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Creating functioning guilds with edibles and medicinals?  RSS feed

 
Posts: 87
Location: Ontario zone 4b
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Hey yall... i am currently establishing a first year garden and need to accumulate some more diverse plants to create functioning guild relationships ..here is a list of plants i currently have and would like to know anymore ie dynamic accumulators ...groundcovers ...nitrogen fixers and preferably edible perrenials hardy to zone 4b here is my current list ...bee balm,lemon balm, yarrow, spearmint, thyme, tarragon, goji, strawberry, cloves currant, serviceberry, gooseberry, cupids cherry, chives, sage, jostaberry and fall gold raspberry intermixed with melons squash brassicas groundcherrys borage potatoe beans and arugula i also have ordered wine cap stropharia that im using in compost until its ready to be added to the garden ...any other great plant suggestions would be awesome.
 
pioneer
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Posts: 2253
Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
400
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How about:
Berries - Elderberries, red/black currants, honeyberry, aronia, bayberry (not edible but N fixer and candle fodder)
Vines - Grapes, hardy kiwi
Nuts - Hazelnut, butternut (this one's a tree though)
Other - Comfrey, oregano (yummy), anise, anise hyssop, rhubarb, lupine, asparagus
 
Jordan Johnston
Posts: 87
Location: Ontario zone 4b
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Like the nitrogen fixing element i do have seabuckthorn i started from seed i might add a couple in the mix and chop and drop em when needed
 
Jordan Johnston
Posts: 87
Location: Ontario zone 4b
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The idea is too have a managed dense system i have a small space and i love to get work in im not leaving it alone
 
Jordan Johnston
Posts: 87
Location: Ontario zone 4b
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Unfortunately the only (dynamic accumulator) ...or what i use as one is hostas but they are a deer magnet they do grow quickly and are easy to propogate i just chop and drop em ..but rhubarb is a possibility but comfrey i cannot seem to get around here my hometown nurserys order in plants from whole salers like the ones at big box stores and comfrey isnt in that list.
 
Posts: 7
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I second Comfrey, they sell it on Amazon and ships well, I have plenty of deer here and they all leave it alone. I would suggest to get the bocking 14 cultivar, that is the one that has infertile seeds and only spreads through root cuttings.
 
Jordan Johnston
Posts: 87
Location: Ontario zone 4b
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How cold tolerant is comfrey i need it to handle -35 celcius
 
Mike Jay
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Posts: 2253
Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
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I planted mine last year and this winter we hit -30c and it came back just fine.  I'd assume it could handle a couple more degrees.  If you have snow on the ground it won't know how cold it really is anyway.
 
Jordan Johnston
Posts: 87
Location: Ontario zone 4b
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Great ..its worth trying it 100% this zoning is only accurate within the years of which the data for the indexes was taken the last index for ontario was 2010 im in zone 4b in 2010 since then im sure its changed i live in a town with several large bodys of water and i found sweet gum growing here it was very unusual to see as this is a north and south eastern usa native very promising in proving global warming is moving rapidly lol in my yard im trialing american persimmon would love to see that naturalizing i love trees and plants from the carolinian region of canada and the united states very cool anachronistic species that are natives their like paw paw osage and persimmon aswell as the locusts..i love to read alot about the( younger dryas) the isolated epoch of the north eastern states and how it wiped out the mega fauna that really spread these beautifull trees around ..but even with out them we can thank paleo indians and the indigenous people for keeping them alive.
 
Posts: 145
Location: Boudamasa, Chad
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Comfrey is native to Russia and Northern Europe. I think it can take cold. If you want to support the little guy, there's plenty of it availabe on etsy. They send you root cuttings that grow just fine.
 
Posts: 1960
Location: Kent, UK - Zone 8
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I also recommend getting hold of some comfrey. I have had some planted for about 4 years now, and where it has established has already build lovely moist rich soil. part of the reason you are unlikley to find it in your usual nursery suppliers is because it is both unkillable, and really easy to propogate from. There is little money in stocking comfrey, because people only ever need to buy one plant and they are set for life with root divisions. Just last week I divided one plant and potted up 30 root sections, and from past experience I expect them all to take.

