Part 3 out of 10
the ends of the rope turned up by the trunk to be used in lifting the
tree at the proper time. Tip the tree in the opposite direction and put
another large rope around the large roots close to the trunk; remove
more soil and see that no roots are fast to the ground. Four guy-ropes
attached to the upper parts of the tree, as shown in the cut (Fig. 149),
should be put on properly and used to prevent the tree from tipping over
too far as well as to keep it upright. A good deal of the soil can be
put back in the hole without covering the roots to get it out of the way
of the machine. The latter can now be placed about the tree by removing
the front part, fastened by four bolts, placing the frame with the hind
wheels around the tree and replacing the front parts. Two timbers,
three-by-nine inches, and twenty feet long, are now placed on the ground
under the hind wheels, and in front of them, parallel to each other for
the purpose of keeping the hind wheels up out of the big hole when
drawing the tree away; and they are also used while backing the hind
wheels across the new hole in which the tree is to be planted. The
machine (Figs. 149, 150) consists of a hind axle twelve feet long, and
broad-tired wheels. The frame is made of spruce three-by-eight inches
and twenty feet long. The braces are three-by-five inches and ten feet
long, and upright three-by-nine inches and three feet high; these are
bolted to the hind axle and main frame. The front axle has a set of
blocks bolted together and of sufficient height to support the front end
of the frame. Into the top timbers, three-by-six inches, hollows are cut
at the proper distances to receive the ends of two locust rollers. A
windlass or winch is put at each end of the frame, by which trees can
easily and steadily be lifted and lowered, the large double ropes
passing over the rollers to the windlasses. A locust boom is put across
the machine under the frame and above the braces; iron pins hold it in
place. The side guy-ropes are made fast to the ends of this boom. The
other guy-ropes are made fast to the front and rear parts of the
machine. Four rope loops are made fast inside of the frame, and are so
placed that by passing a rope around the trunk of the tree and through
the loops two or three times, a rope ring is made around the tree that
will keep the trunk in the middle of the frame and not allow it to hit
either the edges or the rollers--a very necessary safeguard. As the tree
is slowly lifted by the windlasses, the guy-ropes are loosened, as
needed. The tree will pass obstructions, such as trees by the roadside,
but in doing so it is better to lean the tree backward. When the tree
has arrived at its new place, the two timbers are placed along the
opposite edges of the hole so that the hind wheels can be backed over
it. The tree is then lowered to the proper depth, and made plumb by the
guy-ropes, and good, mellow soil is thrown in and packed well into all
the cavities under the roots. When the hole is half filled, several
barrels of water should be poured in; this will wash the soil into the
cavities under the center of the tree much better. When the water has
settled away, fill in and pack the soil till the hole is little more
than full. Leave a depression, so that all the rain that may fall will
be retained. The tree should now be judiciously trimmed and the machine
removed. Five men can take up, move, and plant a tree in a day, if the
distance is short and the digging not too hard. The tree should be
properly wired to stakes to prevent the wind from blowing it over. The
front part of the machine is a part of our platform spring market-wagon,
while the hind wheels are from a wood-axle wagon. A tree ten inches in
diameter, with some dirt adhering to its roots, will weigh a ton
[Illustration: Fig. 149. The tree ready to lift.]
[Illustration: 150. The tree ready to move.]
_Winter protection of plants._
[Illustration: Fig. 151. Trees heeled-in for winter.]
If the ground is not ready for planting in the fall, or if it is desired
for any reason to delay until spring, the trees or bushes may be
heeled-in, as illustrated in Fig. 151. The roots are laid in a furrow or
trench, and are covered with well-firmed earth. Straw or manure may be
thrown over the earth still further to protect the roots, but if it is
thrown over the tops, mice may be attracted by it and the trees be
girdled. Tender trees or bushes may be lightly covered to the tips with
earth. Plants should be heeled-in only in loose, warm, loamy or sandy
ground and in a well-drained place.
Fall-planted trees should generally be mounded up, sometimes even as
high as shown in Fig. 152. This hilling holds the plant in position,
carries off the water, prevents too deep freezing, and holds the earth
from heaving. The mound is taken away in the spring. It is sometimes
advisable to mound-up established trees in the fall, but on well-drained
land the practice is usually not necessary. In hilling trees, pains
should be taken not to leave deep holes, from which the earth was dug,
close to the tree, for water collects in them. Roses and many other
bushes may be mounded in the fall with profit.
[Illustration: Fig. 152. Tree earthed up for winter.]
It is always advisable to mulch plants that are set in the fall. Any
loose and dry material--as straw, manure, leaves, leafmold, litter from
yards and stables, pine boughs--may be used for this purpose. Very
strong or compact manures, as those in which there is little straw or
litter, should be avoided. The ground may be covered to a depth of five
or six inches, or even a foot or more if the material is loose. Avoid
throwing strong manure directly on the crown of the plants, especially
of herbs, for the materials that leach from the manure sometimes injure
the crown buds and the roots.
This protection may also be given to established plants, particularly to
those which, like roses and herbaceous plants, are expected to give a
profusion of bloom the following year. This mulch affords not only
winter protection, but is an efficient means of fertilizing the land. A
large part of the plant-food materials have leached out of the mulch by
spring, and have become incorporated in the soil, where the plant makes
ready use of them.
Mulches also serve a most useful purpose in preventing the ground from
packing and baking by the weight of snows and rains, and the cementing
action of too much water in the surface soil. In the spring, the
coarser parts of the mulch may be removed, and the finer parts spaded or
hoed into the ground.
[Illustration: Fig. 153: Covering plants in a box.]
Tender bushes and small trees may be wrapped with straw, hay, burlaps,
or pieces of matting or carpet. Even rather large trees, as bearing
peach trees, are often baled up in this way, or sometimes with corn
fodder, although the results in the protection of fruit-buds are not
often very satisfactory. It is important that no grain is left in the
baling material, else mice may be attracted to it. (The danger of
gnawing by mice that nest in winter coverings is always to be
anticipated.) It should be known, too, that the object in tying up or
baling plants is not so much to protect from direct cold as to mitigate
the effects of alternate freezing and thawing, and to protect from
drying winds. Plants may be wrapped so thick and tight as to
[Illustration: Fig. 154: Covering plants in a barrel.]
The labor of protecting large plants is often great and the results
uncertain, and in most cases it is a question whether more satisfaction
could not be attained by growing only hardy trees and shrubs.
The objection to covering tender woody plants cannot be urged with equal
force against tender herbs or very low bushes, for these are protected
with ease. Even the ordinary mulch may afford sufficient protection; and
if the tops kill back, the plant quickly renews itself from near the
base, and in many plants--as in most hybrid perpetual roses--the best
bloom is on these new growths of the season. Old boxes or barrels may
be used to protect tender low plants (Figs. 153, 154). The box is filled
with leaves or dry straw and either left open on top or covered with
boards, boughs, or even with burlaps (Fig. 154).
Connoisseurs of tender roses and other plants sometimes go to the pains
of erecting a collapsible shed over the bush, and filling with leaves or
straw. Whether this is worth while depends wholly on the degree of
satisfaction that one derives from the growing of choice plants (see
_Roses,_ in Chap. VIII).
[Illustration: Fig. 155. Laying down of trellis-grown blackberries.]
The tops of plants may be laid down for the winter. Figure 155 shows a
method of laying down blackberries, as practiced in the Hudson River
valley. The plants were tied to a trellis, as the method is in that
country, two wires (_a, b_) having been run on either side of the row.
The posts are hinged on a pivot to a short post (_c_), and are held in
position by a brace (_d_). The entire trellis is then laid down on the
approach of winter, as shown in the illustration. The blackberry tops
are so strong that they hold the wires up from the ground, even when the
trellis is laid down. To hold the wires close to the earth, stakes are
thrust over them in a slanting position, as shown at _n n._ The snow
that drifts through the plants ordinarily affords sufficient protection
for plants which are as hardy as grapes and berries. In fact, the
species may be uninjured even without cover, since, in their prostrate
position, they escape the cold and drying winds.
In severe climates, or in the case of tender plants, the tops should be
covered with straw, boughs, or litter, as recommended for regular
mulch-covers. Sometimes a V-shaped trough made from two boards is placed
over the stems of long or vine-like plants that have been laid down. All
plants with slender or more or less pliant stems can be laid down with
ease. With such protection, figs can be grown in the northern states.
Peach and other fruit trees may be so trained as to be tipped over
Laid-down plants are often injured if the covering remains too late in
the spring. The ground warms up early, and may start the buds on parts
of the buried plants, and these tender buds may be broken when the
plants are raised, or injured by sun, wind, or frost. The plants should
be raised while the wood and buds are still hard and dormant.
Pruning is necessary to keep plants in shape, to make them more
floriferous and fruitful, and to hold them within bounds.
Even annual plants often may be pruned to advantage. This is true of
tomatoes, from which the superfluous or crowding shoots may be removed,
especially if the land is so rich that they grow very luxuriantly;
sometimes they are trained to a single stem and most of the side shoots
are taken away as they appear. If plants of marigold, gaillardia, or
other strong and spreading growers are held by stakes or wire-holders (a
good practice), it may be advisable to remove the weak and sprawling
shoots. Balsams give better results when side shoots are taken off. The
removing of the old flowers, which is to be advised with flower-garden
plants (page 116), is also a species of pruning.
Distinction should be made between pruning and shearing. Plants are
sheared into given shapes. This may be necessary in bedding-plants, and
occasionally when a formal effect is desired in shrubs and trees; but
the best taste is displayed, in the vast majority of cases, in allowing
the plants to assume their natural habits, merely keeping them shapely,
cutting out old or dead wood, and, in some cases, preventing such
crowding of shoots as will reduce the size of the bloom. The common
practice of shearing shrubbery is very much to be reprehended; this
subject is discussed from another point of view on page 24.
The pruner should know the flower-bearing habit of the plant that he
prunes,--whether the bloom is on the shoots of last season or on the new
wood of the present season, and whether the flower-buds of
spring-blooming plants are separate from the leaf-buds. A very little
careful observation will determine these points for any plant. (1) The
spring-blooming woody plants usually produce their flowers from buds
perfected the fall before and remaining dormant over winter. This is
true of most fruit-trees, and such shrubs as lilac, forsythia, tree
peony, wistaria, some spireas and viburnums, weigela, deutzia. Cutting
back the shoots of these plants early in spring or late in fall,
therefore, removes the bloom. The proper time to prune such plants
(unless one intends to reduce or thin the bloom) is just after the
flowering season. (2) The summer-blooming woody plants usually produce
their flowers on shoots that grow early in the same season. This is true
of grapes, quince, hybrid perpetual roses, shrubby hibiscus, crape
myrtle, mock orange, hydrangea (paniculata), and others. Pruning in
winter or early spring to secure strong new shoots is, therefore, the
proper procedure in these cases.
Remarks on pruning may be found under the discussion of roses and other
plants in subsequent chapters, when the plants need any special or
Fruit-trees and shade-trees are usually pruned in winter, preferably
late in winter, or in very early spring. However, there is usually no
objection to moderate pruning at any time of the year; and moderate
pruning every year, rather than violent pruning in occasional years, is
to be advised. It is an old idea that summer pruning tends to favor the
production of fruit-buds and therefore to make for fruitfulness; there
is undoubtedly truth in this, but it must be remembered that
fruitfulness is not the result of one treatment or condition, but of all
the conditions under which the plant lives.
All limbs should be removed close to the branch or trunk from which they
arise, and the surface of the wound should be practically parallel with
such branch or trunk, rather than to be cut back to stubs. The stubs do
not heal readily.
