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Looking for people living in southern grow zone who plant and grow all year

 
pollinator
Posts: 286
Location: Grow zone 10b. Southern California,close to the Mexican boarder
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I am looking for people in the southern grow zones, where it’s warm enough to grow food all year round.
I want to connect with people to discuss the problems you deal with, when you grow food year round. Where you divide your crops into warm and cold plant types.
Does anyone have a good planting calendar that will let you add plants during winter.
I find that every time I find a planting calendar or other tool, it expect me to have snow and not grow during the winter. I just tried one, where it directed me to plant celery in marts indoors and plant them out in Maj. if I do that, they will bolt, as soon as they go outside. It will be way too hot for them. It’s the same with edible flowers, those I find are easiest grown in fall and early winter.
There are so many problems with growing in our grow zone, that’s unique to it, but there are also so many opportunities to grow more exotic plants, so being able to talk about what works and not, would also be awesome. They do lend to crop diversity, which I think is important when you grow here. For example, we never know if the winter will be cold enough that we will get apples, or hot enough that we get bananas.
Anyway, I really want to meet other people so, we can discuss how unique it is to grow year round.
Below a few pictures of my 6 main raised beds.
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gardener
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Location: N. California
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I'm not sure what zone you are in. I kinda sorta quality. I live in N. California zone 9b.  I can grow year round. Unfortunately this year the summer ended so late, and I wasn't on the ball so I don't have a winter garden.
I like farmers almanac for a planting calendar.  It's relatively accurate. You put in your city and state, or zip code. Sometimes I will disagree with it, but it's pretty good. There's also figuring out when your frost dates are and going by info on the seed packets.
For me I grow lettuce, broccoli,  onions, garlic, carrots, peas ( well if I get them in at the right time I can get a harvest in fall, then they just kind of hang out until super early spring and I get another harvest. I didn't get them in, in the fall, so I'm planting them now. They need to be done by the time it gets to warm) I have kale, and swiss chard that grow year round, but taste best in the cooler months. I also have perinatal purple collard that also tastes best in winter.  I can also grow cabbage, and coliflower , I don't because I have a big family, and stay away from head veggies they take up to much space for a one and done veggie. I'm sure I've missed some, probably lots.
I'm not an expert, but have been at it for a while now, so I will be glad to try to help if I'm able. Good luck.
 
Ulla Bisgaard
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Location: Grow zone 10b. Southern California,close to the Mexican boarder
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I am south of you. We live south east of San Diego. Our grow zone is officially 10b, but this year the temperatures was 10a. We didn’t get any frost this year. We were close, but never reached 0 degrees celcius.
Our summer garden was a complete fail, but we have corrected some things. I did some soil testing and made mineral adjustments and that worked. The winter garden is booming. I have more brassicas than we can eat right now, so we have started preserving. We made 2 gallons of kimchi yesterday. We have lots of onions and garlic coming, and my green cabbages has just started forming heads. I grow a lot of cauliflower and broccoli each year, and they are perfect right now and for the upcoming months.
I have been sick since 2005, but 3 years ago science was finally at a point where I got diagnosed, so I am getting my body back, and has been able to take over gardening from my husband. It has been 10 years since I have been able to do this, and much has changed. The most important change has been, moving to a hotter area, and getting 1/2 acre to play with. Up until this year, I have only helped with the planning of the garden, but now it’s mine. What I have been trying to figure out, isn’t as much my first and last day of frost (since we rarely get any), but the first and last day of temperatures 86F and above. To me that’s much more important, to me,  than the frost days, and it has been hard to find.
I am trying to plan when I start my summer seedlings, and when in fall I need to start the winter ones.
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Jen Fulkerson
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Ulla I'm glad you are getting better.  It looks like you have an amazing winter garden. I think if you do a search on when your city and state will get to 86 degrees some charts of average weather in your area will give you a general idea. If your seedlings are ready to go out, and it's not quite warm enough you can always use some kind of cover. A plastic bottle with the bottom cut off, just something to add a few degrees.  Good luck
 
pollinator
Posts: 142
Location: San Diego, California | Zone 10a Drylands (11" precip.)
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Hi Ulla,
Nice harvest! And good on you for making kimchi! I see you also eat mallow. I wish I enjoyed it more, as it is everywhere in my yard.

I am also in San Diego and understand what you mean. I was baffled by "frost dates" since there aren't any where I live either (near the coast, 10a).

I found a great planting calendar (for annuals) from San Diego Seed Company, which is for zones 9-10. I find it helpful, hope you do too!

Link to PDF

Personally, I am striving to plant more to perennial plants, most of which grow well in our climate!
Bananas
Artichoke
fig
pomegranate
avocado
ground cherry (cape gooseberry)
tree collard (or kale)
citrus
olives

Finally, I would encourage you to check out and visit Wild Willow Farm near Imperial Beach. They are a regenerative teaching farm, offering loads of classes, suited to our climate.
Planting-Chart-1.png
Zones 9 & 10 Planting Calendar
Zones 9 & 10 Planting Calendar
 
Posts: 95
Location: Nuevo Mexico, Alta California, New York, Andalucia
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Hello all, We're right in the center of San Diego, small house large lot, all Edible Plantscape, seven years in: earthworks for erosion & hydrology, building soil, planting perennials perimeter, cropping beds, now going rain-water only/ drought fallow.  Success with loquat, passionfruit, grape, guava, feijoa, araça-uçu, pitanga, fava, turnip, beet, kohlrabi, mustard, arugula, tree collard, tomato, potato, sweet potato, etc.  Waiting on olive, apricot, peach, apple, banana, avocado, lemon, mango, jaka, cherimoya, atemoya, jaboticaba, grumichama, macadamia, pomegranate, fig, pineapple, artichoke, etc.  Problems establishing strawberry, citrus, caju, lucuma, currant, carrot, parsnip, ginger, turmeric, cabbage, alliums, etc.  Lots of stinging nettle & amaranth cross gone native.  Looking for lychee, kiwi, hazelnut, etc.  Can trade seed, cuttings, air-layers, benchgrafts.  Cut & drop for mulch.  Cover crops of pulses.  Do multiple rounds of seeding, starts, let best go to seed, collect seed, so to get a self-propelling eco-horticultural system going to which only have to add water to see perennials through dry season or if soil moist/ crops good/ 12,000gals tanks full can stretch into summer.  Was looking for nearby vacant lots to cultivate, now looking for collaborators to pool efforts.
 
