Can low-growing, perennial plants be established as a ground cover in pipfruit orchards, as a replacement for a traditional ‘weed spray strip’ management practice? In this trial, seven low-growing perennial species were established in the ‘weed spray strip’ on a Nelson pipfruit orchard:
Two plantings were undertaken, one in Spring and one in Autumn. The species that ‘established well’ (covered the ground to varying degrees that helped to compete or shade out weed species, withstood foot traffic during harvest, continue thriving with litlle to no intervention and have not become a ‘pest’ plant) were Yarrow, Chicory, Sheep’s Burnet, Trefoil, Clover, and Plantain.
Rural Professionals Fund final report, 2023