Ground cover to a small home orchard

Asked March 28, 2020, 9:46 PM EDT

I have 8 apple trees, 1 Asian pear tree and 1 North American pear tree. Currently I have 3 foot diameter "donut" of wood chips around the base of each tree and mowed grass everywhere else. I am questioning if this is the best ground cover to control weeds and limit disease? Would covering the whole orchard with mulch be better? What would you suggestion be for ground cover in this Orchard? Thank you for your help

Washtenaw County Michigan

1 Response

Hello

Grass is your easiest to maintain. Many orchards use a strip system where trees are in a grass and weed-free mulched row, with grass between these strips. Here are some examples:

https://extension.psu.edu/beginning-grower-planning-and-planting-an-orchard

https://extension.unh.edu/resources/files/Resource003424_Rep4893.pdf

http://www.uvm.edu/~fruit/treefruit/tf_horticulture/UVFRT005_NonChemWeedMgmt.pdf

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