All wounds much above an inch across may be protected by a coat of good
linseed-oil paint; but smaller wounds, if the tree is vigorous, usually
require no protection. The object of the paint is to protect the wound
from cracking and decay until the healing tissue covers it.
Superfluous and interfering branches should be removed from fruit-trees,
so that the top will be fairly open to sun and to the pickers.
Well-pruned trees allow of an even distribution and uniform development
of the fruit. Watersprouts and suckers should be removed as soon as they
are discovered. How open the top may be, will depend on the climate. In
the West, open trees suffer from sun-scald.
The fruit-bearing habit of the fruit-tree must be considered in the
pruning. The pruner should be able to distinguish fruit-buds from
leaf-buds in such species as cherries, plums, apricot, peach, pear,
apple, and so prune as to spare these buds or to thin them
understandingly. The fruit-buds are distinguished by their position on
the tree and by their size and shape. They may be on distinct "spurs"
or short branches, in all the above fruits; or, as in the peach, they
may be chiefly lateral on the new shoots (in the peach, the fruit-buds
are usually two at a node and with a leaf-bud between them), or, as
sometimes in apples and pears, they may be at the ends of last year's
growths. Fruit-buds are usually thicker, or "fatter," than leaf-buds,
and often fuzzy. Heading-back the tree of course tends to concentrate
the fruit-buds and to keep them nearer the center of the tree-top; but
heading-back must be combined with intelligent saving and thinning of
the interior shoots. Heading-back of pears and peaches and plums is
usually a very desirable practice.
_Tree surgery and protection._
Aside from the regular pruning to develop the tree into its best form to
enable it to do its best work, there are wounds and malformations to be
treated. Recently, the treating of injured and decayed trees has
received much attention, and "tree doctors" and "tree surgeons" have
engaged in the business. If there are quacks among these people, there
are also competent and reliable men who are doing useful service in
saving and prolonging the life of trees; one should choose a tree doctor
with the same care that he would choose any other doctor. The liability
of injury to street trees in the modern city and the increasing regard
for trees, render the services of good experts increasingly necessary.
Street trees are injured by many causes: as, starving because of poor
soil and lack of water under pavements; smoke and dust; leakage from gas
mains and from electric installation; gnawing by horses; butchering by
persons stringing wires; carelessness of contractors and builders; wind
and ice storms; overcrowding; and the blundering work of persons who
think that they know how to prune. Well-enforced municipal regulations
should be able to control most of these troubles.
[Illustration: Fig. 156. Lath tree guard.]
[Illustration: Fig. 157. Wire-and-post tree guard]
Along roadsides and other exposed places it is often necessary to
protect newly set trees from horses, boys, and vehicles. There are
various kinds of tree guards for this purpose. The best types are those
that are more or less open, so as to allow the free passage of air and
which are so far removed from the body of the tree that its trunk may
expand without difficulty. If the guards are very tight, they may shade
the trunk so much that the tree may suffer when the guard is removed,
and they prevent the discovery of insects and injuries. It is important
that the guard does not fill with litter in which insects may harbor. As
soon as the tree is old enough to escape injury, the guards should be
removed. A very good guard, made of laths held together with three
strips of band-iron, and secured to iron posts, is shown in Fig. 156.
Figure 157. shows a guard made by winding fencing wire upon three posts
or stakes. When there is likely to be danger from too great shading of
the trunk, this latter form of guard is one of the best. There are good
forms of tree guards on the market. Of course hitching-posts should be
provided, wherever horses are to stand, to remove the temptation of
hitching to trees. Figure 158, however, shows a very good device when a
hitching post is not wanted. A strong stick, four or five feet long, is
secured to the tree by a staple and at the lower end of the stick is a
short chain with a snap in the end. The snap is secured to the bridle,
and the horse is not able to reach the tree.
[Illustration: Fig 158. How a horse may be hitched to a tree.]
Mice and rabbits.
Trees and bushes are often seriously injured by the gnawing of mice and
rabbits. The best preventive is not to have the vermin. If there are no
places in which rabbits and mice can burrow and breed, there will be
little difficulty. At the approach of winter, if mice are feared, the
dry litter should be removed from about the trees, or it should be
packed down very firm, so that the mice cannot nest in it. If the
rodents are very abundant, it may be advisable to wrap fine wire netting
about the base of the tree. A boy who is fond of trapping or hunting
will ordinarily solve the rabbit difficulty. Rags tied on sticks which
are placed at intervals about the plantation will often frighten
Trees that are girdled by mice should be wrapped up as soon as
discovered, so that the wood shall not become too dry. When warm
weather approaches, shave off the edges of the girdle so that the
healing tissue may grow freely, smear the whole surface with
grafting-wax, or with clay, and bind the whole wound with strong cloths.
Even though the tree is completely girdled for a distance of three or
four inches, it usually may be saved by this treatment, unless the
injury extends into the wood. The water from the roots rises through the
soft wood and not between the bark and the wood, as commonly supposed.
When this sap water has reached the foliage, it takes part in the
elaboration of plant-food, and this food is distributed throughout the
plant, the path of transfer being in the inner layers of bark. This food
material, being distributed back to the girdle, will generally heal over
the wound if the wood is not allowed to become dry.
[Illustration: Fig. 159. Bridge-grafting a girdle.]
In some cases, however, it is necessary to join the bark above and below
the girdle by means of cions, which are whittled to a wedge-shape on
either end, and inserted underneath the two edges of the bark (Fig.
159). The ends of the cions and the edges of the wound are held by a
bandage of cloth, and the whole work is protected by melted grafting-wax
poured upon it. [Footnote: A good grafting-wax is made as follows: Into
a kettle place one part by weight of tallow, two parts of beeswax, four
parts of rosin. When completely melted, pour into a tub or pail of cold
water, then work it with the hands (which should be greased) until it
develops a grain and becomes the color of taffy candy. The whole
question of the propagation of plants is discussed in "The
Repairing street trees.
The following advice on "tree surgery" is by A.D. Taylor (Bulletin 256,
Cornell University, from which the accompanying illustrations are
"Tree surgery includes the intelligent protection of all mechanical
injuries and cavities. Pruning requires a previous intimate knowledge of
the habits of growth of trees; surgery, on the other hand, requires in
addition a knowledge of the best methods for making cavities air-tight
and preventing decay. The filling of cavities in trees has not been
practiced sufficiently long to warrant making a definite statement as to
the permanent success or failure of the operation; the work is still in
an experimental stage. The caring for cavities in trees must be urged as
the only means of preserving affected specimens, and the preservation of
many noble specimens has been at least temporarily assured through the
efforts of those practicing this kind of work.
[Illustration: Fig. 160. A cement-filled cavity at the base of a tree.]
"Successful operation depends on two important factors: first, that all
decayed parts of the cavity be wholly removed and the exposed surface
thoroughly washed with an antiseptic; second, that the cavity, when
filled, must be air tight and hermetically sealed if possible. Trees are
treated as follows: The cavity is thoroughly cleaned by removing all
decayed wood and washing the interior surface with a solution of copper
sulfate and lime, in order to destroy any fungi that may remain. The
edges of the cavity are cut smooth in order to allow free growth of the
cambium after the cavity is filled. Any antiseptic, such as corrosive
sublimate, creosote, or even paint, may answer the purpose; creosote,
however, possesses the most penetrating powers of any. The method of
filling the cavities depends to a great extent on their size and form.
Very large cavities with great openings are generally bricked on the
outside, over the opening, and filled on the inside with concrete, the
brick serving the purpose of a retaining wall to hold the concrete in
place. Concrete used for the main filling is usually made in the
proportion of one part good Portland cement, two parts sand, and four
parts crushed stone, the consistency of the mixture being such that it
may be poured into the cavity and require little or no tamping to make
the mass solid. (Fig. 160.)
[Illustration: Fig. 161. A wound, made by freezing, trimmed out and
filled with cement.]
"Fillings thus made are considered by expert tree surgeons to be a
permanent preventive of decay. The outside of the filling is always
coated with a thin covering of concrete, consisting of one part cement
to two parts fine sand. Cavities resulting from freezing, and which,
though large on the inside, show only a long narrow crack on the
outside, are most easily filled by placing a form against the entire
length of the opening, having a space at the top through which the
cement may be poured (Fig. 161). Another method of retaining the
concrete is to reinforce it from the outside by driving rows of spikes
along the inner surface of either side of the cavity and lacing a stout
wire across the face of the cavity. For best results, all fillings must
come flush with the inner bark when finished. During the first year,
this growing tissue will spread over the outer edge of the filling, thus
forming an hermetically sealed cavity. In the course of time, the
outside of small or narrow openings should be completely covered with
tissue, which buries the filling from view.
[Illustration: Fig. 162. Bridge-grafting or in-arching from saplings
planted about the tree.]
"It has been found that there is a tendency for portland cement to
contract from the wood after it dries, leaving a space between the wood
and the cement through which water and germs of decay may enter. A
remedy for this defect has been suggested in the use of a thick coat of
tar, or an elastic cement which might be spread over the surface of the
cavity before filling. The cracking of portland cement on the surface of
long cavities is caused by the swaying of trees during heavy storms, and
should not occur if the filling is correctly done.
"In addition to the preservation of decayed specimens by filling the
cavities, as above outlined, it has been proposed to strengthen the tree
by treating it as shown in Fig. 162. Young saplings of the same species,
after having become established as shown, are grafted by approach to the
[Illustration: Fig. 163. Faulty methods of bracing a crotched tree. The
lower method is wholly wrong. The upper method is good if the bolt-heads
are properly counter-sunk and the bolts tightly fitted; but if the
distance between the branches is great, it is better to have two bolts
and join them by hooks, to allow of wind movements.]
"Injury frequently results from error in the method of attempting to
save broken, or to strengthen and support weak branches that are
otherwise healthy. The means used for supporting cracked, wind-racked,
and overladen branches which show a tendency to split at the forks are
bolting and chaining. The practice of placing iron bands around large
branches in order to protect them has resulted in much harm; as the tree
grows and expands, such bands tighten, causing the bark to be broken and
resulting after a few years in a partial girdling (Fig. 163).
[Illustration: Fig. 164. Trees ruined to allow of the passage of
[Illustration: Fig. 165. Accommodating a wall to a valuable tree.]
[Illustration: Fig. 166. The death of a long stub.]
[Illustration: Fig. 167. Bungling pruning.]
"To bolt a tree correctly is comparatively inexpensive. The safest
method consists in passing a strong bolt through a hole bored in the
branch for this purpose, and fastening it on the outside by means of a
washer and a nut. Generally the washer has been placed against the bark
and the nut then holds it in place. A better method of bolting, and one
which insures a neat appearance of the branch in addition to serving as
the most certain safeguard against the entrance of disease, is to
counter-sink the nut in the bark and imbed it in portland cement. The
hole for the sinking of the nut and washer is thickly coated with lead
paint and then with a layer of cement, on which are placed the nut and
washer, both of which are then imbedded in cement. If the outer surface
of the nut be flush with the plane of the bark, within a few years it
will be covered by the growing tissue.
[Illustration: Fig. 168. The proper way to saw off a large limb. A cut
is first made on the under side to prevent splitting down; then it is
cut on the upper side. Then the entire "stub" is removed close to
[Illustration: Fig. 169. A weak-bodied young tree well supported;
padding is placed under the bandages.]
[Illustration: Fig. 170. The wrong way of attaching a guy rope.]
[Illustration: Fig. 171. An allowable way of attaching a guy rope.]
