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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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Humus Burning Out

I would like to know whether or not dry-plowing land, in preparation for
sowing oats for hay, injures the soil? I have heard that dry plowing
tends to wear out the soil, as the soil is exposed to the sun a long
time before harrowing. I have been dry-plowing my land to kill the,
weeds, but had a light crop of hay this year.

There is believed to be what is called "a burning out of humus," by long
exposure of the soil to the intense heat of our interior districts. It
is probable that the reduction of humus is due more to the lack of
effort to maintain the supply than to the actual destruction of it by
culture methods. Such a little time as might intervene between dry
plowing and sowing could not be charged with any appreciable destruction
of soil fertility. It is altogether more probable that your hay crop was
less from loss of moisture than from loss of other plant food; and it is
desirable to harrow a dry plowing, not so much to save the soil from the
action of the atmosphere, as to conserve the moisture, which, as you
know, will rise from below and will rapidly be evaporated from the
undisturbed bases of your furrows. Therefore, we should harrow a dry
plowing as soon as practicable, but with particular reference to the
moisture supply rather than to other forms of fertility.

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