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I live in Zone 9b. The general advice I get on planting times is to get it from the extension office. I would assume that is same everywhere so probably every state with zones 9 and 10 would work. Texas, Florida, California etc. I don't know what zone your in, sounds like zone 9a? Trying to find how many chill hours however is shockingly frustrating though. I can plant all year so long as I protect during freezes. I do try to plant winter vegetables starting in October and summer vegetables in February. Inevitably I manage to have tomato plants in winter.
 
Austin Durant
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Posts: 142
Location: San Diego, California | Zone 10a Drylands (11" precip.)
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Patrik Schumann wrote:Hello all, We're right in the center of San Diego, small house large lot, all Edible Plantscape, seven years in: earthworks for erosion & hydrology, building soil, planting perennials perimeter, cropping beds, now going rain-water only/ drought fallow.  Success with loquat, passionfruit, grape, guava, feijoa, araça-uçu, pitanga, fava, turnip, beet, kohlrabi, mustard, arugula, tree collard, tomato, potato, sweet potato, etc.  Waiting on olive, apricot, peach, apple, banana, avocado, lemon, mango, jaka, cherimoya, atemoya, jaboticaba, grumichama, macadamia, pomegranate, fig, pineapple, artichoke, etc.  Problems establishing strawberry, citrus, caju, lucuma, currant, carrot, parsnip, ginger, turmeric, cabbage, alliums, etc.  Lots of stinging nettle & amaranth cross gone native.  Looking for lychee, kiwi, hazelnut, etc.  Can trade seed, cuttings, air-layers, benchgrafts.  Cut & drop for mulch.  Cover crops of pulses.  Do multiple rounds of seeding, starts, let best go to seed, collect seed, so to get a self-propelling eco-horticultural system going to which only have to add water to see perennials through dry season or if soil moist/ crops good/ 12,000gals tanks full can stretch into summer.  Was looking for nearby vacant lots to cultivate, now looking for collaborators to pool efforts.


Nice, Patrik! You've got a nice head start, and a great selection of multi-functional plants.

I'd love to come by (I'm in North Park/Cherokee point) check out your place some time. In fact, I am having a small "garden tour" next Saturday Feb. 4. You're welcome to come by (although sounds like you've got a more mature food forest going)!
 
pollinator
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He's on the opposite side of the country, so the climate isn't identical by any means, but David the Good (YouTube videos) has a lot of good advice on growing in the deep south.
 
Patrik Schumann
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Location: Nuevo Mexico, Alta California, New York, Andalucia
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H Hardenberg wrote:I live in Zone 9b. The general advice I get on planting times is to get it from the extension office. I would assume that is same everywhere so probably every state with zones 9 and 10 would work. Texas, Florida, California etc. I don't know what zone your in, sounds like zone 9a? Trying to find how many chill hours however is shockingly frustrating though. I can plant all year so long as I protect during freezes. I do try to plant winter vegetables starting in October and summer vegetables in February. Inevitably I manage to have tomato plants in winter.



My grow setups are in coastal southern CA, central NM, and upland southern NY.  I use the rapidly-changing statistical data-based zones expansively, for general guidance, as first approximations, if at all when there's next to no frost as on that first site.  Many horticultural varieties are not thus characterised, & beyond average lows several additional factors affect their hardiness: strain genetics/ micro-climates/ season extension/ etc.  

Chill hours are rarely pinned down in regions where low, highly variable each season, little commercial fruit is industrially grown.  There are online calculators & sources, though some in our CA Rare Fruit Growers group are experimentally undermining that concept with astounding exceptions.  Growing dozens of varieties of each type/ species for saving seed, whatever winnows out the unreliable & selects the adapted is helpful.  My problems now are mostly with increasing seasonal variability, animal pressures, and juggling unreliable/ poor quality water.  

Few things will leap frog you over developing your own specific experience better than getting local seed from local growers with local knowledge.  Some of those produce local harvesting & planting calendars as in San Diego; Extension is often helpful too.  It is invaluable to keep trying for we are re-generating highly nuanced knowledge our recent forebears mostly abandoned with the hyper-local genetics, under conditions quickly approaching unprecedented in the human-agricultural era.
 
Patrik Schumann
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Location: Nuevo Mexico, Alta California, New York, Andalucia
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Austin Durant wrote:
Nice, Patrik! You've got a nice head start, and a great selection of multi-functional plants.

I'd love to come by (I'm in North Park/Cherokee point) check out your place some time. In fact, I am having a small "garden tour" next Saturday Feb. 4. You're welcome to come by (although sounds like you've got a more mature food forest going)!



Hola Austin, I'd like to exchange site visits & let's start with a PM, though this weekend I'm holding onto a plan (which may not happen) to try to hike to the Carrizo Gorge/ Impossible Railroad/ Goat Canyon trestle bridge & camp in the desert.  Best, Patrik
 
Ulla Bisgaard
pollinator
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Location: Grow zone 10b. Southern California,close to the Mexican boarder
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I didn’t realize that others had posted here. I guess I didn’t see the notification for it. Maybe it went into my spam folder by mistake.
Thank you all for your input. Patrik and Austin, I would love to meet as well. I am in El Cajon, so it should be possible.
When we started out here, we were in 9b, but now we fluctuate between 10a and b, since we have had some winters, where the lowest temperature was 35f. This winter the lowest has been 30F.
My winter garden are doing really well this season, and I am slowly getting the summer season annuals seeded. I found a really cool free Calendar program called seedtime. They have an algorithm for winter gardening. It’s in beta now, and I am testing it. It’s very interesting to see the progress of it. https://seedtime.us/
In the program you add your annuals, tell it if you want to direct sow or transplant. Then it will tell you when to start. I am using it to keep things organized, so I don’t forget anything. It has helped a lot. I have asked them to add first and last day of high heat, so we will see if it happens.
I grow a mix of annuals and perennials. Of perennials I grow asparagus (first year), tree collards, spinach (three kinds), celery, herbs and rhubarb so far. We are 7 years in, working on our orchard. We grow oranges, apples, tangerines, lemon, elderberries, prickly pears, avocado, bananas, plums, peaches and nectarines. We branched out here, so we will get fruit no matter if we get frost or not, and our two orange trees ripens at different times, so we have oranges all year round. I am planning to add rock roses to the orchard this spring, hoping they can handle the winters.
Has any of you tried making a hugel in our area? I have been thinking about doing it. We only have 1/2 acres though, which includes our house, so I am not sure we have enough room.
 
