Only 48 hours left in our kickstarter!

New rewards and stretch goals. CLICK HERE!



  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

Input and ideas please  RSS feed

 
                                    
Posts: 27
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I've been trying to plan out a good edible garden/food forest area. I've decided on what I think is the best spot, and based on some input here have made a few plans. I'd love some input on things that I should rethink, things that could be good ideas, or just anything else to think about. I'm hoping to get at least the fruit and nut trees in this spring so we start getting fruit as soon as possible. I'm in the Pacific Northwest. So far, this area gets a fair amount of sun, though part of it is shaded by the house in the morning. I'm thinking most of it will be quite sunny in the spring/summer. The plan that I've attached is a fairly long-term plan, but I like to have something I'm working towards. I'm of course open to changing it as I go if things aren't working.

The entire thing is about 100' long by 50' wide. There is no access directly from the house on that side, so I think it would technically be considered a zone 2 area? It's close to the garden shed and easy to access from the house though, so I think it will work. I plan to put a small vegetable patch and herb garden in the zone 1 area, but it won't get nearly the space and sun as this area. In this picture: http://www.flickr.com/photos/wilsonfamilypictures/5327768571/ you can see the actual plot. The west side has a pretty steep but short incline. I don't know if that will have any effect one way or the other. I've been reading about swales and berms, would that be something to consider there? At either end (north and south, in the picture it drops off behind the log pile up at the back) there are rather steep declines, but other than those areas it's fairly flat.

The red circles in my rather crude drawing are potential fruit or nut trees. The shape of the gardens is more just to give an idea. I couldn't do exactly what I had in mind using that paint program. It's not really to scale either. I plan to put wood and sticks in the bottom of the beds. We have wet winters and often hot, dry summers, so I thought hugulkultur would help retain some moisture in the beds through the summer.

Last question, and this is something I asked in another thread I started but this particular question didn't get much attention, what to line curved raised beds (like keyholes and mandalas) with? We have tons and tons of fallen trees and long logs, but obviously they won't work for curved beds. I was thinking of cutting them up and standing them up to make a sort of timber roll around the beds. It would be a lot of work, but I don't mind putting in some work for long-term gain if it's a good idea otherwise. Especially since we won't be doing it all at once, so it's not like it's going to be a ton of work all at once. (Wonder if I can get a Woofer in for my relatively small area!) It would also be free. I see a lot of people use rocks when I google and look at pictures, but I can't get rocks like that free anywhere around here. Long term I might consider slowly replacing the timber roll (if that's what I go for) with rocks, but all at once it would be too expensive. Someone mentioned a timber roll could hide slugs, which also gives me pause because we do have slug problems here.
GardenPlan.jpg
[Thumbnail for GardenPlan.jpg]
 
Mariah Wallener
Posts: 167
Location: Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, Canada
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Well I'll be watching this thread closely as I'm in the same area as you.

What do you mean about lining the keyhole/mandala beds? Do they need to have borders around them? I was going to use keyhole design for my zone 1 garden but figured they'd essentially be raised beds (just not rectangular ones). Do I need to line them with something?

Must read up more on hugelkultur...
 
                                    
Posts: 27
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'm in Cobble Hill, so very close to you. I mean something to keep the soil in the raised beds from eroding every winter in the heavy rains we sometimes get. I assume just piling dirt up would not work here. Not sure though, it'd be nice to be wrong (simply because it would be a lot less work! Though I built terraced beds while 8 1/2 months pregnant at our last place. Gardening just doesn't feel like work to me so I'm not too worried about that part of it).
 
                                    
Posts: 27
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Another question, are strawberries a good ground cover crop? I know clover is used a lot, but my daughters both love strawberries and I've seen them mentioned elsewhere.

Also, the west side is along our fence line, and our neighbours have goats that like to stick their heads through the fence there. Something to keep in mind when choosing plants as I'd hate for the goats to be able to ruin them before they're established.
 
Jason Long
Posts: 153
Location: Davie, Fl
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
In video 4 (i believe) on Will Hookers NCSU Permaculture session 1 series (http://deimos3.apple.com/WebObjects/Core.woa/Browse/ncsu.edu , which is free btw) will shows videos of someones garden area. They had chopped a tree down and wanted to leave the stump and tree in place. They cut and stood the logs up as you mentioned. They experienced a lot of benefits, so they decided to do it again after the 15 years that it rotted.

I am lining my beds with coral from old coral walls. I will also use logs for some others.

Yes, strawberries are a great edible ground cover. I enjoy them a lot, and I am aware of people who use it as a ground cover. I am starting to plant them out right now to be a ground cover. Another great ground cover is sweet potato. Clover is obviously really good because it fixes nitrogen, it feels good on your feet, and the flower is such an amazing edible flower!

I am not sure where you live, however there are some really good wild strawberries that do good in temperate areas. My friend planted a wild strawberry as a ground cover that really takes over, and has a pretty good size fruit (1/2-1inch I think). I will get the information and edit this comment as soon as I have it on exact variety and website.
 
Paul Cereghino
gardener
Posts: 856
Location: South Puget Sound, Salish Sea, Cascadia, North America
15
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I grow F. vesca which is almost identical to F. virginiana... its production time is longer than our everbearing domestics, the berries are yummy for little hands, and it aggressively fills between all other plantings, even through woody mulch, and bounces back from burial.
 
                                    
Posts: 27
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Jason, I'm on our Mac and that link is just opening up iTunes but not going to videos. I'm going to try and find it. It sounds like something I'd be really interested in. To both of you, thanks for the info on strawberries. I'd love to know more about the variety Jason mentioned, and will look into the one Paul mentioned. I think I'd use clover as well, and I know they're edible for us too (plus I will be getting chickens which I think love them as well), but I just love how strawberries look and taste. If it works as a living mulch, it seems ideal for us.
 
                                    
Posts: 27
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Oh and sorry, I'm on Vancouver Island. Zone 7b I believe.
 
Gary Park
Posts: 146
Location: St. Louis, MO
2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
You should post a diagram of your complete lot and adjacent lots, complete with wind direction, elevation change(if any), neighbors houses, lot lines, etc. so that people looking here can better evaluate and advise on the best positioning of things.
 
Jason Long
Posts: 153
Location: Davie, Fl
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The link for wills movie opens the itunes store. On the right side of the itunes store page you will see a list saying most popular, or something similar to most popular. There you will see the class. Im on my phone right now, so once again, i will edit my first comment later to explain how to view specifically. There is a thread here on permies.com that gives access to the second  36hr session of Will's classes.
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4434
Location: North Central Michigan
10
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
i too have an area with house shade directly behind our house..but I found that it is quite productive.

I have the west end of it planted to hostas and ferns with a path north of them and then north of that I have a cherry tree guild with underplantings of spirea, barberry, pachysandra, strawberry, siberian iris and a few alberta spruce trees..the canopy is a white ash..

on the eastern side I have vinca and hostas and ferns and monkshood, ligularia, filipendula and goatsbeard near the house and then a path, and then over the path an arbor with cl roses and autumn clematis with mint and some other herbs under it and around it, some more siberian iris, peonies and wild strawberries and then a super fertile are of swiss chard, lettuces, corn salad and other greens as well as a few more herbs..I have a bird feeder and bird bath area in this area as well and have just planted some climbers over a trellis over the birdbath, that haven't grown yet.

you can see this area in the around the house section of my blog below
 
220 hours of permaculture video, freaky cheap! http://kck.st/2q6Ycay.
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!