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backyard food forest and fences

 
Bryan Shealy
Posts: 3
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I want to create a permaculture food forest in my backyard but i'm just wondering what the impact of a wooden fence in the backyard has on it. Very little light can get through so how does this impact growing near the fence?
 
Miles Flansburg
steward
Pie
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Location: Zones 2-4 Wyoming and 4-5 Colorado
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Howdy Bryan, welcome to Permies! I have a 6 ft wooden fence around my house. I have 8 fruit trees so far and they are doing fine. They are all planted about 6 ft away from the fence so the shade does not get to them. The wind is blocked by the fence , so I believe that there is a little bit more heat available.
So when you take some time and watch the sun move across your yard, does the fence shade all day long ?
 
Alice Kaspar
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Plant vegetation that doesn't mind shade near the fence. Plant trees whose canopy will be above the fence.
 
Bryan Shealy
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thanks been reading for a while now and had a question that I didn't see any answers to.

ya there's a good 5 feet from the fence that remains shaded all day long i'm not worried about the trees so much as what will need to be grown beneath around the trees as part of the guild.

 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
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Location: North Central Michigan
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does any sun get to the area any part of the day, say if it is a south fence maybe morning and evening..etc? otherwise stick with things that prefer shade..i have things planted on the north side of my house that get very little sun and they thrive..mostly hostas, bleeding heart, filipendula, goatsbeard, monkshood, strawberries, vince, mint, ferns, etc.

then about 5 to 8 ' out there are trees and shrubs of all kind that get either reflected light or some direct light in the morning and evenings.
 
Pierre de Lacolline
Posts: 37
Location: New Hampshire; USDA Z5
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As Brenda and Alice mention, you can find low plants that work in shade. You can search for plants that fit your criteria at http://pfaf.org/user/plantsearch.aspx -- tick the boxes you want in the list for "habit", boxes for 0cm through 1m, and full shade. I just did a search with perennial/biennial and got dozens of results; you can filter by hardiness and uses to get a smaller list of candidates.
 
Bryan Shealy
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wow that's a great site! that makes it easy to find plants for different uses.

I may be too new to the permie scene though because I have no idea how to identify these plants or where I can find them.

I plugged in nitrogen fixer with full shade and thats a shrub and this is what it came up with.

http://pfaf.org/user/DatabaseSearhResult.aspx
 
Pierre de Lacolline
Posts: 37
Location: New Hampshire; USDA Z5
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Unfortunately they don't make it so that the link to the search results retains your search criteria, so I can't see the list you're looking at.

I've found PFAF to be a good resource for generating ideas. (Beware that they're using UK growing zones and these aren't the same as US zones!) I'll take a list of plants from there and then do research on other sites -- Wikipedia is good for general info, http://plants.usda.gov/java/ has good information, Missouri Botanical Gardens has a good plant finder (http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/gardens-gardening/your-garden/plant-finder.aspx). You will often find that one site directly contradicts another -- e.g. PFAF might say something is medicinal while Wikipedia says it is toxic...

Once you've figured out what you want, you can call local nurseries to see what they have for availability, or search around on the web for suppliers, or turn to catalogs to see what they have.
 
Sean Banks
Posts: 153
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I know Pawpaws like shade.....so do american hazelnuts
 
drew grim
Posts: 49
Location: pleasant garden, nc (zone 7A)
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I used to grow comfrey along my fence. It got some sun in the morning and that was about it. We also grew a bunch of medicinal herbs that couldn't take the full summer heat.
 
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