Planting trees is a bit daunting. It’s a long-term commitment with a real chance of failure and a slow rate of return.
How do I know if I’m doing it right? What if I change my mind? What if the tree is in the wrong place? What if it grow too big for this space? Am I planting too close to the house? Too close to the other trees?
Huh. Kinda like parenting.
I’ve been staring at this patch of sheet-mulched ground sketching out guilds, plans, and planting diagrams to use the available space, sun, and water to the greatest efficiency. Then I happened on great deals for two feijoa trees and two pomegranate bushes. After a month of dithering and watching them slowly wither in their too-small pots, I finally just screwed my courage to the sticking-place over the weekend and put the damn things in the ground.
Each hole was cut through the mulch and cardboard to the earth below, filled with half a bag of mushroom compost, and then the trees planted in the compost. Then each tree was watered in thoroughly, gently shaking the trunk to make sure there were no air pockets. And now, looking at it all together like this, the trees are following a rough spiral shape, which is one of the planting shapes recommended in permaculture books.
I can’t wait to see what this is going to look like a year from now.
And of course, what comes in at the library the day after I put these trees in the ground? Edible Forest Gardens by Dave Jacke and Eric Toensmeier. Volumes one and two! I haven’t even opened them yet, for fear of finding out that I’m doing it all wrong. But I still have guilds to build between the trees, and three plum trees and a persimmon to complete the spiral.