Seeding an Herbal Ley Around Fruit Trees

I have been rushing to get our fruit trees planted before the cool, rainy weather gives way to long, hot, dry days. With 74 trees planted so far I am nearing the end of the job.

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But essential to the process is getting an herbal ley seeded around each tree while the rain will still provide the irrigation. This is important because most fruit trees are shallow-rooted and they compete directly with grasses for nutrients and water. An herbal ley is a diverse mix of plants that are meant to provide a range of services in an orchard that grass does not.

Obviously the first step is to kill off the grass. The easy organic way to do this is to smother it with cardboard and/or newspaper.

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I then mulched this with copious amounts of rotted horse manure while being careful not to mulch against the trunk.

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The seed mix I got from friends of ours so I cannot tell you exactly what it contains. You can easily Google recipes for different regions and different climates.

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Sprinkle lightly over the top of the rotted manure.

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Then lightly cover with more mulch and pat it down.

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With a bit of rain it will start to germinate.

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As the grass dies beneath the mulch it turns into food for the fruit trees and the herbal ley.

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Easy-peasy. Now repeat 73 more times.


Peace, Estwing

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