Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Fruits and Nuts

The forest garden I intend to plant will consist of 25 black walnut trees and several compatible species.  That limits the field to only a few species which don't seem to mind the juglone (5-hydroxy-alphanapthaquinone) that black walnut roots secrete.  A recommended native plant guild for black walnut* from Maryland permaculturist Michael Judd consists of:

  • Goumi bush - producing a juicy, red berry in June (use 2 varieties; won't tolerate wet soil)
  • Persimmon* - delicious Diospyros (Food of the Gods) virginiana (requires full sun; dioecious {requires a male tree}; half the height of black walnut)
  • Paw paw - custard cream tropical fruit for making smoothies (full sun best; half the height of persimmon)
  • Mulberry - exotic berry flavor (tolerates shade; a bit larger than paw paw tree)
  • Currants - tart to sweet from black to pink nutritious berries (a shrub that grows well next to trees)
  • Black raspberry - (not out-of-control like blackberries)
  • Alpine strawberry - smaller fruit than commercial varieties (ground cover)
  • Elderberry* - small, juicy fruit in June/July (likes wet soil, so double up the biochar; to 12')
  • Goldenseal - flowery (medicinal) herb
Available cheap through the Maryland online nursery.  Plant one in every patch.

If there is any room left over in some of these patches, other plants might be considered for inclusion. Everything else should be planted 50 feet or more away from the black walnut to prevent juglone poisoning, which means all these patches have to be well away from my existing plantings.

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