Tropical Fruit Forum - International Tropical Fruit Growers

Tropical Fruit => Tropical Fruit Discussion => Topic started by: Frog Valley Farm on October 15, 2020, 06:42:48 AM

Title: Companion planting for Fruit Trees
Post by: Frog Valley Farm on October 15, 2020, 06:42:48 AM
Growing and observing 1000í of fruit trees I have found some good companion plants to grow with various fruit trees.
In Florida with our white sand the most important thing is having living roots and plants covering the sand.  Carbon in the ground from the living roots is key for soil health/building here.

Cesar Weed is excellent grown adjacent Garcinias.

Inter cropping vegetables between young Mangos is a good way to improve soil health.

The Ginger, Alpinia roxburghi acts like a nitrogen fixer and seems excellent with most trees like Mango, Annonas, Garcinias

Everything seems to like a mix of Bidenís, grasses, herbs and clovers like Kwai Muk.

Ingas, Guanabanas, Garcinias, mangos citrus and oak tree work well in combination with mix grass, herb Legume Biden in an undisturbed orchard floor system here.  The list goes on.  Anybody else care to share knowledge on what works for them?



(https://i.postimg.cc/njWQJXPC/AB02-F60-F-08-A0-4744-A150-116-B6-C133452.jpg) (https://postimg.cc/njWQJXPC)
Garcinia humilis ginger

(https://i.postimg.cc/sB6MYByw/D99-E4-D2-B-D024-4737-A5-DB-333-B2-D605-D1-D.jpg) (https://postimg.cc/sB6MYByw)
Sugar Apple, other Anonas, ginger system.  Annonas seem to like this particular ginger as seen 300í SA planted every 10í ginger between plants. 
(https://i.postimg.cc/9RLsFhd4/C2-D07-CDD-E514-4-AB4-80-A4-665-C717-FD70-A.jpg) (https://postimg.cc/9RLsFhd4)
Sat Apple, Garcinia, Inga, Ross Sapote, juicy Pearls, others intercropped vegi garden.

(https://i.postimg.cc/K3cHgv77/DD9-C5642-97-CF-4679-B988-DA0-E1-D59-B04-D.jpg) (https://postimg.cc/K3cHgv77)
Flowering seedling Kwai Muk, Garcinias, animas mix system

(https://i.postimg.cc/QH3W4K6q/E5785570-DCCD-4-C0-F-8525-504-C86066-D57.jpg) (https://postimg.cc/QH3W4K6q)
Inga, guanabanas, Garcinia. Mango, same system.

(https://i.postimg.cc/G8bvBBZK/111-E469-A-B1-A4-4-AFA-A324-4-BB5601-C9-B05.jpg) (https://postimg.cc/G8bvBBZK)
Black Sapote, garcinia Nango Sapodilla, same system

(https://i.postimg.cc/Sn6x5gvT/F347-CCD0-9312-416-E-8-D05-D7-FA4-AF60-FBF.jpg) (https://postimg.cc/Sn6x5gvT)
Garcinia humilis Cesar Weed dragon fruit, Banana, Mango system
Title: Re: Companion planting for Fruit Trees
Post by: johnb51 on October 15, 2020, 09:02:11 AM
What is the best practice in a home garden setting where you don't have the luxury of plenty of land?  And where cities and especially HOA's LOVE sod above all else!  We have always been told to clear sod from around fruit trees and to mulch.  Is there a better practice?
Title: Re: Companion planting for Fruit Trees
Post by: Frog Valley Farm on October 15, 2020, 09:11:41 AM
A design plan to show them.  I had to take classes and learn what do then get certified as everyone, well 99 percent try and make you do it their way which was wrong and usually doesnít grow nutrient dense flavorful fruit.  Which is our main goal.


