Transform Ideas into Reality: Creating a Mini-Orchard and Permaculture Experiment in North Florida

Transform Ideas into Reality: Creating a Mini-Orchard and Permaculture Experiment in North Florida
Permaculture Design - Temperate Climate Permaculture

Renting a few places to test neighborhoods finally led to the perfect spot where I could turn my ideas into reality. In north Florida, with its year-round growing season, I wanted to create a mini-orchard and permaculture experiment in our backyard.

The project began with planning and saving for the L-shaped bed that would encompass 2500 sq feet of the back and side yards. A low stone wall was set off around it. To jumpstart the process, I ordered most of the fruit trees and placed them in 30 gallon smart pots. Then I started mapping out the vegetable container garden, roses, conifers, shrubs and mulched area.

The crew spent multiple days power tilling and hand tilling the soil, incorporating bulk compost, vermicompost, bone meal and sulphur for the blueberries. Researching permaculture concepts was an exciting part of this project as I ended up creating guilds of chives, dill, cilantro, borage, nasturtium and cerinthe while allowing other herbs like annual basil to seed around.

The final step was delivering and stacking stone for the wall base which required mortar for stability. With hurricane Matthew thrown in for good measure, it took 3 years to save for this project due to the cost of the stone but both of us were suckers for it so we made it happen.

Now, our edible landscape design is complete with hardscape highlights defining the trees, shrubs and herb beds. The butterflies love the lantanas and annual salvias planted in two big galvanized containers while blueberries are thriving thanks to research on pollinators. We're still getting used to the unpredictable weather here but it beats having ice, snow and a short growing season any day!

It's great to see such ambitious projects come together - especially when they involve nature lovers like our neighbors with their marlin house! It's also nice to hear stories from others who have had similar experiences; like finding rounded glacial stone all over eastern Wisconsin or dealing with alkaline water in southern New Jersey.

We hope our mini-orchard permaculture experiment will bring joy for many years to come!

What did the protagonist do after renting a few places to test neighborhoods?

After renting a few places to test neighborhoods, the protagonist finally found the right spot and started turning their ideas into reality.

What kind of plants did the protagonist focus on in the north?

In the north, the protagonist focused on veggies, roses and conifers mostly.

What was the protagonist's goal for the north Florida area?

In north Florida, the protagonist wanted to grow fruit trees all year round.

What did the protagonist do to get a jump start on their project?

To get a jump start, the protagonist ordered most of the fruit trees and put them into 30 gallon smart pots.

What was done to create the garden?

To create the garden, a roughly L-shaped bed was carved out across the back and side yards and set off with a low stone wall. The volume was about 2500 sq feet or so. Bulk compost was delivered and it was partly power tilled but mostly hand tilled. Vermicompost, bone meal and sulphur were also tucked in for blueberries.

How did the protagonist incorporate permaculture concepts?

To incorporate permaculture concepts, guilds of chives, dill, cilantro, borage, nasturtium and cerinthe were added. Other herbs like annual basil were also let to seed around.

What type of stone was used for the wall base?

For the wall base, glacial stone was used.

How did Spencer react to this project?

Spencer thought this project was great.

How can lantanas be propagated in Florida?

Lantanas can be propagated in Florida by starting them from cuttings as most lantanas sold are hybrids. They will look like they are dead when temperatures drop below freezing but they will come back each year with very little care.

How did the protagonist's neighbors react to this project?

The protagonist's neighbors reacted positively to this project and thought it was charming.

Is multiple picking possible for blueberries in the south?

Multiple picking is possible for blueberries in the south depending on soil and water conditions.