Question:

Dear Rabbonim,

I have a number of questions regarding planting a garden and want to make sure I have followed the rules correctly.

I planted a number of different spices and plants around the border of the garden: Thyme, Rosemary, Mint, Peppermint, Basil, Lavender, Aloe Vera, lemon grass. (2 or 3 of each plant near each other)

  1. What is the distance required to leave between each of the species?
  2. Is the distance from the center of the root to the center of the root?

I planted a lemon tree and Avocado tree.

  1. What is the distance required between these?
  2. I am planning to plant tomatoes and peppers
    What is the distance required to leave between each other – if you have a 15cm fence between the saplings does that make any difference.
  3. Do they have to be a specific distance from the trees?
  4. Do you need to mark the year of planting for Orlah? (for the trees)

Thank you kindly

Answer:

  1. Most of the plants that you mentioned are spices, and spices are considered like plants that are eaten, and therefore they would have to be spaced away from each other. (Regarding the aleo vera I am not sure if it is considered a plant for eating, as most people don’t eat it.) The distance between the different types should preferably be 1.5 tefachim, about 15 cm.
  2. The distance between the different types of plants is measured from the center of the stem of each one. This is even if the leaves will touch each other, (except by a certain type of dlaat). However there are certain spices, (such as mint) whose roots will spout out new saplings, with those you have to be careful that they don’t sprout out too close to other types.
  3. We are not allowed to graft two trees together, however there is no specific distance how far they must be separated from each other, (except for a grape vine).
  4. The rules of how much you have to separate between the different types depends on how much is being planted and what type of plant. Regarding tomatoes and peppers, if the width of each of the two patches are less than 58 cm., (no matter what length they are) it is then you only need to separate them by 15cm. If they are larger than that then you need more space between them. A 15cm fence between the saplings will not help.
  5. They don’t have to be a specific distance from the trees.
  6. You don’t have to mark the tree, but it is a good idea to write it down somewhere so you will remember when it was planted.

Sources:

  1. Chazon Ish Dinei Kilayei Zeraim-1
  2. Rambam Hilchos Kilayim 3- 14.
  3. Y:D 295-3, 296-3.
  4. Mishpitei Eretz
  5. Same as 3.
  6. We don’t find that there is an obligation to write it down.

Tags: Kilayim

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