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First permaculture garden, a few questions. (Southeastern Massachusetts)

 
Posts: 8
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Hello everyone, I am excited to say that I have gotten the OK from my family to do what I please with their back yard near bridgewater, massachusetts. I just wanted to get my feet wet this upcoming spring and attempt a few projects to carry out and expand on as the year goes on. The three or four projects I would like to complete is planting and creating a thriving Cortland apple tree guild, a plot for vegetables, some plot for herbs/spices and possibly a hugelkulture bed (there are many dead trees around the property just waiting to be pushed down and used for this). Zone 5b.

Being my first time I have a few questions for anyone who can help me out.

1. What is the most practical way of converting the grass in the back to a soil plot for vegetables? Should I use a raised plot? What are some good starting veggies? Pioneering plants?

2. The soil is sandy, what kind of perennial plant ideas do you guys have to incorporate around the property? Hastas, bushes and trees grow well, other things need a little more help.

3. What are some things that you would experiment with if you were in this position? (Albeit animals...for now.)

4. There is risk for coyotes in the area, what kind of precautions should I take if rabbits and other small animals become more attracted to the property?

5. The yard is two tiered with a higher level where a forest is and then a hill moving down from the forest to a lower level area where the house sits, moss grows on parts of it, what would grow well in areas with hills like this?

Thank you
 
                                                                    
Posts: 114
Location: Nashville, Tennessee, USA
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I am from that area.

Blueberries
Garlic
Raspberries
Apples
 
pollinator
Posts: 4437
Location: North Central Michigan
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if you plan a hugel bed, strip the sod off the soil, and set it aside..put your hugel materials there (or even dig down if you feel you need to first, but if it is wet, I'd just pile on top of the soil)..trees and branches, etc..and then flip your sod upside down over this..put some soil on top or heavy mulch, and then plant in that..

solve two things with one bed that way.
 
Posts: 92
Location: Portland Maine
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Ha, I grew up in north Middleboro and all my relatives are still there! You have sandy soil. My parents land was clay and hardpan!

Karl
 
                                                                    
Posts: 114
Location: Nashville, Tennessee, USA
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The soil where we were was sandy and rocky.
Bring in some leaves, wood chips, compost and other goodies.
 
Colin Fontaine
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Thanks for the step by step brenda, I'll hold onto that while working out a good spot.

Karl, that's awesome! My sister in law actually works up at middleboro high school. Are your relatives in the agricultural business? I was hoping to find some good places to get some unwanted straw or manure that is burdening any farmers around here.

And yes the soil is quite sandy in some areas campy, we had just raked up the leaves in the front yard.. perhaps I should throw down a layer in the backyard where i plan to grow before the snow falls?
 
Karl Teceno
Posts: 92
Location: Portland Maine
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Ha, what is your sister in laws name? I graduated from Middleboro High a looooooooong time ago! My relatives are just amateur gardeners... sorry.
 
                                                                    
Posts: 114
Location: Nashville, Tennessee, USA
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You might contact this CSA.
They are doing a lot of great things growing food in your area:

http://www.thetrustees.org/places-to-visit/greater-boston/powisset-farm.html
 
pollinator
Posts: 3113
Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even Soil:SandyLoam pH6 Flat
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forest garden solar
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There is dozens of plants that you should plant. check out my garden for ideas.
You are going to have to digg up the grass that is currently growing and mulch but most importantly plant edible groundcover such as strawberry, raspberry family, blueberry family, etc, because you cant really stop them in the long run just direct the plant that will grow there.
Feel free to drop me a comment/pm
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AjpWBJwPQ0nMdEpjV1AwcVJ0dGFZbnVpVEw0RlFQR0E
 
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