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Any Reason Not to Plant Cabbage Under a Fruit Tree?

 
master steward
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I tried searching for cabbage and fruit tree guilds, but came up empty. My brother and his wife have a much smaller property than me, and my brother loves cabbage and his wife loves fruit trees. She was wary of growing cabbage because it takes up so much space, BUT, what if they planted the cabbage under the fruit trees? Would it take up nutrients that the tree needs (like grass does) or would it complement the tree (perhaps by suppressing the grass)?

I don't want to suggest they plant the cabbage under their trees until I've at least checked that it won't be damaging or counter-productive.

Thanks!
 
pollinator
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Only real way to find out is to try it and see.  I plant cabbage in my garden and they take up a lot of space, require a lot of water and nutrients and like mostly full sun.  I do think they would help in keeping weeds down somewhat due to the big "wing spread" they have.  Other benefits to the combination I am unsure of, but would be interested in any insights they find if it is tried.
 
pollinator
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It also depends on what type of fruit tree and what type of cabbage .
I could see a cabbage growing closer to my Medlar as it is very open as oppposed to my Quince which is more like a large bush .
I could see my tree cabbage working better than my Chou pomme
 
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I do it all the time.

Right now, I've got cabbage growing under many of my stone fruits (apricots, peaches, plums, pluots, apriums) as well as under a cherimoya and various citrus trees.  It does well all over.
 
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I see no reason that cabbages would do any harm. Oh, and let's clear up that grass thing, grasses set the stage for trees to be able to grow, therefore grasses are not bad for trees.

Grasses are even better at carbon sequestering than trees, because so many more grass plants can live in the space of one tree. The tree will hold on to that carbon longer, but it will not contain more carbon than the grasses.

Redhawk
 
Nicole Alderman
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Thank you, everyone! I passed the suggestion along to my brother and his wife, and maybe I'll try some cabbage under my fruit trees, too!
 
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You should try and see it for yourself, I think cabbage and fruit trees will not suck each other's nutrients just give them enough sunlight and soil nutrients. Just like us lend food that will suffice the needs of each so we don't have to fight for 1 pieces of cake.
 
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