[permaculture] Edges - Re: permaculture and science || need recommendations for plantings at edge of pond
paul.cereghino at comcast.net
Sun Feb 4 20:38:05 EST 2007
Some thoughts on pond edge guilds:
In general early spring inundation levels are a strong theshold that
controls community composition... it seems that there is a dividing line
between those species who can and can't live in low oxygen soils while
their buds are breaking.
Visual inspection of soil in pits can provide lots of information about
growing regime, and zoning your landscape (not permaculture zoning, but
hydrologic zones.) Google: redoximorphic (AKA soil characteristics that
result from low RedOx conditions (i.e. lack of oxygen).
Find a pond with similar hydrology and emulate the patterns you see there.
Generally the deeper in the pond you get, composition is driven by
tolerance of low oxygen soils, while higher up composition is controlled
long spring inundation followed by summer drawdown creates an
opportunity for annuals (wild rice?) particularly where accompanied by
Get familiar with you inundation patterns, establish markers to help you
keep track -- some categories from my region:
1. only flooded in winter.
2. periodic flooding during early growing season (no more than a few days)
3. frequently flooded during early growing season (enough duration to
create low oxygen spells).
4. long term early growing season flooding (only true wetalnd plants.)
when in doubt plant starts perpendicular to these bands of increasing
inundation from dry to wet and watch for mortality.
Many wetland plants can tolerate more inundation stress once established
then when recruiting... particularly from seed or cutting. Time
planting to minimize inudation stress to give'em a chance to establish
before the next inundation spell.
Checkout the wetland indicator species rating on the USDA plants website
http://plants.usda.gov/ .. it is a useful way of classifying plant
species based on the frequency with which naturalized populations are
observed in wetlands. http://plants.usda.gov/wetland.html for searching
and http://plants.usda.gov/wetinfo.html for interpretation. This
approach doesn't pick up on subtleties but it is a great start -- then
cross reference with your local ethnobotany.
In addition to cattail, there are sedges (Carex basketry) and bullrushes
(Scirpus, mats) that provide good fiber. There are Iris' that have
carbohydrate roots. Osiers (thin pliable branches) can be from willow
but also dogwood (Cornus sericea; spring flooding but only once
established). Crab apple (Malus; some spring flooding). Nettle
(Urtica; capillary fringe).
A secondary cash product from a wet area may be cuttings from coppiced
native shrubs that root well from stem cuttings that may be sold as
'live stakes' for restoration work... if you have a local 'conservation
district' they should be able to familiarize you with local demand and
species. By controlling stem age through systematic harvest, you can
produce higher quality cuttings for field propagation than are available
from wildcrafters (young stems are more likely to root than old stems in
many species, and wildcrafters have a hard time controlling stem
age.)... many species that are potentially field propagated from
unrooted cuttings are not in the market.
I'd really like to hear folk's wet edge favorites... I'm starting in on
my wet zones this winter.
Lawrence F. London, Jr. wrote:
>Lawrence F. London, Jr. wrote:
>>I would like to crenelate the pond's edge and install a variety of plantings that are native to my
>>locale and will work well in an edge zone with nondescript plant material that may drift in and out, airborne,
>>waterborne or waterborne. The water in the pond is high in nutrients and duckweed growing there now is flourishing even
>>in this cole weather we are having.
>That should read:
>I would like to crenelate the shoreline of the pond and install a variety of plantings that are native to my
>locale that will work well in an edge zone with nondescript plant material that may drift in and out, airborne,
>waterborne or animal-borne. The water in the pond is high in nutrients and duckweed growing there now is flourishing
>even in this cold weather we are having.
More information about the permaculture