‘Guild Planting’ is a permaculture concept whereby one plants certain plants together to benefit each other, and the orchard tree they are planted under, by providing mulch, nutrients and attracting beneficial insects to help with pollination and protection from pests.
Following are photos of plants that surround some of our apple trees. Capital letters designate the following:
N = PNW native, or NN = widely naturalized
F = ‘Fix’ nitrogen – w/help from soil bacteria, make it available to plants around it
P = Attract beneficial insects – pollinators, pest predators
B = ‘Bioaccumulator’ – Deep roots suck minerals from deep in the soil up into their leaves
When the large leaves are cut and left on the ground, they create a nutrient-rich mulch.