Fruit Orchard Experiment

Hello all, over the next few months I am going to be running an experiment where I try and grow a bunch of fruit trees from seed. Yes, I know that the fruit may have a lower quality and that it will take longer to actually produce something, I am just curious to see the results.

To begin with, I will provide you with some info about the climate I will be growing in. I live in Australia in a temperate zone with hot, dry summers and mild, wet winters. While it may be mild, there are still quite a few frosts each year which provide enough chill hours for most fruit.

While in a perfect world I would be able to run this experiment like I have seen other permaculturists do, that is, no watering or fertilising, I feel like I won’t be able to do this. The summers are just to harsh and will likely kill the seedlings very quickly, so I am going to have to water them (although the absolute bare minimum).

The majority of the seeds are going to be provided courtesy of the supermarket, which ensures that what I grow I know that we eat. Again, purely out of curiosity I may try and find some seeds online and plant them too. If you have any ideas of what grows well from seed, please leave some suggestions in the comments!

The second part of the experiment will be creating guilds around the trees. I am quite inexperienced in this realm and so will be using a LOT of trial and error. The guilds will likely be a mix of perennials and annuals, who knows, some of these may also be planted courtesy of the supermarket too.

The current list of what I am going to try and grow is this:

  • Peaches
  • Nectarines
  • Citrus
  • Cherries
  • Passion fruit
  • Avocado
  • Mango
  • Some nut trees (frankly don’t know how this will go)
  • Anything else that seems interesting

The fun thing about growing the trees from seed will be the genetic diversity it creates. No two plants will be the same, for better or for worse. From my own research, it appears that seed grown trees are also far more vigorous than trees grown from cuttings. Doesn’t seem like a bad deal- better trees for cheaper.

The thought of in 5 years time having a bunch of productive fruit trees around my property is also inspiring, and who knows, if SHTF, I may be very thankful...

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