[permaculture] Blueberry/willow guild design critique
paul.cereghino at comcast.net
Wed Jul 18 03:14:33 EDT 2007
To think I was excited when I got a response! Pat... would you please
call me Paul rather than "This person".. Still looking for
suggestions... I couldn't find many design suggestions in your
response. Your motive is unclear to me.
>Juncus effusus is not aggressive. You see the plant will proliferate only if conditions meet its
>needs. It can tolerate very sour ground that most other plants cannot and also where their seeds
>will not germinate.
Under wetland conditions J. effusus is a very successful competitor. I
am talking about wetland conditions where soft rush can outcompete other
species and load the seedbank, hence my hesitation about using it as
part of a polyculture, but due to its productivity, my interest in its
value as a mulch plant. There are many plants adapted to seasonally
anaerobic soils other than soft rush. I guess soft rush must behave
differently where your come from. We could talk more about my field
experience with soft rush if that is what you are after?
>Willows that are used in natural fencing can be grown but not with blueberries and certainly not in a situation where you want to harvest food.
I was going for NEXT TO.. as opposed to WITH. The willow would have to
be organized and harvest managed so that the willow was not shading the
blueberries. How does having some osiers nearby prevent harvest of
food? You might notice that the Willow seed is small and wind blow.
I have only seen germination on bare moist ground. Most of my local
species don't sucker strongly from rhizomes. I was imagining fairly
well behaved stools. I like hardwood poles over bamboo because the
bamboo is so slick that garden climbers slide off. Other coppice
species adapted to seasonally saturated soils are welcome if you have
any suggestions. I have planted some Fraxinus latifolia and will see
its second year growth, but I have found it finicky in previous plantings.
>Also plant on giving some distance from the food stuff or your going to have willow everywhere in
>no time. Invasive applies to this plant
There are hundreds of willow species, with different growth rates and
habits. Growing the willow as coppice with some competing canopy might
encourage straight vertical growth better for my purposes. I was
proposing a mosaic not an intercrop. I agree that a blueberry willow
intercrop would be silly.
> rather than to Juncus e. and I. psuedoacorus which are
>only successful under very prescribed circumstances.**
I guess you could call yellow flag opportunitistic? But I don't feel a
need to plant more of it, It'll make good starvation food if you don't
mind a little heavy metal loading.
*Yellow flag iris, /Iris pseudoacorus/
*(Washington State Class C Noxious Weed)
This emergent wetland plant with showy yellow flowers quickly spreads
through underground rhizomes and rhizome fragments. It naturalizes along
streams, canals, and shorelines in Washington, particularly near
developed areas. It outcompetes native wetland plants along the
shoreline and severely reduces water flow.
Iris pseudacorusis a wetland plant that is especially showy during its
short blooming period. This good-looking plant has been transplanted
into well-watered gardens all over the world and has widely escaped; it
is also used in sewage treatment, and is known to be able to remove
metals from wastewaters. Like cat-tails, yellow iris colonizes into
large numbers, forming very dense monotypic stands, outcompeting other
In some regions it has escaped from cultivation to establish itself as
an invasive <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invasive_species> aquatic
plant <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aquatic_plant> which can create
dense, monotypic stands that outcompete other plants in the ecosystem.
Where it is invasive, it is tough to remove on a large scale. Even
ploughing the rhizomes is often ineffective, and its eradication is
highly unlikely. It has been banned in some areas but is still widely
sold in others for use in gardens, and it will continue to be planted by
gardeners unaware of or unconcerned with its invasive potential.
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