Apples And Alfalfa





I have recently come across a proposition to sow apple orchards in the

interior of southern California with alfalfa. The apples are said to be

superior and the crop heavier, to say nothing of a half or two-thirds of

an alfalfa crop in addition to the crop of apples. What do you know

about it? Is alfalfa being used by others in this way?



It is perfectly rational to grow alfalfa in fruit orchards if the water

supply is ample for both the trees and the intercrop and the owner will

not yield to the temptation to waterlog his trees for the sake of

getting more alfalfa. It is even more desirable in the interior than

near the coast, probably. In Arizona some growers have for a number of

years practiced growing alfalfa in orchards, cutting the alfalfa without

removing it, counting that clippings are worth more to them through

their decay and the increase of the humus content of the soil. Even

where this is not done, the alfalfa will add to the humus of the soil by

its own wastes both from root and stem. The presence of an alfalfa cover

reduces the danger of leaf and bark burning either by reflected or

radiated heat from a smooth ground surface, and some trees are very much

benefited by this protection in regions of high temperature. This might

be expected to be the case with the apple, which is somewhat subject to

leaf burning in our interior valleys.





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