I just cleared out (pushed back the edge) roughly 10-15 feet of overgrowth in the front portion of my urban forest garden. I am in Southern Florida(zone 10) and am looking to get some things started but want to get some ideas from you all.
The ground was very moist (partly due to the rain we've had the past few days and the artisan well that's present) and there were a lot of ferns growing back there which means acidic soil if I'm not mistaken. I was wondering if potatoes and berries would be good to plant in those areas or maybe it's too moist? I know sunchokes are supposed to grow well in acidic soil but I'm in zone 10 so I'm not sure if they would handle the heat.What type of potatoes do well in acidic soil, all or only certain varieties? We would prefer to grow sweet potatoes or yams if we can. I also know blueberries like acidic soil but what else would be good here? In the wetter area I would like to just dig it out and put a pond but the land isn't mine, so I was thinking maybe using it to grow sugar-cane or if I could possibly use it as a rice patty?
I will be posting the video of my progress soon and would love to hear your thoughts on where to go from here. You can see the first video of what it looked like below.
Here's a video of a taro farm:
John Elliott wrote:How about trying taro for the wet spots?
Taro is awesome, but would it handle Dakota's climate?
Aside from blueberries being an obvious choice, it sounds like a great spot for raspberries, rhubarb, alpine strawberries, and leafy plants like lettuces, Claytonia, cress, French sorrel etc.
Sorry the name is confusing. I'm not in North Dakota. I grew up there but live along the treasure coast of Florida now. I'm in zone 9-10 so I think taro might do well here.
If anyone knows a good resource for tropic and sub-tropic perennials please send me a link cause I am not sure what I want to do yet. I am reading through "gaia's garden" right now and it is quite inspiring but since Toby wrote it with more of a temperate climate in mind the tables in the appendix don't give me a lot of options.
Another tropical to try is canna lilies. They are on sale at most garden centers, I think Lowe's has a bag of 5 roots for $9. This publication from Alabama Cooperative Extension has some information on how to grow (and cook) them. It says they like well drained soil, but also that they thrive under boggy conditions, so maybe they would do well in your wet spots.
David Dakota wrote:Sorry the name is confusing. I'm not in North Dakota. I grew up there but live along the treasure coast of Florida now. I'm in zone 9-10 so I think taro might do well here.
Dave, did I manage to not see your climate info, or is that new?
Please let it be new
Totally go the taro then!
this thread might be helpful.
Forget Jerusalem artichokes... for roots you want cassava, sweet potato (perennial non-stop producer down there), true yams, malanga, taro (as previously mentioned), ginger, boniato... lots and lots of good growers. And as John Eliot said, the Oriental market is a great place to find stuff. Potatoes aren't the best for down south, though you can still grow them in winter.
On the Walmart "elephant ears," however, in my research it seems some of those are not as good for eating. The family is big and poorly named. Some roots are great and require minimal processing... others are borderline inedible. The malanga roots in the market are going to be good ones, so I just generally stick with those. John - did you manage to find Latin names on yours?
Okay: for tasty fruit species, again, forget blueberries and northern stuff. Go for "surinam cherry" (improved cultivars taste better), jabuticaba, Simpson stopper, pineapples, acerola cherry, bananas, papaya, pitaya cactus, grumichama, mulberry, Japanese persimmon, chocolate pudding fruit, tamarind... holy cow, there are so many delicious things to eat...
Here's the collection of posts on my project (with lots of photos):
If I lived down there I'd have a lot more done, but it's still turned into an amazing system without much intervention from me, thanks to my dad living down there and staying on top of it.
Depending on where you live, I may be able to hook you up with some cuttings and roots. I'm about to post another set of photos from the project.
I can tell you this: if you push onwards like you are now, your setup is going to be amazing in a shorter period of time than most of us can dream of. Even here we get 4 months of potential frosts... without that, tropical stuff will overwhelm you with abundance. Good luck.
That's the website for ECHO... they have perennial tropical systems already in place. Take a day trip!
If you're near Davie, FL, check out Spyke's Grove for tropical fruit trees:
My own website should prove useful as well... I write daily on Florida gardening.
One last thing: geoff lawton's "Establishing a Food Forest the Permaculture Way" is filmed in the tropics of Australia. A must-watch - it fits your zone perfectly.