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Cucumber-beetle | Cucumber and vines | a | 1, 11, 8 (Striped beetle) | | |
Cucumber-wilt | Cucumber and vines | c | 11 Cucumber-blight | Cucumber, muskmelon, | c | 11 | cabbage | |
Cut-worm | Cabbage, tomato, onion | a |2,4,12,13 Flea-beetle | Potato, turnip, radish | a | 11, 5 Potato-beetle | Potato and egg-plant | a |12, 13, 4 Potato-blight | Potato | c | 11 Potato-scab | Potato (tubers) | c | 10 Root-maggot | Radish, onion, cabbage, | a | 4, 3, 9 | melons | |
Squash-bug | Squash, pumpkin | b |4,8,12,5 White-fly | Plants; cucumber, tomato | b | 6, 5, 8 White-grub | Plants | a | 4

However, that the home gardener may be prepared to meet any contingency, I shall take up in brief detail the plant enemies mentioned and the remedies suggested.

_Aphis:_–The small, soft green plant-lice. They seldom attack healthy growing plants in the field, but are hard to keep off under glass. If once established it will take several applications to get rid of them. Use kerosene or soap emulsion, or tobacco dust. There are also several trade-marked preparations that are good. Aphine, which may be had of any seed house, has proved very effective in my own work, and it is the pleasantest to use that I have so far found.

_Asparagus-beetle:_–This pest will give little trouble on cleanly cultivated patches. Thorough work with arsenate of lead (1 to 25) will take care of it.

_Black-rot:_–This affects the cabbage group, preventing heading, by falling of the leaves. In clean, thoroughly limed soil, with proper rotations, it is not likely to appear. The seed may be soaked, in cases where the disease has appeared previously, for fifteen minutes in a pint of water in which one of the corrosive sublimate tablets which are sold at drug stores is dissolved.

_Borers:_–This borer is a flattish, white grub, which penetrates the main stem of squash or other vines near the ground and seems to sap the strength of the plant, even when the vines have attained a length of ten feet or more. His presence is first made evident by the wilting of the leaves during the noonday heat. Coal ashes mixed with the manure in the hill, is claimed to be a preventative. Another is to plant some early squash between the hills prepared for the winter crop, and not to plant the latter until as late as possible. The early squash vines, which act as a trap, are pulled and burned.

Last season almost half the vines in one of my pieces were attacked after many of the squashes were large enough to eat. With a little practice I was able to locate the borer’s exact position, shown by a spot in the stalk where the flesh was soft, and of a slightly different color. With a thin, sharp knife-blade the vines were carefully slit lengthwise on this spot, the borer extracted and killed and the vines in almost every instance speedily recovered. Another method is to root the vines by heaping moist earth over several of the leaf joints, when the vines have attained sufficient length.

_Cabbage-caterpillar:_–This small green worm, which hatches upon the leaves and in the forming heads of cabbage and other vegetables of the cabbage group, comes from the eggs laid by the common white or yellow butterfly of early spring. Pick off all that are visible, and spray with kerosene emulsion if the heads have not begun to form. If they have, use hellebore instead. The caterpillar or worm of tomatoes is a large green voracious one. Hand-picking is the only remedy.

_Club-root:_–This is a parasitical disease attacking the cabbage group, especially in ground where these crops succeed each other. Lime both soil and seed-bed–at least the fall before planting, unless using a special agricultural lime. The crop infested is sometimes carried through by giving a special dressing of nitrate of soda, guano or other quick-acting powerful fertilizer, and hilled high with moist earth, thus giving a special stimulation and encouraging the formation of new roots. While this does not in any way cure the disease, it helps the crop to withstand its attack. When planting again be sure to use crop rotation and to set plants not grown in infested soil.

_Cucumber-beetle:_–This is the small, black-and-yellow-striped beetle which attacks cucumbers and other vines and, as it multiplies rapidly and does a great deal of damage before the results show, they must be attended to immediately upon appearance. The vine should be protected with screens until they crowd the frames, which should be put in place before the beetles put in an appearance. If the beetles are still in evidence when the vines get so large that the screens must be removed, keep sprayed with Bordeaux mixture. Plaster, or fine ashes, sifted on the vines will also keep them off to some extent, by keeping the leaves covered.

_Cucumber-wilt:_–This condition accompanies the presence of the striped beetle, although supposed not to be directly caused by it. The only remedy is to get rid of the beetles as above, and to collect and burn every wilted leaf or plant.

_Cucumber-blight_ or _Mildew_ is similar to that which attacks muskmelons, the leaves turning yellow, dying in spots and finally drying up altogether. Where there is reason to fear an attack of this disease, or upon the first appearance, spray thoroughly with Bordeaux, 5-5-50, and repeat every ten days or so. The spraying seems to be more effective on cucumbers than on melons.

_Cut-worm:_–The cut-worm is perhaps the most annoying of all garden pests. Others do more damage, but none is so exasperating. He works at night, attacks the strongest, healthiest plants, and is content simply to cut them off, seldom, apparently, eating much or carrying away any of the severed leaves or stems, although occasionally I have found such bits, especially small onion tops, dragged off and partly into the soil. In small gardens the quickest and best remedy is hand-picking. As the worms work at night they may be found with a lantern; or very early in the morning. In daytime by digging about in the soil wherever a cut is found, and by careful search, they can almost invariably be turned out. As a preventive, and a supplement to hand-picking, a poisoned bait should be used. This is made by mixing bran with water until a “mash” is made, to which is added a dusting of Paris green or arsenate of lead, sprayed on thickly and thoroughly worked through the mass. This is distributed in small amounts–a tablespoonful or so to a place along the row or near each hill or plant–just as they are coming up or set out. Still another method, where only a few plants are put out, is to protect each by a collar of tin or tar paper.

_Flea-beetle:_–This small, black or striped hard-shelled mite attacks potatoes and young cabbage, radish and turnip plants. It is controlled by spraying with kerosene emulsion or Bordeaux.

_Potato-beetle:_–The striped Colorado beetle, which invariably finds the potato patch, no matter how small or isolated. Paris green, dry or sprayed, is the standard remedy. Arsenate of lead is now largely used. On small plots hand-picking of old bugs and destruction of eggs (which are laid on under side of leaves) is quick and sure.

_Potato-blight:_–Both early and late forms of blight are prevented by Bordeaux, 5-5-50, sprayed every two weeks. Begin early– when plants are about six inches high.

_Potato-scab:_–Plant on new ground; soak the seed in solution prepared as directed under No. 10, which see; allow no treated tubers to touch bags, boxes, bins or soil where untreated ones have been kept.

_Root-maggot:_–This is a small white grub, often causing serious injury to radishes, onions and the cabbage group. Liming the soil and rotation are the best preventives. Destroy all infested plants, being sure to get the maggots when pulling them up. The remaining plants should be treated with a gill of strong caustic lime water, or solution of muriate of potash poured about the root of each plant, first removing an inch or so of earth. In place of these solutions carbolic acid emulsion is sometimes used; or eight to ten drops of bisulphide of carbon are dropped into a hole made near the roots with the dibber and then covered in. Extra stimulation, as directed for _Club-root_, will help carry the plants through.

_Squash-bug:_–This is the large, black, flat “stink-bug,” so destructive of squash and the other running vines. Protection with frames, or hand-picking, are the best home garden remedies. The old bugs may be trapped under boards and by early vines. The young bugs, or “sap-sucking nymphs,” are the ones that do the real damage. Heavy tobacco dusting, or kerosene emulsion will kill them.

