Edible Seasonal Passive Sunshade

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Katra wrote:

And here I thought I'd just throw some seed in the ground and get some passion fruit. And to think, I used to collect the fruit in the wild when I lived in Hawai'i. There were at least three varieties I knew where stands of them were. Oh well. At least I know the work will be well worth it. But clone propogation? You are way ahead of me there.
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propagation. My two Wisteria vines are a perfect example! 5 years old started from seed and only 12" tall. :-P
I bought a good book by Rodale's on plant propagation and it's very very well written! Air layering seems to be the most promising for a lot of perrennials.
Just take a small pot of good soil, (I plan to use Miracle Grow) and place it near the main vine or plant. Choose a nice section of vine or whatever, and select a promising joint where the leaves are coming out. Remove the leaves and stuff that section an inch or so into the soil, then just leave it alone for a period of time until that section sprouts roots into the soil.
That can then be cut from the "mother plant" to make a new plant. :-)
Seems to be a bit more sure than cutting propagation using rooting compound.
Kat
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I read in one of the gardening books that you might try soaking them in a vinegar solution to help them germinate. It's supposed to simulate the acid they go through inside the stomachs of birds when they're eaten in the wild. I'm fortunate enough to have some wild passionflowers growing on my property, but I was thinking of trying to spread them around a bit more. I did gather a few of the fruit last year. Maybe I'll experiment with the seeds and see if I can get them to germinate. I was also thinking maybe nicking the seeds might do the trick.
Growing old is mandatory. Growing wise is optional.
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jetgraphics wrote:

No idea where Zone 7 is. Have you tried the "choko"
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edible
You said you'd be interested in criticisms as well as suggestions. I've tried planting a couple of viny things near the house will less than ideal results, though neither was edible.
One was ivy. The stuff crawls everywhere, and the day I found it growing _into_ the den on the ground floor was the day I decided to get rid of it. It managed to get a tendril into the house where the frame meets the foundation. The other was a fast growing vine that put out masses of small white flowers, don't remember the name. Pretty, but it managed to work it's way up the house behind the siding and into the cellar both by the same way the ivy got into the house and by growing through the space where the cellar windows met the window frames.
My Dad planted wisteria so that it would climb up the pillars supporting the little roof over the front door. He had the same sort of problem - the plant is invasive and persistent, it doesn't stay just on the outside of the house, it'll worm it's way through any little crack or gap.
You apparently want something pretty hefty if you want to shade the roof as well as the sides of the house, and I'd guess you don't want to start fresh every year so you'd also want it to be perennial.. I can see it prying off the siding. If you have a brick or stone house, it'll try to creep in the windows. If it makes it to the roof, it'll pry the shingles off. You want shade, plant some trees. Make sure they're not too close to the house.
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wrote:

Honeysuckle is sorta nice and moderatly easy to maintain where you want it. But its not edible. Smells really nice though.
Gunner
Rule #35 "That which does not kill you, has made a huge tactical error"
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Check with your county agricultural extension office. It may be listed under the state college (in New York, it is Cornell Extension office). Their information and publications are mostly free and will be geared to your exact location. They also usually are the base for 4-H groups and you could get information through them.
In China, they grow grape vines that shade pig runs. The floor of the runs (cement) is slightly sloped so that when hosed down, the water and manure flow to water and fertilize the vines. Multiple use.
JonquilJan
Learn something new every day As long as you are learning, you are living When you stop learning, you start dying

small
it's
way
cellar
the
the
as
fresh
off
want
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Lou wrote in reply:

BTW - annuals are not a problem if I can get to the planter.

NO siding.

No shingles. The house in question will have a concrete foam sandwich wall and roof deck. And the plants would not be anchored to the house or roof, but to amn offset trellis, wires, or arbor, etc., or suspended from pots hanging from an armature.
In essence, the foliage will form a shell, with an airspace between.
Any suggestions on minimum / maximum spacing between a wall and a trellis?

Shade trees aren't the best solution in this area. Unfortunately, due to the clay soil, trees are susceptible to knockdown after soaking rains and windstorms.
Plus the east / west walls need side shading more than overhead shading.

That's a good point. I know folks who had removed a mature tree, and found their basement suddenly started flooding. Apparently the tree was sucking out the excess moisture.
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[ ... ]

That's going to have to be a pretty hefty shell, just to be freestanding all the way around. Are you planning on a wood structure, or steel pipe and I-beams?
How big is this going to be?

I'd allow at least four feet, both for ease of access during harvest and pruning and to minimize the likelyhood of creepers bridging the gap.

Use trees with tap roots--like pecans. When planting, dig a hole as deep as you can with a posthole digger (rent a power augur if doing more than a few holes; much less work, and you can go deeper). Dump a pound or two of fertilizer into the holes, then add 10-15 gallons of water (I just fill the hole a couple of times). Break up some of the clay from the holes, mix with some peat moss, compost, topsoil, and a bit of plant food; use this to backfill the hole and surround the tree roots when you plant the tree. Save a bit of the mix for filling in around the trees, as the mix will settle. Use the leftover clay for landscaping.
This approach gives the tree a good environment to start growing, an easy path for the tap root to follow, and a great boost at the bottom to really anchor it.
And, using pecans also means a crop to gather in late fall. Pecans should be planted at least 40' apart.

