When a landscape is filled with a huge variety of plants that generate food as a result, it is termed as a food forest. It includes edible plants that are planted in a way that mimics the natural patterns and ecosystems. And thus, a food forest encourages food production. They have 3-dimensional designs that extend their lives in three directions such as up, down, and out.
Every such forest is composed of seven layers including the understory, the herbaceous layer, the overstory, the ground cover layer, the overstory, the vine layer, and the shrub layer. With a proper understanding and implementation of these layers, one can grow more plants in a specific area without any failure.
Forest Garden Benefit – Reducing the Inputs Required
Here are different ways with which a forest garden can minimize inputs:
- More focus on trees, perennials, self-seeding annuals, and shrubs
- Shading soil and suppressing weeds through ground covers and thick planting
- Plant array of plants to attract helpful insects for pollinating while keeping a check on the pest population
- Replacing fertilizers with nutrient accumulating and nitrogen-fixing plants, moving the waste back to the land, and chop and drop ways improves soil health
- Creating a plant placement design that promotes windbreaks and microclimates
- Use of various ground shaping ways to avoid the loss of rainwater
And due to its resilience, you won’t need to plant a food forest every year. However, there may be certain factors that could cause more damage to the forest than the benefit. To be sure, you can get a forest assessment done to ensure your forest stays in the best shape.