Part 8 out of 10
for a hotbed, 4 to 6 inches higher at the back than the front. Cover the
frame with sash or boards, and as the weather becomes severe, mats or
straw should be placed over and around the frame to protect the plants
from freezing. Whenever the weather will permit, the covering should be
removed and air admitted, but no harm will come if the frames are not
disturbed for several weeks. Much sunlight and a high temperature
through the middle of winter are to be avoided, for if the plants are
stimulated, a shorter period of bloom will result. In April the frame
may be removed, the plants yielding the later part of the crop without
Violets belong with the "cool" plants of florists. When well hardened
off, considerable frost does not harm them. They should always be kept
stocky. Start a new lot from runner-plants each year. They thrive in a
temperature of 55 deg. to 65 deg.. Pages 190, 206.
WAX-PLANT.--The wax-plant, or hoya, is one of the commonest of
window-garden plants, and yet it is one that house-gardeners usually
have difficulty in flowering. However, it is one of the easiest plants
to manage if a person understands its nature.
It is naturally a summer-blooming plant, and should rest in winter. In
the winter, keep it just alive in a cool and rather dry place. If the
temperature does not go above 50 deg. Fahr., so much the better; neither
should it go much lower. In late winter or spring, the plant is brought
out to warm temperature, given water, and started into growth. The old
flower-stems should not be cut off, since new flowers come from them as
well as from the new wood. When it is brought out to be started into
growth, it may be repotted, sometimes into a size larger pot, but always
with more or less fresh earth. The plant should increase in value each
year. In conservatories, it is sometimes planted out in the ground and
allowed to run over a wall, in which case it will reach a height of
THE GROWING OF THE FRUIT PLANTS
Fruits should be counted a regular part of the home premises. There are
few residence plots so small that fruits of some kind cannot be grown.
If there is no opportunity for planting the orchard fruits by themselves
at regular intervals, there are still boundaries to the place, and along
these boundaries and scattered in the border masses, apples, pears, and
other fruits may be planted.
It is not to be expected that fruits will thrive as well in these places
as in well-tilled orchards, but something can be done, and the results
are often very satisfactory. Along a back fence or walk, one may plant a
row or two of currants, gooseberries, or blackberries, or he may make a
trellis of grapes. If there are no trees near the front or back of the
border, the fruit plants may be placed close together in the row and the
greatest development of the tops may be allowed to take place laterally.
If one has a back yard fifty feet on a side, there will be opportunity,
in three borders, for six to eight fruit trees, and bush-fruits between,
without encroaching greatly on the lawn. In such cases, the trees are
planted just inside the boundary line.
A suggestion for the arrangement of a fruit garden of one acre is given
in Fig. 270. Such a plan allows of continuous cultivation in one
direction and facilitates spraying, pruning, and harvesting; and the
intermediate spaces may be used for the growing of annual crops, at
least for a few years.
[Illustration: Fig. 270. Plan for a fruit-garden of one acre. From
"Principles of Fruit-growing."]
For very small areas, and for the growing of the finest dessert fruits,
dwarf trees may be grown of apples and pears. The apple is dwarfed when
it is worked on certain small and slow-growing types of apple trees, as
the paradise and doucin stocks. The paradise is the better, if one
desires a very small and productive tree or bush. The doucin makes only
The pear is dwarfed when it is grown on the root of quince. Dwarf pears
may be planted as close as ten feet apart each way, although more room
should be given them if possible. Paradise dwarfs (apples) may be
planted eight or ten feet each way, and doucin twice that distance. All
dwarfs should be kept small by vigorous annual heading-in. If the tree
is making good growth, say one to three feet, a half to two-thirds of
the growth may be taken off in winter. A dwarf apple or pear tree should
be kept within a height of twelve or fifteen feet, and it should not
attain this stature in less than ten or twelve years. A dwarf apple
tree, in full bearing, should average from two pecks to a bushel of
first quality apples, and a dwarf pear should do somewhat more
If one grows dwarf fruit trees, he should expect to give them extra
attention in pruning and cultivating. Only in very exceptional instances
can the dwarf fruits be expected to equal the free-growing standards in
commercial results. This is particularly true of dwarf apples, which are
practically home-garden plants in this country. This being the case,
only the choice dessert fruits should be attempted on paradise and
doucin roots. For home gardens the paradise will probably give more
satisfaction than the doucin.
If the tree is taken young, it may be trained along a wall or on an
espalier trellis; and in such conditions the fruits should be of extra
quality if the varieties are choice. Plate XXII shows the training of a
dwarf pear on a wall. This tree has been many years in good bearing. In
most parts of the country a southern wall exposure is likely to force
the bloom so early as to invite danger from spring frosts.
_Age and size of trees._
For ordinary planting, it is desirable to choose trees two years from
bud or graft, except in case of the peach, which should be one year old.
Many growers find strong one-year trees preferable. A good size is
about five-eighths of an inch in diameter just above the collar, and
five feet in height, and if they have been well grown, trees of this
size will give as good results as those seven-eighths of an inch, or
more, in diameter, and six or seven feet high. Buy first-class trees of
reliable dealers. It rarely pays to try to save a few cents on a tree,
for quality is likely to be sacrificed.
If properly packed, trees can be shipped long distances and may do as
well as those grown in a home nursery, but it will generally be best to
secure the trees as near home as possible, provided the quality of the
trees and the price are satisfactory. When a large number is to be
purchased, it will be better to send the order direct to some reliable
nursery, or to select the trees in person, than to rely on
Having planted the trees, they should be carefully pruned. As a rule,
trees with low heads are desirable. Peaches and dwarf pears should have
the lower branches from 12 to 24 inches above ground, and sweet cherries
and standard pears generally not over 30 inches; plums, sour cherries,
and apples may be somewhat higher, but if properly handled, when started
3 feet from the ground, the tops will not be in the way of the
cultivation of the orchard.
For all except the peach in the northern states, a pyramidal form will
be desirable. To secure this, four or five side branches with three or
four buds each, should be allowed to grow and the center shoot should be
cut off at a height of 10 to 12 inches. After growth has started, the
trees should be occasionally examined and all surplus shoots removed,
thus throwing the full vigor of the plant into those that remain. As a
rule three or four shoots on each branch may be left to advantage. The
following spring the shoots should be cut back one-half and about half
of the branches removed. Care should be taken to avoid crotches, and if
any of the branches cross, so that they are likely to rub, one or the
other should be cut out. This cutting-back and trimming-out should be
continued for two or three years, and in the case of dwarf pear trees
regular heading-back each year should be continued. Although an
occasional heading-back will be of advantage to the trees, apple, plum,
and cherry trees that have been properly pruned while young will not
require so much attention after they come into bearing.
Heavy pruning of the top tends to the production of wood; therefore the
severe pruning of orchard trees, following three or four years of
neglect, sets the trees into heavy wood-bearing, and makes them more
vigorous. Such treatment generally tends away from fruit-bearing. This
heavy pruning is usually necessary in neglected orchards, however, to
bring trees back into shape and to revitalize them; but the best
pruning-treatment of an orchard is to prune it a little every year. It
should be so pruned that the tops of the trees will be open, that no two
limbs will interfere with each other, and so that the fruit itself will
not be so abundant as to overload the tree.
In general, it is best to prune orchard trees late in winter or early in
spring. It is sometimes better, however, to leave peaches and other
tender fruits until after the buds have swollen, or even after the
flowers have fallen, in order that one may determine how much they have
been injured by the winter. Grape vines should be pruned in winter or
not later (in New York) than the first of March. If pruned later than
this, they may bleed. The above remarks will apply to other trees as
well as to fruits.
_Thinning the fruit._
If the best size and quality of fruit are desired, care must be taken to
see that the plant does not overbear.
Thinning of fruit has four general uses: to cause the remaining fruit to
grow larger; to increase the chances of annual crops; to save the
vitality of the tree; to enable one to combat insects and diseases by
destroying the injured fruit.
The thinning is nearly always performed soon after the fruit is
thoroughly set. It is then possible to determine which of the fruits are
likely to persist. Peaches are usually thinned when they are the size of
one's thumb. If thinned before this time, they are so small that it is
difficult to pick them off; and it is not so easy to see the work of the
curculio and thereby to select the injured fruits. Similar remarks apply
to other fruits. The general tendency is, even with those who thin their
fruits, not to thin enough. It is usually safer to take off what would
seem to be too many than not to take off enough. The remaining specimens
are better. Varieties that tend to overbear profit very greatly by
thinning. This is notably the case with many Japanese plums, which, if
not thinned, are very inferior.
Thinning may also be accomplished by pruning. Cutting off the fruit-buds
will have the effect of removing the fruit. In the case of tender
fruits, as peaches, however, it may not be advisable to thin very
heavily by means of pruning, since the fruit may be still further
thinned by the remaining days of winter, by late spring frost, or by the
leaf-curl or other disease. However, the proper pruning of a peach tree
in winter is, in part, a thinning of the fruit. The peach is borne on
the wood of the previous season's growth. The best fruits are to be
expected the strongest and heaviest growth. It is the practice of
peach-growers to remove all the weak and immature wood from the inside
of the tree. This has the effect of thinning out the inferior fruit and
allowing the energy of the tree to be expended on the remainder.
Apples are rarely thinned; but, in many cases, thinning can be done with
_Washing and scrubbing the trees._
The washing of orchard trees is an old practice. It usually results in
making a tree more vigorous. One reason is that it destroys insects and
fungi that lodge underneath the bark; but probably the chief reason is
that it softens the bark and allows the trunk to expand. It is possible,
also, that the potash from the soap or lye eventually passes into the
ground and affords some plant-food. Trees are ordinarily washed with
soap suds or with a lye solution. The material is usually applied with
an old broom or a stiff brush. The scrubbing of the tree is perhaps
nearly or quite as beneficial as the application of the wash itself.
It is customary to wash trees late in spring or early in summer, and
again in the fall, with the idea that such washing destroys the eggs and
the young of borers. It no doubt will destroy borers if they are just
getting a start, but it will not keep away the insects that lay the
eggs, and will not destroy the borers that have found their way beneath
the bark. It is perhaps quite as well to wash the trees very early in
the spring, when they are starting into growth.
It is an old practice to wash trees with strong lye when they are
affected with the oyster-shell bark louse. The modern method of treating
these pests, however, is to spray with some kerosene or oil compound
when the young growth is starting, for at that time the young insects
are migrating to the new wood and they are very easily destroyed.
The whitewashing of the trunks of trees tends also to relieve them of
insects and fungi; and it is probable that in hot and dry regions the
white covering affords protection from climate.
_Gathering and keeping fruit._
Nearly all fruits should be gathered as soon as they will readily part
from the stems on which they are borne. With many perishable fruits the
proper time for gathering will be determined largely by the distance
they are to be shipped. With the exception of winter varieties of apples
and pears and a few kinds of grapes, it is best to dispose of fruit soon
after it is gathered, unless it is kept for family use.
If for winter use, the fruit should at once be placed in the cellar or
fruit house in which it is to be stored, and there kept as near the
freezing point as possible. There will be less danger of shriveling if
the fruit is placed at once in closed barrels or other tight packages,
but if proper ventilation is provided, it may be kept in bins with
little loss. Even though no ice is used, it will be possible to maintain
a fairly low temperature by opening the windows at night when the
outside atmosphere is colder than that inside the building, and closing
them during the day as the outer air becomes warmer.
