Win a copy of Permaculture Design Companion this week in the Permaculture Design forum!
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education experiences global resources the cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • r ranson
  • Anne Miller
  • paul wheaton
stewards:
  • Jocelyn Campbell
  • Mike Jay Haasl
  • Burra Maluca
garden masters:
  • James Freyr
  • Joylynn Hardesty
  • Steve Thorn
  • Greg Martin
gardeners:
  • Carla Burke
  • Dave Burton
  • Pearl Sutton

Useful plant recommendations

 
pollinator
Posts: 443
Location: Derbyshire, UK
57
cat urban chicken
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have a particular spot that I would like to grow something in. It is south-facing against a shed wall (timber) and water butt (1000litre), but on a north facing slope and on a site that is very exposed and windy in winter (and spring). I'd like to grow something useful- probably edible. A climber or espalier shape would be good- only a thing area of space next to the path.

UK climate so occasional frosts and snow in a very wet winter, highs of 25 or so in summer. Rain all year rounds. Windy site!

Any suggested plants?
 
pollinator
Posts: 3105
Location: Toronto, Ontario
380
hugelkultur dog forest garden fungi trees rabbit urban wofati cooking bee homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Charli.

Were it me, I would look to a food forest model. If there is a favourite fruit tree you like, perhaps build a guild around it, and try to include all the different plant actors on the scene, and have every trophic level occupied.

You could also do similarly with annuals, in a vegetable patch arrangement, but I would still choose a single plant or pairing of symbiotic or otherwise mutually beneficial plants and build a selection out from there.

So while you might not want to do this, or it may not be suitable for the climate, you could, for instance, do a mound of seeds containing corn, beans, and squash, colloquially and conventionally known as the Three Sisters, add some bee balm or other bee-friendly plant, and call it done, and on the small scale, with added supports, you might even be able to use the technique for sweet corn, summer squash, and fresh beans (the technique was developed to be neglected all season and harvested dry, all at once, and using winter squash, all for storage).

My tomato guild includes oregano as groundcover, basil as intermediate herbaceous plants, peppers interspaced evenly with the larger tomato plants, and of course, tomatoes. The oregano and basil are scent distractors, confusing tomato pests that track by scent, and growing basil within nine to ten inches of a tomato plant can increase that plant's production by up to 20% (this stat is on my list of links to find for posting, as it seems to come up a bit). Peppers, as a plant between the sizes of tomatoes and basil, fits nicely in that in-between niche, and also benefits from other solanaceae, as they need the sun for growth, but also need dappled shade, which the tomatoes provide, to keep their fruit unburnt. I also like to add onion and/or garlic nearby, for more scent distraction, and carrot, which gets stunted by the tomato, but helps the tomato to grow. A perimeter of marigolds and mints are usually really good to keep out insect and rodent pest alike.

So if you wanted to go the espaliered tree route, I would go with something like apple, pear, or stonefruit of whatever kind, and perhaps some cane berry bushes to either side, with an herbaceous berry at their feet, along with garlic chives. You could do rhubarb in the shady bit between cane berries and the shed, and it would serve to shade out the soil. Plus, rhubarb makes excellent pie, on its own, or to balance out really sweet berries.

You could do a tree, a couple of shrubs, some cane berries, some low-growing perennial bushes, walking onions, vines, wood chip mulch and inoculate with your favourite site-appropriate culinary mushroom, whatever. Or literally almost all of these things together. Some wisteria can apparently host nitrogen-fixing bacteria, which make it a good choice for squeezing into tight spots.

But let us know your thoughts. I hope these ideas are of some use to you. Keep us posted, and good luck.

-CK
 
Posts: 235
Location: Richwood, West Virginia
3
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I propagated Goji berries but probably would prefer grapes.
 
gardener
Posts: 6248
Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
1011
hugelkultur dog forest garden duck fish fungi hunting books chicken writing homestead
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The space you describe sounds perfect for wine grapes. I prefer to grow wine grapes because they are sweeter and far hardier than the table varieties we can get here in the States.
Most of the fruit trees would not like the lack of sun a north face provides.

Redhawk
 
pioneer
Posts: 1158
Location: 4b
204
dog forest garden trees bee building
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
As others have said, I would go with grapes given the size/space constraints.
 
Posts: 75
Location: Nara, Japan
40
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The blueberries at my parents house (zone 4-5) are in the windiest part of their land. They take a beating every winter and don't seem to mind at all. It's pretty soggy soil as well.
 
pollinator
Posts: 476
Location: West Yorkshire, UK
85
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Charli, I would suggest a Morello cherry tree, which apparently don't mind some shade.  I've got one which I'm trying to fan train against a fence (it was moved there a few years ago and is still recovering--last summer didn't help).  Mine's a mini dwarf and I prune it once a year, usually July after I harvest, though I do have to net it against birds.  However, having it small and against the fence makes netting pretty easy, and the fruit is wonderful cooked.  Cherry crumble, anyone?
 
The moustache of a titan! The ad of a flea:
Heat your home with the twigs that naturally fall of the trees in your yard
http://woodheat.net
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!