_White-Fly:_–This is the most troublesome under glass, where it is controlled by fumigation, but occasionally is troublesome on plants and tomato and cucumber vines. The young are scab-like insects and do the real damage. Spray with kerosene emulsion or whale-oil soap.

_White-grub_ or _muck-worm:_–When lawns are infested the sod must be taken up, the grubs destroyed and new sward made. When the roots of single plants are attacked, dig out, destroy the grubs and, if the plant is not too much injured, reset.

The remedies given in the table above are prepared as follows:

MECHANICAL REMEDIES

1.–_Covered boxes:_–These are usually made of half-inch stuff, about eight inches high and covered with mosquito netting, wire or “protecting cloth”–the latter having the extra advantage of holding warmth over night.

2.–_Collars_ are made of old cans with the bottoms removed, cardboard or tarred paper, large enough to go over the plant and an inch or so into the ground.

3.–_Cards_ are cut and fitted close around the stem and for an inch or so upon the ground around it, to prevent maggots going down the stem to the root. Not much used.

DESTRUCTIVE REMEDIES

4.–_Hand-picking_ is usually very effective, and if performed as follows, not very disagreeable: Fasten a small tin can securely to a wooden handle and fill one-third full of water and kerosene; make a small wooden paddle, with one straight edge and a rather sharp point; by using this in the right hand and the pan in the left, the bugs may be quickly knocked off. Be sure to destroy all eggs when hand-picking is used.

5.–_Kerosene emulsion_ is used in varying strengths; for method of preparing, see Chapter XVII.

6 and 7.–For use of whale-oil soap and miscible oils, see Chapter XVII.

8.–_Tobacco dust:_–This article varies greatly. Most sorts are next to worthless, but a few of the brands especially prepared for this work (and sold usually at $3 per hundred pounds, which will last two ordinary home gardens a whole season) are very convenient to use, and effective. Apply with a duster, like that described in Implements.

9.–_Carbolic acid emulsion:_–1 pint crude acid, 1 lb. soap and 1 gal. water. Dissolve the soap in hot water, add balance of water and pump into an emulsion, as described for kerosene emulsion.

10.–_Corrosive sublimate_ is used to destroy scab on potatoes for seed by dissolving 1 oz. in 7 gals, of water. The same result is obtained by soaking for thirty minutes in a solution of commercial formalin, at the rate of 1 gill to 15 gals. of water.

11.–_Bordeaux mixture:_–See Chapter XVII.

POISONOUS REMEDIES

12.–_Paris green:_–This is the standard remedy for eating-bugs and worms. With a modern dusting machine it can be put on dry, early in the morning when the dew is still on. Sometimes it is mixed with plaster. For tender plants easily burned by the pure powder, and where dusting is not convenient, it is mixed with water at the rate of 1 lb. to 50 to 100 gals. and used as a spray. In mixing, make a paste of equal quantities of the powder and quicklime, and then mix thoroughly in the water. It must be kept stirred up when using.

13.–_Arsenate of lead:_–This has two advantages over Paris green: It will not burn the foliage and it will stay on several times as long. Use from 4 to 10 lbs. in 100 gals. of water; mix well and strain before putting in sprayer. See also Chapter XVII.

14.–_Hellebore:_–A dry, white powder, used in place of Nos. 12 or 13 on vegetables or fruit that is soon to be eaten. For dusting, use 1 lb. hellebore to 5 of plaster or flour. For watering or spraying, at rate of 1 lb. to 12 gals. of water.

PRECAUTIONS

So much for what we can do in actual hand-to-hand, or rather hand-to- mouth, conflict with the enemy. Very few remedies have ever proved entirely successful, especially on crops covering any considerable area. It will be far better, far easier and far more effective to use the following means of precaution against plant pest ravages: First, aim to have soil, food and plants that will produce a rapid, robust growth without check. Such plants are seldom attacked by any plant disease, and the foliage does not seem to be so tempting to eating- insects; besides which, of course, the plants are much better able to withstand their attack if they do come. Second, give clean, frequent culture and keep the soil busy. Do not have old weeds and refuse lying around for insects and eggs to be sheltered by. Burn all leaves, stems and other refuse from plants that have been diseased. Do not let the ground lie idle, but by continuous cropping keep the bugs, caterpillars and eggs constantly rooted out and exposed to their natural enemies. Third, practice crop rotation. This is of special importance where any root disease is developed. Fourth, watch closely and constantly for the first appearance of trouble. The old adages “eternal vigilance is the price of peace,” and “a stitch in time saves nine,” are nowhere more applicable than to this matter. And last, and of extreme importance, be prepared to act _at once_. Do not give the enemy an hour’s rest after his presence is discovered. In almost every case it is only by having time to multiply, that damage amounting to anything will be done.

If you will keep on hand, ready for instant use, a good hand-sprayer and a modern powder gun, a few covered boxes, tobacco dust, arsenate of lead and materials for kerosene emulsion and Bordeaux mixture, and are not afraid to resort to hand-picking when necessary, you will be able to cope with all the plant enemies you are likely to encounter. The slight expense necessary–considering that the two implements mentioned will last for years with a little care–will pay as handsome a dividend as any garden investment you can make.

CHAPTER XIV

HARVESTING AND STORING

It is a very common thing to allow the garden vegetables not used to rot on the ground, or in it. There is a great deal of unnecessary waste in this respect, for a great many of the things so neglected may just as well be carried into winter, and will pay a very handsome dividend for the slight trouble of gathering and storing them.

A good frost-proof, cool cellar is the best and most convenient place in which to store the surplus product of the home garden. But, lacking this, a room partitioned off in the furnace cellar and well ventilated, or a small empty room, preferably on the north side of the house, that can be kept below forty degrees most of the time, will serve excellently. Or, some of the most bulky vegetables, such as cabbage and the root crops, may be stored in a prepared pit made in the garden itself.

As it is essential that such a pit be properly constructed, I shall describe one with sufficient detail to enable the home gardener readily to construct it. Select a spot where water will not stand. Put the vegetables in a triangular-shaped pile, the base three or four feet wide, and as long as required. Separate the different vegetables in this pile by stakes about two feet higher than the top of the pile, and label them. Then cover with a layer of clean straw or bog hay, and over this four inches of soil, dug up three feet back from the edges of the pile. This work must be done late in the fall, as nearly as one can judge just before lasting freezing begins, and preferably on a cold morning when the ground is just beginning to freeze; the object being to freeze the partly earth covering at once, so that it will not be washed or blown off. The vegetables must be perfectly dry when stored; dig them a week or so previous and keep them in an airy shed. As soon as this first layer of earth is partly frozen, but before it freezes through, put on another thick layer of straw or hay and cover with twelve inches of earth, keeping the pile as steep as possible; a slightly clayey soil, that may be beaten down firmly into shape with a spade, being best. The pile should be made where it will be sheltered from the sun as much as possible, such as on the north side of a building. The disadvantage of the plan is, of course, that the vegetables cannot be got at until the pile is opened up, in early spring, or late if desired. Its two advantages are that the vegetables stored will be kept in better condition than in any cellar, and that cellar or house
room will be saved.

For storing small quantities of the roots, such as carrots or beets, they are usually packed in boxes or barrels and covered in with clean sand. Where an upstairs room has to be used, swamp or sphagnum moss may replace the sand. It makes an ideal packing medium, as it is much lighter and cleaner than the sand. In many localities it may be had for the gathering; in others one may get it from a florist.

In storing vegetables of any kind, and by whatever method, see to it that:

(1) They are always clean, dry and sound. The smallest spot or bruise is a danger center, which may spread destruction to the lot.