Fruit should be handled with great care at all times, for if the cells
become broken by rough handling, the keeping qualities will be greatly
injured. The illustrations (Figs. 187-189) show three types of fruit
Apples and winter pears may be packed in sand or leaves in the cellar
(in boxes) and thereby be kept from shriveling.
ALMOND.--The almond tree is seldom seen in the eastern states, but
now and then one will be found in a yard and not bearing. The failure to
bear may be due to frost injury or lack of pollination.
The almond is about as hardy as the peach, but it blooms so early in the
spring that it is little grown east of the Pacific slope. It is an
interesting ornamental tree, and its early bloom is a merit when the
fruit is not desired. The almonds commonly sold by nurserymen in the
east are hard-shell varieties, and the nuts are not good enough for
commerce. The almond fruit is a drupe, like the peach, but the flesh is
thin and hard and the pit is the "almond" of commerce. Culture as
The "flowering almonds" are bushes of different species from the
fruit-bearing tree. They are usually grafted on plum, and the stock is
likely to throw up suckers and cause trouble.
APPLES thrive over a wider range of territory and under more
varied conditions than any other tree fruit. This means that they are
easy to grow. In fact they are so easy to grow that they are usually
Apples do best on a strong, sandy loam soil, or a light clay loam. While
a soil very rich in organic matter is not desirable, good results cannot
be secured unless it contains a fair amount of vegetable matter. A
clover sod is particularly desirable for this as well as for
For a commercial orchard, most varieties should be from 35 to 40 feet
apart; but the slow-growing and long-lived sorts may be at 40 feet, and,
halfway between in both directions, some of the short-lived,
early-bearing varieties may be placed, to be removed after they begin to
crowd. In home grounds the trees may be placed somewhat closer than 35
to 40 feet, especially if they are planted on the boundaries, so that
the limbs may project freely in one direction.
It is ordinarily advisable, especially in the humid climates east of the
Great Lakes, to have the body of the tree 3-1/2 to 4-1/2 feet long. The
limbs should be trimmed up to this point when the tree is set. From
three to five main branches may be left to form the framework of the
top. These should be shortened back one-fourth or one-half when the tree
is set. (Figs. 142-145) Subsequent pruning should keep the top of the
tree open and maintain it in more or less symmetrical form. West of the
Great Lakes, particularly on the plains and in the semi-arid regions,
the top may be started much nearer the ground.
In orchard conditions, the trees should be kept in clean culture,
especially for the first few years; but this is not always possible in
home yards. In lieu of tillage, the sward may be mulched each fall with
stable manure, and commercial fertilizer may be applied each fall or
spring. If fruit is wanted rather than foliage and shade, care should be
taken not to make ground too rich, but to keep it in such condition that
the tree is making a fairly vigorous growth, with good strong foliage,
but is not overgrowing. An apple tree in full bearing is usually in good
condition if the twigs grow 10 to 18 inches each season.
Apple trees should begin to bear when three to five years planted, and
at ten years should be bearing good crops. With good treatment, they
should continue to bear for thirty or more years in the
[Illustration: XXI. The king of fruits. Newtown as grown in the Pacific
_Insects and diseases of the apple._
Among the insects most commonly found on the apple tree are the
codlin-moth, canker-worm, and tent-caterpillar. The codlin-moth lays its
egg on the fruit soon after the blossoms fall, and the larvae, on
hatching, eat their way inside. A thorough spraying of the trees with
arsenites within a week after the blossoms fall will do much toward
destroying them; and a second application, in about three weeks, will be
essential. The canker-worm (Fig. 217) and tent-caterpillars feed on the
leaves, and can also be destroyed by means of arsenites. To be effective
against the former, however, the applications must be made soon after
they hatch, and very thoroughly.
A close watch should be kept for borers. Whenever the bark appears to be
dead or sunken in patches, remove it and search for the cause. A borer
will usually be found underneath the bark. About the base of the tree
the most serious injury occurs from borers, since the insect which
enters there bores into the hard wood. His presence can be determined by
the chips that are cast from his burrows. If the trees are well
cultivated and in a thrifty growing condition, the injury will be
greatly reduced. It will be well to wash the trunks and larger branches
with soft soap, thinned with water so that it can be applied with a
brush or broom, during the spring. The addition of an ounce of Paris
green in each five gallons of the wash will be of value. The only real
remedy, however, is to dig the borers out.
The most troublesome disease of the apple is the apple-scab, which
disfigures the fruit as well as lessens its size. It also often does
much harm to the foliage, and thus checks the growth of the trees (Fig.
214). The Baldwin, Fameuse, Northern Spy and Red Canada are particularly
subject to this disease, and it is much more troublesome in moist
seasons than when the weather is dry. The use of fungicides will do much
to lessen the injury from this disease.
_Varieties of apple._
The selection of varieties of apples for home use is, to a large extent,
a personal matter; and no one may say what to plant. A variety that is
successfully grown in one section may prove disappointing in another.
One should study the locality in which he wishes to plant and choose
those varieties which are the most successfully grown there,--choosing
from amongst the successful kinds those which he likes best and which
seem best to meet the purposes for which he is to grow them.
For the northern and eastern states, the following varieties will
generally be found valuable:--
[The varieties marked with (A) are particularly valuable for market
purposes as well as for home use; the others are chiefly desirable for
_Early._--Yellow Transparent, Early Harvest, Early Strawberry, Primate,
Dyer, Summer Rose, Early Joe, Red Astrachan, Golden Sweet, Oldenburg,(A)
Summer Pearmain, Williams (Favorite), Chenango, Bough (Sweet), Summer
Queen, Gravenstein,(A) Jefferis, Porter, Maiden Blush.
_Autumn._--Bailey (Sweet), Fameuse,(A) Jersey Sweet, Fall Pippin,
Wealthy,(A) Mother, Twenty Ounce, Magnate.
[Illustration: Fig. 271. The Jonathan.]
_Winter._--Jonathan(A) (Fig. 271), Hubbardston,(A) Grimes,(A) Tompkins
King,(A) Wagener(A) (Fig. 272), Baldwin,(A) Yellow Bellflower, Tolman
(Sweet), Northern Spy,(A) Red Canada,(A) Roxbury, McIntosh,(A) Yellow
Newtown (Plate XXI), Golden Russet, Belmont, Melon, Lady, Rambo, York
Imperial, Pomme Gris, Esopus (Spitzenburgh), Swaar, Peck (Pleasant),
Rhode Island Greening, Sutton, Delicious, Stayman Winesap, Westfield
For the South and Southwest the varieties named in the following list
are of value:--
_Early._--Red June, Yellow Transparent, Red Astrachan, Summer Queen,
Benoni, Oldenburg, Gravenstein, Maiden Blush, Earlyripe,(A) Williams,(A)
Early Cooper,(A) Horse.
[Illustration: Fig. 272. The Wagener.]
_Autumn._--Haas, Late Strawberry, Oconee, Rambo, Peck (Peck Pleasant),
Carter Blue, Bonum,(A) Smokehouse,(A) Hoover.
[Illustration: Fig. 273. Pewaukee Apple.]
_Winter._--Shockley, Rome Beauty,(A) Smith Cider, Grimes, Buckingham,
Jonathan,(A) Winesap, Kinnard, York Imperial, Gilpiri (Romanite), Ralls
(Genet), Limbertwig, Royal Lumbertwig, Stayman Winesap,(A) Milam,
Virginia Beauty,(A) Terry,(A) Ingram.(A)
In the Northwest only such varieties as are extremely hardy will be
satisfactory, and among those likely to succeed we may mention:--
_Early._--Yellow Transparent, Tetofski, Oldenburg.(A)
_Autumn._--Fameuse, Longfield, Wealthy, McMahan,(A) McIntosh,(A)
_Winter._--Wolf River,(A) Hibernal, Northwestern (Greening), Pewaukee
(Fig. 273), Switzer, Golden Russet, Patten (Greening).(A)
APRICOT.--This fruit is not often seen in home gardens in the East,
although it deserves to be better known. When grown at all, it is likely
to be trained on walls, after the English custom.
In the latitude of New York, the apricot has proved as hardy as the
peach. Given the right conditions as to soil and exposure, it will yield
abundant crops, ripening its fruits about three weeks in advance of
The apricot usually thrives best on strong land; but otherwise the
treatment given the peach suits it very well. The soil should be rather
dry; especially should the subsoil be such that no water may stand
around the roots. The exposure should be to the north or west to retard
the blooming period, as the one great drawback to the successful
fruiting is the early blooming and subsequent freezing of the flowers or
the small fruits.
The two serious difficulties in the growing of apricots are the ravages
of the curculio, and the danger to the flowers from the spring frosts.
It is usually almost impossible to secure fruits from one or two
isolated apricot trees, because the curculios will take them all. It is
possible, also, that some of the varieties need cross-pollination.
Among the best kinds of apricots are Montgamet, Jackson, Royal, St.
Ambroise, Early Golden, Harris, Roman (Fig. 274) and Moorpark. In the
East, apricots are commonly worked on plums, but they also thrive on
The introduction of the Russian varieties, a few years ago, added to
the list several desirable kinds that have proved hardier and a little
later in blooming than the old kinds. The fruits of the Russian
varieties, while not as large as the other varieties, fully equal many
of them in flavor, and they are very productive. They bear more
profusely and with less care than the old-fashioned and larger kinds.
[Illustration: Fig. 274. Roman Apricot.]
Blackberry.--In a general way, the planting and care of a blackberry
plantation is the same as required by raspberries. From the fact that
they ripen later in the season, when droughts are most common, even
greater attention should be given to placing them in land that is
retentive of moisture, and to providing an efficient mulch, which can
generally best be secured with a cultivator. The smaller-growing kinds
(as Early Harvest and Wilson) may be planted 4 x 7 ft., the rank-growing
varieties (as Snyder) 6 x 8 ft. Thorough cultivation through-out the
season will help in a material degree to hold the moisture necessary to
perfect a good crop. The soil should be cultivated very shallow,
however, so as not to disturb the roots, as the breaking of the roots
starts a large number of suckers that have to be cut out and destroyed.
While hill culture (as recommended above) is desirable for the garden,
commercial growers generally use continuous rows.
Blackberries, like dewberries and raspberries, bear but one crop on the
cane. That is, canes which spring up this year bear next year. From 3 to
6 canes are sufficient to be left in each hill. The superfluous ones are
thinned out soon after they start from the ground. The old canes should
be cut out soon after fruiting, and burned. The new shoots should be
pinched back at the height of 2 or 3 ft. if the plants are to support
themselves. If to be fastened to wires, they may be allowed to grow
throughout the season and be cut back when tied to the wires in winter
or early spring.
Blackberry plants are sometimes laid down in cold climates,--the tops
being bent over and held to the ground by earth or sods thrown on their
tips (Fig. 155).
The most troublesome disease of the blackberry is orange rust
(conspicuous on the under sides of the leaves), which often proves very
destructive, particularly to Kittatinny and a few other sorts. There is
no remedy, and on the first appearance of the disease the infected
plants should be dug up and burned.
