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Hairyloon

What to grow under apple tree?

I had a session on the allotment today: dug over and weeded under the apple tree.
Now I'm wondering what to plant there, to grow instead of weeds...
Mistress Rose

If they are well enough established you can grass the area over, but they do need to be established first and growing on well. Traditionally I think sheep were grazed between standard apple trees. Can't think of any crop that would be suitable.
derbyshiredowser

We had a comfrey patch under the tree canopy around 6 ft from the trunk for many years and have had very many apples and two or three cuts of comfrey each year.
gz

As a side point I think that pear trees don't like grass/competition..certainly the ones I had increased cropping when I cleared around them,the apples were ok with grass.
Slim

There are lots of proposed "apple tree guilds" out there to draw inspiration from. Frequently focusing on deep rooted plants that will block out grass so the tree doesn't have as much competition in the shallow rooting zone.
dpack

gooseberries can be quite apple friendly, it worked well for grannie and grannie was almost always right about such things Laughing

im not sure it would work in an orchard but around one or a few trees it seems quite effective.
Hairyloon

gooseberries can be quite apple friendly, it worked well for grannie and grannie was almost always right about such things Laughing

Might be a bit scratchy when you come to pick the apples, but my gooseberry bushes have been busy breeding, so that looks like a good plan.

Thank you.
Behemoth

Ive done that recently, not out of any plan, just that it was a handy space. So far the gooseberry seems OK.
dpack

Cool
wellington womble

Daffodils are traditional. Apparently the Herefordshire orchards grew daffs under the apple trees and mistletoe in them so they could have three crops to sell from the space - daffs in spring, apples in autumn and mistletoe in winter. Probably not what you want for an allotment, though.
Hairyloon

Daffodils could work...

https://youtu.be/D6nottAilQw?t=3m19s
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