A Wrong Idea Of Inter-planting
What forage plant can I grow in a newly planted orchard? The soil is on
a gently inclined hillside - red, decomposed rock, very deep, mellow,
fluffy, and light, and deep down is clayish in character. It cannot be
irrigated, therefore I wish to put out a drought-resisting plant which
could be harvested, say, in June or July, or even later. I find the
following plants, but I cannot decide which one is the best: Yellow soja
bean, speltz, Egyptian corn, Jerusalem corn, yellow Milo maize, or one
of the millets. What do you think?
Do not think for a moment about planting any such plant between orchard
trees which are to subsist on rainfall without irrigation. Your trees
will have difficulty enough in making satisfactory growth on rainfall,
and would be prevented from doing so if they had to divide the soil
moisture with crops planted between them. The light, deep soils which
you mention, resulting from decomposed rock, are not retentive enough,
and, even with the large rainfall of your region, may require irrigation
to carry trees through the latter summer and early fall growth.
What Slopes for Fruit?
I want to plant some apples and berries. One man says plant them on the
east or south slope of the hill and they will be ripe early. Another man
says not to do that, for when the sun hits the trees or vines in the
morning before the frost is off, it will kill all the blossoms, and as
they would be on the warm side of the hill they would blossom earlier
and there will be more frosts to injure them. I am told to plant them on
the north or west side of the hill, where it is cold, and they will
blossom later and will therefore have less frosts to bother them, and
the frost will be almost off before the sun hits them in the morning.
Fruit is grown on all slopes in our foothills, depending on local
conditions. On the whole, we should choose the east and north slopes
rather than the east and south, because there is less danger of injury
from too great heat. In some cases what is said to you about the less
danger of injury from frosts on the north and west slopes would be true.
All these things depend upon local conditions, because there is so much
difference in heat and frost and similar slopes at different elevations
and exposures. There can never be a general rule for it in a State so
endowed with varying conditions as California is.
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