Hey so I've got a sweet project going. We're transforming much of our 10 acres of degraded hay field into an alley cropping/ strip intercropping / silvopasture type system.
I plan on planting fruit and nut tree guilds on contour with wide spaced alleys that will be pasture for now, later possibly row cropped.
I recently got ahold of a sickle bar mower for the tractor (the one on BCS was a little small for me but I use it in other tight areas- it's sick!). And I'll keep an eye out for a side delivery rake to deliver this hay mulch to the tree rows during the establishment phase. I plan on planting a narrow tree row initially with woody guild and then as the years go on expanding the tree row out in both directions into the alleys, the hay already mulchin the expanding row ahead of it.
Now these are some of the key species I plan on planting: English Walnut, Chestnut, Pear and Apple.
Do any of you have suggestions for guilds and spacing for these species?
I would like to plan it over a long period of time eg: plant plum near walnut but as the walnut grows into plum in say 20 years, remove the plum to favor the walnut. Also I really like the idea of using high biomass early succession plants like elderberry to shade areas around trees and provide mulch, coppicing and then eventually removing them once the key species provide enough of their own shade.
posted 3 years ago
Whoops I forgot to indicate my location. PNW North Olympic Peninsula zone 8b, 200 ft elevation, Koppen Csb - Mediterranean dry summers with wet winters. Extremely well drained silt loam.
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