Patrik Schumann
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Ulla Bisgaard wrote:I didn’t realize that others had posted here. I guess I didn’t see the notification for it. Maybe it went into my spam folder by mistake.
Thank you all for your input. Patrik and Austin, I would love to meet as well. I am in El Cajon, so it should be possible...
I grow a mix of annuals and perennials. Of perennials I grow asparagus (first year), tree collards, spinach (three kinds), celery, herbs and rhubarb so far. We are 7 years in, working on our orchard. We grow oranges, apples, tangerines, lemon, elderberries, prickly pears, avocado, bananas, plums, peaches and nectarines. We branched out here, so we will get fruit no matter if we get frost or not, and our two orange trees ripens at different times, so we have oranges all year round. I am planning to add rock roses to the orchard this spring, hoping they can handle the winters.
Has any of you tried making a hugel in our area? I have been thinking about doing it. We only have 1/2 acres though, which includes our house, so I am not sure we have enough room.



Hola Ulla, I'd be happy to invite you & Austin at a mutually convenient time & see your place too.  It'll have to be fairly soon as I'll be leaving for away projects in a few weeks.  

The biggest problem we've had was gophers, which we didn't know in New Mexico or New York, and during my journeyship with a founder of CA Rare Fruit Growers I acquired many great selections & specimens for our perennials-perimeter first planting all of which were gradually taken, so beyond the site cleanup & prep/ earth- & drainage-works we lost a couple more years & had to replant (in cages + up our trapping, reduce their refugia, block their tunnels from neighbours/ under sidewalk & street).  My mentor had passed when I was away & his fantastic unlabelled disorganised nursery collection was scooped up by others, so this tree/ shrub/ vine round is somewhat lesser.  

The annuals-beds second planting was affected by very poor soil & even worse water.  As San Diego Seed Company with locally grown plus calendar wasn't around yet, Bountiful Gardens of Jeavon's Bio-Intensive had closed, & most of my own NM seed collection wouldn't work, I went back to the breeder's source Frank Morton.  Things like asparagus, spinach, celery, rhubarb came up from direct-sown seed but quickly disappeared.  Since everything got going I've been evolving my weed management, cover cropping, variety testing, deficit irrigation, & water supplies.  (A lot of effort has also gone into a small minimum-water native grass lawn my wife demanded for our young son, which she's now accepting will be more of a chicken-forage pollinator-meadow, occupying our canyon-culvert manhole-overflow flood-catch basin.)

A big decision was switching from year-round to rain-water only/ drought fallow; the long-term considerations being soil salinisation/ microbiome, healthy growth & harvests, & resilience no matter the condition/ cost/ supply of conveyed-water.  We're on <1/5 acre draped across a steep canyon so constrained growspace, impinged by neighbours' trees/ weeds/ neglect/ activities, somewhat excessively draining soil so quick drying & more frequent irrigation, very close to coast so fog & dew early summer + fungus, etc.  Despite getting runoff from both neighbours' roofs through our whole-year whole-site catchment system, it's taken this third season to fill all our tanks (12,000 gals for ~4500sf irrigated) to overflowing.  I myself don't believe in hügelkultur for drylands, but have pursued mulching even more.
 
Ulla Bisgaard
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Patrik Schumann wrote:

Hola Ulla, I'd be happy to invite you & Austin at a mutually convenient time & see your place too.  It'll have to be fairly soon as I'll be leaving for away projects in a few weeks.  

The biggest problem we've had was gophers, which we didn't know in New Mexico or New York, and during my journeyship with a founder of CA Rare Fruit Growers I acquired many great selections & specimens for our perennials-perimeter first planting all of which were gradually taken, so beyond the site cleanup & prep/ earth- & drainage-works we lost a couple more years & had to replant (in cages + up our trapping, reduce their refugia, block their tunnels from neighbours/ under sidewalk & street).  My mentor had passed when I was away & his fantastic unlabelled disorganised nursery collection was scooped up by others, so this tree/ shrub/ vine round is somewhat lesser.  

A big decision was switching from year-round to rain-water only/ drought fallow; the long-term considerations being soil salinisation/ microbiome, healthy growth & harvests, & resilience no matter the condition/ cost/ supply of conveyed-water.  We're on <1/5 acre draped across a steep canyon so constrained growspace, impinged by neighbours' trees/ weeds/ neglect/ activities, somewhat excessively draining soil so quick drying & more frequent irrigation, very close to coast so fog & dew early summer + fungus, etc.  Despite getting runoff from both neighbours' roofs through our whole-year whole-site catchment system, it's taken this third season to fill all our tanks (12,000 gals for ~4500sf irrigated) to overflowing.  I myself don't believe in hügelkultur for drylands, but have pursued mulching even more.



Then let’s try and see if we can set it up. I might not be up for it the next two weeks, but I won’t know until Friday this week. I have a medical port. It stopped working, so I am going in to either get it fixed or get a replacement put in. If it’s a replacement, that means surgery hence the time to recuperate. Other than that I have no pressing plans.

As for the gophers. They are not all bad. Yes, I hate that we had to give up growing figs, since even with gopher cage it kept killing the tree. All of the other trees has been just fine, with gopher cages on. So, I don’t love them, but they have been giving back to us. The front yard where we have the orchard, was hard hard clay when we started. We have mulched and mulched these last 7 years, and the gophers, has nicely dug wholes for us, bringing the mulch and compost down, mixing and loosening the soil. As the soil has gotten better, and more weeds, with long roots moving in, they have become les of a problem. I suspect, that they now have plenty of easy to access food, so they stay away from our harder to access trees and beds. In the back yards raised beds, we do get them, but we have rats too and those give us more problems than the gophers, but hard bottoms or wire net beneath the beds, helps a lot. We also have a wider variety of wild animals, than we had in the beginning, with rabbits and squirrels moving in, together with so many birds.

As for water. We tried for years to avoid using irrigation, but the trees are too new to have reached any underground water, so this year, we put in irrigation in the orchard. It’s not ideal, but we can turn it off or give less water, once the trees are old enough. We didn’t put in all of the trees at once, so while some are 7 years old, others are only a couple of years.
I have been playing around with some of the things I have learned in the master gardening course videos, but it will be a few more years, before we can see if that will help with the water.

As for the hugel, I think those are ideal for our climate. The hugel will suck up the winter rains, and then supply it to the plants during the hot season. My only concern is if it’s doable in the smaller size I would have to make. I love experimenting in the garden, so it would be a fun project to experiment with.
 
