[NAFEX] mowing orchards
Docshiva at Docshiva.org
Sat Aug 23 13:50:46 EDT 2008
Another offshoot of this discussion is the use of low-growing (subterranean)
clovers to suppress weeds, improve soil fertility, and attract pollinators
and other beneficial insects.
From: nafex-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
[mailto:nafex-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of Clifford Cain - uk
Sent: Saturday, August 23, 2008 9:32 AM
To: nafex at lists.ibiblio.org
Subject: Re: [NAFEX] mowing orchards
I am going off on a slight tangent so please forgive me. I include it
because if you are anything like myself, you have something better to do
I was fortunate enough to attend Fruit Focus at East Malling in Kent, UK
earlier this month. There was a range of stands, including one from an
organisation promoting recycling green waste WRAP and Dr Joe Lopez of
ReMaDe who gave me an interesting insight to this area. In their trials
on newly planted orchards, they found that 20-40mm material (a woody
coarse grade) applied to a depth of 100mm ( if you are not confined by
nitrate leaching you may want to apply more) increased they yields
significantly (24% on Braeburn). The material was applied at the 1m
width, just as a bare soil alley would normally be maintained. They
basically saw a small increase in the number of fruit, but they were
larger (69mm to 75mm). These results where from a young orchard, 16
months and it will be interesting to see what future results will hold.
The upshot was that if you are in a situation of having to bring
material from off the farm, then the larger green waste was worthy of
consideration. The report can be found at
or http://tinylink.com/?r5yY7jZzuP I know that there is a great choice
of materials for mulches, but what interested me was the use of what is
a domestic waste product and readily available, that is beneficial to
the trees and improved their growth and yield. I have seen many US
sites extolling the virtues of mulches of various forms, but is not
something you regularly see here in the UK.
Having spoken with others, there also seems to be a case for increased
Tours of East Malling's trial plots where conducted. One trial was
looking at what wild flower mix offered the best environment for beetles
to predate the ground stages of problem pests like codling moth.
I know it is not mowing, but mulches do offer good weed suppression and
are worthy of consideration.
Bawtry, Doncaster, UK
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