[Illustration: Fig. 172. The best way of attaching a guy rope, if a tree
must be used as support.]
"The inner ends of the rods in the two branches may be connected by a
rod or chain. The preference for the chain over the rod attachment is
based on the compressive and tensile stresses which come on the
connection during wind storms. Rod connections are preferred, however,
when rigidity is required, as in unions made close to the crotch; but
for tying two branches together before they have shown signs of
weakening at the fork, the chain may best be used, as the point of
attachment may be placed some distance from the crotch, where the
flexibility factor will be important and the strain comparatively small.
Elms in an advanced stage of maturity, if subjected to severe climatic
conditions, often show this tendency to split. These trees,
especially, should be carefully inspected and means taken to preserve
them, by bolting if necessary."
[Illustration: IX. A rocky bank covered with permanent informal
[Illustration: Fig. 173. A method of saving valuable trees along streets
on which heavy lowering of grade has been made.]
The illustrations, Figs. 164-173, are self-explanatory, and show poor
practice and good practice in the care of trees.
_The grafting of plants._
Grafting is the operation of inserting a piece of a plant into another
plant with the intention that it shall grow. It differs from the making
of cuttings in the fact that the severed part grows in another plant
rather than in the soil.
There are two general kinds of grafting--one of which inserts a piece of
branch in the stock (grafting proper), and one which inserts only a bud
with little or no wood attached (budding). In both cases the success of
the operation depends on the growing together of the cambium of the cion
(or cutting) and that of the stock. The cambium is the new and growing
tissue lying underneath the bark and on the outside of the growing wood.
Therefore, the line of demarcation between the bark and the wood should
coincide when the cion and stock are joined.
The plant on which the severed piece is set is called the stock. The
part which is removed and set into the stock is called a cion if it is a
piece of a branch, or a "bud" if it is only a single bud with a bit of
The greater part of grafting and budding is performed when the cion or
bud is nearly or quite dormant. That is, grafting is usually done late
in winter and early in spring, and budding may be performed then, or
late in summer, when the buds have nearly or quite matured.
The chief object of grafting is to perpetuate a kind of plant which will
not reproduce itself from seed, or of which seed is very difficult to
obtain. Cions or buds are therefore taken from this plant and set into
whatever kind of plant is obtainable on which they will grow. Thus, if
one wants to propagate the Baldwin apple, he does not for that purpose
sow seeds thereof, but takes cions or buds from a Baldwin tree and
grafts them into some other apple tree. The stocks are usually obtained
from seeds. In the case of the apple, young plants are raised from seeds
which are secured mostly from cider factories, without reference to the
variety from which they came. When the seedlings have grown to a certain
age, they are budded or grafted, the grafted part making the entire top
of the tree; and the top bears fruit like that of the tree from which
the cions were taken.
[Illustration: Fig. 174. Budding. The "bud"; the opening to receive it;
the bud tied.]
There are many ways in which the union between cion and stock is made.
Budding may be first discussed. It consists in inserting a bud
underneath the bark of the stock, and the commonest practice is that
which is shown in the illustrations. Budding is mostly performed in
July, August, and early September, when the bark is still loose or in
condition to peel. Twigs are cut from the tree which it is desired to
propagate, and the buds are cut off with a sharp knife, a shield-shaped
bit of bark (with possibly a little wood) being left with them (Fig.
174). The bud is then shoved into a slit made in the stock, and it is
held in place by tying with a soft strand. In two or three weeks the bud
will have "stuck" (that is, it will have grown fast to the stock), and
the strand is cut to prevent its strangling the stock. Ordinarily the
bud does not grow until the following spring, at which time the entire
stock or branch in which the bud is inserted is cut off an inch above
the bud; and the bud thereby receives all the energy of the stock.
Budding is the commonest grafting operation in nurseries. Seeds of
peaches may be sown in spring, and the plants which result will be ready
for budding that same August. The following spring, or a year from the
planting of the seed, the stock is cut off just above the bud (which is
inserted near the ground), and in the fall of that year the tree is
ready for sale; that is, the top is one season old and the root is two
seasons old, but in the trade it is known as a one-year-old tree. In the
South, the peach stock may be budded in June or early July of the year
in which the seed is planted, and the bud grows into a saleable tree the
same year: this is known as June budding. In apples and pears the stock
is usually two years old before it is budded, and the tree is not sold
until the top has grown two or three years. Budding may be performed
also in the spring, in which case the bud will grow the same season.
Budding is always done on young growths, preferably on those not more
than one year old.
[Illustration: Fig. 175. Whip-graft.]
Grafting is the insertion of a small branch (or cion), usually bearing
more than one bud. If grafting is employed on small stocks, it is
customary to employ the whip-graft (Fig. 175). Both stock and cion are
cut across diagonally, and a split made in each, so that one fits into
the other. The graft is tied securely with a string, and then, if it is
above ground, it is also waxed carefully.
In larger limbs or stocks, the common method is to employ the
cleft-graft (Fig. 176). This consists in cutting off the stock,
splitting it, and inserting a wedge-shaped cion in one or both sides of
the split, taking care that the cambium layer of the cion matches that
of the stock. The exposed surfaces are then securely covered with wax.
[Illustration: Fig. 176. Cleft-graft before waxing.]
Grafting is usually performed early in the spring, just before the buds
swell. The cions should have been cut before this time, when they were
perfectly dormant. Cions may be stored in sand in the cellar or in the
ice-house, or they may be buried in the field. The object is to keep
them fresh and dormant until they are wanted.
If it is desired to change the top of an old plum, apple, or pear tree
to some other variety, it is usually accomplished by means of the
cleft-graft. If the tree is very young, budding or whip-grafting may be
employed. On an old top the cions should begin to bear when three to
four years old. All the main limbs should be grafted. It is important to
keep down the suckers or watersprouts from around the grafts, and part
of the remaining top should be cut away each year until the top is
entirely changed over (which will result in two to four years).
A good wax for covering the exposed parts is described in the footnote
on page 145.
_Keeping records of the plantation._
If one has a large and valuable collection of fruit or ornamental
plants, it is desirable that he have some permanent record of them. The
most satisfactory method is to label the plants, and then to make a
chart or map on which the various plants are indicated in their proper
positions. The labels are always liable to be lost and to become
illegible, and they are often misplaced by careless workmen or
For vegetables, annuals, and other temporary plants, the best labels
are simple stakes, like that shown in Fig. 177. Garden stakes a foot
long, an inch wide, and three-eighths inch thick may be bought of label
manufacturers for three to five dollars a thousand. These take a soft
pencil very readily, and if the labels are taken up in the fall and
stored in a dry place, they will last two or three years.
[Illustration: Fig. 177. The common stake label.]
For more permanent herbaceous plants, as rhubarb and asparagus, or even
for bushes, a stake that is sawed from clear pine or cypress, eighteen
inches long, three inches wide, and an inch or more thick, affords a
most excellent label. The lower end of the stake is sawed to a point,
and is dipped in coal tar or creosote, or other preservative. The top of
the stake is painted white, and the legend is written with a large and
soft pencil. When the writing becomes illegible or the stake is needed
for other plants, a shaving is taken off the face of the label with a
plane, a fresh coat of paint added, and the label is as good as ever.
These labels are strong enough to withstand shocks from whiffletrees and
tools, and should last ten years.
[Illustration: Fig. 178. A good stake label, with the legend covered.]
Whenever a legend is written with a lead pencil, it is advisable to use
the pencil when the paint (which should be white lead) is still fresh or
soft. Figure 178 shows a very good device for preserving the writing on
the face of the label. A block of wood is secured to the label by means
of a screw, covering the legend completely and protecting it from
If more ornamental stake labels are desired, various types can be bought
in the market, or one can be made after the fashion of Fig. 179. This is
a zinc plate that can be painted black, on which the name is written
with white paint. Many persons, however, prefer to paint the zinc white,
and write or stamp the label with black ink or black type. Two strong
wire legs are soldered to the label, and these prevent it from turning
around. These labels are, of course, much more expensive than the
ordinary stake labels, and are usually not so satisfactory, although
[Illustration: Fig. 179. Metal stake label.]
[Illustration: Fig. 180. Zinc tallies.]
[Illustration: Fig. 181. Common zinc tally.]
For labeling trees, various kinds of zinc tallies are in common use, as
shown in Figs. 180 and 181. Fresh zinc takes a lead pencil readily, and
the writing often becomes more legible as it becomes older, and it will
usually remain three or four years. These labels are attached either by
wires, as _a, b,_ Fig. 180, or they are wound about the limb as shown in
_c, d,_ and _e,_ in Fig. 180. The type of zinc label most in use is a
simple strip of zinc, as shown in Fig. 181, wrapped about the limb. The
metal is so flexible that it expands readily with the growth of the
branch. While these zinc labels are durable, they are very inconspicuous
because of their neutral color, and it is often difficult to find them
in dense masses of foliage.
The common wooden label of the nurserymen (Fig. 182) is perhaps as
useful as any for general purposes. If the label has had a light coat of
thin white lead, and the legend has been made with a soft lead pencil,
the writing should remain legible four or five years. Fig. 183 shows
another type of label that is more durable, since the wire is stiff and
large, and is secured around the limb by means of pincers. The large
loop allows the limb to expand, and the stiff wire prevents the
misplacing of the label by winds and workmen. The tally itself is what
is known as the "package label" of the nurserymen, being six inches
long, one and one-fourth inches wide, and costing (painted) less than
one and one-half dollars a thousand. The legend is made with a lead
pencil when the paint is fresh, and sometimes the label is dipped in
thin white lead after the writing is made, so that the paint covers the
writing with a very thin protecting coat. A similar label is shown in
Fig. 184., which has a large wire loop, with a coil, to allow the
expansion of the limb. The tallies of this type are often made of glass,
or porcelain with the name indelibly printed in them. Figure 185. shows
a zinc tally, which is secured to the tree by means of a sharp and
pointed wire driven into the wood. Some prefer to have two arms to this
wire, driving one point on either side of the tree. If galvanized wire
is used, these labels will last for many years.
[Illustration: Fig. 182. A common nursery label.]
[Illustration: Fig. 183. Cornell tree label.]
[Illustration: Fig. 184. Serviceable large-loop tree label.]
[Illustration: Fig. 185. Zinc tree label.]
[Illustration: Fig. 186. Injury by a tight label wire.]
It is very important, when adjusting labels to trees, to be sure that
the wire is not twisted tight against the wood. Figure 186 shows the
injury that is likely to result from label wires. When a tree is
constricted or girdled, it is very liable to be broken off by winds. It
should be a rule to attach the label to a limb of minor importance, so
that if the wire should injure the part, the loss will not be serious.
When the label, Fig. 182, is applied, only the tips of the wire should
be twisted together, leaving a large loop for the expansion of the limb.
_The storing of fruits and vegetables._
The principles involved in the storing of perishable products, as fruits
and vegetables, differ with the different commodities. All the
root-crops, and most fruits, need to be kept in a cool, moist, and
uniform temperature if they are to be preserved a great length of time.
Squashes, sweet-potatoes, and some other things need to be kept in an
intermediate and what might be called a high temperature; and the
atmosphere should be drier than for most other products. The low
temperature has the effect of arresting decomposition and the work of
fungi and bacteria. The moist atmosphere has the effect of preventing
too great evaporation and the consequent shriveling.
[Illustration: Fig. 187. The old-fashioned "outdoor cellar," still a
very useful and convenient storage place.]
