orcharch establishment and long grass
This is a repost from the organic forum, see if anyone different answers here :-)
I have an area of long grass that I want to convert into an orchard. Its about 3 acres, and the grass on it (mainly Paspalum spp) is currently around 4-5 feet tall! Rather daunting....
I need some advice here. Using organic methods on a smaller area, I'd usually go in and mow the grass, then sheet mulch it with newspaper covered by the organic matter, and then establish my orchard and ground covers through the mulch. But this 3 acres is going to need a lot of newspaper, and its on a reasonable slope.
Is it possible that simply mowing this much grass and weeds down hard and leaving it where it falls could sufficiently suppress regrowth while my crop and ground covers establish? Or is this just wishful thinking...?
I'm aiming to establish scarlet runner bean as a permanent ground cover (perennial in my area), and apply alley cropping techniques with various Acacias, Paraserianthes lophantha, and a few other legume trees. I need to get these sown asap, but need to control the grass first.
Any advice welcome!