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realize the full reward of his labor, nor in any other way so speedily and easily convert into ready money, the coarse products of the soil. Raising swine, in comparison with other animals, as neat stock, and horses, has this advantage. In the case of cattle and horses, it requires five or six years before they will bring their highest price; but in the case of swine only one and a half years are necessary to bring them to maturity. But this is not the only advantage of rearing swine, in comparison with other animals, or the only use they may subserve the farm. It must be admitted that the true policy of the farmer is to increase the richness and fertility of his acres, by restoring to the soil as much or more than he takes from it. It is a well known fact, that farms in many parts of the State are "running out," as it is termed. The soil, without being replenished by proper fertilizers, at last refuses to yield its increase; and it must be reclaimed or be abandoned as useless. In reclaiming these worn out acres, swine are able to perform an important part.
The uneven surface of the soil causes it to be constantly washed by rains and dissolving snows, carrying each year some part of its virtue to lowlands, bogs and swamps; and this process having been going on for ages, the result is that we have vast deposits of muck accessible to almost every farm—the dormant wealth of the soil of our State. What then more natural, than to suppose that these deposits were intended by nature for the renovation of exhausted fields ? But this muck needs to be manufactured, as it were, and no animal will perform this duty so effectually as the hog, which, ever living up to his motto, “root hog or die." with grunting contentment, pursues his daily vocation of dissecting and digesting this black vegetable muck. A few days' work of the farmer with his team, each year, would supply his hogs with material sufficient to manufacture many cords of the best manure. With this little amount of labor and enterprise, the farmer in moderate circumstances, in a few years, would behold his renovated fields bending under their harvest loads; joys would fill his heart and gratitude his soul, instead of that sadness and discontent, which the daily sight of unfruitful fields cannot fail to produce. It is in this way only, that the farmer can restore to his land the richness which nature so long has been gradually removing—a work on which his lorship “hog" must have his nose."
Hoping that what I have so imperfectly written on the subject, may arrest the attention of the reader, and suggest to him the propriety of trying an experiment which can do him no harm, but one which will certainly enrich his farm and put money in his pocket, I have the honor to be, &c.
PLANTING OF ORCHARDS.
By Joseph Avery, Jefferson. The planting of orchards should claim the attention of every one that intends to cultivate the soil for a living, and it should be his first business to select a suitable piece of ground for that purpose, which should be dry upland soil, as the apple tree seldom thrives much on cold, wet soil. What is known as good corn land will serve well. It should then be made sufficiently rich and mellow, that the trees, when transplanted, may take root and grow. In the selection of trees, let them be from nurseries in this State, of the same kind of soil as that into which they are to be transplanted. They should be taken up in such a manner as not to injure the main roots; then by digging a place sufficiently large, and the earth loosened to a suitable depth, so that the roots of the tree when set may lie in the same position as they grew originally, without being forced, and as nearly as possible to the same depth in the ground. The care taken in setting trees, bas much to do with their future growth. The trees should be set from twenty to twenty-five feet apart, in straight lines, for uniform appearance, and the better to cultivate among them. After being planted, they need care and training to give them proper shape. To till the orchard by root-crops is beneficial, also mulching in the fall with chip manure, to retain the frost, and to prevent the sap starting too early in the spring.
On many farms, there is rocky, broken land, not suitable for tillage, but more suitable for pasture, which may be set with apple trees to advantage, care being taken to select those trees whose tops may attain sufficient hight to be beyond the reach of cattle, and when they grow to afford shade and fruit; they attract cattle, sheep, and hogs under and around them, which manure them sufficiently. And such trees are found to come forward nearly as fast, and to
bear fruit as well, as those in cultivated orchards. The objection, that the fruit that falls before time to gather is lost, is not of much force, for it is eagerly sought by almost every creature on the farm, and does them good, besides which, this method secures the destruction of the eggs and larvæ of injurious insects (like the apple-worm, which is in many places a great pest,) which may be contained in the premature fruit which falls early, and thus prevents their propagation.
The planting of apple trees by the fences in fields near the roads, is found profitable, on account of the fruit as well as the shade they afford. The increasing demand for apples for export, as well as for home consumption, at the prices paid for them, gives a profit to the grower, and no labor or money invested in farming pays a better profit than that invested in orcharding, if applied in a judicious
ON THE RENOVATION OF OLD ORCHARDS.
By N. T. True, M. D., Bethel. Their condition in Maine. By an old orchard is usually meant, one that has not been grafted, and which has, in other respects, been neglected for a series of years. It is on this class of trees that I shall more particularly treat in this essay. Such trees are usually sadly in need of manuring, trimming, and grafting. Many, very many such orchards, exist all over the State.
