a pair of old 25 ft tall green plum trees in overgrown field, attempted grafting onto my plum tree, and attempting to root some more of it
- French drains/micro swales on contour to guide water off low points
- capturing runoff into tiered rice garden
What works for you in your 7b? Any nuts or fruits working for you?