Seeding Grass and Grass/Clover Between the Rows in Orchards will Effectively

  • Reduce the input of chemicals for weed control because the grass/clover covers the ground and minimizes the establishment of weeds.
  • Improve the accessibility of machinery as the grass/clover gives a good ground cover and allows for safer operation on slopes.
  • Reduce the need for nitrogen due to the N-fixation of white clover. This makes production more sustainable and cheaper.
  • Prevent soil erosion on slopes.  

The Following Species are Recommended

  • Perennial Ryegrasses are low, slow growing turf varieties recommended for a dense, wear tolerant ground cover. Perennial ryegrass is used mainly for areas where moisture is sufficient and where there are no extreme temperatures during summer and winter.
  • Red Fescue, of the creeping types, are recommended as the rhizomes tie the soil together and prevent soil erosion. The drought and shade tolerance of red fescue is high, which fits well with the growth of fruit trees. The high drought tolerance means less competition with the fruit trees for water. Red fescue can also be used where moisture is limited, where soil conditions are poor, and even in very cold regions.
  • Kentucky Bluegrass is recommended as it is very low growing and forms rhizomes like red fescue. Kentucky bluegrass is quite heat tolerant and is therefore useful in hot areas, especially in a mixture with tall fescue.
  • Tall Fescue is ideal where the conditions are dry and hot. It is important to use the turf types as they are low and slow growing compared to forage types. This ensures less competition with the trees for moisture and nutritients. Rhizomatous type tall fescues have the added benefit of binding the soil together.
  • White Clover of the small leaf type, microclover, is especially recommended, because as a ground cover it is very high while the green mass production is low. White clover will also release nitrogen to the surrounding grasses and fruit trees.

Recommended Mixture
10 % White Clover
80 % Grass (variety depending on the climatic conditions)

DLF carries low maintenance grass cover crops and mixtures specifically formulated for use in orchards, vineyards and tree farms. Developed to establish rapidly, but grow low and slow, requiring only one to three mowings a year depending upon location. DLF cover crops have been seeded on thousands of acres and have proven be be viorously competitive to perennial weeds such as thistle, dandelions and field blindweed, as well as annual weeds. DLF cover crop mixtures withstand heavy vehicle and foot traffic and recover quickly from injury. Developed specifically to require minimum amounts of moisture and fertilizer. Contact us for more information on our complete line of cover crops.