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the day will fall perpendicular upon the body of the tree and toughen the bark, and by the time the tree reaches bearing size, it would lie nearly on the ground, rendering it much easier to pick the fruit, than if obliged to climb into the trees, or pick from a ladder. Tread the surface of the ground as hard and smooth as possible.
6. MULCHING.—This is all foolishness. The idea of placing rubbish about your trees to draw up the moisture, is simply ridiculous. Plant out the trees and let them alone, unless it may be to water them in case the earth appears dry, then carry out water from the well, it would be a little colder to put in a chunk of ice, and pour à pailful at the roots of each tree. Do this just after dinner when it is hot; then you can add this to the long list of kindnesses shown those miserable trees, when the nurseryman sends in his bill, and thereby you can get a reduction.
7. PRUNING.—If you must prune wait till the trees are old enough to do it to some purpose. I would advise you to let them alone, unless there are some limbs in the way, then lop them off with an ax and done with it. This eternally working at a tree, following the moony theories of some book-fool, who probably does not know an apple-tree when he sees it, is spending time that should be used in hoeing corn, bugging potatoes, blowing about the weather or chinch-bugs, or something else that will pay.
8. CROPS FOR ORCHARDS.—Sow anything you wish, such as wheat, oats, timothy, grass, but hoed crops will prove unsatisfactory, except when your trees are small enough to allow your horses to straddle over them, as it is unpleasant to use a double shovel or cultiyator. Barking a tree should not hurt it. It did not, "down east." If it does it is the fault of the nurserymen.
9. PICKING AND MARKETING THE FRUIT.-As the priceof apples is so small, hand picking is out of the question. Shake them from the trees, and toss them into piles. If not convenient to go to town at the time, a few days sun and rain will not hurt them. If you have an army corps of shanghais, turkeys, guinea-hens, etc., allow them to pick them over, it will improve the looks of the apples. If a twenty-five cent shanghai spoils a bushel of apples a day it is all right, they must live till killing time comes anyway, if they do scratch up all the garden, pick all the small fruit and apples. When you are ready for town, sling from eight to ten bushels into the lumber wagon, and trot them to the market.
10. Let the grass grow around the bodies of your trees, as it furnishes homes for the poor little mice, during the winter. Fence your orchard from your crops so that you can turn in your cattle and sheep. Gnawing off the bark, shortening in the branches, and splitting down the limbs, is nothing compared with the waste of a few spears of grass.
11. PROFITS OF MARKET-ORCHARDING.-It is well enough to spend a little loose change on a few trees, to please the "women folks,” or because your ancestors did; but, the man who plants ten acres of good wheat land to three or four kinds of apples, and fusses and fools away his time in following book and newspaper fol-de-rol in caring for them, expecting to market annually, hundreds of bushels of good fruit, at paying prices, must be an idiot, a lunatic, or so immensely wealthy that his greenbacks are a burden to him. Apples grown in this State do not keep any; you may keep the cellar as warm as you please, and pick them over every other day, and they will still rot, and the more you pick, and the warmer the cellar, the more they rot. It is nonsense to compare Michigan with Wisconsin, as Michigan apples are much better than we can raise here, or they have the knack of handling them, or as one man said they know in what time of the moon to gather them.
12. Now, when you have followed the above rule, and possibly many others which I have overlooked, and still fail; when your cattle destroy a tree, or the mice girdle the trees next the roots; when a large limb is split down by the wind, from want of judicious pruning; when the bark-lice have so thoroughly drained the trees of their vitality that the leaves turn yellow in August; when the fruit drops prematurely, from exhausted vitality caused by bark-lice, drought, June grass, extreme cold, or over-bearing the previous year; when the tree becomes diseased from the rap of a whiffle-tree, or the lopping of a branch at the wrong season for pruning, don't forget to take a rest across the fence and fire off all the invectives you can think of, at the nurseryman; he is the sole cause of all your losses.
I will ask if a majority of the unlucky tree-planters of this State have not followed some, if not all these rules. If a farmer should act as idiotic in his care of live-stock and methods of growing crops as he does in his attempts at orchard-growing, his friends would appoint a guardian for him, and he would not be allowed to direct in any of his business matters. The farmers, as a rule, have arrived at the conclusion that it is policy to house stock in the winter, at least during storms. I can recollect plainly when the rule in Wisconsin was to turn all horned-stock, at least, out to a strawpile, snow or shine, to shiver and starve. I have hopes that they will progress also in orcharding, till success will be the rule instead of the exception.
