« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
shift. All animals thrive upon mangel-wurzel, and are fond of it, and it is less apt to affect the taste of milk, than either turnips or cabbages, when cows are fed with it.
Cabbages, form a very valuable description of green food for cattle, throughout the whole year, as successive crops of them, at regular intervals, may always be obtained ; and the early York and sugar-loaf kinds, when young, give no unpleasant taste to milk or butter.
There are numerous varieties of the cabbage, known by different names. The larger kinds are usually cultivated by the farmers in England and Scotland, such as the Drumhead, the Oxhead, &c. Cabbages thrive best on a strong deep soil. They will also do well on marshy land, and good crops have been produced on newly reclaimed bog or moss. Whatever be the soil, however, a liberal application of farm-yard manure, or good compost, is necessary; and when the heads begin to form, if liquid manure can be obtained to pour between the rows, it will greatly improve the growth of the plant.
The ground for cabbages should be repeatedly ploughed and harrowed, or, what is better, trenched deeply to the subsoil. If it is intended for a spring planting, let the ground be thrown up in ridges, to be mellowed by the frost during winter. Good rotten dung must be applied at the rate of from twenty to thirty tons to the acre, according to the condition and nature of the soil. The dung may be either dug or ploughed in, or it may be laid in the bottom of the drills immediately before planting, and be covered in by splitting the ridge between the drills, as with turnips, which is in general the better plan; taking care, however, that the last stirring of the ground should be at the time of planting, for cabbages love fresh earth. The root-weeds should be carefully picked out of the ground, before putting in the plants.
In order to raise a crop of cabbages, to come forward early in the spring, prepare a perch of ground in August, manure it well with short dung, and sow half of it with early York, and the other half with sugar-loaf, in little drills, three inches apart, the seeds thin in the drill. As soon as the seeds are up, hoe deeply between the rows, and again in a few days, for the more you hoe or dig about the plants the better; the plants should be thinned, if nearer than two inches. When the plants have attained six leaves, dig up, manure, and make fine, another perch or two of ground; and prick out the plants in rows, eight inches apart, and three inches in the row; hoe the ground between them often, and they will grow up straight and strong.
Early in November prepare the ground intended for the full crop, lay manure between the ridges two feet apart, and turn the ridges over on this manure; then plant your cabbages on the ridges, fifteen inches asunder-here they are to stand for the winter. Watch the slugs, and if any plants fail, supply their places from the bed. If the ground becomes hard in winter, dig it, and especially near the plants. In March dig deep, and as soon the plants begin to grow, dig the ground with a spade, clean and well, going as near the plants as possible, without displacing them. Dig again in April and May (indeed you cannot dig too often), and destroy all weeds, and about the 1st of June there will be cabbages.
The early Yorks will soon become solid, and will furnish food for cows and sheep until some time in September. In March and April sow more early Yorks, proceeding as before directed. Dig up and manure the ground, and as fast as you cut cabbages, plant cabbages. The last planting should be about the middle of August, with stout plants, and these will serve through the winter. Dig often between the cabbages, but do not earth them up, or raise the earth about the stem, as is so commonly done. Digging is useful, keeping down weeds, and enabling the plants more readily to obtain nourishment from the soil.
When cabbages are planted out in autumn to stand
the winter, a row of early York and a row of sugar-loaf may be planted alternately. The early York will come first, and you will of course cut every alternate row, and then the plants which are to be put in in the summer will go in the intervals. As the sugar-loaves are afterwards cut away, you may sow Swedish turnips in their place, the ground being first dug and manured.
Endeavour to plant in rainy weather. The distance of planting must in some measure depend upon the strength of the soil, and the size of the variety planted ; but it should always be such, as that the ground be. tween them may be dug and kept clean. When the larger kinds are planted, as the Drumhead, &c., two feet between the rows, and eighteen inches between each plant, will be required; while for York and the smaller kinds, eighteen inches between the rows, and one foot or fifteen inches between each plant, will be sufficient.
