Good Fruit Grower

April 1

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Page 42 of 55 GOOD FRUIT GROWER APRIL 1, 2015 43 otherwise you will end up where you started, i.e., with hard soil and few feeder roots. Under thick mulch, the soil remains wet for long periods after you have killed the weeds in spring. The soil remains stable, permeable, and well-aerated, with plenty of large pores, but the wet soil coalesces. That is, stable aggregates merge so that the soil hardens and restricts feeder roots. To avoid this, add 2 to 3 tons of gypsum per hectare (0.8 to 1.2 tons per acre) every two or three years along with the weed mulch. Gypsum is calcium sulfate and works in two ways to prevent coalescence. Some calcium cations in the gypsum replace harmful exchangeable sodium and magnesium cations that are attached to the clay, and some of the calcium stays as soluble cations in the soil solution. This enables the clay particles (less than 2 microns in diameter) to coagulate, i.e., join together into small aggregates, but the soil will not coalesce. Gypsum is moderately soluble, so it eventually moves down the profile and out of the root zone and therefore needs to be replaced every few years. Another big advantage of gyp- sum is that it strengthens the bonds between the organic molecules and the clay, increasing the stabilizing effect of the organic matter. Your aim with high-density plantings on trellises is to start producing high yields per hectare when the trees are young. Your trees' feeder roots are dense and confined to small volumes of soil near the drippers or mini-sprinklers. It is crucial that enough soil is soft, sta- ble, and well-drained to enable not only rain or irrigation water but also oxygen to reach all the feeder roots and for toxic gases to be removed. Ultimately, the depth of soil suitable for roots greatly affects the performance of fruit trees. Following our strategy for soil management for orchards should help to: —remove limitations of hard-setting soils to feeder roots. —increase coagulation of clay particles and stabilize aggregates to form deeper soft soil. —avoid wasting water, which increases water-use efficiency. —keep the soil well-drained and well-aerated. • The soil was prepared one year before trees were planted. Ryegrass was sown on the hills and killed before these Pink Lady trees were planted. Gypsum every 2 or 3 years along with the weed mulch will keep the surface soil soft, permeable, and well aerated. COURTESY OF BAS VAN DEN ENDE PHIL BROWN WELDING CORP. PHIL BROWN WELDING CORP. PHIL BROWN WELDING CORP. +/64:22: 51(012 • 3:22: 51(5 • 125-5:%7)4:#:$:/6)76:%7,+76:1-10 888*+7) /8684)76*,/& the since '&'%"%'$ '&%%! '!& '$ $'#&' $'%& "# '#'&% '#%& '$ '#%&&% '# !'$ $!% "%! $"#&""#&$"!$ 9:339#::3!..:.'$9:3:3#!'"::99".9:9!'%9$" Contact Vine Tech Equipment your Northwest Phil Brown Dealer 0-( 55(0-00:::::888*7644,+4 7&46*,/& A properly planted tree produces like no other. • Adjustable tree depth. • Works on stony and tough ground. • Shoe swings for handling. • Electronic distance marker also available. • Two row tool bar available. TREE PLANTER Self-Propelled Work Platform Hydraulic Work Platform (sold separately) can be mounted on any available running gear. TECH-FLO ® ZETA ZINC 22 ASK YOUR P.C.A. OR CALL NUTRIENT TECHNOLOGIES TOLL-FREE: 877/832-4356 FOR THE DEALER NEAREST YOU. Just because you put a foliar zinc on doesn't mean the job's done. Some zinc products are so ineffective they are better suited as sun- screens or paint. In trial after trial, TECH- FLO ® ZETA ZINC 22 (22% Zinc) has been shown to be the most effective foliar zinc product on the market today, getting the zinc into the tree where it is needed. For the best value for your nutritional dollar, choose TECH-FLO ® ZETA ZINC 22. UNSURPASSED FOLIAR ZINC PERFORMANCE! …PUTTING ZINC ON PUTTING ZINC IN… PUTTING ZINC IN…

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