In the storing of any commodity, it is very important that the product
is in proper condition for keeping. Discard all specimens that are
bruised or are likely to decay. Much of the decay of fruits and
vegetables in storage is not the fault of the storage process, but is
really the work of diseases with which the materials are infected before
they are put into storage. For example, if potatoes and cabbages are
affected with the rot, it is practically impossible to keep them any
length of time.
Apples, winter pears, and all roots, should be kept at a temperature
somewhat near the freezing point. It should not rise above 40 deg. F. for
best results. Apples can be kept even at one or two degrees below the
freezing point if the temperature is uniform. Cellars in which there are
heaters are likely to be too dry and the temperature too high. In such
places it is well to keep fresh vegetables and fruits in tight
receptacles, and pack the roots in sand or moss in order to prevent
shriveling. In these places, apples usually keep better if headed up in
barrels than if kept on racks or shelves. In moist and cool cellars,
however, it is preferable for the home supply to place them on shelves,
not piling them more than five or six inches deep, for then they can be
sorted over as occasion requires. In case of fruits, be sure that the
specimens are not over-ripe when placed in storage. If apples are
allowed to lie in the sun for a few days before being packed, they will
ripen so much that it is very difficult to keep them.
[Illustration: Fig. 188. Lean-to fruit cellar, covered with earth. The
roof should be of cement or stone slabs. Provide a ventilator.]
Cabbages should be kept at a low and uniform temperature, and water
should be drained away from them. They are stored in many ways in the
field, but success depends so much on the season, particular variety,
ripeness, and the freedom from injuries by fungi and insects, that
uniform results are rarely secured by any one method. The best results
are to be expected when they can be kept in a house built for the
purpose, in which the temperature is uniform and the air fairly moist.
When stored out of doors, they are likely to freeze and thaw
alternately; and if the water runs into the heads, mischief results.
Sometimes they are easily stored by being piled into a conical heap on
well-drained soil and covered with dry straw, and the straw covered with
boards. It does not matter if they are frosted, provided they do not
thaw out frequently. Sometimes cabbages are laid head down in a shallow
furrow plowed in well-drained land, and over them is thrown straw, the
stumps being allowed to project through the cover. It is only in winters
of rather uniform temperature that good results are to be expected from
such methods. These are some of the main considerations involved in the
storing of such things as cabbage; the subject is mentioned again in the
discussion of cabbage in Chapter X.
[Illustration: Fig. 189. A fruit storage house cooled by ice.]
In the storing of all products, especially those which have soft and
green matter, as cabbages, it is well to provide against the heating of
the produce. If the things are buried out of doors, it is important to
put on a very light cover at first so that the heat may escape. Cover
them gradually as the cold weather comes on. This is important with all
vegetables that are placed in pits, as potatoes, beets, and the like. If
covered deeply at once, they are likely to heat and rot. All pits made
out of doors should be on well-drained and preferably sandy land.
When vegetables are wanted at intervals during the winter from pits, it
is well to make compartment pits, each compartment holding a wagon load
or whatever quantity will be likely to be wanted at each time. These
pits are sunk in well-drained land, and between each of the two pits is
left a wall of earth about a foot thick. One pit can then be emptied in
cold weather without interfering with the others.
An outside cellar is better than a house cellar in which there is a
heater, but it is not so handy. If it is near the house, it need not be
inconvenient, however. A house is usually healthier if the cellar is not
used for storage. House cellars used for storage should have a
Some of the principles involved in an ice-cooled storage house are
explained in the diagram, Fig. 189. If the reader desires to make a
careful study of storage and storage structures, he should consult
cyclopedias and special articles.
_The forcing of plants._
There are three general means (aside from greenhouses) of forcing plants
ahead of their season in the early spring--by means of forcing-hills and
hand-boxes, by coldframes, and by hotbeds.
The forcing-hill is an arrangement by means of which a single plant or a
single "hill" of plants may be forced where it permanently stands. This
type of forcing may be applied to perennial plants, as rhubarb and
asparagus, or to annuals, as melons and cucumbers.
In Fig. 190 is illustrated a common method of hastening the growth of
rhubarb in the spring. A box with four removable sides, two of which are
shown in end section in the figure, is placed around the plant in the
fall. The inside of the box is filled with straw or litter, and the
outside is banked thoroughly with any refuse, to prevent the ground from
freezing. When it is desired to start the plants, the covering is
removed from both the inside and outside of the box and hot manure is
piled around the box to its top.
[Illustration: Fig. 190. Forcing-hill for rhubarb.]
If the weather is yet cold, dry light leaves or straw may be placed
inside the box; or a pane or sash of glass may be placed on top of the
box, when it will become a coldframe. Rhubarb, asparagus, sea-kale, and
similar plants may be advanced two or four weeks by means of this method
of forcing. Some gardeners use old barrels or half-barrels in place of
the box. The box, however, is better and handier, and the sides can be
stored for future use.
[Illustration: Fig. 191. Forcing-hill, and the mold or frame for making
Plants that require a long season in which to mature, and which do not
transplant readily, as melons and cucumbers, may be planted in
forcing-hills in the field. One of these hills is shown in Fig. 191. The
frame or mold is shown at the left. This mold is a box with flaring
sides and no top or bottom, and provided with a handle. This frame is
placed with the small end down at the point where the seeds are to be
planted, and the earth is hilled up about it and firmly packed with the
feet. The mold is then withdrawn, and a pane of glass is laid upon the
top of the mound to concentrate the sun's rays, and to prevent the bank
from washing down with the rains. A clod of earth or a stone may be
placed upon the pane to hold it down. Sometimes a brick is used as a
mold. This type of forcing-hill is not much used, because the bank of
earth is liable to be washed away, and heavy rain coming when the glass
is off will fill the hill with water and drown the plant. However, it
can be used to very good advantage when the gardener can give it close
[Illustration: Fig. 192. Hand-box.]
A forcing-hill is sometimes made by digging a hole in the ground and
planting the seeds in the bottom of it, placing the pane of glass upon a
slight ridge or mound which is made on the surface of the ground. This
method is less desirable than the other, because the seeds are placed in
the poorest and coldest soil, and the hole is very likely to fill with
water in the early days of spring.
An excellent type of forcing-hill is made by the use of the hand-box, as
shown in Fig. 192. This is a rectangular box, without top or bottom, and
a pane of glass is slipped into a groove at the top. It is really a
miniature coldframe. The earth is banked up slightly about the box, in
order to hold it against winds and to prevent the water from running
into it. If these boxes are made of good lumber and painted, they will
last for many years. Any size of glass may be used which is desired, but
a ten-by-twelve pane is as good as any for general purposes.
After the plants are thoroughly established in these forcing-hills, and
the weather is settled, the protection is wholly removed, and the plants
grow normally in the open.
A very good temporary protection may be given to tender plants by using
four panes of glass, as explained in Fig. 193, the two inner panes being
held together at the top by a block of wood through which four nails are
driven. Plants are more likely to burn in these glass frames than in the
hand-boxes, and such frames are not so well adapted to the protection of
plants in very early spring; but they are often useful for
[Illustration: Fig. 193. Glass forcing-hill.]
In all forcing-hills, as in coldframes and hotbeds, it is exceedingly
important that the plants receive plenty of air on bright days. Plants
that are kept too close become weak or "drawn", and lose the ability to
withstand changes of weather when the protection is removed. Even though
the wind is cold and raw, the plants inside the frames ordinarily will
not suffer if the glass is taken off when the sun is shining.
A coldframe is nothing more than an enlarged hand-box; that is, instead
of protecting but a single plant or a single hill with a single pane of
glass, the frame is covered with sash, and is large enough to
accommodate many plants.
There are three general purposes for which a coldframe is used: For the
starting of plants early in spring; for receiving partially hardened
plants that have been started earlier in hotbeds and forcing-houses; for
wintering young cabbages, lettuce, and other hardy plants that are sown
in the fall.
Coldframes are ordinarily placed near the buildings, and the plants are
transplanted into the field when settled weather comes. Sometimes,
however, they are made directly in the field where the plants are to
remain, and the frames, and not the plants, are removed. When used for
this latter purpose, the frames are made very cheap by running two rows
of parallel planks through the field at a distance apart of six feet.
The plank on the north is ordinarily ten to twelve inches wide, and that
on the south eight to ten inches. These planks are held in place by
stakes, and the sashes are laid across them. Seeds of radishes, beets,
lettuce, and the like, are then sown beneath the sash, and when settled
weather arrives, the sash and planks are removed and the plants are
growing naturally in the field. Half-hardy plants, as those mentioned,
may be started fully two or three weeks in advance of the normal season
by this means.
[Illustration: Fig. 194. Coldframe against a building. Plants at E; sill
of house at A; basement opening at B.]
One of the simplest types of coldframes is shown in Fig. 194, which is a
lean-to against the foundation of a house. A sill is run just above the
surface of the ground, and the sashes, shown at D, are laid on rafters
which run from this sill to the sill of the house, A. If this frame is
on the south side of the building, plants may be started even as early
as a month before the opening of the season. Such lean-to frames are
sometimes made against greenhouses or warm cellars, and heat is supplied
to them by the opening of a door in the wall, as at B. In frames that
are in such sunny positions as these, it is exceedingly important that
care be taken to remove the sash, or at least to give ample ventilation,
in all sunny days.
[Illustration: Fig. 195. Weather screen, or coldframe, against a
A different type of lean-to structure is shown in Fig. 195. This may be
either a temporary or permanent building, and it is generally used for
the protection of half-hardy plants that are grown in pots and tubs. It
may be used, however, for the purpose of forwarding pot-plants early in
the spring and for protection of peaches, grapes, oranges, or other
fruits in tubs or boxes. If it is desired merely to protect the plants
through the winter, it is best to have the structure on the north side
of the building, in order that the sun may not force the plants
[Illustration: Fig. 196. A pit or coldframe on permanent walls, and a
useful adjunct to a garden. The rear cover is open (_a_).]
[Illustration: Fig. 197. The usual form of coldframe.]
[Illustration: Fig. 198. A strong and durable frame.]
Another structure that may be used both to carry half-hardy plants over
winter and for starting plants early in spring is shown in Fig. 196. It
is really a miniature greenhouse without heat. It is well adapted for
mild climates. The picture was made from a structure in the coast
region of North Carolina.
[Illustration: Fig. 199. A frame yard.]
The common type of coldframe is shown in Fig. 197. It is twelve feet
long and six feet wide, and is covered with four three-by-six sash. It
is made of ordinary lumber loosely nailed together. If one expects to
use coldframes or hotbeds every year, however, it is advisable to make
the frames of two-inch stuff, well painted, and to join the parts by
bolts and tenons, so that they may be taken apart and stored until
needed for the next year's crop. Figure 198 suggests a method of making
frames so that they may be taken apart.
[Illustration: Fig. 200. Portable coldframe.]
[Illustration: Fig. 201. A larger portable coldframe.]
It is always advisable to place coldframes and hotbeds in a protected
place, and particularly to protect them from cold north winds. Buildings
afford excellent protection, but the sun is sometimes too hot on the
south side of large and light-colored buildings. One of the best means
of protection is to plant a hedge of evergreens, as shown in Fig. 199.
It is always desirable, also to place all the coldframes and hotbeds
close together, for the purpose of economizing time and labor. A regular
area or yard may be set aside for this purpose.
[Illustration: Fig. 202. A commodious portable frame.]
Various small and portable coldframes may be used about the garden for
the protection of tender plants or to start them early in the spring.
Pansies, daisies, and border carnations, for example, may be brought on
very early by setting such frames over them or by planting them under
the frames in the fall. These frames may be of any size desired, and the
sash may be either removable, or, in case of small frames, they may be
hinged at the top. Figs. 200-203 illustrate various types.