(2) That the temperature, whatever required–in most cases 33-38 degrees being best–is kept as even as possible.

(3) That the storage place is kept clean, dry (by ventilation when needed) and sweet (by use of whitewash and lime).

(4) That no rats or other rodents are playing havoc with your treasures while you never suspect it.

So many of the vegetables can be kept, for either part or all of the winter, that I shall take them up in order, with brief directions. Many, such as green beans, rhubarb, tomatoes, etc., which cannot be kept in the ordinary ways, may be easily and cheaply canned, and where one has a good cellar, it will certainly pay to get a canning outfit and make use of this method.

_Beans:_–Almost all the string and snap beans, when dried in the pods, are excellent for cooking. And any pods which have not been gathered in the green state should be picked, _as soon as dry_ (as wet weather is likely to mould or sprout them), and stored in a dry place, or spread on a bench in the sun. They will keep, either shelled or in the dry pods, for winter.

_Beets:_–In October, before the first hard frosts, take up and store in a cool cellar, in clean, perfectly dry sand, or in pits outside (see Cabbage); do not cut off the long tap roots, nor the tops close enough to cause any “bleeding.”

_Brussels sprouts:_–These are improved by freezing, and may be used from the open garden until December. If wanted later, store them with cabbage, or hang up the stalks in bunches in a cold cellar.

_Cabbage:_–If only a few heads are to be stored, a cool cellar will do. Even if where they will be slightly frozen, they will not be injured, so long as they do not freeze and thaw repeatedly. They should not be taken in until there is danger of severe freezing, as they will keep better, and a little frost improves the flavor. For storing small quantities outdoors, dig a trench, a foot or so deep, in a well drained spot, wide enough to admit two heads side by side. Pull up the cabbages, without removing either stems or outer leaves, and store side by side, head down, in the bottom of the trench. Now cover over lightly with straw, meadow hay, or any refuse which will keep the dirt from freezing to the cabbages, and then cover over the whole with earth, to the depth of several inches, but allowing the top of the roots to remain exposed, which will facilitate digging them up as required. Do not bury the cabbage until as late as possible before severe freezing, as a spell of warm weather would rot it.

_Carrots:_–Treat in the same way as beets. They will not be hurt by a slight freezing of the tops, before being dug, but care must be taken not to let the roots become touched by frost.

_Celery:_–That which is to be used early is blanched outside, by banking, as described in Chapter XI, and as celery will stand a little freezing, will be used directly from the garden. For the portion to be kept over winter, provide boxes about a foot wide, and nearly as deep as the celery is high. Cover the bottoms of these boxes with two or three inches of sand, and wet thoroughly. Upon this stand the celery upright, and packed close together. In taking up the celery for storing in this way, the roots and whatever earth adheres to them are kept on, not cut, as it is bought in the stores. The boxes are then stored in a cellar, or other dark, dry, cold place where the temperature will not go more than five degrees below freezing. The celery will be ready for use after Christmas. If a long succession is wanted, store from the open two or three different times, say at the end of October, first part of November and the latter part of November.

_Cucumbers, Melons, Egg-plant:_–While there is no way of storing these for any great length of time without recourse to artificial cold, they may be had for some time by storing just before the first frosts in a cool, dark cellar, care being taken in handling the fruits to give them no bruises.

_Onions:_–If the onions got a good early start in the spring, the tops will begin to die down by the middle of August. As soon as the tops have turned yellow and withered they should be pulled, on the first clear dry day, and laid in windrows (three or four rows in one), but not heaped up. They should be turned over frequently, by hand or with a wooden rake, and removed to a shed or barn floor as soon as dry, where the tops can be cut off. Keep them spread out as much as possible, and give them open ventilation until danger of frost. Then store in a dry place and keep as cool as possible without freezing. A few barrels, with holes knocked in the sides, will do well for a small quantity.

_Parsley:_–Take up a few plants and keep in a flower-pot or small box, in the kitchen window.

_Parsnips:_–These will stay in the ground without injury all winter, but part of the crop may be taken up late in the fall and stored with beets, carrots and turnips, to use while the ground is frozen.

_Potatoes:_–When the vines have died down and the skin of the new potatoes has become somewhat hardened, they can be dug and stored in a cool, dry cellar at once. Be sure to give plenty of ventilation until danger of frost. Keep from the light, as this has the effect of making the potatoes bitter. If there is any sign of rot among the tubers, do not dig them up until it has stopped.

_Squash and Pumpkins:_–The proper conditions for storing for winter will be indicated by the drying and shrinking of the stem. _Cut_ them from the vines, being careful never to break off the stem, turn over, rub off the dirt and leave the under side exposed to a few days’ sunlight. Then carry in a spring wagon, or spring wheelbarrow, covered with old bags or hay to keep from any bruises. Store in the dryest part of the cellar, and if possible where the temperature will not go below forty degrees. Leave them on the vines in the field as late as possible, while escaping frosts.

_Tomatoes:_–Just before the first frosts are likely to begin, pick all of the best of the unripened fruits. Place part of these on clean straw in a coldframe, giving protection, where they will gradually ripen up. Place others, that are fully developed but not ripe, in straw in the cellar. In this way fresh tomatoes may frequently be had as late as Christmas.

_Turnip:_–These roots, if desired, can be stored as are beets or carrots.

It is hard to retain our interest in a thing when most of its usefulness has gone by. It is for that reason, I suppose, that one sees so many forsaken and weed-grown gardens every autumn, where in the spring everything was neat and clean. But there are two very excellent reasons why the vegetable garden should not be so abandoned–to say nothing of appearances! The first is that many vegetables continue to grow until the heavy frosts come; and the second, that the careless gardener who thus forsakes his post is sowing no end of trouble for himself for the coming year. For weeds left to themselves, even late in the fall, grow in the cool moist weather with astonishing rapidity, and, almost before one realizes it, transform the well kept garden into a ragged wilderness, where the intruders have taken such a strong foothold that they cannot be pulled up without tearing everything else with them. So we let them go–and, left to themselves, they accomplish their purpose in life, and leave upon the ground an evenly distributed supply of plump ripe seeds, which next spring will cause the perennial exclamation, “Mercy, John, where did all these weeds come from?” And John replies, “I don’t know; we kept the garden clean last summer. I think there must be weed seeds in the fertilizer.”

Do not let up on your fight with weeds, for every good vegetable that is left over can be put to some use. Here and there in the garden will be a strip that has gone by, and as it is now too late to plant, we just let it go. Yet now is the time we should be preparing all such spots for withstanding next summer’s drouth! You may remember how strongly was emphasized the necessity for having abundant humus (decayed vegetable matter) in the soil–how it acts like a sponge to retain moisture and keep things growing through the long, dry spells which we seem to be sure of getting every summer. So take thought for next year. Buy a bushel of rye, and as fast as a spot in your garden can be cleaned up, harrow, dig or rake it over, and sow the rye on broadcast. Just enough loose surface dirt to cover it and let it sprout, is all it asks. If the weather is dry, and you can get a small roller, roll it in to ensure better germination. It will come up quickly; it will keep out the weeds which otherwise would be taking possession of the ground; it will grow until the ground is frozen solid and begin again with the first warm spring day; it will keep your garden from washing out in heavy rains, and capture and save from being washed away and wasted a good deal of left-over plant food; it will serve as just so much real manure for your garden; it will improve the mechanical condition of the soil, and it will add the important element of humus to it.

