Protecting Your Fruit Tree With a Fruit Cover


Protecting your fruit tree with a protective cover is an effective way of blocking birds, insects, and diseases from accessing its delicate fruits – and it also eliminates the need for chemical sprays!

Rain covers can significantly decrease wind speeds in an orchard and yield sweeter cherries as a result. They can also help prevent sunburn.

Pine needles

Pine needles make an excellent mulch choice, especially for flowerbeds and around shrubs and trees. Not only are they slow-breaking down, but they also prevent weeds from sprouting in beds while providing fruit with protection as it develops – plus, pine needles tend not to fly away with the wind like other organic mulches!

Pine needles often pose a great deal of confusion for gardeners when it comes to using them and where to use them. Most confusion stems from their acidity, and whether it will alter the soil PH when used as mulch, yet in reality, they do neither of those things – at least those aged enough to lay on the ground aren’t acidic at all and do not change their pH value either!

Pine trees typically possess bundles of needles made up of three or more needles that make for easy identification of species; this characteristic helps identify Pinus species quickly; however, its variation between subgroupings varies – typically, Ponderosa pines found throughout North America have three needles per fascicle while single-leaf varieties found near Mexico only have two needles in each bundle.

Narrow needles help retain moisture in arid climates by their slim shape and waxy outer coating, which reduces the surface area exposed to dehydration. Furthermore, their pit-set stomata (openings through which plants exchange gases with air) are situated within pits to minimize water loss further.

Due to their unique structure, pine needles make an excellent mulch solution in various conditions. Most species of pine produce needles that thrive best in sandy or well-drained soil conditions and tend to stay put after falling. Their scaly bases help hold them together tightly so as to prevent wind from blowing away their needles completely.

Compost or organic matter

Organic matter (made up of carbon-based compounds created by living organisms) is abundant throughout nature and found in every soil ecosystem. It includes everything that once lived but has since died: grass clippings, leaves, stems, branches, twigs, roots, hay, straw, manure droppings, sewage, sludge, sawdust, insects, earthworms, etc. – it all plays an integral part of its respective ecosystem and serves many different roles within that system.

Compost adds numerous advantages to soil health and structure, increasing water-holding capacity while increasing plant nutrition availability. Compost helps balance pH levels while slowly releasing essential micronutrients through decomposition; furthermore, it serves to prevent erosion by providing shelter for an array of beneficial microorganisms that live therein.

Soil organic matter makes up only 2-8% of total soil volume but plays a crucial role in its health and structure. Composed of living and dead organic material at various stages of decomposition, soil organic matter is an invaluable source of nutrients for soil organisms and is an ideal water-retaining substance with slow-release nitrogen properties.

Any compost or organic material can increase soil organic matter if added regularly and adequately. For optimal results, compost should feature a high ratio of “greens” (nitrogen-rich) to “browns” (carbon-rich). This will provide sufficient carbon to aid decomposition processes while not becoming overly compacted and allowing air circulation. Woodchips or sawdust should also be mixed with it as bulking agents to maintain air circulation within its composition.

Windfall plums break down quickly in a wormery or hot compost bin, but stones take much longer. Soaking them in hot discarded water for several days may help soften and speed up the decomposition process; once softened, they can then be returned to the compost pile for further decomposition process or added directly into the Bokashi bin for fermentation as an organic fertilizer source for your garden.

Wood chips or mulch

Mulching fruit trees with wood chips or mulch is an effective way to control weeds, moderate soil temperatures, maintain moisture in the ground, add organic matter to landscape designs, and prevent lawnmowers and string trimmers from damaging the roots of fruit trees. Mulching also protects roots against damage caused by lawnmowers or string trimmers.

Wood chip mulch, typically comprised of small pieces of ground-up wood and bark, is the go-to option when it comes to protecting trees from harm. Not only is this option chemical, but its fast decomposition time brings nutrients back into the soil while being more water-receptive than traditional options such as shredded bark or compost.

Some people choose to cover their wood mulch with landscape fabric for added weed control and nutrition delivery to trees. If this approach interests you, take care each time pruning needs arise to remove and reinstall fabric before returning it to your mulch pile.

Living mulches can also provide an option for orchardists looking for something different than wood mulch; these living covers feature various species of plants arranged in rows to serve as green cover to suppress weeds and increase organic matter in the soil. Living mulch has become more and more popular; in fact, some orchardists are replacing wood with it altogether! When selecting living mulches, they must match your landscape and soil conditions, as some species may attract pests that damage fruit trees.

Other types of mulches, such as shredded paper, straw, and coffee grounds, are also widely used as ways to add organic material into soil while still adding visual appeal. Shredded paper mulching offers surprising advantages by knitting together to prevent weed growth while adding organic matter back into the soil, making it an easy and cost-effective way to mulch fruit trees or native and ornamental shrubs alike.

Perennial herbs

Perennial herbs can provide an invaluable ground cover that protects fruit trees while attenuating water loss from their soil. Furthermore, perennial herbs attract pollinators, which increases the chances of fruit production.

There is an impressive variety of perennial herbs to choose from when planning a garden, so you are sure to find something suitable. Groundcover varieties like chives, thyme, rosemary, and oregano make for easy-growing groundcover solutions; all can be harvested throughout the year for harvest. Plus, they add flair to recipes as an excellent source of vitamins A and C!

Chamomile can be harvested in early summer or autumn before its flowers bloom for an aromatic treat with sweet, fruity notes that make an excellent herbal tea base. Chamomile also boasts many health benefits, including helping with sleep quality and digestion, insect-repellent properties while growing, and can even serve as mulch or liquid feed!

Other herbs suitable as groundcover include sage, fennel, basil, and tarragon. These varieties are ideal for most climates and easy to grow; trim regularly so as not to become unmanageable in size, and use the leaves as ingredients in culinary creations as well as medicinal applications that provide therapeutic relief from symptoms of illness or injuries.

Alongside these herbs, you can also easily incorporate lovage, parsley, salad burnet, and winter savory into an edible groundcover to add color and flavor to your food forest while being simple to grow.

Alfalfa and clovers can also serve as edible groundcover plants to aid with nitrogen fixation, providing nutritional support for soil health while acting as green manures.