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effective use of microclimates  RSS feed

 
Prahlad Genung
Posts: 7
Location: Upstate NY
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What are some of the more common (or less common) microclimates that one encounters/can create/are desirable? I'm new to the concept of edges but it makes a lot of sense. I want to learn as much as I can about this stuff! How would you set up the landscape & edges if you're trying to create a warmer area for an avocado tree or an almond tree? To grow an avocado tree here seems perhaps idealistic but almond is more practical yet at the edge of its zone range.
 
Nick Garbarino
Posts: 239
Location: west central Florida
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A common way of using microclimates is how you plant around the house. I'll use our place for some examples. We are in central Florida, so we can use the south side of our stucco home for growing veggies in the fall and winter. It is so hot there in spring and summer, we move over to the north side for the annual veggies where our tomatoes and other plants do much better because it's cooler and we don't have to water as much. Back on the south side of the house, we also grow drought tolerant plants like jujube trees and pigeon peas. Not only can they take the heat, they seem to thrive on it. We also grow muscadine grapes on the south side and they love the heat and the intense sun too. In summer, the jujubes and grapes shade the south side of the house, and when they drop their leaves in winter, the sun can warm the home.

Large trees can also be utilized for similar effect. Yesterday, I transplanted my leek only about 20 feet, but to a very different microclimate. They were suffering from too much sun on the west side of a large pine, so I moved them to the east side where they get morning shade from oaks a little further to the east. They are now planted in a depression rather than on a hill side, but our sand drains quite well (too well). So, they went from hot, dry, scorching sun to partly shady, moist and I expect they will do much better, only 20 ft from where they were. Now I won't have to water them as often.

Hemenway and Jacke describe how to increase warmth by planting from lowest to highest as you go from south to north. Where you're at in New York that would probably be a good strategy.

Hugelkultur creates a warmer microclimate due to the heat released by the decaying logs, plus it increases moisture and nutrients.

Hope that helps. Good thread - I'm anticipating reading about some more interesting ways to create microclimates.
 
Jordan Lowery
pollinator
Posts: 1528
Location: zone 7
12
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Go into your local wild areas and observe, this is where you will find many microclimates

Also keep in mind what you want that microclimates to do.
 
Prahlad Genung
Posts: 7
Location: Upstate NY
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Yes! I'm beginning my first Hugelkultur beds. These will provide wind breaks & some heat for the first handful of years to the young almond trees. I'm learning as much as I can through the podcasts and my own research, and trying to create more plant diversity on this land (& encourage the critters). Protecting and encouraging these almond trees is a focus for me, hence this thread.
 
Prahlad Genung
Posts: 7
Location: Upstate NY
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Thanks for the advice. I will try to be more observant in nature of warmer areas, and see if I can learn anything.
 
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