[NAFEX] mowing orchards

JAMES ELIE tomelzear at earthlink.net
Sat Aug 23 14:29:16 EDT 2008


An alternative I have been considering for my own fruit trees is the use of
limestone flagstones inside the drip line of the tree.  I would be a
constant source of lime, would keep weeds down and away from tree except
for the space between stones.  The spacing, size, and angling of the stones
would be variable based on soil type and climate.  It would most likely
improve air flow under the trees as well. Do you think it would result as
too much of a barrier for the trees?  Of course, this would only be
feasible for a home orchard but would be long lasting. I would like to hear
some thoughts on this as an option to mowing.

Thanks

Jim Elie
Green Bay Wisconsin
zone 4/5

 
> [Original Message]
> From: Stephen Sadler <Docshiva at Docshiva.org>
> To: <clifford at fruitscape.co.uk>; North American Fruit Explorers
<nafex at lists.ibiblio.org>
> Date: 8/23/2008 10:51:11 AM
> Subject: Re: [NAFEX] mowing orchards
>
> 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.
>
> ~ Stephen
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: nafex-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
> [mailto:nafex-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of Clifford Cain - uk
> yahoo
> 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 
> than mow.
> 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  
>
http://www.wrap.org.uk/downloads/HorticulturalMarketsCompleted_Revised_Jun_0
> 6.420ca428.pdf
> 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 
> biodiversity.
> 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.
> Regards
> Clifford Cain
> Bawtry, Doncaster, UK
> http://www.fruitscape.co.uk
>
>
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