Jan 26, 2009

An Orchard Polyculture Design

This is a spatial design of a polyculture. Very open, airy and quite useable. Over time the canopy grow to a point where the understory will creep out from underneath or perish. They will have to be replaced with shade loving plants. This design would be implemented around each tree.

It needs a bit more ground cover.
What do you think?
Any suggestions?



SampleTheUniverse said...

Hi Daniel, this is great! I have been looking around for permaculture agroforestry designs, this is perfect... In this design could you use rasberry and blueberry once the canopy is fully shading? Could you use dill or fennel as more cover? I'm not too familiar with cover crops yet...

Daniel Halsey, SouthWoods Forest Gardens said...

Hi Sample,

Neither would be good in the understory since the raspberries would be shaded, need to be moved every 3 to 4 years and the blue berries need acid soil. If you have acid soil I would suggest as outlying area for them and focus the nutrients and ecological services on the anchor tree. Dill and Fennel definitely bit use comfrey and chicory for OM and tap root mineral accumulation in the leaves. Keep in mind that the perennials all have a big seed load that needs to be harvested or you will build up a rodent population that may damage the trees and eat your fruit. Seasonal field sanitation and harvesting is essential to plant health. Low plants increase the air flow, high plants slow air and cause humidity to increase the moisture and disease threat.

Thanks, Dan

Anonymous said...

Hey Dan,
I'm surprised I haven't happened across your blog before. I thought you might be interested to know that for Zoe Farm the Strawberries were very slow to establish and runner, so yes, some other ground cover would be helpful. The Comfrey grew abnormally large though,completely covering the ground in many of the guilds. So it worked out anyway.
I am considering using Birdsfoot Trefoil in place of the Strawberries. Any thoughts?
I have established a guild using Strawberry as a ground cover by interplanting Borage between the Strawberries.
Looking forward to your visit later this month.
Luke Simon

Daniel Halsey said...

Comfrey is a managed plant. It needs to be cut back often. Berries established slowly due to many possible things. Let the strawberries establish themselves and cut the comfrey to the ground as green manure. That is why its there. Not to expand over other plants.

Permaculture and Polyculture Consulting and Design

Permaculture and Polyculture Consulting and Design
Getting to know your property, the plants you have and those you can grow, is a fulfilling endeavor. With most I am the steward of the land. I give them good soil biology and they do the rest. If I group them in cohesive plant communities, they respond with greater yields. If I encourage the micro-organisms (Fungus and bacteria) , the roots obsorb more nutrients making a pest and disease resistant plant. A stronger plant that gives us more organic food and takes less energy.

A Ten Acre Farm Transformed to an Edible Forest Garden

A Ten Acre Farm Transformed to an Edible Forest Garden
Self Renewing Fertility, Soil Building, Water Catchment, Tea Trail Swale, Erosion Control and Native American Medicinals