The Seven Layers of a Food Forest Garden

FoodForestA food forest is usually made up of seven layers to produce a garden containing edible plants and trees that are self-sustaining and can yield a lot of food in a relatively small space.  This can be a viable gardening strategy for those who do not have that much land by making the most out of your vertical space.

Here are the 7 layers of a food forest:

  1. Canopy (apples, pears, walnut, cherries, chestnut) – Should have lots of space in between the tress to let in light.  Small lots will not have enough space for these.
  2. Lower Tree Layer (persimmon, lemon, mulberry, pear, plum, apple, almond, nectarine, peach) – This layer is similar to the canopy but with Sem-dwarf and dwarf trees.  This can serve as the canopy in a smaller garden.
  3. Shrub Layer (blueberry, raspberry, hazelnut, gooseberry)
  4. Herbaceous Layer (dill, fennel, alfalfa) – May include medicinal and culinary herbs, non-woody vegetation such as perennial vegetables, mulch plants.
  5. Ground Cover Layer (garlic, onions, potatoes, radishes)
  6. Soil Surface Layer (ground cover, strawberry, clover, nasturim)
  7.  Vine Layer (kiwi, grapes, and climbing annuals such as squash and cucumbers)
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