[permaculture] Fast growing nitro fixers, semi tropics

Neil Bertrando neilbertrando at gmail.com
Wed Oct 24 13:49:57 EDT 2012


Thanks for the feedback and discussion about your approaches and rationale.
 I really appreciate that Permaculture facilitates so many techniques and
strategies and is adaptable to social and cultural contexts.

I've been doing most of my work in arid climates recently and am finding
that if plants aren't aggressive, they often don't make it.  I'm often
looking for plants that exhibit some rampancy or are on the semi-rampant
edge.  I find that some of my favorite and most useful plants have been
labeled noxious locally, siberian elm for example ulmus pumila.
http://www.na.fs.fed.us/fhp/invasive_plants/weeds/siberian-elm.pdf  a fast
growing hardwood, coppicable, good for firewood, timber, fodder, edible
seeds, drought and salt tolerant, etc.  My experience in Permaculture is
leading me to constantly question my relationships with the living world
and organisms to continually strive for mutual benefits.  I can understand
how this will also lead to excluding some species from a specific plant
pallete due to aggressiveness or other non-desireable qualities and am
excited to learn more about people's real world experience with various
species in different ecologies.

cheers,
Neil

On Wed, Oct 24, 2012 at 4:48 AM, Cory Brennan <cory8570 at yahoo.com> wrote:

> Thank you much for this, good info about what to avoid as well as what to
> use. We do use pigeon pea and cowpea liberally and I love them too. Pigeon
> pea is a beautiful plant and grows very fast here. If it gets enough food,
> it can be a huge bush (I've seen it go 10 feet) in one season. I haven't
> looked into Albizia or Tagasaste - these are good leads which I can look at
> further. I do see Albizia around here, but not Tagasaste. I like acacia
> farnesiana which is a native. It is very thorny which makes a good living
> fence when we need that and it doesn't take over the yard like the
> aggressive elephant ear acacia.
>
> I have used honey locust liberally at Pine Ridge, but the non thorny
> version which is less aggressive than the one with thorns. It is one of the
> few things that can take hold and survive up there without a lot of help
> and it can be used as a fodder and wood tree (makes fence posts that don't
> rot for many years, good firewood, etc, something they need a lot of up
> there). I would think twice about using it in Florida. But I've never seen
> either black or honey locust so not sure if it is too hot for them or there
> are diseases or what.
>
> Koreen Brennan
>
> www.growpermaculture.com
> www.facebook.com/growpermaculturenow
> www.meetup.com/sustainable-urban-agriculture-coalition
>
>
> ________________________________
>  From: Robyn Francis <robyn at permaculture.com.au>
> To: permaculture <permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org>
> Sent: Friday, October 19, 2012 6:27 PM
> Subject: Re: [permaculture] Fast growing nitro fixers, semi tropics
>
> I live in humid subtropics and have some winter frosts.
>
> The legumes I've had greatest success with are:
>
> Perennial pigeon pea (Cajanus cajan) great shrub legume, can plant quite
> closely, terrific chop-and-drop spp to build up mulch, and nurse plant for
> establishing other trees. Is affected by severe frost, however if densely
> planted they send out new shoots from lower stem and branches in spring.
> Nodulate prolifically so good N-fixers. Only live 3-4 years.
>
> Trees:
> Tipuanu tipu - grows well but can grow quite large - I have these as an
> emergent canopy over my subtropical food forest. See a rare volunteer
> seedling popping up here and there, but are not invasive - or maybe the
> wallabies keep them in check.
>
> Albizzia julibrissin are great smaller tree legume and very frost hardy
> (seen them growing in Europe) and have had no evidence of self seeding or
> invasive potential here.
>
> Cow pea as a summer annual legume are quite prolific.
>
> I don't recommend using dolichos or desmodium app (too invasive), also
> honey locust is a shocking weed in our climate here where folk have grown
> it - spreads prolifically especially along water courses as an impenetrable
> vicious thorny thicket. I've also eliminated Inga edulis as a tree legume
> in my system, it self seeds prolifically and the birds and fruit bats
> spread seed into nearby rainforest areas.
>
> Have you looked into Tagasaste (Chamaecytisus palmensis) ? It doesn't like
> our heavy clay but grows well in more sandy soils in subtropics and
> temperate areas.
>
> Robyn
>
>
> On 18/10/2012, at 11:05 PM, Cory Brennan wrote:
>
> >  Just found this resource for nitro fixing fodder legumes, wonderful!
> http://www.fao.org/ag/AGP/AGPC/doc/Publicat/Gutt-shel/x5556e00.htm#Contents
> >
> > Would love to hear back from people on experience with legumes in any
> climate similar to Florida - sugar sand soils, sometimes extreme wet/dry,
> temperatures hot, humid in summer, often freezing in winter (down to 15
> degrees or below in many areas). I am looking to plant many fast growing
> multi use legume trees and want to make sure I am picking the best
> varieties. Leucaena, gliricidia, sesbania, are considered "invasive" in
> Florida. I am trying to find info on less invasive cultivars (though I
> agree with Toby Hemenway's assessments on "opportunists" I hesitate to be
> the one to personally bring thousands of opportunist trees into this
> relatively delicate ecosystem). Leucaena lan (I believe this is lanceolata)
> is considered not invasive but I have not found any of this cultivar.
> >
> > The native sweet acacia has gnarly thorns but is beautiful and works
> well where thorns are not a problem.
> >
> > What experience do people have with the non nodulating nitro fixers like
> cassia, etc, as far as actually putting nitrogen into the soils? I have not
> used them enough to really know how they do.
> >
> > On a different note, I'm still trying to determine the nitro fixing
> capabilities of gleditsia triacanthos in temperate climates.
> >
> > Koreen Brennan
> >
> > www.growpermaculture.com
> > www.facebook.com/growpermaculturenow
> > www.meetup.com/sustainable-urban-agriculture-coalition
> > _______________________________________________
> > permaculture mailing list
> > permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org
> > subscribe/unsubscribe|user config|list info:
> > http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/permaculture
> > message archives:  http://lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/permaculture/
> > Google message archive search:
> > site: lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/permaculture [searchstring]
> > Avant Geared  http://www.avantgeared.com
>
> _______________________________________________
> permaculture mailing list
> permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org
> subscribe/unsubscribe|user config|list info:
> http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/permaculture
> message archives:  http://lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/permaculture/
> Google message archive search:
> site: lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/permaculture [searchstring]
> Avant Geared  http://www.avantgeared.com
> _______________________________________________
> permaculture mailing list
> permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org
> subscribe/unsubscribe|user config|list info:
> http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/permaculture
> message archives:  http://lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/permaculture/
> Google message archive search:
> site: lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/permaculture [searchstring]
> Avant Geared  http://www.avantgeared.com
>


More information about the permaculture mailing list