As always, I am conducting experiments:
This time I dug stations for corn and instead of interplanting with pigeon peas, I interplanted the corn with the seeds of various nitrogen-fixing tree species. The peas are good too, but they aren’t as big as the trees I am planting. We need lots of biomass to build up the fruit trees and create mulch for the food forest. I am not messing around!
So far in the mix I have Delonix regia, Leucaena leucocephela, Erythrina poepiggiana, Samanea saman, Inga laurina and maybe a half-dozen other species I found. They will be allowed to grow up to 6′ plus, then I will pollard them at 6′ during the rainy season and allow them to grow back and shade the ground in the dry season.
Here’s a video I filmed this morning of the corn and trees coming up:
I don’t care about the corn being fed or not fed by the nitrogen-fixing trees. The corn is just there to get me a yield while the trees grow. If we plant enough biomass producers into the food forest, we will be able to rapidly improve the soil over the next year and greatly increase the success of our trees.
The rainy season is just starting now. In a few months, this food forest will look incredible.
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This is a super interesting idea! I’ve done some research on companion-planting and it’s hard to get right! Thanks for sharing!
Bought plants from you in Gainesville a while back. Wondering if Inga laurina or the dwarf are frost hardy enough for zone 9 Plataka?