[Illustration: Fig. 203. A low coldframe.]
A hotbed differs from a coldframe in being provided with bottom heat.
This heat is ordinarily supplied by means of fermenting manure, but it
may be obtained from other fermenting material, as tanbark or leaves, or
from artificial heat, as flues, steam pipes, or water pipes.
The hotbed is used for the very early starting of plants; and when the
plants have outgrown the bed, or have become too thick, they are
transplanted into cooler hotbeds or into coldframes. There are some
crops, however, that are carried to full maturity in the hotbed itself,
as radishes and lettuce.
The date at which the hotbed may be started with safety depends almost
entirely on the means at command of heating it and on the skill of the
operator. In the northern states, where outdoor gardening does not begin
until the first or the last of May, hotbeds are sometimes started as
early as January; but they are ordinarily delayed until early in March.
The heat for hotbeds is commonly supplied by the fermentation of horse
manure. It is important that the manure be as uniform as possible in
composition and texture, that it come from highly fed horses, and is
practically of the same age. The best results are usually secured with
manure from livery stables, from which it can be obtained in large
quantities in a short space of time. Perhaps as much as one half of the
whole material should be of litter or straw that has been used in
The manure is placed in a long and shallow square-topped pile, not more
than four or six feet high, as a rule, and is then allowed to ferment.
Better results are generally obtained if the manure is piled under
cover. If the weather is cold and fermentation does not start readily,
wetting the pile with hot water may start it. The first fermentation is
nearly always irregular; that is, it begins unequally in several places
in the pile. In order to make the fermentation uniform, the pile must be
turned occasionally, taking care to break up all hard lumps and to
distribute the hot manure throughout the mass. It is sometimes necessary
to turn the pile five or six times before it is finally used, although
half this number of turnings is ordinarily sufficient. When the pile is
steaming uniformly throughout, it is placed in the hotbed, and is
covered with the earth in which the plants are to be grown.
Hotbed frames are sometimes set on top of the pile of fermenting manure,
as shown in Fig. 204. The manure should extend some distance beyond the
edges of the frame; otherwise the frame will become too cold about the
outside, and the plants will suffer.
[Illustration: Fig. 204. Hotbed with manure on top of the ground.]
It is preferable, however, to have a pit beneath the frame in which the
manure is placed. If the bed is to be started in midwinter or very early
in the spring, it is advisable to make this pit in the fall and to fill
it with straw or other litter to prevent the earth from freezing deep.
When it is time to make the bed, the litter is thrown out, and the
ground is warm and ready to receive the fermenting manure. The pit
should be a foot wider on either side than the width of the frame. Fig.
205 is a cross-section of such a hotbed pit. Upon the ground a layer of
an inch or two of any coarse material is placed to keep the manure off
the cold earth. Upon this, from twelve to thirty inches of manure is
placed. Above the manure is a thin layer of leafmold or some porous
material, that will serve as a distributor of the heat, and above this
is four or five inches of soft garden loam, in which the plants are
to be grown.
[Illustration: Fig. 205. Section of a hotbed built with a pit.]
It is advisable to place the manure in the pit in layers, each stratum
to be thoroughly trodden down before another one is put in. These layers
should be four to eight inches in thickness. By this means the mass is
easily made uniform in consistency. Manure that has too much straw for
the best results, and which will therefore soon part with its heat, will
spring up quickly when the pressure of the feet is removed. Manure that
has too little straw, and which therefore will not heat well or will
spend its heat quickly, will pack down into a soggy mass underneath the
feet. When the manure has sufficient litter, it will give a springy
feeling to the feet as a person walks over it, but will not fluff up
when the pressure is removed. The quantity of manure to be used will
depend on its quality, and also on the season in which the hotbed is
made. The earlier the bed is made, the larger should be the quantity of
manure. Hotbeds that are intended to hold for two months should have
about two feet of manure, as a rule.
The manure will ordinarily heat very vigorously for a few days after it
is placed in the bed. A soil thermometer should be thrust through the
earth down to the manure, and the frame kept tightly closed. When the
temperature is passing below 90 deg., seeds of the warm plants, like
tomatoes, may be sown, and when it passes below 80 deg. or 70 deg., the seeds of
cooler plants may be sown.
If hotbeds are to be used every year, permanent pits should be provided
for them. Pits are made from two to three feet deep, preferably the
former depth, and are walled up with stone or brick. It is important
that they be given good drainage from below. In the summer-time, after
the sash are stripped, the old beds may be used for the growing of
various delicate crops, as melons or half-hardy flowers. In this
position, the plants can be protected in the fall. As already suggested,
the pits should be cleaned out in the fall and filled with litter to
facilitate the work of making the new bed in the winter or spring.
[Illustration: Fig. 206 Parallel runs of hotbeds with racks for holding
Various modifications of the common type of hotbed will suggest
themselves to the operator. The frames should ordinarily run in parallel
rows, so that a man walking between them can attend to the ventilation
of two rows of sash at once. Fig. 206 shows a different arrangement.
There are two parallel runs, with walks on the outside, and between them
are racks to receive the sash from the adjacent frames. The sash from
the left-hand bed are run to the right, and those from the right-hand
bed are run to the left. Running on racks, the operator does not need to
handle them, and the breakage of glass is therefore less; but this
system is little used because of the difficulty of reaching the farther
side of the bed from the single walk.
If the hotbed were high enough and broad enough to allow a man to work
inside, we should have a forcing-house. Such a structure is shown in
Fig. 207, upon one side of which the manure and soil are already in
place. These manure-heated houses are often very efficient, and are a
good make-shift until such time as the gardener can afford to put in
flue or pipe heat.
[Illustration: Fig. 207. Manure-heated greenhouse.]
Hotbeds may be heated by means of steam or hot water. They can be piped
from the heater in a dwelling-house or greenhouse. Fig. 208 shows a
hotbed with two pipes, in the positions 7, 7 beneath the bed. The earth
is shown at 4, and the plants (which, in this case, are vines) are
growing upon a rack, at 6. There are doors in the end of the house,
shown in 2, 2, which may be used for ventilation or for admitting air
underneath the beds. The pipes should not be surrounded by earth, but
should run through a free air space.
[Illustration: Fig. 208. Pipe-heated hotbed.]
It would scarcely pay to put in a hot water or steam heater for the
express purpose of heating hotbeds, for if such an expense were
incurred, it would be better to make a forcing-house. Hotbeds may be
heated, however, with hot-air flues with very good results. A home-made
brick furnace may be constructed in a pit at one end of the run and
underneath a shed, and the smoke and hot air, instead of being carried
directly upwards, is carried through a slightly rising horizontal pipe
that runs underneath the beds. For some distance from the furnace, this
flue may be made of brick or unvitrified sewer pipe, but stove-pipe may
be used for the greater part of the run. The chimney is ordinarily at
the farther end of the run of beds. It should be high, in order to
provide a good draft. If the run of beds is long, there should be a rise
in the underlying pipe of at least one foot in twenty-five. The greater
the rise in this pipe, the more perfect will be the draft. If the runs
are not too long, the underlying pipe may return underneath the beds and
enter a chimney directly over the back end of the furnace, and such a
chimney, being warmed from the furnace, will ordinarily have an
excellent draft. The underlying pipe should occupy a free space or pit
beneath the beds, and whenever it lies near to the floor of the bed or
is very hot, it should be covered with asbestos cloth. While such
flue-heated hotbeds may be eminently successful with a grower or builder
of experience, it may nevertheless be said, as a general statement, that
whenever such trouble and expense are incurred, it is better to make a
forcing-house. The subject of forcing-houses and greenhouses is not
discussed in this book.
[Illustration: Fig. 209. Useful kinds of watering-pots. These are
adapted to different uses, as are different forms of hoes or
The most satisfactory material for use in hotbed and cold-frame sash is
double-thick, second-quality glass; and panes twelve inches wide are
ordinarily broad enough, and they suffer comparatively little in
breakage. For coldframes, however, various oiled papers and waterproof
cloths may be used, particularly for plants that are started little in
advance of the opening of the season. When these materials are used, it
is not necessary to have expensive sash, but rectangular frames are made
from strips of pine seven-eighths inch thick and two and one-half inches
wide, halved together at the corners and each corner reenforced by a
square carriage-corner, such as is used by carriage-makers to secure the
corners of buggy boxes. These corners can be bought by the pound at
Management of hotbeds.
Close attention is required in the management of hotbeds, to insure that
they do not become too hot when the sun comes out suddenly, and to give
plenty of fresh air.
Ventilation is usually effected by raising the sash at the upper end and
letting it rest upon a block. Whenever the temperature is above freezing
point, it is generally advisable to take the sash off part way, as shown
in the central part of Fig. 199, or even to strip it off entirely, as
shown in Fig. 197.
Care should be taken not to water the plants at nightfall, especially in
dull and cold weather, but to give them water in the morning, when the
sun will soon bring the temperature up to its normal state. Skill and
judgment in watering are of the greatest importance in the management of
hotbeds; but this skill comes only from thoughtful practice. The
satisfaction and effectiveness of the work are greatly increased by good
hose connections and good watering-pots (Fig. 209).
Some protection, other than the glass, must be given to hotbeds. They
need covering on every cold night, and sometimes during the entire day
in very severe weather. Very good material for covering the sash is
matting, such as is used for covering floors. Old pieces of carpet may
also be used. Various hotbed mattings are sold by dealers in
[Illustration: Fig. 210. The making of straw mats.]
Gardeners often make mats of rye straw, although the price of good straw
and the excellence of manufactured materials make this home-made matting
less desirable than formerly. Such mats are thick and durable, and are
rolled up in the morning, as shown in Fig. 199. There are various
methods of making these straw mats, but Fig. 210 illustrates one of the
best. A frame is made after the manner of a saw-horse, with a double
top, and tarred or marline twine is used for securing the strands of
straw. It is customary to use six runs of this warp. Twelve spools of
string are provided, six hanging on either side. Some persons wind the
cord upon two twenty-penny nails, as shown in the figure, these nails
being held together at one end by wire which is secured in notches filed
into them. The other ends of the spikes are free, and allow the string
to be caught between them, thus preventing the balls from unwinding as
they hang upon the frame. Two wisps of straight rye straw are secured
and laid upon the frame, with the butt ends outward and the heads
overlapping. Two opposite spools are then brought up, and a hard knot is
tied at each point. The projecting butts of the straw are then cut off
with a hatchet, and the mat is allowed to drop through to receive the
next pair of wisps. In making these mats, it is essential that the rye
contains no ripe grain; otherwise it attracts the mice. It is best to
grow rye for this especial purpose, and to cut it before the grain is in
the milk, so that the straw does not need to be threshed.
In addition to these coverings of straw or matting, it is sometimes
necessary to provide board shutters to protect the beds, particularly if
the plants are started very early in the season. These shutters are made
of half-inch or five-eighths-inch pine lumber, and are the same size as
the sash--three by six feet. They may be placed upon the sash underneath
the matting, or they may be used above the matting. In some cases they
are used without any matting.
In the growing of plants in hotbeds, every effort should be made to
prevent the plants from growing spindling, or becoming "drawn." To make
stocky plants, it is necessary to give room to each plant, to be sure
that the distance from the plants to the glass is not great, to provide
not too much water in dull and cold weather, and particularly to give
abundance of air.
