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Starting The Orchard
The first few years are the most critical of an orchard's existence, because neglect is more likely to occur and the injuries done at this time can, in many cases, never be overcome by subsequent good care. In discussing this question Prof. V. H. Davis of Ohio State University gives his experience as follows: 'In my orchard of some 8,000 apple trees and a few hundred each of pear, plum, cherry, a...
Planting And Pruning
The roots should never be exposed for any length of time to the sun and wind, and should always go into the soil wet. In the morning, we take up about the number of trees that can be planted before noon and prune the roots. These are placed on a sled or wagon and covered at once with straw, carpet, or burlap and water thrown over the entire bundle until thoroughly wet.
Cover Crops For The Orchard
'Tillage burns out the humus and calls for a new supply. It lets the air in, like opening the drafts of a stove. The higher the state of cultivation,' writes Prof. G. F. Warren of the College of Agri-culture of Cornell University, 'the more humus needed. We must supply this either in barnyard manure or by cover crops. Manure is expensive, cover crops are relatively cheap and may be made to...
Mulching Young Trees
'On account of the nature of the land at my disposal for nut orchards,' writes Dr. Robert T. Morris of New York, 'it was necessary to devise some labor-saving plan that would cover the whole ground in a general way. The 200 acres set out to nut trees consist in part of open tilled land, in part of rocky pasture land, difficult of cultivation, and in part of newly cleared forest land with stumps a...
Orchard Fruits
'We receive trees many times that are started to leaf out and with very little packing around the roots,' writes Benton Gebhard of Michigan. 'The roots are dry and many trees are fatally injured when they get to their destination. Sometimes we immerse these roots in warm water to revive them.' The roots should be packed in building paper and moss, or partly decayed chaff.
When And How To Prune
The question- frequently arises, when to prune. Among the earlier horticulturists this question was often answered as follows : Prune when your knife is sharp. This is a comparatively safe method to follow with most plants, but where the problem involves the management of extensive commercial plantations it is not so easy to prune in this miscellaneous fashion.
Storing Fruit
'After trying many different methods of keeping the winter supply of vegetables,' writes L. Hunt of Orleans County, Vermont, 'I have settled upon the following plan as best suited to my needs: Apples I tried in barrels, boxes, and wrapped in paper on shelves. I then tried spreading them out not more than three or four deep on the cellar bottom, which is of soil and dry.
Advertising Fruit For Sale
At a recent fruit growers' meeting considerable attention was attracted to the exhibit of boxed apples by the uniform packing, but more especially by the way which the exhibitor, Fall Brook Farms, was taking to advertise the fruit. A neat four page circular showing two full-page scenes on the farm, the other two pages telling of the farm's products, was being handed to visitors.
The Apple
The apple succeeds over a wider territory than any other temperate climate fruit; it offers wider opportunity for utility than any other fruit, and it can be put to a larger variety of uses than any other. Some varieties do better on one kind of soil than other varieties will, but in general apples will succeed well on almost all soils, where agricultural crops are grown.
Renovation Of Old Apple Trees
Many old apple orchards have declined in bearing because they have not been properly managed. Usually such trees are full of dead wood, water sprouts and interfering limbs which later bear fruit in small amount and of poor quality. Too often such trees are cut down as unprofitable without first giving them an opportunity to redeem them-selves.
Packages For Apples
As to packages for apples, W. A. Irvine of Greene county, Missouri, writes: I used both barrels and boxes last year with satisfaction from both for their special use, but would have used proportionately more boxes than barrels if I could have gotten them.
Marketing Apples
Walter Snyder, a Maryland apple dealer, writes concerning the marketing of apples, that "the apple should be hand picked. When I say hand picked, I do not mean to take a fence rail or a club and knock the fruit down on the ground and pick up by hand, as is the custom prevailing in some sections of our state.
Dwarf Apples
The culture of dwarf apples commercially has not been undertaken to any large extent in our country. For many years, however, dwarfs have been grown in private gardens on country estates where a few choice apples of high quality were desired. Interest has been awakened in trees of a low form, which may be more readily reached for pruning and gathering of the fruit.
Fruit - The Apricot
This fruit is managed in practically the same way as the peach. It is far less appreciated on the farm than it should be, mainly because it is frequently planted in places exposed to the sun, which hastens blooming. Often, in such situations, the blossoms are nipped by early frost and no fruit results.
Fruit - The Cherry
In recent years the high prices for which cherries have sold have put this very desirable fruit in the list of luxuries. According to George T. Powell of Columbia county, New York, 'this applies particularly to sweet cherries. It has been difficult to get orchards of sweet cherries started and established. There are two kinds of stock used in propagating sweet cherries - the Mazzard and the Mahaleb.
