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Rick, can you plant that dense in a dryer climate?

 
Xisca Nicolas
pollinator
Posts: 1276
Location: La Palma (Canary island) Zone 11
22
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My title is only partly what I think about...

Of course there is water competition when you want to be water wise.

Other points: if I let my avocadoes grow into a forest, they will produce only on top, because fruits need light. So, sun must reach all around the trees. And nothing can really grow under them. I also keep citrus short and close to the ground, so thatthey shade the soil themselves. I do cover the soil with all the wood I cut and herbs etc.

Grapes also need sun, I cannot imagine them in the shade of trees!??

Another example, I have planted some celtuce with kohl cabbage, because I will harvest the celtuce 1st. So I alternated. But what? the thick stem is growing much better in the ones that are not shaded by the celtuce!

I do my best to be dense, but it does not seem to work that much.
 
Xisca Nicolas
pollinator
Posts: 1276
Location: La Palma (Canary island) Zone 11
22
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I have some successes though.
I have guandul, cajanus cajan, and I grow basella rubra grwing in it.

I also have air potatoes in trees. This is the secnd year so as I started with one only, I hope to have more this year.
So I try it in different locations.

Potatoes seem to love growing near banana trees.
My dendelions are feeling great under watever other veggies is above.
The melissa can grow only in the shade of trees.

When I try to start sowing under cabages, well that is too shady.
The mangos start giving because I cut the half wild peaches nearby and remove the growing vine from above them.

I have water, I have a good soil, but growing dense does not seem to give so good results, and I do not understand why.
I am subtropical, but not hot, so the sun is burning, but the shade is cool.
I can grow most regular veggies during winter, like carrots and all cabages.

Now I grow the common summer plants, plus some tropicals.
Of course I would like the sort of forest you present....
 
Michael Cox
Posts: 1570
Location: Kent, UK - Zone 8
45
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Xisca - the text "Edible Forest Gardens" recommend aiming to mimic a transitional forest state, not a totally closed canopy. Closed canopies are mature systems that don't let light down to the other possible stories. In your example of an avocado orchard you might take out some trees to let light through to plant a mized herb and shrub layer beneath. One approach would be to thin some individual trees, another might be to open up some slightly larger glades.
 
Xisca Nicolas
pollinator
Posts: 1276
Location: La Palma (Canary island) Zone 11
22
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Mickael, that is what I did, and now I have shorter avocados and light between them.
I meant that in Rick's pics or video showing this camouflage, it looks dense.
I do not mean dense only from trees and closed canopy, but with all plants. I can see that even some letuce leaves can shade some cabage enough to let them grow less than just the neighbour plant!

To get things appart, you need more space, less concentrated planting, and this is not what I see in examples showing for example that you can grow a lot in half an acre! Which means dense planting...
 
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