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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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Treatment Of Alkali

I am advised that in some cases alkali may be drained and that in others
it is treated with gypsum.

Gypsum is not a cure for alkali, but simply a means of transforming
black alkali into white, which is less corrosive and therefore less
destructive to plants, but there may be easily too much white alkali
present - so much that the land would be made sterile by it. You cannot
remove alkali by flooding unless two conditions can be assured: first,
that the water itself is free from alkali before application to the
land; second, that you underdrain the land at a depth of from three to
four feet with tile, so that the fresh water on the surface can flow
through the soil into the drains, carrying away from the land the
alkali, which it dissolves in its course. To flood land even with fresh
water without making arrangements for carrying off the alkali water
below, is to increase the alkali on the surface as the water evaporates,
and such treatment does land injury rather than benefit. We cannot give
you any estimate as to the cost of washing out. It depends altogether
upon local conditions: whether you use hand work or machinery for the
ditching, and what your water will cost.

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