site logo

Irrigating Alfalfa On Heavy Soils

Categories: Soils, Fertilizers and Irrigation

How does alfalfa succeed on adobe and soils slightly modified from it?

Does irrigation work well an adobe planted to alfalfa?

If you get the irrigation adjusted so that the soil shall not be

water-logged and so that the water does not stand on the surface when

the sun is hot, you can get plenty of good alfalfa on a heavy soil.

Irrigation on adobe soils must be done more frequently and a less amount

at eac
application to guard against the dangers named above.

How Much Water for Crops?

Same of my land is heavy but the most of it is light soil. I want

alfalfa mostly, same potatoes and grain, and later oranges, olives and

other fruit. How much water in inches or acre feet is required per acre

per year far the irrigation of it?

The amount of water required to grow different crops depends upon the

crop itself, upon the time of the year in which it grows, the character

of the soil, etc. There is no such thing as stating how much water would

be used for all crops on all soils, and at all times of the year. The

range would be from, say, ten acre inches for irrigation of deciduous

fruits, which need moisture supplementary to rainfall; twice or thrice

as much for citrus fruit trees; four or five times as much for alfalfa

where a full number of cuttings are required. These are, of course, only

rough estimates which would have to be modified according to local

rainfall and soil character. Water should be applied frequently enough

to keep the lower soil amply moist. A color of moisture is not enough

and a muddy condition results from too much water. One has to learn to

judge when there is moisture enough, and a good test of this to take up

a handful of soil, squeeze it and open the hand. If the ball retains its

shape it is probably moist enough. If it has a tendency to crack upon

opening the hand, it is too dry. This test, of course, is somewhat

affected by the character of the soil, but one has to form the best

judgment possible how far allowance has to be made for that.