Ask me (almost) anything, August 2022

Aug 15, 2022

Team members, Jeremy and Ralph, are interested in doing a tree-planting project in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. They need more information about planting in the tropics. They, also need advice on how to start a nursery.
This is a two-part article.

In Part One, we will explore planting in the tropics.
In Part Two, which will be shared in September, we will share ideas for starting a nursery.

 

Map showing the Congo rainforest.*

Planting in the tropics

Although Mark has limited experience working in a tropical climate, a number of his projects are located in warm, temperate rainforests which look like some tropical ecosystems. They have a closed canopy of tall trees, vines, climbers, epiphytes (orchids & ferns), etcetera.

“When we were selecting trees and shrubs for these projects, we focused on those plant species with very fertile seed production that would propagate easily in the nursery. These plants were often those which could be spread by birds such as fruiting seeds, and you can collect them for free!” Mark says.

According to Mark, the nursery and planting approach should mimic what happens in nature He suggests using the local environment as a guide. Copying what is already known to work will give the best results!

Following this line of action, Mark focused on the most vigorous plants first. Afterward, he looked at specialist plants like fruit trees. He said that, sometimes, these might be the same species, vigor, and fruit. These plants tend to be the “volunteer” types that will spring up in a bare patch where the sunlight can reach the ground (such as after a storm or when an old tree falls over). These plants give structure and protection to the more sensitive plants.

Another method that works well, is using plants that can be grown from cuttings. They may take longer to establish in the nursery, but they can be quite easy to grow. A porous soil mix coupled with regular watering is essential to avoid disease, mold, and fungus infections.

Finally, there is the method of layering. “This method used in the rainforest is to use one main planted shrub, with many small shoots or branches. Then, lay the shrub over onto the soil, and cover the still attached shoots with soil, so that the sprouts shoot from the stems directly into the ground. This can be effective in the rainy or monsoon seasons when there are higher temperatures. Using a mulch of leaves over the soil, etcetera. is also helpful to get the shoots to “strike” and not dry out,” Mark says.

Thank you very much for raising these questions, Ralph, and Jeremy! Thank you for taking the time to explain these matters to us, Mark! We appreciate the opportunity to learn.

Do not miss out on next month’s article. Mark will share some guidance on how to start a nursery!

Get in touch with Ralph and Jeremy if you want to know more about the projects they are planning.

*Image source: See here.

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Other blog posts

Food for Thought, October 2022

October is Vegetarian Awareness Month, an excellent opportunity to look back and wrap up the last 12 months.

Ask me almost anything, September 2022

In August’s article, Mark responded to Ralph and Jeremy’s question about planting in the tropics. This month, Mark elaborates more on their question on how to start a nursery.

Mewsings from Jorge, September 2022

I have come to understand this: Patience gives you the power to be stronger mentally and emotionally. This is all good stuff for me to learn.

Food for Thought, September 2022

There is so much to say and learn about food waste! So, I dedicating this month’s blog article to delve a little bit deeper.

Heroes of the Gardens

Saturday, August 20 was World Honey Bee Day. I wish that we return the kindness of honeybees. Not only on one special day but every single day.

Mewsings from Jorge, August 2022

After all of that travelling, Mama was off again! I did not want her to go. She is my whole world, although I do like hearing about her experiences when she comes home.

Food for Thought, August 2022

This delicious recipe opens the opportunity to talk about an important but often uncomfortable topic: food waste.

Growing friendships through the Global Tree Initiative

The Global Tree Initiative (GTI) is not just about planting trees. It is, also, about creating communities and growing friendships. 

Ask me (almost) anything, July 2022

For this article about deserts, Mark advised that the main focus was not on planting trees, but on highlighting the conventional wisdom to regenerate landscapes.

Mewsings from Jorge, July 2022

Happy July – It is Time to Fly! Interpreted by Jennifer Troyan (aka Mama) This is post 3 of the 3-part travel series from Jorge. Much imagination was used in the process of writing this blog. Happy Reading! After our marathon drive, we stopped for a couple of days and...

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our newsletter. Stay tuned to all our news. There is more to come.

You have Successfully Subscribed!