Orchard Design Ideas

Discussion in 'Fruit & Vegetable Growing' started by Daniel.Mav, Jan 28, 2018.

  1. DarrenP

    DarrenP Well-Known Member Premium Member GOLD

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    I have been practising rotation planting, but at the same time also companion planting. I recently read a book about companion planting; can't remember the author's name as I borrowed it from the library. This author stated that with extreme (my word) companion planting, you don't need to rotate crops.
    I haven't tried it myself, yet. I plan to dabble with both styles of planting over winter. One of my summer beds ended up that way, with cucumbers, corn and beans planted, and I had a chilli, tomato, and a pumpkin come up from the compost. Everything seemed to grow ok, although the cucumbers did better after the tomato died down.
     
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  2. Daniel.Mav

    Daniel.Mav Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Wow @ClissAT you always reply with such detail, thank you for taking the time to explain it so well. I will redraw the design again today. I will make the raspberry, grape and black berry beds bigger and change the vegetable beds to a N-S orientation. Before I seaw it again though, do you think the general placement of it all is optimal? My thinking behind it all is this; the orchard on the high end with the HSTP sprayers and to help with draining;
    the chickens/ducks in the center with the compost bins to allow for easy access and neutrients to soak down the slope towards the vegetable beds;
    the bananas and paw paws around the stormpit to soak up the water and the large mulberry and nut trees towards the back to stop shading out the area. Bamboo in the corner to use for future staking.
    Goats at this point are not a definite and if I do get them it'll be in 5-8 years when my daughter is older which is why I placed them under the nut trees.
    I did think the ducks may be better on the lower side infront of the storm pit and extend the chicken run out. My plan is to eventually fence around the orchard and vegetable beds to allow for the poultry to scratch around during the off season or even use tractors in the rows.
    So that was my thinking behind the placement. What do you think? Have I missed something? I'd like to get the placement right before I fiddle with the dimentions.
     
  3. Daniel.Mav

    Daniel.Mav Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Oh and I was planning on doing crop rotations with the beds - so I will add another one to make it 6.
     
  4. ClissAT

    ClissAT Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    On the whole Daniel, I think you are on the right track. You are taking all uses into consideration & thinking into the future which is always good.

    Google Earth has 3D which will show elevation & geography of your block & you can take screen prints of those images which can be an enormous help regarding elevation & direction of slopes.

    As I look at the plans you have drawn thus far I see that you are aligning your beds parallel with your fences & boundary.
    Its quite natural to do this because it looks so clean & precise to the human eye & brain.

    However, using your latest plan, a better alignment would be to run your beds at around 45degrees to your 'front' & tilting away to the top right. I am assuming the 'front' of your garden is nearest the area marked 'grass'? They could still be accessed from you center paths & the rows.

    One of many reasons is when mowing you go into the row at a far reduced angle. Not needing to turn hard at 90degrees therefore making mowing & barrowing much easier. So much easier to drive in & reverse out.

    I may not be making myself as clear as I would like & I would love to create my version of your plan but my computer is having a bad week so all my creative & photo software is out of action!

    One thing about running rows diagonally within a rectangular area is you end up with triangular pieces in each corner. But they can be put to good use for all sorts of things, like wood pile, duck or chook pen, chemical or fertilizer storage shed, compost heaps, banana circle, large tree position where half the width of the tree gets to hang over the fence thereby reducing the area it takes up inside the fenced area.

    I make this note for you as I see you have 4 nut trees taking up a lot of space at the back end of the garden. Placing one in each corner right against the fence would significantly reduce the space the tree used within the garden space. As the trees grew, the ducks & chooks could be moved to have their dwellings under those trees while still having access to the whole or parts of the garden as you needed.

    Another way to do the diagonal rows is not to have a center isle or row running from front to back at all. Just run rows diagonally from left to right with the lefthand end of the rows closest to the 'front'. Plant all those tall plantings down the SW fence so as not to shade any of the ground in winter but to provide arvo shade in summer. Your center row where you have chooks, ducks, compost etc could be halfway along your diagonal rows.

    So effectively, take your current plan & tilt it 45degrees to the right inside the fence, then slide all the beds along to fit inside the fence. Then move the banana, bamboo, etc from the SE end to the SW long side & put a nut tree in each corner. In anycase Daniel, that might be a good exercise just to see whether you gained space.

    Something to note regarding the use of grey water & HSTP, even that which has been treated & pH adjusted, is that many plants don't like it fullstop & many don't like it applied to their leaves. This has been a hard lesson for me this last 6mths since discovering I cant use my dam water. So the only garden water I have just now is my daily grey water which is chemical free & mostly soap free as I only use minimal natural soap. Still, many plants are resenting it applied to their leaves &/or root zones. eg cucurbits such as cucumber & zucchini of all types positively hate it; some lettuce; root crops; beans & peas hate it; many flowers. Other things love it so basically its trial & error but I would guard against aerial/spray application of any sort.
     
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  5. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    I think you're definitely getting there Daniel.

    I can say without doubt your planning is 10x more then I did :D

    I'm still winging it lol...

    My basic plan was to have the main veggie garden central to get the most sun, the orchard on the higher ground for the best drainage, and the poultry down the back away for everything to graze and forage in the bushland.

    After that very basic plan, I'm now fitting fruit trees wherever I can and even replacing ornamentals with fruit trees!

    I've expanded pens and retrofitted things to improve areas etc - it's never ending - but it's good fun.

    Let me say, it's great that you are planning your property so well but with all your planning you'll still make changes and rearrange things over-time. Nature loves to keep us on our toes :)
     
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