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Mr. Hatch — No, sir. Purdy's Small Fruit Instructor, costing twenty-five cents, is worth more than any other book I ever saw on the subject. A. M. Purdy, Palmyra, New York.
A voice - How do you manage to bend over the vines without breaking them ?
Mr. Hcath. — Give them a pretty stout pull, and bend them down close to the root. If they are very stubborn, place a clump of earth on the side. It takes two persons. Grapes may be treated in the same way. Cover them first with earth, and then protect with straw outside. As concerns protection, there is nothing equal to earth, provided it is protected from the extremes of freezing and thawing.
Mr. Adams - I will ask you about pinching red raspberries.
Mr. Hatch — Red raspberries are different in character from black. I would not go above two feet. I pinched some off at three feet. If you have the Clark raspberry, and wish to break it, it will rebranch and make a very awkward bush. You can do better and not pinch it off. I would say the red might be pinched from two to two and a half feet high.
Mr. Gill — I bought a number of plants for thornless, and I came to the conclusion they were not. I ran across the gentleman I bought them of, and spoke to bim about it. “Well," said be," they must be the Mammoth Cluster.” I said, "I hope they are." I had found it was a better raspberry. Last winter I came to the conclusion that they needed protection. I did not know how to go to work to protect them. I found a great many had winter-killed, and I have great doubts in regard to this manner of covering them with earth being proper, because I do not think I can pin them down and cover with earth without injuring them. I will tell you what I did. I set up some short crotches and put on a lot of poles and put some corn stalks across.
A voice — Made a grand place for mice.
Mr. Greenman - I wish to say a word in relation to protection of the grape. The object, I understand, is to protect the roots. They are hardy enough as far as the top is concerned. I lay down
my vines and put sufficient soil upon them to hold them 10 - W S. A. S.
down, and after the ground is frozen I cover them with sufficient litter to keep them frozen until they thaw out for good.
Mr. Norton - My vineyard isn't very extensive, but I have tried earth and straw, and it generally succeeds. I know that grapes do not bear every year the same. Two years ago I brought my grapes down to the grourd, laid a little straw upon the ground and then put a board on each side and one at the top, and I never had such a crop of grapes in my life as I had that year. I have done the same thing this year, and I will tell you, if I live long enougb, how they succeeded this year. They don't freeze and thaw. They keep dry. I had a profusion of Concord grapes, and they were a splendid grape.
A voice How many acres aid you cover ?
Mr. Norton - I bad a couple of rows of vines about forty yards long. I did that as an experiment. It succeeded admirably.
Mr. Reed - I lay them down when they are pruned, on the renewal system. I put a sod on here and there, to keep them down; go in the oak openings and get some leaves, and scatter them on, and put dirt enough on these leaves to keep the wind from blowing them away. There is nothing to attract mice. They never get under the leaves. I bave found it far better than soil.
Mr. Gill — I would like to have you tell me how I injured three or four of my grape vines last winter. I was trying this renewal system which I heard some of you explain. I was a new beginner. Last winter I took my canes, laid them down and covered with soil just sufficient to protect them, and waited until I was pretty sure the mice had gone into winter quarters before I covered them up, and let them lay in the spring long enough to be sure that the frost was pretty well over before I took them up. I took them up, and I think there were at least four of my vines that started to leaf out and then went back, and I have always accused myself of injuring those canes in some manner in laying down and taking up. I would like to have you tell me the cause of tbat.
Mr. Jordan – I would like to say a word upon the question of undeveloped resources, touching fruit trees. My location is high
land, with linestone cropping out all around the hills. I had on the north a slope that was covered with young timber, too steep to plow, and too stony. For a few years past I have been cutting the timber off this land as I needed it - cutting everything close to the ground except very large stumps, and digging holes and planting orchard trees. Twice a year I mowed off all the weeds and brush that came up; and I believe it is going to be a success. I have trees which have been thus planted many years, and the soil was so thin that I removed a bushel basket full of stones in cutting the hole. Then I would haul chip manure and dirt and fill in. I have some ten or fifteen acres in orchard of that class of land, and I think it is doing as well as other land.
Mr. Plumb- I am glad to hear this testimony from our friend from Minnesota ; and when he speaks of planting orchards on new land, I think he bas suggested one of the most practical and best methods of starting an orchard upon new lands, and especially upon that class of lands. I have been watching and experimenting in this now for some eight years. It is a complete success in every case where it has been faithfully tried. I would rather plant an orchard on raw prairie or raw timber land without touching a plow to it, with a proper after treatment, than to take that same land after it has been cultivated for a series of years.
