Organic fruit orchards are dependent on commercial organic fertilizers derived from intensive conventional animal husbandry. These inputs are contentious and to be phased out. The document proposes as a solution to develop new fertilization strategies based on farm internal resources (e.g., clover based), plant-based sources (e.g., grain legumes as living mulch in the tree row, cover crops). As benefits, leguminous plants grown as living mulch or cover crops (in mixture with grasses) increase soil fertility and microbial biodiversity or activity, with a positive effect for the overall soil biological fertility through the seasons.
Eligio Malusa, Małgorzata Tartanus - National Institute of Horticultural Research (IO-PIB), Poland