Author Topic: Privacy Barriers that will feed you too but not grow too tall  (Read 1604 times)

Offline ChangeHope

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Privacy Barriers that will feed you too but not grow too tall
« on: October 03, 2018, 10:59:01 AM »
Hello, everyone.  So, I am working on designing my new homestead, and there is something I am wondering about.  I need to plant something to give me a privacy barrier from the road.  Ideally, I would like to grow something that would also produce something that I could eat too.  The other catch is that there are power lines in some areas of this, so I  would need something that doesn't grow too tall.  That may be kind of an oxymoron, since I do need something that would grow relatively quick but not too tall.  Anyway, what do you have as a suggestion for me on this?  Thanks in advance!

Offline ChangeHope

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Re: Privacy Barriers that will feed you too but not grow too tall
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2018, 01:28:26 PM »
Oh, and I thought I should also add.  The things being tall under the power lines is not necessarily a deal breaker.  I could always back the trees up off the road a little bit so that they aren't under the power lines to cause a problem.  Any ideas for me?

Offline Carl

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Re: Privacy Barriers that will feed you too but not grow too tall
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2018, 03:22:34 PM »
Pigs or chickens ought to make a good barrier,deterrent ...thought you probably want a plant growth to feed from like blackberries.

Offline Redman

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Re: Privacy Barriers that will feed you too but not grow too tall
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2018, 06:01:04 PM »
As long as you don't block access to the poles or the vegetation doesn't get too close to the lines you probably won't have a problem. Check with your power company. Here the power easement is 8' wide at the ground x 8' tall then 16' wide and height to infinity. At least that's how it was explained to me. Noticing the tree trimming around here when the trees get into the lines, the lines are cleared to 2 or 3 ft. below the lowest line.

Offline mountainmoma

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Re: Privacy Barriers that will feed you too but not grow too tall
« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2018, 12:02:47 AM »
Hm, out here, the power company will cut by the power lines themselves, and that can often kill or maime the tree, so it is good you are thinking about it before you plant.  You need to find out the easements where you live, the details.

Here in CA they are changing the details, so they never want anything to be within 4 ft of the power lines, and it is expensive to trim, so right now they are clearing to 12' of the power lines and causing alot of drama with homeowners.

Offline Stwood

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Re: Privacy Barriers that will feed you too but not grow too tall
« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2018, 07:02:53 AM »
How about some wild plum trees/bushes, something native to your area.
They cover within a few years, and provide berries for jelly and such.

Offline DDJ

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Re: Privacy Barriers that will feed you too but not grow too tall
« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2018, 10:15:56 AM »
I am working similar but am wanting to use a s a wind break.  Blackberries, blue berry, (taller more hedge type plants) and goji berry are my go too plants.  The plant should be able to be trained to a trellis and give you man sized privacy barrier. 

I say that but to be honest these are the plants I am having a hard time getting established and actually growing.  The blue and goji berries are not doing well but I expect the black berries to explode next year.  I am sure it is a soil / water issue.  At the old house I had a area of raspberries that "fenced" in my Bee yard and it grew to the perfect size to be a privacy barrier.

Offline ChangeHope

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Re: Privacy Barriers that will feed you too but not grow too tall
« Reply #7 on: October 04, 2018, 02:48:05 PM »
I like your idea of plum trees.  My soil has allot of clay in it though.  I don't that would work.  But yeah, I think just some fast growing fruit trees would work great.  I'm going to look into that.

Offline Stwood

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Re: Privacy Barriers that will feed you too but not grow too tall
« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2018, 03:01:58 PM »
I'm in Missouri, with clay soil.
Wherever you are at, find some native trees and take cutting in the spring.
Wouldn't hurt to find you some Elderberry bushes and take cutting of those. You'll have berrys in 3 years on those. They will need to be propped up as they will lay down and go wild sometimes. Elderberrys are medicinal, and also great for jelly.  ;D

Offline Carl

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Re: Privacy Barriers that will feed you too but not grow too tall
« Reply #9 on: October 04, 2018, 03:23:59 PM »
  Do gators grow too tall?

