Short Course in Vimmerby

It gets a little sparser between the posts so the middle of summer, but here is a brief report of an introductory course in forest gardens that I kept on the farm Bast Fall (www.bastefallarn.se).

The course was a fun challenge because we started from a field or meadow which is often the case when dealing with the construction of forest gardens, but we aimed to develop an already very beautiful, but not very productive fruit grove on the farm.

The beautiful fruit grove where forest garden will be to.
The beautiful fruit grove where forest garden will be to.

The actual location of the forest garden, we chose based on the criteria I described in a previous post. Since we observed the site in more detail and put out the plants that I had with me.

Participants observe the scene from a checklist.
Participants observe the scene from a checklist.

In order to select the right plants requires plant knowledge and we went through some 40 suitable forest garden plants. The selection is based on that they should be relatively easy to grow and ideally fairly easy to get hold of and resistant to the growth zone 4 or 5. The following woody plants are on the list:

Scientific NameSwedish nameEnglish nameLayerEdible partWidth (m)Height (m)Other
Actinidia kolomiktaHardy kiwiSuper hardy kiwiCLIMBERFruits6
Alnus glutinosaEuropean alderAlderKronNo10-1515-20N-fixerande
Amelanchier alnifoliaSaskatoonberrySaskatoonShrubsFruits22-3
Aronia melanocarpaBlack ChokeberryBlack aroniaShrubsFruits2-32-3
Caragana aborescensSiberian Pea-shrubSiberian pea treeShrubsSeeds, flowers22-3N-fixerande
Castanea spp.ChestnutsChestnutKronCattle10-1515-20
Corylus colurnaTurkism trädhasselTree hazelKronCattle10-1515-20
Corylus spp.HasselnötHazelKronCattle5-65-6Sheet
Elaeagnus umbellataKorean silver shrubsAutmn OliveShrubsFruits4-64-6N-fixerande
Hippophaë rhamnoidesHavtornSea buckthornShrubsFruits53-4N-fixerande
Juglans ailantifolia var. cordiformisHeart notesHeartnutKronCattle1515Producing herbicide
Juglans cinereaBlack walnutButternutKronCattle2020Producing herbicide
Lonicera caeruleaBlåbärstryHoneysuckleShrubsFruits1,51,5Biväxt
Malus domesticaAppleAppleKronFruits3-83-8
Pinus sylvestris (sibirica)CembratallCembra pineKronCattle1520
Prunus domesticaPlumsPlumsKronFruits3-73-7
Ribes nigrumBlackcurrantsBlackcurrantShrubsFruits1-21-2
Ribes rubrumRed currantsRedcurrantShrubsFruits1-21-2
Ribes uva-crispaGooseberriesGooseberryShrubsFruits1-21-2
Rubus idaeusRaspberriesRaspberryShrubsFruits1-2
Sorbus aucuparia var. edulisSötrönnRowan/Moiuntain AshKronFruits8
Tilia spp.LindLime/lindenKronSheet44
Vitis labruskaLabruskavinHardy vineCLIMBERFruits20

The walnuts are included to many ask for them, but it comes to placing them in the right way, because they produce plant toxin juglone as many other plants can not tolerate. More about walnuts in a series about nötodling in Sweden which I will publish in the autumn. The herbaceous plants I recommend is:

Scientific NameSwedish nameEnglish nameLayerEdible partOther
Allium cepa var. proliferumLuftlökEgyptian onionÖrtskiktetSheet
Allium ursinumRamslökRamsonÖrtskiktetSheet
Althaea officinalisLäkemalvaMarsh mallowÖrtskiktetSheet
American apiosPotatisbönaGround nutCLIMBERRotknölarN-fixerande
Chenopodium bonus-henricusGood henriks mållaGood King HenryÖrtskiktetSheet
Claytonia sibiricaVårskönaSiberian purslaneÖrtskiktetSheet
Crambe maritimaStrandkålSea KaleÖrtskiktetSheet
Duchesnea indicaSkensmultronFalse strawberryÖrtskiktetFruits
Fragaria viridisBacksmultronGreen strawberryÖrtskiktetFruits
Hablitzia tamnoidesRankspenatCaucasian spinachCLIMBERSheet
Helianthus tuberosumJerusalem artichokeJerusalem artichokeÖrtskiktetRotknölar
Hosta spp.FunkiaHostasÖrtskiktetSheet
Malva moschataMyskmalvaMusk-mallowÖrtskiktetSheet, flowers
Mateuccia struthiopterisOstrich fernOstrich fernÖrtskiktetSheet
Mentha spp.MintThanÖrtskiktetSheet
Myrrhis odorataSpanish chervilSweet cicelyÖrtskiktetSheet
Irregularities vulgareKungsmyntaOreganoÖrtskiktetSheet
Oxyria digynaScales AcidMountain sorrelÖrtskiktetSheet
Rumex acetosaGarden AcidThe Garden sorrelÖrtskiktetSheet
Rumex patientiaSpenatskräppa / Roman spinachPatience dockÖrtskiktetSheet
Sium sisarumSockerrotSkirretÖrtskiktetRotknölar
Stachys affinisKorogiChinese artichokeÖrtskiktetRotknölar
CLOVERWhite cloverWhite cloverÖrtskiktetNoN-fixerande

After placement of the woody plants, we began to cover the ground around the trees with soaked newspaper and corrugated cardboard. To my knowledge there is no problem with the ink long, because it will quickly break down in nature without leaving any toxins left in the ground. But one should beware of old newspapers (some participants had brought newspapers from the 1980s!) because they may contain heavy metals.

The ground around the trees are covered with cardboard, earlier solutions and half-rotten straw.
The ground around the trees are covered with cardboard, earlier solutions and half-rotten straw.

For a while it looked right messy out, but the organic ground cover causes the moisture is retained better in the ground, earthworms and other soil organisms thrive better, that the earth is slowly improved and enriched with humus which is important for fertility and not least to the grass that compete hard with the small forest garden plants covered away.

For a while it looked a bit messy in the future forest garden ...
For a while it looked a bit messy in the future forest garden…

We laid out the half-rotten straw in the papers and corrugated board, partly to keep them in case it starts to blow, partly to make the garden more attractive and not least to give the soil living organisms much to eat. Finally, we planted örtskiktet and some vines that will climb up on the already established vegetation around.

...but in the end all thought it was fine!
…but in the end all thought it was fine!

Now is the time to water each plant thoroughly, preferably every day when it is hot and dry. Moreover, the mulch replenished at regular intervals and any weeds that cuts through holes in the ground cover to be covered away. Hopefully eating killer slugs and hens on the farm is not up the smallest plants, but you have to remember that a forest garden is anything but unearned in the first years!

1 thought on “Short Course in Vimmerby”

  • It was a very interesting course, inspiring and very good facts.
    Over time, the NAND part of ödetomten one skogsträsgård.
    Thank you from us for Nässjö

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