Group Title: Press bulletin
Title: Soil preparation
Full Citation
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 Material Information
Title: Soil preparation
Alternate Title: Press bulletin 106 ; Florida Agricultural Experiment Station
Physical Description: 2 leaves : ; 21 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Scott, John M ( John Marcus )
University of Florida -- Agricultural Experiment Station
Publisher: Florida Agricultural Experiment Station
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: January 23, 1909
Subject: Soil management -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Statement of Responsibility: by John M. Scott.
General Note: Caption title.
General Note: "January 23, 1909."
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00090468
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 83799103

Full Text


florid Agricuilural Experiment Slallon.

A thorough preparation of the soil is necessary to produce the largest
crop of any kind. Whatever crop is to be grown, the main point is to get
the soil in the best possible condition for a good seed-bed. Such preparation
retains the soil moisture, and puts the soil into the proper physical condi-
tion for the growth of roots. The thorough preparation of the seed-bed re-
duces the cost of cultivation during the growth of the crop by at least one-
During the spring planting season the ground is usually dry. The past
two seasons, for instance, have been too dry for good germination, except-
ing where the land was prepared early. Hence it is necessary to till the
soil early so as to retain a large percentage of the moisture which was
received during the fall and winter. A large amount of moisture can be
kept in the soil for a considerable time by proper preparation and later
cultivation. We should plow early in the winter (say, in January), and if
there is much grass or weed on the ground the plowing should be deep
enough to bury everything out of sight.
As soon as the land is plowed it should be harrowed thoroughly, and
again harrowed at intervals of about ten days or two weeks until the crop
is planted. Just when the harrowing should be done will depend on the'- -
weather, but the field should be harrowed often enough to retain a good
soil mulch; that is, the surface of the soil, to the depth of one or two inches,
should be kept thoroughly pulverized. This will prevent a large part f the
moisture from evaporating and being lost before the crop is planted. :It is'
especially important to run the harrow over the ground after every rain.
This breaks the slight surface crust that is apt to form, and prevents the::.
loss of moisture to the air. In the dry spring of last year, we were able,
by this method, to retain sufficient moisture in the soil to germinate cotton,
corn, and velvet bean seed. ,This surface cultivation should be continued
even after plowing. The correct agricultural practice is to plow deep when
preparing the seed-bed, and give shallow cultivation during the growth of *::;
the crop.

January 23, 1909.

Our best farmers have learned from experience that it is better to plow
up the whole field; for listing between the old rows and leaving the mid-
dles to be broken out later puts the land in the worst possible shape for
retaining the moisture which is already there, and also, for absorbing any
rain that may fall.
It is well-known that we often lose from 50 to 75 per cent. of the value
of the fertilizer by not having the soil in proper condition at the time of
planting. By thorough preparation of the soil we not only save a large part
of the fertilizer we apply each year, but at the same time we bring'about
such conditions as tend to hasten plant growth. We also increase the
water-holding capacity of the soil by adding organic material to It, through
plowing under the remains of plants left on the land by the previous crop.
A soil may contain enough available plant food to produce a heavy crop;
but may be so wanting in humus that it cannot hold moisture enough to
germinate the seed well, or to make a satisfactory growth of the crop.
When the land is prepared early in the season more time is given for
the raw soil to weather, and for all trash and weeds plowed under to decay.
A better seed-bed is insured; for more time can be given to the work, and
the soil also has time to settle and become firm enough to establish capil-
larity between the subsoil and the plowed soil, so as to insure sufficient
moisture in the seed-bed f6r germination and to tide the growing crop
over a long dry period.

State papers please copy.

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