Author Topic: Plant Palettes by Koeppen-Geiger Zone  (Read 3449 times)

Offline CandyGram4Mongo

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Plant Palettes by Koeppen-Geiger Zone
« on: October 18, 2016, 09:22:25 PM »
Finding *specific* "plant palettes" for different climates has been tricky, so I created a new section on the TSP Wiki to make plant selection easier regardless of climate:

http://tspwiki.com/index.php?title=Plant_Palettes

Additions and edits would be GREATLY appreciated.  If anybody knows of some good resources but isn't comfortable with editing a wiki just PM me a link & I'll make sure it gets posted in the appropriate section.  If somebody else has already invented this wheel, please reply to this post with a link etc.

In the mean time, I've taken 2 PDCs and am neck-deep in the PermaEthos Gaia's Garden course and it seems like what it REALLY boils down to once the mainframe is designed is to pick plants (and animals) that do well together, provide what's needed, and have a fighting chance of thriving over the long haul.  I’m located on the Colorado Prairie, so I’ve gotten a small start on the BSk page before I had to stop goofing off and get back to my day job.  Lucky for me, Eric Tonsmeier created a Colorado Plant Palette among his many "Useful Plant Profiles" at http://www.perennialsolutions.org/useful-perennial-plant-profiles-hardy-organic-gardening-plants-permaculture-urban-resource-garden.html so I've started to add that (with Eric's permission) but that's not going to help me much if I leave Colorado.

Note: If you’ve never used a wiki before but want to give it a try, start by going to the TSP Wiki Main page:

http://tspwiki.com/index.php?title=Main_Page

and look at the “Become a Contributor” column to create an account & watch videos or read wikihelp pages.  It's pretty easy once you get the hang of it.

Offline CandyGram4Mongo

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Re: Plant Palettes by Koeppen-Geiger Zone
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2016, 05:53:35 PM »
OK, the plant palette for BSk is off to a running start:
http://tspwiki.com/index.php?title=BSk

BSk climate areas include the Colorado Prairie (Arapahoe, Elbert counties), Mildura, NSW, Australia, Deniliquin, NSW, Australia, Cochabamba, Bolivia, Chihuahua, Mexico, Welkom, South Africa, Malmyy Kamkaly, Kazakhstan, and Haixi, China.

Offline I.L.W.

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Re: Plant Palettes by Koeppen-Geiger Zone
« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2016, 05:14:48 PM »
Good work. Are you using database sources? If so, may I ask which ones?

I've had good luck searching google for "plant list" filetype:xls

I'm actually working on a similar project, trying to draft a proposal for a schema standard. That way information about plants online could be tagged with contextually relevant metadata. This way search engines could offer more relevant results like "Google Info cards" in the search results, and things like AI virtual assistants could answer basic questions about plant cultivation. Things like "Siri, how many BTUs do you get from Green Ash?" or "Alexa, what pH soil do I need grow cranberries?", "Cortana, what's the Latin name for Elderberry?" "OK Google, What are some flowering trees that grow in my area?"...

The data is already all over the web, it's just not in a format that can be universally indexed by such services. I'm approaching the same problem from the other side, rather than compiling one database, create a standard which allows any database written to those specifications to be indexed or combined through external services. Rather than make a consolidated source of information, make it more accessible in a distributed form.

You can find samples of other schemas at http://schema.org
I'd love some input on what content should be included or what structure you would give to that content. Drafting a proposal is easy, but it needs backers who will implement it before it's even considered to become part of the official list. I have a ton of information compiled already, but not with a KGZ attribute. I'll have to add that property.

Offline CandyGram4Mongo

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Re: Plant Palettes by Koeppen-Geiger Zone
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2016, 07:54:11 AM »
Good work. Are you using database sources? If so, may I ask which ones?

Thanks - I've been using PFAF and otherwise just trying to pick up what's around the web.  Latest is the Atriplex Project recommended by Eric Tonsmeier: https://wildgreenyonder.wordpress.com/2009/07/30/atriplex/

I've had good luck searching google for "plant list" filetype:xls
Will try that.  Am in the permaEthos Gaia's Garden class right now & Toby Hemenway recommends searching for "Plant Communities [your state].
I'm actually working on a similar project, trying to draft a proposal for a schema standard. That way information about plants online could be tagged with contextually relevant metadata. This way search engines could offer more relevant results like "Google Info cards" in the search results, and things like AI virtual assistants could answer basic questions about plant cultivation. Things like "Siri, how many BTUs do you get from Green Ash?" or "Alexa, what pH soil do I need grow cranberries?", "Cortana, what's the Latin name for Elderberry?" "OK Google, What are some flowering trees that grow in my area?"...
Could you please post a link to your project/doc/database?  I think the KGZ attribute is what is going to most easily permit creation of cross-continental guilds.  Goji grows VERY WELL at my house, but I haven't been able to source it locally nor have I been able to find any old-timers who include it in their mix.  After a couple of years struggling to make currants grow (the recommended berry bush out here), I'm going to simply try to broaden the palette, test everything using Mark Shepard's STUN technique, and see if I can find more plants like Goji that THRIVE out here...
I'd love some input on what content should be included or what structure you would give to that content. Drafting a proposal is easy, but it needs backers who will implement it before it's even considered to become part of the official list. I have a ton of information compiled already, but not with a KGZ attribute. I'll have to add that property.
The other pieces that I'm trying to fit together include successful guilds and natural enemies.  For example, I was unaware that grasses will kill fruit trees.  I had heard that nut trees will kill fruit trees, but hadn't heard that emplacing mulberry plants between nuts & fruits would create a buffer.
T

Offline I.L.W.

