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Ianto Evans's Polyculture

Jeremy Stocks


Joined: Aug 10, 2009
Posts: 42
Have many of you heard of this? Strikes me as a fascinating thing to do, and I'm hoping to get into it this year on my new hugelkultur bed. I think more should try it then we can all compare notes.

http://www.chelseagreen.com/content/start-a-polyculture-now-toss-a-salad-tomorrow/


Brenda Groth
volunteer

Joined: Feb 01, 2009
Posts: 4433
Location: North Central Michigan
    
    8
this is very similar to what i do...i plant everything that we genearlly can grow and like to eat in our beds..everything goes together in the beds..and many of the items that were mentioned in that article are things i plant..

i did buy a lot of salad blend mixes the last few years..i really love them..you sow them right from the packet mixed and they are generally cut and come again..the salad blends i planted last spring..bore all summer long until frost..and i was totally thrilled to pick salads every single day all summer..

we live in a fairly cold climate and had a colder than usual summer last year..not likely to repeat this year as it was 82 by 3 pm today

i have a larger garden than the article suggests but i also have alot of perennial and permanent plants, including fruit and nut trees, asparagus, horseradish, rhubarb, herbs..etc.

it works well for us to do polyculture here..everything is always mixed together in a bed except for the grains and potatoes..as they take up a bit more room.

i do however put a few things in my corn and potato beds that will be harvested before the corn and potato harvest


Brenda

Bloom where you are planted.
http://restfultrailsfoodforestgarden.blogspot.com/
Aljaz Plankl


Joined: Feb 18, 2010
Posts: 310
    
    4
I just love broadcasting. I've just mixed carrot seeds with some wet soil and sow them all over garden. Things growing already in beds are strawberries, garlic, radish, onions, last year carrots for seeds which will reseed in future if all goes right, calendula reseed, lots of perrennials. Grains also grow all over, will try to grow them in one bush plant style. Potatoes grow up.

Thanks for the link. I'll save it. Great tips in it.
Aljaz Plankl


Joined: Feb 18, 2010
Posts: 310
    
    4
Brenda, do you use mulch on your beds and if you do, how do you sow carrots? I'm still a bit uncomfortable sowin small seeds... mixing them with some soil so they stick to it and just tossing them on leaf mulch is this year experiment, i hope it will work.
bunkie weir


Joined: Nov 05, 2009
Posts: 108
Location: eastern washington
    
    1
planki, when i plant carrots, i also plant radishes in the same row. i.e., i make a shallow trench and put radish seeds in it, then i put the carrot seeds right in with the radish seeds, then cover and mulch lightly. the radishes come up first and sort of break up the ground for the carrots.
Aljaz Plankl


Joined: Feb 18, 2010
Posts: 310
    
    4
Yea, thanks, nice tip. I've done it in the same way, just without radish... I'll use this when i can! But on the other hand i'm more looking into how to broadcast all over my garden which is covered with mulch, without moving away the mulch.
Brenda Groth
volunteer

Joined: Feb 01, 2009
Posts: 4433
Location: North Central Michigan
    
    8
where there are going to be small seeds sown, generally i'll pull back the mulch and sow the seeds ..rake them lightly ..and then I'll wait until the seeds are up before putting mulch back on the area..

for my carrots this year..i put them in an area that had a real fine compost over the soil..we'll see how that works..did the same for the beets,kohlrabi, chinese cabbage, regular cabbage, broccoli, peas etc..

and thankfully we got a wonderful rain yesterday after 1 mo drought..but i do have a drip irrigation system in my garden
bunkie weir


Joined: Nov 05, 2009
Posts: 108
Location: eastern washington
    
    1
one other thought is sand. we have used a thin layer of sand over our seeded  ground. it protects the soil and helps keep it moist.
travis laduke


Joined: Jul 20, 2010
Posts: 163
Anyone have any follow-ups from last year?
                                        


Joined: Apr 19, 2010
Posts: 4
http://gaiasgardenseeds.blogspot.com/search?updated-max=2009-09-22T07%3A57%3A00-07%3A00&max-results=7
scroll down to the pics.
the picture with me in it sort of gives an overview of what my polyculture in winnipeg looked like last june. the rest are more of plant closeups, but gives an idea of the genetic variation in the polyculture. I use lots of selfseeders in my polycultures, and include plants of all kinds, annual, biennial, perennial, shrubs, trees, vines, and more. As the trees and shrubs get larger the amount of forbs will lessen. I like to let the plants find their own niche within the matrix of trees and perennials.
                                            


Joined: May 04, 2011
Posts: 2
Hi all,

What a Site and Forum... Too cool, I am grateful for it! 

Might as well have my first post here with regards to Ianto's Polycuture.

I've just started one in a 8'x4' raised bed filled with 3-way mushroom compost. I am on week three and things are greening up nicely. Radishes are ahead of the pack and lettuce is itty bitty.

Here is my predicament: I obviously didn't broadcast my seeds very evenly (mind you, I did try), there are clumps of green lol. I'm wondering if I should just let things be or attempt to thin some of the seedling before they get too big? Not so worried about lettuces, just Mutant Radishes haha.

Thanks, any and all advice is much appreciated! 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator

Joined: Jun 25, 2010
Posts: 5326
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
    
  20
You can eat small radish greens before they get too prickly.    I have the same problem of uneven and too-thick seed sprinkling, so I'm trying to learn to carefully thin and eat the baby plants.


