Very Edible Gardens Uganda-VEGU is proposing an establishment of an Orchard and this is nothing other Orchard Michi-a Multi-Fruit Orchard.
Orchards are intensive areas of cultivation which is found in Zones:2 mostly. In Permaculture designs, an orchard can be considered a food forest because it produces plenty of fruits. So Orchard Michi will be our food forest. That is, it contains a diversity of trees hence many fruit. We are proposing it to be a mixed planted orchard to encourage predators which feed on pest and also to confuse pests which will be great if successfully done.
It should also be noted that an Orchard and poultry systems can go easily together and are the next greatest area of intensity after zone 1. The poultry are placed according to the best advantages for free ranging and shelter. Chickens should be within easy access to an orchard and or used as tractor in vegetable garden. Chicken and or pig tractor systems are the only really effective ways to grow organic Vegetables commercially.
N.B If Poultry and pigs are to be introduced; they should be introduced later [2years] after the fruit trees have grown. This is so to prevent damaging of trees.
These are steps how VEGU will raise and grow a multi-fruit orchard. Fruit trees grow in standard, semi-dwarf and dwarf varieties.
You should know that fruit trees grow in a range of shapes, sizes and varieties, but always produce sweet, juicy harvests. All fruit trees require some of the some basic growing conditions for growth and harvest, including sun, warmth, nutrition and water. This leads to easy companion planting among trees, up to a point. If you want a multi-fruit orchard, choose a large space and trees suitable to your area. We are basing on this factor to plant mangoes, citrus, chest nut, durian, ovacado, pawpaw, bananas, jack fruits, guavas etc adding on the already fruit trees that are on the ground.
N.B Apart from banana that will be planted in plenty, VEGU is aiming at planting at least ten-more of each of the fruit trees mentioned above for the benefits of Apiary, good pollination and plenty fruit production for both consumption and market.
As bushing burning is one of the commonest activities local people here practices during the dry season, VEGU turns this problem into solution. So here VEGU is to use a practical technique which is planting bananas onto the boundaries. This is very important because bananas have got big leaves and are ever green enough to solve this problem. This technique is not tiresome but can stop the over blazing fire from entering the Orchard from the south-east, west and south-west direction into this zone.
Requirements or tools needed for this work include seedlings, hoe, machete, organic compost, mulch, gloves, and garden folk, pruning shears.
For anybody out there who would wish to grow fruit trees, you can follow are steps if our factors suit your area too.
1. Start all fruit tree seedlings in spring when the ground warms and thaws. These reduce shock to the new trees and makes digging easier. Plant 1 to 2 year old nursery seedling for best success.
2. Select the trees according to the growing zone you are in. Trees such as apples, apricots, cherries and plums grows well in cold areas and peaches, nectarines, pears too fits well in such a cold area like the U.S.A. Here in Tropical areas i.e. Africa and other part of the world that are related to that of Africa, fruit trees such as mangoes, jack fruits, bananas, chest nut, durian, ovacado, pawpaw, guavas etc and citrus trees like oranges, lemons, limes can grow happily due to suitability of the climate and weather towards the well being of these trees.
3. Choosing the site for the orchard should be in the hands of the owner. Select a place where each tree will get full sun, good air, good site drainage, and at least each tree should be in 20 feet of space but this depends on the type of tree. But if you are to plant dwarf or semi-dwarf trees, let each tree own 10-15 ft of space in the row if planting in line. It should be noted that fruit trees cannot grow or produce in shade, standing water or crowded planting.
4. Prepare the holes by tilling each hole 2ft width and 1.5ft depth per holes. N.B For bananas; 3ftwide and 2ft deep. And then turn 12-14inches [more for bananas] of organic compost into the soil for a moister, looser and more nutrious starting foundation. This foundation gives the trees the best resources and room for root growth and establishment, and provides long-term slow-release nutrition which makes plants happier.
5. Plant each fruit tree seedling in a hole as deep and twice as wide as its root ball. Fill the holes slowly with amendment soil for best root-to-soil contact and in case of shortage of rain; water each tree with ⅟₂ 5litres of water. Prune the trees down to 30-36inches as this encourages new sprouting.
6. Mulch the area around each tree with 2inches of organic mulch and put the trees on schedule of 2inches of water every week. It should be noted that the trees established, grows best with the consistent moisture and warmth.
7. If there is a problem of infertile land, often fertilize the fruit trees with granular 10-10-10 fertilizer whenever they show up new growth. Liquid manure is the best fertilizer to be used here. Just sprinkle the fertilizer onto the ground in a circle around the trees, allowing 6inches of space between the fertilizer and trunks, and then turn the fertilizer into the top 4inches of soil. Water the area after feeding.
Tips and Warning.
Prune and fertilize fruit trees every year in late rainy season or winter to early spring. Pruning encourages better circulation and light exposure at the centers of the trees, while feedings give the trees the resources they require for growth and fruit production. Give trees new compost amendments throughout the season for continued soil quality.
NB. For more information; Our Contact Details:
Mr.Nyeromeister Christopher- Permaculture Field Engineer (Is also the primary contact for all correspondence).
Mr.Mugarura Charles-Permaculture Field Designer.
Mr.Agaba Julius-Permaculture Herbal Specialist.
Byee; enjoy the Orchard!
Going Green Going Edible!!