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New California Permaculture!!

 
Stefan Kirk
Posts: 6
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Hello my name is Stefan and I am currently in the planning and early establishing phases of getting a permaculture going in Marysville CA. It is in zone 9b, currently I am working on figuring out what shrubs I am going to plant with my priority being low maintenance productve plants. Can anyone please make some suggestions as to what species of shrubs they have had success with.

Some of the species I am currently considering are:
Currants
Blueberries
Blackberries
Blue elderberries

Any suggestions are appreciated!
 
Miles Flansburg
steward
Posts: 3777
Location: Zones 2-4 Wyoming and 4-5 Colorado
143
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Howdy Stefen, welcome to permies. I am in Colorado and Wyoming so won't be of much help but be patient and someone will come along to help. In the mean time take a look around at all of the other threads!
 
Dave Dahlsrud
Posts: 491
Location: North-Central Idaho, 4100 ft elev., 24 in precip
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Stefan
Are you in Marysville proper or more towards the foothills (Loma Rica, etc). The soil profile varies quite a bit as you move away from the river, and you might have troubles with not being acidic enough for the blueberries to do well with out a lot of amendments and ongoing upkeep. You might want to think about some N-fixers like Pea Shrub, or Goumi. Autumn Olive would probably work out OK. Gooseberries, Jostaberries, Marionberries, or Boysenberries should all work pretty well for you also. How much land are you looking at working with?
 
Jennifer Smith
Posts: 714
Location: Zone 5
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I planted service berries as blueberries are not thriving. Too early for me to tell yet how the fruit is. But the plants are doing better.
 
Julie Carney
Posts: 76
Location: Silicon Valley
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Hi Stephan....
We have land near Angels Camp...
I think we're higher than you - 1400 ft and the land is foothills rather than valley
Re shrubs, my elderberries and service berry died, biut I think the service berry died because I can only get to the land at the weekend, and wasn't able to retain the water it needed to get established...
But currants and berries grow well for me...and as you can tell, I'm good at killing things off......
I find I need to start everything in gopher baskets...so far anything I've tried outside the baskets has been eaten...
We also have an over-abundance of mule deer that eat enthusiastically, so any "yummy" berries need to be in 9 ft protection [6 ft didn't work!]
I've started most trees from seed or as seedlings, so am looking forward to the day when the trees grow high enough to be "safe"
Salvias are wonderful for drawing the bees etc, and the deer leave them alone [if you choose some of the numerous highly scented varieties
Olives grow well for me....mulberries...
2 of my 3 elderberries died, and the 3rd is doing OK.....
I REALLY want the elderberry to grow!
I'm not much good at the permie stuff....I have a 20ft plus diameter circular hugel started 4ft below ground.......An old dump we cleared when we bought the land....
I don't feel comfortable using great earthmoving machines to change my land, so trying to work it as it is, and make something beautiful and productive out of 15 acres that has been overgrazed and neglected.....
It would be VERY helpful to me if there was a thread for N Ca permie growing because the climates in SW are soooo diverse.....
When I first started permaculture I did not realize I had to work the system into my particular soil and climate.....
 
Meryt Helmer
Posts: 395
Location: west marin, bay area california. sandy loam, well drained, acidic soil and lots of shade
15
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I am way over on the coast and I think the zone is about the same but the climate here and soil here are pretty different.

you can grow fig trees as shrubs or as trees and they do well here and I think they would do well where you are. I don't know if huckelberries would grow where youa re but they are native to the part of california I am in and I think they taste better than blueberries. you might consider trying california huckelberries.
 
Julie Carney
Posts: 76
Location: Silicon Valley
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Does anyone have good local [N CA] resources to find CA native huckleberries ? [ETC]
 
Meryt Helmer
Posts: 395
Location: west marin, bay area california. sandy loam, well drained, acidic soil and lots of shade
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my internet is being slow so I am uncertain if they currently have native huckleberries for sale but I would think las pilitas http://www.laspilitas.com/

also mostly natives might (but I would wonder if they got theirs from las pilitas) http://www.mostlynatives.com/

I just go in my backyard and and they are all over the place. I wonder how easy they would be to grow from seed? the soil they seem to like and grow in here is very well draining, acidic and low in nutrients.
 
