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How does this layout look?  RSS feed

 
Amanda Martin
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I don't have a lot of money to bring in a lot of outside sources of compost, manure, sawdust, etc... so I'd like to make my permaculture landscape from things I can find in our yard. I already have 4 compost bins going and two look like they'll be ready soon! The area I want to begin is the part in front of the house. I want it to be 100% useful, sustainable, and to add some curb appeal to the house. The first picture is of a layout I drew up in paint. The measurements aren't exact and I'll just go by feel as I'm doing the work, but this is pretty much how I think the paths would work.

The open space on the bottom is in front of the porch. I can't do anything there so far because we need to have some work done on it at some point. The green would be living mulch instead of just grass. The brown circles are trees and stumps as noted, and all other brown would be plantable area.

I would like to add as many fruit trees as I can, but I'm really worried about sunlight. I'm thinking the front end of this area would be the best for morning sunlight, even though the canopy of the olive trees would shade them out for the later part of the day. If I have a lot of fruit trees, I don't think I'll notice so much if one tree produces a little less, correct me if I'm wrong.

So what do you guys think? I'm having trouble finding out how to start with very minimal knowledge. I'm just going to be learning through trial and error.
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A rough draft to my layout
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Just so you can see where the sunlight is.
 
Ed Colmar
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Hi Amanda.

Are you planning on using some leguminous trees or shrubs in your design?

Where are you in the world?

Consider using plant-life for your design map, you can see my garden in my sig below.
 
Amanda Martin
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Ed Colmar wrote:Hi Amanda.

Are you planning on using some leguminous trees or shrubs in your design?

Where are you in the world?

Consider using plant-life for your design map, you can see my garden in my sig below.


I haven't decided exactly what plants I'm going to put in there. That's just a map of where I'm planning on putting the beds/pathways so far and the trees that are already there.

I'll definitely be adding leguminous plants, but are the trees really necessary if I plant smaller plants? The reason I'm asking is we already have a lot of trees and I want to use a ll of the sunlight not over the vegetable garden for growing fruit.

I'm in Fresno, CA, I just finished typing my intro and forgot to write it here, too.

Thanks for your reply!
 
Amanda Martin
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I've thought about how to start with as little money as possible. I was thinking I would stack them something like this. The only things I have on hand are leaves, branches, newspaper, and 2 partially finished compost bins. I could get cardboard free, too.

1. Rake all debris/leaves from the path areas onto the bed areas
2. Take any branches from the yard and put them on the beds. Prune trees if necessary.
3. Dig the paths about 6 inches below(should I go lower?) and place that soil over the branches.
4. Layer with leaves and partially finished compost.
5. Cover with straw to make it look nicer and to keep moisture in the beds
6. Let sit until spring
7. By that time I should have more compost that I could top it off with or could save enough money to have some delivered.

I might even be able to put in a circular bed in the curve of the trees. Those only curve in because I want to be able to reach to all areas of the beds without having to step on them. How does that sound? TIA
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
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Location: North Central Michigan
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think about what you eat the most and plant that..if you can grow it in your area. the wide curves on the paths look good if you are using a mower to maintain, it seems like a waste to me to plant things you won't use, unless of course they have another use like say insectary or firewood or something, when you will be buying groceries, so put in as many things that you'll use as you can, and then toss in ornamentals for insectory and mulch and nitrogen fixing etc.
 
Amanda Martin
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Brenda Groth wrote:think about what you eat the most and plant that..if you can grow it in your area. the wide curves on the paths look good if you are using a mower to maintain, it seems like a waste to me to plant things you won't use, unless of course they have another use like say insectary or firewood or something, when you will be buying groceries, so put in as many things that you'll use as you can, and then toss in ornamentals for insectory and mulch and nitrogen fixing etc.


Yeah, I've been taking mental notes of everything I cook that I can grow. I need to start writing it down. I do want to grow more than what I normally eat, because some things I just can't afford regularly, and some things you can't get in the store.

I want to be able to get a wheelbarrow in there more than a lawn mower. I'm hoping everything that grows in the paths I can cut down manually and use for mulch as they start to get unruly. The only weed that grows here that I would like to get out of the paths is stinging nettle.

Mostly everything I'm going to plant is either going to be edible, insectory, or nitrogen fixing. We don't have a lot of space for firewood, unfortunately.

Thanks.
 
Paula Edwards
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You can get tons of organic matter for free, provided you are not living in the middle of nowhere. There are gardeners, lawn mowing companies, greengrocers etc. all with organic waste and gardeners or lawnmowing comanies deliver you that because they would have to drive it to the tip anyway. We sometimes rake up grass clipping when the council mows or mow lawns for other people to get the clippings (if you don't have money charge for the mowing).
Your plan doens't really show were north and south is. But if you are concerned of letting the sun in, I would make on big sun trap instead of two, like it is shown in one of the permaculture books. Olives don't give a lot of shade and they grow very slowly.
 
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