What is a Forest Garden?
A simple definition of what makes a forest garden tl;dr productive, sustainable and low maintenance.
I gave another Introduction to Forest Gardening talk the other day (press
p to see the notes), and I rejigged my definition of a forest garden:
- Low maintenance
- A forest garden is a productive garden, growing food and wood crops.
- It is multi-layered, using all available space in 3 dimensions.
- Supplies its own nutrients with mineral accumulators and nitrogen fixing plants.
- As a balanced ecosystem, the wildlife predators keep the pests in check.
- A permanent “living mulch” ground cover minimises weeds.
- Trees, perennials and soil biota sequester carbon.
- Increased biodiversity because of the wide range of plant species, the habitats these provide for wildlife and the flowers chosen for pollinators & predators.
3. Low maintenance
- No watering (all water on-site)
- Minimal weeding (permanent living ground cover)
- No digging (mostly perennials with some self-seeding annuals)
- No fertilisers (fertility from mineral accumulators and nitrogen fixers)
- No compost (compost in-situ)
The book I always recommend is Martin Crawford’s Creating a Forest Garden.
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