Alder Burns
pollinator
Posts: 1341
Location: northern California
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CA is challenged by having so many distinct climate niches. People growing even a short drive away may be in a completely different zone and ecosystem. Where I used to live (Georgia), I could drive a hundred miles in any direction and find myself in a very recognizable ecosystem, right down to a large percentage of the native plant list. That would be quite difficult to do here! By contrast, I have had some productive correspondences with people in similar climate niches elsewhere in the world---Portugal and Australia come to mind!
But of course, it isn't an uninhabited country, and so simple observation is still the best place to start. What are other people in your area growing, and what is growing wild, both native and exotic?
Thinking more broadly, irrigation is the biggest challenge in most of the state in terms of growing "ordinary" edibles of all sorts. And of course water issues are "hot" in general awareness in our area as well. So it's wise to plan around that.....water provision and redundancy....maximizing the use of the winter rainy season (small grains and fava beans are becoming major staples for me)....and utilizing natives and adapted exotics....(for me....learning to eat acorns and feed them to my chickens has been a big part of my learning in the 3 years I've been here!)
 
chad Christopher
Posts: 293
Location: Pittsburgh PA
9
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Hello stefan. I have a good friend that lives in olivehurst. If you would like, I can provide you with the contacts. The couple are developing a half of an acre csa permaculture site.
 
Morgan Louis
Posts: 33
Location: USDA zone 8b
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Santa Cruz here,

I grow 'hot lips' to attract humming birds and other insects. I also encourage alfalfa as a nitrogen fixing perennial chop and drop also really good for bees. Bush lupine for butterflies and creeping manzanita as a perennial ground cover.

Hope that helps!
 
John Brower
Posts: 10
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Hello, I'm in california and would enjoy coming out for a day to check some sites out!
 
Tim Nam
Posts: 74
Location: Arcata, CA zone 9b
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try mulberries too. there is a nice one at Real Goods in Hopland (just stopped there yesterday)
 
Vlad Alba
Posts: 33
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ditto Real Goods. Their place is fantastic. Great solar /renewable resource also-
 
Wendy Fisher
Posts: 11
Location: Livermore, CA
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I live in California in Zone 9B and I've had good luck with blueberries. I've also had wonderful success with rosemary and sage. Although not exactly a shrub, my artichokes got to be about eight feet tall last summer and then they subsided to four feet over the winter. They fill out space much like a shrub would.
 
S Bengi
Posts: 1356
Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even distribution
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I would try mint/thyme family, almond/plum family, currant family, pistachios, macadamian nut, citrus/orange family, fig, pomegranate, grape, olive, seaberry/goumi family.
 
Marco Banks
Posts: 397
Location: Los Angeles, CA
30
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Good luck.

I've had no success with blueberries. I've tried (and killed) multiple varieties. What's the PH of your soil? If you've got heavy clay soil (like I do), it will not be acidic enough for blueberries to thrive.

Even though the local garden center sells them doesn't mean that they will do well in your area. So before you spend a bunch of money, experiment with one or two plants.
 
Wayne Mackenzie
Posts: 107
Location: Sunizona Az., USA @ 4,400' Zone 8a
1
greening the desert
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Try Prunus Besseyi. Sand Cherries are as tough as it gets.
 
kayla garelick
Posts: 4
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the native plant society in the east bay has a very local regional approach to how they organize their plants. plants for mt diablo are different than the same plant grown in berkeley for several generations. s they can help choose plants that are more likely to survive. http://www.nativeherenursery.org/ (they have 2 plant lists, one is organized by regon, one by species.) i have lotsa wildlife and i planted berries etc with them in mind. but they're chopping them down to the roots. especially the deer. except for very thorny plants like gooseberry & blackberry. they've also left along the barberry, which has very spiky leaves. i have a wild prune tree with huge thorns but they've killed all the lower branches. so i can't reach them. more for the birds!
 
I agree. Here's the link: https://richsoil.com/wood-heat.jsp
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