PROTECTING PLANTS FROM THINGS THAT PREY ON THEM
Plants are preyed on by insects and fungi; and they are subject to
various kinds of disease that, for the most part, are not yet
understood. They are often injured also by mice and rabbits (p. 144), by
moles, dogs, cats, and chickens; and fruit is eaten by birds. Moles may
be troublesome on sandy land; they heave the ground by their burrowing
and may often be killed by stamping when the burrow is being raised;
there are mole traps that are more or less successful. Dogs and cats
work injury mostly by walking across newly made gardens or lying in
them. These animals, as well as chickens, should be kept within their
proper place (p. 160); or if they roam at will, the garden must be
inclosed in a tight wire fence or the beds protected by brush laid
closely over them.
The insects and diseases that attack garden plants are legion; and yet,
for the most part, they are not very difficult to combat if one is
timely and thorough in his operations. These difficulties may be divided
into three great categories: the injuries wrought by insects; the
injuries of parasitic fungi; the various types of so-called
constitutional diseases, some of which are caused by germs or bacteria,
and many of which have not yet been worked out by investigators.
The diseases caused by parasitic fungi are usually distinguished by
distinct marks, spots or blisters on the leaves or stems, and the
gradual weakening or death of the part; and, in many cases, the leaves
drop bodily. For the most part, these spots on the leaves or stems
sooner or later exhibit a mildew-like or rusty appearance, due to the
development of the spores or fruiting bodies. Fig. 211 illustrates the
ravages of one of the parasitic fungi, the shot-hole fungus of the plum.
Each spot probably represents a distinct attack of the fungus, and in
this particular disease these injured parts of tissue are liable to fall
out, leaving holes in the leaf. Plum leaves that are attacked early in
the season by this disease usually drop prematurely; but sometimes the
leaves persist, being riddled by holes at the close of the season. Fig.
212 is the rust of the hollyhock. In this case the pustules of the
fungus are very definite on the under side of the leaf. The blisters of
leaf-curl are shown in Fig. 213. The ragged work of apple scab fungus is
shown in Fig. 214.
[Illustration: Fig. 211. Shot-hole disease of plum.]
[Illustration: Fig. 212. Hollyhock rust.]
[Illustration: Fig. 213. Leaf-curl of peach, due to a fungus.]
The constitutional and bacterial diseases usually affect the whole
plant, or at least large portions of it; and the seat of attack is
commonly not so much in the individual leaves as in the stems, the
sources of food supply being thereby cut off from the foliage. The
symptoms of this class of diseases are general weakening of plant when
the disease affects the plant as a whole or when it attacks large
branches; or sometimes the leaves shrivel and die about the edges or in
large irregular discolored spots, but without the distinct pustular
marks of the parasitic fungi. There is a general tendency for the
foliage on plants affected with such diseases to shrivel and to hang on
the stem for a time. One of the best illustrations of this type of
disease is the pear-blight. Sometimes the plant gives rise to abnormal
growths, as in the "willow shoots" of peaches affected with yellows
[Illustration: Fig. 214. Leaves and fruits injured by fungi, chiefly
Another class of diseases are the root-galls. They are of various kinds.
The root-gall of raspberries, crown-gall of peaches, apples, and other
trees, is the most popularly recognized of this class of troubles (Fig.
216). It has long been known as a disease of nursery stock. Many states
have laws against the sale of trees showing this disease. Its cause was
unknown, until in 1907 Smith and Townsend, of the Bureau of Plant
Industry, United States Department of Agriculture, undertook an
investigation. They proved that it is a bacterial disease (caused by
_Bacterium tumefaciens_); but just how the bacteria gain entrance to the
root is not known. The same bacterium may cause galls on the stems of
other plants, as, for example, on certain of the daisies. The
"hairy-root" of apples, and certain galls that often appear on the
limbs of large apple-trees, are also known to be caused by this same
bacterium. The disease seems to be most serious and destructive on the
raspberry, particularly the Cuthbert variety. The best thing to be done
when the raspberry patch becomes infested is to root out the plants and
destroy them, planting a new patch with clean stock on land that has not
grown berries for some time. Notwithstanding the laws that have been
made against the distribution of root-gall from nurseries, the evidence
seems to show that it is not a serious disease of apples or peaches, at
least not in the northeastern United States. It is not determined how
far it may injure such trees.
[Illustration: Fig. 215. The slender tufted growth indicating peach
yellows. The cause of this disease is undetermined.]
[Illustration: Fig. 216. Gall on a raspberry root.]
Of obvious insect injuries, there are two general types,--those wrought
by insects that bite or chew their food, as the ordinary beetles and
worms, and those wrought by insects that puncture the surface of the
plant and derive their food by sucking the juices, as scale-insects and
plant-lice. The canker-worm (Fig. 217) is a notable example of the
former class; and many of these insects may be dispatched by the
application of poison to the parts that they eat. It is apparent,
however, that insects which suck the juice of the plant are not poisoned
by any liquid that may be applied to the surface. They may be killed by
various materials that act upon them externally, as the soap washes,
miscible oils, kerosene emulsions, lime-and-sulfur sprays, and the like.
[Illustration: Fig. 217. Canker-worm.]
There has been much activity in recent years in the identification and
study of insects, fungi, and microorganisms that injure plants; and
great numbers of bulletins and monographs have been published; and yet
the gardener who has tried assiduously to follow these investigations is
likely to go to his garden any morning and find troubles that he cannot
identify and which perhaps even an investigator himself might not
understand. It is important, therefore, that the gardener inform himself
not only on particular kinds of insects and diseases, but that he
develop a resourcefulness of his own. He should be able to do something,
even if he does not know a complete remedy or specific. Some of the
procedure, preventive and remedial, that needs always to be considered,
is as follows:--
Keep the place clean, and free from infection. Next to keeping the
plants vigorous and strong, this is the first and best means of averting
trouble from insects and fungi. Rubbish and all places in which the
insects can hibernate and the fungi can propagate should be done away
with. All fallen leaves from plants that have been attacked by fungi
should be raked up and burned, and in the fall all diseased wood should
be cut out and destroyed. It is important that diseased plants are not
thrown on the manure heap, to be distributed through the garden the
Practice a rotation or alternation of crops (p. 114). Some of the
diseases remain in the soil and attack the plant year after year.
Whenever any crop shows signs of root disease, or soil disease, it is
particularly important that another crop be grown on the place.
[Illustration: Fig. 218. A garden hand syringe.]
See that the disease or insect is not bred on weeds or other plants that
are botanically related to the crop you grow. If the wild mallow, or
plant known to children as "cheeses" _(Malva rotundifolia_), is
destroyed, there will be much less difficulty with hollyhock rust. Do
not let the cabbage club-root disease breed on wild turnips and other
mustards, or black-knot on plum sprouts and wild cherries, or
tent-caterpillars on wild cherries and other trees.
[Illustration: Fig. 219. A knapsack pump.]
Always be ready to resort to hand-picking. We have grown so accustomed
to killing insects by other means that we have almost forgotten that
hand-picking is often the surest and sometimes even the most expeditious
means of checking an invasion in a home garden. Many insects can be
jarred off early in the morning. Egg-masses on leaves and stems may be
removed. Cutworms may be dug out. Diseased leaves may be picked off and
burned; this will do much to combat the hollyhock rust, aster rust, and
[Illustration: Fig. 220 A compressed-air hand pump for garden work.]
[Illustration: Fig. 221 A bucket pump.]
[Illustration: Fig. 222 A bucket pump.]
[Illustration: Fig. 223 A cart-mounted pump.]
Keep close watch on the plants, and be prepared to strike quickly. It
should be a matter of pride to a gardener to have in his workhouse a
supply of the common insecticides and fungicides (Paris green or
arsenate of lead, some of the tobacco preparations, white hellebore,
whale-oil soap, bordeaux mixture, flowers of sulfur, carbonate of Copper
for solution in ammonia), and also a good hand syringe (Fig. 218), a
knapsack pump (Figs. 219, 220), a bucket pump (Figs. 221, 222), a hand
bellows or powder gun, perhaps a barrow outfit (Figs. 223, 224, 225),
and if the plantation is large enough, some kind of a force pump (Figs.
226, 227, 228). If one is always ready, there is little danger from any
insect or disease that is controllable by spraying.
[Illustration: Fig. 224. A garden outfit.]
[Illustration: Fig. 225. A cart-mounted barrel pump.]
[Illustration: Fig. 226. A barrel hand pump.]
[Illustration: Fig. 227. A barrel outfit, showing nozzles on extension
rods for trees.]
_Screens and covers._
There are various ways of keeping insects away from plants. One of the
best is to cover the plants with fine mosquito-netting or to grow them
in hand-frames, or to use a wire-covered box like that shown in Fig.
229. In growing plants under such covers, care must be taken that the
plants are not kept too close or confined; and in cases in which the
insects hibernate in the soil, these boxes, by keeping the soil warm,
may cause the insects to hatch all the sooner. In most cases, however,
these covers are very efficient, especially for keeping the striped bugs
off young plants of melons and cucumbers.
[Illustration: Fig. 228. A truck-mounted barrel hand spray Pump.]
Cut-worms may be kept away from plants by placing sheets of tin or of
heavy glazed paper about the stem of the plant, as shown in Fig. 230.
Climbing cut-worms are kept off young trees by the means shown in Fig.
231. Or a roll of cotton may be placed about the trunk of the tree, a
string being tied on the lower edge of the roll and the upper edge of
the cotton turned down like the top of a boot; the insects cannot crawl
over this obstruction (p. 203).
[Illustration: Fig. 229. Wire-covered box for protecting plants from
[Illustration: Fig. 230 Protecting from cut-worms.]
The maggots that attack the roots of cabbages and cauliflowers may be
kept from the plant by pieces of tarred paper, which are placed close
about the stem upon the surface of the ground. Fig. 232 illustrates a
hexagon of paper, and also shows a tool used for cutting it. This means
of preventing the attacks of the cabbage maggot is described in detail
by the late Professor Goff (for another method of controlling cabbage
maggot see p. 201):--
[Illustration: Fig. 231 Protecting trees from cut-worms.]
[Illustration: Fig. 232 Showing how paper is cut for protecting cabbages
from maggots. The Goff device.]
"The cards are cut in a hexagonal form, in order better to economize the
material, and a thinner grade of tarred paper than the ordinary roofing
felt is used, as it is not only cheaper, but being more flexible, the
cards made from it are more readily placed about the plant without being
torn. The blade of the tool, which should be made by an expert
blacksmith, is formed from a band of steel, bent in the form of a half
hexagon, and then taking an acute angle, reaches nearly to the center,
as shown in Fig. 232. The part making the star-shaped cut is formed from
a separate piece of steel, so attached to the handle as to make a close
joint with the blade. The latter is beveled from the outside all round,
so that by removing the part making the star-shaped cut, the edge may be
ground on a grindstone. It is important that the angles in the blade be
made perfect, and that its outline represents an exact half hexagon. To
use the tool, place the tarred paper on the end of a section of a log or
piece of timber and first cut the lower edge into notches, as indicated
at _a,_ Fig. 232, using only one angle of the tool. Then commence at the
left side and place the blade as indicated by the dotted lines, and
strike at the end of the handle with a light mallet, and a complete card
is made. Continue in this manner across the paper. The first cut of
every alternate course will make an imperfect card, and the last cut in
any course may be imperfect, but the other cuts will make perfect cards
if the tool is correctly made, and properly used. The cards should be
placed about the plants at the time of transplanting. To place the card,
bend it slightly to open the slit, then slip it on to the center, the
stem entering the slit, after which spread the card out flat, and press
the points formed by the star-shaped cut snugly around the stem."
An effective means of destroying insects in glass houses is by
fumigating with various kinds of smoke or vapors. The best material to
use for general purposes is some form of tobacco or tobacco compounds.
