Forest gardening: Growing perennial fruit and veg in layers
Forest gardening is the future!
Forest gardening is a method of growing fruit and veg with a focus on growing perennial edibles (fruit and veg that live for several years) in layers, like the fertile forest edge. You do not need a big space to do this in your own garden.
In Chorlton we are trialling a mini showcase forest garden in Chorlton Community Garden on Manchester Road, M21 9PN
Although the garden is not yet open to the public, volunteers are welcome to get involved. Email Danielle if you're interested.
Productive space that generates food, plant food, herbal medicine and wildlife habitats
Variety of plants offers a good diet nutritionally
Diversity of plants atrracts more beneficial wildlife that also keeps the 'pests' in check
Low costs after set up as plants are perennial, living several years.
Less work as new plants don't need sowing each year
Some plants - like borage, fennel, rocket, nasturtium - self-seed, creating new plants all by themselves
Healthy soil that doesn't need digging, leading to fewer slugs and weeds
Undisturbed soil that locks in carbon
Deep-rooted plants bring up minerals in the soil
The ground cover layer helps keep the soil moist in dry periods, and warm during the winter
Opportunities for getting new free plants by swapping cuttings and surplus plants that have spread
Maximise your space by growing layers to use space effectively.
Get involved with From Roots to Shoots, a forest garden we are helping to create in Chorlton Community Garden.
Links to find out more about forest gardening including suppliers of perennial veg
Trees with edible leaves - some of the most nutrient-packed plants you can eat.
Agro-Forestry Research Trust - Information, courses and supplies for perennial gardening
3 min intro in Martin Crawford’s forest garden in south west England - you don't actually need this much space!
Plants for a Future - excellent searchable database covering huge range of edible perennials
A Food Forest In Your Garden by Alan Carner. Based in Scotland. Book, courses, visits.
Forest garden/edible perennial plant suppliers in UK