_Varieties of blackberries._
Many of the better varieties of blackberries are lacking in hardiness,
and cannot be grown except in the more favorable localities. Snyder and
Taylor are most generally successful, although Wilson and Early Harvest
are often grown on a large scale for market, and do well with winter
protection. Eldorado is much like Snyder, that seems hardy and
productive. Erie, Minnewaski, Kittatinny, and Early King are in many
sections large and valuable sorts.
CHERRY.--Of cherries there are two common types, the sweet cherries
and the sour cherries. The sweet cherries are larger and taller-growing
trees. They comprise the varieties known as the hearts, bigarreaus, and
dukes. The sour cherries (Fig. 275) include the various kinds of
morellos and pie cherries, and these usually ripen after the
The sour cherries make low, round-headed trees. The fruits are
extensively used for canning. Sour cherries thrive well on clay loams.
The sour cherry should be planted 18 by 18 ft. apart, in well-prepared,
under-drained soil. The trees may be slightly trimmed back each year,
keeping the head low and bushy.
[Illustration: Fig. 275. Sour or pie cherries.]
The sweet cherries have proved disappointing in many instances from the
rotting of the fruit. This may never be entirely avoided, but good
cultivation, soil not too rich in nitrogen, attention to spraying, and
picking the fruit when dry, will lessen the loss very much. In years of
severe rotting the fruit should be picked before it becomes fully ripe,
placed in a cool, airy room and allowed to color. It will be nearly as
well flavored as if left on the tree; and, as the fungus usually attacks
only the ripe fruit, a considerable part of the crop may be saved. Set
the trees 25 or 30 ft. apart. Only very well-drained land should be
devoted to sweet cherries, preferably one of a somewhat gravelly nature.
Leaf-blight is readily controlled by timely spraying with bordeaux
mixture. The curculio or fruit worm may be controlled by jarring, as for
plums, or by spraying. The jarring process is seldom employed with
cherries for the curculio, inasmuch as the poison spray seems, for some
reason, to be particularly effective on these fruits.
_Varieties of cherry._
Of the sour varieties, May Duke (Fig. 36), Richmond, Dyehouse,
Montmorency, Ostheim, Hortense (Fig. 34), Late Kentish, Suda, and
Morello (English Morello) (Fig. 35) are the most valuable. The following
sweet varieties are of value where they succeed: Rockport, (Yellow)
Spanish, Elton, (Governor) Wood, Coe, Windsor, (Black) Tartarian,
CRANBERRY.--The growing of cranberries in artificial bogs is an
American industry. The common large cranberry of markets is also a
peculiarly American fruit, since it is unknown in other countries except
as the fruit is shipped there.
Cranberries are grown in bogs, which may be flooded. The whole area is
kept under water during the winter time, largely to prevent the plants
from winter injury by the heaving and freezing and thawing of the bogs.
Flooding is also employed at intervals for the purpose of drowning out
insects, mitigating drought, and protecting against frost and fires. The
ordinary practice is to choose a bog which has a creek running through
it, or through which some creek or ditch may be diverted. At the lower
side of the bog flood-gates are provided, so that when the gates are
shut, the water backs up and floods the area. It is best that the bog be
comparatively flat, so that the water will be of approximately equal
depth over the whole area. At the shallowest places the water should
stand about a foot above the plants. The water is usually let on the bog
early in December and kept on until April or early May. No flooding is
done during the rest of the year unless there is some particular
All the wild and turfy growth should be taken off the bog before the
vines are set. This is done either by digging it off and removing it
bodily, or by drowning it out by means of a year's flooding. The former
method is generally considered to be the better. After the turfy growth
is removed, the bog is smoothed, and covered 2 or 3 in. deep with clean
sand. The vines are now set, the lower ends of them being shoved through
the sand into the richer earth. In order to prevent a too rapid and
tangled growth of vine, it is customary to resand the bog every three or
four years to a depth of one-fourth or one-half inch. When sanding is
not practicable, the vines may be mown off when they become too
The plants for setting are merely cuttings or branches of the vines.
These cuttings may be 5 to 10 inches long. They are inserted into the
ground in a hole made by a crowbar or stick. They are usually planted at
distances of 12 to 18 inches each way, and the vines are allowed to
cover the entire ground as with a mat. In three years a good crop should
be secured, if the weeds and wild growth are kept down. A crop ranges
between 50 to 100 barrels per acre.
CURRANT.--As the currant is one of the hardiest and most
productive of fruits in the North, so is it often neglected, the patch
allowed to become foul with grass, never thinned or trimmed, the worms
eating the leaves until, in the course of time, the plants weaken and
die. Along the fence is no place to plant currants, or, indeed, any
other fruit; plant out in the open, at least 5 feet from anything that
will interfere with cultivation.
No fruit crop will respond more readily to good care than the currant.
Clean cultivation and a liberal use of manure or fertilizers will
certainly be followed by well-paying crops. One-or two-year-old plants
may be set, 4 by 6 feet. Trim the bush by cutting off most of the
suckers below the surface of the ground. The currant should have cool
moist soil. If the season is dry, a mulch of straw or leaves will assist
the plants to establish themselves.
Currants are easily propagated by mature cuttings of the new or previous
The red and white currants bear mostly on two-year-old or older wood. A
succession of young shoots should be allowed to grow to take the place
of the old bearing wood. Cut out the canes as they grow older. The
partial shade afforded by a young orchard suits the currant well, and if
the ground is in good condition, no bad results will follow to the
orchard, provided the currants are removed before the trees need the
entire feeding space.
A currant patch should continue in good bearing for 10 to 20 years, if
properly handled. One very important point is to keep the old, weak
canes cut out, and a succession of two to four new ones coming from the
root each year.
To combat the currant worm, spray thoroughly with Paris green to kill
the first brood, just as soon as holes can be seen in the lower leaves
--usually before the plants are in bloom. For the second brood, if it
appear, spray with white hellebore (p. 203). For borers, cut out and
burn the affected canes.
_Varieties of currants._
In most sections the Red Dutch will be found to be the most satisfactory
variety, as the plants are much less injured by borers than are Cherry
(Plate XXIII), Fay, and Versailles, which are larger and better
varieties, and are to be preferred in sections where the borers are not
troublesome. Victoria is a valuable market sort where borers are
numerous, as it is little injured by them. The same is also true of
(Prince) Albert, which is little attacked by currant worms and is
particularly valuable as a late sort. White Dutch and White Grape are
valuable light-colored varieties, and (Black) Naples as a variety for
jelly. London (London Market) is also proving to be satisfactory in
[Illustration: Fig. 276. Lucretia dewberry.]
DEWBERRY.--The dewberry may be called an early trailing blackberry.
The culture is very simple. Support should be given to the canes, as
they are very slender and rank growers. A wire trellis or large-meshed
fence-wire answers admirably; or (and this is the better general method)
they may be tied to stakes. The fruits are large and showy, which,
combined with their earliness, makes them desirable; but they are
usually deficient in flavor. The Lucretia (Fig. 276) is the
Lay the canes on the ground in winter. In the spring tie all the canes
from each plant to a stake. After fruiting, cut the old canes and burn
them (as for blackberries). In the meantime, the young canes (for next
year's fruiting) are growing. These may be tied up as they grow, to be
out of the way of the cultivator. Dewberries are one to two weeks
earlier than blackberries.
FIG.--The fig is little grown in the East except as a curiosity,
but on the Pacific coast it has gained considerable prominence as an
orchard fruit. Figs will stand considerable frost, and seedling or
inferior varieties grow out-of-doors without protection as far north as
Virginia. Many of the varieties fruit on young sprouts, and, inasmuch as
the roots will stand considerable cold, these varieties will often give
a few figs in the northern states. Figs have been fruited in the open
ground in Michigan. In regions having ten degrees of frost, the fig
should be laid down in winter. For this purpose the plants are pruned to
branch from the ground, and the soft tops are bent to the surface and
covered with earth. In commercial cultivation, fig trees grow large,
and they stand 18 to 25 feet apart; but in gardens where they are to be
bent over, they are to be kept as bushes.
Adriatic is the most commonly grown white fig. Among the other varieties
are California Black or Mission Fig, Brown Ischia, Brown Turkey, White
Ischia, and Celeste (Celestial).
[Illustration: Fig. 277. One of the English-American gooseberries.]
GOOSEBERRY.--The gooseberry differs little from the currant in its
requirements as to soil, pruning, and general care. The plants should be
set 3 to 4 feet apart; rows 5 to 7 feet apart. Select a rich, rather
moist soil. The tops need no winter protection. If mildew and worms are
to be kept in check, spraying must be begun with the very first sign of
trouble and be thoroughly done.
The propagation of the gooseberry is similar to that of the currant,
although the practice of earthing up a whole plant, causing every branch
thus covered to throw out roots, is practiced with the European
varieties. The rooted branches are cut off the following spring and
planted in nursery rows or sometimes directly in the field. In order to
succeed with this method, the plant should have been cut back to the
ground so that all the shoots are yearling.
Since the advent of the practice of spraying with fungicides to prevent
mildew, the culture of the gooseberry has increased. There is now no
reason why, with a little care, good crops of many of the best English
varieties may not be grown.
A large part of the gooseberry crop is picked green for culinary
purposes. Several of the English varieties and their derivatives have
proved of value, having larger fruits than the natives (Fig. 277).
_Varieties of gooseberries._
For ordinary use the Downing can generally be recommended. It is hardy,
productive, of fair size, and greenish white in color. Houghton is even
more hardy and productive, but the fruit is rather small and of a dark
red color. Among the varieties of European origin that can be
successfully grown, if the mildew can be prevented, are Industry,
Triumph, Keepsake, Lancashire Lad, and Golden Prolific. Among other
varieties that are promising are Champion, Columbus, Chautauqua, and
Josselyn (Red Jacket).
GRAPE.--One of the surest of fruit crops is the grape, a crop each
year being reasonably certain after the third year from the time of
setting the vines; and the good amateur kinds are numerous.
The grape does well on any soil that is under good cultivation and well
drained. A soil with considerable clay is better under these
circumstances than a light, sandy loam. The exposure should be to the
sun; and the place should admit of cultivation on all sides.
For planting, 1-or 2-year-old vines should be used, being set either in
the fall or early spring. At planting, the vine is cut back to 3 or 4
eyes, and the roots are well shortened in. The hole in which the plant
is to be set should be large enough to allow a full spreading of the
roots. If the season should be dry, a mulch of coarse litter may be
spread around the vine. If all the buds start, the strongest one or two
may be allowed to grow. The canes arising from these buds should be
staked and allowed to grow through the season; or in large plantations
the first-year canes may be allowed to lie on the ground.
The second year one cane should be cut back to the same number of eyes
as the first year. After growth begins in the spring, two of the
strongest buds should be allowed to remain. These two canes now arising
may be grown to a single stake through the second summer, or they may be
spread horizontally on a trellis. These are the canes that form the
permanent arms or parts of the vine. From them start the upright shoots
which, in succeeding years, are to bear the fruits.
