My name is Chrissie, and am new to this forum. Thank you to all of you for creating such a great source of information! I am also new to permaculture practices and have just read Gaia's Garden. This year I am beginning to incorporate some of the concepts on my property.
I have a number of plants in pots, the ones listed in the subject line, that I am looking to plant, but I am not sure what role they play within permaculture. Which will then help me decide where to put them. I have not been able to find much on them. Can anyone help me out?
Lemongrass - tall perennial bunching grass
needs: sun?, 3-4ft space?
yields: flavoring, repelling snakes?, preventing the encroachment of other grasses?, biomass?
Yerba Buena - I think this may refer to a number of different species, but if it is a mint, then:
needs: probably a moist spot, partial shade?
yields: tea, insectary, ground cover
Wormwood - I don't know this, and it depends on what specific plant
Lemon Verbena - shrub that can take some shade, leaves for flavoring
After looking at all the properties of these plants and the space you have to work with, you can start making connections between these elements.
What roles might the plants you have play?
Yerba Buena: ground cover, insectary, biomass
Lemongrass: provides shade
Wormwood & Lemon Verbena roles: shrub layer
What kind of roles are missing from this ensemble? Some I can think of are:
-Nitrogen-fixers - peas/beans might fit in a small system like this. there are a variety that grow in hot or cool times. From small annuals to trees.
-Dynamic nutrient accumulators - yarrow, comfrey, and many plants perform this role, with different nutrients and elements (such as N, P, K, and all the minor ones)
-Tap-rooted plants - these can break up soil to allow better water infiltration
-Matt-rooted plants & ground covers - stabilize soil and prevent erosion
-Vine layer - what plants or structures could support a vine of some sort?
-Tuber layer - what could be growing under the ground amongst these plants?
-Insectary - get a variety of these to attract different insects, different times of year, etc.
-Biomass - produces a lot of material over the year, good to contribute to mulch & composting
Much depends on your climate, your land form, what you use, etc., but hopefully this will help out some to get started thinking of it.
Thanks Noah! I wasn't clear on what benefits each plant had in terms of using them in permaculture, this helps!
I have a good number of nutrient accumulators and nitrogen fixers and mulch plants. And shade plants are on their way But this helps me figure out where these particular plants fit in. I will look at the guild again and see where I need some shade so I can plant the wormwood and the lemon grass. The hierba buena I need to think about because it is definitely part of the mint family and there is not a lot of shade right now as the guild is new. I may have to plant it in a larger pot in the shaded part of the patio until I find a good spot for it or until the wormwood at least gets a little bigger to provide some shade
Thanks Al! I am thinking, due to the pest repellant qualities, wormwood might make a good outside border around the tree. Maybe when the plants get larger I will try my hand at making absinthe. A neighbour up the road makes it and does a fairly good job of it. Would be interesting to learn how! It is legal where I am which helps
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