The exception to the rule that plant-roots
should not be pruned by deep cultivation is found in the case of a
close soil in a wet season. The plants extend their roots only in the
soil at the surface because the ground is soaked with water nearly all
the time. They cannot form far enough below the surface to withstand a
drouth that may follow the wet weather. Good tillage in such a case
demands the pruning of the roots and the airing of the soil when the
ground is dry enough to permit such stirring, and the plants then
extend their roots in the lower soil where they rightly belong.
Judgment is required to decide when such tillage is desirable, but
judgment is needed all the time in farming. When a continued period of
wet weather affects the position of the plant-roots, it rarely is
advisable not to risk deeper tillage than is given in a normal season.
Underdrainage helps to prevent such ill-effect of continued rains in
the early part of a plant's life-time.
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