Offline ChangeHope

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Re: Privacy Barriers that will feed you too but not grow too tall
« Reply #10 on: October 05, 2018, 07:32:19 AM »
Ahh elderberry.  I like the idea of that too.  Here is a link to an article I found that shows some examples.  I pretty much like everything they are saying.  I'd probably do some sort of mix of most of these trees.  Mix some elderberry and goji in there too.  I think that would be pretty good.

https://www.schneiderpeeps.com/fast-growing-fruit-trees/

https://deepgreenpermaculture.com/2015/10/28/the-case-for-edible-hedges/

Offline David in MN

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Re: Privacy Barriers that will feed you too but not grow too tall
« Reply #11 on: October 05, 2018, 09:15:55 AM »
I'm a little north of most of you but up here it would be raspberry. If not that I would grow smaller trees and build a wall of grapes. But I'm very limited.

Offline bigbear

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Re: Privacy Barriers that will feed you too but not grow too tall
« Reply #12 on: October 05, 2018, 09:38:11 AM »
How are you defining privacy?  Specifically what function is most important:  Physical deterrent, visual barrier, sound barrier, edible...

Physical - Raspberry, blackberry and gooseberry have some nice thorns and are tasty.  Thicker (non-cane) bushes like blueberries, cranberries, hazelnuts, etc. can help.  Trees with bushes as an under-layer is an option too.

Visual/sound - if you have less land to work with by the road, you may think about going with something evergreen (not sure what would be edible for that though).  If you have more land, then you could plan a few rows of deciduous bushes/trees for a visual barrier.  But in the winter evergreens are the way to go for sound.  Or a solid fence.

Offline ChangeHope

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Re: Privacy Barriers that will feed you too but not grow too tall
« Reply #13 on: October 05, 2018, 02:13:27 PM »
For  me, I  guess what I'm looking for in terms of privacy would be a visual barrier.  I don't want everyone to see my house and front porch from the road.  My road is somewhat busy, so I'd like  some privacy when I'm sitting on the front porch or playing around in the yard.  I'm planning to put woven wire fence on the other side of the trees anyway as a physical barrier too.

So, yeah I have a pretty large amount of land to work with.  I think you're spot on with the mix of deciduous and bushes.  I can have cover up high with the trees and down low with the bushes.

Offline AvenueQ

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Re: Privacy Barriers that will feed you too but not grow too tall
« Reply #14 on: October 06, 2018, 05:47:18 PM »
Starting to follow this, as I think we may be interested in something like this for our backyard. We have an acre, and a significant part of the backyard is on a slope, which puts our house at near-perfect height for several neighbors behind us to see right into our dining room and master bedroom. We have blinds, of course, but would be nice to have a little more privacy (and a sound barrier from a particularly annoying dog). I wonder if a short trellis right at the top of the hill would work, then planting edible vines to fill it in? We do have significant winds that come howling down off the mountains nearby, so we'd have to make sure it's dug in deep and not too high.

Offline The Professor

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Re: Privacy Barriers that will feed you too but not grow too tall
« Reply #15 on: October 06, 2018, 09:54:41 PM »
Roses?  Rose hips are a wonderful source of Vitamin C.  Maybe mix them in with the Blackberry bushes.

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Offline David in MN

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Re: Privacy Barriers that will feed you too but not grow too tall
« Reply #16 on: October 07, 2018, 07:31:15 AM »
Hazelnut is another option. Mine get about 8 feet tall and you could even stagger them to easily walk through but not see through. And as far as eating goes nuts are great and hard to come by.

Offline Alan Georges

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Re: Privacy Barriers that will feed you too but not grow too tall
« Reply #17 on: October 07, 2018, 07:57:33 AM »
Roses?  Rose hips are a wonderful source of Vitamin C.  Maybe mix them in with the Blackberry bushes.

Cherokee roses? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosa_laevigata  They grow fast, sprout wicked thorns, and yield huge hips.

Offline ChangeHope

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Re: Privacy Barriers that will feed you too but not grow too tall
« Reply #18 on: October 09, 2018, 09:39:35 AM »
Starting to follow this, as I think we may be interested in something like this for our backyard. We have an acre, and a significant part of the backyard is on a slope, which puts our house at near-perfect height for several neighbors behind us to see right into our dining room and master bedroom. We have blinds, of course, but would be nice to have a little more privacy (and a sound barrier from a particularly annoying dog). I wonder if a short trellis right at the top of the hill would work, then planting edible vines to fill it in? We do have significant winds that come howling down off the mountains nearby, so we'd have to make sure it's dug in deep and not too high.

That's about the same boat I am in.  The way my house will sit up on the hill, it gives everyone on the road and my neighbors a pretty clear view of everything.