Mr. Field — I would like to ask Mr. Plurb whether he can take the raw prairie and plant a tree, turn the sou back again so that the sod shall grow right around the tree all the time, and have that succeed.
Mr. Plumb — The after treatment is another thing.
Mr. Plumb -- Any land that is good enough to bear good timber and is proper for an orchard I will plant it on.
A voice – You cannot grow any fruit tree in the neighborhood of an oak.
Mr. Plumb - I can cite the gentleman to several orchards that have been started within the last eight years, that are a complete success. Mr. Field - On timber land, I think you are correct.
On the prairie, I think it is a mistake, unless you rot the sod first.
Mr. Plumb — The difficulty in prairie orchards is, that the trees start forward, but in a few years they begin to die. It is from the excessive heat wbich they have. You leave the native sod; turn your sod bottom up around your tree, and give it sufficient mulching to give the tree cultivation enough to insure its growtb, then you have got the tree restrained so that you will retain its life. It will not overgrow, and it will become a healthy, longlived tree.
Mr. Field -- I conceive that can be done if the sod is rotted around the tree.
Mr. Wood — In these side hills, how large a place would you dig?
Mr. Jordan - At least as large as the largest common washtub. I set the trees straight up and down.
I will say further, about the roots growing in stony ground, that in excavating for a cellar, I found roots that came twelve to fifteen feet down through the limestone.
Speaking about trees being planted upon the raw prairie, we, in Minnesota, have adopted many plans and customs that were possibly adopted here in an early day. We have got men in western Minnesota who have got their third farm, never planted trees, put out plants or made gardens. One man says he has lived twenty years, and never had a currant bush or grape vine, and thinks he can get along without.
Transcendents I have often seen planted on the raw prairie sod, with a little mulching, and do well. That is a rapid grower. I think a majority of our fruit trees will not succeed in the uncultivated prairie soil.
I have been a good deal troubled on my place with rabbits. I put a high board fence up for the purpose of protecting from rabbits and thieves. I had a number of gullies, where there was almost everything growing, and wild grapes in profusion. I cleared these all out, and planted two fruit trees. They are doing nicely. I think all such places, that are a sbelter for vermin, can be made very useful for putting out trees and plauts.
A voice — Have you any of them fruited ?
Mr. Jordan - I think none of those that were put upon this uncultivated land.
Mr. Philips -- I would like to say a word for fear somebody might be misled. I have had some experience in setting trees on new land. I hadn't patience to go to work and break the land and cultivate it, as it should be before the trees are set out, but I went to work and set on new lạnd. I believe Mr. Jordan's plan is right, but you want to work understandingly. I think if you dig a hole six or eight feet square, two or three feet deep, and draw in some good soil from any place where it has been thoroughly cultivated, and cultivate the tree, that you will have it growing and raising fruit. The trees I set out on new land have pretty generally been a failure, except one variety, which will grow almost anywhere. The land needs working and cultivating.
Mr. Tuttle – It is bad enough to recommend trees put in ordinary sod. But to recommend growing them in a brush pasture ! I would just as soon put them on the side of Devil's Lake bluff. I knew an orchard planted that way some twenty years ago. I told the man who planted it that he never would raise anything there. He never has. The trees died out years ago. You might possibly dig a hole large enough, and get in good soil, get a growth for two or three years, and perhaps my friend from Minnesota may have done that thing; but unless you cart in considerable soil, you cannot even get any first growth to amount to anything. There are certain varieties of trees that, even in land that has been long cultivated and seeded down, will not bear fruit unless the ground is cultivated. I have trees standing in my ground that have stood for ten or twelve years, and never have borne anything. I let them stand a little too long in the grass. There are varieties of trees that you may grow in the grass. If you want to grow apples you must cultivate the ground just as much as if you were going to grow corn. You cannot grow fruit without cultivation. In the east, or perhaps on the lake shore where there is more moisture in the air, you can let your ground lie long in sod; but in this dry atmosphere the trees will starve to death. They won't make growth enough, if they are permitted to lie in that state, to even keep healthy. Mr. Kirk, at Devil's Lake, when he first commenced his orchard, seeded down to clover, and followed the practice, for years, of mowing that clover and