Well, we have finally moved, and I have a Lot more room to play with. Half an acre, in fact.

While we were still house hunting I started watching videos about permaculture orchards and gardens on Youtube and stumbled across a new idea (well, new to me) called 'Food Forests'. The idea is, instead of planting fruit trees with grass or maybe a herbal ley underneath, you plant all the layers you find in a forest: tall trees, short trees, shrubs, vines, ground cover, root crops. You also plan for the needs of your fruit trees, planting things that will be good for 'chopping and dropping' as mulch, plants that will accumulate nutrients and plants that fix nitrogen.

I also found some very inspirational video's about using woodchips in your vege garden and orchard, starting with the 'Back to Eden' movie.

So when we found this house and there was a huge pile of woodchips over the fence, I knew it was meant to be :)

First, I put woodchips under the existing lemon tree.

I put underfelt under the woodchips, but I plan to remove it later as, upon reflection, I don't think the soil and the lemon tree are going to reap the full benefit of the woodchips with the underfelt forming a barrier between the chips and the soil.

Then I started digging holes. Really big holes. And filling them back in again with a mix of soil, compost and fertilizer. 

In the first hole we planted a Mandarin - Satsuma that a lovely friend gave to me.

And then underfelt (which I will remove) and woodchips.

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