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Conversion from wheat monocrop to fruit and veg Orchard

 
Posts: 10
Location: Morocco- temperate and warm- 300mm rainfall
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I want to turn a 1.5 hectare land into a food forest with vegetables, grains, fruit trees and flowers as eye candies and treats for my bees. The land is in a dry Mediterranean climate, hot in the summer reaching 50 degrees celsius and temperate in the winters around 10 degrees Celsius, frosting 4 or 5 days a year, we get 300mm of rain in winter, the land has been irrigated from a well and used for wheat crops for many years, it has an OK yield but the soil is extremely dry and needs rebuilding.
What do you suggest for this conversion? Can i go from wheat to fruit trees and flowers straight away? tilling before planting or no-tilling?

Thanks you
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Posts: 1976
Location: Zone 5 Wyoming
156
kids duck forest garden chicken pig bee greening the desert homestead
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Norah sun wrote:I want to turn a 1.5 hectare land into a food forest with vegetables, grains, fruit trees and flowers as eye candies and treats for my bees. The land is in a dry Mediterranean climate, hot in the summer reaching 50 degrees celsius and temperate in the winters around 10 degrees Celsius, frosting 4 or 5 days a year, we get 300mm of rain in winter, the land has been irrigated from a well and used for wheat crops for many years, it has an OK yield but the soil is extremely dry and needs rebuilding.
What do you suggest for this conversion? Can i go from wheat to fruit trees and flowers straight away? tilling before planting or no-tilling?

Thanks you



Our property is former wheat fields. Soil is terrible but earth works and cover crops have made a difference. I think I would till if I were you. Till the wheat stalks under and cover crop the area!
 
Norah sun
Posts: 10
Location: Morocco- temperate and warm- 300mm rainfall
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Hi, could you tell me a bit more about your conversion? how long did it take to have an acceptable soil for fruit trees and roses for exemple? a season? a year? more?
Also what kind of cover crop did you use? Also which earth work did you do? what's your climate?
Thank you
 
elle sagenev
Posts: 1976
Location: Zone 5 Wyoming
156
kids duck forest garden chicken pig bee greening the desert homestead
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Norah sun wrote:Hi, could you tell me a bit more about your conversion? how long did it take to have an acceptable soil for fruit trees and roses for exemple? a season? a year? more?
Also what kind of cover crop did you use? Also which earth work did you do? what's your climate?
Thank you



Well our land was wheat field that was subdivided. We are the second owners of our home. The home is now 15 years old. So 15 years out from wheat field. However, it was severely over grazed by the previous owners. This is me basically saying we have extremely dead ground even this far out. We have this low growing weed and cheat grass on most of the land.

So we are on the experimental 5 still. I have done swales with berms and mini kraters. You can see most of that on my blog www.peacockorchard.com or in my projects thread here on permies.

It is my personal opinion that people think fruit trees are pickier than I've found them to be. Sure, some die, but some flourish. It's all about finding those flourishers. Lodi apple seems to be our solid apple tree. We also have a well growing plum. And this is all stuff I just plopped into berms in the middle of July and abused. They came back!

I've cover cropped with a huge variety of things but it is mostly clover on the berms and swales. The kraters have such a diversity I couldn't even name it all but to abbreviate it's Amaranth, grasses, different grains and clovers, sunflowers, quinoa, and various wild flowers.
 
Norah sun
Posts: 10
Location: Morocco- temperate and warm- 300mm rainfall
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Very helpful, thank you very much
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What is you anual rainfall, or what country and city do you live in.
 
Norah sun
Posts: 10
Location: Morocco- temperate and warm- 300mm rainfall
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Hi Johsua Pendleton, Annual rainfall is 300mm and i live in Morocco Marrakech region

Hi elle sagenev Thank you for these precision, i just read your blog, plenty of good tips, i like the mini krater with the pawpaw tree in the middle, i will start by tilling the wheat roots then experimenting with different types of earth works to see what works best, i will then plant some seeds: clover, sunflower, alfalfa, amaranth, and flowers. Mulch it with straw and let it grow for few months, Autumn in starting here and i will wait for spring to plant the first fruit trees.
 
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