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the guilded apple

March 1, 2011

the apple tree, hemmed in by grass!

mulching the lawn again, we just can't get enough!

ready to start an apple guild

It seems it wasn’t enough to take out the grass in the front, now we are sneaking it out of the back! Well, just a little. This year’s mulch project is “under the apple tree”. There is an apple tree in a corner with black plastic and bark right up to the trunk and lawn about two feet away.

We decided to free this apple and create an apple guild. An apple guild is a symbiotic planting under an apple tree where various specific plants provide for the needs of the tree and each other. First, we mulched up to the tree dripline (the outer edges of the branches) so the roots are safe from grass taking up all the nutrients. Then we planted bulbs at the edge. This is supposed to help keep the grass from encroaching on the new planting area. We already had a bunch of bulbs that were dug up when a rosebush was relocated so we used those. Daffodils are supposed to have anti-gopher properties, so we might add some of those too. A few stepping stones gleaned from our last house’s yard lead to a bench under the tree.

This spot is especially nice for sitting and seeing most of the yard (and a playing kid) and I think in the summer it will be really great to have a shady spot to knit or read or hang out. Eventually there will be treats here too, a nasturtium flower here, an apple there.

This is as far as we have gone with the transformation, since February just ended. When the frost danger is past, we’ll go to work adding mulching plants and nutrient plants. The idea is the have all the tree’s needs provided for so no one has to bring in mulch, black plastic, compost or anything again, and to have the plants be beautiful and useful. I can’t wait to see what happens!

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