Kathleen Sanderson
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I think dry climates are one of the best places for hugulkulture, if you can find enough woody material.  I did one bed when we lived in eastern Oregon, with a control bed, and the hugul bed needed less water than the control bed did.  They had more or less the same plants in them; the plants in the hugul bed took quite a bit longer to wilt than the control bed did.

They weren't large beds, either.  Eight or ten feet long and less than three feet wide -- they were flower beds next to the front porch of the house, with some herbs in them.
 
Ulla Bisgaard
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Kathleen Sanderson wrote:I think dry climates are one of the best places for hugulkulture, if you can find enough woody material.  I did one bed when we lived in eastern Oregon, with a control bed, and the hugul bed needed less water than the control bed did.  They had more or less the same plants in them; the plants in the hugul bed took quite a bit longer to wilt than the control bed did.

They weren't large beds, either.  Eight or ten feet long and less than three feet wide -- they were flower beds next to the front porch of the house, with some herbs in them.



That’s very interesting. I will definitely have room for one that size, since that’s just about the size of my raised beds. As for wood, I think I can get some by asking my neighbors in the buy nothing group. They also have chip drops here, where you can ask for logs and branches.
 
Kathleen Sanderson
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Ulla Bisgaard wrote:

Kathleen Sanderson wrote:I think dry climates are one of the best places for hugulkulture, if you can find enough woody material.  I did one bed when we lived in eastern Oregon, with a control bed, and the hugul bed needed less water than the control bed did.  They had more or less the same plants in them; the plants in the hugul bed took quite a bit longer to wilt than the control bed did.

They weren't large beds, either.  Eight or ten feet long and less than three feet wide -- they were flower beds next to the front porch of the house, with some herbs in them.



That’s very interesting. I will definitely have room for one that size, since that’s just about the size of my raised beds. As for wood, I think I can get some by asking my neighbors in the buy nothing group. They also have chip drops here, where you can ask for logs and branches.



If you can manage it, I would suggest digging down into the ground to add your woody material, rather than heaping it up into mounds like Sepp Holzer does.  The mounds will dry out a lot faster; in hot dry climates, plantings are sometimes made in 'pans' scooped out of the soil.  These not only hold what water they get, they also provide a little wind protection when the plants are still small.  
 
Ulla Bisgaard
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Austin Durant wrote:Hi Ulla,
Nice harvest! And good on you for making kimchi! I see you also eat mallow. I wish I enjoyed it more, as it is everywhere in my yard.

I am also in San Diego and understand what you mean. I was baffled by "frost dates" since there aren't any where I live either (near the coast, 10a).

I found a great planting calendar (for annuals) from San Diego Seed Company, which is for zones 9-10. I find it helpful, hope you do too!

Link to PDF

Personally, I am striving to plant more to perennial plants, most of which grow well in our climate!
Bananas
Artichoke
fig
pomegranate
avocado
ground cherry (cape gooseberry)
tree collard (or kale)
citrus
olives

Finally, I would encourage you to check out and visit Wild Willow Farm near Imperial Beach. They are a regenerative teaching farm, offering loads of classes, suited to our climate.



Thank you for the great resources. I saved the pdf, and will check out the farm. I am also trying to add more and more perennials. This year I added 2 new types of perennial spinach and celery. I find that a lot of plants that are annuals to most gardens, are perennials here. Things like kale, celery and peppers, will keep growing through most winters here.
We are also lucky to have neighbors who don’t mind sharing and trading. We get pomegranates from the neighbors on our left side, and grape fruit from the one on the right side. Because of this, we haven’t felt the need to grow those two.
We gave up on figs, after our third try. The gophers were relentless in their destruction of it. Even a gopher cage didn’t save it, where it did the others. In the end, I decided that maybe the gophers were right, and figs didn’t fit in the orchard. We have so many trees, and while they tried for the lemon and tangerine, they never went for the avocados and other trees. In the end, I don’t miss the figs.
Are you have good success with the bananas ? We have only had fruit once, so I think we might be doing something wrong. As for olives, those has been on my wishlist for a long time.
I am trying something new this year. I want to see if I can grow cassava. I tried putting some in, during fall, but I think I was too late getting them in, so I will have to try again, when we stop getting so much rains and the temperatures get above 40 during the night. Cassava is an annual, but you propagate branches to start a new batch instead of using seeds.
As for mallow, yes we love it. I mostly use it to fight respiratory viruses, since it helps loosen up the mucosa so it won’t get stuck in your lungs. When I cook with it, I will add it to soups and stews, or to things like quiche. To me it taste like the  collards. We have nettles and mustard cress growing wild too, and those I also feed my family.
I actually make a very nice white wine with the nettles.
What I am having the most trouble growing, is actually ginger. Outside they rotted away, and inside in my indoor nursery their leaves turns brown and some has died. Misting with water has helped, but it’s still happening. It’s the same with my turmeric. We use a lot of those two, since I like adding ginger to my kombucha and turmeric to soups and stews.
I have added some photos, so you can see the before and after on our garden and orchard. The orchard is overgrown, but on purpose since we want to cut it down to get a nice new layer of mulch for the trees. I also added a picture of the problem ginger, in the hope that someone can tell me what I am doing wrong.
I read the book about ginger, that’s offered here and the closest thing to it, was a bacterial infection, that I don’t see how we could have gotten.
Anyway, I am looking forward to meeting you both.
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Back yard 2023
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Orchard 2023
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This area, I want to put an orchard in
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Ulla Bisgaard
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Kathleen Sanderson wrote:
If you can manage it, I would suggest digging down into the ground to add your woody material, rather than heaping it up into mounds like Sepp Holzer does.  The mounds will dry out a lot faster; in hot dry climates, plantings are sometimes made in 'pans' scooped out of the soil.  These not only hold what water they get, they also provide a little wind protection when the plants are still small.  


That makes sense. I am still reading up on hugelculture, but I will keep it in mind, for when we are actually in the planning stage. Right now, I am learning and researching.
 
Patrik Schumann
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Sonny's home sick now so thankfully no more length & sorry no photos.  

On small homesteads intensively cultivated we've always needed our thicker wood for woodstove heating & woodcoals grilling + our thinner woodies for deeper mulch & our leafy browns for compost, constructed growspace/ plantings/ beds for gravity runoff-distribution/ even soil water-capacitance/ deep-rooting irrigation, where evapo-transpiration is increasing multiples of declining precipitation, & absolutely minimised conveyed-water irrigation, so having localised shape-shifting hügels or sinking pits doesn't work for us.  I've spent so much recurring energy on projects/ adjustments/ setbacks plus seen so many exemplary abandoned surviving/ succession homesteads around the world that I design & implement for least effort/ most passive/ highest resilience under long absences.  

