Full text: Peach culture in California

1930] Prac CuLturE IN CALIFORNIA 
Since the peach does not heal over large wounds readily, it is unwise 
‘0 use limbs much over two inches in diameter for topworking. The 
branches, however, may be cut back and the new variety budded into 
the shoots that grow from near the stubs. 
Preparation for planting the peach orchard may consist of clearing 
and leveling the land, establishing the irrigation and drainage systems, 
and properly tilling the soil. 
Leveling the Land and Establishing the Irrigation System. —Most 
peach trees in California require irrigation. Hence, the preparation of 
the land before planting becomes of importance. Poorly leveled land 
results in uneven irrigation, excessive use of water, greater labor costs, 
and frequently in too much water, resulting in a rise of the water 
table with possible consequent alkali injury. 
It is not generally practical to make marked changes in the original 
grade of the land, but advantage can be taken of the most desirable 
slope in laying out the irrigation system. If the trees are to be watered 
in basins or checks, flat grades or slopes can be utilized. At present, 
laying the checks according to contour seems to be the desirable 
practice. Local soil conditions must be taken into consideration. 
A contour or topographical survey will indicate the leveling neces- 
sary. The land should preferably not be scraped so deep as to result 
in infertile spots, which prevent the best growth of the trees. 
Some grain lands have been repeatedly plowed at the same depth 
and a hard layer of soil has resulted from the compacting of the soil 
particles by the plow. This plow-sole or plow-pan should be broken up 
before planting to allow water to penetrate freely. By changing the 
depth of plowing each year and by avoiding plowing when the soil is 
too wet, the trouble may be prevented. 
Irrigation Water—In case the water comes from the outside, the 
grower should be assured of a regular supply when needed. The 
irrigation system and pumping plant, if the orchard is not in a gravity 
water district, should preferably be installed previous to planting. 
Before planting the grower ought to ascertain whether his acreage will 
warrant the expense of a pumping plant, or whether he can sell 
sufficient water to neighbors, after meeting the needs of his own 
orchard, to justify the investment.” The water should be free from 
an excess of alkali salts. 
~& Hulvrty, M. R. and J. B, Brown. Irrigation of orchards by contour furrows. 
California Agr. Ext. Cir. 16:1-16, 1928. 
7 Johnston, C. N. Principles governing the choice, operation and care of small 
irrigation pumping plants. California Agr. Exp. Sta. Cir. 312:1-28. 1928.

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