Guilds

Discussion in 'Planting, growing, nurturing Plants' started by Ellen, Aug 6, 2012.

  1. Ellen

    Ellen Junior Member

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    Hi everyone,

    We are doing permaculture foor gardens in local schools here, and I would like to teach them now about guilds.

    Can you please share your favorite, or well-working guilds with us? Thanks:D
     
  2. matto

    matto Junior Member

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    G'day Ellen,

    There is a guild used in sub-sahara Africa that interplants corn with sorghum and cowpea (Desmodium Unicinatium). The cowpea inhibits the African witchweed germination that brings in a moth, so reduces its population. Also as a control, Napier Grass is planted away from the crop as a trap plant for the moth.

    One from the Andes is tarwi, potato and quinoa. Quinoa and tarwi induce the potato cyst nematode to hatch but because there is no potato yet, it starves. Known to reduce nematode by 80%. Tarwi's bitter leaf also deters browsers.

    These are some traditional guilds being practised in their own environments, not sure how they would replicate to the same effect around the world.
     
  3. purplepear

    purplepear Junior Member

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    I love a combination of garlic chives. yarrow and Tansy for citrus trees. The Tansy deters ants that track honey due from scale and lead to sooty mould and the garlic chives help reduce mould growth while yarrow is a great herb ground cover that enhances the volatile oils and aids plant health and well being. Throw in comfrey and wow.
     
  4. sweetpea

    sweetpea Junior Member

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    I always do a triad of flower/herb/vegetable so no two vegetable plants are close to each other. I got spotless cauliflower with cilantro and zinnias. Cosmos get to be big, but lettuce works well in between, along with parsley. Mix it up and keep the vegetables like cabbage and cauliflower that will get tons of aphids, at least a forearm apart with plenty of stuff in between. One plant may get covered, but usually the rest will not. If you put vegetables close together, even a blind and injured insect can crawl from meal to meal. :)
     
  5. wmthake

    wmthake Junior Member

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    For teaching I think the three sisters polyculture would work well. Simple and the crops are very common. There's also a winter/perennial version of the three sisters that include sunchokes, chinese artichoke, and groundnut. Eric Toensmeier has a video describing it on the chelsea green website.

    as for guilds that include a tree...gaia's garden has a walnut guild that works with hackberry (if I remember well) to reduce jugalone emitted by the walnut. There might also be a fruit tree guild in there too.

    You could also highlight Fennel for it's lack of polyculture potential. It's allelopathic so people say you should grow it alone.

    There's also the book "Carrots Love Tomatoes" that discuss plant associations, but no trees there.

    best of luck,
    William
     
  6. Ellen

    Ellen Junior Member

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    Thank you all so much!
     
  7. sweetpea

    sweetpea Junior Member

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    purplepear, is the yarrow okay for you with the regular watering of the other plants? I love it, but it wants rather dry conditions? Or it gets about the same amount of water as the tansy? Do you grow it as an annual or a perennial?
     
  8. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    Yarrow (A. officinalis) is very hardy but prefers full sun and will tolerate very dry conditions. It copes with the wet but i think it is happier in a dry, well drained spot
    It can be a bit hungry and flowers best when well fed. It is perennial.
    There are lots of pretty cultivars these days.
     

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