Orchards with grass are
easier to manage
Sow a grass-and-clover mix between rows of orchard trees and your orchard becomes easier to manage. Fewer chemicals are needed because the grass cover inhibits weed growth. A good cover of grass also prevents poaching and makes the ground more accessible and safe for machinery, especially on slopes.
Fixes nitrogen and reduces soil erosion
You need less fertiliser because white clover fixes nitrogen. It's a cheaper and more sustainable option. Having a grass cover on your orchard also helps protect the soil and reduce soil erosion.
Grasses for easier orchard management
- Perennial ryegrass: low and slow-growing varieties provide a dense and wear-tolerant ground cover; for use where moisture is sufficient and there are no extremes of winter or summer temperature.
- Red fescue of the rubra rubra types: the rhizomes tie the soil together to prevent soil erosion; their drought and shade-tolerance fits well with the growth of the fruit trees; also works well in poor soils and in cold regions.
- Smooth-stalked meadow-grass: low growing and forms rhizomes; heat tolerance is useful in hot areas, especially in a mixture with tall fescue.
- Tall fescue: slow-growing turf grasses are excellent for hot and dry regions, and for efficient yield control.
- White clovers: of Microclover® or dwarf forage types provide excellent ground cover but a low green mass; releases nitrogen to the fruit trees and to companion grasses.