So will the south wall.

Sounds like a few roots were growing near or into the foundation and became conduits for water when they rotted out. Roots can leave some big holes, and they don't close up quickly in hard soil like clay. I have more filling work to do in my back yard from that very problem.
Gary
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Gary Heston wrote:

freestanding
pipe
Ferrocement catenary tubes for the roof top http://karen.top.net.nz/echo/Default.htm

Vaulted arch on 28' x 28' footprint, height hasn't been decided

trellis?
deep
than
two
you
trees,
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edible
Kiwis would be a good choice (if you're willing to consider perennials). There are hardy varieties than can be grown to zone 4, or the more familiar fuzzy varieties, which are hardy to zone 8 and might be ok in zone 7 if you got lucky. They're fairly attractive and grow quickly, but take a while before they'll start giving fruit. But would be lower maintenance than annual vines, and you'll eventually get a lot more height out of them.
The problem you will run into with most typical climbing vegetables is that they don't grow *that* tall. You might be able to get about 8 ft out of pole beans, and 10-15 ft out of some types of runner beans, but that'll be about it. Curcubits (squash, cukes, pumpkins, etc.) will probably top out at around 6-8 ft. They (both beans and curcubits) also are fairly prone to a variety of pests: leaf-eating insects, soil dwelling insects, and various mildews and so on. Doesn't mean you shouldn't try them; just means they're one of those plants that can be hit-or-miss, even for experienced gardeners.
If I were you, I'd experiment with the edible shade concept for now, but also plant a proper row of quick-maturing shade trees. By the time the trees get taller than the crop plants, you'll probably be sick of trying to grow dinner on the side of your house and be ready to move your efforts to a proper garden space.
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DrLith wrote:

don't know about that, but I'm in zone 11, and kabocha and chayote grow much much longer than that here. I have kabocha vines that are more than 50 feet from where I planted them (but they are on the ground).

add slugs and fruit flies, at least here.

what isn't clear to me in the question asked is whether this was only for verticals (walls) or also for horizontals ('celing') in which case cucurbites may be somewhat counterproductive as they may fall on your head (so will of course passion fruit) eventually, and they can get heavy.
Maren, in Hilo, HI (I don't think kiwis grow here, otherwise I'd love to have some of those too)
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On Fri, 01 Apr 2005 17:38:52 -0500, jetgraphics

I use Thompson Seedless grapes on trellises. Plenty bushy, plenty shady, need little to no water, makes wine, grapes, raisins.
Gunner
Rule #35 "That which does not kill you, has made a huge tactical error"
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jetgraphics wrote:

of
to
edible
Pasta
Beleive it or not pasta makes a great seasonal sunshade, it is edible, and can be colored to suit.
Pasta comes in many varieties: macaroni, spaghetti, and lasagne, to name three. You can cover your whole house in pasta, and after the summer, you can bring it inside and cook up some wonderful and tastey meals, to last the winter. http://www.tdc.ca/pasta.htm
Where does spaghetti come from? Switzerland. Thanks to a very mild winter and the virtual elimination of the dreaded spaghetti weevil, Swiss farmers were enjoying a bumper spaghetti crop. They are literally pulling strands of spaghetti down from their spaghetti trees.
So, there you have it pasta is my choice for a sunshade. You'll have to contact the Swiss if you want a spaghetti tree. http://www.istockphoto.com/file_closeup.php?id )9048
:/
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Chayote (sp?) Vigorous vine. Very edible.
John!
jetgraphics wrote:

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you have many edible choices. I would only have a perennial vine, so I would not consider Malabar spinach or chayote. Besides grapes, hardy kiwis (but not fuzzy kiwis, unless it is a sheltered location - they will take 20F for short periods, no more), akebia, and schizandra. Hardy kiwis and schizandra are the best looking plants.
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In article
snipped-for-privacy@my-deja.com says...

Noooo... the edible thing "kiwifruit."
A "kiwi" is bird (supposedly named after the sound it makes.) Also, "kiwi" can mean a human from New Zealand. The bird-type kiwi is the national bird, and legally protected. And eating the human-type kiwi went out of style about 150 years ago.
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jetgraphics wrote:

of
to
edible
Cascade Hops. Put them in your homebrewed beer.
Also, string beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, squash and melons will climb a trellis. Consider dipper gourds and loofahs.
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In article
, snipped-for-privacy@juno.com says...

Maybe try peas. Edible, and also have nice flowers.
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Just a thought. We used wire one year to allow climbers to climb. Burnt the stems. And we are only in zone 5b.
-- Dana www3.sympatico.ca/lostmermaid

edible
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