Our Orchard Design & Development

Mar 26, 2015

here, which we’re slowly, but surely nudging towards looking something like the sketch below… orchard sketchWe don’t really have a good photo of what this space looked like before we started work on it. But here’s a photo of the excavator moving rubbish (the previous owner dumped there) when we were in the early stages of getting things started. DSC03057 At the moment it looks like this. IMAG0230 One of the first things we did when we stablised the main steep bank was plant it out with lots of vigorous seeds including white clover, calendula, borage, corn flowers and nasturtiums – plus we had volunteers such as dock and plantain spring up everywhere to ‘hold’ the bank together. We’re now enjoying the “instant” beauty of these plants while we wait for all the native ground covers and small bushes to grow. They’re so small you can’t see them in this photo, but they’re there! IMAG0233 The central path has been dug out on contour, filled with these fancy things which look like milk crates (designed for grey water systems), wrapped in geo fabric and back filled with woodchips. Most of the time it’s an empty space, over designed to be able to cope with crazy floods (just in case) so there’s no risk of it flooding or causing water logging with the plant’s roots. Eventually we’ll be directing greywater from our house (kitchen/bathroom water) into this absorption trench, currently this is where the overflow from our rain tank (which is so big it never over flows) is directed.

IMG_2164

Globe artichokes and comfrey have been planted on the downhill side of the slope to capture excess water runoff (they love moist, fertile spaces) and to stablise the slope.The comfrey also gets slashed back a couple of times every summer and used as mulch for the fruit trees.

IMG_2171A young apple tree in its early days of being trained along the wires

IMG_2172One of our cherry trees being ‘fan’ espaliered

IMG_2169 We cut down the existing wild plum tree (which was all pip and no flesh) and did a bark graft with a super awesome plum variety. It’s looking pretty exciting and promising!

IMG_2166Kiwi vine with perennial nasturtium and a rogue cape gooseberry in the background

We also planted hops which are a perennial crop that grow super tall into Summer and get cut down every Autumn. The idea is that they can be trained along the same framework as the fruit trees and kiwis, just at a different height, so they can all live harmoniously in a compact space.

IMG_2160

988952_931631203537792_8210469918187294265_n

Anton and some of our hops – our first harvest from our young orchard space.

In the photo below, you can see a fluffy plant on the bottom right, along the line of espaliered fruit trees – this is asparagus, which has gotta go. It’s simply too big and dominating for our super compact orchard and will compete with our fruit trees for nutrients and space above and below the ground. I had a moment of false enthusiasm when I planted it so will be transplanting it into another space this coming Winter. In a larger orchard, asparagus can be planted easily, we’re just a bit space poor on our crazy steep slope.

IMAG0234_BURST002_COVER One day in the not too far future the empty lines of wire you can see will be covered in kiwi vines and mature fruit trees. It will be pretty spunky. But we reckon it looks pretty spunky right now compared to the massively weedy mess it was when we started – think large sprawling cotoneasters and rosehips with thorns that could rip your eyes out. We kinda already feel like we’ve ‘made it’, imagine how we’ll feel once we’re hanging out in there, enjoying some homebrew and eating fruit straight off the tree… Good, really good.]]>

your thoughts:

5 Comments

  1. Kathy

    A compact orchard is a beautiful way to phrase it! Espaliered apples can be just as productive (if not more so) than their standard counterparts! I had a huge harvest of over 130kg of apples off mine this year, check it out! http://bit.ly/1BI7bzx

    Reply
  2. Joel

    Gosh, it’s so great to see your orchard progress! So much inspiration, thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  3. Hannah Moloney

    Thank Joel! It’s been a bit of a slog, so it’s great to see it coming together!

    Reply
  4. Rebecca

    Hi Hannah. Am wondering where you got your “milk crate” drainage things? Just came across you site. It all looks great.

    Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You might also like…

Reo Mesh Garden Arches

Reo Mesh Garden Arches

I'm a big fan of reinforcement mesh (aka reo mash) as a material to use for making simple and super strong and versatile structures for plants to grow on. I'm always keeping an eye out for scraps of the meh at our local tip shop, alas it's highly sort after. So...

Verticillium Wilt In Your Fruit Trees? Bugger.

Verticillium Wilt In Your Fruit Trees? Bugger.

Over the past few years I've been trying to figure out what's wrong with my two apricot trees as they've never really thrived. Symptoms included not fruiting well, sparse leaf and dead wood starting to appear in the canopy branches. Finally this year while we were...

Home Harvest: Thoughts & A Virtual Tour 2023

Home Harvest: Thoughts & A Virtual Tour 2023

Home Harvest is an edible garden trail around nipaluna/Hobart that we started in collaboration with the City of Hobart in 2020. Here’s some images and videos (further below) from 2023 to give you a taster! Over 700 people took themselves around to some incredibly diverse edible gardens and just had such a great time. Talking […]

Home Harvest 2023: Host Call Out!

Home Harvest 2023: Host Call Out!

We’re happy to announce we’re working with Eat Well Tasmania and Sustainable Living Tasmania to hold our fourth annual “Home Harvest” garden tour in the nipaluna/Hobart region!  Special thanks to the City of Hobart for funding this great initiative. Home Harvest is going to be a one day event on Sunday March 19th, 2023 in and around nipaluna/Hobart where […]

Crowdsourcing Photos For My New Book!

Crowdsourcing Photos For My New Book!

Hi Friends, I’m in the process of writing my second book about how to grow food in any climate in Australia (due out late 2023 with Affirm Press). As it’s covering the whole, vast country I would so very dearly love to include photos of edible gardens in different climates to show folks what’s possible […]

Mounding Potatoes – Or Not

Mounding Potatoes – Or Not

There are many varieties of potatoes (aka spuds) but only two key categories they all fall into. Determinate and indeterminate. Determinate potatoes don’t grow very tall and only produce spuds in one layer of soil so you don’t need to mound them. They also generally mature quicker than indeterminate types, a good thing to know […]

Eat Those Weeds

Eat Those Weeds

I’m a big fan of eating weeds. But first, what even is a weed? A common description is that it’s simply a plant in the wrong place – meaning us humans don’t want it there as it may be compromising the ecological integrity of that place or crowding other plants we want to thrive. But […]

How To Make a Fancy Clutch From Scraps

How To Make a Fancy Clutch From Scraps

I recently went to the TV Week Logies with dear Costa, representing the wonderful Gardening Australia. While we didn’t win our category, we did have a lot of fun celebrating gardening. Costa Georgiadis and I on the red carpet! Yes, he does fit perfectly in my armpit nook. We also had a lot of fun […]

How To Grow Food From Scraps

How To Grow Food From Scraps

As I have a large garden and the luxury of space, I don’t usually make time to experiment with growing food in tight spaces. But I’ve always been curious about growing food from scraps. So I made the time – thank you curiosity. I saved some scraps from going straight into the compost bin and […]

Vote For Gardening Australia!

Vote For Gardening Australia!

Hello Dear Friends, I have two bits of exciting news to share with you, which can be summed up with Costa’s (host of Gardening Australia) gorgeous smile below… After being a guest presenter on Gardening Australia since 2019, I recently became an official permanent member of their team. Oh the joy!!! This is very exciting […]