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In a message dated 4/30/99 6:52:27 AM, you wrote:
<<One of the projects we are starting here is a fedge,
and I'm trying to figure out what plants I should
include. has anyone had any experience doing this ?
This particular fedge should provide,
- Deer barrier help, at least 8 ft tall. It will
initially be between two 4ft tall wire fences 'till it
- food/forage/habitat for bees, quail and other birds,
benifical insects, people forage too
- be fairly low maintenence once established. self
Filberts, and nanking cherries are a couple plants in
the raintree catalog that look interesting.
It is an open sunny location for most of the length,
towards the end it meets up with existing oak tree
area. We are located in the Santa cruz mountains, USDA
zone 9, 2400 feet, very rainy winters, and very hot
If you have any ideas or recomendations of books to
consult, I'd appreciate it
Well of course there are very many species that will do well. I'd look
closely at two genera for nitrogen fixers: Caragana and Elaegnus. Both will
respond to mulch for establishment. What are your winter temperatures?
Sounds like close to a Mediterranean climate and so I'd look at those
species. Most of the crop species (e.g. figs, olive, carob) from that region
like sun so would have to be on a sunny edge. Soil pH? Drainage? Fertility?
Do you want barrier plants, or just functional in other ways. Trifoliate
orange might do well, again on a sunny edge, though most citrus and near
relatives take a bit of shade. Do you get frost? If not, coffee makes an
nice interior plant,, being shade tolerant and all. There are species of
amelanchier that could do well, but these are also sunny edge species.
Jujube is well suited, being a good barrier plant and both flood and drought
tolerant. (Most of the drought tolerant plants like irrigation while getting
established and really benefit from mulch, even the most tolerant of drought.)
Are you too cold for the mesquite genus. It has a number of species, but
I've never had the need to look into them. Cacti will be good low in the
fedge, particularly opuntia spp as they make good eating as nopalis. They
will fruit in sun but take a surprising amount of shade if all you want is
Is 8 feet really the height limit? Or could we plunk a few olives and carobs
in the center than maybe go to 12 or 16 feet and build edges with lower
Some plants will form thickets all by themselfes--a number of plums do this
and, again, jujube is a good one.
How is the fedge oriented to the winter and summer winds? Maybe we can get
some vines in there. Don't neglect brambles. Generally blackberries on a
shady edge (or open interior), raspberries on a sunny edge, and black
raspberries in mosit but well drained locations (probably not suitable in
your case.) The entire rosa genus is at your disposal for this.
It is not useful to become more specific than this without knowing the total
design. Will the fedge be oriented to trap winter snow (if any)? How deep
will it be? How deep is the soil? Is there water catchment and storage
upgrade that can help during establishment years? What native species are
already present. What zone is this with respect to the dwelling (if any)?
Etc, etc., etc. Function varies as to placement. If the fedge is on contour
it can be set up in a swale (assuming that the soil is sufficiently deep).
These little design features are wonderful because we get to use everything
in permaculture design in working them out. (And if we don't, they really
aren't permaculture, are they?)
Best of success with your project.
For Mother Earth, Dan Hemenway, Yankee Permaculture Publications (since
1982), Elfin Permaculture workshops, lectures, Permaculture Design Courses,
consulting and permaculture designs (since 1981), and annual correspondence
courses via email. Copyright, 1998, Dan & Cynthia Hemenway, P.O. Box 52,
Sparr FL 32192 USA Internships. YankeePerm@aol.com
We don't have time to rush.
A list by topic of all Yankee Permaculture titles may be found at
Elfin Permaculture programs are listed at the Eastern Permaculture Teachers
assn home page: http://home.ptd.net/~artrod/epta/eptahmp.html
PS We will be teaching a 10-day intensive design workshop somewhere in your
general vicinity in August? Want to host a weekend fedge-design workshp?