Integrating cover crops into a nut orchard can have some unique benefits and problems not found when used cover crops during the fallow period between cash crops. Studies show ground covers can reduce hardwood tree growth anywhere from a few percent to more than 70 percent in the case of tall fescue. This means if it takes 3 years to put on one inch of diameter growth in a weed-free planting, it will take more than 9 years if growing in a tall fescue sod. Impacts on nut production appear to be even greater.
Van Sambeek, Jerry. 2017. Cover crops to improve soil health and pollinator habitat in nut orchards: Part II. Missouri Nut Growers Association (MGNA) Newsletter. 17(2): 6-12.