Ask a Question forum: What is the best ground cover for my new orchard?

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Name: Phillip
brayton tn. (Zone 7b)
Region: United States of America Canning and food preservation Garden Ideas: Level 1
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homeshow
Apr 14, 2015 5:03 AM CST
Planting a fruit tree orchard. Apples, plums, pears, cherries, pawpaw, hazelnut bushes etc. It should croud out weeds and be a good forage for ducks, muscovies, goats, and chickens. My good friend recommended clover. I'm still fishing for suggestions.
[Last edited by homeshow - Apr 14, 2015 5:28 AM (+)]
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Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Beekeeper Garden Sages Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
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dave
Apr 14, 2015 6:21 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

Short low growing perennials make the best groundcovers for orchards. Yarrow, comfrey, and oregano are three that I'd definitely use.
Name: Phillip
brayton tn. (Zone 7b)
Region: United States of America Canning and food preservation Garden Ideas: Level 1
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homeshow
Apr 14, 2015 9:34 AM CST
Ok so who has yarrow and common (edible leaves) comfrey?
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Procrastinator Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
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plantladylin
Apr 14, 2015 9:36 AM CST
Philip, you might want to ask over on the plant and seed trading forum: http://garden.org/forums/view/trading/ to see if perhaps anyone has plants or seeds for trade or postage.
~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
Name: Phillip
brayton tn. (Zone 7b)
Region: United States of America Canning and food preservation Garden Ideas: Level 1
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homeshow
Apr 14, 2015 9:43 AM CST
Dave, I just read that yarrow is toxic to chickens.
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Beekeeper Garden Sages Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
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dave
Apr 14, 2015 9:49 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

Interesting, I didn't know that. I grow yarrow in many places but never have offered it to the chickens. Well, skip that one, I guess.

As mentioned above, just about any low growing perennial herb would be excellent for orchards. Be creative and don't limit yourself to the suggestions but look for anything you can find. In our orchards we also grow mints, lemon balm, onions, chives, even daffodils and daylilies. The list goes on and on. Each plant brings its own interesting and useful characteristics. Variety is the spice of life.
Name: Phillip
brayton tn. (Zone 7b)
Region: United States of America Canning and food preservation Garden Ideas: Level 1
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homeshow
Apr 14, 2015 2:33 PM CST
Dave, great suggestions! I'll pass them along to the wife. I would like to make the orchard a part time muscovy run. Seeding it with lots of things that partner well with grapes and fruit trees and are good for poultry to eat.

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