In addition to these things, you will have an attractive and luxuriant garden spot, instead of an unsightly bare one. And in clearing off these patches for rye, beware of waste. If you have hens, or by chance a pig, they will relish old heads of lettuce, old pea-vines, still green after the last picking, and the stumps and outer leaves of cabbage. Even if you have not this means of utilizing your garden’s by- products, do not let them go to waste. Put everything into a square pile–old sods, weeds, vegetable tops, refuse, dirt, leaves, lawn sweepings–anything that will rot. Tread this pile down thoroughly; give it a soaking once in a while if within reach of the hose, and two or three turnings with a fork. Next spring when you are looking for every available pound of manure with which to enrich your garden, this compost heap will stand you in good stead.

Burn _now_ your old pea-brush, tomato poles and everything that is not worth keeping over for next year. Do not leave these things lying around to harbor and protect eggs and insects and weed seeds. If any bean-poles, stakes, trellises or supports seem in good enough condition to serve another year, put them under cover now; and see that all your tools are picked up and put in one place, where you can find them and overhaul them next February. As soon as your surplus pole beans have dried in their pods, take up poles and all and store in a dry place. The beans may be taken off later at your leisure.

Be careful to cut down and burn (or put in the compost heap) all weeds around your fences, and the edges of your garden, _before_ they ripen seed.

If the suggestions given are followed, the vegetable garden may be stretched far into the winter. But do not rest at that. Begin to plan _now_ for your next year’s garden. Put a pile of dirt where it will not be frozen, or dried out, when you want to use it next February for your early seeds. If you have no hotbed, fix the frames and get the sashes for one now, so it will be ready to hand when the ground is frozen solid and covered with snow next spring. If you have made garden mistakes this year, be planning now to rectify them next–without progress there is no fun in the game. Let next spring find you with your plans all made, your materials all on hand and a fixed resolution to have the best garden you have ever had.

Part Three–Fruits and Berries

CHAPTER XV.

THE VARIETIES OF POME AND STONE FRUITS

Many a home gardener who has succeeded well with vegetables is, for some reason or other, still fearsome about trying his hand at growing his own fruit.

This is all a mistake; the initial expense is very slight (fruit trees will cost but twenty-five to forty cents each, and the berry bushes only about four cents each), and the same amount of care that is demanded by vegetables, if given to fruit, will produce apples, peaches, pears and berries far superior to any that can be bought, especially in flavor.

I know a doctor in New York, a specialist, who has attained prominence in his profession, and who makes a large income; he tells me that there is nothing in the city that hurts him so much as to have to pay out a nickel whenever he wants an apple. His boyhood home was on a Pennsylvania farm, where apples were as free as water, and he cannot get over the idea of their being one of Nature’s gracious gifts, any more than he can overcome his hankering for that crisp, juicy, uncloying flavor of a good apple, which is not quite equaled by the taste of any other fruit.

And yet it is not the saving in expense, although that is considerable, that makes the strongest argument for growing one’s own fruit. There are three other reasons, each of more importance. First is quality. The commercial grower cannot afford to grow the very finest fruit. Many of the best varieties are not large enough yielders to be available for his use, and he cannot, on a large scale, so prune and care for his trees that the individual fruits receive the greatest possible amount of sunshine and thinning out–the personal care that is required for the very best quality. Second, there is the beauty and the value that well kept fruit trees add to a place, no matter how small it is. An apple tree in full bloom is one of the most beautiful pictures that Nature ever paints; and if, through any train of circumstances, it ever becomes advisable to sell or rent the home, its desirability is greatly enhanced by the few trees necessary to furnish the loveliness of showering blossoms in spring, welcome shade in summer and an abundance of delicious fruits through autumn and winter. Then there is the fun of doing it–of planting and caring for a few young trees, which will reward your labors, in a cumulative way, for many years to come.

But enough of reasons. If the call of the soil is in your veins, if your fingers (and your brain) in the springtime itch to have a part in earth’s ever-wonderful renascence, if your lips part at the thought of the white, firm, toothsome flesh of a ripened-on-the-tree red apple– then you must have a home orchard without delay.

And it is not a difficult task. Apples, pears and the stone fruits, fortunately, are not very particular about their soils. They take kindly to anything between a sandy soil so loose as to be almost shifting, and heavy clay. Even these soils can be made available, but of course not without more work. And you need little room to grow all the fruit your family can possibly eat.

Time was, when to speak of an apple tree brought to mind one of those old, moss-barked giants that served as a carriage shed and a summer dining-room, decorated with scythes and rope swings, requiring the services of a forty-foot ladder and a long-handled picker to gather the fruit. That day is gone. In its stead have come the low-headed standard and the dwarf forms. The new types came as new institutions usually do, under protest. The wise said they would never be practical–the trees would not get large enough and teams could not be driven under them. But the facts remained that the low trees are more easily and thoroughly cared for; that they do not take up so much room; that they are less exposed to high winds, and such fruit as does fall is not injured; that the low limbs shelter the roots and conserve moisture; and, above all, that picking can be accomplished much more easily and with less injury to fine, well ripened fruit. The low-headed tree has come to stay.

If your space will allow, the low-headed standards will give you better satisfaction than the dwarfs. They are longer-lived, they are healthier, and they do not require nearly so much intensive culture. On the other hand, the dwarfs may be used where there is little or no room for the standards. If there is no other space available, they may be put in the vegetable or flower garden, and incidentally they are then sure of receiving some of that special care which they need in the way of fertilization and cultivation.

As I have said, any average soil will grow good fruit. A gravelly loam, with a gravel subsoil, is the ideal. Do not think from this, however, that all you have to do is buy a few trees from a nursery agent, stick them in the ground and from your negligence reap the rewards that follow only intelligent industry. The soil is but the raw material which work and care alone can transform, through the medium of the growing tree, into the desired result of a cellar well stored each autumn with fruit.

Fruit trees have one big advantage over vegetables–the ground can be prepared for them while they are growing. If the soil will grow a crop of clover it is already in good shape to furnish the trees with food at once. If not, manure or fertilizers may be applied, and clover or other green crops turned under during the first two or three years of the trees’ growth, as will be described later.

The first thing to consider, when you have decided to plant, is the location you will give your trees. Plan to have pears, plums, cherries and peaches, as well as apples. For any of these the soil, of whatever nature, must be well drained. If not naturally, then tile or other artificial drainage must be provided. For only a few trees it would probably answer the purpose to dig out large holes and fill in a foot or eighteen inches at the bottom with small stone, covered with gravel or screened coal-cinders. My own land has a gravelly subsoil and I have not had to drain. Then with the apples, and especially with the peaches, a too-sheltered slope to the south is likely to start the flower buds prematurely in spring, only to result in total crop loss from late frosts. The diagram on the next page suggests an arrangement which may be adapted to individual needs. One may see from it that the apples are placed to the north, where they will to some extent shelter the rest of the grounds; the peaches where they will not be coddled; the pears, which may be had upon quince stock, where they will not shade the vegetable garden; the cherries, which are the most ornamental, where they may lend a decorative effect.

And now, having decided that we can–and will–grow good fruit, and having in mind suggestions that will enable us to go out to-morrow morning and, with an armful of stakes, mark out the locations, the next consideration should be the all-important question of what varieties are most successfully grown on the small place.

[Illustration: A suggested arrangement of fruit trees on the small place.] [ED. Unable to recreate in text format.]

