Easy DIY Food Forest Fall Planting Guide

| 11/1/2018 9:42:00 AM

Photo by Flickr/Jeff Wright

Fall is the best season for planting many perennial evergreens. As the days shorten, the stress of the sun is lessened. From the time of this writing until the 3rd or 4th day of our first big storm, when the soil will begin to saturate — thus thwarting digging attempts — is the prime window for planting plants that will provide edible abundance year after year. Plant them now and then “turn them loose” to provide harvests in the years to come.

Sub-tropic perennials that do so well in our communities: Olives, Pomegranates, Citrus (Lemon, Lime, Kumquat, Mandarin, Satsuma) Pineapple Guava, Currants, Loquat, Avocado, and more

Oversized holes. Here in the East Bay, we have a ton of clay. For those of you blessed with sandy loam (i.e. Alameda, California area) or rich alluvium, disregard this section. For many the East Bay Clay needs conditioning. While sheet mulching can help break up and enhance clay over time, over sizing your holes will help right away. Generally holes dug should be three times the width and two to three times the depth of the pot they come from. Thus a 1-gallon plant has a hole dug the size of a 5-gallon pot.

Root crown height placement. The most important part of a young plant is the interface between earth and sky. This important place is known as the root crown, where all the disparate roots align to become the base of the truck of the plant. For Mediterranean species, this root crown must be planted slightly higher than the flooded flatlands around it. This can be achieved simply by mounding the root crown’s planting height 2 to 3 inches higher than the surrounding ground level. Measure this by taking a second stick/ruler and laying it across the hole. This will give the surrounding soil height. From there, create a dome mound to ensure that the new root ball is covered.

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