Fruit - The Nectarine
Nectarines are smooth-skinned peaches, and often come from peach pits or as bud sports on peach trees. Usually they are inferior to peaches, but several varieties are cultivated more for curiosity than anything else. (See Peach for methods of management.)
In California the almond and the English walnut are grown commercially, and in the South the pecan has been planted in extensive groves within the last 15 or 20 years. In many of the states the chestnut has been growing in favor for commercial purposes, and, in a few cases, hardy English walnuts have proved profitable.
Fruit - The Peach
In favorable localities the peach may be grown from Connecticut to Florida and westward, except in the coldest locations among the mountains, to the Pacific coast. In cold localities it is generally placed in sheltered situations where the sun will not strike the buds too strongly during winter, and thus make them swell and freeze.
Fruit - The Pear
There are two principal classes of pears the European and the Chinese. All of our finely flavored varieties belong to the former class. The Chinese group contains such undesirable though extensively grown varieties as Kieffer, Le Conte, and Garber.
Fruit - The Plum
No fruit will replace the plum. It makes the choicest of preserves, and many of the varieties are unsurpassed as dessert fruits. Every farm should have at least a dozen trees of various varieties to extend the season, as Professor Ballou outlines below:The plum does best in rather strong, rich clayey loam, but even on soils that are rather light it does fairly well, though the tree is less vigorous.
Fruit - The Quince
The quince is probably the most neglected of the cultivated fruits in America. It is usually allowed to shift for itself. There is no reason why this should be. The fruit is well worth a place in the home garden, and in very many localities there is a good demand in the local markets. The quince does best on a deep, rich, moist soil, but will do well on any land that will raise corn and potatoes.
Small Fruits
'My small fruit garden,' writes Mrs. Zacheus McAllister of Maine, 'is about 195 feet long north and south by 115 feet wide, with a portion in the northwest corner 33 by 75 feet, taken up by a hen-house, also four rows of red raspberries 140 feet long and three rows of blackberries 75 feet long.' A part of the first row at the extreme north border is taken up by currants, set under and between plum and pear trees, all set before my coming to the farm nearly 20 years ago.
Raspberries Do Well
I also set 18 Shaffer Colossal raspberry bushes in the fall, that same year, bought direct from the nursery. This plant, being propagated from the tips, was new to me, and in buying in the fall the plants were small and the roots smaller, but I succeeded in having it come through the winter. Every Monday I watered with wash water and many pailfuls of dressing.
The Blackberry
In no essential respect does the treatment of the blackberry differ from that of the raspberry. The plant is a more rampant grower and should have more room. It also needs more careful pruning and pinching to secure best results. Six to 8 feet is the usual distance at which rows are made and 2 to 3 feet between the plants in the row.
The Currant
In the cooler sections of the country the currant is one of the easiest and most satisfactory small fruits to grow. It is perfectly hardy, makes quick and early maturing growth, comes into bearing the second year after planting, and produces fruit unequaled by any temperate climate fruit for making jelly. Some of the varieties are excellent for eating raw, when sprinkled with sugar.
The Dewberry
The dewberry differs from the blackberry mainly in its trailing habit. The fruit is usually earlier than the blackberries, and thus prolongs the black-berry season. Dewberries are generally tied to stakes or trellises so as to facilitate cultivation. In the fall, the cords are cut and the canes allowed to lie on the ground during the winter.
The Gooseberry
Like the currant, the gooseberry does best in a cool climate. The northern states and, in the south, the mountains, are best adapted for this fruit. Like the currant, also, the gooseberry does best on moist soil. Its chief enemy is the gooseberry worm. (See Currant.) Properly managed gooseberries furnish abundance of fruit, which can be used long before it is ripe, for making pies and jam.
The Grape
In proportion to the amount of care it requires, the grape will produce more pleasure and profit than any other of our temperate climate fruits. It needs only a warm soil and sunny exposure, and, preferably, an elevation above the general lay of the land in order to do well. As to training, stakes or trellises may be used or the vines trained over a porch or window.
The Raspberry
There are four classes of American raspberries. Two of these, the white and the red, belong to the same species. The third is the black raspberry, or blackcap, which forms a class by itself. The fourth class is a hybrid between the red and the black. The cultivation of all these is the same except that the black varieties need some-what more room than the others.
The Strawberry
'There are three prerequisites to successful strawberry production fertile soil, strong, vigorous, fruitful plants, and thorough cultivation,' writes W. H. Burke of St. Joseph county, Michigan. 'Anyone who will observe these points in practice may be assured of success. We find that, in order to produce vigorous and fruitful plants, we must keep the soil up to a high state of fertility.
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