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Growing Fruit Trees Using SFG in Central Florida Toplef10Growing Fruit Trees Using SFG in Central Florida 1zd3ho10

Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

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Growing Fruit Trees Using SFG in Central Florida

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Post  Milo 6/4/2011, 3:29 am

Hi all,

This is my first post to this forum and, as a newbie to SFG, I have questions. Shocked Rolling Eyes Strangely, one of my primary questions does not seem to be addressed by any of the SFG literature, web sites, or forums I have read through, so I find myself here in the "Everything Else" forum as I'm not really sure where else to post this....?

I will be moving shortly to a new home in Volusia County, Florida and am planning to use the entire lawn area as an SFG experiment in edible landscaping. Starting slowly and building from there, my intent is to eventually have every bush, flowering plant and window box producing some edible variety that I can share with the local food bank, relatives, friends, neighbors, etc.

I would also like to grow fruit TREES. Not just strawberries and the like, but actual trees. There seems to be quite a variety of tropical and not-exactly-tropical fruit that can be grown in this climate zone if properly tended and protected. What I am wondering is, "how would SFG translate to growing plants whose root system will likely outgrow the raised box in which it is originally planted?" I suppose I could settle for limiting myself to only trees that will grow and fruit in containers, but I'm a "push-the-limits" kinda guy and would like to try to grow some of the more popular fruits from Cuba (my ethnic origins) which are usually rather large trees, like avocados, mangoes and the like.

Also what happens if/when the root system digs below the bottom of the layer of Mel's Mix? How will this affect nutrition and growth for the tree.

Has anyone out there tried this and how successful was the attempt?

Thanks in advance for your help and time

--Milo
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Post  quiltbea 6/4/2011, 7:49 am

I'm happy for you making an edible garden on your property.

Why would you want to grow your trees in boxes? Allow them the freedom they need for their roots to grow properly and if you want to box them in later, you could probably grow strawberries around their bases.

I envy you being able to grow the tropical fruits. Enjoy and be sure to post pictures. We love pictures.
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Post  Kelejan 6/4/2011, 9:47 am

Maybe the MM would give the trees a flying start?

Why not try planting two trees, one in each medium? It would interesting to chart the differences, if any.

Growing Fruit Trees Using SFG in Central Florida 396615 Milo. You have started out by giving us food for thought in your first post.

Kelejan, another newbie, 2nd year SFG, first year on this Oh-so-interesting forum and doing so much better than last year.
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Post  westie42 6/4/2011, 11:20 am

I admire your enthusiasm having spent a lot of time working in Miami I also think you are fortunately blessed with a natural ethnic link to enthusiasm. As for fruit trees in SFG well they do send roots down a story or two for nutrients and moisture and out sideways to the drip line would you want to go that far to support their needs. In my first opinion at best you would have easy weed tending around your fruit trees. The vegetable plants we mostly grow in SFG are annuals and have a much more limited root development. That seems to be the current success area for SFG. But best wishes in whatever you choose to try and please share your stories with us, we really don't get to hear much from South or Central Florida and it is a treat to hear from you in the sub tropics. I lived in Palmetto for four years and traveled the state in my job, it was marvellous. Fresh seafood and citrus, strawberries, BBQ and boiled peanuts what more could a man want
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Post  duhh 6/4/2011, 2:53 pm

when I was planting my trees I came across this if your soil didn't drain well, they suggest building a raised bed and planting trees.

http://www.davewilson.com/homegrown/advice/raisedbed.html

I would check out some more of their site. They talk a lot about high density planting to get more variety in a smaller space.

I would think you could do the raised bed with the tree planted in mels mix and the nutrients would seep down into the native soil. The roots shouldn't have any troubles finding their way down either.

I planted mine in our native soil and mulched a couple inches thick around to deter weeds and create better soil around the tree base.

I wish you luck! sound like a great project!
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