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I'm a newbie and have lots of questions!  RSS feed

 
hannah ransom
Posts: 81
Location: Los Angeles, CA
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Ok, I have tons of questions.. I really don't know if I should divide these into specific threads or what, but I'll ask some general ones here.

A bit about me: I was introduced to permaculture last year sometime and I seriously think it is amazing. I love learning about it and definitely want to turn this barren land I live on into a lush eco-system. I live in Lakeside, CA.. I believe it's USDA zone 9b or 10? Anyway, the record low is 25 F, pretty hot in the summer, low rainfall. I'm hoping to be able to grow most of my own food (I eat mostly fruit), so I am trying to grow sub-tropicals and not just native, so hopefully that doesn't turn you all off. I am reading Gaia's garden and I like the authors take on exotics. What I live on is pretty overgrown with grasses/weeds (pics attached). I have already bought some trees and did make some newbie mistakes (too big for their pots).

-Is it a better idea to leave the fruit trees in pots and plant them later (WHEN?) than now/in the next week. It was just raining today, so maybe spring isn't over yet ? Will they get to big? Will it inhibit fruit production (soon)? I have already planted the white sapote and plan to plant the guava tomorrow. The white sapote was looking sad and definitely root bound  ops: pics.

-Do you think I will have a problem keeping them alive in any specific spot? I probably just don't know the yard well, but it just doesn't seem like there are crazy different micro-climates but I am paranoid about placing a tree in the wrong spot.

-Gophers: We have them. I am doing a garden in the back yard where all of the gophers are eaten by cats, but I am pretty sure the yard I will be planting fruit trees in gophers are still there. How big do the roots need to be before I can stop worrying about gophers? I don't know if the best idea is to plant the trees in chicken wire (would it need to be removed?) or if I should plant gopher deterrent around the trees. How established do these deterrents need to be before I can count on them?

-How can I figure out what kind of root systems my trees have/how they will interact/how big the canopy gets? You would think this would be super easy to google but I am coming up blank!

-should I worry about the grasses currently around where I am planting the trees? I plan on converting all of this to useful foliage, but right now I'm just concerned about it killing what I've bought?

-Should I worry about fertilizing with anything but compost and coffee grounds? That's all I have and I really don't want to buy anything or use un-natural fertilizers. I also have pee, but It seems there are mixed review on whether this is helpful or not. I know that this will not be an issue in the future, but for now when I don't have everything established (a person at the nursery said I should apply fertilizer to the root bound tree...).

-I have mature oranges trees some are ok, some look almost dead (deadest one pictured). Should I do anything other than water to revive? Will they revive? I was going to plant N2 fixers around them, as well, since citrus needs a lot. I was also thinking about dumping my pee on them since it seems citrus is very tolerant of pee.

-Speaking of pee, It seems like a lot of the contra-indications should be low on the diet I follow (low protein, no salt)... Any knowledge in this arena?

-Are there any good ground covers that will get rid of grass and also fix nitrogen? that would be awesome.

trees that were too big  white sapote and guava


blueberries sandwiching tiger fig and cherry of the rio grande (blueberries already planted under a pine tree for acid soil)


el bumpo and spain cherimoya along the wall brown turkey fig in blue pot


yard looking left.. west facing slope


yard looking right


deadish orange tree
 
George Lee
Posts: 539
Location: Athens, GA/Sunset, SC
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Plant out the trees in appropriate areas as soon as you can..Break the soil ball and give them some area around, to fill in with some compost/topsoil.

Just go all living mulch. A nice mix of clover/vetch. Ground cover, green manure.

Coffee grounds by themselves were proven (thru trials) to not 'fertilize' by themselves. Composted however, they're valuable.

Urine (urea) is very valuable in my experiences. Urea has the highest concentration of nitrogen, 48% by vol if I'm not mistaken. You mentioned salt...That's why it must be diluted 20:1 with distilled/rain water and applied modestly. I fertilize once every two weeks where needed.

That orange tree looks long gone. You may wanna harvest it and use the woody material around your property.

Welcome to the board.
Peace -

 
hannah ransom
Posts: 81
Location: Los Angeles, CA
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Thank you for your reply! If I just cut down the orange trees that suck (instead of getting out all of the roots, too), would the root systems in place interfere with other stuff?

Interesting about the coffee grounds, I have been applying it to my melons and them seem to LOVE it. I will throw the coffee ground in the compost instead.

