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Creating a dynamic polyculture  RSS feed

 
Nathalie Poulin
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G'day my friends!

I have a little patch in my garden, about 4 X 4 feet and I just planted a black current bush and a heritage raspberry bush. I also sowed the plot with white clover seeds.

I dug out about a foot of soil until I hit clay, then I laid down a bunch of logs/branches. I threw on a bucket of kitchen scraps, and sheet mulched it with cardboard and large biodegradable paper garden sacks. Then I put 6 bags of sheep manure and another 4 bags of topsoil. Then I planted the two bushes and clover.

I guess my question is, what other edible plants could I plant to ensure a good polyculture? What dynamic mix would work well to get some deeper rooted plants?

Any other suggestions would be welcomed!

Thanks!
 
Jordan Lowery
pollinator
Posts: 1528
Location: zone 7
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what climate are you in?
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4437
Location: North Central Michigan
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a 4x4 space is fairly small, I think I would put a post of some kind on each side with some wires across to trellis your bushes on and maybe put in a couple more raspberries as one isn't really enough to get much food off of..

remember also the raspberries unless thornless will have thorns..which may make some harvest difficult.

raspberries and currants do not require much fertility so you can plant things that need fertility in your soil..but it really all depends on the foods you like and can grow in your area..

i would suggest greens, coles, or vine crops, vine crops take a lot of fertility and the coles or greens would really love it too..I use a lot of salads here so cut and come again mescluns work well for me..and would thrive in that situation..even would grow on the shady side of your bushes.

 
Nathalie Poulin
Posts: 60
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I live in Ottawa, Canada. Zone 5a. (I believe)

Thanks for the lettuce suggestion, that's actually what I ended up planting. I guess I was just looking for delicious foods that would help the currants grow tasty, healthy berries. As I said, I put lots of clover seeds and I just planted lettuce.
I might plant some tomatoes at the edges that get nice and sunny.

Any other ideas would be appreciated.
Let's play a game called name that veggie!

Oh yeah, yesterday at the plant store, I asked about perennial kale and the lady looked at me like I had 3 heads. Apparently there's no such thing?

Can someone please clarify this for me?
 
Travis Philp
gardener
Posts: 965
Location: ZONE 5a Lindsay Ontario Canada
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Hi Jaggednib,

You're probably thinking of Sea Kale http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/530581/sea-kale


As for your polyculture...that currant bush will need a lot of pruning to prevent it from taking over that whole spot. You may want to consider pruning it to grow as a cordon, which is basically one vertical shoot.

If (more like when) you get baby runner raspberries coming up, you can use the young tender shoots as an asparagus substitute, or use the leaves in a salad or dry them for tea.

 
Jordan Lowery
pollinator
Posts: 1528
Location: zone 7
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Oh yeah, yesterday at the plant store, I asked about perennial kale and the lady looked at me like I had 3 heads. Apparently there's no such thing?


russian red kale has the tendancy to perennialize. i have a few that are over 3 years old. chard also does well for more than a year.
 
                                      
Posts: 172
Location: Amsterdam, the netherlands
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hmmm perennial kale,

this one spring to mind, but that might be poor translating:
'thousand head': http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spring_greens

its anyway more of a thing here in europe, it tremendously easy to propagate, cuttings will nearly always root. and they make a thousand heads to cut.

http://www.google.nl/search?tbm=isch&hl=nl&source=hp&q=splijtkool&gbv=2&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=

 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 22345
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
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Michael Pilarski ("Skeeter" takes us on a tour of his three year old food forest, complete with many species of beneficial weeds.  As he mentions each species, I try to include some comments, such as their purpose in the video.



 
Benjamin Burchall
Posts: 182
Location: Long Beach, CA
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paul wheaton wrote:
Michael Pilarski ("Skeeter" takes us on a tour of his three year old food forest, complete with many species of beneficial weeds.


Great video, Paul! Looks like I may have my first garden space here in Atlanta lined up at someone's house. I'll have to remember to make some videos.

Hmmm...gonna have to search the site and see if there are videos of peoples gardens anywhere...
 
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