I will be interested in seeing the results come in the fall. My location has the frosts about a week later in spring and a week sooner in the fall. I'd say your trial may be applicable to gardening here. I look forward to seeing the results.
Now would be the time to go to their facebook page and see the events they will attend over the next month. Make your list now. I got their seeds directly from Rachelle on the Seedy Saturday last year. All of the corn save one seed germinated and that was accounting for mice and pocket gophers so I thought I did pretty well. The variety was new to me so I don't know if it had particular cold vigor but the corn on my plot was the first to mature out a community garden plot of hundreds. So I'd go so far to say it is Sk tested.
I picked up Mycorrhizal Planet and am about halfway through it. There are some interesting ideas involving non fruiting bodies of mushrooms and list incorporating different species together for better resilence. I haven't tested any of this so I am not sure how useful the information is. However, Phillips ideas' are unique and worth attempting as they adhere to natural principles.
Well, after living next to a raging drunk for over a decade I'd say you do have a few options.
The strip of yard is fairly long judging from the pictures. Much longer than my 50 x 100 postage stamp property.
Invasives may be the answer. Start experimenting what might grow near the fence line.
I am not sure how a cottoneaster would fare with profuse chemical use. But I bet a hedge lilac might have a fighting chance. The purple flowers are fragrant and even though I am allergic to it may help bring beneficial insects towards the property. Lilacs don't trim up quite as nicely as cottoneasters but you could then put ornamentals underneath on your side to fill up the gap.
With my nose I'd play a different game. I'd intersperse mugo pines between columnar poplars. Plus, along the property line he can now have the opportunity to rake up your leaves in the fall and your poplar fuzz in the spring.
If you felt more adventurous, weeping willow but 10 or so feet on your side. That way he could have the privilege of raking up small branches all summer long! Best of all let the natural suckering ability of the willow work for you.
The defcon option but would be manchurian elm. I've had to live next door to three giants which make gardening very labour intensive. The seeds germinate on cement, plastic or whatever else if there is even a slight film of water. These elms are the bane of manicured landscapes. If you are willing to put up with seedlings it may be a last ditch option.
Edit, geeze Terry you beat me to it...grumble...lol
The best thing to do is to contact the people at Nuttrees.com and ask them what is in stock
The link below could help answer your questions Josey. I think Alberta stands a better chance (at least southern Alberta) of field testing the Yellowhorn than Saskatchewan. If trials were successful this species would be a great foundation to design a guild around.
Thank you Denis. I just got a new plot for next year to work over and might be able to plant nut tree in the corner. Have you tried any yellowhorn 3b popcorn trees? The nuts are supposedly edible. Given they liked a drier soil they would be worth a try if you were around Moose Jaw. Have you talked with Rhora's about the zone 2 almond bush he has? If the squirrels were not so prolific in my neighbourhood I'd consider trying one. Would it be possible to contact you next spring to see how you made out at the nephew's? I'd like to get as much genetic diversity as possible (much like your attempt with fir trees) on the black walnuts. I agree the b.w. in Rotary park are not good examples at all. They haven't grown a bit in the last 10 years. I attributed it to the short season but it may have been something else.
I hope to eventually find land to start trials of pretty much everything you've started plus the manchurian walnut for areas with earlier frosts.
A couple of years ago the University of Sask. had some clones of the weeping Aspens from Hafford Saskatchewan. which were neat. I took two for some people but should have taken more. Fast growing. They would be a great conversation piece.
I do not think southern Sk. has enough moisture to support Fir trees. If you can prove me wrong Denis more power to you. Personally I think someone needs to improve Scots pine to the point where the seeds can be useful and same goes for Mugo pine. They are nice trees with very little usefulness. If you can find the space I'd include a couple of ginko as well. One these days someone is going to find one that flowers in zone 3 I just know it.
Denis, get and grow as many of those as you can. A couple of years ago I got in touch with one of the participants to Ernie's experiment. Mr. Simrose was located out of Parkbeg and very elderly. I am unsure if he is still alive at this point. I was going to collect but lost my space so I would have to grow these trees in some else' yard space. My concern was that these trees should be healthy and viable enough to self propagate. Being further east, I am unsure if the trees will set fruit in 2b. I really do think they need 3a to fruit. Still the larger collection of gene material we can develop the better chance of developing a fruiting tree in zone 2.
I think finding a story about real people planting 1600 hectares of trees by hand is a fitting tribute to the man who planted trees. I'd like to know more about these people. The knowledge these people have gained would be invaluable to permaculturists across the world.
If you check the internet you'll find reference to the cordata or european line of basswoods as being the most edible. I've never tried it so I can't say. What I can tell you is that when I grew up basswoods become extremely fragrant in the summer before the seed balls form. A mature basswood will attract thousands of bees and the tree will literally hum. The nice thing about basswoods is that they grow in low oxygen soils, pure clay poses no problem for basswood. But on the flip side this is a tree that either should be planted in the forest or near a building to access shade because a basswood cannot dry out, sort of like an alder.