I will try diluting some pee and adding it to some stuff. I have a bucket of pee anyway, since my little living area has no toilet.
 
hannah ransom
Posts: 81
Location: Los Angeles, CA
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I'm in zone 9a... Finally figured that out 
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4437
Location: North Central Michigan
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get those trees into the ground..make sure you pick the right spot for your property...they will never do better keeping them in the pots....when you dig the holes remove the sod for a goodly distance around the tree, or turn it upside down to rot when you refill the holes..put a bit of wire fencing around if you are concerned about rodents..and wrap the tree trunks with screen or put up tree guards to protect them from rodents.

do not fertilize newly planted trees or they'll be confused..just put in the good garden soil in the root zone..like top soil.

 
Paul Cereghino
gardener
Posts: 856
Location: South Puget Sound, Salish Sea, Cascadia, North America
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Agree with getting them out of pots.

You should consider really diassembling the root ball and stretching out the main roots in the planting hole... Trees can get really deformed in the nursery business (the hold of the slave ship).  Soak the root ball in water to both loosen stuff up, as well as prepare the tree for transplant shock.  Soak the hole before planting to get moisture deep.  Irrigate through the first summer for survival.. you can ween them later.

Don't worry as much about fertilizer, rather become a collector of organic matter...

I have recommendation for planting in sod.
http://ecosystemstewardship.blogspot.com/2010/01/removal-and-local-burial-of-sod-to.html

For your climate, learn about grey water, and read 'Lancaster's book on water harvesting for drylands'.
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Posts: 9741
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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Here's the link to Lancaster's website:  http://www.harvestingrainwater.com/

I agree about being careful to spread out the roots when you plant the trees - I have failed to do that a couple times and the plant will just sit there as though it is still in a pot. 
 
rose macaskie
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In england the old fgshioned way is to put blood and bone in the bottom of the hole you are planting the tree in and i have thought about it and thought, plants roots go for nutrients maybe if you put nutrients at the bottom of the hole rain washes them deeper into the ground encourageing the plants roots to grow down into the ground.
official permaculture wouldd have you put a lot of mulch under the trees ther is always a quesiton of if you can lay your hands on mulch or not cardboard can be picked up in the streeet of towns for example i am not sure that it does not have insecticides in it i have smelt insec¡ticides in the last cardboard i picked up , kknewspaper the mashed cutting of trees and bushes .
 OPernamacklutruer designs include the planting of a variety of tresss and plants it is not about just planting your crops plant but abnbout creating interacting web of different polants fungi and animals. youi include chicken or duck for pest control and so they will provide manure for the garden, if you are to follow bill molisons entire plan or design.
     There are plant families or guildes you can plant with your fruit trees yarrow and lemon balm and comfrey. comfrey grows plentifully and gives you mulch to cut and drop on the ground round the tree i dont know what yarrow does maybe it attracts bennies which is to say feeds useful insects with nectare and polen and has deep roots that start to condition the soil at some depth incteasing the area in which your crops can find food.
     In permaculture you dont just plant a few fruit trees you plan a lot of companion plants you plant tall trees that would form the top storey in a wood, umbrella pines in a mediteranean climate tha tgive pine ¡nuts and oaks whose acorns coudld feed chickens, palm trees maybe and get some dates, these give a bit of shade to trees that might not want too much sun and you plant nitrogen fixing trees as well as clover maybe. I dont know why you plant nitrogen fixing  trees instead of just nitrogen fixing low plants maybe, because the trees with nitrogen tixing nodules on th eroots help to prepare the soil at a depth and that is an advantage to you crops who can then feed at many levels of soil. I have jus tplanted a judas tree that which has nitrogen fixing nodules on the roots and two wattle or mimosa trees real acacias are luguminouse trees with nitrogen fixing nodules on the roots and so are the American locust trees and the cianotheos of california. the proposis cineria ghaf tree of the arabin penisula and khejri tree of india that  
You would as a purist, following what is called permaculture desgn or plan plant a complete  a complete ecosystem if you can afford to do such a thing in one go.
     Permaculture idoes not give instructions on how to plant one sort of tree, does not only plant fruit trees but also plant bushes and herbaciouse plants and then things ike clover. and root vegetales and climbers the classic permaculture design is to copy the design of a wood and this is explained with the idea that you have to plants seven levels of plants and have a clearing in you wood maybe for plants that really need full sunlight. Look up the greening the desert video in you tube by geoff lawton to see what real permaculture garden would be like. Geoff lawton says that the extent to which Bill Mollison just lets every thing grow is suprising he goes much further than Geof Lawton had dared to do in  allowing nature to sort herself out and be plentifull and varied geof lawton in one video talks of putting in a plant for nice beauty.
 i suspect they put in micorrhyzal fungi too. if you want mycorrhyzal fungi to accompany your trees, you put a measure full of spores of mycorrhyzal fungi  at the bootom of the hole in which you are going to plant your tree where the roots of the tree will be in contact with the powder and so the spores should take to the roots of your tree and to the roots of other plants, i imagine you should do this in a wet season.    
       The hypha of fungi are much better at picking up water and minerals than plants roots are and are much more extensive than the roots of plants though too thin to be seen, they  come into contact with more soil than plant roots so if your plant is accompanied by mycorrhyzal fungi it should be getting many more nutrients. It is a symbiotic relationship the plant hands sugars, elaborated food, to the fungi in exchange for the mineral it receives.
 Plants always have mycorrhyzal fungi but it seem they have a much better growth if you innoculate them with it.  
    If you put mycorrhyzal fungi into the hole you plant the tree in I would suggest you dont put in fertilizer as fungi has a race with microbes, it races to establish itself before it gets eaten up by the microbes and fertiliser might tip the balance in favour of the microbes. paul stamets sells this product in America, his packet is called, Myco Grow, and he ships it around the world. The famouse nursery  Thompson and Morgan, sell it in England, their product is calleed Root Grow and Zander company sell it in the middle east in big quantities for farmers i think, adapted for the desert with fungi that grow in deserts and Zander Company have done projects  in Spain, so maybe they sell it here too.
    In the east of europe, according to Paul Stamets they grow garden giant mushrooms with their corn garden giants are not miycorhyzal fungi but ordinary saprofitic fungi still it seems that the prescence of ordinary fungi can also snhance the grwoth of crop plants. The east of Europe are  the regions of the famouse chernozen black soils, maybe there is a connection between the use of fungi and the good soils.
   What plants to pant with crops plants.
   On the one hand you have plant guilds, set groups of plants known to be usefull some to one plant and some to another  and you can look up the appropiate guild for your trees. On tthe other hand you have permaculturist like sepp holzer who collects wild plant seed and the seed of what he is cultivating and throws the mixed seed around onto the ground and lets nature sort out wha twill grow there and what will accompany each plant or not  so you then you offer a plentifull mixe and have naturally occuring plants families. I think all permaculturist would agree thar any plant might help as we find out everyyears different bits of new information about how plants interlate, except in the cases that there is a known incompatability between plants.
of course knowing how to plant each plant may help with each plant but premaculture is about the mix that will optimize the possiblility of success. It is about bettering your soil as much as about your crop plant so it is about planting you nitrogen fixinfg plants and thigns tha grow fast giving you a lot of mulch as well as about your fruit tree. agri rose macaskie
 
