This section of the book is from the Guide To Hardy Fruits And Ornamentals book, by Thomas Joseph Dwyer, published in 1903.
Land that has been previously cropped with fruits, grains or vegetables is admirably adapted to the planting of the Apple and other Tree Fruits; also land that is in sod can, with proper and persistent plowing and harrowing, be made ready and brought in good condition for planting in a short time, but no matter what the condition of your land, be it loose or in sod, the thorough preparation of it is of the primary and most necessary importance. On the perfect performance of this work in the beginning the life and future of your trees depend more than upon any other point that can possibly afterwards relate to their welfare. Plow the ground as deep as possible, and if you can do it to advantage, follow with the sub-soil plow. No matter what the depth of your virgin soil is, let your aim be to loosen the sub-soil to a depth of two or three inches below it. If the ground has previously or directly before been in sod, it should be cross plowed after it has been thoroughly worked over with the harrow. In any case, and every time the plow has been used the ground must be finely pulverized with the use of the harrow. If you have to go over the ground five or six times to accomplish this purpose, and have the soil in perfect order, you may consider it time well spent. The writer knows this from experience, and has in the past and on several occasions harrowed plots of ground as many as ten times to get them in the perfect condition they should be in before planting. In addition to the advisability of getting started right the necessity of having your land properly prepared is of paramount importance. Occasionally we have observed the practice of a few fruit growers and others who back furrow a narrow strip in their proposed orchard and plant their trees on this elevated ridge. This is a ruinous method and should not be practiced at any time or under any circumstances. To use this system of preparing the land when it is in sod is a thoroughly wrong and suicidal beginning. We should make it a rule, and never deviate from it, that no matter what the land has heretofore been cropped with, it should all of it be plowed and harrowed as prescribed above. Horse or cow stable manure or both, mixed together, may be used broadcast on the ground before the first plowing. Unless your land is in an exceptionally high state of fertility, you can safely use, and to good advantage, ten tons of this manure to the acre. In a general way this would be equivalent to ten large team loads. We will, of course, later on in this work advise the quantities and how to apply manure or fertilizer directly about the trees at the time of planting, and afterwards as they grow and develop from year to year. All the matters heretofore referred to and explained in detail under the heading "Preparation of the Soil", are applicable, singly and individually, to all the tree fruits hereafter named -- Apples, Pears, Peaches, Apricots, Cherries, Plums, Quinces and Nut Trees.