Fences of Fruit Trees

fences of fruit trees

“Almost anyone who has a backyard or garden would do well to plant fruit trees for the years ahead. Most fruit trees, though, take more years to mature than most of us have to prepare, and take up more space than most of us have in cities or suburbs. Luckily, only a few centuries ago master gardeners developed a way to cultivate fruit in narrow spaces – one that yields more fruit, more quickly, and with a longer growing season.

Espalier is a method of growing a dwarf fruit tree along a wall or fence, binding it for support, and bending the branches to follow certain lines, as Japanese artists do with bonsai trees. Most gardeners started espaliers with a “maiden,” a one-year-old sapling that had not yet forked, and tied it to a staff of wood to keep it straight. Then they tied the desired branches to the fence or wall as they emerged, bending and pruning aggressively as the tree grew.

With the tree’s natural growth concentrated into only two dimensions, it creates many spurs looking for a chance to spread, creating more flowers and fruit than their conventional counterparts, and earlier in the trees’ life. The fruit can be picked casually while standing or sitting, with no need for the ladders or devices needed to pick many other fruit trees, and no risk of injury. Growing a tree against a south-facing wall has another advantage; not only does the tree receive maximum light and heat, but the thermal mass of the wall absorbs the heat and provides shelter from the wind. In this way trees get a longer growing season, and can grow in cooler climates than they would ordinarily tolerate.”

Read more: Fences of fruit trees. Related: Irish hedgerows.

Low-tech Vertical Garden in Ibiza, Spain

lowtech vertical garden ibiza

Jardín vertical low-tech en Ibiza” by Spanish architects Urbanarbolismo. The garden acts as a sound barrier between a club’s outdoor central courtyard and nearby appartments. The ceramic elements – used as a planting medium – are placed so that irrigation water can easily enter from above. No automated irrigation systems are required. Urbanarbolismo makes use of local plant varieties.

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Leaf Blowers Must Die

No Tech Magazine editor kills idiot with leaf blower“. One day, maybe even this autumn, the headline will link to a real news article. There might be more killings: “No object better exemplifies the worst of civilization than the leaf blower. Even the most grievous machines of mechanized death humankind has inflicted upon itself pale compared to the cosmic insult with which leaf blowers slur humanity.” Read.

Guerilla Farming

“We’ve long gardened in two raised beds in the parkway in front our house (the parkway being the space between the sidewalk and the street). This is officially city property, though we are responsible for maintaining it. It gets great morning light, so it’s a valuable growing space. It’s also fun to garden out in public, so we can talk to our neighbors and get all the fresh gossip, and show little kids what food looks when its growing. The drawback to a public garden, of course, is that it is defenseless.” Read. Via Dinosaurs & Robots.

Water Batteries for Trees

water batteries for trees

“Using groundwater to grow crops and trees doesn’t make sense to Pieter Hoff, a Dutch inventor. Not only are traditional irrigation techniques inefficient because most of the water is lost to evaporation, Mr. Hoff says, but water can be easily captured from the atmosphere to grow just about anything.

To prove his point, Mr. Hoff retired from the lily and tulip export business in 2003, established his company, AquaPro, and devoted himself to the development of the Groasis Waterboxx (manuals), which he says will grow food crops and trees even in the driest places on earth.” Read more.

Maximizing Growing Space


Maximizing growing space
“If you want to grow food but don’t have a garden or an allotment then lack of space is probably one of your biggest challenges. But it’s amazing what you can do with even a small outdoor space. Indeed, lack of space can be a great inspiration to get creative.”

Vertical Veg – high yields from tiny spaces. Has very good links, too.