Winter Irrigation

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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