Miyawaki is a technique pioneered by Japanese botanist Akira Miyawaki, that helps build dense, native forests. The approach is supposed to ensure that plant growth is 10 times faster and the resulting plantation is 30 times denser than usual. It involves planting dozens of native species in the same area, and becomes maintenance-free after the first three years. The following are the basic steps to create such forests in small urban spaces, as small as 30 square feet:
Step 1: Determine the soil texture and quantify biomass
Soil texture helps determine water holding capacity, water infiltration, root perforation capacity, nutrient retention and erodibility. Check if the texture is sandy, loamy or clayey.
Step 2: Select tree species for plantation
We should try to plant as many species as possible for biodiversity. Make a database of all native species of your area. Identify its type (Evergreen, Deciduous or Perennial), advantages, maximum height and assign layer.
Step 3: Design the forest
Master Plan: Identify the exact area for afforestation so as to procure materials and execute the project. The minimum width of the project area should be 3 metres, but 4 metres is recommended.
Step 4: Preparing the area
Site inspection: Visit the site to determine the feasibility and scope of the project. Take pictures of the site, and confirm the availability of fencing, maintenance staff, running water and sunlight. The site should get sunlight for a minimum of 8-9 hours a day. No pipes/drains/wires or debris should be present in the area.
Step 5: Plant the trees!
Mixing materials: Perforator, water retainer and fertiliser, all without clumps, should be mixed together. They should be mixed in the exact ratio as was decided initially, for each mound.
Step 6: Look after the forest for three years
Monitoring: The forest should be monitored once in 1-2 months, to check if the targets have been achieved and if any changes should be made to improve results. This should be done the first 8-12 months.