Farm, Garden and The Land > Permaculture, Land Management and Foraging

Plant Palettes by Koeppen-Geiger Zone

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CandyGram4Mongo:
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.

CandyGram4Mongo:
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.

I.L.W.:
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.

CandyGram4Mongo:

--- Quote from: I.L.W. on October 23, 2016, 05:14:48 PM ---Good work. Are you using database sources? If so, may I ask which ones?
--- End quote ---

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/


--- Quote from: I.L.W. on October 23, 2016, 05:14:48 PM ---I've had good luck searching google for "plant list" filetype:xls

--- End quote ---
Will try that.  Am in the permaEthos Gaia's Garden class right now & Toby Hemenway recommends searching for "Plant Communities [your state].

--- Quote from: I.L.W. on October 23, 2016, 05:14:48 PM ---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?"...

--- End 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...

--- Quote from: I.L.W. on October 23, 2016, 05:14:48 PM ---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.

--- End 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.
T

I.L.W.:

--- 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...
--- End quote ---

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.
--- End quote ---

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.

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