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Old 05-08-2012, 03:40 PM   #1
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My lawn has been under mulch for about 18 months now. Looking to agriscape (landscaping with edibles-Walt Disney came up with the idea, all landscaping in Tomorrowland is edible) my front yard.



I live in the Bay Area in northern California. Zone 9.

I am going to post my progress here as I hope the accountability will keep me going. Suggestions always welcome.



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Old 05-08-2012, 04:50 PM   #2
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Good luck. I practiced landscape design in Northern California---all the Bay Area primarily---a long time but have not heard the term agriscape since then when frankly it was the lingo of those damned hippies. By agriscape I assume you mean for humans because I can tell you the top 5 things you may think to plant that deer will love. Looks like you are in a development though.

My parents yard was a little wacky because they went nuts and planted everything Midwest style along the house or fence. And stuck a rectangular lawn in the middle (reason I got into landscape design). There was not much design involved but we had oranges, grapefruit, lemons, limes, figs, cherries, apricots, apples, pomegranates, and awful walnuts. That was just in back. All the trees grew up so you could not prune them without neighbor permission. Complaints about fruit that fell from trees across fence borders became legendary and the sounds of dueling chainsaws could often be heard at just the wrong times for the health of trees.

Along one side we Mom and Dad planted rasberries and blueberries but they did not do well. We took them out on our side but of course they plagued the neighbors. Boundaries like fences meant nothing to them.

Just be warned of one thing in this. A lot of fruit species come ripe instantly and at the same time. Prolific trees can be very hard to deal with. Citrus are great. We could pick our own oranges almost all year long.

Out front was a little more esthetic I guess. It had a spectacular, purple bark flowering plum that had small tart fruit you could not really eat but if you cooked the fruit with a little sugar and made a great spread for bread. You may be accustomed to seeing them in rows but different sizes of strawberries make great N California ground cover.

I never got veges to grow well because of THEM!!!! And there cousins without shells are even worse!!! They even came after my orchids on a regular basis....

They are one of those critters that snuck into the N California scene from Europe as I remember the story. When we first moved to the Bay Area as a kid they had predators and you would find their shells sucked clean. When the orchards were all cut down, the birds that kept them under control had no place to perch. A couple species went extinct without the perches.

Anyhow, if you can build snails into your concept as a crop possibility? When I left California ages ago some guy up in California was paying handsomely for them by the buckets to harvest and sell to restaurants as escargot. He asked that you collect only those not chemically treated. He quarantined just in case.

Just a comment. You must have seen some steam coming off that compost heap. You might want to distribute or turn that over soon and calculate how much natural nitrogen you will have lost in the soil leaving it so long?


Last edited by user1007; 05-08-2012 at 04:58 PM. Reason: Added a Picture of Pure Evil Ones to Northern Californians
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Old 05-08-2012, 09:23 PM   #3
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I often design edible garden for friends.Edible plants are always not evergreen.You should add some shrubs and trees as base frame of curb appeal.
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Old 05-09-2012, 10:45 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by designshare View Post
I often design edible garden for friends.Edible plants are always not evergreen.You should add some shrubs and trees as base frame of curb appeal.
Nice quick design concept! Needs some taller trees to anchor it but you mention that.

I can agree that most completely edible plants are not evergreen and most are annual. But one can certainly get edible things from citrus fruit, to olives, artichokes, pine nuts, peppercorns and most herbs and spices from evergreen plants.

Back to this Walt Disney concept though and I think Agriscaping conceptually wonderful. Just remember Walt put in place armies the size of most small countries to maintain anything he dreamed up.

When I was a landscape designer, in the Bay Area, I used to listen patiently to everything homeowners wanted and then do concept marker drawings. I would then go over what it might cost and sometimes jaws would drop but not so often. What really got them was honest estimates of what it would cost in time or money (like there is a difference) to maintain the whateverscapes they had in mind. I used to drag some to golf courses and parks to count the people at work and just ask them to guess the people hours and salaries. I would suggest they would have to come up with one or the other. I had two gardeners taking care of my own yard or it got away from me.

This agriscape concept is marvelous thinking. But if you cannot commit to its extremely, perhaps stellar high maintenance, you need to at least compromise a little bit. If nothing else, neighbors with fruit flies stuck in their teeth are going to be storming your castle if you cannot keep up with dropped fruit and veges just to start.

Last edited by user1007; 05-09-2012 at 10:48 AM.
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