Six or more trees may be a stretch for hand processing but if you are game I found this hands on video that was useful. link You might have to mechanize more but at least this is a place to start from.
There are enough species on that list where you might want an expert to set up an overall plant map. Some of the zone 5 stuff will be experimental. As for innoculant, it is more important for pines than other trees but there is no hard and fast rule. Call the people at Jeffries Nurseries for specific planting tips. They would at least get the inter tree spacing right. They are close enough to your given location that their planting considerations will be ballpark. I think your best bet is with a landscaper and find out how they would do it. They can help you with spacing, watering and innoculant guidelines depending on what you grow, ergo for a fee of course!
I would still research on the Aspen-Parkland biome and go from there. There may be a tree or two on the list that strikes your fancy where you will just have to trial it yourself. Whatever happens make note of your successes and failures, take lots of pictures and have fun! Good luck.
Given that Sk covers a larger area than Japan, what works in east central may not jive in the dry SW. The best advice I have is attending the Gardenscape event in Saskatoon later in March. The guy you want to talk to is Rick Durand. He has considerable experience growing deciduous trees on prairie soils. He is the contact guy at Western Nursery Growers Group which field tests all the trees for the mid west. When I get more space he is the guy I will talk too.
This sounds like a very low oxygenated soil situation. Being that you are near the great lakes I'm going to say your rainfall is considerably more than mine. I'm on hard grey expansive clay except my precipitation puts me in the sub arid category where you have probably double the precipitation. As someone living on a flat prairie, I sympathize. A dugout at the lowest part better be part of the plan with a generous overflow. The point here is this is what I would consider maximum difficulty as soil and elevation work against you. If trees are not going to cut it I'd bet you that land would make a killer marsh! The neat thing about marshes is that with the right flowers you can turn your property into a bird watcher's paradise.
If it were my property I'd grow a mix of tillage radish and clover to break up the soil and add green manure to it. Tillage radish is great for breaking up clay and their root draws earthworms to the area just like daikon radish. The goal here is to work with clay, treating the soil like a multi year prep as you would a garden, adding organic matter until you achieve clay-loam.
From there your observation of where the melt water forms and pools will be key, where the depth is minimal and where it is deeper. Deep areas are for water loving species like willow/poplar (many varieties available) and alder. Pay attention to where the alders weaken as this is the ash-basswood zone. If you could get soil respiration developing I'd move to sugar maple which is a very beautiful and fun tree. Presumably I'm thinking you would like to get here directly but sugar maples run out of breath in hard clay. That leaves boxelder.
Cutting corners you could plant two types of maples. If the sugar maples die there most likely isn't enough soil respiration. Then you have to turn to Ohio buckeye and Boxelder maple which is what I am forced to work with. This isn't going to be easy and the point to working with clay is that changing it is a multi-year commitment. My mother proved it can be done and what you end up with is something that holds minerals and water very well so once it is is in the happy zone it takes minimal inputs but getting there will be a challenge.
I'm not sure if fungal pathogens will propagate in a hugel bed. I'm sure someone can help you out.
My plums are only a few years old but there is a copper based fungicide that might help you out. However the damage sounds fairly extensive. You might want to coppice or outright swap out for something else. Even if you do not cut the tree the old wood will force fruit into the periphery where the wood is newer which is not natural for plums. This is why I aggressively trim my plums. Then again most of stuff acclimatized here is used to deer and moose feedings so I am not doing anything different than what a moose would do.
For the record my plums put on 18-24" of new growth last year depending on the tree because of the hard prune. They look great.
You would be surprised how much a new plant can grow in three years time. In my experience plums and apricots take drier conditions than other fruits. Given the wet climate it may time to consider something more disease resistant.
I cannot say how tamarack or conifers will breakdown in hugel bed Cory. The only trees I have to work with are plains cottonwoods, tamarack, and boxelder. More location specific I may get away with bur oak or linden but they do not grow particularly fast. Outside of that dogwoods, and caragana are what will form the bush layer. My options are limited.
My guess is depending on how high your water table is and how heavy your soil is you might end up with a Stone Pine of some sort rather than a Korean Pine. He does rate the Korean Pine at zone 2 but requires sandy soil. Rhora's also has fruiting cedars that I'm sure extend into zone 1. He has been breeding pine trees longer than anyone else I know of. He also sells specific mycorrihazal fungi which may be of use to you.
We now have developed inoculants (Mycorrihazal fungi) for each individual species of nut pine which allows the trees to obtain maximum growth each year and will produce pine nuts at a much earlier age.