I suggest asking around your local community to see who has some and could spare you some roots.
 
gardener
Posts: 1790
Location: Just northwest of Austin, TX
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It's not a new plant for you, but yarrow is a great dynamic accumulator.  I would  (and actually am) use you existing plants to propogate more and then stick them in unused areas.  They also don't have as much of a reputation as being unkillable as the comfrey,  so would probably be an possible choice for a long-term cover crop where you eventually want something else.  That last bit may be climate dependent.  Even comfrey isn't unkillable here.
 
Casie Becker
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Posts: 1790
Location: Just northwest of Austin, TX
200
forest garden urban
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It's not a new plant for you, but yarrow is a great dynamic accumulator.  I would  (and actually am) use you existing plants to propogate more and then stick them in unused areas.  They also don't have as much of a reputation as being unkillable as the comfrey,  so would probably be an possible choice for a long-term cover crop where you eventually want something else.  That last bit may be climate dependent.  Even comfrey isn't unkillable here.
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pollinator
Posts: 1943
Location: Toronto, Ontario
145
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Hi Jordan. Glad to hear more from Ontario permies.

Is there a reason you've chosen a single type of raspberry? My favourite approach is to make sure that I get different types of the same kind of plant, such as different types of blackberry and raspberry or stone fruit, so as to maximize the constant availability of pollinator food over the course of the whole season. It also means more fruit over a prolonged period, as opposed to one or two crops in a season, all within a short span.

I like mulberry. It flowers for three months straight, and the red variety is both native and endangered due to habitat loss and hybridisation with both white and black mulberries. I personally have mixed feelings about extinction by hybridisation if it's a product of evolution. In any case, mulberries are excellent, even if only as a sacrifice plant for migratory welfare fowl. Apparently, they are preferred by birds over the berries we cultivate for ourselves.

Both mulberry and hazel are shade-tolerant, so planning an overstory isn't an issue. I don't see apple or pear on your list, and both are good choices.

Oh, and if you feel like experimenting, you could see how peach and apricot might fare in areas like where you have that sweet gum.

Post some pics, if you can. Keep us posted, and good luck.

-CK
 
Jordan Johnston
Posts: 87
Location: Ontario zone 4b
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I never thought about it that way its a very useful garden companion never chopped it and dropped it to test how well it will grow back...i guess in a sense as long as its digging deep its making aggregates.
 
Jordan Johnston
Posts: 87
Location: Ontario zone 4b
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I appreciate the feedback unfortunately i only had money for the one type of raspberry ..i will be getting more the following spring as far as getting trees i really only have space for small shrubs and bushes unfortunately  as all my space for everything else is occupied i live in suburban neighbourhood filled with lawns and i would love to turn my yard into a jungle but i need to have a good balance soo far i have three persimmon a big crab apple a hardy bush cherry 3 types of goose berry goji berry josta berry ..black currant ..hardy bush cherry...smokey service berry ...raspberry ..strawberry ...lilac...honey suckle and sandcherry...now i have room for understory shrubs like haskap blueberry and mabey some grape up the crab apple im also planning on putting in a cherry plum some where but other then that i have just enough space for annuals i enjoy and flowers that my wife enjoys like pink butterfly weed babys breath shasta daisy tulip daffodil hostas and hydrangea .
 
Jordan Johnston
Posts: 87
Location: Ontario zone 4b
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Im getting some egyptian walking onion this fall and i want some irises and sunchoke so i can replace the annual space with these perrenial crops
 
Mike Jay
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Posts: 2253
Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
400
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Jordan Johnston wrote:unfortunately i only had money for the one type of raspberry


Then it's time to meet some other gardeners.  Raspberries are like weeds, coming up everywhere near existing plants.  I'm sure someone in the local garden club will let you dig the extras from their garden.
 
Jordan Johnston
Posts: 87
Location: Ontario zone 4b
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Yeah im new to gardening but northbay isnt much for edible landscaping ...people belive they have to till there garden people think that red dyed cedar mulch from box stores is somehow better then raw woodchips and people think that mushrooms growing in youre garden is a bad thing. Plus all the nurserys here get plants from whole salers and im left to order in cultivars as there isnt much selection.
 
Jordan Johnston
Posts: 87
Location: Ontario zone 4b
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There is lots of wild raspberries beside my house that i pick all the time but i want some different kinds.
 
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