Thursday, October 28, 2010

Don't Bury Your Trees

So, I was working in a back yard This summer and I noticed that the the folks next door had graded the area around their fruit trees in an attempt better gather water to the roots.

While I applaud the intent and the good hard work, I was disappointed by the lack of understanding that the gardener had about basic tree growing.

The first problem was with the spacing of the trees in relation to his efforts to gather extra water. The fruit trees were conventionally spaced. 

This means they wouldn't benefit from the concentration effect because they had access to the same amount of water that fell directly on them. 

To gather water, you have to plant at a further distance and have the extra water in between the full sized trees run to where the tree can best use it.

The second problem was that the gardener hilled up extra dirt around the trunks of the trees. This is a more serious problem because that dirt will cut down on oxygen that the roots and lower trunk need to live. 

In short the gardener should not have just been studying Permaculture design, he should have been studying what his plants needed.

Permaculture is after all not about a ridged set of rules, it is about thinking about what we are doing and what is the best way for your situation.

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