Permaculture forum: New Tree Guilds

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(Zone 6a)
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TomNJ
May 2, 2012 8:19 PM CST
Last year I planted two peaches and three apples. This year I finally started putting in the guild. This I my first endeavor at permaculture. I started with my apples.

The apple guild will consist of three trees in a slight V configuration. They are located in such a way as to screen my septic mound from view. Currently, only the center tree has plants around it. The guild is going to encompass all three trees. I would like to plant something further up the mound behind the trees (north side), but am not sure what to place there.

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The peach guild is the one I am most pleased with. After putting this one together I realize that I planted the plants in the apple guild too close to the tree and each other. In both guilds are bee balm, yarrow, fennel, garlic chive and dill. Comfrey, nasturtium and vetch will be added as I get them. In this guild I also plan on planting a goumi.


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I would love to see other people's tree guilds, whether new or established.

Thanks.

Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Beekeeper Garden Sages Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
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dave
May 3, 2012 6:06 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

Those are things of beauty, Tom! You're going to be really happy with these trees in a few years from now. You may have already done this after you took the photos, but I'd really encourage mulch over that soil.

Plum with daffodils, mint and vetch:
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Close up you can see the vetch:
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It kind of looks messy in my orchard, but there are very few actual weeds. It's a bit unsightly since I won't mow it. I'll get some more recent photos soon.
(Zone 6a)
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TomNJ
May 3, 2012 4:35 PM CST
Thanks for sharing, Dave. I am going to mulch it. Hopefully, this weekend. Got some comfrey today, too!
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Beekeeper Garden Sages Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
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dave
May 3, 2012 5:12 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

I ordered Comfrey 'Bocking 14' a couple years ago and I'm currently working to increase my stash of it. This fall I will divide what I have amongst my orchard.

Charter ATP Member
hazelnut
May 4, 2012 6:02 AM CST
TomNJ. some of the plants in your guild will form "living mulch"--nasturtium for example.

I remember once in California visiting a site in Santa Barbara that had been used as a city dump. They planted climbing nasturtium over the area. It was doing a great job of turning the dump into soil - and beautiful at the same time.
They have large round flat leaves that are good at shading out undergrowth.
(Zone 6a)
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TomNJ
May 4, 2012 2:34 PM CST
hazelnut said:TomNJ. some of the plants in your guild will form "living mulch"--nasturtium for example.

I remember once in California visiting a site in Santa Barbara that had been used as a city dump. They planted climbing nasturtium over the area. It was doing a great job of turning the dump into soil - and beautiful at the same time.
They have large round flat leaves that are good at shading out undergrowth.


Thank you.

flynnie
May 8, 2012 11:23 AM CST
TomNJ. I think your guilds look great. Zoomed in it looks like ground hogs have gotten to your fennel? Other than that they look great. Great to see progress, I know my back yard is slowly moving.
(Zone 6a)
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TomNJ
May 9, 2012 8:44 AM CST
flynnie said:TomNJ. I think your guilds look great. Zoomed in it looks like ground hogs have gotten to your fennel? Other than that they look great. Great to see progress, I know my back yard is slowly moving.


LOL. Thanks for noticing. flynnie.
(Zone 6a)
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TomNJ
May 27, 2012 9:35 AM CST
Here is an update on my apple tree guild. The center tree has the typical guild plants around it. The rest is full of annual vegetables: assorted onions, tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, cucumbers, basil, thyme and rosemary. There is also a salvia and a hollyhock in the guild. I have pole beans climbing the trees, as well. Eventually, as the guild matures the annual vegetables will be replaced by the typical guild plants.

I have mulch coming today. Wish I had it delivered yesterday, as we are getting some very heavy rain, which is washing a lot of the soil away :(

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Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Beekeeper Garden Sages Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
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dave
May 27, 2012 12:53 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

That's a great start for that apple tree - it looks really good! I like those stepping stones. Perfect for walking through without stepping on the soil.
(Zone 6a)
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TomNJ
May 27, 2012 9:19 PM CST
Ok, here is the finished product.


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Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Beekeeper Garden Sages Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
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dave
May 28, 2012 7:06 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

Beautiful! Hurray!
(Zone 6a)
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TomNJ
May 28, 2012 7:45 AM CST
Thanks, Dave. I am very excited about it. Can't wait for it to fill in.
(Zone 6a)
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TomNJ
Jun 9, 2012 1:34 PM CST
So, I thinned my apples out today - to about every six inches. Maybe I should have thinned more, because some of the branches look terribly strained on the young trees. Anyway, I just left the apples were they dropped to compost in place. Is this recommended, or should I remove them?
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Beekeeper Garden Sages Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
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dave
Jun 9, 2012 4:26 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

I think the fruit can have worms, eggs or other pathogens that would love the chance to survive and have a second chance at your tree. For that reason, I'd get rid of the fallen fruit. For me, that means the chickens get them.
(Zone 6a)
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TomNJ
Jun 9, 2012 7:32 PM CST
dave said:I think the fruit can have worms, eggs or other pathogens that would love the chance to survive and have a second chance at your tree. For that reason, I'd get rid of the fallen fruit. For me, that means the chickens get them.


Thanks for the input, Dave. I will feed them to the chickens, then.
Name: Jill
Weatherby, Missouri (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Birds Pollen collector Plant and/or Seed Trader Farmer Daylilies
Irises Region: Missouri Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
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Dayjillymo
Jun 12, 2012 9:48 AM CST
I don't have photos to show yet, but I do have a question. . . what type of vetch do you use near your orchards? I'm familiar with crown vetch - it's an aggressive problem plant that grows nearly 3 feet tall with vining, twining growth pattern that makes foot travel difficult at best. I can't imagine you using it under your orchard, so I'm hoping you'll point me toward the appropriate vetch to use.

Thanks to all. I tip my hat to you.
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Beekeeper Garden Sages Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
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dave
Jun 12, 2012 9:50 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

Jill, I simply allow our local pasture vetch to continue growing around the orchard. Honestly, I don't know what kind it is, but it makes healthy amounts of root nodules so I am happy with it.
Name: Jill
Weatherby, Missouri (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Birds Pollen collector Plant and/or Seed Trader Farmer Daylilies
Irises Region: Missouri Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
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Dayjillymo
Jun 12, 2012 10:31 AM CST
Does your pasture vetch grow in a a 3 foot mat of vines? Crown vetch has pretty enough flowers to draw bees and other pollinators and is a legume, but it's pretty rough on maintenance and foot traffic.
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Beekeeper Garden Sages Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
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dave
Jun 12, 2012 10:34 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

A 3 foot mat of vines? That's fairly accurate, yes. Smiling

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