The following selections are made with the home fruit garden, not the commercial orchard, in mind. While they are all “tried and true” sorts, succeeding generally in the northeast, New England and western fruit sections, remember that fruits, as a rule, though not so particular as vegetables about soil, seem much more so about locality. I would suggest, therefore, submitting your list, before buying, to your State Experiment Station. You are taxed for its support; get some direct result from it. There they will be glad to advise you, and are in the best position to help you get started properly. Above all, do not buy from the traveling nursery agent, with his grip full of wonderful lithographs of new and unheard-of novelties. Get the catalogue of several reliable nurseries, take standard varieties about which you know, and buy direct. Several years ago I had the opportunity to go carefully over one of the largest fruit nurseries in the country. Every care and precaution was taken to grow fine, healthy, young trees. The president told me that they sold thousands every year to smaller concerns, to be resold again through field and local agents. Yet they do an enormous retail business themselves, and of course their own customers get the best trees.

The following are listed, as nearly as I can judge, in the order of their popularity, but as many of the best are not valuable commercially, they are little known. Whenever you find a particularly good apple or pear, try to trace it, and add it to your list.

APPLES

Without any question, the apple is far and away the most valuable fruit, both because of its greater scope of usefulness and its longer season–the last of the winter’s Russets are still juicy and firm when the first Early Harvests and Red Astrachans are tempting the “young idea” to experiment with colic. Plant but a small proportion of early varieties, for the late ones are better. Out of a dozen trees, I would put in one early, three fall, and the rest winter sorts.

Among the summer apples are several deserving special mention: Yellow Transparent is the earliest. It is an old favorite and one of the most easily grown of all apples. Its color is indicated by the name, and it is a fair eating-apple and a very good cooker. Red Astrachan, another first early, is not quite so good for cooking, but is a delicious eating-apple of good size. An apple of more recent introduction and extremely hardy (hailing first from Russia), and already replacing the above sorts, is Livland (Livland Raspberry). The tree is of good form, very vigorous and healthy. The fruit is ready almost as soon as Yellow Transparent, and is of much better quality for eating. In appearance it is exceptionally handsome, being of good size, regular form and having those beautiful red shades found almost exclusively in the later apples. The flesh is quality is fully up to its appearance. The white, crisp-breaking flesh, most aromatic, deliciously sub-acid, makes it ideal for eating. A neighbor of mine sold $406 worth of fruit from twenty trees to one dealer. For such a splendid apple McIntosh is remarkably hardy and vigorous, succeeding over a very wide territory, and climate severe enough to kill many of the other newer varieties. The Fameuse (widely known as the Snow) is an excellent variety for northern sections. It resembles the McIntosh, which some claim to be derived from it. Fall Pippin, Pound Sweet and Twenty Ounce, are other popular late autumns.

In the winter section, Baldwin, which is too well known to need describing, is the leading commercial variety in many apple districts, and it is a good variety for home growing on account of its hardiness and good cooking and keeping qualities; but for the home orchard, it is far surpassed in quality by several others. In northern sections, down to the corn line, Northern Spy is a great favorite. It is a large, roundish apple, with thin, tender, glossy skin, light to deep carmine over light yellow, and an excellent keeper. In sections to which it is adapted it is a particularly vigorous, compact, upright grower. Jonathan is another splendid sort, with a wider range of conditions favorable for growth. It is, however, not a strong-growing tree and is somewhat uncertain in maturing its fruit, which is a bright, clear red of distinctive flavor. It likes a soil with more clay than do most apples. In the Middle West and Middle South, Grimes (Golden) has made a great local reputation in many sections, although in others it has not done well at all.

The Spitzenberg (Esopus) is very near the top of the list of all late eating-apples, being at its prime about December. It is another handsome yellow-covered red apple, with flesh slightly yellowish, but very good to the taste. The tree, unfortunately, is not a robust grower, being especially weak in its earlier stages, but with good cultivation it will not fail to reward the grower for any extra care it may have required.

These, and the other notable varieties, which there is not room here to describe, make up the following list, from which the planter should select according to locality:

_Earliest or Summer:_–Early Harvest, Yellow Transparent, Red Astrachan, Benoni (new), Chenango, Sweet Bough, Williams’ Favorite, Early Strawberry, Livland Raspberry.

_Early Autumn:_–Alexander, Duchess, Porter, Gravenstein, McIntosh Red.

_Late Autumn:_–Jefferies, Fameuse (Snow), Maiden’s Blush, Wealthy, Fall Pippin, Pound Sweet, Twenty Ounce, Cox Orange, Hubbardston.

_Winter:_–Baldwin, Rhode Island Greening, Northwestern Greening, Jonathan, Northern Spy, Yellow, Swaar, Delicious, Wagener, King, Esopus, Spitzenberg, Yellow Bellflower, Winter Banana, Seek-no-further, Talman Sweet, Roxbury Russett, King David, Stayman’s Winesap, Wolf River.

PEARS

Pears are more particular than apples in the matter of being adapted to sections and soils. Submit your list to your State Experiment Station before ordering trees. Many of the standard sorts may be had where a low-growing, spreading tree is desired (for instance, quince-stock pears might be used to change places with the plums). Varieties suitable for this method are listed below. They are given approximately in the order of the ripening:

Wilder: Early August, medium in size, light yellow, excellent quality. Does not rot at the core, as so many early pears are liable to do.

Margaret: Oblong, greenish, yellow to dull red.

Clapp Favorite: Very large, yellow pear. A great bearer and good keeper–where the children cannot get at it.

Howell: A little later than the foregoing; large, bright yellow, strong-growing tree and big bearer.

Duchesse d’Angouleme: Large greenish yellow, sometimes reaching huge size; will average better than three-quarters of a pound. The quality, despite its size, is splendid.

Seckel: Small in size, but renowned for exquisite flavor–being probably the most universally admired of all.

Beurre Superfine: October, medium size, excellent quality.

Bartlett: The best known of all pears, and a universal favorite. Succeeds in nearly all sections.

Anjou: One of the best keepers, and very productive. One of the best in flavor, rich and vinous.

For trees of the standard type the following are worthy of note:

Congress (Souvenir du C.): A very large summer sort. Handsome.

Belle Lucrative: September to October.

Winter Nelis: Medium size, but of excellent quality and the longest keeper.

Kieffer: Very popular for its productiveness, strength of growth and exceptional quality of fruit for canning and preserving. Large fruit, if kept thinned. Should have a place in every home garden.

Josephine de Malines: Not a great yielder but of the very highest quality, being of the finest texture and tempting aroma.

PEACHES

Success with peaches also will depend largely upon getting varieties adapted to climate. The white-fleshed type is the hardiest and best for eating; and the free-stones are for most purposes, especially in the home garden, more desirable than the “clings.”

Greensboro is the best early variety. Crawford is a universal favorite and goes well over a wide range of soil and climate. Champion is one of the best quality peaches and exceptionally hardy. Elberta, Ray, and Hague are other excellent sorts. Mayflower is the earliest sort yet introduced.

PLUMS

The available plums are of three classes–the natives, Europeans and Japans; the natives are the longest-lived, hardier in tree and blossom, and heavier bearers.