In order to understand the pruning of grapes, the operator must fully
grasp this principle: _Fruit is borne on wood of the present season,
which arises from wood of the previous season._ To illustrate: A growing
shoot, or cane, of 1909 makes buds. In 1910 a shoot arises from each
bud; and near the base of these shoots the grapes are borne (1 to 4
clusters on each). While every bud on the 1909 shoot may produce shoots
or canes in 1910, only the strongest of these new canes will bear fruit.
The skilled grape-grower can tell by the looks of his cane (as he prunes
it in winter) which buds will give rise to the grape-producing wood the
following season. The larger and stronger buds usually give best
results; but if the cane itself is very big and stout, or if it is very
weak and slender, he does not expect good results from any of its buds.
A hard, well-ripened cane the diameter of a man's little finger is the
Another principle to be mastered is this: _A vine should bear only a
limited number of clusters,_--say from 30 to 80. A shoot bears clusters
near its base; beyond these clusters the shoot grows on into a long,
leafy cane. An average of two clusters may be reckoned to a shoot. If
the vine is strong enough to bear 60 clusters, 30 good buds must be left
at the pruning (which is done from December to late February).
The essential operation of pruning a grape vine, therefore, is each year
to cut back a limited number of good canes to a few buds, and to cut off
entirely all the remaining canes or wood of the previous season's
growth. If a cane is cut back to 2 or 3 buds, the stub-like part which
remains is called a spur. Present systems, however, cut each cane back
to 8 or 10 buds (on strong varieties), and 3 or 4 canes are left,--all
radiating from near the head or trunk of the vine. The top of the vine
does not grow bigger from year to year, after it has once covered the
trellis, but is cut back to practically the same number of buds each
year. Since these buds are on new wood, it is evident that they are each
year farther and farther removed from the head of the vine. In order to
obviate this difficulty, new canes are taken out each year or two from
near the head of the vine, and the 2-year-or 3-year-old wood is
The training of grapes is a different matter. A dozen different systems
of training may be practiced on the same trellis and from the same
style of pruning,--for training is only the disposition or arrangement
of the parts.
On arbors, it is best to carry one permanent arm or trunk from each root
over the framework to the peak. Each year the canes are cut back to
short spurs (of 2 or 3 buds) along the sides of this trunk.
[Illustration: Fig. 278 Bag ready to be applied.]
Grapes are set from 6 to 8 feet apart in rows which are 8 to 10 feet
apart. A trellis made of 2 or 3 wires is the best support. Slat
trellises catch too much wind and blow down. Avoid stimulating manures.
In very cold climates, the vines may be taken off the trellis in early
winter and laid on the ground and lightly covered with earth. Along the
boundaries of home lots, where grapes are often planted, little is to be
expected in the way of fruit because the ground is not well tilled.
[Illustration: Fig. 279 The second stage in adjusting the bag.]
The grape is subject to many insects and diseases, some of which are
very destructive. The black-rot is the most usual trouble. See p. 209.
To produce bunches of high quality and free from rot and frost injury,
grapes are sometimes bagged. When the grapes are about half grown, the
bunch is covered with a grocer's manila bag. The bags remain until the
fruit is ripe. The grapes usually mature earlier in the bags. The top of
the bag is split, and the flaps are secured over the branch with a pin;
Figs. 278, 279, 280 explain the operation.
[Illustration: Fig. 280 The bagging complete.]
In all the above discussion, the so-called native grapes alone are
considered. In California, the European or vinifera types are grown, the
requirements of which are radically different from those of the
[Illustration XXII. Wall-training of a pear tree.]
_Varieties of grapes._
Under nearly all conditions, the Concord will be a valuable black
variety, although Worden, which is a few days earlier, may be
preferred by many. Moore (Moore Early) has been our best very early
black variety, but is likely to be superseded by Campbell, which is a
stronger vine, more productive, bunches larger, fruit of better quality,
and of superior keeping qualities, making it valuable for shipping
purposes. Catawba, Delaware, and Brighton are among the best red
varieties, although Agawam and Salem are much used. Winchell (Green
Mountain) is the best early white variety, and in most sections Niagara,
a late white sort, does well. Diamond (Moore Diamond) is a white grape
of better quality than Niagara.
_Grapes under glass_ (S.W. Fletcher).
The European grapes rarely thrive out of doors in eastern America. Grape
houses are necessary, with or without artificial heat. Fruit for home
use may be grown very satisfactorily in a cold grapery (without
artificial heat). A simple lean-to against the south side of a building
or wall is cheap and serviceable. When a separate building is desired,
an even-span house running north and south is preferable. There is no
advantage in having a curved roof, except as a matter of looks. A
compost of four parts rotted turf to one of manure is laid on a sloping
cement bottom outside the house, making a border 12 feet wide and 2 feet
deep. The cement may be replaced with rubble on well-drained soils, but
it is a poor makeshift. Every three years the upper 6 inches of the
border should be renewed with manure. The border inside the house is
prepared likewise. Two-year-old potted vines are planted about 4 feet
apart in a single row. Part of the roots go through a crevice in the
wall to the outer border and part remain inside; or all may go outside
if the house is desired for other purposes. One strong cane is trained
to a wire trellis hanging at least 18 inches from the glass, and is cut
back to 3 feet the first year, 6 the second, and 9 the third. Do not be
in a hurry to get a long cane. Pruning is on the spur system, as
recommended for arbors on p. 430. The vines are usually laid on the
ground for winter and covered with leaves or wrapped with cloth.
As soon as the buds swell in early spring, tie the vines to the trellis
and start out one shoot from each spur, rubbing off all others. After
the berries begin to color, however, it is better to leave all further
growth to shade the fruit. Pinch back each of these laterals two joints
beyond the second bunch. To keep down red spider and thrips, the foliage
should be sprayed with water every bright morning except during the
blooming season. At least one-third of the berries should be thinned
from each bunch; do not be afraid of taking out too many. Water the
inside border frequently all through the summer, and the outside
occasionally if the season is dry. Mildew may appear in July. The best
preventives are to syringe faithfully, admit air freely, and sprinkle
sulfur on the ground.
Fruit may be kept fresh on the vines in a warm (or artificially heated)
grapery until late December; in a coldhouse it must be picked before
frost. After the fruit is off, ventilate from top and bottom and
withhold water, so as thoroughly to ripen the wood. Along in November
the canes are pruned, covered with straw or wrapped with mats and laid
down till spring. Black Hamburg is superior to all other varieties for a
cold grapery; Bowood Muscat, Muscat of Alexandria, and Chasselas Musque
may be added in the warmhouse. Good vines will live and bear almost
MULBERRY.--Both for fruit and ornament the mulberry should be more
generally planted. Even if the fruit is not to the taste, the tree is
naturally open-centered and round-headed, and is an interesting subject;
some of the varieties have finely cut leaves. The fruits are in great
demand by the birds, and after they begin to ripen the strawberry beds
and cherry trees are freer from robins and other fruit-eating birds. For
this reason alone they are a valuable tree for the fruit-grower. Trees
may be purchased cheaper than one can propagate them.
If planted in orchard form, place them 25 to 30 feet apart. About the
borders of a place they can go closer. The Russian varieties are often
planted for windbreaks, for they are very hardy and thrive under the
greatest neglect; and for this purpose they may be planted 8 to 20 feet
apart. The Russians make excellent screens. They stand clipping well.
The fruit of the Russians varies in quality, as the trees are usually
directly from seed; but now and then a tree bears excellent fruit.
New American, Trowbridge, and Thorburn are leading kinds of
fruit-bearing mulberries for the North. The true Downing is not hardy
in the northern states; but New American is often sold under this name.
Mulberries thrive in any good soil, and need no special treatment.
NUTS.--The nut trees demand too much room for most home-ground
fruit plantations, although they are also useful for windbreaks and
shade. The hickories, all American, make excellent lawn trees, and
should be better known. The filberts and cobnuts, small trees or bushes,
are not successfully grown in this country except in very special cases.
The commercial nut-growing in the United States and Canada is chiefly of
almonds, walnuts, and pecans, with some attempt at chestnuts. Of these
the chestnut is the most adaptable for home places in the
Of chestnuts there are three types in cultivation: the European, the
Japanese, and the American. The American, or native chestnuts, of which
there are several improved varieties, are the hardiest and most
reliable, and the nuts are the sweetest, but they are also the smallest.
The Japanese varieties are usually injured by the winter in central New
York. The European varieties are somewhat hardier, and some of the
varieties will thrive in the northern states. Chestnuts are very easily
grown, although the bark disease now threatens them. They usually bear
better when two or more trees are planted near each other. Sprouts in
old chestnut clearings are often allowed to remain, and sometimes they
are grafted to the improved varieties. The young trees may be grafted in
the spring by the whip-graft or cleft-graft method; but the cions should
be perfectly dormant, and the operation should be very carefully done.
Even with the best workmanship, a considerable percentage of the grafts
are likely to fail or to break off after two or three years. The most
popular single variety of chestnut is the Paragon, which bears large and
excellent nuts when the tree is very young. When the home ground is
large enough, two or three of these trees should be planted near
ORANGE.--Oranges are grown extensively in Florida, in places along
the Gulf, and in many parts of California, but in the most favored
sections there is occasionally some injury from cold or frost to the
trees or fruit.
The soil preferred for oranges in California is a rich, deep alluvium,
avoiding hard-pan or adobe subsoils. Stagnant water in the subsoil is a
fatal defect. Although they can be grown near the ocean at a lower
level, an elevation of 600 to 1200 feet is generally desirable. While
southern California is particularly adapted to orange culture, the fruit
is successfully raised along the foot-hills of the San Joaquin and
Sacramento valleys and in other parts of the state.
In Florida, pine lands with a clay subsoil are generally preferred for
oranges, but if properly handled, good results can be obtained from
hammock land. As elevated spots cannot be secured, a timber belt
surrounding the orchard or along the north and west sides is desirable.
The distance for the large-growing kinds of orange in the orchard is
from 25 to 30 feet each way, but the half-dwarf kinds, such as Bahia or
Washington Navel, may be as close as 20 feet each way, although 25 feet
will be desirable. If the roots are sacked, the trees should be placed
in the hole without removing the covering, and the soil should then be
packed about them; but if they are puddled, a mound should be made in
the bottom of the hole. In the center an opening should be made into
which the tap-root can be inserted. After the soil has been firmly
packed about it, the other roots should be spread out and the hole
filled with good soil, packing it carefully. Care should be taken that
the roots are not exposed in handling the trees, and if the weather is
hot and dry, the tops should be shaded. Water may often be used with
good results in settling the soil about the roots.
When transplanted, the tops should be cut back in proportion to the
amount of roots lost in digging the trees. The head is usually started
with the branches about 2 feet from the ground. Each year while the
trees are small, the strong shoots should be cut back to preserve a
symmetrical form and the weak and surplus shoots should be removed.
The cultivation of orange orchards should be the same as recommended for
other fruits, except that as they grow in hot, dry climates, it should
be even more thorough, that the evaporation of moisture from the soil
may be reduced to a minimum. California growers have found that by
frequent shallow cultivation they can reduce the amount of water that
must be applied by irrigation, and that frequent tillage and a little
water will give better results than little or no cultivation and a large
amount of water. The amount of water required will also depend on the
season and the character of the soil. Thus on strong soils and after a
heavy rainfall no irrigation will be required, while sandy soils will
need irrigating as often as once in three or four weeks from May to
October. As a general rule, two or three irrigations in a season will be
ample. When used at all, water should be applied in sufficient
quantities to wet down to the roots of the trees. Frequent scanty
waterings may do much harm. The water is usually applied in furrows, and
for young trees there should be one on either side of each row, but as
the roots extend the number should be increased, until when five or six
years old the entire orchard should be irrigated from furrows 4 or 5
feet apart. In Florida, irrigation is not practiced.
