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Fruit growing

One of the first considerations in planting the orchard and in some respects the most important, is the preparation of the land. It is true that orchards can be planted on land that has been poorly prepared, but as a rule the difficulties which later arise more than offset the supposed gain. Preparation for planting should consider at least the character of the surface soil, and the subsoil. With the ideal subsoil no attention need be given, but where the subsoil, or even the lower portion of the surface soil is a compact clay, then subsoiling should be done.

The surface soil should be considered from two standpoints ­ the character of the tilth, and the presence of organic material. While the former is more or less de endent upon the latter, the degree of firmness is a matter that should not be overlooked. A clover sod, or still better, a crop of clover, ploughed under, followed by a cultivated crop, preferably corn, grown upon the land puts the soil in the best possible condition for the planting of trees the following year.

Frequent cultivation of the crop so as to put the soil in good tilth is essential. The clover which has been turned under adds both organic matter which assists in a vigorous growth of the trees the season planted. If the soil has been put in good condition little work is necessary in the spring before planting. The land may have been ploughed the fall previous or just before planting. Fall ploughing usually permits of earlier setting of trees.