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Traditionally, orchards are planted within grassed areas to allow for grazing once the fruit trees are established. Sowing a grass-and-clover mix between trees will attract pollinators and beneficial predatory insects to capture those orchard pests. A good grass cover prevents poaching, making the ground more manageable and safer for operating machinery. Grasses and weeds, however, will compete with fruit for water, nutrients, and sunlight, and will therefore require regular maintenance. One of the challenges, however, of maintaining an orchard is access, navigating a tractor in-between and along the rows of fruit trees is near impossible. This is where a compact tractor with an array of attachments can make a real difference. Here are some of our best equipment picks for an orchard:
The basic practice of mowing significantly improves the condition of soil enabling fruit trees to flourish. A worthwhile investment is the versatile Winton Verge Flail Mower – just the right size to get in-between and around the fruit trees, cutting the grass between each row. Much like a traditional flail mower with several blades (flails) mounted to its rotor, that create finer mulch cuttings (fabulous nutrients for the soil), the verge flail mower also boasts an ingenious hydraulic side shift and tilt for cutting verges, tricky grassed areas, ditches, and low hedges. Simply attach the Winton verge flail mower to the rear of your compact tractor and away you go. This flexible machine will also help to prevent nettles, scrub, and other weeds from taking a foothold in your orchard. Winton also offers a lightweight Sub-Compact Flail Mower with a cutting width of just 85cm for those extra-narrow spaces between closely planted trees.
Often orchards are surrounded by tall hedges for protection against strong winds. With this in mind, another useful attachment for a compact tractor is the Winton Flail Hedge Cutter fitted with a fully adjustable arm to access those difficult-to-reach areas, and a PTO-driven hydraulic pump independent of the tractor’s hydraulics.
Once harvested, your fruit can be swiftly transported via the Winton Tipping Trailer. The trailer’s simple pin hitch attaches easily to a compact tractor; it has removable sides for flexible use and wide turf tyres to reduce tread marks. An alternative option is a Winton Tipping Transport Box, also with removable sides, a manual tipping lever and front scoop, which is ideal for reversing into mounds. Both the tipping trailer and transport box are designed with reliability, durability and flexibility in mind, because they can also move a variety of farming equipment and materials around your property.
For further details on any of our featured equipment picks for an orchard, please call our friendly sales team on 01420 520510.