Prepping Orchard Rows for Autumn Groundcover

Discussion in 'Planting, growing, nurturing Plants' started by Wild Apple Farm, Feb 7, 2018.

  1. Wild Apple Farm

    Wild Apple Farm New Member

    Jan 24, 2018
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    Warm temperate in Box Gum Grassy Woodlands country
    Hi Team,

    I'm looking to prepare the ground in between my rows of fruit trees for an autumn ground cover which currently consists of native (relatively unuseful) grasses. Approximately 400sqm (1/10 acre) of grass to replace. I do have a tractor, but no implements for this task (except slashing).

    How would you go about it?
    • cut back grass and oversow heavily?
    • rototill/harrow with tractor?
    • plastic cover over sections, then sow?
    • run 1000 chickens over it ;) (not really an option at present)?
    • something else?
    Will hopefully plant to something perennial after last frost, was thinking asparagus, sweet potato, etc..
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2018
    chamni likes this.
  2. songbird

    songbird Senior Member

    Sep 12, 2013
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    gardening, reading, etc
    near St. Charles, MI, USoA
    Home Page:
    -15C-35C, 10cm rain/mo, clay, full sun, K-G Dfa=x=Dfb
    hello, seems that tilling would not be good as you risk damage to tree roots.

    leaving it up to mowing, smothering or by hand or ...

    grazing animals, chickens would clear it, but i don't know anything about that
    as i'm not wanting to keep animals here.

    rent-a-goat around there? :)

    if you cannot clear and seed the whole area you may be able to clear smaller
    parts and then keep them from being grazed until they get bigger and then
    those plants can gradually spread out.

    all of the clovers, alfalfa and birdsfoot trefoil i've planted have been strong
    enough after the first season to not be bothered by much else and they
    all drop plenty of seeds. i'm actually now trying to remove the birdsfoot
    trefoil as it has done what i've wanted it to do and is somewhat of a pest
    species because it drapes over pathways several feet. the alfalfa isn't
    quite as aggressive as a pest but it is still very hard to remove once it is
    established. some clovers are more difficult than others too.
    chamni likes this.

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