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fruit tree guilds  RSS feed

 
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  Dave in camas talks of moles bothering the roots of his plants.. Euphorbias are said to put off burrowing rodents and so is the very smart bulb fritilaria imperialis- agri rose macaskie. 
 
pollinator
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Location: Stevensville, MT
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Paul and Jocelyn review Gaia's Garden, chapter 8 (part 2) in this podcast: http://www.richsoil.com/permaculture/439-podcast-079-gaias-garden-chapter-8-part-2/ In it, they talk about creating an apple tree guild.
 
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I think I might have written this possibly in some other thread pertaining to apple tree guilds but one plant that's great under apple trees are nasturtiums.  Most of my current garden is planted under a large apple tree and the nasturtiums are great not only as a convenient, easy-to-grow salad crop but as a way to attract various aphids (especially wooly aphids) away from apple trees.  In combination with some other plants such as yarrow which attract predatory insects such as wasps, they can be great under the apple tree.  They also tend to flower profusely and grow well even in partial shade.

Of course, I think the proof comes when you walk out to the garden and see what insects and other activity are out there.  If you plant a full on garden under an apple tree as much as you can with as many various plants as possible you will begin finding out what plants help more than others or not.
 
rose macaskie
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>brenda groth, you have rhubarb under your fruit trees. Do you have a few dry mounths in summer? I wonder how rhubarb bares dry weather. agri rose macaskie.
 
rose macaskie
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Joop corbin, you mention valerianis officinalis in your fruit tree guild, I bought some last year because my nearest nursery garden was selling it and i think it is a medicinal plant, so it seemed interesting thing to have but I had no idea what it would be like and was pleasantly suprised as when  it flowered it smelt lovely and is a fine enormously tall plant, I like things a bit jungly. It gave my daughter terrible hayfever though.
    Seems that feverfew deals with hay fever and so does tea of mullien root by thickeing up your mucosities which stops the dust and pollen from touching the skin in your nose throat and lungs, which sounds like a good way of doing for hay fever, better than antihystemines. Mind you i read medicinal things once and the next time I look them up read something a bit different, so don't take my word for how to use mullen.
I have posted a photo of valerianis officinalis, the flower heads in fact no longer hold the flowers or seeds it is the little stalks that are a bit rust coloured.   agri rose macaskie.
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rose macaskie
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 Here is a phto of the mimosa tree i planted among some young apple trees we have. I planted this and another one to the right of it, off photo as last springs effort of mine to plant some leguminous trees to fix nitrogen and find out for myself  if this works and hopfullly be alble to prove to others that it does.
    I have just brought some horticultural fleece to cover the mimosas  to protect them from the frost, though as they do have them in the village they should survive the frost but maybe not the first year of frosts.
 The two ceanothus I planted with my new english apples trees have not survived the summer i think, i can't find them. Plants that die sometimes seem to totally disappear.
 I am going to buy some peach trees, I have one type of peach whose peaches ripen in october i am going to try to get peaches all through the summer by buying trees that who fruit ripens in july and another in August and another in September. I hope to acheive the same with all the different types of fruit trees.
I have planted an iris at the foot of the apple tree. I think they keep the ground damp I have noticed they do but then I have not spent enough time looking into it to be sure, the ground was certainly damp in one place where I was cutting a bit of tree in the middle of the summer and not in a plase we water the plants. They grow easily in my garden reproducing themselves, their rhizomes, like crazy. Their leaves stay green all through the summer though they arent watered, incredible.
    I have read that if you store the roots in a dark place for three years they can then be used as a perfume, so they could make be a source of income because the roots themselves cost a bit in a garden center sold to produce a new plant and they could bring in a bit of income from the perfume trade. 
    These two apple trees are under my husbands domain so there are not many plants round them he does, on ocasion remove the plants and mulches from around trees in my domain.  Lifes complications. agri rose macaskie.    
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rose macaskie
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Here is a foto as lavender as these herbs are meant to be good companion plants because their essential oils put off insects but their flowers certainly keep the bees busy all summer. The lavender is behind a wild lettuce i think its called. I like their leaves. agri rose macaskie.
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rose macaskie
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  Here is a an apple tree, maiden they seem to be called when they are saplings, with a lot of plants around it. i cant pretend they are a guild, I planted most of them to take advantage of the drip my husband put in for the apple tree or it is there the seeds I threw around to copy Sepp Holzer grew. I did put in a ceanothus and problably some lemon balm but i dont know whats become of them. 
    The intereestign thing is that with all these plants round it, this maiden is the apple tree of all those I planted that grew best and it is the one at whose feet most plants grew. I don't know whether because of the companionship of other plants or because i told my husband it was called geneting because the fruit ripened on saint juans day, he is called juan and so he gave it a bigger drip. I meant to go round looking to see how much drip each plant had but in the end I did not, summer has me so busy, when i am there, just watering.
     The plants around it are a sunflower idid think that might be a good ocmpanion as it must have a deep root that might give the roots of the apple tree a lead through the earth. A tomatoe, some little cabbages, the small round dry seed cases are the seed pods of linseeds, there is a burdock next to it  there are several other things just at its feet but i cant remember what they were.
    This tree was testimony to how well tree grow accompanied, especialy if you could see how the others did though it has to be admited most of the others suffered from being the first things in the garden the deer seem to really like, they like english plants, they were not interested in the other older apple trees.  rose macaskie madrid.
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Posts: 20
Location: Vermont
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In the latest podcast, there was discussion of eliminating orchard grass.  I have a big field with my dozen fruit trees planted.  The field was full of lupines, grasses, and other weeds. 

