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Forest Garden Plant List

 
Josef Theisen
Posts: 236
Location: SE Wisconsin, USA zone 5b
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I am very excited to be planting my first forest garden this Spring. My plan is to section off about 1600 square feet of my back yard and let the chickens destroy it while adding carbonous mulch material. The size is determined by what I can contain with a 164' section of electric poultry netting. Once the chickens have suppressed the grass, I will build earthworks. Then I plan to plant it with clay seedballs and move the chickens to the next section of what I hope will one day be an effective forest garden/poultry paddock system. When the seeds start to grow, I plan to observe, chop and drop, thin, and plant as needed. Eventually I plan to have 7 such paddocks with mown or mulched paths between them for the movable electric fencing.

Here is the current version of my plant list. The pic is a drawing of our property I made using sketchup.



Please comment if you have questions or constructive input on this plan.

Seeds that need light (no seedball)
Astilbe Astilbe sp.
Yarrow Achillea sp.
Black Eyed Susan Rudbeckia sp.

Seeds that need stratification before seedballs
Apple Malus sp.
Black Eyed Susan Rudbeckia sp.
Blueberry Vaccinium sp.
Cherry Prunus avium
Columbine, Alpina deep blue Aquilegia alpina
Echinacea Echinacea sp.
Goumi Berry Elaegnaceae multiflora
Lupine Lupinus sp.
Pear Pyrus sp.
Peach Prunus persica

Seeds that need Scarification before seedballs

black locust Tree Robinia pseudoacacia
Nasturtium, dwarf Tropaeolum minus

The rest of the seeds in seedballs

Asperagus Asperagus officinalis
Beans (various bush and pole)
Broccoli Brassica Oleracea
Butternut Squash Cucurbita moschata
Cabbage Brassica Oleracea
Chamomile Chamaelum mobile
Chicory Chichorium intybus
Cucumber Cucumis sativus
Daikon Radish Raphanus sativus
Delicata Squash Cucurbita pepo
Fennel Foeniculum vulgare
Goji Berry Lycium barbarium
Ground Cherries, Aunt Molly's Physalias pubescens
Hairy Vetch Vicia villosa
Kale Brassica oleracea
Lettuce Lactuca sativa
Marigold, Harlequin Tagetes patula
Parsley, Italian Petroselinum crispum v. neapolitanum
Parsley, Darki Petroselinum crispum
Pea Pisum sativum
Rhubarb Rheum rhabarbarum
Safflower Carthamus tinctorius
Strawberry Spinach Chenopodium capitatum
Siberian Pea Shrub Caragana arborescens
Spilanthes Achmella oleracea
Swiss Chard Beta vulgaris
Sunflower Helianthus sp.
White Clover Trifolium repens
Yarrow Achillea sp.

Plants to allow or add later
Almond Prunus glandulosa
Chestnut, American Castanea dentata
Comfrey Symphytum officinale
Crocus Crocus sp.
Currant Ribes sp.
Daffodils Narcissus sp.
Dandelion Taraxacum officinale
Elderberry Sambucus sp.
Gooseberry Ribes sp.
Hyacinth Hyacinthus sp.
Iris Iris sp.
Jerusalem artichoke Helianthus tuberosus
Lambs Quarters Chenopodium album
Nectarine Prunus persica v. nectarina
Plantain Plantago sp.
Plum Prunus sp.
Purslane Portulaca oleracea
Raspberry Rubus strigosus
Strawberry Fragaria x ananassa
Tulip Tulipa sp.
Valerian Valeriana officinalis

Ferns
Mushroom logs
 
chrissy bauman
Posts: 131
Location: Sunset Zone 27, Florida
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iris, narcissus, tulip? i thought they were poisonous? are you thinking pollinators, or maybe trade value? otherwise i don't know of a real "use" for those bulbs?
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4434
Location: North Central Michigan
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the iris narcissus and tulips are great for pollination and also really good at holding soil in high erosion areas..such as banks.. some permaculture people use narcissus as a weed barrier around the dripline of fruit trees in a food forest system, but they do warn not to confuse them with onions..(can't see most people confusing them)
 
chrissy bauman
Posts: 131
Location: Sunset Zone 27, Florida
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i think i would forget the iris, narcissus, tulips, unless they were for trade value, and use a lot of different types of lilies. you know, like the orange ones on the roadsides. edible and beautiful and attract pollinators. i have seen them growing in heavy compacted soil on the edges of driveways near where i used to live, in Fremont, newaygo county.

i think i would grow a few potatoes or something like that during the first year in those areas the chickens have opened up, provided there is enough sunlight. depending on how thickly your seedballs are placed.

what about roses for your perennial areas? they grow great in your climate, make those rose hips, and the leaves are good fodder for rabbits.
 
Jordan Lowery
pollinator
Posts: 1528
Location: zone 7
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Around here the flowers in question sell like mad during spring, and just because you can't eat it doesnt mean it's useless in a system. I say add them and any other non eatable plants you like. They may not be eatable but they have uses.
 
Josef Theisen
Posts: 236
Location: SE Wisconsin, USA zone 5b
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The flowering bulbs were reccomended for support species in gaia's garden, though I can't remember the reasoning now. My thoughts are to attract pollinators and for cut flowers in the Spring.

Chrissy, I like the roses idea. We have some up by the house, but I will keep my eyes open for a good spot once the seeds are coming in. I am also thinking I should have had potato onions and garlic on the list though I wouldn't plant them until next Fall. Potatos I hadn't considered, but I will likely build a hugelkultur or two into the system before planting and add them there.

Has anyone heard of chickens being harmed by toxic bulbs? I know we won't confuse them but...
 
Elisabeth Tea
Posts: 53
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sepp holzer intentionally allows poisonous plants near his animals. He feels that the animals instinctively know when they need to consume poisons.
 
Paulo Bessa
pollinator
Posts: 340
Location: Portugal (zone 9) and Iceland (zone 5)
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I think it is just a very good list.

I would focus perhaps a bit on the berries and also include many allium perennial species like ramps, chives, potato onions or walking onions.

Also some more nut trees. But overall its a good list. And I like that you distinguish between which species to include in the seedballs and treatment to give them.


Good luck for those seedballs!
 
S Bengi
Posts: 1355
Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even distribution
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Seed balls are for delayed sporting is that what you are aiming for?
Trees will host alot more bugs and drop alot more fruits than grass.
Chickens are jungle birds and prefer that over grass/grain.
You can still plant grass under trees.
Plus the mulch under the tree will host alot more bugs.
So add more than just 3 trees.
I would also replace the 40ft chestnut tree with 4 smaller ones like hazel/apricotnut/yellowhorn/seaberry
http://www.onegreenworld.com//index.php?cPath=1
 
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