I remember watching this video a few years ago Paul. I found it inspiring. However none of the people who watched it with me liked it enough to watch it to the end. This video both inspires and frustrates me because on a prairie there are no trees and thus creating a hugelculture will be difficult. I'm therefore going to have to plant the trees I intend to harvest which is going to be a long term venture.
Giving the windy conditions I've found one type burr oak that will live here. The trees are odd in that they must have constant shade as in north side locations but put down enormous taproots. I hope to find and test shagbark hickory and bitternut hickory here as well one day. My goal is to see if I can start a burr oak-bitternut hickory planting one day. I think too many people give the bitternut a bad rap but I have a suspicion that the oil from the crushed seeds would make a better than average spray insecticide for a fruiting orchard. You have something that is non toxic but very unpalatable to birds and insects. Both species are long term trees of significant height which will catch lots of snowfall for spring run off.
One of the most interesting observations I had was entering a badly kept farmyard where the fellow had planted ash and commuted into town for a day job. He had a side business which left the yard to nature. The weeds were 90% grasses and grew 3-4ft in height and the place was very noisy with singing insects. I came back a few years later and just like the guy in the video, the trees had grown a good 8-10ft. All that long grass held in moisture allowing there area to become quite fertile...all from neglect. His slough was an oasis of life and unlike every other farm I've been too before or after. Considering the scorched earth till policy of the area, his weedy 5 acres of bush patch really stood out and looked odd. So while the video is a work of fiction I do think it is possible to create a forest on the prairie and create the conditions for long grasses to work with you rather than against you.
Brenda Groth wrote:I am a firm believer that if you have land and you can deal with doing it you should plant as much food as possible not only for yourself, your family and friends but to give or sell and also for all of the wildlife..someday we might need to live off of all that wildlife so they better be well fed.
That is a great way to look at things. I feel the same way. However what you are trying to do is push the zones. What I would do is look for the most northern example of the plant you want. Provenance is everything. A good example is black walnut. I've run across two examples that have made it through 20 years of -40C weather. The trees put everything they have into vigor and have the tiniest nuts you've ever seen but you know what? The seeds are viable. You can plant them in the ground and get a sapling from them. Your hunt will be that of a treasure hunter. You need to find the most northern sourcing of the plants you want. What you may not get is the preferred "cultivar" selection.
And who knows, you might learn something odd about your specific region that allows you to skirt zones. Here, it is dogwood country. You plant it and it will grow, usually double the size of what the label says. The conditions are so slanted in favour of dogwoods one grower is planting species 3-4 zones out and getting success. Sure there is dieback but the plants grow so quickly during the warm season they more than make up for frost damage. One of my longer term projects is to get the space to try the edible European varieties of dogwood.
So if I could get either medicinal or fruiting value from dogwoods I'd be off the to races.
I think if you are persistent, you are only a zone and a half out from pawpaws that you could get away with something in a sheltered location. There might be other factors involved like moisture and fungal requirements that your mid west soils aren't giving them. I learned that the hard way with maples. Outside Norway and Boxelder, the water table is too low to support them. You might have a similar condition happening.
Will do. Was going to check for radon anyways. The land is quite level. As in salt flats-flat. Supposedly the elevation runs high to the SW and lowers gradually to the E-NE. I haven't seen a lot of pits near the area I am looking at but I wasn't looking for them. I'll have to recon before I can answer that one.
The haskap bush was initially a plant that grew near river banks and marshlands. The flowers are very frost resistant. It looks and tastes sort of like a blue berry but with a hint of raspberry in it. I'd try it.
If the water moves violently across the landscape I would forgo the edible angle and just go straight to poplar, aspen, alder, green or black ash and willow to control erosion. Cat tails are a mixed blessing but could prove useful as a filtering plant.
Hello all, I'm considering purchasing some land and the area is littered with oil activity. I'm looking at one of the warmer places in Saskatchewan just west of Estevan. Torquay is right on the northern tip of the Bakken reservoir and drill sites are everywhere. I'm sort of worried that even if I find some land my neighbours will still make life difficult but surrounding me with frack wells. I was after something the size of a hobby farm and hoped to set up an apple orchard for myself. I checked with Fracker Tracker and while the I'm a good distance away from the flags the situation is changing daily with new wells coming up continuously. It sort of is a free for all there as Estevan is overrun with redneck rig workers and wildcatters.
On the plus side the jet stream has made that place exceptionally mild in comparison to regular Sk weather (mainly 2a-2-b with some 3a) so I wanted your thoughts plus my mother is from there and knows the land well. I can't just pack up and choose another place without readjusting my plants to a typical 2a - 45C environment with a growing season around 95-100 days. In other words, sucky. lol
Is there anything special I should look at when doing water tests on the site or should I just walk away? Thanks.