The best early is Milton; brilliant red, yellow and juicy flesh. Wildgoose and Whitaker are good seconds. Mrs. Cleveland is a later and larger sort, of finer quality. Three late-ripening plums of the finest quality, but not such prolific yielders, are Wayland, Benson and Reed, and where there is room for only a few trees, these will be best. They will need one tree of Newman or Prairie Flower with them to assure setting of the fruit. Of the Europeans, use Reine Claude (the best), Bradshaw or Shropshire. Damson is also good. The Japanese varieties should go on high ground and be thinned, especially during their first years. My first experience with Japanese plums convinced me that I had solved the plum problem; they bore loads of fruit, and were free from disease. That was five years ago. Last spring the last one was cut and burned. Had they been planted at the top of a small hill, instead of at the bottom, as they were, and restricted in their bearing, I know from later experience that they would still be producing fruit. The most satisfactory varieties of the Japanese type are Abundance and Red June. Burbank is also highly recommended,

CHERRIES

Cherries have one advantage over the other fruits–they give quicker returns. But, as far as my experience goes, they are not as long-lived. The sour type is hardier, at least north of New Jersey, than the sweet. It will probably pay to try a few of the new and highly recommended varieties. Of the established sorts Early Richmond is a good early, to be followed by Montmorency and English Morello. Windsor is a good sweet cherry, as are also Black Tartarian, Sox, Wood and Yellow Spanish.

All the varieties mentioned above are proved sorts. But the lists are being added to constantly, and where there is a novelty strongly recommended by a reliable nurseryman it will often pay to try it out–on a very small scale at first.

CHAPTER XVI

PLANTING: CULTIVATION: FILLER CROPS

As the pedigree and the quality of the stock you plant will have a great deal to do with the success or failure of your adventure in orcharding, even on a very small scale, it is important to get the best trees you can, anywhere, at any price. But do not jump to the conclusion that the most costly trees will be the best. From reliable nurserymen, selling direct by mail, you can get good trees at very reasonable prices.

As a general thing you will succeed best if you have nothing to do with the perennial “tree agent.” He may represent a good firm; you may get your trees on time; he may have a novelty as good as the standard sorts; but you are taking three very great chances in assuming so. But, leaving these questions aside, there is no particular reason why you should help pay his traveling expenses and the printing bills for his lithographs (“made from actual photographs” or “painted from nature,” of course!) when you can get the best trees to be had, direct from the soil in which they are grown, at the lowest prices, by ordering through the mail. Or, better still, if the nursery is not too far away, take half a day off and select them in person. If you want to help the agent along present him with the amount of his commission, but get your trees direct from some large reliable nursery.

Well grown nursery stock will stand much abuse, but it will not be at all improved by it. Do not let yours stand around in the sun and wind, waiting until you get a chance to set it out. As soon as you get it home from the express office, unpack it and “heel it in,” in moist, but not wet, ground; if under a shed, so much the better. Dig out a narrow trench and pack it in as thick as it will go, at an angle of forty-five degrees to the natural position when growing. So stored, it will keep a long time in cold weather, only be careful that no rats, mice, or rabbits reach it.

Do not, however, depend upon this knowledge to the extent of letting all your preparations for planting go until your stock is on hand. Be ready to set it the day it arrives, if possible.

PLANTING

Planting can be done in either spring or fall. As a general rule, north of Philadelphia and St. Louis, spring planting will be best; south of that, fall planting. Where there is apt to be severe freezing, “heaving,” caused by the alternate freezing and thawing; injury to the newly set roots from too severe cold; and, in some western sections, “sun-scald” of the bark, are three injuries which may result. If trees are planted in the fall in cold sections, a low mound of earth, six to twelve inches high, should be left during the winter about each, and leveled down in the spring. If set in the spring, where hot, dry weather is apt to follow, they should be thoroughly mulched with litter, straw or coarse manure, to preserve moisture–care being taken, however, against field mice and other rodents.

The trees may either be set in their permanent positions as soon as bought, or grown in “nursery rows” by the purchaser for one or two years after being purchased. In the former case, it will be the best policy to get the strongest, straightest two-year stock you can find, even if they cost ten or fifteen cents apiece more than the “mediums.” The former method is the usual one, but the latter has so many advantages that I give it the emphasis of a separate paragraph, and urge every prospective planter to consider it carefully.

In the first place, then, you get your trees a little cheaper. If you purchase for nursery row planting, six-foot to seven-foot two-year-old apple trees, of the standard sorts, should cost you about thirty cents each; one-year “buds,” six feet and branched, five to ten cents less. This gain, however, is not an important one–there are four others, each of which makes it worth while to give the method a trial. First, the trees being all together, and in a convenient place, the chances are a hundred to one that you will give them better attention in the way of spraying, pruning and cultivating–all extremely important in the first year’s growth. Second, with the year gained for extra preparation of the soil where they are to be placed permanently, you can make conditions just right for them to take hold at once and thrive as they could not do otherwise. Third, the shock of transplanting will be much less than when they are shipped from a distance–they will have made an additional growth of dense, short roots and they will have become acclimated. Fourth, you will not have wasted space and time with any backward black sheep among the lot, as these should be discarded at the second planting. And then there is one further reason, psychological perhaps, but none the less important; you will watch these little trees, which are largely the result of your own labor and care, when set in their permanent positions, much more carefully than you would those direct from the nursery. I know, both from experience and observation, how many thrifty young trees in the home orchard are done to an untimely death by children, careless workmen, and other animals.

So if you can put a twelve-month curb on your impatience, get one-year trees and set them out in a straight row right in your vegetable garden where they will take up very little room. Keep them cultivated just as thoroughly as the rest of your growing things. Melons, or beans, or almost any low-growing vegetable can be grown close beside them.

If you want your garden to pay for your whole lot of fruit trees this season dig up a hole about three feet in diameter wherever a tree is to “go permanently.” Cut the sod up fine and work in four or five good forkfuls of well rotted manure, and on these places, when it is warm enough, plant a hill of lima pole-beans-the new sort named Giant-podded Pole Lima is the best I have yet seen. Place a stout pole, eight to ten feet high, firmly in each hole. Good lima beans are always in demand, and bring high prices.

Let us suppose that your trees are at hand, either direct from the nursery or growing in the garden. You have selected, if possible, a moist, gravelly loam on a slope or slight elevation, where it is naturally and perfectly drained. Good soil drainage is imperative. Coarse gravel in the bottom of the planting hole will help out temporarily. If the land is in clover sod, it will have the ideal preparation, especially if you can grow a patch of potatoes or corn on it one year, while your trees are getting further growth. In such land the holes will not have to be prepared. If, however, you are not fortunate enough to be able to devote such a space to fruit trees, and in order to have them at all must place them along your wall or scattered through the grounds, you can still give them an excellent start by enriching the soil in spots beforehand, as suggested above in growing lima beans. In the event of finding even this last way inapplicable to your land, the following method will make success certain: Dig out holes three to six feet in diameter (if the soil is very hard, the larger dimension), and twelve to eighteen inches deep. Mix thoroughly with the excavated soil a good barrowful of the oldest, finest manure you can get, combined with about one-fourth or one-fifth its weight of South Carolina rock (or acid phosphate, if you cannot get the rock). It is a good plan to compost the manure and rock in advance, or use the rock as an absorbent in the stable. Fill in the hole again, leaving room in the center to set the tree without bending or cramping any roots. Where any of these are injured or bruised, cut them off clean at the injured spot with a sharp knife. Shorten any that are long and straggling about one-third to one-half their length. Properly grown stock should not be in any such condition.

Remember that a well planted tree will give more fruit in the first ten years than three trees carelessly put in. Get the tree so that it will be one to three inches deeper in the soil than when growing in the nursery. Work the soil in firmly about the roots with the fingers or a blunt wooden “tamper”; do not be afraid to use your feet. When the roots are well covered, firm the tree in by putting all your weight upon the soil around it. See that it is planted straight, and if the “whip,” or small trunk, is not straight stake it, and tie it with rye straw, raffia or strips of old cloth-never string or wire. If the soil is very dry, water the root copiously while planting until the soil is about half filled in, never on the surface, as that is likely to cause a crust to form and keep out the air so necessary to healthy growth.

