This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V26", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
A Maryland correspondent says he has a peach tree on a lawn which is kept closely mown, which is perfectly healthy and bears large crops of fruit annually, while all his orchard trees have long since succumbed to disease. He inquires whether it would be wise to treat a whole peach orchard like this? In our country where much of the trouble of fruit growers comes from the earth getting too warm in summer, a closely mown lawn is the perfection of good culture. Grass, when continually mown, has not very strong roots, and does not therefore rob the peach tree of its food, while nothing will keep the surface of the earth cooler. This is the reason why all fruit trees do best in grass as a general principle. But many people expect to get heavy crops of grass as well as heavy crops of fruit, all out of the same amount of food in the soil. When there is no more food than the fruit tree needs it is absurd to expect a full crop of grass also. Such treatment is bad cultivation. But if one is situated so that he can top-dress the ground with fertilizing material occasionally, that treatment is the very best cultivation for fruit trees, because of the coolness and shade which the grass gives the roots of the fruit trees.
The constant mowing plan, good as it is, and excellent as would be the crops, might still not be a profitable mode for a market man. It is one of those questions which only actual figures could decide.