Light Soil And Scant Moisture

Advise me as to plowing under a crop of last year's weeds where I intend

to plant beans, corn, etc. The soil is "slickens," on the Yuba river,

and the weeds grew up last year in a crop of volunteer barley, which was

hogged off. I expect to plow five inches deep, and calculate that the

barley straw and weeds will contribute to the supply of humus, which is

always deficient in most of our soils. I expect to try to grow beans

without irrigation, and wonder if the trash would hold the soil too open

so as to dry them out.

Considering the character of the soil which you describe and the shallow

plowing you intend we should certainly burn off all the trash upon the

land. With deep plowing early in the season this coarse stuff could be

covered in to advantage, but it would be dangerous to do it in the

spring. Clean land and thorough cultivation to save moisture enough for

summer's growth is the only rational spring treatment.

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