Almond Tree Soil Conditions, Requirements and Preparation
Almond Tree Soil Requirements
Like all fruit trees, almond tree prefers full sun and well-drained soil. The almond tree thrives in a wide variety of soils from sandy loam to sandy clay, but generally prefers light, fertile, deep and well drained soils. Although the almond tree is resistant to drought and can survive for many years in dry soils, the production is significantly reduced under such conditions. Low soil moisture at the end of the growing season is less critical than in the beginning. Heavy or not well drained soils should be avoided, because they have been found to decrease production and favor the spread of various fungal diseases. Soil pH is not a limiting factor, as the tree can grow well in pH ranging from 5,5 to 8,5. However, the optimum pH is 6,5 to 8.
Almond Tree Soil Preparation
Before planting the young almond trees, the soil has to be plowed at a depth of 20-27 inches (50-70 cm). Tillage aims at the destruction of perennial weeds and soil fluffing, which is necessary for the development of the root system. Before plowing, almond farmers often take soil samples and send them to laboratory, in order to determine any necessary corrective actions. Many almond farmers add 20-30 tons of manure per hectare (1 hectare = 10.000 m2 = 2,47 acres) well before planting the young trees, so as to increase soil fertility. Keep in mind that if cotton or solanaceae species (potato, tomato, eggplant, tobacco) have been cultivated in the ground, then the field must be left fallow for at least four years before planting almond trees. The reason is to minimize the risk of Verticillium spp. infection of young trees. Alternatively, a farmer can sow a variety of grasses for a couple of years, or cover the ground with a special plastic black cover (ask a licensed agronomist).
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5. Almond Tree Soil Requirements and Preparation
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