Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Companion Planting--Apricot understory for winter harvest.

While you're planning for the garden year, here's a quick profile of the companion plants that surround our apricot tree. It's too early to call this an overall "success," since the guild is only 2 years old. However, I can say it has been both very low maintenance and provided us with a very nice yield as we wait for our first apricots. And, although fast growth was not a goal for us here but for better or worse, this tree has beaten its expected growth's rate.

Apricot understory:
--Yarrow and salad burnet for chop & drop mulching.
--Woody herbs, oregano, hyssop, and lavender as fortress plants to fight the grass, and to provide woody mulch. 
--Herbs for eating, including garlic chives, burnet, walking onions, lavender, oregano, hyssop, sage, campanulas, (and yarrow.)
--Spring ephemerals for tight nutrient cycling; daffodils, camus, walking onions, crocuses.
--Ever-bearing strawberries to get my attention;
--Clover and lupines for nitrogen.
--Marshmallow and valerian grow together, just beyond the long-term drip line.

A main goal for the larger guild was to provide a perennial winter harvest that's close to our front door. Here, walking onions, camus bulbs, burnet, campanulas, sage and hyssop all provide a sustainable winter harvest without protection, if not over-picked.


  1. I do not see the last photo to your post. I think it's delicious. I have planted fruit trees in the garden this year and am also trying to surround them with guilds.

  2. Thanks for sharing this informative post. It's very helpful. Keep it up!