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~ Starting a small food forest in South Texas~

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Good day to all!

I have been wanting to start a small food forest but have very little hands on experience. I have watched many videos on Permaculture and Back To Eden gardening methods. I had also attended a small Permaculture internship last Summer. I just wanted to ask for any advice and input on how to truly begin on this journey. I know woodchips are a fantastic way to help gradually rebuild soil, but finding tree services that are willing to travel ( especially during a time like this ) can be a bit challenging. I have also come across a few who say that the Back To Eden method so not work so well in South Texas, is this true? What sort of methods work for semi - arid climates like South Texas? The food forests focus would be primarily fruits and herbs. Thank you very much for reading this post. Stay safe during these changing times!
 
pollinator
Posts: 2712
Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even Soil:SandyLoam pH6 Flat
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forest garden solar
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Water infiltration
Basins/Swales
Berms on Contour/Mulch
Worm holes/Root holes/Rodent holes
Drip Irrigation

Nutrients
Soil life
Nitrogen fixers
Compost/Mulch/Biochar
Rock Dust/Sea-90

Support Species
Cover Crop
Legume+Mint+Onion+Carrot Family
Vegetables

Species/Cultivar Selection
Plant 4 seeds, kill the 3 weakest
Graft a named cultivar on the surviving one.
But maybe you just want alot of dwarf fruit trees in which case just buy what you like, that likes your soil and climate, and soil life.


 
pollinator
Posts: 11692
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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Water is the single most important resource for a South Texas food forest, so before you plant, be sure to shape your land for maximum water catchment.  Basins seem to work better than swales in a small space, though both are useful, especially if diversion swales are used to bring extra runoff into the forest space.

I can't possibly recommend this book highly enough: Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands Volume 2 by Brad Lancaster  https://www.harvestingrainwater.com/

It is vitally important to create a water retentive landscape before planting.  If some planting has already been done, a water retentive landscape can be created by bringing in soil or mulch and building berms on top of the existing soil.  The idea is to keep rain from running off.

https://www.permaculturenews.org/2013/08/08/water-retention-landscape-techniques-for-farm-and-garden/
 
Anna Shivadecker
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forest garden trees
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Thank you both for your great advice!~ We haven't mulched or planted anything as of yet which gives us time to read and contour the land! I will definitely look into Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands Volume 2. Thank you for your recommendation Ryan!
 
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