Title: Re: Companion planting for Fruit Trees
Post by: Mike T on October 15, 2020, 09:14:20 AM
With big areas complexity of structure and lots of biomass that gets 'recycled' is good. Leaves dropping and deep mulch and leaf litter or even big trees are not so easy in smaller areas. You can still plant successionally and have species that complement each other.
Title: Re: Companion planting for Fruit Trees
Post by: Finca La Isla on October 15, 2020, 08:33:46 PM
Very interesting.
Iím motivated to copy what works in nature.  What I see in your photos is something like what can be seen in our area after a pasture is abandoned.  Grass and weeds grow high, shading out the surface.  Woody bushes start up and then better quality trees develop and start to form a canopy.  You would be, in this scenario, pre canopy.  Iím wondering how effective your ground covers are at soil building.  I know a guy in panama who likes to work like this although his place is now way over shaded out.  Do you expect to eventually shade out your low growth?  Lots of interesting combinations.
Our farm tries to imitate the forest.  Thereís lots of forest on our property and our observation is that the trees in the forest grow real well.  Underneath those trees is deep leaf litter so that is what we go with under our fruit trees.  We achieve that by using chop and drop, pruning material, and rotten log pieces that we get from the forest.  Biochar and microorganisms push this process along.
It would be fun to walk around your project, congratulations!
Peter
Title: Re: Companion planting for Fruit Trees
Post by: Mike T on October 15, 2020, 11:55:34 PM
Forests are not in a soil accretion phase as soil is mature but are sustainable and recycling happens pretty fast.Soil tests don't tell you where most nutrients are which is in the trees. To build up soil you need lots of input and much less output of organic matter and nutrients.
Title: Re: Companion planting for Fruit Trees
Post by: Frog Valley Farm on October 16, 2020, 08:36:38 AM
Very interesting.
Iím motivated to copy what works in nature.  What I see in your photos is something like what can be seen in our area after a pasture is abandoned.  Grass and weeds grow high, shading out the surface.  Woody bushes start up and then better quality trees develop and start to form a canopy.  You would be, in this scenario, pre canopy.  Iím wondering how effective your ground covers are at soil building.  I know a guy in panama who likes to work like this although his place is now way over shaded out.  Do you expect to eventually shade out your low growth?  Lots of interesting combinations.
Our farm tries to imitate the forest.  Thereís lots of forest on our property and our observation is that the trees in the forest grow real well.  Underneath those trees is deep leaf litter so that is what we go with under our fruit trees.  We achieve that by using chop and drop, pruning material, and rotten log pieces that we get from the forest.  Biochar and microorganisms push this process along.
It would be fun to walk around your project, congratulations!
Peter

Thank you Peter, I would like to walk around your place more!

Around Florida old growth Oak Trees are The Canopy.  We have several but underneath was kept as lawn mowed weekly for 50 years with heavy machinery.  This practice was killing the old trees from incorrect  land management that compacted wet sand and welcomed all its problems for growing.  We have fixed and are fixing the problem.  We are the only property that doesnít have standing water near to us.  I know how to build soil from our Florida fine sand.  Soil building is what we do.  Yes this looks like areas around you because you people still know how to grow.  Same with Europe, Australia and most places.  In Florida they like it mowed and beat down, which kills any soil building chances and they will ridicule you for trying to it.  Flat land with white sand needs to be held together with roots.  Our grass and weed which is our orchard floor is our insectaria and native plant habitat helps us build soil here. 

Unfortunately we are Floridiots, 1 brain shared by all, who canít even grow an orange anymore.  Iím trying to change that.  For the better!
(https://i.postimg.cc/8fdszgh3/38276-C87-037-C-4-A8-B-922-B-7-B8-B6-FC7-A78-B.jpg) (https://postimg.cc/8fdszgh3)

(https://i.postimg.cc/V0Pdwkbn/3-F3-ADB96-A11-C-4-E6-F-ADB1-2-BD109-D24-D52.jpg) (https://postimg.cc/V0Pdwkbn)

