Last May I irrigated my prune trees for the first time, again during the
first two weeks of last December. If no rain should come within the next
two weeks, would you advise me to irrigate then? Should I plow before
irrigating, or should irrigation be done before the buds swell?
Unless your ground is deeply wet down by the rains which are now coming,
irrigate it once, and do not plow before irrigating. The point is to get
as much water into the ground and as much grass growth on top as you can
before the spring plowing. Never mind about the swelling of the buds.
The trees will not be affected injuriously by getting a good supply of
winter water into the soil. There might be some danger with trees which
bloom late in the spring, like citrus trees or olives, because by that
time the ground has become warm and the roots very active. At the
blooming time of deciduous trees less danger would threaten, because
there is less difference between the temperature of the ground and the
water which you were then applying from a running stream. If you
irrigated in furrows and, therefore, did not collect the water in mass,
its temperature would rise by contact with air, which would be another
reason for not apprehending trouble from it.
How Much Water for Oranges?
How much water would you consider absolutely necessary to carry to
full-bearing citrus trees an clay loam-that is, how many acres to a
miner's inch, figuring nine gallons per minute to the inch?
It would, of course, depend upon the age of the trees, as old bearing
trees may require twice as much as young trees. We would estimate for
bearing trees, on such retentive soil, 30-acre inches per year applied
in the way best for the soil.
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