[permaculture] food forest shade and soil questions

lbsaltzman at aol.com lbsaltzman at aol.com
Fri Mar 13 16:23:56 EDT 2009

I agree with all that Rain has to say.? In heavy clay soils I do have one caveat about the holes you dig for trees. The more you amend the soil the wider and deeper the hole better be, because you if you dig a small hole heavily amend it you can create a situation where the roots won't spread and the tree will act like it is in a pot and the growth will be stunted.? 

I have seen with my own eyes the accuracy of the observation that organic matter takes a long time to penetrate the heavy clay soils.

As for the sun issue. I have one pink lady apple in partial shade that pumps out an really decent crop of apples for its' relatively small size.


-----Original Message-----
From: Rain Tenaqiya <raincascadia at yahoo.com>
To: permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org
Sent: Fri, 13 Mar 2009 11:58 am
Subject: [permaculture] food forest shade and soil questions

Since you are in Spain, I can tell you that what Larry said about shade is 
absolutely true.? Most plants will actually produce more in partial shade (like 
that from black locust or Albizia trees) because too much sun causes most plants 
to shut down.? According to what I've read, carob, figs, and even grapes and 
pomegranates can produce very well in the shade.
However, Larry's soil and water situation is probably very different from 
yours.? He lives close to the ocean and I'm amazed at how little irrigation the 
central coast people can get away with.? The heavy clay soil also helps, despite 
the bias against it from most gardeners.? Nutritionally, coastal California 
soils can be very poor.? You should have at least one soil test done before you 
plant, as I am learning now.? Organic matter can solve most problems, but it 
takes forever to work its way into the soil in our climate.? It would be a good 
idea to mix some compost into the soil where you plant trees, as long as the 
drainage isn't poor.? 
A lot of your questions are hard to answer without knowing how much labor and 
money you have available.? Slow and steady techniques work, but they take time.? 
You might want faster results, at least for the zones closer to your house.
Good luck,

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