Prune back the “leader” of the tree-the top above the first lateral branches, about one-half. Peach trees should be cut back more severely. Further information in regard to pruning, and the different needs of the various fruits in regard to this important matter, will be given in the next chapter.

SETTING

Standard apple trees, fully grown, will require thirty to forty-five feet of space between them each way. It takes, however, ten or twelve years after the trees are set before all of this space is needed. A system of “fillers,” or inter-planting, has come into use as a result of this, which will give at least one hundred per cent, more fruit for the first ten years. Small-growing standards, standard varieties on dwarf stock, and also peaches, are used for this purpose in commercial orchards. But the principle may be applied with equally good results to the home orchard, or even to the planting of a few scattered trees. The standard dwarfs give good satisfaction as permanent fillers. Where space is very limited, or the fruit must go into the garden, they may be used in place of the standard sorts altogether. The dwarf trees are, as a rule, not so long-lived as the standards, and to do their best, need more care in fertilizing and manuring; but the fruit is just as good; just as much, or more, can be grown on the same area; and the trees come into bearing two to three years sooner. They cost less to begin with and are also easier to care for, in spraying and pruning and in picking the fruit.

CULTIVATION

The home orchard, to give the very finest quality of fruit, must be given careful and thorough cultivation. In the case of scattered trees, where it is not practicable to use a horse, this can be given by working a space four to six feet wide about each tree. Every spring the soil should be loosened up, with the cultivator or fork, as the case may be, and kept stirred during the early part of the summer. Unless the soil is rich, a fertilizer, high in potash and not too high in nitrogen, should be given in the spring. Manure and phosphate rock, as suggested above, is as good as any. In case the foliage is not a deep healthy green, apply a few handfuls of nitrate of soda, working it into the soil just before a rain, around each tree.

About August 1st the cultivation should be discontinued, and some “cover crop” sown. Buckwheat and crimson clover is a good combination; as the former makes a rapid growth it will form, if rolled down just as the apples are ripening, a soft cushion upon which the windfalls may drop without injury, and will furnish enough protection to the crimson clover to carry it through most winters, even in cold climates.

In addition to the filler crops, where the ground is to be cultivated by horse, potatoes may be grown between the rows of trees; or fine hills of melons or squash may be grown around scattered trees, thus, incidentally, saving a great deal of space in the vegetable garden. Or why not grow a few extra fancy strawberries in the well cultivated spots about these trees? Neither they nor the trees want the ground too rich, especially in nitrogen, and conditions suiting the one would be just right for the others.

It may seem to the beginner that fruit-growing, with all these things to keep in mind, is a difficult task. But it is not. I think I am perfectly safe in saying that the rewards from nothing else he can plant and care for are as certain, and surely none are more satisfactory. If you cannot persuade yourself to try fruit on any larger plan, at least order half a dozen dwarf trees (they will cost about twenty cents apiece, and can be had by mail). They will prove about the best paying investment you ever made.

CHAPTER XVII

PRUNING, SPRAYING, HARVESTING

The day has gone, probably forever, when setting out fruit trees and giving them occasional cultivation, “plowing up the orchard” once in several years, would produce fruit. Apples and pears and peaches have occupied no preferred position against the general invasion of the realm of horticulture by insect and fungous enemies. The fruits have, indeed, suffered more than most plants. Nevertheless there is this encouraging fact: that, though the fruits may have been severely attacked, the means we now have of fighting fruit-tree enemies, if thoroughly used, as a rule are more certain of accomplishing their purpose, and keeping the enemies completely at bay, than are similar weapons in any other line of horticultural work.

With fruit trees, as with vegetables and flowers, the most important precaution to be taken against insects and disease is to _have them in a healthy, thriving, growing condition_. It is a part of Nature’s law of the survival of the fittest that any backward or weakling plant or tree seems to fall first prey to the ravages of destructive forces.

For these reasons the double necessity of maintaining at all times good fertilization and thorough cultivation will be seen. In addition to these two factors, careful attention in the matter of pruning is essential in keeping the trees in a healthy, robust condition. As explained in a previous chapter, the trees should be started right by pruning the first season to the open-head or vase shape, which furnishes the maximum of light and air to all parts of the tree. Three or four main branches should form the basis of the head, care being taken not to have them start from directly opposite points on the trunk, thus forming a crotch and leaving the tree liable to splitting from winds or excessive crops. If the tree is once started right, further pruning will give little trouble. Cut out limbs which cross, or are likely to rub against each other, or that are too close together; and also any that are broken, decayed, or injured in any way. For trees thus given proper attention from the start, a short jackknife will be the only pruning instrument required.

The case of the old orchard is more difficult. Cutting out too many of the old, large limbs at one time is sure to give a severe shock to the vitality of the tree. A better plan is, first, to cut off _close_ all suckers and all small new-growth limbs, except a few of the most promising, which may be left to be developed into large limbs; and then as these new limbs grow on, gradually to cut out, using a fine-tooth saw and painting the exposed surfaces, the surplus old wood. Apples will need more pruning than the other fruits. Pears and cherries need the least; cutting back the ends of limbs enough to keep the trees in good form, with the removal of an occasional branch for the purpose of letting in light and air, is all the pruning they will require. Of course trees growing on rich ground, and well cultivated, will require more cutting back than those growing under poorer conditions. A further purpose of pruning is to effect indirectly a thinning of the fruit, so that what is grown will be larger and more valuable, and also that the trees may not become exhausted by a few exceptionally heavy crops. On trees that have been neglected and growing slowly the bark sometimes becomes hard and set. In such cases it will prove beneficial to scrape the bark and give a wash applied with an old broom. Whitewash is good for this purpose, but soda or lye answers the same purpose and is less disagreeably conspicuous. Slitting the bark of trunks and the largest limbs is sometimes resorted to, care being taken to cut through the bark only; but such practice is objectionable because it leaves ready access to some forms of fungous disease and to borers.

Where extra fine specimens of fruit are desired, thinning is practiced. It helps also to prevent the tree from being overtaxed by excessive crops. But where pruning is thoroughly done this trouble is usually avoided. Peaches and Japan plums are especially benefited by thinning, as they have a great tendency to overbear. The spread of fruit diseases, especially rot in the fruit itself, is also to some extent checked.

Of fruit-tree enemies there are some large sorts which may do great damage in short order–rabbits and field mice. They may be kept away by mechanical protection, such as wire, or by heaping the earth up to a height of twelve inches about the tree trunk. Or they may be caught with poisoned baits, such as boiled grain in which a little Rough on Rats or similar poison has been mixed. The former method for the small home garden is little trouble, safer to Fido and Tabby, and the most reliable in effect.

Insects and scale diseases are not so easily managed; and that brings us to the question of spraying and of sprays.

For large orchards the spray must, of course, be applied with powerful and expensive machinery. For the small fruit garden a much simpler and very moderate priced apparatus may be acquired. The most practical of these is the brass-tank compressed-air sprayer, with extension rod and mist-spray nozzle. Or one of the knapsack sprayers may be used. Either of these will be of great assistance not only with the fruit trees, but everywhere in the garden. With care they will last a good many years. Whatever type you get, be sure to get a brass machine; as cheaper ones, made of other metal, quickly corrode from contact with the strong poisons used.

