Plantings will include approximately 30 mostly deciduous fruit and nut trees grouped to suit soil moisture, microclimate and pollination. Species and varieties will also be selected for resistance to disease and pests and for fruiting outside peak pest times. Failure to thrive or unresolved pest problems may lead to replacement of some trees with other varieties which have been proven locally.
Trees will be placed 6 metres apart on a contour with pioneer or understorey shrub inter-plantings between each tree to provide protection from the elements and build soil fertility by fixing nitrogen. This spacing will allow adequate light and air movement and room for a suitable guild under-planting. Trees will in general be trained to a ‘standard’ form – open vase or modified central leader to a maximum height of 4m.
Supporting areas will include fruiting shrubs, temporary plantings of root and tuberous plants and perennial plants that will improve water infiltration and protect and feed the beneficial soil organisms with mulch. These and other plantings around the site will also provide food and shelter for beneficial birds, animals and insects. A possible wind break is proposed on the adjacent block.
Soil fertility will be built by the initial addition of compost and rock dust, using nitrogen fixers and accumulator plants to ‘mine’ fertility from the air and sub-soil, and by the retention of all healthy plant material on-site
Initial watering will be by hand. Overland run off will be captured and infiltrated in to the ground via mulch and a system of berm and swales.