Condensed forest garden knowledge

You have 3 minutes to advise someone starting a forest garden—what are the most important things?

Screenshot of inside of forest garden book
The inside of Martin Crawford’s Creating a Forest Garden book

I happened to be passing Farmyard Nurseries (where I accidentally bought some Mentha longifolia) and met someone who wants to start a forest garden. They wanted some quick advice, time was limited so I wrote this list:

  1. Buy Creating a Forest Garden by Martin Crawford. Fantastic design manual and reference.
  2. Use Plants for a Future website for quick reference of species and sizes.
  3. Plan your canopy layer, to allow enough light for fruiting trees and underplanted crops (about ¼ to ½ of combined tree diameters).
  4. Windbreak hedges to the final size you want (less maintenance pruning), dramatically improves growth of developing plants.
  5. Use the Sun Surveyor mobile app to check the sun positions on your plan for different times of the year.

Once you’ve done all that, book a 1 day workshop in West Wales 😉

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