Regarding ginger & turmeric, I just keep putting the smaller buds in the ground under my subsistence hedges & every year more of them last longer & come back.  Cassava/ manioca is on my list too!
 
Patrik Schumann
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Decades long I passive-watered with desert rains & runoff, hand-watered when around, backed up perennials with soakers when away, & I find irrigation among rain-/ gray-/ conveyed-water is consistently the hardest thing for me to get others/ caretakers to cover.  Weed management next.  So my micro-climate, earth- & drainage-works, irrigation zoning, planting mixes, water juggling & scheduling are all simplified so my movements/ migrations minimise disruptions.  

So I plant to infill, wait & see.  Bananas have not survived long, though I have a Gros Michel that responded really well to our washing machine water (Oasis Design/ bio-compatible laundry detergent w/ a little Death Valley borate) when the slow-growing white sapote next to it upped & died.  I've been learning much about natural NPK, micro-nutrients, fertigation, low-dosage to reduce water need (kelp & fish powder, rock phosphate, seabird & bat guanos, humanure).  Ultimately I'm aiming for an almost closed system into which kitchen scraps & humanure from outside food sources plus rain-water with only backup conveyed-water are the only foreign inputs.  
 
Ulla Bisgaard
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Patrik Schumann wrote:Decades long I passive-watered with desert rains & runoff, hand-watered when around, backed up perennials with soakers when away, & I find irrigation among rain-/ gray-/ conveyed-water is consistently the hardest thing for me to get others/ caretakers to cover.  Weed management next.  So my micro-climate, earth- & drainage-works, irrigation zoning, planting mixes, water juggling & scheduling are all simplified so my movements/ migrations minimise disruptions.  

So I plant to infill, wait & see.  Bananas have not survived long, though I have a Gros Michel that responded really well to our washing machine water (Oasis Design/ bio-compatible laundry detergent w/ a little Death Valley borate) when the slow-growing white sapote next to it upped & died.  I've been learning much about natural NPK, micro-nutrients, fertigation, low-dosage to reduce water need (kelp & fish powder, rock phosphate, seabird & bat guanos, humanure).  Ultimately I'm aiming for an almost closed system into which kitchen scraps & humanure from outside food sources plus rain-water with only backup conveyed-water are the only foreign inputs.  



I think that my bananas are doing okay. At least the large classic Nain I am growing. The dwarf cave dish I also planted died, and so did the plantain I planted.  I am also growing a cold hardy banana, who are doing okay. Last year we didn’t get any fruit from the orchard and I think it was lack of water. Hopefully I will start getting bananas soon.
As for weed management, I do two things. In my raised beds, I oversow with lettuce so the ground are covered. This also helps with my heavy nitrogen problem, as they love nitrogen. I also encourage the weeds I like by leaving those alone, and remove the ones I don’t like. With the exception of grasses, weeds are now mainly mallow, nettles and mustard cress. We have a few other, I don’t remember the names of, that we have encouraged because they are good animal feed. This really saves money.
We keep Chickens, ducks and rabbit, and the poop from the chickens and ducks, seep into the soil, so we always have a large concentration of nitrogen. It’s both good and bad. It has helped the bad soil we had, come back to life. Bad is the smell and at times having to deal with too much nitrogen in the soil. So far it has worked, that I grow a lot of nitrogen eaters during the winter. You are welcome to get some animal poop, if you need it. Rabbit pellets make a great tea for the plants.
We don’t have a grey water system and only have irrigation in the orchard, but as I am housebound so watering hasn’t really been a problem. We have started to add rain barrels, but it’s not easy to figure out how to set it all up.
As for general health and pest protection for the plants, I find that polyculture really works. The bugs will also most often go for my cover crops instead of the bigger plants, because they are easier to access. This has also helped a lot with the food production. In general I mix lettuce seeds, with other expired seeds like brassicas and radishes. this way we also get food from those, and any that’s left by spring, and used to fertilize the soil. Plus, it’s like a treasure hunt, when you go out and search through the cover crops.
 
Patrik Schumann
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Ulla Bisgaard wrote:

I think that my bananas are doing okay. At least the large classic Nain I am growing. The dwarf cave dish I also planted died, and so did the plantain I planted.  I am also growing a cold hardy banana, who are doing okay. Last year we didn’t get any fruit from the orchard and I think it was lack of water. Hopefully I will start getting bananas soon.
As for weed management, I do two things. In my raised beds, I oversow with lettuce so the ground are covered. This also helps with my heavy nitrogen problem, as they love nitrogen. I also encourage the weeds I like by leaving those alone, and remove the ones I don’t like. With the exception of grasses, weeds are now mainly mallow, nettles and mustard cress. We have a few other, I don’t remember the names of, that we have encouraged because they are good animal feed. This really saves money.
We keep Chickens, ducks and rabbit, and the poop from the chickens and ducks, seep into the soil, so we always have a large concentration of nitrogen. It’s both good and bad. It has helped the bad soil we had, come back to life. Bad is the smell and at times having to deal with too much nitrogen in the soil. So far it has worked, that I grow a lot of nitrogen eaters during the winter. You are welcome to get some animal poop, if you need it. Rabbit pellets make a great tea for the plants.
We don’t have a grey water system and only have irrigation in the orchard, but as I am housebound so watering hasn’t really been a problem. We have started to add rain barrels, but it’s not easy to figure out how to set it all up.
As for general health and pest protection for the plants, I find that polyculture really works. The bugs will also most often go for my cover crops instead of the bigger plants, because they are easier to access. This has also helped a lot with the food production. In general I mix lettuce seeds, with other expired seeds like brassicas and radishes. this way we also get food from those, and any that’s left by spring, and used to fertilize the soil. Plus, it’s like a treasure hunt, when you go out and search through the cover crops.



Getting things established here I was definitely under-watering at once a week through summer like I used to in NM.  There evaporation is 12x precipitation but soil water availability (amount held in top yard b4 draining away) is almost three times what it is here where evapo-trans is only 3-4x the same precip.  I quickly noticed here that things would grow the same a few days after rainfall as the whole season on city water.  Last summer we went away for a month so I put in shrubblers for the hedge, set them for 20mins twice a week & everything grew as much then as the couple of years before.

Lately with severe drought, house construction, away projects, & upcoming sabbatical I've deep mulched the beds & am only cultivating under the subsistence hedge & keeping some random volunteers for seed.

