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Soils, Fertilizers and Irrigation

- If Your Land Needs It At All
Alfalfa Over Hardpan
Alkali Gypsum And Shade Trees
Almond Hulls And Sawdust
An Abuse Of Grape Pomace
Application Of Manure Ashes
Applying Thomas Phosphate
Artesian Water
Ashes And Poultry Manure
Barnyard Manure And Alkali
Blasting Or Tiling
Bones For Grape Vines
California That I Am Very Much Puzzled Which Kind To Select
Caustic Lime Not A Good Absorbent
Charcoal Is A Medicine Not A Food

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Improvement Of Cementing Soils

I would like some advice in handling the "cementy" gravel soil. Manure
is beneficial in loosening up the soil, but there is not enough
available. Would the Canadian field pea make a satisfactory growth here
if sown as soon as the rains begin? I would try to grow either peas or
vetch and plow under in February or March and then set trees or vines on
the land.

The way to mellow your soil is certainly to use stable manure or to plow
under green stuff, as you propose. This increases the humus which the
soil needs and imparts all the desirable characters and qualities which
humus carries. You ought to get a good growth of Canadian field peas or
common California field peas or the common Oregon vetch by sowing in the
fall, as soon as the ground can be moistened by rain or irrigation, and,
if the season is favorable, secure enough growth for plowing under in
February to make it worth while. Be careful, however, not to defer
planting trees and vines too late in order to let the green stuff grow,
because this would hazard the success of your planting by the reduction
of the moisture supply during the following summer by the amount which
might be required to keep the covered-in stuff decaying, plus loss of
moisture from the fact that the covered stuff prevented you from getting
thorough surface cultivation during the dry season. For these reasons
one is to be careful about planting on covered-in stuff which has not
had a chance to decay. This consideration, of course, becomes negligible
if you have water for summer irrigation, but if you expect to get the
growth of your trees and vines with the rainfall of the previous winter,
be careful not to waste it in either of the ways which have been
indicated, and above all, do not plant trees and vines too late.
Theoretically, your position is perfect. The application of it, however,
requires some care and judgment. Rather than plant too late, you had
better grow the green stuff the winter after the trees have been

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