Soils And Oranges
I find this entire district underlaid with hardpan at various depths,
from 1 to 6 feet down, and of various thicknesses. This hardpan is more
or less porous and seeps up water to some extent, but is too hard for
roots to penetrate. It is represented to me that if this hard pan is
down from 4 to 5 feet it does not interfere with the growth of the
orange tree or its producing. Is 4 or 5 feet of the loam enough?
Four or five feet of good soil over a hardpan, which was somewhat
porous, is likely to be satisfactory for orange planting. There has been
trouble from hardpan too near the surface and from the occurrence of a
hardpan too rich in lime, which has resulted in yellow leaf and other
manifestations of unthrift in the tree. Discussion of this subject is
given on page 434 of the fifth edition of our book on "California
Fruits," where we especially commend a good depth of "strong, free
loam." This does not mean necessarily deep. The orange likes rather a
heavier soil, while a deep sandy loam is preferred by some other fruits.
If you keep the moisture supply regular and right and feed the plant
with fertilizers, as may be required, the soil you mention is of
sufficient depth - if it is otherwise satisfactory.
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