Full text: Peach culture in California

Adding Organic Maiter—DMuch of the land in California that is 
used for peach growing is light in texture and located where summer 
temperatures are high. Under these conditions the humus in the soil 
is quickly exhausted. Lands that have been growing grain, or old 
orchard lands, are usually low in humus. When such conditions exist, 
the incorporation of barnyard manure or the plowing under of a green 
manure crop may be a part of the orchard preparation. 
Laying out the Orchard—The first step in laying out the 
orchard is to establish the boundaries. If the field is square or 
rectangular and one side has been determined, the other sides may be 
established by laying them oft at right angles to each other. 
The second step is staking out the orchard to the planting system to 
be used, and thus to establish the location of the trees. This frequently 
is done by use of a long planting wire with buttons at the planting 
interval. The usual planting system is where the trees are planted in 
squares, generally 22 to 24 feet apart.® 
To determine the number of trees to the acre in the ‘square sys- 
tem,” multiply the distance between the trees in the row by the 
distance between the rows and divide this product into the number 
of square feet in an acre (43,560 square feet). 
The contour system of planting is adapted to land that is too steep 
and broken to use the square system. 
Orchard Fillers and Interplanting.—Because of its early bearing 
habit the peach is sometimes used as a filler between other orchard 
trees, such as the walnut, which is slower to come into bearing. The 
fillers must be removed as soon as the permanent trees need the space. 
In a peach orchard it may be desirable to grow crops between the 
trees as a source of income before they begin bearing. Melons, beans, 
peas, cabbage, tomatoes, spinach, cauliflower, onions, beets, lettuce and 
other cultivated crops are used for interplanting. Some of these are 
grown during the winter months and others during the summer 
months. It is well to leave a cultivated strip of about five feet on each 
side of the trees to lessen competition with the trees. In sandy and 
sandy loam soils such intercropping may be dangerous because of the 
possible introduction of, or increase, in nematodes. 
Pollinators—Commercial varieties of peaches are ordinarily self- 
fertile and set good crops without special provision for, eross-pollina- 
tion. There is evidence, however, that the J. IH. Hale is self-sterile 
bearing no viable pollen and hence should not be planted alone. 
Experience seems to indicate that any of the other commercial varieties 
will pollinate the J. H. Hale. 
8 Allen, F. W. Planting and thinning distances for deciduous fruit trees. 
California Agr. Exp. Sta. Bul. 414:1-29. 1926,

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