What Permaculture ideas are you implementing?

seraphima(z4 AK)October 4, 2002

Now that harvest is almost over, what winter plans do you have? Growing inside zone 0? Wintering over or season extending under plastic or glass?

Do you have a Pc design for your property, and if so, did you address any objectives this year?

I find this time a good one to review my objectives in my garden journal and include how I worked on them this past year. It kind of clears the decks for new ideas to come for next year. In a way, it is another kind of harvest.

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We have been working on the hedgerow and we have plans to do more next year also. There will be more fruit trees added to the orchard and more herbs and understory plantings in the orchard. We have to thin more trees in the woods because they are growing too close and that is not finished for the year yet. We have cut some tomato branches to root in water and we will save them and have an early start on them next spring. There will be some winter vegetables grown under the "hoop house" and we have plans to enlarge the summer vegetable beds also. This is all part of the PC design and I am pleased with the way it is working so far.

Lee AKA Fireraven9
Las cosas claras y el chocolate espeso. (Ideas should be clear and chocolate thick.)
--Spanish proverb

    Bookmark   October 5, 2002 at 6:17PM
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seraphima(z4 AK)

Dear Lee,
It's interesting how much I actually have used my plan, too. There was this blinding flash of insight when I saw that having containers outside of zone 1 meant (for me) that they didn't get watered; therefore all containers should be in zone 1 !

Another lightbulb went off when analyzing how many plants had died in the wet spot near the garden. I planted watercress there and it is really growing great.

I am intrigued with your rooting tomatoes in water- never heard of that before. Great idea. (However, tomatoes are not possible for me in this climate.) Have you applied this to any other crops?

Thanks, your posts are always interesting!

    Bookmark   October 7, 2002 at 3:16PM
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The tomatoes in water idea came from a neighbor up the road. She does hers this way and has decent crops. Tomatoes are hard for us too. We have a short season ... maybe 90 days (occasionally longer, but not reliable) and we have found that the wall of water things work well in getting them planted out early. Once the danger of frost is done we take them off so the plants will spread properly. Cherry tomatoes in containers might work for you as you could have them in the house at the start and just before hervest. Some will grow in a window and produce with suplimental light, except when daylight hours are too short.

I have not tried it with other crops, but I plant to do hardwood and softwood cuttings of vines and shrubs next year for the hedgerow. We shall see how that works. I may want to take some cuttings of the roses (rugosa mostly) as well. I expect a 50% failure rate with the rose cuttings, they are not as easy as some shrubs.

Any ideas for other crops that would accept starting this way? I wonder if pepper and eggplant plants would rot or would they grow?

Lee AKA Fireraven9
Las cosas claras y el chocolate espeso. (Ideas should be clear and chocolate thick.)
--Spanish proverb

    Bookmark   October 9, 2002 at 1:04PM
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Mercy_Garden(z5 Santa FeNM)

The only things I've tried rooting in water for the garden are oregano and dragon's blood sedum. Both worked well, but also both plants winter over fine in my USDA zone (5) so really the technique is just to increase the number of plants.

As for our modest PC plan: We moved last November to our present abode. The corner lot had had a large grass lawn (which was long-dead when we moved in). This we plan to change. As this summer, our first growing season, was one of terrible drought and onerous water restrictions, it was not a year to start much of even a water-wise landscape there. To control weeds and increase the health of the soil, over a large chunk of it (as much as we could physically do!) we put down layers of wet newspaper with a thin soil layer on top and as much compost stuff as we could lay our hands on. (This idea came from the wise folks at Plants of the Southwest, near my home.) Even though it was not nearly the 6" deep they say you need for lasagna gardening, I am happy to report the once-baked and weedy soil is now repleat with worms and a bit moist. And only the bindweed survived.

The next step will be to seed a smaller sub-area with buffalo/blue gramma, and landscape the bulk of it with no-water-once-established perenials.

We do have a more-lush zone, basically young fruit trees watered by laundry greywater and my herb and flower beds, which we do water regularly (1x week when allowed). These areas sooth the soul and I'm not quite ready to give them up just yet. We catch rainwater from the roof and recycle as much water as we can from the house.

There is so much more I'd like to do--over time, over time.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2002 at 2:32PM
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Trees4life(z9 CA)

I have a pond that I feed with greywater from the laundry machine. The pond from time to time completes the process of eutrophication. The cattails, reeds, and yellow iris get so thick that they create a mat of roots very thick. I remove this root mass, turn it upsidedown on the ground at the drip line of my fruit trees.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2005 at 3:17PM
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overrocked(SW USA)

Now that summer is finally over, I have planted many cole crops.My pigeonpeas will take 8 months to grow from seed to harvest. Cow peas are being harvested so i can follow with carrot,radishes, herbs Hope to have 20 tagasaste,NM locust and plum saplings by spring. Want redrock barr chicks this fall. Composting working well, both worm and outdoor bin. Rainwater harvest for the city is 35 gallons. Country is up to 150 gallons. My comfrey plants all die :( Nothing lived at 110F this last summer. I'm having a great time with learning from my first year mistakes, gardening in a desert climate. (Michigan had a shorter growing season, but AZ has two short growing seasons)