Cabbages are never eaten on the ground, but are carted off, and given fresh every day. They are relished by all feeding animals, and are not only highly convenient as a substitute for turnips, but also afford an excellent variety and change of food. Cabbages are very nutritious when used with hay, either for stall-feeding or for the dairy. Pigs prefer them to turnips, and they are highly useful for rearing calves.
The practice of feeding milch-cows with boiled cabbages, is strongly recommended. Prepared in this way they afford a nourishing food for cows, and produce an abundance of good milk. Cabbages form excellent food for pigs, by cutting them up with buttermilk or broth, and leaving them for a few days to sour and ferment. This mess is highly relished by the pigs, and is very nutritious.
To save cabbage seed, select a few of the finest specimens, and plant them by themselves, at a distance from other plants of the cabbage tribe ; for bees carry the farina from plant to plant, when in blossom, and will thus adulterate the seed, unless care be taken to prevent it, by keeping the seed-plants at a safe distance from all others.
THE CARROT. The Carrot, requires a deep loose soil. Large crops are often raised on peaty land, but the best soil for carrots is a sandy loam. By whatever means the land is prepared, whether with the spade or the plough, it must be deeply and effectively stirred, to a depth of from twelve to eighteen inches, and it must be rendered perfectly loose and friable, and all the root-weeds must be carefully eradicated. Fine crops of carrots have been obtained on poor soils, by trench-digging to the depth of twenty inches. They succeed well after potatoes or turnips, and this place in the rotation of crops is often chosen for them.
When the land is prepared by the plough, repeated deep-ploughing is necessary; for if the ground be not opened and pulverized to a good depth, the roots will become forked, and send off side-shoots in quest of the nourishment which they fail to obtain below. The deep tillage required, may be accomplished by a trenching-plough following the common one, or by the common one alone, with a good strong team. Three ploughings are mostly found sufficient, where the land has been previously in tillage, but more may in some cases be necessary. The first ploughing should be made to the depth of twelve inches, about the beginning of October; and towards the middle of February, the ground should be turned over a second time to nearly the same depth. In March a third ploughing may be given, in order to the putting in of the seed, and this may be lighter than either of the former ploughings. The Norfolk and Suffolk farmers turn in Their manure at this ploughing.
Carrots may be sown in drills, the seed being deposited on the top, in the same manner as turnips; or they may be sown flat, in rows, without being raised on drills; or else they may be sown broadcast. When sown in drills, either flat or raised, they admit of hoeing and cleaning, and constitute a fallow crop, like turnips; but the broadcast system is much practised in
Suffolk, where large crops are obtained ; and the same method is used in the Netherlands, where the carrot is highly valued, and extensively cultivated.
When sown in rows, shallow furrows are made at the distance of twelve to fifteen inches, from centre to centre, and in these furrows the seed is sown. This may be done by a machine, or by the hand; in which case mix the seeds with a little dry sand, and rub them in the hand to niake them separate. When the seed is thus sown, cover it in with a slight harrowing.
Carrot seed is generally sown about the middle or latter end of March, but should on no account be later than the beginning of April. Two to three pounds of seed for drill, and five to six pounds for broadcast, are generally sufficient for an acre. The white, or Belgian carrot is said to be the most prolific, and in some instances to yield as much as thirty tons per acre, and it is equal in all respects to the red for cattle.
Carrots should be taken up with a three-prong fork, like potatoes, about the beginning of November, in dry weather; and the leaves should be cut off close to the root, and given to the pigs or the horses. The roots may then be put into narrow oblong heaps, the tails and heads being packed together, and the whole covered with straw. If taken up when dry, carrots will keep well in these heaps, without any other precaution than defending them from frost. Carrots may be given to every species of stock, and form in all cases a palatable and nutritious food, either in their raw state, or when steamed or boiled.
When given to cows, carrots are found in an eminent degree to give colour and flavour to butter, and whenever this is an object, no species of green-feeding is better for the dairy. To horses they may be given with cut straw or hay; and thus given, they will sustain horses on hard work, and materially improve their wind. They are much used in all veterinary establishments, and are strongly recommended for the stable, by persons best conversant with the management of horses.