Fruit trees are shallow roots and this is where the challenge lies in finding suitable planting. Because of their superficial roots, they compete directly with many plants. Deep roots in particular hardly stand a chance around the tree grate of an apple tree or a cherry. The tree slice does not have to remain bare, because there are many plants that can cope with the difficult environment.

Don’t create competition

If you want to underplant fruit trees, you first and foremost have to be careful not to create competition. The tree itself is of course a competitor. In spring it forms a dense canopy of leaves and provides plenty of shade, which not very many plants appreciate. Therefore it is important to choose mainly plants that develop well even in moderate light conditions.

Tip: The easiest way to plant the tree disc is in spring flowering. They use the time, even before the tree casts shade, to showcase their blossoms. Over the summer, the protective canopy ensures that the soil dries out too quickly, which means that the plants can survive this time better.

When underplanting fruit trees, the selected plants must also not compete with the tree. The main thing to pay attention to is the shape of the roots and how fast and how strongly the plants develop. Vigorous plants or climbing plants are not suitable for planting under trees. They can even damage the tree, for example, by consuming a lot of nutrients for themselves, which means that there are not enough for the trees.

Choose supporting plants

Apple and cherry trees are attacked by different diseases and pests. Not only do they reduce the harvest, in the worst case scenario they can even mean the death of the trees. Similar to the mixed culture in the vegetable garden, there are also plants that support trees and can even help keep pests and diseases away. Anyone who has repeatedly struggled with such problems should pay more attention to plants that support the tree in the fight against such threats.

This also has the advantage that fewer pesticides have to be used. The fight against pests and diseases is often very laborious, especially with fruit trees. Underplanting helping plants can be an important building block in the fight against these problems.

More elaborate harvest

What should be considered when gardeners decide to underplant fruit trees, the harvest is usually a little more complex. In the case of the apple tree in particular, it is not uncommon for the apples to land directly on the tree disc that was planted. One possibility is to choose the planting in such a way that it is also removed at the time of harvest or severely cut back or alternatively also harvested in parallel.

Note: Low-growing or weak-growing plants are usually not a problem during harvest. They sometimes even form a small protective layer over the ground, which prevents windfalls from being damaged too much.

Ornamental and useful plants

When underplanting fruit trees, ornamental plants are primarily thought of. In any case, these create a nice look and also have a limited support for the trees, but if you want to benefit from the planting, you should choose vegetables or herbs as underplanting. There are numerous types of vegetables that grow very well in the shade or partial shade. This also applies to some herbs, because here too there are species that do not appreciate the blazing sun.

5 plants for apple trees

These plants are suitable for apple trees:

Chives and garlic are ideal partners for apple trees. The trees often suffer from apple scab, a fungal disease that can be combated with various types of leek. Chives also appreciate a slightly damp location and the canopy of the apple trees ensures that the soil does not dry out so quickly. As a perennial plant, chives are also suitable for permanent planting. The advantage is that the chives also develop very beautiful flowers and are therefore an eye-catcher.

If you want to plant the nasturtium under fruit trees, you can not only harvest aromatic flowers and leaves, the plant also drives away the apple leaf sucker, which can weaken the tree.

The monkshood as an ornamental plant is also good company for the apple tree. It is particularly well adapted to shady locations and still rewards the eye with an impressive display of flowers.

The dandelion particularly appreciates the nutrient-rich environment of fruit trees. Due to the foliage, which often composts on the spot, the soil is very rich in nutrients, where the dandelions thrive very well. He also uses the window in spring, when there are still no leaves, to bloom. The dandelion is not only beautiful, it can also be used in the kitchen. It also helps the tree fight against leaf chlorosis.

5 plants for cherry trees

These plants are suitable for cherry trees:

  • Red thimble
  • lily of the valley
  • Melisse
  • peppermint
  • chives

The red thimble favors the flow of rubber in the cherry tree. The so-called cherry gum is made by the tree to close wounds. The fruit tree can also protect itself from pests, which increasingly attack the bark, thanks to the increased flow of rubber.

Lilies of the valley are particularly beautiful to look at when they bloom. They often bloom at the same time or a little before the cherry trees, which attracts pollinators to each other. A pleasant side effect of the lily of the valley is that it prevents the monila, which is dreaded by every owner of a cherry tree.

Melissa and peppermint have a strengthening effect on the cherry tree. The herbs have the advantage that they can be harvested together with the cherries and processed into juices, for example.

As with the apple tree, the chives also have a positive effect on the cherry tree. In this case it also protects against some fungal diseases, especially it helps to keep aphids away from cherries.

A tree grate does not have to remain empty. There are many plants that can easily get along with the trees and even support them. If gardeners want to underplant, one should always pay attention to whether and how one wants to use the planting. It is advantageous if gardeners only underplant annually, because this allows them to react dynamically to various diseases and pests that attack fruit trees.

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