• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

plant spacing  RSS feed

 
siannan lilou
Posts: 2
Location: france
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
hello,

I am new at gardening, and reading a lot to plan a small garden.

i read about Backyard Orchard Culture. Planting trees very close sounds great for a small garden. The author seems to have a nice expierience with it.

But I am also reading Dave jack's book Edible forest garden. He writes that too close spacing is the most comme mistake, which produces lots of stress for the mi-succession fruit trees leading plants to spend mots of their energy in protecting themselves, and that wouldn't work for long.

Do you have any long experience with close planting, or any ideas on which theory I should flolow ?


sorry if my English is not great, it is not my native language.
 
Joseph Lofthouse
garden master
Posts: 2618
Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
507
bee chicken food preservation fungi greening the desert
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

The orchard that I pruned when I was a teenager was planted too close together. The idea for the planting is that while the trees were young, the trees could produce more fruit, then every other tree could be chopped out later on.  The problem is, they never got chopped out. The orchard was a nightmare to maintain.

Since that time, new management has arrived, and they chopped out 7 trees in 8.  (Every other row, and 3 of 4 trees in the remaining rows). The canopies of the trees do not touch. It is a great looking and highly productive orchard now.

My experience growing annual crops is that it seems to me that plants that are given sufficient space produce better and are more resistant to pests and diseases.
 
R Scott
Posts: 3358
Location: Kansas Zone 6a
32
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
This is a balancing act in all plantings.  Close enough to canopy quickly to reduce weed issues, far enough to not reduce yield.  The two are in conflict.  Overplanting and thinning is the usual way, the trick is getting a yield out of the thinnings.
 
K Putnam
pollinator
Posts: 246
Location: Unincorporated Pierce County, WA Zone 7b
23
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
When it comes to trees, I try to imagine what would happen once I sold the property.  Can future owners maintain them without a commitment to intensive maintenance?  I have also found that it is best to limit the number of things that require maintenance on an annual basis, as I have my hands full as it is.   With trees, I'd plant them so I did not have to worry about pruning for size.
 
John Polk
steward
Posts: 8019
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
289
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Overplanting and thinning is the usual way, the trick is getting a yield out of the thinnings. 

One strategy here is to over plant things like lettuces in the void spaces that you can just harvest the leaves as you need them.  Another good 'fill crop' is things grown for micro-greens. or radishes.  (Most are harvested within a few weeks).
 
siannan lilou
Posts: 2
Location: france
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
thanks for your answears, I'll plan sufficient spacing between trees.

How about trees self sowed intertwined ?

I have an elderberry circled by the viburnum branches. I suppose the elderberry was sowed by birds... I already cut a few branches to let the elderberry tree get some light, and it also grows above the vibrium. Do you think I should cut one of them (both are much too big to think of tranplantation), or let nature do and see if both can survive together ?
 
Bryant RedHawk
gardener
Posts: 3006
Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
243
chicken dog forest garden hugelkultur hunting toxin-ectomy
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Fruit trees need ample space for branches when they reach maturity, apple trees will need at least 20 feet between trunks, pear 20 to 30 feet between trunks, peach 20, fig trees need 15 to 20 feet.
The spacing is for two reasons, first for canopy reach (the should not touch any other tree) second for root spread, the root systems will get into an argument and the strongest will win or they will tie and both will fail to flourish.

In the case of your elderberry and viburnum, the same applies, it would be best to decide which is more important to you, then remove the other.  It may be that you can dig them up and transplant them further apart.

Redhawk

Trees are very different from vegetables in this respect but all plants like to have the room to grow as they are supposed to grow.
 
Forget Steve. Look at this tiny ad:
The $50 and Up Underground House Book by Mike Oehler - digital download
https://permies.com/wiki/23442/digital-market/digital-market/Underground-House-Book-Mike-Oehler
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!