Cover-cropping in winter is now common in Florida and California, some
of the leguminous crops being used.
_Varieties of the orange._
Among the best varieties are: Bahia, commonly known as Washington Navel,
Thompson Improved, Maltese Blood, Mediterranean Sweet, Paper Rind St.
Michael, and Valencia. Homosassa, Magnum Bonum, Nonpareil, Boone, Parson
Brown, Pineapple, and Hart are favorites in Florida. The tangerines and
mandarins, or the "kid-glove" oranges, have a thin rind that is easily
detached from the rather dry pulp. Orange trees are frequently injured
by various scale insects, but for several of the most troublesome kinds,
insect parasites have been found that keep them partially or wholly in
check, and for others the trees are sprayed, or fumigated with
hydrocyanic acid gas.
PEACH.--Given the proper exposure, peaches may be fruited in many
sections where now it is thought impossible to have a crop. It is
usually the practice of the amateur to set peach trees in the shelter of
some building, exposed on the south or east to the sun, and "in a
pocket" as regards winds. This should be reversed, except in the close
vicinity of large bodies of water. The fruit-buds of peaches will stand
very cold weather when perfectly dormant, often as low as 12 deg. or
18 deg. below zero in New York; but if the buds once become swollen,
comparatively light freezing will destroy the crop. Therefore, if the
trees be set on elevations where a constant air drainage may be
obtained, sheltered, if at all, on the south and east from the warming
influence of the sun, the buds will remain dormant until the ground
becomes warm, and the chances of a failure will be lessened. This advice
applies mostly to interior sections.
A well-drained, sandy loam or gravelly soil suits the peach better than
a heavy soil; but if the heavier soil is well drained, good crops may
Peaches are short-lived at best, and one should be satisfied with three
or four crops from each tree. They bear young, usually a partial crop
the third year. If a crop may be had every other year until the trees
are eight or ten years old, they will have well repaid the effort of
cultivation. But they often bear twice this long. Young trees may be set
every four or five years to replace older ones, thus having trees at a
bearing age at all times on a small place. Trees should be set 14 to 18
feet apart each way.
Peach trees are always bought when they are one year old, that is, one
year from the bud. For example, the bud is inserted in the fall of 1909.
It remains dormant until the spring of 1910, when it pushes into
vigorous growth; and in the fall of 1910 the tree is ready for sale.
Peach trees that are more than a year old are scarcely worth the buying.
It is a common practice, when setting peach trees, to prune them back to
a whip, leaving a stub bearing not more than one bud where each branch
is cut off.
The three great enemies of the peach are the borer, the yellows, and the
The borer is best handled by digging it out every spring and fall. Trees
attacked by the borer have an exudation of gum about the crown. If the
borers are dug out twice a year, they will not get sufficient start to
make the operation very laborious. It is the only sure way.
The yellows is a communicable disease, the cause of which is not
definitely known. It shows itself in the fruit ripening prematurely,
with distinct red spots which extend through the flesh, and later by the
throwing out of fine, branching, twiggy tufts along the main branches
(Fig. 215). The only treatment is to pull out the trees and burn them.
Other trees may be set in the same places.
The curculio must be captured by jarring on sheets (see _Plum_).
_Varieties of the peach._
For home use it is advisable to provide varieties that will ripen in
succession, but for market purposes, in most sections, the medium and
late kinds should be most extensively planted. Although there are many
varieties that have a local reputation, but are not commonly found in
the nurseries, the following kinds are well known, and can be generally
grown with success: Alexander, Hale Early, Rivers, St. John, Bishop,
Connett (Southern Early), Carman, Crawford (Early and Late), Oldmixon,
Lewis, Champion, Sneed, Greensboro, Kalamazoo, Stump, Elberta, Ede
(Capt. Ede), Stevens (Stevens' Rareripe), Crosby, Gold Drop, Reeves,
Chairs, Smock, Salway, and Levy (Henrietta).
PEAR.--No fruit plantation should be considered complete without
trees of various kinds of pears, ripening fruits from early in August
till winter. The late varieties are generally good keepers, and extend
the season into February, thus supplying fruit for six or seven months.
[Illustration: Fig. 281. Seckel pear.]
As the pear grows to perfection on quince, the dwarf tree is peculiarly
adapted to planting on small home grounds, and is often used as a
boundary plant, or to serve the purpose of a screen. These dwarf trees
should be set deep--4 to 6 inches below the union--to prevent the stock
from growing. Dwarf trees may be set as near together as 10 to 16 feet,
while the standard or tall-growing pears should be set 18 to 25 feet
apart. Trees are planted when two or three years old.
[Illustration Fig. 282. Duchesse d'Angouleme pear.]
[Illustration Fig. 283. The Kieffer pear.]
The pear thrives on clay soil, if well under-drained, and for this
reason may succeed in places where other fruits might fail. A good,
steady growth should be maintained, but the use of nitrogenous manures
should be avoided, as they tend to make a rank growth and invite attacks
of pear blight, which is the worst enemy of the pear (p. 211).
_Varieties of the pear._
As a selection to supply a succession of varieties throughout the
season, the following list is recommended:--
_Early._--Summer Doyenne, Bloodgood, Clapp, Osband, Elizabeth (Manning's
_Autumn._--Bartlett, Boussock, Flemish (Flemish Beauty), Buffum, Howell,
Seckel (Fig. 281), Louise Bonne, Angouleme (Duchesse d'Angouleme) (Fig.
_Winter._--Anjou, Clairgeau, Lawrence, Kieffer (Figs. 283, 284), Winter
Nelis, and Easter Beurre.
For ordinary market purposes the following have been proved valuable:
Bartlett, Howell, Anjou, Clairgeau, and Lawrence. In the central and
southern states, Kieffer is grown successfully. For home use this
variety is not to be recommended in the North, because of its poor
quality and smaller size.
For growing as dwarfs, Angouleme (Duchesse d'Angouleme), Louise Bonne,
Anjou, Clairgeau, and Lawrence are most popular, but many other
varieties thrive on the quince.
[Illustration: Fig. 284. Kieffer pear.]
PLUM.--Of plums there are three general or common types: first, the
common Domestica or European plum, which gives rise to all the older
varieties, like Lombard, Bradshaw, Green Gage, the Prunes, the Egg
plums, the Damsons, and the like; second, the Japanese plums, which have
become popular within the last twenty years, and which are adapted to a
wider range of country than the Domesticas; third, the native plums of
several species or types, which are adapted to the plains, the middle
and southern states, and some kinds to the cold North.
Wherever the Domestica and Japanese plums can be grown, the native
plums are not destined to become popular; but many of the natives are
much hardier than others, and are therefore adapted to regions in which
the Domestica and Japanese are not safe. Others of them are well adapted
to the middle and southern states. The Domestica and Japanese plums are
considerably hardier than peaches, but not so hardy as the apple. The
northern limit of their general cultivation is the southern peninsula of
Michigan, central and southern Ontario, central New York, and central
Plums thrive on a great variety of soils, but they do better, as a rule,
on those that are rather heavy and have a considerable content of clay.
In fact, many of the varieties will thrive on clay as hard as that in
which pears will grow. On the other hand, they often thrive well in
light, and even almost sandy soils.
The trees are set when they are two and three years from the bud. It is
preferable to have plum trees on stocks of the same species, but it is
not always possible to secure them at the nurseries. In the South, plums
are worked mostly on peach roots, and these make excellent trees where
the climate is not too severe, and especially on the lighter lands on
which they are planted in the South. In the North the larger part of the
plum stocks are grown on the Myrobalan plum roots. This Myrobalan is an
Old World species of plum, of smaller growth than the Domestica. This
stock, therefore, tends to dwarf the tree, and it is also likely to
throw up sprouts from the roots.
Plum trees are set 12 to 18 feet apart. Many growers like to set them 8
feet apart in rows, and have the rows from 16 to 20 feet apart.
Plums are pruned much the same as apples and pears. That is, the top is
thinned out from year to year, and all superfluous branches and broken
or diseased wood are removed. If the soil is very strong and the trees
are close together, it may be well to head them in a little each year,
especially those varieties which grow very strong and robust.
_Pests and diseases._
There are four leading difficulties in the growing of
plums--leaf-blight, fruit-rot, black-knot, and curculio.
The leaf-blight usually appears about midsummer, the leaves becoming
spotted and dropping off. The remedy is to spray thoroughly with
bordeaux mixture, beginning soon after the fruits have set, and before
the trouble begins to show.
The fruit-rot may be prevented by the same means--that is, by spraying
with bordeaux mixture. It is usually best to begin just after the fruits
are well set. A very important consideration in the checking of this
disease is to thin the fruit so that it does not hang in clusters. If
one fruit touches another, the rot spreads from fruit to fruit in spite
of the spraying. Some varieties, as Lombard and Abundance, are specially
susceptible to this injury.
The black-knot is best kept in check by cutting out the knots whenever
they can be seen, and burning them. As soon as the leaves drop, the
orchard should be gone over and all knots taken out. Orchards that are
thoroughly sprayed with bordeaux mixture for the leaf-blight and
fruit-rot fungus are less liable to attacks of black-knot.
The curculio, or the insect which is the parent of the worms in the
fruit, is the inveterate enemy of the plum and other stone fruits. The
mature beetle lays the eggs in the fruits when they are very small,
usually beginning its work about as soon as the flowers fall. These eggs
soon hatch, and the little maggot bores into the fruit. Those fruits
that are attacked whilst very young ordinarily fall from the tree, but
those attacked when they are half or more grown, may adhere to the tree,
but remain wormy and gummy at the picking time. The mature beetles are
sluggish in the mornings, and are easily jarred from the trees. Taking
advantage of this fact, the fruit-grower may jar them on sheets; or, in
large orchards, into a large canvas hopper, which is wheeled from tree
to tree upon a wheelbarrow-like frame, and under the apex of which is a
tin can into which the insects roll. There is a slit or opening in one
side of the hopper, which allows the tree to stand nearly in the middle
of the canvas. The operator then gives the tree two or three sharp jars
with a padded pole or mallet. The edges of the hopper are then quickly
shaken with the hands and the insects roll down into the tin receptacle.
In this receptacle there is kerosene oil, or it may be emptied from time
to time. Just how long this machine is to be run in the orchard will
depend entirely on circumstances. It is advisable to use the catcher
soon after the blossoms fall, for the purpose of finding out how
abundant the insects are. If a few insects are caught from each tree,
there is indication that there are enough of the pests to make serious
trouble. If after a few days the insects seem to have disappeared, it
will not be necessary to continue the hunt. In some years, especially in
those succeeding a very heavy crop, it may be necessary to run the
curculio-catcher every morning for four or five weeks; but, as a rule,
it will not be necessary to use it oftener than two or three times a
week during that season; and sometimes the season may be shortened by
one half. The insects fall most readily when the weather is cool, and it
is best, therefore, to get through the whole orchard, if possible,
before noon. On cloudy days, however, the insects may be caught all day.