hannah ransom
Posts: 81
Location: Los Angeles, CA
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Thank you for your response. I do know what permaculture is about, but I do have limited finds at the moment and am trying to get things done little by little. I'm just trying to figure out what I can do with what I have now that will allow me to add things that are permaculture compatible. Honestly, I would have spent more time doing the prep first (I know that one should), but I did want to get the trees that I got planted due to wanting my yard to be productive sooner rather than later.
 
rose macaskie
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Sorry to tell you what permaculture is about, it seemed to me that the forums had got away from mentioning the norms of permaculture, those that you can take or leave but that are what characterise permaculture, with out them this is a gardening page not that gardening is not a very worthy subject.
I find it hard to buy all the trees at once. Up with having money or funding.not tha it is not interesting seeing what you can do with what you have got.
 I have just been whatching Paul Wheatons video of making a rocket stove, he has lots of such videos so that description does not identify the video.  A man in it say he is glad to be poor.  Men say they embrace poverty but that is easier for the man than the woman, men often have more choice about what to do with that little they will drive the car they have brought with the little if the couple is in th ecar together for instance.
   i know people with a lot more spending power than me who say they like poverty and treat me as rich, because my gerandparent were, i am so cross about it it makes me feel as if they are playing with me, if your husband has a bit more money it is as if you do, when you have no choice at all about how he spends it. Being married is a bit  like being an unpaid cleaner house wife i used to take my dutyies seroiously now i get a lot out of it,all this writing.
  If the couple is poor it is likely the wife has even less choices than him, like if you dont have two televisions you end up whatching what the man wants, i always i did, till i started whatching the television late at night and started to chose what i saw, strangely news. I did not know myself i did not know i would like news so much.
   Society does not criticise men for having the car or deciding how to use the little they have so much as it does women if they do the same tough clever women manage to do the same.  
     Women have always worked for nothing and it ihas been terrible for them, i thought their position was alright as  achild till i found wha tit was like beign treated as a cipher for your whole ilfe. What they have thought has not been considered and i have found that what the women thinks not beign important included denying anything i said that was seriouse and then being told that i am frivolouse when they have always cut me if i tried to be seriouse.
     As a woman it makes me furiouse when people talk of working for nothing as if it were laudable and it makes me embarassed when they talk of working for nothignas something shamful. I agree with them about it being shameful though i excuse myself because it seems important to write about permaculture, truth is i hoped it would open the way to writing a book and earning some money in some way as well as being a worthy task. People know how it improves the circumstances of a village if women are getting some money, they should know that working for money is important and working for free is not to be encouraged.  

