Apple Growing

Preparation Of Soil

The previous condition and treatment of a soil for an orchard are important. If the soil has been in a good rotation of field crops, including some cultivated crops, it should be in prime condition for the trees. Old pastures and meadows should

be plowed up, cropped, and cultivated for a year or two before setting to obtain the best and quickest results. If one is in a hurry, however, this may be done after setting the trees. Good results are sometimes obtained by setting trees right among the stumps on recently cleared timberland. Where no stiff sod has formed the trees start quickly in the rich soil. The best immediate treatment of land preparatory to setting the trees should be such as to place the soil in good tilth. Deep plowing, thorough cultivation, and the application of liberal amounts of manure--twelve to fifteen loads per acre--are the most effective means of doing this. The best crop immediately to precede trees is clover. Sometimes an application of one thousand five hundred to two thousand pounds of lime will help to insure a stand of clover and at the same time improve the physical condition of the soil. Fall plowing is a good practice on the medium loams and more open soils, but on the heavy clays spring plowing is to be preferred, as when plowed in the fall these soils puddle and become hard to handle. Care should always be taken to keep the orchard well furrowed out as standing water is decidedly inimical to satisfactory tree-growth. Tile draining is frequently advisable.

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Next: Intercropping

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