A smart man can attend to 300 or 400 full-bearing trees in six hours if
the ground has been well rolled or firmed, as it should be before the
bugging operation begins. The same treatment applies to the saving of
peaches and rarely, also, of sour cherries.
_Varieties of the plum._
The following varieties of European origin will be found desirable for
growing in the northern and eastern states: Bradshaw, Imperial Gage,
Lombard, McLaughlin, Pond, Quackenbos, Copper, Jefferson, Italian Prune
(Fellenberg), Shropshire, Golden Drop (Coe Golden Drop), Bavay or Reine
Claude, Grand Duke, Monarch.
Several of the Japanese varieties are also well adapted to growing in
these sections, as well as in the states farther south. The trees are
generally hardy, but they bloom early, and are likely to be injured by
late frosts in some localities. Among the better kinds are the Red June,
Abundance, Chabot, Burbank, and Satsuma.
Few of the above sorts are hardy in the Northwest, and growers there
have to rely on varieties of native species. Among these are: Forest
Garden, Wyant, De Soto, Rollingstone, Weaver, Quaker, and Hawkeye.
Farther south still other classes of plums have been introduced, among
them being Wildgoose, Clinton, Moreman, Miner, and Golden Beauty. And
still farther south, Transparent, Texas Belle (Paris Belle), Newman,
Lone Star, and El Paso are grown.
QUINCE.--Although not largely grown, quinces generally find a ready
sale, and they are desirable for home use. The trees are usually planted
about 12 feet each way, and may be trained either in a shrub or tree
form, but it will generally be best to grow them with a short trunk.
They succeed best on a deep, moist, and fertile soil. They require much
the same care as the pear. The insects and diseases by which they are
attacked are also the same as for that fruit. Blight is particularly
bad. The fruit is borne on short shoots of the same season, and strong
heading-in of the growth in winter removes a good part of the buds from
which the shoots arise. The Orange is the most common variety, but
Champion, Meech (Fig. 285), and Rea are sometimes grown.
[Illustration: Fig. 285. Meech Quince (Meech's Prolific).]
RASPBERRY.--Both the red and black raspberries are essentials of a
good garden. A few plants of each will produce a supply of berries for a
family through six or eight weeks, provided both early and late
varieties are planted.
A cool situation, soil that will hold moisture without being wet, and
thorough preparation of the ground, are the conditions necessary to
success. The blackcap raspberries should be set 3 to 4 feet apart, the
rows 6 or 7 feet; the red varieties 3 feet apart, the rows 5 feet apart.
Spring setting is usually preferable.
The shoots of raspberries sent up one season fruit and die the following
year, as in blackberries and dewberries.
Most of the blackcap varieties naturally throw out side branches the
first season, and with such it is a good plan to pinch back the new
canes as soon as they have reached a height of 2 to 3 feet, according to
the full height of the variety. This will hasten the throwing out of
side shoots, upon which fruit will be borne the following year. As soon
as severe freezing weather is over in the spring, these side shoots
should be cut back 9 to 12 inches, according to the strength of the
canes and the number of side branches upon them.
The same method of pruning is advisable with red varieties like
Cuthbert, which naturally branch freely. Other sorts, like King,
Hansell, Marlboro, Turner, and Thwack, that seldom branch, should not be
pinched back in summer, as, even though this might induce them to send
out shoots, the branches will be weak, and if they survive the winter,
will produce less fruit than would the strong buds upon the main canes
had they not been forced into growth.
[Illustration: Fig. 286. A rooting tip of the black raspberry.]
As soon as the crop has been gathered, and the old canes are dead, they
should be removed, and at the same time all of the surplus new shoots
should be cut away. From four to five good canes will be sufficient for
each hill, while in rows the number may be from two to three in
Pruned in this way, nearly all varieties will have stems sufficiently
large to support themselves, but as there will be more or less breaking
down and injury to the fruit from the bending over of the canes, many
growers prefer to support them by means of stakes or trellises. Stakes
may be set in each hill, or for matted rows stout stakes 3 feet high are
driven at intervals of 40 feet and a No. 10 galvanized wire is stretched
along the row, to which the canes are tied. It would be a saving of
labor if a wire is stretched either side of the row, as then no tying
will be required.
[Illustration: XXIII. Cherry currant.]
If it is desired to secure new plants, the ends of the branches of the
black varieties should be covered with soil about the middle of August,
when the tips are seen to divide into several slender shoots, and to
take root (Fig. 286); these can be taken up and planted the following
spring. While the suckers that spring from the roots of red varieties
(Fig. 287) may be used in propagating them, it will be better to use
plants grown from root-cuttings, as they will have much better roots.
[Illustration: Fig. 287. Sprouting habit of red raspberry.]
Raspberries may be bent over to the ground so that the snow will protect
them, in severe climates.
For red rust, pull out the plant, root and branch, and burn it. Short
rotations--fruiting the plants only two or three years--and burning the
old canes and trimmings, will do much to keep raspberry plantations
healthy. Spraying will have some effect in combating anthracnose.
_Varieties of raspberries._
Of the black sorts the following will be found desirable: Palmer,
Conrath, Kansas, and Eureka, which ripen in the order named. In some
sections the Gregg is still valuable, but it is somewhat lacking in
hardiness. Ohio is a favorite variety for evaporating. Of the purple-cap
varieties, Shaffer and Columbian generally succeed. Among the red
varieties none are more universally successful than Cuthbert. King is a
promising early variety, and Loudon is a valuable late kind. Many
growers find Marlboro and Turner well worthy of cultivation, although
rather local in their adaptations; while for home use, Golden Queen, a
yellow Cuthbert, is much liked.
STRAWBERRY.--Every one may grow strawberries, yet the saying that
strawberries will grow on any soil is misleading, although true. Some
varieties of strawberries will grow on certain soils better than other
varieties. What these varieties are can be determined only by an actual
test, but it is a safe rule to choose such varieties as prove good in
As to the methods of culture, so much depends on the size of the plot,
the purpose for which the fruit is wanted, and the extent of care one is
willing to give, that no set rule can be given for a garden in which but
few plants are grown and extra care can be given. The grower must always
be sure that his varieties will "fertilize"; that is, that he has
sufficient pollen-bearing kinds to insure a crop.
With the highest culture, good results can be obtained from the hill
system of growing strawberries. For this the plants may be set in rows 3
feet apart and 1 foot in the row, or if it be worked both ways, they may
be from 2 to 2-1/2 feet each way. In the small garden, where a horse
cannot be used, the plants are frequently set 1 foot each way, arranging
them in beds of three to five rows, with walks 2 feet wide between them.
As fast as runners form, they should be removed, so that the entire
vigor of the plant will be exerted in strengthening the crown. When
extra fine specimen berries are desired, the plant may be held above the
ground by a wire frame, as shown in Fig. 288.
[Illustration: Fig. 288. Strawberry plant supported by a wire rack.]
Or strawberries may be grown by the narrow matted-row system, in which
the runners, before rooting, should be turned along the rows at a
distance of 4 to 6 inches from the parent plant. These runners should be
the first ones made by the plant and should not be allowed to root
themselves, but "set in." This is not a difficult operation; and if the
runners are separated from the parent plant as soon as they become well
established, the drain on that plant is not great. All other runners
should be cut off as they start. The row should be about 12 inches wide
at fruiting time (Fig. 289). Each plant should have sufficient feeding
ground, full sunlight, and a firm hold in the soil. This matted-row
system is perhaps as good a method, either in a private garden or field
culture, as could be practiced. With a little care in hoeing, weeding,
and cutting off runners, the beds seem to produce as large crops the
second year as the first.
The old way of growing a crop was to set the plants 10 to 12 inches
apart, in rows 3 feet apart, and allow them to run and root at will, the
results being a mass of small, crowded plants, each striving to obtain
plant-food and none of them succeeding in getting enough. The last, or
outside runners, having but the tips of their roots in the ground, are
moved by the wind, heaved by the frost, or have the exposed roots dried
out by the wind and sun.
Ground rich in potash produces the firmest and best flavored berries.
Excessive use of stable manure, usually rich in nitrogen, should be
avoided, as tending to make too rank growth of foliage and berries of a
[Illustration: Fig. 289. A narrow matted row of strawberries.]
For most purposes, strawberries should be set as early in the spring as
the ground can be worked. The planting can be done with a trowel, spade,
or dibble, taking care to spread the roots out as much as possible and
to press the soil firmly about them, holding the plant so that the bud
will be just above the surface. If the season is late and the weather is
hot and dry, some or all of the older leaves should be removed. If water
is used, it should be poured about the roots before the hole is filled
and as soon as it has soaked away the remaining soil should be packed
about the plants. During the first season the blossom stalks should be
removed as soon as they appear, and the runners should be restricted to
a space about 1 foot wide. Some persons prefer still further to reduce
the number of plants, and after layering from three to four plants
between those originally set, to remove all others.
Strawberries are often set in August or September, but this is advisable
only for small patches or when the soil is in the best possible
condition and the highest culture is given. For garden culture, it may
pay to secure potted plants (Fig. 290). These are sold by many
nurserymen, and they may be obtained by plunging pots beneath the
runners as soon as the fruiting season is passed. In August, the plant
should fill the pot (which should be 3-inch or 4-inch) and the plant is
ready for setting in the plantation. Such plants should bear a good crop
the following spring.
During the first season strawberries should be frequently worked, rather
deep at first, but as the weather becomes warm and the roots fill the
ground, tillage should be restricted to a depth of not more than 2
inches. The weeds should never be allowed to get a start, and if the
season is dry, cultivation should be so frequent that the surface soil
should at all times be loose and open, forming a dust mulch to conserve
the moisture. If the fall is moist and the plantation free from weeds,
there will be little occasion for cultivation after the first of
September, until just before the ground freezes up, when a thorough
cultivation should be given. In addition to the horse cultivation, the
hoe should be used whenever necessary to loosen the soil about the
plants and to destroy weeds that may start in the row.
[Illustration: Fig. 290. A potted strawberry plant.]
After the ground has frozen, it will be advisable to mulch the plants by
covering the space between the rows with some waste material to the
depth of about 2 inches. Directly over the plants a covering of 1 inch
will generally suffice. The material used should be free from the seeds
of grass and weeds, and should be such as will remain upon the beds
without blowing off and that will not pack down too closely upon the
plants. Marsh hay makes an ideal mulch, but where it cannot be secured,
straw will answer. Corn fodder makes a clean but rather coarse mulch,
and where they can be held in place by some other material, forest
leaves do well as a mulch between the rows. In the spring the straw
should be removed from over the plants and allowed to remain between the
rows as a mulch, or all of it may be removed and the soil worked with a
A large crop should be produced the second season; many persons think it
best to renew the plantation each year, but if the plants are healthy
and the ground free from grass and weeds, the plantation can often be
retained for a second crop. It will be well to plow the soil away from
the rows so as to leave but a narrow strip, and along this the old
plants should be cut out so as to leave the new plants about 1 foot
apart. If this is done in July, the rows should fill up by winter, so as
to be in about the same condition as a new bed.