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Re: Plant Palettes by Koeppen-Geiger Zone
« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2016, 09:34:50 AM »
Quote
Could you please post a link to your project/doc/database?  I think the KGZ attribute is what is going to most easily permit creation of cross-continental guilds.  Goji grows VERY WELL at my house, but I haven't been able to source it locally nor have I been able to find any old-timers who include it in their mix.  After a couple of years struggling to make currants grow (the recommended berry bush out here), I'm going to simply try to broaden the palette, test everything using Mark Shepard's STUN technique, and see if I can find more plants like Goji that THRIVE out here...

My focus has been more on getting the schema proposal running first, then building the database around that after formal acceptance. So right now, the database is still fragments of sources, not unified or online. I may start building it as a proof of concept for the schema draft, but it's not ready yet. When I do, it'll be an SQL source on one of my domains. Likely http://www.annwyn.farm/ for an early draft. I'll formalize it with an appropriate domain later on. I'll send you a PM when I have it up and running, but it's still a ways off.

Quote
The other pieces that I'm trying to fit together include successful guilds and natural enemies.  For example, I was unaware that grasses will kill fruit trees.  I had heard that nut trees will kill fruit trees, but hadn't heard that emplacing mulberry plants between nuts & fruits would create a buffer.

I don't know of a formal categorization standard for this. Generally, there are four categories of "plant enemies".

• Physical competition
This is grass pulling all the nutrients from shallow rooted fruit trees, or morning glories strangling out young samplings. This type of physical competition is the most common adverse relationship.

• Allelopathic
This is over-stated to some extent. The plant gives off chemicals which impede the progression of other plants. For instance the infamous "black walnut" problem. You're correct, mulberries are immune to the Juglone produced by walnuts. Search for Allelopathic Plants and you'll find a list. But to build guilds from it, you have to look at the specific compounds each species gives off, then search for trials in which plants showed immunity, or the ability to negate the toxins. Most of that hasn't really been researched, it's just word of mouth from one grower to the next. Nobody can compare every plant's relationship to every other plant in every soil type, against a control group and do it enough to reach conclusive results. But people can offer anecdotal evidence. "I have a mulberry tree growing under a walnut tree", and others can confirm. You may also come by the information in other ways. For example, if you want to get rid of stinging nettles, plant horseradish among them. That leverages the same relationship, but information is discovered by practical implementations rather than a detailed review of the relationship.

• Disease Carriers
I'm sure you know currant + white pine = dead white pine. Cedar trees should not be within 2 miles of apple trees. Pests and diseases can carry from one species to another, so plants which can be carriers, but thrive while infected need to be separated from plants which are vulnerable.

• Soil-changers
I'm sure you've heard this one with regard to autumn olive and other nitrogen-fixing bushes. They can infuse the soil with nutrients which favor the growth of competing species over the natives. This is a non-issue in a planned garden or permaculture design, you actually leverage this action to your advantage. Likewise, locust trees can create huge amounts over very rich soil with their leaf litter in the fall, which will disadvantage things like goji, which thrives in low fertility alkaline soils. The tree makes it highly fertile, acidic soil very quickly (within 10-15 years). This is not a problem on a small scale, but on a long-term, unmanaged plot like a food forest, this needs to be anticipated. That's why they stress "succession stages" in permaculture, and why you plant 100 trees to get just one in the final mature state. That's the whole "time-stacked" thing.

One other thing to consider, KGZ gives you climate data, but that's only part of the equation. You're also looking for those temperatures in relation to day-length. For example, you need 15 +/- hours of sunlight with temperatures over 65°F for 82 consecutive days. That understanding is what boosted my productivity, and allows me to grow things well outside my "recommended zone". I'm in USDA zone 4, and grow bananas and dragon-fruit, something I shouldn't be able to do out side of zone 8 by all conventional accounts. Some winter protection is still needed, but while I'm taking the opportunity to breed hardier genetics, what I have now is no different than what anyone down south is growing. The difference is in knowing how to manipulate light and force growth at the ideal times based on day length. I would take the KGZ map and overlay a banding by latitude and subdivide the zones that way, with month correction for northern vs southern hemisphere, and date alterations based on how far north or south someone is from the region that reports good results. Someone could be in your zone, but have vastly different results starting a few weeks ahead or behind your planting schedule or fertility amendment schedules.

