Crops Between Fruit Trees
What would be best to grow between fruit trees, while the trees are
growing, and what to alternate each season, so as not to use up the soil
without putting back into it?
Where one is bringing along a young orchard, without irrigation, it is
doubtful whether it is not better policy to give the trees all the
advantage of clean cultivation and ample moisture than to undertake
intercropping. If you live on the place and wish to grow vegetables
between the rows, the thorough cultivation to bring the vegetables along
satisfactorily would help to preserve moisture enough both for the
vegetables and for the trees, but this is very different from growing a
field crop by ordinary methods of cultivation. Select a crop which will
require summer cultivation, like corn, potatoes, squashes, and beans,
and never a hay or grain crop which takes up moisture without working
the soil for the greater moisture conversation which hoed crops require.
In choice of hoed crops be governed by what you can use to advantage,
either for house or the feeding of animals, or what you can grow that is
salable with least loss of moisture in the soil. The choice is governed
entirely by local conditions, except that leguminous plants - peas,
beans, vetches, clovers, etc. - do take nitrogen from the atmosphere and
can thus be grown with least injury and sometimes with a positive
benefit to the fertility of the soil.
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