Idle dreamer

                                            


Joined: May 04, 2011
Posts: 2
H Ludi Tyler wrote:
You can eat small radish greens before they get too prickly.    I have the same problem of uneven and too-thick seed sprinkling, so I'm trying to learn to carefully thin and eat the baby plants.




Hello! That makes perfect sense, thanks for the tip Ludi, I'll be doing the same.
Suzy Bean
steward

Joined: Apr 05, 2011
Posts: 940
Location: Stevensville, MT
    
    8
Paul and Jocelyn review Gaia's Garden, Chapter 8 (part 1) in this podcast: http://www.richsoil.com/permaculture/437-podcast-078-gaias-garden-chapter-8-part-1/   (They talk about Ianto)


www.thehappypermaculturalist.wordpress.com
Pat R Mann


Joined: Dec 31, 2009
Posts: 21
Location: Seattle, WA
Brenda Groth wrote:
i do however put a few things in my corn and potato beds that will be harvested before the corn and potato harvest


What do you find works well with corn or potatoes? I'm thinking bush beans under the corn; but I don't know what you can companion-plant with potatoes which you're repeatedly mounding up.
Tyler Ludens
pollinator

Joined: Jun 25, 2010
Posts: 5326
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
    
  20
Sepp Holzer grows potatoes in polyculture and I don't think he mounds them up.  I think he just plants some tubers and then adds a diversity of seeds over them, and then comes along later and digs them up.  I might be mistaken though. I've only seen the videos, not read his books.  Also, Sepp has an enormous amount of land to work with, so the productivity of individual plants probably isn't an issue for him.

Ute Chook


Joined: Aug 05, 2009
Posts: 39
Jeremy Stocks wrote:Have many of you heard of this? Strikes me as a fascinating thing to do, and I'm hoping to get into it this year on my new hugelkultur bed. I think more should try it then we can all compare notes.

http://www.chelseagreen.com/content/start-a-polyculture-now-toss-a-salad-tomorrow/




Inspired by Toby's description of Ianto Evans's Polyculture in "Gaia's Garden" I am trying it this year, albeit in our polytunnel. We are in the West in Ireland and this spring it has been unusually cold, except for a very warm spell in the week before Easter. It is still unseasonally cold with temps dropping below zero most nights, even in the polytunnel. During the day, when there is good sun, the temps can go up to 40C, so quite a challenge for the little plants. I water every second day.

On April 2 I sowed an area of about 40 square feet
*Pot Marigold
*Lettuces Cimmaron, Marvel of the Four Seasons, Bath Island (Cos), Crisp Mint Lettuce (Cos/Romaine), Rouge d'Hiver (Romaine)
*some Salad leaves Stir Fry Mixed (Mizuna, Kanton Pak Choy, Red Mustard, Texel Greens, Cavolo Nero=Tuscan kale)
*Radish, Oriental Rosa 2 (Ostergruss) + Cherry Belle
* Spinach Bloomsdale Long Standing
* Dill
* Parsnip Bedford Monarch
I also threw in a few seeds of Ragged Jack Kale

The soil is drained fen peat, so very rich in organic matter, great gardening soil. I had a dozen or so young roosters in the polytunnel over the winter to clear it out, manure it, and eat slugs etc. so the soil is nice and fertile. I never dig the soil in there, just pull weeds and loosen it a bit.

Germination started after about a week and after a month (last week) I could begin harvesting bits and pieces. It's become a dense carpet of greens. There are plenty young lettuces, a good bit of Mizuna, leaf mustard, spinach and Pak Choy. We get a daily little bowl of mixed leaves, young lettuce plants and a few radishes. The dill is still very small and I have not yet discovered any parsnip seedlings. There is also a bit of self-seeded borage coming up and I've spotted a few Calendula plants.

One little "problem" I have, if you want to call it that, is volunteers:
1) Chickweed: A thick carpet of it coming up, crowding and shading the other young plants. It comes back year after year as the seeds are so tiny that the chickens don't find them. I know its edible and nutritious but tastewise it wouldn't be my favourite green. I pull it for the chickens but it takes a good bit of time to stay ahead of it amongst all the other plants. I guess the solution would be to water the polytunnel well once or twice while the chicken crew is at work so that the seeds all sprout and get eaten that way, leaving a "clean" bed.
2) Some kind of wild radish or fodder radish: I haven't yet figured out what this is. I think it may have come in with the wheat I had fed the chickens. It's difficult to tell from the radishes sown, and there is lot of it. Like the chickweed I pull it and feed it to the birds.
3) Chenopodium: I have had the beautiful Chenopodium giganteum 'Magentaspreen' self-seed in the polytunnel for years. Again, not really a problem except it takes a good bit of time staying ahead of the myriad of seedlings where I don't want them.

I'm impressed so far. I sowed a few rows of mixed cut and come again lettuce and mixed Asian greens on the other side of the tunnel on the same day (same light, soil, watering regime) and the polyculture is a little ahead at this point.

It does take daily attending now but it is a joy to do so.
I'll let you know how it develops. Wished I could take the odd photo but my camera broke a couple weeks ago.
Moving on to "stage 2" now: Tomorrow I'll plant some cauliflowers and cabbages amongst the 'carpet'.




Ute Chook


Joined: Aug 05, 2009
Posts: 39
Found a very nice little online booklet on polyculture by Chris Evans (Nepal/UK):
http://www.permaculture.org.uk/sites/default/files/page/document/MixedVegGarden_A4_colourbooklet.pdf
 
After burning through the drip stuff and the french press stuff, Paul has the last, ever, coffee maker. Better living through buying less crap.
 
subject: Ianto Evans's Polyculture
 
cast iron skillet 49er

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