Offline AvenueQ

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Re: Privacy Barriers that will feed you too but not grow too tall
« Reply #19 on: October 09, 2018, 03:26:47 PM »
That's about the same boat I am in.  The way my house will sit up on the hill, it gives everyone on the road and my neighbors a pretty clear view of everything.

I found this on an image search, I think something like this would work well for us, though maybe not quite so tall. I'd leave about 6-8 inches clear from the ground I think too, as we have quail that migrate through the yard every morning.


Offline Redman

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Re: Privacy Barriers that will feed you too but not grow too tall
« Reply #20 on: October 09, 2018, 06:10:42 PM »
That's a nice fence Q and not so unfriendly as a "solid" fence IMO and it allows the breezes to go through somewhat. It can also be done vertically.

Offline ChangeHope

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Re: Privacy Barriers that will feed you too but not grow too tall
« Reply #21 on: October 10, 2018, 09:02:45 AM »
Yeah, that fence looks nice.  Almost looks like something you could make out of pallets?  Though pallets wouldn't last very long, so you may just want to use regular lumber!

Offline David in MN

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Re: Privacy Barriers that will feed you too but not grow too tall
« Reply #22 on: October 11, 2018, 09:31:17 AM »
Be careful... That fence (and the gate in particular) screams Japanese. That's not a bad thing if you have a house that fits like a midcentury and intend to do very neat ornamental gardening. I had done some planning to do Japanese woodwork on my garden but it looks like crap hung off my split level with grape vines climbing up every fence breaking up the clean lines necessary for Japanese work to look correct. With my larger trees, vines, and berry patches I wound up with a more open French farmhouse layout in the back. It's a little more forgiving to what I grow. My mom has a small area of her backyard (of a bitchin midcentury) dedicated to a Chinese garden with water features and manicured Asian ornamentals. It works on her house.

I have 10' lilacs on 2 of 3 sides of my backyard and my yard feels like a little garden paradise if'n you don't mind things a little overgrown and everywhere. But I got all spring and summer enjoyment when my daughter wanted to help plant, daily inspect, play soccer under the trees, and eventually go daily "garden picking".

What I'm getting at is knowing how to fit a design to your style and what you produce. You could have a Japanese garden or espalier apple trees; just not in the same yard without it looking wrong. Part of the walled in garden is what you want out of it. Is it a beautiful place to sip tea and appreciate rare flowers? Is it living abundance with food production where you trundle through in overalls? Where I live some of  the most beautiful are open pasture wildflower gardens where one can stop to watch butterflies all summer. Design to what you have and what you grow.

Offline DDJ

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Re: Privacy Barriers that will feed you too but not grow too tall
« Reply #23 on: October 15, 2018, 11:04:04 AM »
Just had a thought I Would add.  As most of the plants we are talking about are Perennial you may want to consider putting in some annual climbing crops like beans and peas.  If you are planning on woven wire fencing on the out side that would make a perfect trellis. I did something similar with my Deer fencing around the Cherry trees this year.  I, ok my wife, planted beans to clime up the netting and strands of jute hanging off the poles.  The beans loved it and they did breakup the view.  The 10 feet of heights protected most of the beans from the dog, who we discovered likes green beans.  They would help fill gaps in while other plants get established. They are low cost and a nitrogen fixer to help the soil.  To top that off they are temporary.  You can feed them to both people and dogs. 

Offline Morning Sunshine

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Re: Privacy Barriers that will feed you too but not grow too tall
« Reply #24 on: October 15, 2018, 12:59:00 PM »
Just had a thought I Would add.  As most of the plants we are talking about are Perennial you may want to consider putting in some annual climbing crops like beans and peas.  If you are planning on woven wire fencing on the out side that would make a perfect trellis. I did something similar with my Deer fencing around the Cherry trees this year.  I, ok my wife, planted beans to clime up the netting and strands of jute hanging off the poles.  The beans loved it and they did breakup the view.  The 10 feet of heights protected most of the beans from the dog, who we discovered likes green beans.  They would help fill gaps in while other plants get established. They are low cost and a nitrogen fixer to help the soil.  To top that off they are temporary.  You can feed them to both people and dogs.

this post made me laugh.  +1 for humor along with a great idea

Offline ChangeHope

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Re: Privacy Barriers that will feed you too but not grow too tall
« Reply #25 on: October 17, 2018, 01:27:00 PM »
this post made me laugh.  +1 for humor along with a great idea


HAAA yeah give the wife credit where credit is due!