ilex Hatfield

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since Feb 16, 2011
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Recent posts by ilex Hatfield

You can grow in the shade and grow them in the rain season. In any case I would consider those as experiments and concentrate in the many crops adapted to the (sub) tropics (which is a very wide term).

Some plants in the cabbage family become perennial near the tropics
7 years ago
The ones I've seen on Spanish chesnuts were not small. Some of the Asian chesnuts are small trees ... I would graft on those to reduce size and leave oak grafting to high ph areas, quite dry areas etc ...
Good staff.  If possible, don't use it if horses were "de-wormed" lately.
8 years ago
(in Spain)

In the South it's a very serious problem because they don't terrace slopes.  They can't even use normal tractors as it's too steep in many cases so they use those that look like tanks (no wheels).  In the East, they used to graze olive orchards with sheep in the winter, so soil was only bare in summer, and always on level land (by terracing mountains).
8 years ago
They should do very well in SF, and I'm sure there a some around as ornamentals.

From my experience:

- they like a lot of water, even if they can live with very little
- can get big (I had some 5 meters high, and 6x6 wide)
- polinited by bees here
- get grafted trees (huge difference in fruit quality, quantity and precocity between trees)
- can be very productive
- always prune to make them high ... branches will go down whatever you do.  You pick fruit from the soil, so tall trees are not a problem and you want to be able to get under them.
- they cast a lot of shade and have shallow roots ... also make very good soil.
- somewhat prone to fruit flies (ceratitis capitata here)
- makes one of the best marmalades I know of
8 years ago
I don't see any reason why you can't design them so they drain excess water, while keeping soil in place, and providing higher ground for plants that want those conditions.

You can also use that available resource and plan to use lots of plants that like wet feet.
8 years ago
How is your soil?  acid, neutral, basic ...
Frost free?  almost?
Do you know chill hours of your area?
Can you water?
What do people grow there (fruit trees)?

In a mild Mediterranean climate you can grow many, many things as there's a long warm season, a mild cool season (great for many leaf crops) and enough chill for many things.  That means almost anything not too tropical, nor requiring too much cold (or not tolerating heat).

8 years ago

Ludi wrote:
The trees are either male or female, so you have to make sure you have both sexes in order to get pods.  There's no way to tell which is which until they are old enough to bloom.

There are trees with perfect flowers (hermaphrodite) which are self fertile, including selections.

Best way to go is to graft seedlings.  These will also fruit earlier.
8 years ago

maikeru wrote:
Some of the fire problems I think must stem from the lack of herbivores to control and reduce the dry brush and grasses.

And also from a lack of high frecuency low intensity fires.  Many of the mediterranean plants are not very palatable.  Here we get Pinus, rosemary, Pistacia lentiscus, Ulex sp ... not many animals will eat those.  I don't know of a single animal that will eat rosemary, not even hungry camels. 

If anybody knows of an animal that does eat and control rosemary I would like to know, I've got huge extensions of it.
8 years ago