Help make NoDa a food forest!


Spring has sprung! It’s the time of year many of us start getting to work in our yards and gardens. The garden centers and nurseries are packed with people grabbing flowers, herbs, veggies, shrubs, and trees to add to their landscapes.

We have a suggestion, though, as you ponder what to grab and plant: consider edibles! No, not the kind that help you make bad decisions or take a nap – we’re talking about edible plants, especially fruiting trees. There are so many reasons this is a great step for you and your neighbors. Beauty and food are the primary benefits, but there are plenty more.

Yeah, I know, you’ll hear people talk about the downside of ripened fruit falling to the ground or squirrels and birds grabbing some of your bounty. Fine, those things happen, but you also get to grab some for yourself! And if more of us plant them, they all do better from cross-pollination. Let’s be the neighborhood that sets an example in Charlotte. Let’s be a little food forest. Think about making a commitment to plant at least one fruit tree in your yard this year.

Many fruit trees do better in general, and bear more fruit, when other varieties are nearby. Bees, butterflies, and other pollinators pass the pollen from tree to tree, cross pollinating. It’s best if you are planting one variety to plant at least two, or three. And if your neighbors have some as well…I think you’re getting the point. But even if you plant just one, say an apple tree, and your neighbors also have apples, they benefit from each other.

Additionally, a lot of folks plant veggie gardens this time of year and that’s great (we do too), but most everything you plant has to be replanted every year. Trees? Once established they only require a bit of pruning each year – low maintenance. The first year, just make sure to keep them watered.

What does well in this area and is available right now? Apples, pears, peaches, plums, nectarines, apricots, cherries, and persimmons all do well in this area. Just like their non-fruiting cousins that are sold as decorative flowering trees, these also bloom in the spring, just as beautifully as their showy cousins we see all around. So why just decoration? Take it one step further with the real deal – you’ll be delighted that you did!

Want more info or help choosing the right tree for you? Email JoeyHewell@me.com; we’d love to help!