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"Paring away" the weeds in our orchard

Updated: Nov 17, 2018

Man on tractor
Time to cultivate the pear orchard!

It's hard to believe our orchard plots are just a few months old.

Already, the weeds have established themselves alongside our pear trees and it's time to get them back under control.

That's the way it goes on the farm, though. Turn your attention to something else for a few weeks or even just a couple of days in some instances, and what was once a freshly turned, freshly planted orchard is a weedy lot.

Man wraps a tree trunk
Tree wrap protects the young tree from pests like rabbits and deer.

But this keeps us active, and gives Sean the opportunity to engage in one of his favorite parts of horticultural practice: scrutinizing and assessing his plants' health, vigor, color, etc.

Doing It the Natural Way

It might be a little more labor-intensive for us to manage weeds by cultivating and/or pulling them, but beyond allowing us to assess the plants as we make our rounds, this practice is a less invasive, less harmful one.

Commercial orchards often spray herbicides to control weeds, and as we get these young trees up and going, we want to stay away from that. As our young orchards grow, we plan on lots of labor to keep them clean until they've developed a strong root system.

Interested in learning more about organic management of your orchard floor? Check out this webinar from Washington State University.

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