Last year I requested permission from my boss to install some fruit trees and bushes in the back of property that would never be used. She granted permission and the project is now underway. While I cannot afford to go out and buy a bunch of plants or even a whole lot of soil amendments, I do plan on improving this soil with sheet mulch. I needed to get started, however, because I had moringa and comfrey starts that needed to go in the ground.
So, I planted 6 moringa trees on the north side of the plot and 29 comfrey plants as a border to prevent grass invasion and to provide mulch for the the garden (besides all the other wonderful benefits of the plant) and to provide a beautiful border. Phase 2 complete (phase 1 was gaining permission and starting the plants).
Soil type is actually a pretty decent loam, although due to shaping the land to allow for the retention pond mandated by the county a lot of nasty fill, consisting of an iron rich clay, makes up a 6-8″ layer under just an inch of topsoil that the existing grass grows in.
Watering just the border takes 3 trips with the watering pail I have so I plan on running about 250′ of hose from the well, zip tied to the cyclone fence to keep out of the way from the landscapers, to a drip system or soaker hose on a timer. This will prevent me from loathing the task of watering and resenting my decision to install this small regenerative action.
After the watering is in place, I plan on sheet mulching. We’ll do this over the summer, let it sit all summer with only maybe a short lived annual cover crop like buckwheat and cowpea and then install a few more perennial food producing trees and shrubs in the fall or even next spring. The other option, if I can pull it off would be to start nursery trees and shrubs as a young ecology boost, such as goumi (a cultivated autumn olive that fixes nitrogen and is drought tolerant), sea buckthorn, mulberry and elderberry.
The mature plantings will include goji berry, strawberry, blackberry, moringa, comfrey, muscadine, hardy kiwi, passion fruit, echinacea, lavender, sunflowers and/or jerusalem artichokes, artichokes for food and mulch, and eventually, once established we can grow some annuals in there as well such as okra, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, etc.
There is another corner 150′ to the west for when we run out of room here and still want to plant more, LOL. There is a retention pond back here and a bayou that runs behind the fence.