News Feed Forums Fruit and Nuts Preferred soil prep protocols for starting new fruit tree row? Reply To: Preferred soil prep protocols for starting new fruit tree row?

  • John Warmerdam

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    December 27, 2022 at 7:49 pm
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    Sorghum sudan is the best candidate if you can have a summer planting, can do well on one irrigation to get started, really well on two. Will give a high amount of biomass, and produces hydrogen cyanide which can have a fumigation effect. Note, the formation of HC only occurs when the plant is damaged so mowing and then discing will be necessary to make it work best. Try to catch it before it goes to seed, you have a better crop, but you will definitely have a crop the next year even if you don’t want to! You add any number of warm-season seeds as well dependent on your needs, but the sudan likely end up as the dominant plant. Mustard, oats, barley could be a good mix in the fall, skip legumes since gophers will be worse. ever tried mustard meal, but have seen claims it can do as well as fumigation in some cases. Manure (15 tons) and gypsum (2 tons) are always part of our mix, and I haven’t used the fall primer yet due to time issues but that would be a good as well. Note if you are putting down chips from an old orchard you will need more N than even the manure will provide, John Kempf’s nitrogen mix would be a good bet as it is slow-release and won’t burn roots like a straight UN-32 would. Also, if you are putting in a commercial orchards and plan to plant into the cover crop consider marking your trees marks (distance between trees grid) first and then plant between them. Depending on your tree and planter width you can plant down the row with GPS but have the tree marks present for planting.