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Name Calling (plant labels/identification)

 
                            
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Daydreaming about my future edible forest after watching all of those Sepp Videos.... and have a couple of questions.

I like to know the names of the plants I grow. It's this really dumb thing, but it's important to me. I don't have to know the name of every individual, but when I plant Suzy Q Peas and I also plant Danny Boy peas, I want to know which is which. I've used some big painted wooden stakes, marked with paint markers and they seem to hold up well--does anyone have better suggestions?

In a polyculture plant environment, if one has more than one variety of a plant, how does one keep them from pollinating with each other, so that the seed remains true to type?

It seems to me that if one is doing a polyculture planting that it is the perfect opportunity to plant some heritage or heirloom type plants and keep their individual gene pools going, but if I'm going to do that, I would want to do it right and it seems that with enough space, individual niches could be provided for several varieties of each type of plant.

Has anyone done this? What is the best way to go about it? I know it simply doesn't matter to most people what they are planting....
 
Jordan Lowery
pollinator
Posts: 1528
Location: zone 7
12
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I like to know the names of the plants I grow. It's this really dumb thing, but it's important to me. I don't have to know the name of every individual, but when I plant Suzy Q Peas and I also plant Danny Boy peas, I want to know which is which. I've used some big painted wooden stakes, marked with paint markers and they seem to hold up well--does anyone have better suggestions?


i split thin bamboo we grow, they end up about 1-3 ft long and 1/2 inch wide. they last about a season which works for conventional veggie gardens.

In a polyculture plant environment, if one has more than one variety of a plant, how does one keep them from pollinating with each other, so that the seed remains true to type?


eventually they everything related will be cross pollinated, and overtime producing a unique variety(s) to your garden. if you select for the plants you favor, you benefit in the long run greatly by having exactly what you like. there will always be variety to choose from as nature doesn't grow single variety plants. when you get into enough space and individual niches as you said multiple unique varieties can develop in different microenvironments.


if you want to try and keep specific genetics separate in a true forest garden its going to be hard.
 
                            
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soil wrote:


eventually they everything related will be cross pollinated, and overtime producing a unique variety(s) to your garden. if you select for the plants you favor, you benefit in the long run greatly by having exactly what you like. there will always be variety to choose from as nature doesn't grow single variety plants. when you get into enough space and individual niches as you said multiple unique varieties can develop in different microenvironments.

]

That makes absolute sense as well as how to "find" the best plants for my area. But... I truly believe that it's important to retain the genetics of some of our older plants. What I have envisioned would be "pockets" of plants here and there which are of known varieties, correctly identified, which would be made available to others if interested. Trees and perennials which can be reproduced asexually (clones) are not so much of an issue for a plan like this, with the exception of developing long lasting identifiers. But I'd like to do it with some annuals as well and those seem a to be at a lot more risk for ... corruption by another variety (for lack of a better word).

 
Jordan Lowery
pollinator
Posts: 1528
Location: zone 7
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the only way i see that truly possible is either

A - have a large enough area to prevent cross pollination( bees can fly QUITE the distance )
B - hand pollinate
C - have a co-op with other local farmers far enough away ( i.e - you grow this variety, i grow this one, he grows that one, we all share in the end)

otherwise over time, be it a short time or a long time cross pollination will happen and the plant will change. Add to that the plant itself will adapt to the location and change over time as well no matter how much you prevent it.

i truly understand your purpose and intent, and appreciate it. i try and save as many heirloom genetics as i can, even if they over time get crossed together, its better than them being gone forever imo.
 
                        
Posts: 278
Location: Iowa, border of regions 5 and 6
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Feral wrote:

That makes absolute sense as well as how to "find" the best plants for my area. But... I truly believe that it's important to retain the genetics of some of our older plants.
...
But I'd like to do it with some annuals as well and those seem a to be at a lot more risk for ... corruption by another variety (for lack of a better word).



Check out Southern Organic Resource Guide.  They've got a list of resources for those who are trying to keep pure strains of non-GMO seeds.
 
                            
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Excellent! Thank you.
 
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