_Insects and diseases of the strawberry._
The insect most commonly troublesome to the strawberry grower is the
common June-bug, or May-beetle, the larvae of which are often very
common in land that has been in sod. Two years should elapse before sod
land is used for this crop.
Cut-worms are often troublesome, but plowing the land the fall previous
to setting the plants will destroy many of them. They can be poisoned by
sprinkling about the field clover or other green plants that have been
soaked in Paris green water (p. 203).
The most common fungous disease of the strawberry is leaf-blight or
"rust," which frequently causes much injury to the foliage, and may
result in the loss of the crop. Varieties least subject to the disease
should be chosen for planting, and on suitable soils and well cared for,
there need be little loss from this disease if the plantation is
frequently renewed. The rust and mildew may be held in check by bordeaux
mixture. It is usually sufficient to spray after the blooming season (or
at any time the first year the plants are set), in order to secure
healthy foliage for the next year (p. 213).
_Varieties of strawberries._
For most parts of the country, Haverland, Warfield, Bubach, and Gandy
afford a succession and are all hardy and productive varieties. The
first three are imperfect-flowered varieties, and some such
perfect-flowering kinds as Lowett or Bederwood should be provided to
fertilize them. Among other varieties that do well in most sections are
Brandywine, Greenville, Clyde, and Woolverton. Parker Earle is very
late, and is valuable for either home use or market, upon strong, moist
soils, where it can have the best of care. Belt (William Belt) and
Marshall have large, showy fruits, and do well on strong soil.
Excelsior or Michel might be added as very early; Aroma is grown very
extensively in some sections; also Tennessee (Tennessee Prolific) is a
very promising new sort from Tennessee.
THE GROWING OF THE VEGETABLE PLANTS
A vegetable garden is admittedly a part of any home place that has a
good rear area. A purchased vegetable is never the same as one taken
from a man's own soil and representing his own effort and solicitude.
[Illustration: Fig. 291. Cultivating the backache.]
It is essential to any satisfaction in vegetable-growing that the soil
be rich and thoroughly subdued and fined. The plantation should also be
so arranged that the tilling can be done with wheel tools, and, where
the space will allow it, with horse tools. The old-time garden bed (Fig.
291) consumes time and labor, wastes moisture, and is more trouble and
expense than it is worth.
The rows of vegetables should be as long and continuous as possible, to
allow of tillage with wheel tools. If it is not desired to grow a full
row of any one vegetable, the line may be made up of several species,
one following the other, care being taken to place together such kinds
as have similar requirements; one long row, for example, might contain
all the parsnips, carrots, and salsify. One or two long rows containing
a dozen kinds of vegetables are usually preferable to a dozen short
rows, each with one kind of vegetable.
[Illustration: Fig. 292. Tracy's plan for a kitchen-garden.]
It is well to place the permanent vegetables, as rhubarb and asparagus,
at one side, where they will not interfere with the plowing or tilling.
The annual vegetables should be grown on different parts of the area in
succeeding years, thus practicing something like a rotation of crops. If
radish or cabbage maggots or club-root become thoroughly established in
the plantation, omit for a year or more the vegetables on which
A suggestive arrangement for a kitchen-garden is given in Fig. 292. In
Fig. 293 is a plan of a fenced garden, in which gates are provided at
the ends to allow the turning of a horse and cultivator (Webb Donnell,
in _American Gardening_). Figure 294 shows a garden with continuous
rows, but with two breaks running across the area, dividing the
plantation into blocks. The area is surrounded with a windbreak, and the
frames and permanent plants are at one side.
[Illustration: Fig. 293. A garden fence arranged to allow of horse
It is by no means necessary that the vegetable-garden contain only
kitchen-garden products. Flowers may be dropped in here and there
wherever a vacant corner occurs or a plant dies. Such informal and mixed
gardens usually have a personal character that adds greatly to their
interest, and, therefore, to their value. One is generally impressed
with this informal character of the home-garden in many European
countries, a type of planting that arises from the necessity of making
the most of every inch of land. It was the writer's pleasure to look
over the fence of a Bavarian peasant's garden and to see, on a space
about 40 feet by 100 feet in area, a delightful medley of onions, pole
beans, peonies, celery, balsams, gooseberries, coleus, cabbages,
sunflowers, beets, poppies, cucumbers, morning-glories, kohl-rabi,
verbenas, bush beans, pinks, stocks, currants, wormwood, parsley,
carrots, kale, perennial phlox, nasturtiums, feverfew, lettuce, lilies!
[Illustration: 294. A family kitchen-garden.]
_Vegetables for six_ (by C.E. Hunn).
A home vegetable-garden for a family of six would require, exclusive of
potatoes, a space not over 100 by 150 feet. Beginning at one side of the
garden and running the rows the short way (having each row 100 feet
long) sowings may be made, as soon as the ground is in condition to
work, of the following:
Fifty feet each of parsnips and salsify.
One hundred feet of onions, 25 feet of which may be potato or set
onions, the remainder black-seed for summer and fall use.
Fifty feet of early beets; 50 feet of lettuce, with which radish may be
sown to break the soil and be harvested before the lettuce needs
One hundred feet of early cabbage, the plants for which should be from a
frame or purchased. Set the plants 18 inches to 2 feet apart.
One hundred feet of early cauliflower; culture same as for cabbage.
Four hundred and fifty feet of peas, sown as follows:--
100 feet of extra early. 100 feet of extra early, sown late.
100 feet of intermediate. 50 feet of dwarf varieties.
100 feet of late.
If trellis or brush is not to be used, frequent sowings of the dwarfs
will maintain a supply.
After the soil has become warm and all danger of frost has passed, the
tender vegetables be planted as follows:
Corn in five rows 3 feet apart, three rows to be early and intermediate
and two rows late.
One hundred feet of string beans, early to late varieties.
Vines as follows:--
10 hills of cucumbers, 6x6 feet. 6 hills of early squash, 6x6 feet.
20 hills of muskmelon, 6x6 feet. 10 hills of Hubbard, 6x6 feet.
One hundred feet of okra.
Twenty eggplants. One hundred feet (25 plants) tomatoes.
Six large clumps of rhubarb.
An asparagus bed 25 feet long and 3 feet wide.
Late cabbage, cauliflower, and celery are to occupy the space made
Vacant by removing early crops of early and intermediate peas and
A border on one side or end will hold all herbs, such as parsley, thyme,
sage, hyssop, mints.
_The classes of vegetables._
Before attempting to grow particular vegetables, it will help the
beginner to an understanding of the subject if he recognizes certain
cultural groups or classes, and what their main requirements are.
Root-crops--Beet, carrot, parsnip, salsify.
The root-crops are cool-weather plants; that is, they may be sown very
early, even before light frosts disappear; and the winter kinds grow
very late in the fall, or may be left in the ground till most other
crops are harvested. They are not often transplanted.
Loose and deep soil, free from clods, is required to grow straight and
well-developed roots. The land must also be perfectly drained, not only
to remove superfluous moisture, but to provide a deep and friable soil.
Subsoiling is useful in hard lands. A large admixture of sand is
generally desirable, provided the soil is not likely to overheat in
To keep roots fresh in the cellar, pack them in barrels, boxes, or bins
of sand which is just naturally moist, allowing each root to come wholly
or partly in contact with the sand. The best material in which to pack
them is sphagnum moss, the same that nurserymen use in packing trees for
shipment, and which may be obtained in bogs in many parts of the
country. In either sand or sphagnum, the roots will not shrivel; but if
the cellar is warm, they may start to grow. Roots can also be buried,
after the manner of potatoes.
Alliaceous group--Onion, leek, garlic.
A group of very hardy cool-weather plants, demanding unusually careful
preparation of the surface soil to receive the seeds and to set the
young plants going. They withstand frost and cool weather, and may be
sown very early. Seeds are sown directly where the plants are to stand.
For early onions, however, the special practice has recently arisen of
transplanting from seedbeds.
Brassicaceous group--Cabbage, kale, cauliflower.
These are cool-weather crops, all of them withstanding considerable
frost. The cabbages and kales are often started in fall in the middle
and southern latitudes, and are harvested before hot weather arrives.
In the northern states, these plants will all do best when started early
in hotbed, frame, or greenhouse,--from the last of February to
April--and transplanted to the open ground May first to June first,
partly because their season of growth may be long and partly to enable
them to escape the heat of midsummer. Still, some persons are successful
in growing late cabbage, kale, and cauliflower, by sowing the seeds in
hills and in the open ground where the plants are to mature. It is best
to transplant the young plantlets twice, first from the seed-bed to
boxes, or frames, about the time the second set of true leaves appears,
placing the plants 24 inches apart each way, and transplanting again to
the open ground in rows 4 to 5 feet apart, with plants 2 to 4 feet apart
in the row. If the plants are started under cover, they should be
hardened off by exposure to light and air during the warmer hours of
several days preceding the final transplanting.
The most serious enemy of cabbage-like plants is the root-maggot. See
discussion of this insect on pp. 187, 201.
[Illustration: Fig. 295. The white butterfly that lays the eggs for the
The cabbage-worm (larva of the white butterfly shown in Fig. 295) can be
dispatched with pyrethrum or kerosene emulsion. It must be treated very
early, before the worm gets far into the head (p. 200).
The club-root or stump-root is a fungous disease for which there is no
good remedy. Use new land if the disease is present (p. 208).
Solanaceous group--Tomato, egg-plant, red pepper.
These are warm-weather plants, very impatient of frost. They are all
natives of southern zones, and have not yet become so far acclimatized
in the North as not to need the benefit of our longest seasons.
Plants should be started early, under glass. They should be "pricked
off," when the second leaves appear, 3 or 4 inches apart, into flats or
boxes. These boxes should be kept in a coldframe, to which an abundance
of light and air is admitted on warm, sunny days, in order to harden
them off. After all danger of frost is past, and the garden soil is well
warmed, the plants may be finally transplanted.
If the ground is too rich, these plants are likely to grow too late in
the northern seasons.
Cucurbitaceous group--Cucumber, melon, squash, pumpkin.
All the members of this group are very tender to frost, and they must
not be planted till the season is thoroughly open and settled. The
plants are not transplanted, unless they are transferred from boxes
Seeds must be planted somewhat shallow from early spring to midsummer.
For the earliest cucumbers and melons, seeds are planted in frames. That
is, each hill is inclosed by a portable box frame about 3 feet square
and usually having a movable sash cover. The cover is raised or removed
in warm days, and the frame bodily taken away when all danger of frost
is past. In field culture, seeds are planted an inch deep, four to six
in a hill, with hills 4 by 6 feet apart, these distances being varied
slightly, according to location and variety. Good cucumbers are
sometimes grown in hills surrounding a barrel in which manure is placed
to be leached out by successive waterings.
The omnipresent enemies of all the cucurbitaceous crops are the little
cucumber beetle and the large black "stink bug." Ashes, lime, or tobacco
dust occasionally seem to show some efficiency in preventing the ravages
of these insects, but the only reasonably sure immunity is in the use of
covers over the hills (Fig. 229) and in hand-picking (p. 202). Covers
may also be made by stretching mosquito netting over arcs of barrel
hoops or bent wires. If by some such means the plants are kept
insect-free till they outgrow the protection, they will usually escape
serious damage from insects thereafter. It is well to plant trap or
decoy hills of cucumbers, squashes, or melons in advance of the regular
planting, on which the bugs may be harvested.