On weeds we mostly use them as cover until close to seeding when we pull up for mulch in place.  I also like to let the best veg & herbs go to seed as edible cover crops plus I oversow favas, beans, chickpeas, lentils for nitrogen.  We had chickens here for a while but they were used to daily roaming to which one neighbour took aggressive exception while gradually the predator pressure increased until they wouldn't even come out anymore.  We now have to move out our bees as our site is constrained for clear flyways & our son has developed a bad reaction to a couple of stings.  

On pests, we have mostly rats, skunks, gophers, black scale, some squirrels, some birds which each go for their specific preferences just before those things are ready for us.  I called our former-rental building project "rats out, wheelchairs in" for the attic/ walls/ bathroom clearout plus bringing floors to one level.  We also have eagle, hawk, owl, snake, fox, raccoon, recently saw coyote & puma spotted nearby.  This is Middletown/ Hillcrest two miles from the airport & downtown.  
 
Ulla Bisgaard
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Patrik Schumann wrote:.
We had chickens here for a while but they were used to daily roaming to which one neighbour took aggressive exception while gradually the predator pressure increased until they wouldn't even come out anymore.  We now have to move out our bees as our site is constrained for clear flyways & our son has developed a bad reaction to a couple of stings.  

On pests, we have mostly rats, skunks, gophers, black scale, some squirrels, some birds which each go for their specific preferences just before those things are ready for us.  I called our former-rental building project "rats out, wheelchairs in" for the attic/ walls/ bathroom clearout plus bringing floors to one level.  We also have eagle, hawk, owl, snake, fox, raccoon, recently saw coyote & puma spotted nearby.  This is Middletown/ Hillcrest two miles from the airport & downtown.  



We let out chickens roam in the beginning, but they were too hard on the ecosystem, so now they are all in large pens. I have yet to see bobcats, pumas and foxes, but we have a large pack of coyotes that roam our neighborhood every night, and the raccoons I could live without. I have lost more than one chicken to a clever raccoon, that managed to get into the coop. Last time it got its ass kicked though, since we presently have too strong roosters who chased it out, and then my husband got it with salt from his BB gun. That’s 6 months ago, and it’s still not back. Interesting enough, the birds has stayed away from my fruit and berries so far. I thought for sure, that they would go for my elderberries, but they left them alone, so I am grateful.

We actually bought this house, because it’s one story and I needed a wheelchair on bad days. I am better now, and only need it for long walks, but I am grateful that we have a one story house.
 
Patrik Schumann
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Sorry, took some photos for y'all today but couldn't figure out how to get them here without putting online somewhere else.
 
Ulla Bisgaard
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Patrik Schumann wrote:Sorry, took some photos for y'all today but couldn't figure out how to get them here without putting online somewhere else.



I just click attachments, and then add file. It then comes up, so you can pick photos to add.
 
Patrik Schumann
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Ulla Bisgaard wrote:

We let out chickens roam in the beginning, but they were too hard on the ecosystem, so now they are all in large pens. I have yet to see bobcats, pumas and foxes, but we have a large pack of coyotes that roam our neighborhood every night, and the raccoons I could live without. I have lost more than one chicken to a clever raccoon, that managed to get into the coop. Last time it got its ass kicked though, since we presently have too strong roosters who chased it out, and then my husband got it with salt from his BB gun. That’s 6 months ago, and it’s still not back. Interesting enough, the birds has stayed away from my fruit and berries so far. I thought for sure, that they would go for my elderberries, but they left them alone, so I am grateful.

We actually bought this house, because it’s one story and I needed a wheelchair on bad days. I am better now, and only need it for long walks, but I am grateful that we have a one story house.



In Albuquerque I had an Eggshare with 40 chickens in a vacant backyard, the hardest part of which was getting other members to fully share by contributing their own kitchen scraps & once a week going to our Co-op for their produce discards.  People were knocking on our door for the standout quality, but when I added it all up I was really providing $12 a dozen eggs for much less.  We never had any complaints (the lot owner lived next door), though a couple of times the flock grew as people discarded their birds over the wall & after a while I discovered we had a second rooster who survived the first rooster by pretending to be a hen.  We lost them all necks wrung one night during a string of small-livestock massacres across the city.  

Here we adopted the chickens raised free-roaming in the canyon by neighbours who moved away.  I did my best to turn their little coop into a tractor moved across the lawn/ meadow & get them used to last-hour roaming to minimise damage, but the fox got in & gave one what our son called a "Nohawk"(stripped head) before I drove it off, + a neighbour first really liked them visiting then turned on us when they scraped her landscrape (sic) but we couldn't deter them as it turns out she was putting food out for stray cats, vermin, & wild animals.  I was pleased to have inadvertently deflected the eagle's attack dive & watch it crash land on the hillside with a huge wingspan & untangle/ get itself aloft again.  They're now retired to another small flock in a decades-old Permaculture yard with a true Anglo-Australian gentleman.  

The birds strip our lettuce, arugula, mustard, brassica pods/ seeds & the feijoa flower petals, while the squirrels harvest our guava, araça-uçu, & feijoa fruits.  The rats seem to especially like tomatoes, which volunteer everywhere & often produce without irrigation before the soil dries out.  

Being used to house-sharing, looking to possible multiple generations, trying to get the mortgage off our backs for the sabbatical, we've been turning the house into separable independent-together "suites".  Unfortunate the step to the large deck & the topography of the back yard remain wheelchair obstacles.  
 
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Ulla, it sounds like you have gotten some great local answers.
I grow in 9b, but in the southern hemisphere, and I also have become seriously frustrated trying to adapt how I used to plant elsewhere. My biggest challenge is definitely that we don't get cold enough to kill bugs (we do get down to freezing and occasional snow, but it's never that cold for a full 24-hour period, never). But the bugs do tend to come in cycles, so I try to observe where I see certain bugs, and once I see them rip out their favorites (for example: I have a kind of beetle that only appears on beans and zinnias, and where it goes the white and black mildew follows, I try to control them as soon as i see them, but there's no point ripping out beans if I let the zinnias go all year- the bugs will be there when i start up again).
The other thing is I've learned to try growing out of season (or what I consider out of season) to tr to take advantage of climate. Here the big enemy of tomatoes is a stem-boring bug that only appears in warm weather. I have started growing tomatoes during the winter, when the bugs aren't around. They grow more slowly, sure, but I occasionally get a tomato.
Finally, the hardest thing (I think) about growing year round is ripping things out when they start to flag or when you have something better. I have a small urban garden and space is limited. I've learned to be ruthless about ripping out and also pruning to keep my space under control (for perennial vines and trees, for example). My pepper or chard plants may go 2 or 3 years if I let them, but usually after a full year they're pretty much done and should be yanked and the space given over to something else. The same about when it's the end of the season for kale, or cilantro, or whatever else- I needed to just grit my teeth and assume that was probably as good as it was going to get, rip it out.

