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First Time Permaculture Garden - Tips for success?

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Location: Lake Elsinore
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I am a complete newbie to permaculture gardening. I just moved to Lake Elsinore, CA and have a good amount of land to create my first garden. For those of you familiar with this area, I would love some tips and helpful hints to point me towards growing a successful garden. I know this is a broad request. I am feeling somewhat overwhelmed because it looks like there are so many things to consider and take into account if I want to do this correctly. I would like to incorporate citrus into the garden. I am open to any other types of fruit/nut trees, plants, vegetables, herbs etc. Any tips on what plants work best to attract pollenators.  I would like tips for setting up the soil. Composting tips. Should I incorporate diatomaceous earth? I will be very appreciative of any type of personal experience, knowledge and success stories you are able to share with me. Links, pictures or personal testimonies are welcomed! Thank you in advance.
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Hi Chris!

How exciting! New gardens can feel so overwhelming so don't get discouraged. You have a lot of options growing in zone 9. Look for low chill hour requiring fruit trees and berry bushes. Blueberry varieties like south moon, misty and jubilee are good choices.
When it comes to attracting pollinators I would look to California native perennials or cultivars of those natives. Salvia, tagetes, hyssop, calamintha are all good and of course native milk weed asclepias fascicularis for the monarchs!
If you are into herbal medicine I recommend yerba manza.
Keep in mind permaculture zones and what you would like to be closest to your home or frequently visited areas and what can be further out that needs less attention.

As for herbs plant culinary oregano under fruit trees to help ward off pests and fungal disease, chives are wonderful perennials that attract pollinators and are pretty much every green in zone 9, and you must grow basil!
Regular Italian basil is cool for pesto but thai basil and holy basil (not a true basil) is where its at. They will attracts bees like no other and thai basil will over winter in zone 9, not sure on the holy basil..I am trying to over winter one this year to see if it makes it.


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You should be able to grow a ton of stuff! You will get more chill hours than on the coast, so many temperate fruit trees will work for you that can't reliably flower and fruit on the coast.  

I think of Lake Elsinore as more famous for hang gliding than permaculture.  I have flown my paraglider there many times.

I think paying for water should probably be your biggest issue.

John S
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