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guilds of plants.  RSS feed

 
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Wonderful thread.
 
steward
Posts: 7926
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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To avoid brambles from forming masses/balls at the base of trees, simple pruning and directing growth with hemp/sisal twine will train the new growth into the trees.  When the twine rots away in a few years, the canes will have already found their way into/onto the tree's limbs.  Unfortunately, if this makes them deer-proof, you will probably need a ladder for harvesting.
 
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I have some Pole Lima Beans that grow over 16feet high.
Gonna let them climb some smaller trees.
They are very vigorous growers.
The pods that cannot be reached can dry on the vines.
 
            
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Is anyone interested in suggesting what I should group together? I have started 70 plants for this season, it appears that all but two will make it. Here is what I have Tomato, Spinach, Romaine, Carrot, Onion, Radish, Swiss Chard, Green Bell Pepper, Zucchini and Yellow Squash. I will also be planting some Basil, Rosemary and Thyme.

I know that Basil and Tomato go well together. And, from a previous post, it sounds like Carrots love Tomatos. Is anyone willing to tell me which ones I should group together?

Thanks for the help.

 
                                    
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z6 central ohio

wild guilds I have noticed.
it has been said in previous posts that the pawpaw and the mulberry will grow well under the walnut.
i have seen these plants also with hackberry and pear..almost everywhere that I find pawpaw I also find canadian ginger right under it.... horsechestnut also seems to be pretty prolific near the pawpaw and the walnut.

these particular plant guilds are within 100 ft of a river with towering poplars as an overstory.
also grapes, boxelder, sycamore, elms,
 
Posts: 104
Location: Rutledge, MO
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Greetings Permies!

I thought I would share a few naturally occuring plant guilds I have observed in central and east Texas:


1. Native "weeds" - good for understory beneath primary grops, in areas where livestock are freeranging in a paddock shift system, or in otherwise unproductive areas

Clover (most any kind, soil builder)
+
Ragweed (goats seem to eat it before anything else)
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Chickweed (edible, fast growing, early developer, good for small livestock - chickens/guineas love it)
+
Henbit (edible, fast growing, early developer, good for small livestock)
+
Dandelion (edible, tap root, soil conditioner)
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Bull thistle and Sow thistle (same as dandelion - edible leaves, the stalk can be peeled and eaten, tastes rather like celery; also a protective plant, as most ungulates do not touch them)
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Sheep sorrel (edible, very shade tolerant, pollenator attractor)
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Oxalis/wood sorrel (edible soil builder, but has oxalic acid in it)
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Pigweed (edible, good forage, high nitrate content)
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Tansy mustard (not to be confused with actual tansy, edible, good forage, shade tolerant, wet soil tolerant)
= Many of these are native plants, found throughout North America, commonly found growing together all over east Texas and elsewhere


2. Semi-aqautic/aquatic stuff, things that like their feet wet
Pennywort (edible, can be used to make a drink popular in Asian cuisines)
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Peppergrass (edible, native substitute for piquant spices, one of the first things to come up in spring)
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False hawksbeard (edible, erosion control, pollenator attractor, favorite hangout of dragonflies)
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Pellitory aka cucumber weed (edible, delicious in salads, good forage and mass groundcover)
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Bullrush (versatile, edible plant, cattails)
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Yellow pond lily (versatile edible plant, evaporation crontrol)
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Water hyacinth (versatile edible plant, awesome livestock feed, evaporation control, very fast grower)
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Water hyssop (very good medicine with benefits to memory)
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Stinging nettles (you know this one)
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Duck potatoes (edible tuber)
= Many of these are native plants, can grow near ponds or creeks, and have a range of uses, seen growing together in east Texas and elsewhere