Offline CandyGram4Mongo

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Re: Plant Palettes by Koeppen-Geiger Zone
« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2016, 02:16:07 PM »
The difference is in knowing how to manipulate light and force growth at the ideal times based on day length. I would take the KGZ map and overlay a banding by latitude and subdivide the zones that way, with month correction for northern vs southern hemisphere, and date alterations based on how far north or south someone is from the region that reports good results. Someone could be in your zone, but have vastly different results starting a few weeks ahead or behind your planting schedule or fertility amendment schedules.

Are there any resources you recommend for learning to do what you're doing (manipulating light/forcing growth)? 

One other attribute to include in the schema is animal toxicity and/or suitability as forage.  Horses are critical to my design, and there are many plants that are edible by humans that will kill horses.  Some of those same plants are fine for cows or goats.  Identifying parts of plants that are toxic to humans seems like a pretty good idea too.

Offline I.L.W.

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Re: Plant Palettes by Koeppen-Geiger Zone
« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2016, 08:48:54 PM »
Quote
Are there any resources you recommend for learning to do what you're doing (manipulating light/forcing growth)?

I can't think of one definitive source. The best place to look is "World record Gardens". Just google it. You find most records are held by people in Russia, Norway, Canada and Alaska (especially Alaska). 23 hours of sun has it's advantages. They grow thing quickly in a very short season, but are masters of extending the growing season and breeding for hardiness. Understanding why that works is key, though emulating their natural long days is tricky, using reflective surfaces, heat sinks (a pond does both), heavy mulching, heat generated from compost, supplemental lighting. There's a lot of techniques which can all be integrated into one cohesive system, but it's something you adapt to the specific site, no "one-size-fits-all" solutions.

Quote
Identifying parts of plants that are toxic to humans seems like a pretty good idea too.

Yeah, that's included. I have about 400 nodes at this point, all with a list of possible properties. Working to get it down to about 50 nodes at most, without losing information containers.

General categories (you can think of them as tables, as that's how they would be most likely implemented) are listed below. The main nodes are in bold, with a sampling of properties beneath each. The actual list of properties is about 3 dozen per node, with some considerably more. Not all are applicable to every plant. The actual schema draft is about 300 pages, lol. I'm working to consolidate much of it now in a more orderly fashion.

Plant General info
 Latin name, common names, Width, height, potential age, description, Habitat (terrestrial, riparian, aquatic...)
Cultivation
 Zone, soil pH, exposure, water, soil type, mineral dependencies etc.
Propagation
 Cutting, stolon, division, offset, seed etc.
Identification
 Leaf, Stem, root ID etc.
Edible
 Nutrition table, flavor, texture, yield, notes
Medicinal
 astringent, diuretic etc.
Aroma
 Perfumery pallets
Floral and Aesthetic values
 Parts used for decorative purposes
Apiary management
 Bloom time, bloom duration, nectar flows, pollen production, recommended stand sizes.
Dyes
 Colors derived, mordants for each color
Fiber & basket weaving
 tensile strength, brittleness, decay resistance, etc.
Timber
 Grain, rot resistance, cutting difficulty, stainability, suitability for food-prep surfaces...
Oil content
 When to harvest, extraction method, flash point etc.
Fuel
 BTUs per cord, aroma(brunt), smoke amounts, burn quality (ash), wax content
Epoxies & rubber
 Pitch value, latex content etc
Wildlife & livestock Forage
 Nutrient value, parts used, storage methods, suitability for a specific animal, attracted species...
Wildlife habitat
 nesting values, insulation properties, predator cover etc...
Toxicology
 toxins, remedies for toxins, preparation needed to negate them...
Structural
 Value as a hedge, windbreak, shade etc
Cultural Values
 Uses in religious practices, symbolism, Mythological etc
Conservation status
 Endangered, protected, invasive
Companion and competitor plantings
 Grow with these companions, avoid planting near X
Pests
 List of pests
Diseases
 Viral, fungal, bacterial, physical malformity, growth anomolies etc
History
 Use in municipal and conservation projects, year introduced to a region etc.
Economics
 Historic crop values per acre, market demand for products
Taxonomy
 Family, Genus, Species, related species
Cultivars
 A listing of cultivars, names, patents, etc.
Media
 Base64 Encoded images

Building a full database consisting of all of these nodes would be insane. It would take days of research to fill out a single plant entry. This is why the schema is needed. Plants can have a single ID number, and multiple databases can be cross-referenced. A cooking site can have recipes, while a health site contains medicinal or nutritional data, and a candle maker can talk about the waxes and oils...

Offline CandyGram4Mongo

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Re: Plant Palettes by Koeppen-Geiger Zone
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2019, 09:40:38 AM »
Update: it looks like the tspwiki died and was restored from a 2015 backup, so the plant pallets topic doesn’t exist any more.  Checked the way back machine and it didn’t get archived either.
Dang.