permaculture suggestions for a useless bit of land

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SCBrian
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permaculture suggestions for a useless bit of land

Post by SCBrian » Mon Sep 07, 2020 9:19 am

tl:dr - help me plant something nutritious that thrives on neglect.

I'm in the process of buying a house, and there is a small area (400 sq feet-ish) behind my fence that it appears I own. I would think it was an utility easement/alleyway due to a transformer box on the ground except the area is completely surrounded by houses and there is no external access.
Online GIS maps show the area as mine, I have not had a survey conducted or pulled the tax plat from the city yet. I also seem to be the only yard with access to it. I know that I need to keep the transformer accessible to the power co, and that I really don't want to put much effort into keeping up this area, since I'd have to tear down/rebuild fences.
Here is a quick play layout from the GIS website. You can see the transformer box at the congruent of the fences. The red line is appx where my existing fence is.
https://imgur.com/a/r4D32VU
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Ok so with all that said. I want to plant something that will #1 minimize the time I spend behind the fence keeping it in order and #2 provides something back. I'm in Zone 8b. I'm thinking Blackberry bushes or some type of ground squash or both or who knows. I'd prefer something that 'set it and forget it' What's the group mind think?
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Re: permaculture suggestions for a useless bit of land

Post by raptor2 » Mon Sep 07, 2020 9:57 am

Generally an easement like that can go unused by the Power Co for years. That said they also may have to dig it up and remove your plants.

Blueberries as well as black berries are suitable for your area. They tend to be faily self sufficient once established. However I think you would be pissed if the power co cut down a grove of blueberry bushes that were finally producing.

Sunflowers, okra, water melon and asparagus tend to do well on their own.

Of course all of this is soil dependent and you may have to amend the soil to make it productive. Your best bet is to see what is growing there now look it up and see what kind of soil it likes. One other thing to bear in mind. You want to make sure that you keep possession of that area and perhaps put out a minimal fence to in effect stake it out or at least put in boundary marks per the survey.
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SCBrian
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Re: permaculture suggestions for a useless bit of land

Post by SCBrian » Mon Sep 07, 2020 10:36 am

raptor2 wrote:
Mon Sep 07, 2020 9:57 am
Generally an easement like that can go unused by the Power Co for years. That said they also may have to dig it up and remove your plants.

Blueberries as well as black berries are suitable for your area. They end to be faily self sufficient once established. However I think you would be pissed if the power co cut down a grove of blueberry bushes that were finally producing.Sunflowers, okra, water melon and asparagus tend to do well on their own.

Of course all of this is soil dependent and you may have to amend the soil to make it productive. Your best bet is to see what is growing there now look it up and see what kind of soil it likes. One other thing to bear in mind. You want to make sure that you keep possession of that area and perhaps put out a minimal fence to in effect stake it out or at least put in boundary marks per the survey.
Yea, the survey will be key, but at this time all the yellow lines are fences of one type or another. The ones beside me are chain link, the rest are 6' wooden privacy...
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Re: permaculture suggestions for a useless bit of land

Post by yossarian » Mon Sep 07, 2020 12:21 pm

If you do blackberry, get a thornless variety. Just as hardy but it's not like reaching into a bag of glass to pick them. Elderberry would be another good option
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Re: permaculture suggestions for a useless bit of land

Post by PistolPete » Mon Sep 07, 2020 9:14 pm

I have a mulberry tree that I do absolutely nothing to and it makes fruit every year. Mulberries are one of the few fruits in my area that have vitamin c as well, so bonus! I really only get 3 or 4 weeks of picking each year, but it's free food that I don't have to do anything to maintain.
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Re: permaculture suggestions for a useless bit of land

Post by Blast » Wed Sep 09, 2020 12:18 pm

Okay, I'm biased because I actually teach foraging edible and medicinal plants but it would definitely be worthwhile for you to see what food/medicine is already growing on your property. The simple combination of the books "Botany in a Day" by Thomas Epel and Peterson's guide to edible plants will help you develop a great survival skill set as we'll as greatly reduce the overall cost and labor of producing food on your property.

Start by identifying the perennial trees and bushes, then delve into the weeds, wildflowers, and vines. As you figure out what these plants are (ideally their scientific name) google their medicinal, edible, or poisonous properties.

Note about blackberries...yes, the leaves, flowers, fruit, and roots all have edible and medicinal uses but they spread really fast and can easily overwhelm a location unless you have a brushhog or similar big mower to keep whacking them back.

Edit: quick guide to common, SC wild edibles: https://www.ehow.com/list_6766918_edibl ... olina.html
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Re: permaculture suggestions for a useless bit of land

Post by Confucius » Wed Sep 09, 2020 2:04 pm

I'd agree with blackberries and mulberries. Currants, rhubarb, and Jerusalem Artichokes all spring to mind as well as plant that take little care.


You might also think about mushrooms. If you can haul in some woodchips, you could easily grow a whole mess of wine cap mushrooms. They're happy to grow beneath any trees or bushes you plant out there, and future digging, cutting trees down, etc. won't disrupt them overmuch.

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