The old method of fumigating with tobacco is to burn slowly slightly
dampened tobacco stems in a kettle or scuttle, allowing the house to be
filled with the pungent smoke. Lately, however, fluid extracts and other
preparations of tobacco have been brought into use, and these are so
effective that the tobacco-stem method is becoming obsolete. The use of
hydrocyanic acid gas in greenhouses is now coming to be common, for
plant-lice, white-fly, and other insects. It is also used to fumigate
nursery stock for San Jose scale, and mills and dwellings for such
pests and vermin as become established in them. The following directions
are from Cornell Bulletin 252 (from which the formulas in the succeeding
pages, and most of the advice, are also taken):--
"No general formula can be given for fumigating the different kinds of
plants grown in greenhouses, as the species and varieties differ greatly
in their ability to withstand the effects of the gas. Ferns and roses
are very susceptible to injury, and fumigation if attempted at all
should be performed with great caution. Fumigation will not kill insect
eggs and thus must be repeated when the new brood appears. Fumigate only
at night when there is no wind. Have the house as dry as possible and
the temperature as near 60 deg. as practicable.
"Hydrocyanic acid gas is a deadly poison, and the greatest care is
required in its use. Always use 98 to 100 per cent pure potassium
cyanide and a good grade of commercial sulfuric acid. The chemicals are
always combined in the following proportion: Potassium cyanide, 1 oz.;
sulfuric acid, 2 fluid oz.; water, 4 fluid oz. Always use an earthen
dish, _pour in the water first,_ and add the sulfuric acid to it. Put
the required amount of cyanide in a thin paper bag and when all is
ready, drop it into the liquid and leave the room immediately. For mills
and dwellings, use 1 oz. of cyanide for every 100 cu. ft. of space. Make
the doors and windows as tight as possible by pasting strips of paper
over the cracks. Remove the silverware and food, and if brass and nickel
work cannot be removed, cover with vaseline. Place the proper amount of
the acid and water for every room in 2-gal. jars. Use two or more in
large rooms or halls. Weigh out the potassium cyanide in paper bags, and
place them near the jars. When all is ready, drop the cyanide into the
jars, beginning on the top floors, since the fumes are lighter than air.
In large buildings, it is frequently necessary to suspend the bags of
cyanide over the jars by cords running through screw eyes and all
leading to a place near the door. By cutting all the cords at once the
cyanide will be lowered into the jars and the operator may escape
without injury. Let the fumigation continue all night, locking all
outside doors and placing danger signs on the house."
In greenhouses, the white-fly on cucumbers and tomatoes may be killed by
overnight fumigation with 1 oz. of potassium cyanide to every 1000 cu.
ft. of space; or with a kerosene emulsion spray or whale-oil soap, on
plants not injured by these materials.
The green aphis is dispatched in houses by fumigation with any of the
tobacco preparations; on violets, by fumigation with 1/2 to 3/4 oz.
potassium cyanide for every 1000 cu. ft. of space, leaving the gas in
from 1/2 to 1 hr.
The black aphis is more difficult to kill than the green aphis, but may
be controlled by the same methods thoroughly used.
_Soaking tubers and seeds._
Potato scab may be prevented, so far as planting infected "seed" is
concerned, by soaking the seed tubers for half an hour in 30 gal. of
water containing 1 pt. of commercial (about 40 per cent) formalin. Oats
and wheat, when attacked by certain kinds of smut, may be rendered safe
to sow by soaking for ten minutes in a similar solution. It is probable
that some other tubers and seeds can be similarly treated with
Potatoes may also be soaked (for scab) one and one-half hours in a
solution of corrosive sublimate, 1 oz. to 7 gal. of water.
The most effective means of destroying insects and fungi however, in any
general or large way, is by the use of various sprays. The two general
types of insecticides have already been mentioned--those that kill by
poisoning, and those that kill by destroying the body of the insect. Of
the former, there are three materials in common use--Paris green,
arsenate of lead, and hellebore. Of the latter, the most usual at
present are kerosene emulsion, miscible oils, and the lime-sulfur wash.
Sprays for fungi usually depend for their efficiency on some form of
copper or sulfur, or both. For surface mildews, as grape mildew, dusting
flowers of sulfur on the foliage is a protection. In most cases,
however, it is necessary to apply materials in liquid form, because they
can be more thoroughly and economically distributed, and they adhere to
the foliage better. The best general fungicide is the bordeaux mixture.
It is generally, however, not advisable to use the bordeaux mixture on
ornamental plants, because it discolors the foliage and makes the plants
look very untidy. In such cases it is best to use the ammoniacal copper
solution, which leaves no stain.
In all spraying operations it is especially important that the
applications be made the very moment the insect or disease is
discovered, or in the case of fungous diseases, if one is expecting an
attack, it is well to make an application of bordeaux mixture even
before the disease appears. When the fungus once gets inside the plant
tissue, it is very difficult to destroy it, inasmuch as fungicides act
on these deep-seated fungi very largely by preventing their fruiting and
their further spread on the surface of the leaf. For ordinary
conditions, from two to four sprayings are necessary to dispatch the
enemy. In spraying for insects in home gardens, it is often advisable to
make a second application the day following the first one in order to
destroy the remaining insects before they recover from the first
There are many kinds of machines and devices for the application of
sprays to plants. For a few individual specimens, the spray may be
applied with a whisk, or with a common garden syringe. If one has a few
trees to treat, however, it is best to have some kind of bucket pump
like those shown in Figs. 221, 222. On a lawn or in a small garden a
tank on wheels (Figs. 223, 224, 225) is handy and efficient. In such
cases, or even for larger areas, some of the knapsack pumps (Figs. 219,
220) are very desirable. These machines are always serviceable, because
the operator stands so near to his work; but as they carry a
comparatively small quantity of liquid and do not throw it rapidly, they
are expensive when much work is to be done. Yet, in ordinary home
grounds, the knapsack pump or compressed-air pump is one of the most
efficient and practicable of all the spraying devices.
For large areas, as for small orchards and fields, a barrel pump mounted
on a wagon is best. Common types of barrel pumps are shown in Figs. 226,
227, 228. Commercial plantations are now sprayed by power machines.
There are many good patterns of spraying machines, and the intending
purchaser should send for catalogues to the various manufacturers. The
addresses may be found in the advertising pages of rural papers.
As to nozzles for spraying it may be said that there is no one pattern
that is best for all purposes. For most uses in home grounds the cyclone
or vermorel type (Fig. 233) will give best satisfaction. The pump
manufacturers supply special nozzles for their machines.
[Illustration: Fig. 233. Cyclone or vermorel type of nozzle, single and
_Insecticide spraying formulas._
The two classes of insecticides are here described,--the poisons
(arsenites and white hellebore) for chewing insects, as the beetles and
all kinds of worms; the contact insecticides, as kerosene, oils, soap,
tobacco, lime-sulfur, for plant-lice, scale, and insects in such
position that the material cannot be fed to them (as maggots in the
_Paris green._--The standard insecticidal poison. This is used in
varying strengths, depending on the insect to be controlled and the kind
of plant treated. Mix the Paris green into a paste and then add to the
water. Keep the mixture thoroughly agitated while spraying. If for use
on fruit trees, add 1 lb. of quick lime for every pound of Paris green
to prevent burning the foliage. For potatoes it is frequently used
alone, but it is much safer to use the lime. Paris green and bordeaux
mixture may be combined without lessening the value of either, and the
caustic action of the arsenic is prevented. The proportion of the poison
to use is given under the various insects discussed in the
_Arsenate of lead._--This can be applied in a stronger mixture than
other arsenical poisons without injuring the foliage. It is, therefore,
much used against beetles and other insects that are hard to poison, as
elm-leaf beetle and canker-worm. It comes in the form of a paste and
should be mixed thoroughly with a small quantity of water before placing
in the sprayer, else the nozzles will clog. Arsenate of lead and
bordeaux mixture can be combined without lessening the value of either.
It is used in strengths varying from 4 to 10 lb. per 100 gal., depending
on the kind of insect to be killed.
Arsenite of soda and arsenite of lime are sometimes used with bordeaux
_White Hellebore._--For wet application, use fresh white hellebore, 4
oz.; water, 2 or 3 gal. For dry application, use hellebore, 1 lb.; flour
or air-slaked lime, 5 lb. This is a white, yellowish powder made from
the roots of the white hellebore plant. It loses its strength after a
time and should be used fresh. It is used as a substitute for the
arsenical poisons on plants or fruits soon to be eaten, as on currants
and gooseberries for the currant-worm.
_Tobacco._--This is a valuable insecticide and is used in several forms.
As a _dust_ it is used extensively in greenhouses for plant-lice, and in
nurseries and about apple trees for the woolly aphis. Tobacco
_decoction_ is made by steeping or soaking the stems in water. It is
often used as a spray against plant-lice. Tobacco in the form of
_extracts,_ _punks,_ and _powders_ is sold under various trade names for
use in fumigating greenhouses. (See page 188.)
_Kerosene emulsion._--Hard, soft, or whale-oil soap, 1/2 lb.; water, 1
gal.; kerosene, 2 gal. Dissolve the soap in hot water; remove from the
fire and while still hot add the kerosene. Pump the liquid back into
itself for five or ten minutes or until it becomes a creamy mass. If
properly made, the oil will not separate out on cooling.
For use on dormant trees, dilute with 5 to 7 parts of water. For killing
plant-lice on foliage dilute with 10 to 15 parts of water. Crude oil
emulsion is made in the same way by substituting crude oil in place of
kerosene. The strength of oil emulsions is frequently indicated by the
percentage of oil in the diluted liquid:--
For a 10% emulsion add 17 gal. of water to 3 gal. stock emulsion.
For a 15% emulsion add 10 1/3 gal. of water to 3 gal. stock emulsion.
For a 20% emulsion add 7 gal. of water to 3 gal. stock emulsion.
For a 25% emulsion add 5 gal. of water to 3 gal. stock emulsion.
_Carbolic acid emulsion._--Soap, 1 lb.; water, 1 gal.; crude carbolic
acid, 1 pt. Dissolve the soap in hot water, add the carbolic acid, and
agitate into an emulsion. For use against root-maggots, dilute with 30
parts of water.
_Soaps._--An effective insecticide for plant-lice is _whale-oil soap._
Dissolve in hot water and dilute so as to obtain one pound of soap to
every five or seven gallons of water. This strength is effective against
plant-lice. It should be applied in stronger solutions, however, for
scale insects. Home-made soaps and good laundry soaps, like Ivory soap,
are often as effective as whale-oil soap.
_Miscible oils._--There are now on the market a number of preparations
of petroleum and other oils intended primarily for use against the San
Jose scale. They mix readily with cold water and are immediately ready
for use. While quickly prepared, easily applied, and generally
effective, they cost considerably more than lime-sulfur wash. They are,
however, less corrosive to the pumps and more agreeable to use. They are
especially valuable to the man with only a few trees or shrubs who would
not care to go to the trouble and expense to make up the lime-sulfur
wash. They should be diluted with not more than 10 or 12 parts of water.
Use only on dormant trees.