I grow a lot of things on Patrik's list plus others, we have clay soil and lots of rain though. I have done hugel beds, rather than hugels, just because i'm on a slope and have a small urban space. And I've had bananas in for a few years, they seem to take their sweet time. My neighbors have bananas that produce, so I know it's possible here, but ugh, it is taking forever.
I've found mulberry to be good and relatively low effort in this kind of climate, they seem to do better in drought years.
 
Patrik Schumann
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Growing a lot of things from/ to seed, crossing cultivars & bringing in breeder's wider-traits populations, letting local conditions do our culling, in order to get hyper-locally adapted selections, I find that often certain varieties & individual specimens among them become hosts for overwhelming insect damage.  Assuming this is genetic/ conditional, depending the specifics, I might leave as magnet then pull/ prune any spread, track the spread & hit the spreaders & eggs, etc.  
 
master steward
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I am in Texas 8a which seems more like 8b.

We plant tomatoes in the spring and are still enjoying picking some in December.

I am sure at some point we have had a fall garden with all kinds of greens, onions and garlic.
 
Ulla Bisgaard
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Tereza Okava wrote:Ulla, it sounds like you have gotten some great local answers.
I grow in 9b, but in the southern hemisphere, and I also have become seriously frustrated trying to adapt how I used to plant elsewhere. My biggest challenge is definitely that we don't get cold enough to kill bugs (we do get down to freezing and occasional snow, but it's never that cold for a full 24-hour period, never). But the bugs do tend to come in cycles, so I try to observe where I see certain bugs, and once I see them rip out their favorites (for example: I have a kind of beetle that only appears on beans and zinnias, and where it goes the white and black mildew follows, I try to control them as soon as i see them, but there's no point ripping out beans if I let the zinnias go all year- the bugs will be there when i start up again).
The other thing is I've learned to try growing out of season (or what I consider out of season) to tr to take advantage of climate. Here the big enemy of tomatoes is a stem-boring bug that only appears in warm weather. I have started growing tomatoes during the winter, when the bugs aren't around. They grow more slowly, sure, but I occasionally get a tomato.
Finally, the hardest thing (I think) about growing year round is ripping things out when they start to flag or when you have something better. I have a small urban garden and space is limited. I've learned to be ruthless about ripping out and also pruning to keep my space under control (for perennial vines and trees, for example). My pepper or chard plants may go 2 or 3 years if I let them, but usually after a full year they're pretty much done and should be yanked and the space given over to something else. The same about when it's the end of the season for kale, or cilantro, or whatever else- I needed to just grit my teeth and assume that was probably as good as it was going to get, rip it out.

I grow a lot of things on Patrik's list plus others, we have clay soil and lots of rain though. I have done hugel beds, rather than hugels, just because i'm on a slope and have a small urban space. And I've had bananas in for a few years, they seem to take their sweet time. My neighbors have bananas that produce, so I know it's possible here, but ugh, it is taking forever.
I've found mulberry to be good and relatively low effort in this kind of climate, they seem to do better in drought years.


I deal with insects several ways, that are pretty effective. I have watched many lectures here, and experimented here as well. I plant food for the insects, and to attract predators. Right now all of my beds has a ground cover in the form of lettuce. I oversowed Napa cabbages around my broccoli and cauliflowers, so the insects, would leave those alone. I do a lot of companion planting too. The right companions will support each other, get healthier that way and keep the insect damage away. I don’t have dedicated beds for onions and garlic. All of them has been planted in between and around my raised beds. I leave part of my garden wild, lots of weeds, and grasses. It helps support and encourage a healthy ecosystem. We had a lot of insect and rodent problems the first years, but as the soil recovered, and the ecosystem started to thrive, we got fewer and fewer problems with insects. I also find that we get more insects during the warm season than during the cold season, since many insects don’t like the cold. I think that thriving toward having a good balance is the way forward. I didn’t have many birds, when we moved in. Now I see 10+ different species outside, and since they tend to leave my fruit and berries alone, they must be feeding on the insect populations instead.
The reason I am working myself through the master gardening course videos, is because I believe, that what is being taught  there is the way forward. HA and AB are brilliant in how they see things and how they manage food production. While I can’t do it at the large scale they do there, I can still implement many of the things they teach, and they do work.
 
Patrik Schumann
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In New Mexico the only real insect problems were early eruptions of aphids, eventually knocked back by ladybugs before their migration up to the mountain forests to mate.  Last survey we had 79 species of birds coming through our tiny oasis.

Here it's been black scale from scion collections & nurseries, some huge moth caterpillers on fennel/ groundcherry/ currant/ sometimes tomato, rolly-pollies on root crops by mulch, & occasional grasshoppers.  The tiny ants everywhere farm the scale.  I see leaf-cutter & leaf-miner sign, sometimes brassicas suddenly stripped.  The skunks are routinely digging up everything for their grubs.  The birds we see are mostly non-native sparrows & turtle doves, with some finches & the occasional hummingbird.  Hawks are constantly on patrol overhead, & I hear two different owls at night.
 
Ulla Bisgaard
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So, I have another question to you all. I see a lot about planting comfrey with you trees in the orchards. My problem with that, is that it prefers zone 4 - 8 and I am in 10. So, what should I plant instead?
 
Jen Fulkerson
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Hi Ulla I'm zone 9b and have managed to grow comfrey. It was a struggle, but I finally got a true comfrey crown to grow for a couple of years now. I planted it under an apricot tree with a tree collared on the side to provide shade from the afternoon sun.  Last year I started true comfrey from seed. Two grew One lived through the miserable hot summer. So if you're determined, keep comfrey watered well until it's established, then it gets easier.

If you don't want to go to the trouble borage is from the same family as comfrey. It has a lot of the same benefits like being a dynamic accumulator.  I find it super easy to grow. It isn't a perinatal, but will reseed itself like crazy.  You will find it popping up all over. It's easy to pull unwanted plants.  It's pretty, tastes like cucumber, but the fuzzy texture isn't very appealing. The flowers also tastes like cucumber, and pretty in salad.
 