Preparing the soil and Manuring. If an orchard has, in years past, been plowed, it is better to spread on a coat of animal and vegetable manures, and plow them in. These may be used in generous quantities. Be quite as anxious to manure the trees at a distance, as near the trunks. The object is to give a new start to the woody growth. Mineral manures, such as lime, plaster, and ashes, should, as a general thing, be reserved till the trees are ready to bear. Cultivate the land the first year with potatoes, if convenient. By this means, the earth becomes porous, and new roots will extend throughout the soil. Muck, well prepared, coarse straw manure, as well as chip and stable manures, are all excellent for this purpose, and well adapted to the growth of the woody fibre.
Pruning. Much has been written in regard to the season of the year for pruning. I do not regard it of so much consequence when it is done, as how it is done. Theoretically, the best time is after the trees have commenced to set their fruit in June until October. The wounds are not so likely to bleed, and will heal over and leave the wood sound beneath. The early spring months are usually the most convenient for this purpose, and I never could perceive any injury to the tree; but it is absolutely necessary that the wounds be coyered with a coat of paint. Red ochre and linseed oil mixed together quite thick, and put on rather liberally with a brush, is as cheap and as good as anything
Be sparing of your trimming the first year, cut out limbs absolutely dead, and be sure to cut them as near to the trunk as possible, especially on the lower side of the limb. Have an eye constantly to the limbs suitable for grafting the next year. Take out small limbs that cross each other, so as to have your tree shaped nearly like a spread umbrella inverted. Trees that have a sickly look, or whose main branches are dead, or whose bark is dead over half of its body, should, as a general thing, be cut down, and their places supplied with young trees. In ten years you will have a healthy young tree just into bearing, while the old one, with all your care, will be an old, sickly-looking tree still, and non productive. A tree may be hollow, and yet be a suitable tree to graft. Do not trust to a sprout from an old tree. It rarely ever amounts to anything. Dig out the whole tree, and spread on a load of manure, and cultivate one year before you put another tree in its place. Without this, a tree will not succeed well in the place of another. Sometimes an old tree may be delayed for several years before it is grafted. The extremities of the large limbs may be cut off and painted, and new shoots be suffered to spring out, which may be grafted and make a fine tree. In no case trim your trees so as to expose the naked limbs to the hot sun. If you do, the bark will be killed the whole length of the limb, and frequently be the cause of death to the tree.
Trees that are covered with moss should be scraped and washed with a weak solution of lime, potash, or soda, weak, I say, because many trees have been killed by too strong an application of these substances.
Grafting. This may be commenced the second year after manuring. I wish to be understood that renovating an orchard, is a work of time. With proper care, it may soon yield a return on the money invested.
So grafting should not be commenced till the woody growth of the tree has been revived by the treatment of the previous year. The scions will not then become dwarfed, but will at once commence a healthy and vigorous growth. Do not graft too long limbs. They rarely ever do well. Those from one to one and a half inch in diameter, are large enough for this purpose. Trim as little as possible this year. The habit of docking the whole top of a tree is apt to be fatal. All the limbs in a tree suitable for grafting, may be grafted the first year, provided there is a large number of under-branches and twigs on the limbs. See that you make use of vigorous scions of the last year's growth. Make use of vigorous kinds of trees to graft into those of an unhealthy aspect. The Baldwin is excellent for this purpose. Slow growing varieties should never be grafted into such trees. The earlier in the season you graft an old tree, the more likely it will be to succeed. It only wants a warm day in March or April, even when the snow is on the ground, if the wood is sufficiently warm for the wax to adhere to the bark. If the wood is too cold, or wet, it cracks off and destroys your graft. I practice shouldering my scions, with much success. I obtain a better fit to the cleft than by a wedge. In plum trees I use it altogether. It takes a little more time, but everything about grafting, pays well to have it done in the best possible manner. Be exceedingly careful to press the wax closely to the wood on the end of the stock, and around the scion. Many fail, from a neglect of this precaution. Make your was a little softer than is usually prescribed in the books. It will be better in this climate. linseed oil, two parts bees-wax, and four parts rosin, is a very good proportion. Simmer together in an iron kettle, and pour it into a tub of cold water and work it like shoemaker's wax, or molasses candy. If it is too soft, use more rosin; if too hard, more oil. You can test it by dropping a little into cold water and working it.
After you have finished grafting for the season, go round with your paint pot and cover every wound, large and small, with paint. Sometimes, a very small twig will bleed so as to blacken the whole limb below. This is frequently the case with young trees, and