Fruit Tree Soil

Fruit Tree Soil
by Daniel Cumming

Paradoxically enough, too much water can do harm to roots, because they must breathe, and therefore it’s sometimes necessary to ensure good drainage so as to get the excess water away in the winter. Agricultural drains not only remove excess moisture, but their function is also to ensure that all the air in the soil is not driven out by water-logging conditions.

What he can do, of course, is to try and suit the fruits to the soil, even though this may mean that lie will have to give up growing certain types which he is most anxious to produce.

The larger holes or tunnels in the soil are made by the earthworms, and these will frequently penetrate to a depth of 6 feet or more. Roots will actually go down these worm-holes, which in themselves enable the air and water, to circulate easily.

When one walks over ground after heavy rain, one’s attention is frequently attracted by the sound of air bubbling out of the worm-holes for some considerable distance all round. This emphasizes not only their importance in the drainage and ventilation of the soil, but also the fact that the soil is not a solid structureless material, but a mass of closely fitting units like a jigsaw puzzle in three dimensions.

If therefore the spread of the roots of a fruit tree is three times that of the spread of the branches and more, then those who aim to manage soil properly must give each enormous root system favourable conditions. One of the chief functions of soil is to absorb water, and in Great Britain we get far more rain in a winter than trees can possibly use, and generally speaking in the summer much less rain than is needed.

This surface planting, coupled with surface feeding and surface mulching, has paid dividends again and again.

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