[NAFEX] Best groundcover for (home) orchard
Lon J. Rombough
lonrom at hevanet.com
Sat Apr 24 17:41:49 EDT 2004
Comfrey is a great soil builder, but it's not good in the orchard. It
brings up minerals from deep in the soil and really loosens hard, clay
soils, but it's so juicy it's a mess to mow. Best use I ever saw of it was
by a woman who had two acres separate from the orchard. She cut it
regularly with a sickle bar mower and put it in the orchard as mulch. Her
peaches and nectarines were the best I've ever tasted anywhere.
Not using chemical herbicides or mechanical tilling,
I'm not going to be able to keep the ground bare.
What would be a good groundcover? Does dutch clover
or subterranean clover add too much N for the pears
and apples? vetch? How about comfrey - that uses up
N and is deep rooted, does it compete with the trees?
Is "orchard grass" as difficult to keep under control
as the grass and weed mix we have now? We have to mow
every week or two, which is way too much work.
Lisa in Ashland Oregon
USDA Z7 - Sunset Z7 - 1800' - 19" annual rainfall
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