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How do you access fruit trees for pruning/picking when you've got a food forest?

 
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My hubby is getting annoyed with me planting under the fruit trees. He finds it hard to get the ladder and walk around the tree without stepping on the plants.
 
pollinator
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Plant more dutch clover/bush beans, thyme, mint, water celery vs lovage, currants, goumi.
Another option is to give him his favorite trees, so that he can 'clear cut' under them and the others you can grow in a 150% 'true' permaculture way.
You could also give him every other tree to do his way or maybe you could give him his section on the left/right side
 
Jackie Neufeld
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Thank you S Benji. I don't like stepping on them either!
I like your tips on what to plant underneath. Right now I've got Greek oregano, anise hyssop, calendula and nasturtiums. May try a squash to grow up but may not have enough sun. I understand that maybe once the soil has a stronger system, I might be able to grow almost anything.
We're also challenged by deer who love beans.
 
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You can plant plants that you harvest before the harvest of the fruits in the trees.  This way, when you harvest the fruit on the trees, you do not mind that the plants underneath get beat up during the harvest since you have already harvested those plants before.  

If you give us an indication what region you live in you will likely get more more specific suggestions of what plants will grow in your region.
 
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Jackie Neufeld wrote:My hubby is getting annoyed with me planting under the fruit trees. He finds it hard to get the ladder and walk around the tree without stepping on the plants.



Perhaps the trees could be espaliered so there's no need for a ladder, easier to protect with netting if needed, avoid risks of falling, and futureproof access as you age. Under planting wouldn't be so much of an issue then.
 
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I tend to just way overplant so it doesn't matter if things get crushed.
 
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Chop and drop is a common technique used in food forests to build the organic material content of the soil. Could just go through and chop and drop before harvesting or just don't worry about stepping on the plants and treat that as a rough chop and drop.
 
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When it's time to prune the fruit trees or shrubbery in the food forest, I trample whatever gets in my way, or chop it off.

When it's time to harvest the fruits in the food forest, I trample whatever gets in my way.

I tend to prune and harvest in the same areas, so I end up with pathways through the food forest, and around each tree.

I trample/chop pathways through the berry brambles, etc. It doesn't do much good to grow a fruit if I can't harvest at least some of it.

 
Michelle Bisson
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I have been planting hostas, strawberries and rhubarb under our fruit trees.  

I am expecting that one day it will be so thick with these plants and if I crush them while harvesting fruit off of the trees, I'll use the plants as natural live mulch material.  They die back when winter comes anyways,   Yes, some will get damaged, but I figure they are vigourous plants and will survive the beating & trampling during the tree fruit harvesting time and resprout in the spring.  I love using baby hosta leaves as an addition to salads & soups.


If you want your husband to keep harvesting the fruit off of the trees, then don't worry about what gets crushed.  You do not want to discourage him from doing anything in the garden in fear of "destroying" your plants.    Whatever gets crushed, then just use them as chop & drop material.
 
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