[NAFEX] sandy soil and sugary fruit

Alan Haigh alandhaigh at gmail.com
Fri Jun 12 06:19:27 EDT 2009


I get to observe fruit trees growing in soils with a wide  textural
diversity from near beach sand to heavy clay.  Of course my observations are
still only anecdotal but I do believe sandy soils consistantly produce
higher brix in fruit just because they don't hold so much water.  This
becomes very apparent during wet seasons where sites with poor drainage will
suffer by way of bland fruit much more frequently than sites that dry out
quickly.  This may not be so important in areas that don't get rain in the
summer.

I wish I had more information about the relationship to excess water and
relative sugar content of fruit.  I'd like to see some experiments where
weeds are alowed to grow under some fruit trees from mid-summer while others
were kept from competition and brix measurement were compared of fruit from
contrasting trees.  With all the rain we're getting I'm planning on doing a
limited experiment in my own orchard this season.

Whenever drainage is at all an issue I recommend that fruit plants be grown
on well raised mounds.  This not only helps the trees grow well, but I
believe it also elevates the quality of the fruit.  I don't think adding
sand to the soil is at all a practical method, except perhaps to grow a few
melons.
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