3. Plants compatible in a food forest:
Hickory/pecan (edible nuts, tall, fairly straight growing, many botanical similarities, valuable cooking wood)
+
Sassafras (leaves used as a spice, bark of the roots used in old fasioned root beer - technically illegal, for no good reason, but you can make it for yourself)
+
Mulberry (you know this one - in east Texas, mulberries are often to be found with sassafras, and look nearly identical as saplings - mulberries are generally sun loving, and the sassafras generally shade loving, growing underneath mulberries and pecans, sometimes cottonwood too)
+
Red Bay tree (leaves used as a spice, medicinal properties)
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Wax myrtle (can be used to make a kind of soap, good insect repeller in leaves, leaves smoked by indigenous Americans)
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Elderberry (edible berries)
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++ (I always see mulberry, sassafras, wax myrtle and elderberry growing together along riverbanks - wax myrtle and mulberry seem to overhang the water itself - sometimes wild grapes grow amongst them too)
+
Winged Sumac and lkindred species (edible flowers, berries can be used to make a kind of "lemonade" when steeped in water)
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Smilax/Bull briar (edible root and berries)
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Sweetgum (sap used like maple sap)
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Saw palmetto and pirate palm (edible berries, mostly in hot regions of the gulf coast)
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Ground cherry (related to tomato, small numbers of fruit, intensely flavored, good shade tolerance)
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American beautyberry/French mulberry (inspid edible berry, small livestock, birds, rodents and raccoons love them; leaves make an outstanding insect repellent by rubbing them on the skin, shade tolerant)
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Goldenrod (medicinal properties, blossoms made into tea, pollenator attractor)
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Wild grape/Muscadine grape (found mostly in the gulf coast area, may include other grape species - I often see these growing amongst liveoak boughs, leaves edible too)
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Dewberry (basically a southern blackberry, low growing)
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False pennyroyal (same uses as European pennyroyal)
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Spidewort (edible, one of the few true blue flowers)
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Deerberry/huckleberry (edible, dense groundcover, shade tolerant)
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Persimmon (edible fruit, I usually see these in sunny spots between a wooden area and a road, often right on the edge of the pavement, but they seem to need more water than is available in central/west Texas)
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Gallberry holly (evergreen, leaves make a delicious tea, possible substitute for Asian grown green teas)
= I see these growing more or less together throughout coastal Texas


4: Arid lowland regions, like central Texas, where I live:
Opuntia (all species are edible, produce wonderful fruit, mostly for jelly making, good perimeter protection, they are great havens for wildflowers)
+
Mesquite (plays a similar role to acacias - some say it is host to nitrogen fixing bacteria, others say it isn't, I don't know who to believe! - valuable hardwood for craft uses, cooking and making liquid smoke, good insect repellant when burned, edible seed pods mostly for ungulate livestock and turkeys, very thorny and grows densely, good for perimeter protection, produces little shade and coexists well with other trees)
+
++ (Mesquite, opuntia and seasonal wildflowers are the ubiquitous natural guild over countless acres in central and southern Texas)
+
Pindo palm/Jelly palm (probably my favorite fruit, low water requirements, commonly found as a suburban ornamental, formerly a mainstay of southern plantations as a sign of prosperity, I often see wildflowers growing under them around here)
+
Yucca (you know this one)
+
Amaranth (I have had success growing it in sunny areas on a small scale, quail and dove love it - both valuable hunting fowl)
+
Pomegranate (of all the fruit trees I have seen growing wild in the area, pomegranate consistently seems to be one of the healthiest)
+
Texas crabapple (Malus ioensis/Pyrus ionensis - beloved by deer, horses and goats, though not so palatable to people)
+
Wild onions + bluebonnets (these go together like peanut butter and jelly, I've read that bluebonnets are a nitrogen fixer)
+
Conventional farmers in central and south Texas grown many of the things you would associate with the Mediterranean, like olives, citrus, stone fruit, etc - this area is famous for melons, so these things are good candidates as well, if you live in a smilar environment. Among common sunloving annual crops, tomatoes are among the hardest to grow profitably here because they have a short season - fruit will not set in temperatures above 90F or so. Oldtimers swear by blackeyed peas and other bush type beans, summer squash, peppers/chilis of all kinds and okra.
= We get around 15 inches of rain per annum here, with mild winters and mostly alkaline soil.

5: Cautionary tale: based on personal experience

Water cress (delicious and nutritious)
+
Water hemlock (highly poisonous, a dab will do ya)
= Important to know, especially if you are foraging wild specimens, because they almost always seem to be found amongst eachother around here, and you don't want hemlock in your salad!
 
Posts: 409
Location: Georgia
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I brought this question up in another thread the other day about Swiss Chard and Tomatoes.
Do they get along? The attached photo shows a bed that contains strawberries, garlic, swiss chard
and a cage of tomatoes. Is that a grouping that anybody has any insight on?
Photo002.JPG
[Thumbnail for Photo002.JPG]
 
Posts: 43
Location: Gasp├ęsie/BSL, QC Zones 4b-5a
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Alex Ames wrote:I brought this question up in another thread the other day about Swiss Chard and Tomatoes.
Do they get along? The attached photo shows a bed that contains strawberries, garlic, swiss chard
and a cage of tomatoes. Is that a grouping that anybody has any insight on?



