• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education experiences global resources the cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • r ranson
  • Nicole Alderman
  • Anne Miller
stewards:
  • Mike Jay
  • paul wheaton
  • Joseph Lofthouse
garden masters:
  • Joylynn Hardesty
  • Steve Thorn
  • James Freyr
  • Greg Martin
  • Dave Burton
gardeners:
  • Carla Burke
  • Pearl Sutton
  • Dan Boone

Food Forest guild

 
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi all, I'm brand new to permies.com. Just bought my first home and wanted to convert the front yard to a little 7 layer food garden. I have an enormous maple on the north side of the lot, giving me about a 22x15 foot plot to work with all south of the tree (part/full sun). Could I use the maple as my canopy layer? For the other layers, what would compliment the maple well? Is there a sample guild or has someone tried this with a maple? Many thanks. I'm new to this and was not sure where to turn for advice.
 
Author
Posts: 27
Location: Herefordshire, England, UK
6
forest garden trees urban
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi John,

some expectation management first: I don't think you'll fit 7 layers into that space. For more detailed advice could you let us know where in the world you live? A couple of photos of the site from different angles would also help.  

Latitude and climatic zone has a massive impact on the amount of layers you can fit on top of each other. In temperate and cool climates, you could probably fit three or at most four layers under a mature maple.

In a 22x15 ft space you could probably fit a small tree, 2 or 3 shrubs. That could still give you a lot of opportuntity for crop diversity in the herb layers.

Good luck!
https://forestgardeninginpractice.com/
 
master pollinator
Posts: 11207
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
679
cat forest garden fish trees chicken fiber arts wood heat greening the desert
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thread that might help:

https://permies.com/t/55604/Incorporating-mature-sugar-maple-food

 
pollinator
Posts: 974
Location: Nevada, Mo 64772
52
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
If that’s a silver maple, you may have too many roots even in the open area.  They have an unbelievable amount of shallow roots. Other maples may be like that too, but I haven’t had to deal with them.
 
pollinator
Posts: 2408
Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even Soil:SandyLoam pH6 Flat
136
forest garden solar
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Most fruit trees require a 18ft by 18ft space. So it sounds like you can barely fit in 1 tree.

But less say you did have enough space. I would recommend
Garlic, Mint, Garden Violet, Raspberry/Blackberry, Goumi, Aronia, Figs/Mulberry, Elderberry, Pear, Pawpaw, Maypop (grape might be a better vine)

Anything that is shade(leaf shadow) and also drought(root competition) tolerant should work just fine.
 
John Allen Thompson
Posts: 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks everyone for the advice. This is a great place for me to learn! I appreciate all the help I can get. Yes my yard is quite small. When we moved in there was a bed under the maple with some sedum, grasses, dusty miller, and bulbs. But the city ripped up the plants and half the yard for water main work. I definitely don't want lawn, but food. Thinking of annual beds but like the idea of perennial foods. I live in southwestern Ontario Canada.

 
Posts: 439
Location: Australia, New South Wales. Köppen: Cfa (Humid Subtropical), USDA: 10/11
111
transportation hugelkultur cat forest garden fish trees urban chicken cooking woodworking homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Welcome,

In regards to fitting fruit trees into that space, and I've mentioned this before in several other postings mainly because it works, why not try to espalier fruit trees?

Google Image 'espalier' and you'll get the idea.

There's all sorts of designs that can maximise potential, and it will allow layering of both annuals and perennials.

Though, as others have said, that maple is likely to be a major impediment - any chance of it being considered a threat due to root disturbance (falling over in a storm) or otherwise mysteriously getting sick, prompting removal?

 
I'm full of tinier men! And a tiny ad:
permaculture bootcamp - learn permaculture through a little hard work
https://permies.com/wiki/bootcamp
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!