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Making a Beautiful Garden a Food Forest (part one)

Everyone has a dream to walk out their door and pick delicious things to serve their family.  The reality can be harder and takes a bit of planning.  BUT there is good news... there are simple things you CAN do that make your regular gardening and landscaping take on part of the work.

We have heirloom Pears that survived for
decades on very little care. 
Start with Fruit Trees

Our community and school has an annual fruit tree sale that is a fund raiser.  Frankly in our town it has now taken on a life of its own and it just makes sense.  Once established, fruit trees are easy... and within a few years our community now has producing Fruit Trees everywhere.    By design they are in our parks, mediums and of course in every yard who has a school age child since they report on their trees  progress year after year as they go through the grades.

What we do on our farm...

We had an old orchard on terraces that just needed a bit of pruning,  a few replacement trees and we had a bit of unused space.  We decided to tackle a grand experiment  to figure out the container growing thing once and for all with a test set of dwarf peach and nectarine trees.  We wanted to see if they really did grow better in the ground or in containers because you can move container trees with you if you have to move.  For our school projects, containers lets kids have their own little 'orchard' that can be moved to mow or rearrange later in the yard.    Cuz lets face it... when you have a school project it is always right in the middle of what you are doing so container trees let them be Right THERE.... ours at the moment are RIGHT next to our patio dining table.

We replaced some missing trees with Dwarf
Peach and Nectarines planted in the ground

We planted Dwarf  Peaches and Nectarines in
Containers Also

The save work thing was the ease to get great soil into a container (we use Anchor Organic Granules mixed with organic potting soil, coco coir and perlite) which will set the tree up forever... we just top dress yearly with more Anchor which has mycorrhiza and all the beneficial organic goodies... it is so simple.

We planted a few big trees just to hold 
them over for a year or so

We couldn't resist trying slightly larger trees too.   Truth is we didn't have a place to plant these pluots yet so we dropped them into containers.  They are not dwarf so they can't stay here forever... but they did fine this year.

Don't forget Citrus love pots...

And of course the citrus love pots.  Our choice of long term  indestructible pots (no BPA - food grade quality)  let us haul the citrus in and out of the orangery without breaking if needed.  Our goal is to keep simplifying and finding better ways.  So with the citrus we  chose a location where, in our California Climate, we could just throw a citrus blanket over the fence they are up against and tent them for the few cold nights needed each year.    The save work thing was the decision to align the pots against an iron fence that acts as a tent pole....it is open to let all day sun through, and it is pretty....

We planted citrus in smaller 17 gallon containers and they will
be happy in those for years

Containers grown trees are similar to in ground trees.  They need 3-5 gallons a day of water but we do find that they use less water on cooler days because the coco coir in the pots retains moisture.   We certainly have less gophers and surprisingly.. the worms find their way into the pots we we have the best of all worlds.

Have fun  and get growing....  

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