I've heard that growing strawberries and garlic produces garlic-flavored strawberries.
 
Alex Ames
Posts: 409
Location: Georgia
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Caleb Worner wrote:

Alex Ames wrote:I brought this question up in another thread the other day about Swiss Chard and Tomatoes.
Do they get along? The attached photo shows a bed that contains strawberries, garlic, swiss chard
and a cage of tomatoes. Is that a grouping that anybody has any insight on?



I've heard that growing strawberries and garlic produces garlic-flavored strawberries.



It seems like it might but the flavor on these was excellent.
 
Posts: 244
Location: Vermont, annual average precipitation is 39.87 Inches
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Old post but I may have found a working blueberry/willow guild link: http://www.appropedia.org/Willow_and_blueberry_guild
 
gardener
Posts: 878
Location: Ohio, USA
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Some I've found and will probably do again:

beets, parsnip, and beans - the beats get big first, and are harvested as the beans get ready to produce, and are harvested, and then the parsnip finish up the rest of the year and into the winter.

Tomatoes and onions - the onions grow through the tomato leaves, just as crab grass wood. I'd also try throwing in some peas since they can climb both the onions and tomatoes and can stay hidden from varmints.

Blackberries and oaks in a moist environment.

Squash snaking from a compost hill into grassland. The squash will dig tendrils and roots into the lawn, strengthening it against vine borers and adding fertility, a the same time, the grass keeps the fruit off the ground. The grass ends up basically unharmed, except where the fruit sat. You do have to keep the lawn from mowing or trampling during this time, so this would probably good for a pasture at rest or something.


Things I am adverse to due to experience:

I would not mix anything with radishes or arugula, until I want them to go to flower. They are fast and aggressive.

I would not mix lettuce with tomatoes because lettuce we want leaves (i.e. nitrogen) and tomatoes we want flowers (i.e. phosphorus), but tomatoes can be real greedy about gobbling nitrogen, and the root area is about the same.

I would not mix cucumber and tomatoes together. For whatever reason, when I tried lining them up to overlap, they simply avoided each other.

I would not mix anything that could cross-breed and ruin my seed quality together.

I would not mix lettuce and onions. The lettuce thrives at the same time as onions and shades out the onions from forming nice bulbs.

That's more on the "not" than "do," but I'd like to think of my experience as successful experiments in finding what plants are best kept separate.
 
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The book "Integrated Forest Gardening" has many good examples; in a way it is the focus of the book. Definitely temperate oriented.

"Fruit and Nut Guild" - Groundnut, Fennel, Spearmint, Ginkgo, Wild Ginger, Comfrey, Violet, Hardy Almond, Asian Pear, Raspberry, Fig, Caraway, Licorice
"Pawpaw Delight Guild" - Bush Cherry, Bush Apricot, Elderberry, Persimmon, Pawpaw, Yarrow, Comfrey, Red Clover, Wild Ginger, Tulip, Anise Hyssop, Dandelion, Feverfew, Oregano, Yucca, Rosemary, Horseradish
"Four Vines Guild" - Akebia quinata, Grape, Yellow Raspberry, Rose, Comfrey, Passionflower, st. John's Wort, Hollyhock, Mulberry, Schizandra, Bluebead Lily, Peppermint, White Clover, Sage, Spearmint, Mullein, Nasturtium
"Annual-Perennial Guild" - Blueberry, Comfrey, Dogwood, Chives, Parsley, Peppermint, Oregano, Thyme, Bamboo, Feverfew, Lemon Balm, Summer Savory, Basil, Strawberry, Calendula, Cayenne Pepper, Cilantro, Columbine, Sedum, Dandelion, White Clover, and Annual Crops
"Ginseng/Sugar Maple Polyculture Guild" - Sugar Maple, Sweet Annie, Jujube, Mulberry, Wild Licorice, Amur Corktree, Goldthread, American Hogpeanut, Sage, Akebia, Black Currant, Chinese Rhubarb, Pagoda Dogwood and I would assume Ginseng although they did not include it.

These are just a few of the 15 example Guilds they include in the book. As for educational material it's so so, kind of wordy making the same points over and over; but the details and associations are invaluable!
 
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