Irrigating Alfalfa On Heavy Soils
How does alfalfa succeed on adobe and soils slightly modified from it?
Does irrigation work well an adobe planted to alfalfa?
If you get the irrigation adjusted so that the soil shall not be
water-logged and so that the water does not stand on the surface when
the sun is hot, you can get plenty of good alfalfa on a heavy soil.
Irrigation on adobe soils must be done more frequently and a less amount
at each application to guard against the dangers named above.
How Much Water for Crops?
Same of my land is heavy but the most of it is light soil. I want
alfalfa mostly, same potatoes and grain, and later oranges, olives and
other fruit. How much water in inches or acre feet is required per acre
per year far the irrigation of it?
The amount of water required to grow different crops depends upon the
crop itself, upon the time of the year in which it grows, the character
of the soil, etc. There is no such thing as stating how much water would
be used for all crops on all soils, and at all times of the year. The
range would be from, say, ten acre inches for irrigation of deciduous
fruits, which need moisture supplementary to rainfall; twice or thrice
as much for citrus fruit trees; four or five times as much for alfalfa
where a full number of cuttings are required. These are, of course, only
rough estimates which would have to be modified according to local
rainfall and soil character. Water should be applied frequently enough
to keep the lower soil amply moist. A color of moisture is not enough
and a muddy condition results from too much water. One has to learn to
judge when there is moisture enough, and a good test of this to take up
a handful of soil, squeeze it and open the hand. If the ball retains its
shape it is probably moist enough. If it has a tendency to crack upon
opening the hand, it is too dry. This test, of course, is somewhat
affected by the character of the soil, but one has to form the best
judgment possible how far allowance has to be made for that.
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