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Planting in layers.

 
Posts: 37
Location: Just off the Delaware Bay in NJ. Zone 7b
5
tiny house food preservation bee
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I am really excited to to start planting in layers and getting a green, productive mulch.  What do people do about tree roots?  Raised "beds?"  It seems that the Oak and Maple roots have saturated the area.
 
steward
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Location: West Tennessee
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I'm not sure I quite understand what you mean by planting in layers. Do you mean layering different organic matters to plant in, like some call the "lasagna" style? Or layering actively growing crops based on height and days to harvest?
 
Sandy Hale
Posts: 37
Location: Just off the Delaware Bay in NJ. Zone 7b
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I'm talking about planting lower growing, beneficial plants under trees and shrubs instead of using bark mulch.
 
James Freyr
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hmmm. I really don't know much of anything about that. The only thing I can suggest is to see what grows natively on the forest floor in some nearby woods, then try to plant some of those naturally adapted shade loving species. I hope that helps a little!
 
pollinator
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I don't think the roots will be a problem if you select plants which are adapted to living under trees.
 
master steward
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Location: Pacific Northwest
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I think Sandy is saying that there isn't much soil depth under the trees, because the roots of the trees are close to the surface.

Like Tyler said, you can grow plants that do fine naturally under trees, and don't require much soil depth. Cane berries (raspberries, blackberries, salmonberries, thimbleberries) all grow well under my maples, likely because they don't have very deep roots. Strawberries should also do well. Mint will have a party and take over. Nettles also seem to grow right under my maples. Blueberries, salal and oregon grape might also do well, though I usually see those growing in dead wood.

And, you could also probably make a raised bed under the tree to get enough soil to grow deeper plants. I made a raised bed next to my apple trees, but those were younger. From what I understand, you don't want to over ALL of the trees roots with deep soil, as they might be deprived oxygen, but a raised bed over part of the roots would probably be fine. You can read more about my bed (and what more knowledgeable people said about it, here: https://permies.com/t/50364/Raised-Garden-Bed-Hugel-Fruit)

I hope that helps answer your question!
 
Sandy Hale
Posts: 37
Location: Just off the Delaware Bay in NJ. Zone 7b
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That answers my question perfectly!  Many thanks.
 
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