(https://i.postimg.cc/hfpPyrM9/93-DB981-E-E702-4-B52-831-B-66-A153-B591-A0.jpg) (https://postimg.cc/hfpPyrM9)
This was lawn I just started adding plants until it look agreeable then planted Cacao and Patinoa some other exotics.
(https://i.postimg.cc/621nsvr3/16507-F65-AB64-49-DB-9302-397885475036.jpg) (https://postimg.cc/621nsvr3)
It also helps that we have very large nitrogen fixing trees interspersed.
Title: Re: Companion planting for Fruit Trees
Post by: Finca La Isla on October 16, 2020, 12:30:14 PM
Cool.  I think that we have very similar goals and some of the same crops while working in very different situations.  What I am seeing at your project is what I have called living mulch.
  My cultivated areas are openings in the rainforest.  Grass shows up when there is enough sun hitting the ground, especially in newly planted areas.  As you can see in the photos the idea is not to have grass under the trees, like what we see in our forest.  In the photo of the rambutan harvest you can see that there is dry leaf litter and a lot of pruning material associated with the harvest.  This will get chopped up by machete and spread around.
Whatís more typical, and I battle this all the time on consultations, is the clearing and piling of branches and leaves, even burning!
Weíve been at this for a long time so where the trees are mature they maintain some acceptable level of natural mulch, depending.  Cacao is pretty good at this as it drops large amounts of leaves and we shade it with other trees as well.mangosteen is pretty good too.
The top photo shows a mature area with champedek and mangosteen.  The next one is a 6 year old durian with sun all around it.  Weíve brought leaf litter from the forest to supplement the mulch.  We also have been adding biochar to the drip line and applying microorganisms to convert the mulch to plant food.  We are also prone to use some manures and worm castings.
I am comfortable that these amendments can be found naturally in the forest and so fit the framework of what I call imitating whatís occurring naturally in our rainforest.
Peter
(https://i.postimg.cc/bdBjcwPW/782-A50-C9-D23-F-46-C5-B64-B-74743034-E806.jpg) (https://postimg.cc/bdBjcwPW)

(https://i.postimg.cc/S21HhDBC/84992393-7609-45-CB-B8-FF-F61-A058398-AB.jpg) (https://postimg.cc/S21HhDBC)

(https://i.postimg.cc/sGcy7pq2/FD793592-B882-48-C6-B4-FF-061232-D4-F504.jpg) (https://postimg.cc/sGcy7pq2)
Title: Re: Companion planting for Fruit Trees
Post by: Mike T on October 16, 2020, 04:51:28 PM
Great stuff and mulch in big amounts from local forest or trees you don't want on your own place will get soil going fast. If you have local nutrient deficiencies local plants are adapted to cope and the deficiencies are reflected in the mulch so still need to be corrected.
Title: Re: Companion planting for Fruit Trees
Post by: Mike T on October 17, 2020, 08:13:37 PM
Not all fruit trees are in the market for companionship and have a preference for space of their own. You can however mix it up in a fruit forest way I think with species with different nutrient, sun and water requirements as well as sizes together to get maximum yield in a small area. If you are not continually bringing in nutrients and mulch, and mulching what you have there already however, there will be a day of reckoning. Fruit production takes a good deal of nutrients and trees are budgeting on what they can afford to produce.
Title: Re: Companion planting for Fruit Trees
Post by: roblack on October 17, 2020, 09:03:55 PM
I like throwing in a variety of mints, basils, gingers, turmerics, and other herbs, underneath and between fruit trees.

Tons of peppers.

Pineapples are welcome as well.
Title: Re: Companion planting for Fruit Trees
Post by: Mike T on October 17, 2020, 10:15:58 PM
Let me guess white, blue and standard turmeric, 5 kinds of mint, 6 kinds of basil including mint, tarragon,oregano,parsley.coriander,marjoram.rosmary.lemon grass,kencur,galangal,krachai taro,cardemom,canna arrowroot, cress, rice paddy plant, and I won't keep going. They are some of the ones I also do.