_Lime and sulfur wash._--Quicklime, 20 lb.; flowers of sulfur, 15 lb.;
water, 50 gal. The lime and sulfur must be thoroughly boiled. An iron
kettle is often convenient for the work. Proceed as follows: Place the
lime in the kettle. Add hot water gradually in sufficient quantity to
produce the most rapid slaking of the lime. When the lime begins to
slake, add the sulfur and stir together. If convenient, keep the mixture
covered with burlap to save the heat. After slaking has ceased, add more
water and boil the mixture one hour. As the sulfur goes into solution, a
rich orange-red or dark green color will appear. After boiling
sufficiently, add water to the required amount and strain into the spray
tank. The wash is most effective when applied warm, but may be applied
cold. If one has access to a steam boiler, boiling with steam is more
convenient and satisfactory. Barrels may be used for holding the
mixture, and the steam applied by running a pipe or rubber hose into the
mixture. Proceed in the same way until the lime is slaked, when the
steam may be turned on. Continue boiling for 45 min. to an hour, or
until sulfur is dissolved.
This strength can be applied safely only when the trees are dormant. It
is mainly an insecticide for San Jose scale, although it has
considerable value as a fungicide.
_Lime-sulfur mixtures and solutions for summer spraying_ are now coming
to take the place of bordeaux in many cases. Scott's self-boiled
lime-sulfur mixture, described in U. S. D. A. Bureau Plant Industry
Circ. 27 is now a standard fungicide for brown-rot and black-spot or
scab of the peach. Concentrated lime-sulfur solutions, either home
boiled or commercial, are effective against apple scab and have the
advantage of not russeting the fruit. Such concentrates, testing 32 deg.
Baume, should be diluted at about 1 gal. to 30 of water. Apply at same
time as with bordeaux. Add arsenate of lead as with bordeaux.
_Fungicide spraying formulas._
The standard fungicide is bordeaux mixture, made in several forms. The
second most important fungicide for the home gardener is ammoniacal
copper carbonate. Sulfur dust (flowers of sulfur) and liver of sulfur
(potassium sulfide) are also useful in dry or wet sprays for surface
mildews. The lime-sulfur wash, primarily an insecticide, also has
_Bordeaux mixture._--Copper sulfate, 5 lb.; stone lime or quicklime
(unslaked), 5 lb.; water, 50 gal. This formula is the strength usually
recommended. Stock mixtures of copper sulfate and lime are desirable.
They are prepared in the following way:--
(1) Dissolve the required amount of copper sulfate in water in the
proportion of one pound to one gallon several hours before the solution
is needed, the copper sulfate crystals being suspended in a sack near
the top of the water. A solution of copper sulfate is heavier than
water. As soon then, as the crystals begin to dissolve the solution will
sink, keeping water in contact with the crystals. In this way, the
crystals will dissolve much sooner than if placed in the bottom of the
barrel of water. In case large quantities of stock solution are needed,
two pounds of copper sulfate may be dissolved in one gallon of water.
(2) Slake the required amount of lime in a tub or trough. Add the water
slowly at first, so that the lime crumbles into a fine powder. If small
quantities of lime are used, hot water is preferred. When completely
slaked, or entirely powdered, add more water. When the lime has slaked
sufficiently, add water to bring it to a thick milk, or to a certain
number of gallons. The amount required for each tank of spray mixture
can be secured approximately from this stock mixture, which should not
be allowed to dry out.
(3) Use five gallons of stock solution of copper sulfate for every fifty
gallons of bordeaux required. Pour this into the tank. Add water until
the tank is about two-thirds full. From the stock lime mixture take the
required amount. Knowing the number of pounds of lime in the stock
mixture and the volume of that mixture, one can take out approximately
the number of pounds required. Dilute this a little by adding water, and
strain into the tank. Stir the mixture, and add water to make the
required amount. Experiment stations often recommend the diluting of
both the copper sulfate solution and the lime mixture to one-half the
required amount before pouring together. This is not necessary, and is
often impracticable for commercial work. It is preferable to dilute the
copper sulfate solution. Never pour together the strong stock mixtures
and dilute afterward. Bordeaux mixture of other strengths, as
recommended, is made in the same way, except that the amounts of copper
sulfate and lime are varied.
(4) It is not necessary to weigh the lime in making bordeaux mixture,
for a simple test can be used to determine when enough of a stock lime
mixture has been added. Dissolve an ounce of yellow prussiate of potash
in a pint of water and label it "poison." Cut a V-shaped slit in one
side of the cork so that the liquid may be poured out in drops. Add the
lime mixture to the diluted copper sulfate solution until the
ferro-cyanide (or prussiate) test solution _will not turn brown_ when
dropped from the bottle into the mixture. It is always best to add a
considerable excess of lime.
_"Sticker" or adhesive for bordeaux mixture._--Resin, 2 lb.; sal soda
(crystals), 1 lb.; water, 1 gal. Boil until of a clear brown color--one
to one and one-half hours. Cook in iron kettle in the open. Add this
amount to each fifty gallons of bordeaux for onions and cabbage. For
other plants difficult to wet, add this amount to every one hundred
gallons of the mixture. This mixture will prevent the bordeaux from
being washed off by the heaviest rains.
_Ammoniacal copper carbonate._--Copper carbonate, 5 oz.; ammonia, 3 pt.;
water, 50 gal. Dilute the ammonia in seven or eight parts of water. Make
a paste of the copper carbonate with a little water. Add the paste to
the diluted ammonia, and stir until dissolved. Add enough water to make
fifty gallons. This mixture loses strength on standing, and therefore
should be made as required. It is used in place of bordeaux when one
wishes to avoid the coloring of maturing fruits or ornamental plants.
Not as effective as bordeaux.
_Potassium sulfide._--Potassium sulfide (liver of sulfur), 3 oz.; water,
10 gal. As this mixture loses strength on standing, it should be made
just before using. It is particularly valuable for the powdery mildew of
many plants, especially gooseberry, carnation rust, rose mildew, etc.
_Sulfur._--Sulfur has been found to possess considerable value as a
fungicide. The flowers of sulfur may be sprinkled over the plants,
particularly when they are wet. It is most effective in hot, dry
weather. In rose houses it is mixed with half its bulk of lime, and made
into a paste with water. This is painted on the steam pipes. The fumes
destroy mildew on the roses. Mixed with lime, it has proved effective in
the control of onion smut when drilled into the rows with the seed.
Sulfur is not effective against black-rot of grapes.
_Treatment for some of the common insects._
The most approved preventive and remedial treatments for such insect
pests as are most likely to menace home grounds and plantations are here
briefly discussed. In case of any unusual difficulty that he cannot
control, the home-maker should take it up with the agricultural
experiment station in the state, sending good specimens of the insect
for identification. He should also have the publications of the station.
The statements that are here made are intended as advice rather than as
directions. They are chosen from good authorities (mostly from
Slingerland and Crosby in this case); but the reader must, of course,
assume his own risk in applying them. The effectiveness of any
recommended treatment depends very largely on the care, thoroughness,
and timeliness with which the work is done; and new methods and
practices are constantly appearing as the result of new investigations.
The dates given in these directions are for New York.
_Aphis or plant-louse._--The stock remedies for aphides or plant-lice
are kerosene emulsion and the tobacco preparations. Whale-oil soap is
also good. The tobacco may be applied as a spray, or in the house as
fumigation; the commercial forms of nicotine are excellent. (See page
194.) Be sure to apply the remedy before the leaves have curled and
afford protection for the lice; be sure, also, to hit the underside of
the leaves, where the lice usually are. The presence of lice on trees is
sometimes first discovered from the honey-dew that drops on walks.
Usually the emulsion is diluted with 10-15 parts of water for
plant-lice (see formula, page 194); but some of the species (as the dark
brown cherry-leaf louse) require a stronger emulsion, about 6 parts
The lady-birds (one of which is shown in Fig. 234) destroy great numbers
of plant-lice, and their presence should therefore be encouraged.
[Illustration: Fig. 234. Lady-bird beetle; larva above]
_Apple-maggot or "railroad-worm."_--The small white maggots make
brownish winding burrows in the flesh of the fruit, particularly in
summer and early fall varieties. This insect cannot be reached by a
spray as the parent fly inserts her eggs under the skin of the apple.
When full-grown, the maggot leaves the fruit, passes into the ground,
and there transforms inside a tough, leathery case. Tillage has been
found to be of no value as a means of control. The only effective
treatment is to pick up all windfalls every two or three days, and
either to feed them out or to bury them deeply, thus killing
_Asparagus beetle._--Clean cultural methods are usually sufficient to
prevent the asparagus beetle's seriously injuring well-established beds.
Young plants require more or less protection. A good grade of arsenate
of lead, 1 lb. to 25 gal. of water, will quickly destroy the grubs on
the foliage of either young or old plants. Apply it with an ordinary
sprinkling can, or better, use one of the numerous spraying devices now
on the market. The necessity for treatment must be determined by the
abundance of the pests. They should not be permitted to become abundant
in midsummer or the over-wintering beetles may injure the shoots in
_Blister-mite on apple and pear._--The presence of this minute mite is
indicated by small irregular brownish blisters on the leaves. Spray in
late fall or early spring with the lime-sulfur wash, with kerosene
emulsion, diluted with 5 parts of water, or miscible oil, 1 gal. in 10
gal. of water.
_Borers._--The only certain remedy for borers is to dig them out, or to
punch them out with a wire. Keep the space about the base of the tree
clean, and watch closely for any sign of borers. The flat-headed borer
of the apple works under the bark on the trunk and larger branches,
particularly where much exposed to sun. The dead and sunken appearance
of the bark indicates its presence. The round-headed borer works in the
wood of apples, quinces, and other trees; it should be hunted for every
spring and fall. On hard land, it is well to dig the earth away from the
base of the tree and fill the space with coal ashes; this will make the
work of examination much easier.
The peach and apricot borer is the larva of a clear-wing moth. The larva
burrows just under the bark near or beneath the surface of the ground;
its presence is indicated by a gummy mass at the base of the tree. Dig
out the borers in June and mound up the trees. At the same time, apply
gas-tar or coal-tar to the trunk from the roots to a foot or more above
the surface of the ground.
The bronze birch borer is destroying many fine white birch trees in some
parts of the country. Its presence is known by the dying of the top of
the tree. There yet is no known way of preventing this borer from
attacking white birches, and the only practicable and effective method
so far found for checking its ravages is promptly to cut and burn the
infested trees in autumn, in winter, or before May 1. There is no
probability of saving a tree when the top branches are dead, although
cutting out the dead parts may stay the trouble temporarily. Cut and
burn such trees at once and thus prevent the spread of the insect.
_Bud-moth on apple._--The small brown caterpillars with black heads
devour the tender leaves and flowers of the opening apple buds in early
spring. Make two applications of either 1 lb. Paris green or 4 lb.
arsenate of lead in 100 gal. of water; the first when the leaf-tips
appear and the second just before the blossoms open. If necessary, spray
again after the blossoms fall.
_Cabbage and cauliflower insects._--The green caterpillars that eat
cabbage leaves and heads hatch from eggs laid by the common white
butterfly (Fig. 295). There are several broods every season. If plants
are not heading, spray with kerosene emulsion or with Paris green to
which the sticker has been added. If heading, apply hellebore.
The cabbage aphides, small mealy plant-lice, are especially troublesome
during cool, dry seasons when their natural enemies are less active.
Before the plants begin to head, spray with kerosene emulsion diluted
with 6 parts of water, or whale-oil soap, 1 lb. in 6 gal. of water.
The white maggots that feed on the roots hatch from eggs laid near the
plant at the surface of the ground by a small fly somewhat resembling
the common house fly. Hollow out the earth slightly around every plant
and freely apply carbolic acid emulsion diluted with 30 parts of water.
Begin the treatment early, a day or two after the plants are up or the
next day after they are set out. Repeat the application every 7 to 10
days until the latter part of May. It has also been found to be
practicable to protect the plants by the use of tightly fitting cards
cut from tarred paper. (See page 187.)