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plant the foodforest close to cedars or in the bad soil 100 feet away?

 
Katherine Baker
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Location: Southern New England
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So I am assuming that a permies approach would say that better soil will help your fruit trees resist rust but I am still wondering if I should try to put the fruit farther away if possible? Maybe put the nut trees closer to the cedars?
The fruit trees are all rust resistant.
I am n a suburban yard, zone 6 a.
I'm a little more confident about my understory plans: blueberries cranberry, aronia, etc acidic loving plants.

I have 18 skinny 30 foot cedars in an old hedge (north and east corner) gone out of control in yard that's approx 1500 square ft yard. If they were cheap to get rid of I might just cut them down but they are tricky to bring down safely and will be expensive and I do like the privacy I have in upstairs windows.
Is this food forest doomed?
 
John Elliott
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Since they are on the north side, they are not going to be shading your food forest, so since you like the privacy they provide, keep them.

I put cedars in the "doesn't play well with others" category, so you may have to give the plants that are closer to them a little more attention: more mulch, more biochar, more compost tea. Make sure that they have enough resources to stand up to their bullying neighbors.
 
R Scott
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Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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John Elliott wrote:Since they are on the north side, they are not going to be shading your food forest, so since you like the privacy they provide, keep them.

I put cedars in the "doesn't play well with others" category, so you may have to give the plants that are closer to them a little more attention: more mulch, more biochar, more compost tea. Make sure that they have enough resources to stand up to their bullying neighbors.


and more water. Maybe plant some extra support species as well.

You are not going to get far enough away to change the rust issue, so don't concern yourself with that. Plant them where you want them in the design.
 
Katherine Baker
Posts: 35
Location: Southern New England
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Thanks! What sort of support plants are best do you think? Is that a technical term ("support plants") or General term for all the helping plants? Sorry to be such a newbie. I am still working on "gaias garden" to get all the lingo.

Oh and I forgot to mention a huge oak too. So it's very dry and very acidic, sandy light soil. I am also.not confident about using all these oak leaves as mulch.

I Guess I am just worried about my investment and am looking for some positive voices.
 
R Scott
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Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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Support trees, fast growing legume trees planted to be living mulch and nitrogen fixing. He plants like 10 for every fruit tree and chops and drops them to mine the nutrient out of the deep soil. black locust, mimosa, etc.
 
Katherine Baker
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Location: Southern New England
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I am surprised by the black locusts. I thought that was allopathic?
 
Katherine Baker
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Location: Southern New England
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So I have decided to keep the cedars (for now) since they provide privacy and my kids love to climb them but on your advice I will not be afraid to treat them a little tough since you say they are bullying types.

they happen to form a hedge (planted every20 inches) across my south facing wall/ fence (about 18 inches from the wall) that I would have liked to use to espalier fruit trees or grape vines across.

Here is my idea:
prune back the cedars to 10-12 feet up and espalier my fruit trees/ climbing vines right across the trunks on the cedars (they are in a straight line).

is that nuts?

here are the problems I foresee and my initial ideas to fix them:
1) root invasion (use containers for fruit)
2) dryness ( use drip irrigation with lots of mulch)
3) ongoing threat of cedar rust (use rust resistant varieties of fruit)
4) over acidifying the fruits by cedar "droppings" (use acid loving fruits? I can only think of shrubs right now like blueberries. Which ones are climbing? raspberries?)

which fruit would be best if I try this? grapes? should I try the apple here or no?
are there any other problems with this idea that I should know about?
I really don't want to loose all my fruit trees
please let me know if you think its a bad idea...

thanks!





 
Burra Maluca
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There seem to be two threads running which is a little confusing, so I'm locking this one.

Please continue the conversation here - http://www.permies.com/t/34163/forest-garden/plant-foodforest-close-cedars-bad
 
I agree. Here's the link: https://richsoil.com/wood-heat.jsp
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