    Bookmark   October 9, 2005 at 5:51PM
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amazondk(+ 11 Humid Equatorial Tropics)

I was recently introduced to permaculture by a gentlemen from Australia. I plan on doing two things for the coming year. 1. Structure the landscape on my lot here in Manaus, AM, Brazil to make the most of the palm trees that were there when I bought the place. And, integrate new palm trees and plants to recreate in a small urban setting, 135 x 65 foot lot, the refreshing sense of an Amazonian forest stream or pond in the back yard. 2. I am developing a sustainable forestry project in the eastern part of Amazonas state. This project includes low impact sustainable logging and regeneration of degraded lands into productive Agro-forestry systems. The focus is to preserve the forest resource and enhance it's use provding a sustainable alternative for development. In the process create economic opportunities for residents in the area which allows for economic growth while enhancing the productivity of the land where they live. This is a real big project, but you have to start somewhere.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2005 at 10:37AM
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alexander3_gw(6 Pennsylvania)

I am in the process of designing and planting a small forest garden which will eventually be ~1500 square feet.

So far the woody plants include 2 paw paws, 2 elderberries, 1 goumi, 1 hybrid silverberry, 1 aronia, 1 blackberry, and several raspberries. Edible herbaceous plants include thyme, oregano, sorrel, salad burnet, bloody dock, lemon balm, lovage and rhubarb. Also included are several insectary plants and some dynamic accumulators.

I plan on including asian pear, hybrid persimmons, and hardy kiwi, along with as many useful herbaceous plants as I can fit in there!


    Bookmark   October 13, 2005 at 3:31PM
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I live in Pa and in your zone, 5-6. I have had excellent results with asian pears, and elderberries. My northern kiwis are ripe now and the harvest is abundant. So far, paw paw trees are healthy, but not setting fruit?

Green manure crops are buckwheat, oats, and that wonderful comfrey.
I plan on more nut trees next years.


    Bookmark   November 4, 2005 at 7:47PM
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alexander3_gw(6 Pennsylvania)


Glad to hear of your good results. I get the impression that Paw Paws take a while to begin fruiting. Have you gotten any flowers?

I got my first elderberry harvest this year, about 8 cups from two bushes. My attempt at elderberry jelly turned out to be syrup! It's very tasty, but I didn't like tossing all the strained pulp. I may just freeze the berries whole next year for smoothies.


    Bookmark   November 6, 2005 at 11:11AM
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joel_bc(z6 BC)

Zone 1 is where we have our salad veggies, grape arbor - and (along the sunny south wall of our house) tomatoes, tomatillos, bell peppers. Zone 2 is where we are growing raspberries, potatoes, garlic, strawberries. Zone 3 is where we have blueberries, hazelnuts, pears, and apples.

Definitely organic. Compost piles. Cover crops & green manures. Definitely committed to food-bearing shrubs, trees, and vines as well as to vegetables. Relying primarily on a gravity-feed water-supply system. Passive-solar principles incorporated into our house.

Participating in neighborhood cooperation (food, tool lending & borrowing, helping-hand energy).

Using smaller-engined vehicles, tools (brush cutter, chainsaw, etc).


    Bookmark   November 11, 2005 at 12:26PM
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Greetings, I have just moved from Ontario to New Brunswick. Besides a change in climate, I have an apartment with very little light so I am desiging an indoor garden which will require artifical light. This is a major change. Our previous place was flooded with natural light and an indoor gardener's delight.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2005 at 1:50PM
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Just getting in to permaculture, and am planning more xeriscaping and ground covers, and converting more of the yard to edibles.

I just moved in with a roommate, and she is a very environmentally concerned gardener, with a lot of natives, drought tolerants, etc.

We're planning on planting every nook an cranny with edibles, sort of in a true cottage garden style. We'll interplant the herbs, medicinals, ornamentals, and edibles in the same beds, using companion planting when we can.

We have plans to get rid of all but a small spot of lawn.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2005 at 12:04PM
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crankyoldman(z5 NY)

I am working on a hedgerow, researching the various plants that are preferably native to my area and that provide food for birds and wildlife (bayberries, for example) and some for me (elderberry). But I also am including food for the soul, like bushes and trees with fragrant flowers (like black locust). I've got a list of seeds for some native shrubs and trees that I will be starting this winter.

I did decide that I would no longer bother with a traditional veggie row garden at all. I got great results from plants in large containers this summer, so I will do that for the traditional veggies next year. I am planning how to convert my old row garden into a grove. This will be partially watered by my washing machine water.

OTOH, I am collecting seeds for a very large flower bed for the front of the yard in the area that gets the lushest grass. These are flowering plants I hope to harvest seeds from to sell. Not permaculture, but I hope this will mean less watering and I know it will mean less mowing.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2005 at 4:27PM
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