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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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Planting In Mud

Why does ground lose its vitality or its growing qualities when it is
plowed or stirred when wet, and does this act in all kinds of soil in
the same way? We are planting a fig and olive orchard at the present
time, but some were planted when the ground was extremely wet. The holes
were dug before the rain and after a heavy rain they started to plant.
After placing the trees in the holes they filled them half full with wet
dirt, in fact so wet that it was actually slush. What would you advise
under the circumstances and what can be done to counteract this? We have
not finished filling in the holes since the planting was done, which was
about a week ago.

The soil loses its vitality after working when too wet, because it is
thrown into bad mechanical (or physical) condition and therefore becomes
difficult of root extension and of movement of moisture and air. How
easily soil may be thrown into bad mechanical condition depends upon its
character. A light sandy loam could be plowed and trees planted as you
describe without serious injury perhaps, while such a treatment of a
clay would bring a plant into the midst of a soil brick which would
cause it to spindle and perhaps to fail outright. The best treatment
would consist in keeping the soil around the roots continually moist,
yet not too wet. The upper part of the holes should be filled loosely
and the ground kept from surface compacting. The maintenance of such a
condition during the coming summer will probably allow the trees to
overcome the mistake made at their planting, unless the soil should be a
tough adobe or other soil which has a disposition to act like cement.

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