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Wisconsin State Horticultural Society / Annual report of the Wisconsin State Horticultural Society for the year 1910
Volume XL, Part II (1910)

Moore, J. G., et al.
Orchard tillage session,   pp. 106-117 PDF (2.5 MB)


Page 107


WINTER MEETING.                    107
time for which the orcharding will be cropped will then be
much less in cases where early bearing sorts as Transparent and
Duchess are used, than it will where the orchard is composed
primarily of later bearing sorts like Northwestern Greening.
No small grain crops are permissible in the orchard at any
period of its existence, if they are to be used for other than
cover crops. The choice of crops to grow in the orchard will
therefore rest between the cultivated field crops, small fruits and
vegetables. The latter as a rule may be passed over without
consideration. Practically all the small fruits can be grown suc-
cessfully between the rows of trees in the orchard. With the
field crops, potatoes, beans and possibly corn, and tomatoes when
grown as a field crop rather than a garden crop, will comprise
very largely the list which is permissible. The least desirable
of these in the orchard is corn, the height which it attains in
many instances gives too much shade, particularly if planted
close to the rows, and also restricts the free circulation of air
through the orchard. Good air circulation is very important as
a means of keeping in cheek various diseases which attack the
trees.
The rotation of crops in cropping the orchard is not of extreme
importance especially if the practice of returning the plant food
by the use of fertilizers is followed. The orchard should be
cropped only for a few years at most, and the evil effects ex-
perienced in the ordinary length of time would be small. How-
ever, both from the standpoint of effect upon the orchard soil,
and the return from the crop, rotation is doubtless advisable.
Personally, I believe a rotation where potatoes and beans are
used is as satisfactory as any. The usual length of time for
cropping an orchard of the early bearing sorts usually grown in
Wisconsin should not exceed three to four years where two to
three year old stock is set. For a three year rotation, potatoes,
beans, early potatoes would be a good combination. Follow the
first crop of potatoes with a liberal application of barnyard
manure. The crop of beans may be followed by commercial
fertilizers in which potash and phosphoric acid largely predom-
inates. The early potatoes should be dug as early as possible,
and then a cover crop of rye or other hardy covers should be
sown. The object of the cover is to protect the soil and furnish
vegetable matter to be incorporated into the soil the following
spring..
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