Leguminous crops--Peas and beans.
Two cultural groups are included in the legumes,--the bean group
(including all field, garden, and kidney beans, and the cowpea)
comprising warm-weather plants; the pea group (including field and
garden pea, the Windsor or Broad bean) comprising cool-weather plants.
The former are quickly susceptible to frost and should be planted only
after the weather is settled. The latter are among the earliest
vegetables to be planted. The leguminous crops are not transplanted, the
seed being placed where the plants are to grow.
Salad plants and pot-herbs ("greens").
These plants are all grown for their, tender, fresh, succulent leaves,
and therefore every reasonable effort should be made to secure quick and
continuous foliage growth. It is manifestly expedient that they be grown
in warm, mellow ground, well cultivated and copiously watered. Such
small plants as cress, corn salad, and parsley may be grown in small
beds, or even in boxes or pots; but in a garden where space is not too
scant, they may be more conveniently managed in rows, like peas or
beets. Nearly all the salad plants may be sown in the spring, and from
time to time throughout the summer for succession. The group is
culturally not homogeneous, inasmuch as some of the plants need special
treatment; but most of them are cool-weather subjects.
The herb garden should find a place on all amateurs' grounds.
Sweet-herbs may sometimes be made profitable by disposing of the surplus
to the green grocer and the druggist. The latter will often buy all that
the housewife wishes to dispose of, as the general supply of medicinal
herbs is grown by specialists, and goes into the hands of the wholesaler
and is often old when received by the local dealer.
The seedsmen's catalogues mention upwards of forty different herbs,
medicinal and culinary. The majority of them are perennial, and will
grow for many years if well taken care of. However, it is better to
resow them every three or four years. Beds 4 feet square of each of the
herbs will supply an ordinary family.
The perennial sweet-herbs may be propagated by division, although they
are usually grown from seeds. The second year--and sometimes even the
first year--the plants are strong enough for cutting. The common
perennial sweet-herbs are: Sage, lavender, peppermint, spearmint,
hyssop, thyme, marjoram, balm, catnip, rosemary, horehound, fennel,
lovage, winter savory, tansy, wormwood, costmary.
The commoner annual species (or those that are treated as annuals) are:
Anise, sweet basil, summer savory, coriander, pennyroyal, caraway
(biennial), clary (biennial), dill (biennial), sweet marjoram
_The culture of the leading vegetables._
Having now obtained a view of the layout of the vegetable-garden and a
good conception of the leading cultural groups, we may proceed with a
discussion of the different kinds of vegetables themselves. Good
experience is better than book advice; but the person who consults a
book is the one who lacks experience. Any printed directions are
necessarily imperfect, and they may not be adaptable to the particular
conditions under which the amateur works; but they ought to set him in
the right direction so that he may more easily find his way. Seedsmen's
catalogues often contain much useful and reliable advice of this kind.
ASPARAGUS.--The best of all early spring vegetables; a hardy
herbaceous perennial, grown for the soft edible shoots that spring from
The culture of asparagus has been simplified in the past few years, and
at present the knowledge required successfully to plant and grow a good
supply need not be that of a professional. The old method of excavating
to the depth of 3 feet or more, throwing in from 4 to 6 inches of broken
stone or bricks for drainage, then filling to within 16 to 18 inches of
the surface with well-rotted manure, with 6 inches of soil upon which to
set the roots, has given place to the simple practice of plowing or
digging a trench from 14 to 16 inches deep, spreading well-rotted manure
in the bottom to the depth of 3 or 4 inches; when well trodden down
covering the manure with 3 or 4 inches of good garden soil, then setting
the plants, with the roots well spread out, covering carefully with soil
to the level of the garden, and firming the soil with the feet. This
will leave the crowns of the plants from 4 to 5 inches below
In stubborn, heavy soil the best method to pursue in making a permanent
bed is to throw out all the dirt from the trench and replace with good,
In setting, 1-year-old plants will prove more satisfactory than older
ones, being less liable to suffer from injury to the root system than
those that have made a larger growth. Two years after setting the crop
may be cut somewhat, but not sooner if a lasting bed is desired, as the
effort to replace the stalks has a tendency to weaken the plant unless
the roots are well established. The cutting should cease in June or
early July, or the roots may be much weakened. In cutting, care should
be taken to insert the knife vertically, so that adjoining crowns will
not be injured (Fig. 296).
[Illustration: Fig. 296. Good _(A)_ and poor _(B)_ modes of inserting
the knife to cut asparagus. Some careful growers pull or break the
shoots rather than cut them.]
The yearly treatment of an asparagus bed consists of cleaning off tops
and weeds in the fall and adding a dressing of well-rotted manure to the
depth of 3 or 4 inches, this manure to be lightly forked into the bed
the following spring; or the tops may be allowed to stand for winter
protection and the mulch left off. A top-dressing of nitrate of soda, at
the rate of 200 pounds per acre, is often beneficial as a spring
stimulant, particularly in the case of an old bed. Good results will
also follow an application of bone meal or superphosphate at the rate of
some 300 to 500 pounds per acre. The practice of sowing salt on an
asparagus bed is almost universal; yet beds that have never received a
pound of salt are found to be as productive as those having received an
annual dressing. Nevertheless, a salt dressing is recommended. Two rows
of asparagus 25 feet long and 3 feet apart should supply a large family
with an abundance throughout the season, and if well taken care of, will
last a number of years.
Conover Colossal is the variety most generally grown, and is perhaps the
most satisfactory sort. Palmetto, a variety originating at the South, is
also very popular.
ARTICHOKE.--The artichoke of literature is a tall, coarse perennial
of the thistle tribe, producing edible flower-heads. Cardoon is a
The fleshy scales of the head and the soft "bottom" of the head are the
parts used. The young suckers or shoots may also be tied together and
blanched, using them like asparagus or Swiss chard. But few of these
plants would be needed for a family, as they produce a number of
flower-heads to a plant and a quantity of suckers. The plants should be
set from 2 to 3 feet apart in the row, the rows being 3 feet apart. This
vegetable is not quite hardy in the North, but a covering of leaves or
barnyard litter to the depth of a foot will protect it well. The plant
is perennial, but the best yield comes from young plants. If the heads
are allowed to ripen, they reduce the vitality of the plant.
Artichokes have never become so popular in this country as to have
produced a long list of varieties. Large Green Globe is most commonly
offered by seedsmen. Edible heads should be secured the second year from
seed. Seedlings are likely to vary greatly, and if one is fond of
artichokes, he would do better to propagate by suckers from the
These plants make no mean decorative subjects, either massed or in a
mixed border, and from the rarity of their culture are always objects
ARTICHOKE, JERUSALEM, is a wholly different plant from the above,
although it is commonly known as "artichoke" in this country. It is a
species of sunflower that produces potato-like tubers. These tubers may
be used in lieu of potatoes. They are very palatable to hogs; and when
the plant becomes a weed,--as it often does,--it may be exterminated by
turning the hogs into the field. Hardy, and will grow anywhere.
BEAN.--Every garden grows beans of one kind or another. Under this
general name, many kinds of plants are cultivated. They are all tender,
and the seeds, therefore, should not be planted until the weather is
thoroughly settled; and the soil should be warm and loose. They are all
annuals in northern countries, or treated as such.
The bean plants may be classified in various ways. In respect to
stature, they may be thrown into three general categories; viz. the pole
or climbing beans, the bush beans, and the strict-growing or upright
beans (as the Broad or Windsor bean).
In respect to their uses, beans again may be divided into three
categories; viz. those used as string or snap beans, the entire pod
being eaten; those that are used as shell beans, the full-size but
immature beans being shelled from the pod and cooked; dry beans, or
those eaten in their dry or winter condition. The same variety of bean
may be used for all of these three purposes at different stages of its
development; but as a matter of fact, there are varieties better for one
purpose than the other.
Again, beans may be classified in respect to their species. Those
species that are best known are as follows:
(1) Common bean, or _Phaseolus vulgaris,_ of which there are both tall
and bush forms. All the common snap and string beans belong here, as
also the Speckled Cranberry types of pole beans, and the common
(2) The Lima beans, or _Phaseolus lunatus._ The larger part of these are
pole beans, but lately dwarf or bush varieties have appeared.
(3) The Scarlet Runner, _Phaseolus multiflorus,_ of which the Scarlet
Runner and White Dutch Runner are familiar examples. The Scarlet Runner
is usually grown as an ornamental vine, and it is perennial in warm
countries, but the seeds are edible as shelled beans. The White Dutch
Runner is oftener cultivated for food.
(4) The Yard-Long, or Asparagus bean, _Dolichos sesquipedalis,_ which
produces long and weak vines and very long, slender pods. The green pods
are eaten, and also the shelled beans. The French Yard-Long is the only
variety of this type that is commonly known in this country. This type
of bean is popular in the Orient.
(5) The Broad beans, of which the Windsor is the common type. These are
much grown in the Old World for stock feed, and they are sometimes used
for human food. They grow to one strict, central, stiff stalk, to a
height of 2 to 4 or 5 feet, and they are very unlike other kinds of
beans in appearance. In this country, they are very little grown on
account of our hot and dry summers. In Canada they are somewhat raised,
and are sometimes used in the making of silage.
(6) The cowpea, which is really a bean (species of _Vigna_), much grown
in the South for hay and green-manuring, is also a very good table
vegetable and one that is destined to increase in popularity for
The culture of the bean, while of the easiest, often proves a failure as
far as the first crop is concerned, from planting the seed before the
ground has become warm and dry. No vegetable seed will decay quicker
than beans, and the delay caused by waiting for the soil to become warm
and free from excessive moisture will be more than made up by the
rapidity of growth when finally they are planted. Beans will grow on
most any land, but the best results may be secured by having the soil
well enriched and in good physical condition.
From the 5th to the 10th of May in the latitude of central New York, it
will be safe to plant beans for an early crop. The beans may be dropped
2 inches deep in shallow drills, the seeds to lie 3 inches apart. Cover
to the surface of the soil, and if the ground be dry, firm it with the
foot or the back of the hoe. For the bush varieties, allow 2 feet
between the drill-rows, but for the dwarf Limas 2-1/2 feet is better.
Pole Limas are usually planted in hills 2 to 3 feet apart in the rows.
Dwarf Limas may be sown thinly in drills.
A large number of the varieties of both the green-podded and the
wax-podded beans are used almost exclusively as snap beans, to be eaten
with the pod while tender. The various strains of the Black Wax are the
most popular string beans. The pole or running beans are used either
green or dried, and the Limas, both tall and dwarf, are well known for
their superior flavor either as shelled or dry beans. The old-fashioned
Cranberry or Horticultural Lima type (a pole form of _Phaseolus
vulgaris_) is probably the best shell bean, but the trouble of poling
makes it unpopular. Dwarf Limas are much more desirable for small
gardens than the pole varieties, as they may be planted much closer, the
bother of procuring poles or twine is avoided, and the garden will have
a more sightly appearance. Both the dwarf Limas and pole Limas require a
longer season in which to mature than the bush beans, and only one