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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 Trees In Alkali Soil

My land contains a considerable quantity of both the black and white
alkalies, the upper two feet being a rather heavy, sticky clay, the next
three feet below being fine sand, containing more or less alkali, while
immediately underneath this sand is a dense black muck in which, summer
and winter, is found the ground-water. Do you think the following method
of setting trees would be advantageous. Excavate for each tree a hole
three feet in diameter and three feet deep. Fill in a layer of three or
four inches of coarse hay, forming a lining for the excavation. Then
fill the hole with sandy loam in which the tree is to be set. The sandy
loam would give the young tree a good start, while the lining of hay
would break up the capillary attraction between the filled-in sand and
the ground-water in the surrounding alkali-charged soil.

The fresh soil which you put in would before long be impregnated through
the surface evaporation of the rising moisture, which your straw lining
would not long exclude. The trees would not be permanently satisfactory
under such conditions as you describe, though they might grow well at
first. It would be interesting, of course, to make a small-scale
experiment to demonstrate what would actually occur and it would,
perhaps, give you a chance to sell out to a tenderfoot.

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