They are suffering due to competition from grass, I think.  what is an alternative to using cardboard for sheet mulching?
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Location: Australia
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how about newspaper - or lots and lots of mulch - or grow something that will out compete the grass

once nasturtiums are settled, they keep the grass down here

my plum and fig guild consists of peas, beans, nasturtium, mint and garlic so far
 
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Alternative to Cardboard is a Scythe...
 
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I thought this thread worth bringing to to top. Not much on the cherry tree guild thread. I had a dog pass of old so finally planted my cherry tree that had been in a big pot for a while. It had horseradish with it in the pot. I had a six-pack of petunias around so planted them too. Looks nice. I have seed of nastirsum and crimson clover to add.
I don't have the recption to view the podcasts and lost all my books in a house fire. I bought Gaia's Garden for kindle I can read on my ohone, not easy.
 
pollinator
Posts: 425
Location: Zone 8b: SW Washington
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Here is my guild today (compare with photos earlier in this thread):





I haven't done anything to it for a couple of years. It seems to have stabilized into this mixture:
- Comfrey
- Vetch
- Yarrow
- Mint
- Strawberry

My codling moth pressure is less than it used to be so I think I must have attracted some predators (e.g. parasitic wasps).
 
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Location: Indianapolis, Indiana, USA - Zone 5B
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this is a great thread! my wife found this pdf out on midwest permaculture. perhaps it will add value to this thread.

http://tcpermaculture.com/docs/Plant%20Guilds%20eBooklet%20-%20Midwest%20Permaculture.pdf
 
Dave Miller
pollinator
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Location: Zone 8b: SW Washington
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I tried something new this winter. I like to feed wild birds with black oil sunflower seeds. I started throwing some seed on the ground, and I noticed that the birds follow their instinct to scratch up the ground even though the seed is sitting on top of the ground. So I started throwing some seed under my fruit trees, to encourage the birds to scratch through the leaves & debris. I figured that if they scratched up a codling moth larvae they might eat it. Plus their droppings will help fertilize the tree. I'll know later this year if I have fewer codling moths.
 
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Location: Lynnwood, WA. USA
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Wow - your Apple Tree has gotten so big! It's beautiful - looks heavy laden. Thanks for showing us the steps along the way!
 
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Location: UK
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Ground cover raspberry might be a good one for around the trunk? I think it might be but that is also a question because I’d like to know if anyone has tried it. I’ve got plenty of rubus nepalensis. It spreads quickly and is a superb ground cover. It is my first year growing it and I’m yet to see any fruit. Not sure if it will produce little berries in it’s first year.
 
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Scarlet Hamilton wrote:Ground cover raspberry might be a good one for around the trunk? I think it might be but that is also a question because I’d like to know if anyone has tried it. I’ve got plenty of rubus nepalensis. It spreads quickly and is a superb ground cover. It is my first year growing it and I’m yet to see any fruit. Not sure if it will produce little berries in it’s first year.


I was picking pine cones up from between brambles. You're talking about thornless raspberries, right? Under non-fruiting tree?
 
Scarlet Hamilton
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Roger Taylor wrote:

Scarlet Hamilton wrote:Ground cover raspberry might be a good one for around the trunk? I think it might be but that is also a question because I’d like to know if anyone has tried it. I’ve got plenty of rubus nepalensis. It spreads quickly and is a superb ground cover. It is my first year growing it and I’m yet to see any fruit. Not sure if it will produce little berries in it’s first year.


I was picking pine cones up from between brambles. You're talking about thornless raspberries, right? Under non-fruiting tree?



I mean ground cover raspberries. They are thornless plants (at least rubus nepalensis is) and it reaches about 20cm high, spreads quickly and makes a great groundcover. It is easily removed.

I'm wondering about whether to use it under an apple tree around the trunk. I know the usual idea is to put a mineral accumulator there and for a while I did want to use horseradish. Comfrey is out of the question for me as I already have a patch of it nearby and the thought of having something around the tree permanently is a bit scary - what if the tree died? Horseradish seems a bit better but is known to spread - how would I stop it from taking over the garden? Wouldn't harvesting the roots be a risk to the tree? Hostas have been recommended for around the trunk but I don't want something prone to slug damage. Sorrel is a good mineral accumulator and seems like it would be good to use with ground cover raspberry around the trunk. Sorrel is an ok but not great ground cover and that would be ok if ground cover raspberry was running around it. I think I'm rambling now...

I love the pics in this thread!
 
Scarlet Hamilton
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Location: UK
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I realised after I posted that the horseradish or any other clumping plant can probably be controlled by using a spreading plant around it. I’m going to be planting my first 2 apple tree guilds soon
 
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Location: BC Interior, zone 5a
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I'm going to try growing tillage radish around some fruit trees.
 
Posts: 244
Location: zone 4b, sandy, Continental D
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paul wheaton wrote:Comfrey!

Probably the most popular apple tree guild plant.




Indeed! comfrey! Just make sure that deer, chicken, rabbit, sheep cannot access it: They really like that stuff!
 
Cécile Stelzer Johnson
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Loren Hunt wrote:this is a great thread! my wife found this pdf out on midwest permaculture. perhaps it will add value to this thread.

http://tcpermaculture.com/docs/Plant%20Guilds%20eBooklet%20-%20Midwest%20Permaculture.pdf




Thank you from Wisconsin: I was looking for something great to plant all around my apple trees.
 
pollinator
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I have garlic that I don't harvest, wild leek, cosmos, marigold under my trees.

I wouldn't put comfrey right under the tree as it sucks all the calcium that is required for trees growth. Grown elsewhere and mulched under the tree is okay.

I am putting in this year rue, echinacea, chives and Egyptian walking onion.
 
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