  Embraceing poverty, approving it, has meant, in the past that the poor have patiently born really terrible quantities of poverty, such quantities as were death to their children. It was when they learnt to ask for more instead of humbly accepting their lot that social reforms were set in place, reforms that somehow found more for the hovel bound millions, those hungry worn and unkempt people of Van Goghs painting, The Potatoe Eaters", not  those of the plump happy poor of Millais picture of country folks called The Angelus.
   The Bronte sisters family was so poor that they were all half grown, they only ate potatoes and porrige, not only so underfed that they were tiny but so underfed taht they all died young of tuberculosis, anne emily charlotte and patrick were the only ones of seven who reached adult hood and there mother died when they were infants, their young lives were full of death and in their earliy thirties, i think it was, anne and then Emily died. In those days women were forced to become governesses, which meant day in day out and no holidays living with a family who weren't always very nice, now days many live with families as maids, that is poverty not larking around making stoves with a bunch of friends.  They died of tuberculosis, tuberculosis is an illness that does not get a hold on well fed people.
 
    We had an empire when we had miserably poor people in england i even remember a few pretty miserably poor people in england when i was a child, underfed children and in Spain it was so much worse.  The money of the empires of europe did not go to feed the poor th e the conquerign countries, only to help further build the empire and carry misionaries around i suppose, it was only trade unions and complaining that brought about a situation that was moderately decent for many. I hate people singing in praise of poverty how irrespoonsible can you get.
     I have gone from the price of trees to the song of the rocket heater man of paul wheatons last video. agri rose macaskie.
 
rose macaskie
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     Permaculture is about being a bit poor, how poor is that'. It is not about being a  billionaire  but how poor is poor?
    Such is human nature that one thing people seem to want is for their friends to be ever poorer than them and less worthy. People who ask for poverty make a attitudes of this sort more viable, make  scrapoing away at othe peoples possibilities easier you are teaching them to be unmaterial. People arent sweet that is why religion is dangerouse, it becomes a way of enslaving others, with the arguement that  i have a right to keep you tied up it will get you into heaven  a modern alternative ocul db eto bring you  into the happy  gaia life, people find an excuse to enslave others in sects and religions. rose macaskie.
 
rose macaskie
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    Brenda Groth says to get those plants into the soil right away,. As far as I understand it drought is not much of a problem were she lives so though i usually find she knows about pplants i wonder if she is right here. I would say can it be harder to keep them wet in the ground in a hotter climate than hers, because the dry ground around them is wicking the humidity away from round them, it might be better to keep them in pots till the autumn.
  if you have a good dripsystem it probably wont hurt to plant them. My husband has put in the drip system and the plant that he seems to take a real fancy for seem to grow quickest. I dont know how much he open the drip on them. You do learn if you do things yourself. his favouritehe australian crew, Bill Mollison and such, seem to work on projects they find funds for that they do in  in poorish dry areas. with the money the rich pay to learn tehy fund the teaching of the poorer people of the site, their classes and the project they build for them. Which is great, it seems that the whole of the middle east is going to be greened up through their work.
  As these are projects that are funded they start everything right. They build their swales first,  lay down their micro drip tubing, get in powerfully big quantities o fmulc and then plant their plants and they can plant lots of plants all together, they do plant small plants though and have small projects if they were really well funded they might plant bigger trees. That they put in all the  nitrogen fixing trees and food producing trees at once so the hwhole system starts workingas a whole. As private people it is hard to do this all at once and i find it hard not to just plant food producing trees. I have planted some high storey trees while it was the local trees that interested me rather than the food trees. agri rose macaskie.
 
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