Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Fedge update

 A "Fedge" is a hedge that is composed of predominantly food-producing plants.

One of the last things I got done before breaking my leg was to fence off a 10' strip along the east side of the north paddock. That 10'-by-360'.

I purchased two varieties of primo-cane bearing raspberries from the same supplier. The Joan J plants were much huskier than the Polana and did much better. This is a Joan J next to an arugula plant.

This Joan J had fruit.

Raspberry plant on the extreme right of photo.

Polana is supposed to be quite vigorous. It will be interesting to see how they do after they are established.

A hazelnut seedling

A plum seedling. The seed parent was a variety called South Dakota

A strawberry plant

The black current suckers did fabulously. That leads me to believe that I lost many plants and seedlings due to pressure from rabbits as black currents are very, very resistant to browsing by herbivores.

Another plum seedling

A persimmon seedling


A plum or peach

Amelanchier (June berry) seedling

I dug up a grafted mulberry this spring and "gifted" it to a friend. The mulberry had been growing next to a persimmon. Now I have about 40 Meader persimmon seedlings that I can move and then graft over. Persimmons will get taller than my target and don't have thorns so they are not my preferred "hedging" species but there is nothing wrong with one every 50'.

It is a perfectly fine strategy to plant 40 seedlings with the intention of either grafting over them or to cull 90% of them and leave the 4 specimens that produce the best fruit.

The "take" rate was very poor...maybe 3% except for the Joan J and black currents which were almost 100% survivors. That suggests that I need to do a better job protecting my trees from rabbits and my seeds from squirrels.

It also suggests that gooseberries (thorny) might be a good plant to throw into the mix.


  1. But then you will have to deal with the thorns to harvest the plants...

  2. I did/do something similar, although you have to stretch the definition of food a bit for some/most of it.

    I live in sheep country/moorland (the land is generally too poor to support much else) and dry-stone walls are the usual field boundaries. My Gardens are hedged with a mix of Hawthorn, Blackthorn, Rowan and Elderberry, interspersed with Rose-hips, Sea-buckthorn, Blackberry, Lingonberry, Loganberry, etc. I even have a few (Siberian) Blueberry and Honeyberry.

    But it tends to be the ‘colonisers’ that I get the greatest cropping from (ground elder, garlics wild/hedge/few-flowered/crow, chervil, borage, etc., etc.).

    My Gooseberries and Jostaberry (not to mention the Blue and Honey) seem to best produce when spaced three feet apart (not in the hedgerow as such, they like space).

    You want thorns? Try sea-buckthorn (ouch).

    Have you thought about the ‘weirds’? Kiwi arguat issai – small, easy and a good producer (even in my soil).

    Harvesting from a thorny? get good gloves and ...a Swedish berry picker (I meant the tool, but if you can find a nice blonde all the better).

  3. Funny. I got raspberries and currants from an online vendor this Spring as well!

  4. Hmm - Fedge. I've never heard that expression before but the definition makes sense. When introducing plants on your property and requires watering on your part, it may as well reap the property owner (and/or animals) benefits.

    Nopal de Castilla (Barbary Fig) looks very similar to prickly pear cactus, but the species has much less thorns (which require removal before consuming) and have a better taste. This consuming the plant pads has health benefits worth considering (diabetes fighting, blood pressure aid, has high anti-oxidants count). If you live in the south, worth looking to see if your property may benefit.


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