They should benefit by the experience of themselves and neighbors; set such kinds, and only such, as have proved hardy through several of the severe winters. There are varieties enough that are iron-clad, and first-class bearers of good fruit. Take these, plant intelligently, in good soil and location, and mulch them; plant hoed crops, and cultivate them, taking full as much care not to injure the trees as you would the corn; prune judiciously and in the right season; fence your orchards to keep out your stock; clean away all rubbish that will harbor mice at the roots; watch for barklice, and when discovered, if the leaves are off the trees-if not wait till they are—throw fine ashes into the tree when trunk and branches are wet; hand-pick your fruit, handling as carefully as eggs, taking them to market upon springs, or with straw under the buxes or barrels, and you will succeed in raising large crops of good apples to supply not only our own State, but that large territory to the north and west, which cannot, and possibly never will raise apples.
H. FLOYD, BERLIN.
Cranberry-culture is receiving some attention in this State, but not near what it should or will receive as soon as we become convinced of its practicability and profit. Up to the present time, a large share of the efforts to reclaim and plant marshes with the cranberry-vine, have been largely experimental, and many of these experiments have proved failures, in whole or in part. The causes of these failures are various. Some have planted in grass, which was not kept down; others have planted in marshes of no depth, with no supply of water to keep them wet, and hence have failed of the wished for or expected results; while others have planted in marshes not adapted to the growth of the plant, or on such as are flowed with lime-water, or are so much occupied with other plants as to choke out the cranberry-vine after it had been planted.
The great enemy of the cranberry is sage, a plant common to all marshes naturally adapted to cranberry-culture. This plant increases rapidly, under favorable circumstances, by sending out stolens when the marsh is dry and in proper condition for the rapid growth of the cranberry-vine. Hence, all lands which are to be planted with the cranberry should be cleared from sage, and nearly so from grass or other plants, especially the small brake or fern that sometimes infest these marshes.
All intelligent cultivators agree as to the importance of scalping marshes that are to be planted to vines. This work is cheaply and speedily done, with a machine which I have invented, if the marsh is firm enough to bear horses by, clogging their feet. This machine can be gauged so as to cut from two to ten inches in depth, and from thirty to thirty-four or five inches in width, and with four good horses will scalp five acres per day. These turf scalpings may be turned over, or rolled up, then dried and burned or drawn off in winter to the compost heap. If they are to be burned, the scalping should be done early enough to have the full benefit of any dry time that may follow. When a clean surface has been secured in any way, the vines may be planted. The best mode of planting I have yet discovered, is to cut into the bog with an adze. A spadeblade, shaped to the proper angle and handled, would I think be a good tool to make the cuts with. With either of these tools make a slanting cut, leaving the slice so that it can be raised with one hand and with the other, slide the bunch of vines under and spread them the width of the cut; press down with the foot and the work of planting is done. Vines so planted often push out runners a foot or more in length the first year and look as though they would soon cover the ground, even though planted three feet apart.
It is not absolutely necessary to have these plants flowed until the third winter, unless insects should make their appearance, working or feeding on the vines. In this case the land should be flowed up to the last of May or first of June. This will prevent the first brood hatching in any considerable number. This first brood of insects makes its appearance about the middle of May, feeds on sage or vines not covered with water, and grows to maturity, ties itself up in its cocoon and passes the chrysalis state. The last of July or first of August, it often appears in vast numbers, devouring sage and cranberry-plants to such an extent as to almost destroy the entire crop of fruit. But if the marshes and plants can be completely covered with water, it will be impossible for the cranberry insect to become very numerous and destructive, unless adjoining marshes are made nurseries for its propagation, and the millers fly from one to the other. The insect deposits its eggs as freely on sage-plants as on the cranberry, and the young worms feed and grow as fast on one as on the other, hence all natural marshes are quite sure to be stocked with them to some extent.
The question of how the grower can secure an abundance of water, then, is a very important one, since with it, he can protect his vines in the winter (snow is nearly as good if we have it, but is not as reliable), and is also a protection against the ravages of the insect, and a preventive of blight of the bloom or sunscald, which is occasioned by excessive evaporation from the plants during the hottest hours of the diy. Hence, when the water is drawn off the last of May, it should not all be drawn from the surface, but a little should be left to supply the plants with moisture and to tone down the air at the surface of the marsh by evaporation, until after the fruit is set, then it may gradually be drawn to the bottom of the ditches by picking-time.
Ditching has two objects in view; to drain the marsh when too wet, and to supply it with water. The drainage ditches should run at right angles with the descent in the marsh, except the main ones. The excavations of the former should be thrown into slight dams to hold water on the higher portions of the marsh in the earlier part of the season; then by damming the main ditches at proper points, we can hold the water, if we have a supply, at any desired heighth. The overseer of bearing marshes should have accurate knowledge of the stage of water after it is drawn nearly to the surface of the marsh until after the crop of fruit is set, since very heavy and severe losses have occurred, and will occur, if this is neglected; also after this time, in case of freshets, care should be taken to prevent an overflow.