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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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Fertilizing Fruit Trees

I have an orchard of prunes, apricots and cherries, which has been
bearing since some 30 years ago, without fertilization, except possibly
muddy sediment from occasional irrigations of mountain streams. Various
people are advocating the use of nitrates and other fertilizers. Should
I have samples of this earth analyzed in order to ascertain what the
soil most needs?

To find out whether your trees need fertilization, study the tree and
the product and do not depend upon chemical analysis of the soil. If
your trees are growing thriftily and have sufficiently goodsized leaves
of good color, and if fruit of good size and quality is obtained, it is
not necesssary to think of fertilization. If the trees are not
satisfactory in all these respects, the first thing to do is to
determine whether they have moisture enough during the later part of the
summer. This should be determined by digging or boring to a depth or
three or four feet in July or August. The subsoil should be reasonably
moist in order to sustain the tree during the late summer and early fall
when strong fruit buds for the coming year will be finished. If you are
sure the moisture supply is ample, then fertilization either with stable
manure or with commercial fertilizers containing especially nitrates and
phosphates should be undertaken experimentally, in accordance with
suggestions for application made to you by dealers in these articles,
who are usually well informed by observation. When you have the tree to
advise you of the condition of the soil, you do not need a chemist,
although if the tree manifests serious distress and is unable to make
satisfactory growth the suggestions of a chemist may be very helpful.

Next: Fertilizing Oranges

Previous: Almond Hulls And Sawdust

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