Ulla Bisgaard
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Jen Fulkerson wrote:Hi Ulla I'm zone 9b and have managed to grow comfrey. It was a struggle, but I finally got a true comfrey crown to grow for a couple of years now. I planted it under an apricot tree with a tree collared on the side to provide shade from the afternoon sun.  Last year I started true comfrey from seed. Two grew One lived through the miserable hot summer. So if you're determined, keep comfrey watered well until it's established, then it gets easier.

If you don't want to go to the trouble borage is from the same family as comfrey. It has a lot of the same benefits like being a dynamic accumulator.  I find it super easy to grow. It isn't a perinatal, but will reseed itself like crazy.  You will find it popping up all over. It's easy to pull unwanted plants.  It's pretty, tastes like cucumber, but the fuzzy texture isn't very appealing. The flowers also tastes like cucumber, and pretty in salad.



Thank you, I think I will try borage, I have tried comfrey before and it just can’t survive here. The trees in our orchard isn’t super large yet, except for the avocados. So there really isn’t any place I can put it, where there is shade, though I do grow tree collards. I only just started them this winter. I do have two old orange trees, growing on their own next to the driveway. Maybe I can try comfrey there. Those two trees needs some TLC anyway.
I did order rock roses, which I hope will live in the orchard. It’s a crazy good medicinal plant, and taste great in tea too.
So far I have bananas, peaches, apples, plums, avocado, elderberries, tangerines and lemons growing there. I think I need something with a big wide canopy to help bring the temperature down. We also have nettles, mallow and mustard cress growing there wild, plus  a mix of difference grasses. I am trying to add in some wild flowers and other species to get some diversity. I want to move at least some of it, to use as living mulch, but my husband isn’t happy, because he feeds it to his rabbits.
 
Jen Fulkerson
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A lot of nut trees get tall with a large canape. The down side is most take a long time to grow.
 
Patrik Schumann
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Jen Fulkerson wrote:A lot of nut trees get tall with a large canape. The down side is most take a long time to grow.



Don't see too many around SoCal, but around the greater-SW mulberry is a quick-growing, wide-shading, fruit-producing tree, if not exactly low-water it is quite tough & the Pakistani one in circulation here has 3"/ 7½cm fruits.  
 
Ulla Bisgaard
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Yeah, I was thinking about nuts, but we already have our neighbors pecan tree to deal with, and it’s very messy. I know that some isn’t messy, but as Jen said they do take a long time to grow large.

I like the idea of the mulberry though, we have talked about it before. I will look for the Pakistani one online, and see if I can find one. We have lots of room for more trees.
 
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I thought this excerpt could be beneficial for this topic

In this video, Helen presents a comprehensive overview of the soil food web and its significance in maintaining a thriving garden. She sheds light on the importance of having a diverse microbial community both on the surface and in the subsoil, which can be achieved by planting a range of different plants,  explaining how the use of pesticides can disrupt these cycles. These principles, when followed correctly, can establish a healthy soil food web that provides a habitat for a variety of species and ensures a stable ecosystem for plants to thrive.

 
Ulla Bisgaard
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Christine Circe wrote:I thought this excerpt could be beneficial for this topic

In this video, Helen presents a comprehensive overview of the soil food web and its significance in maintaining a thriving garden. She sheds light on the importance of having a diverse microbial community both on the surface and in the subsoil, which can be achieved by planting a range of different plants,  explaining how the use of pesticides can disrupt these cycles. These principles, when followed correctly, can establish a healthy soil food web that provides a habitat for a variety of species and ensures a stable ecosystem for plants to thrive.



It’s a great course. I have been watching the videos. I am on day three right now. Even before that, I have been watching what was available here on the topic, and I have been implementing some of those things.
Mine is on a lot smaller scale, than what they are doing. Including our house, we only have 1/2 acre. Our back yard, I have split between raised beds, livestock (chickens, ducks, rabbits and bees) and what used to be dead soil, which I have been working on improving the last 7 years. This year, we got a good amount of weeds heavy on nettles and mallow, so I am now satisfied that the soil are finally ready to use.
This warm season, I am letting it be, but eventually I am planning on making a hugel there. This year summer though, it’s going to be used for meat chickens. I just don’t have the energy to both make improvements to the orchard and do a hugel.
Our front yard are dedicated to trees. This area was also dead space when we moved in. Not even weeds would grow there in the beginning. It took 2 years, before we could plant trees, but we have mulched and mulched, and added so much compost since. It has been 7 years now. Because of what I have read here, and seen/heard during the lectures, I am going to try for a forest garden, instead of an orchard. I realized, that I don’t have a diversity in Hights and roots. We currently are growing bananas, apples,  peaches, avocado, oranges, lemons, tangerines, plums, prickly pears and elderberries. We are now adding raspberries and blackberries (have looked and found appropriate microclimates where they will hopefully be okay despite the sun. I am also adding a mulberry tree after advice I got here. We put our gapes in the backyard, which I think was a mistake. Eventually I want to add more grapes to that area too.
Since comfrey hates it here, I am planting borage around the trees. I hope that I eventually will be able to lower the temperature in the front yard, so we can use less water. We originally removed irrigation, but had to put it back this year.
I am seeing a lot of what Hellen talks about. We are getting more and more insects, good ones too. I now have prayermantis and other predators living in the back yard. We went from only seeing pigeons and the occasional hummingbird, to now seeing over 15 different species of birds. The coyotes are now leaving the livestock alone, which is probable because there are plenty of pray in the orchard, and it’s easier to access. I see Hawks and other predator birds too.
So, I am on my way to get there, but as you all know it’s a work in progress. My ultimate groan is to attain food independence, and we are getting there. I haven’t been to the grocery store since Christmas, and the only produce we buy are sweet potatoes, onions and apples, which I buy in bulk every 2 months. This summer I am attempting to grow 240 pounds of sweet potatoes and 120 pounds of onions, since that will be a years worth.
In the back yard, I am slowly adding more and more perennials. I find it interesting and funny, that while all regular spinach has failed, the 2 types of perennial spinach I planted, are thriving. I practice polyculture and companion planting a lot. Because of Hellen I have been throwing seed everywhere I can find bare soil, and she is right, if I spread out seed like lettuce, it will out compete most of the other weeds, and we get a lot of lettuce as a bonus.
I will just say, that I have learned a lot here, and are still learning. I love the online environment here, since it’s positive and uses positive reinforcement instead of punishment to push a positive and friendly environment.
I also love, that I have found like minded people, who doesn’t think I am crazy for doing what I do, so a big thanks to you all for that.
 
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