APPLE ENEMIES

The insects most commonly attacking the apple are the codlin-moth, tent-caterpillar, canker-worm and borer. The codlin-moth lays its eggs on the fruit about the time of the falling of the blossoms, and the larvae when hatched eat into the young fruit and cause the ordinary wormy apples and pears. Owing to these facts, it is too late to reach the trouble by spraying after the calyx closes on the growing fruit. Keep close watch and spray immediately upon the fall of the blossoms, and repeat the spraying a week or so (not more than two) later. For spray use Paris green at the rate of 1 lb., or arsenate of lead (paste or powder, less of the latter: see accompanying directions) at the rate of 4 lbs. to 100 gallons of water, being careful to have a thorough mixture. During July, tie strips of burlap or old bags around the trunks, and every week or so destroy all caterpillars caught in these traps. The tent-caterpillar may be destroyed while in the egg state, as these are plainly visible around the smaller twigs in circular, brownish masses. (See illustration.) Upon hatching, also, the nests are obtrusively visible and may be wiped out with a swab of old bag, or burned with a kerosene torch. Be sure to apply this treatment before the caterpillar begins to leave the nest. The treatment recommended for codlin-moths is also effective for the tent-caterpillar.

The canker-worm is another leaf-feeding enemy, and can be taken care of by the Paris green or arsenate spray.

The railroad-worm, a small white maggot which eats a small path in all directions through the ripening fruit, cannot be reached by spraying, as he starts life inside the fruit; but where good clean tillage is practiced and no fallen fruit is left to lie and decay under the trees, he is not apt to give much trouble.

The borer’s presence is indicated by the dead, withered appearance of the bark, beneath which he is at work, and also by small amounts of sawdust where he entered. Dig him out with a sharp pocket-knife, or kill him inside with a piece of wire.

The most troublesome disease of the apple, especially in wet seasons, is the apple-scab, which disfigures the fruit, both in size and in appearance, as it causes blotches and distortions. Spray with Bordeaux mixture, 5-5-50, or 3-3-50 (see formulas below) three times: just before the blossoms open, just as they fall, and ten days to two weeks after they fall. The second spraying is considered the most important.

The San José scale is of course really an insect, though in appearance it seems a disease. It is much more injurious than the untrained fruit grower would suppose, because indirectly so. It is very tiny, being round in outline, with a raised center, and only the size of a small pinhead. Where it has once obtained a good hold it multiplies very rapidly, makes a scaly formation or crust on the branches, and causes small red-edged spots on the fruit (see illustration). For trees once infested, spray thoroughly both in fall, after the leaves drop, and again in spring, _before_ growth begins. Use lime-sulphur wash, or miscible oil, one part to ten of water, thoroughly mixed.

CHERRY ENEMIES

Sour cherries are more easily grown than the sweet varieties, and are less subject to the attacks of fruit enemies. Sweet cherries are troubled by the curculio, or fruit-worm, which attacks also peaches and plums. Cherries and plums may be sprayed, when most of the blossoms are off, with a strong arsenate of lead solution, 5 to 8 lbs. to 100 gals. water. In addition to this treatment, where the worms have once got a start, the beetles may be destroyed by spreading a sheet around and beneath the tree, and every day or so shaking or jarring them off into it, as described below.

PEACH ENEMIES

Do not spray peaches. For the curculio, within a few days after the flowers are off, take a large sheet of some cheap material to use as a catcher. For large orchards there is a contrivance of this sort, mounted on a wheelbarrow frame, but for the home orchard a couple of sheets laid upon the ground, or one with a slit from one side to the center, will answer. If four short, sharp-pointed stakes are fastened to the corners, and three or four stout hooks and eyes are placed to reunite the slit after the sheet is placed about the tree, the work can be more thoroughly done, especially on uneven ground. After the sheet is placed, with a stout club or mallet, padded with a heavy sack or something similar to prevent injury to the bark, give a few sharp blows, well up from the ground. This work should be done on a cloudy day, or early in the morning–the colder the better–as the beetles are then inactive. If a considerable number of beetles are caught the operation should be repeated every two or three days. Continue until the beetles disappear.

Peaches are troubled also by borers, in this case indicated by masses of gum, usually about the crown. Dig out or kill with a wire, as in the case of the apple-borer. Look over the trees for borers every spring, or better, every spring and fall.

Another peach enemy is the “yellows,” indicated by premature ripening of the fruit and the formation of stunted leaf tufts, of a light yellow color. This disease is contagious and has frequently worked havoc in whole sections. Owing to the work of the Agricultural Department and the various State organizations it is now held in check. The only remedy is to cut and burn the trees and replant, in the same places if desired, as, the disease does not seem to be carried by the soil.

PEAR ENEMIES

Pears are sometimes affected with a scab similar to the apple-scab, and this is combated by the same treatment–three sprayings with Bordeaux.

A blight which causes the leaves suddenly to turn black and die and also kills some small branches and produces sores or wounds on large branches and trunk, offers another difficulty. Cut out and burn all affected branches and scrape out all sores. Disinfect all sores with corrosive sublimate solution–1 to 1000–or with a torch, and paint over at once.

PLUM ENEMIES

Plums have many enemies but fortunately they can all be effectively checked. First is the curculio, to be treated as described above.

For leaf-blight–spotting and dropping off of the leaves about midsummer–spray with Bordeaux within a week or so after the falling of the blossoms. This treatment will also help to prevent fruit-rot. In addition to the spraying, however, thin out the fruit so that it does not hang thickly enough for the plums to come in contact with each other.

In a well kept and well sprayed orchard black-knot is not at all likely to appear. It is very manifest wherever it starts, causing ugly, black, distorted knarls, at first on the smaller limbs. Remove and burn immediately, and keep a sharp watch for more. As this disease is supposed to be carried by the wind, see to it that no careless neighbor is supplying you with the germs.

As will have been seen from the above, spraying poisons are of two kinds: those that work by contact, which must be used for most sucking insects, and germs and fungous diseases; and those that poison internally, used for leaf-eating insects. Of the former sort, Bordeaux mixture is the standard, although within the last few years it has been to a considerable extent replaced by lime-sulphur mixtures, which are described below. Bordeaux is made in various forms. That usually used is the 5-5-50, or 5 lbs. copper sulphate, 5 lbs. unslaked lime, 50 gals. water. To save the trouble of making up the mixture each time it is needed make a stock solution as follows: dissolve the copper sulphate in water at the rate of 1 lb. to 1 gal. This should be done the day before, or at least several hours before, the Bordeaux is wanted for use. Suspend the sulphate crystals in a cloth or old bag just below the surface of the water. Then slake the lime in a tub or tight box, adding the water a little at a time, until the whole attains the consistency of thick milk. When necessary, add water to this mixture if it is kept too long; never let it dry out. When ready to spray, pour the stock copper sulphate solution into the tank in the proportion of 5 gals. to every 50 of spray required. Add water to amount required. Then add stock lime solution, first diluting about one-half with water and straining. The amount of lime stock solution to be used is determined as follows: at the druggist’s get an ounce of yellow prussiate of potash dissolved in a pint of water, with a quill in the cork of the bottle so that it may be dropped out. (It is poison.) When adding the stock lime solution as directed above, continue until the prussiate testing solution when dropped into the Bordeaux mixture will no longer turn brown; then add a little more lime to be on the safe side. All this sounds like a formidable task, but it is quite simple when you really get at it. Remember that all you need is a few pounds each of quicklime and copper sulphate, an ounce of prussiate of potash and a couple of old kegs or large pails, in which to keep the stock solutions,

Lime-sulphur mixtures can be bought, or mixed by the home orchardist. They have the advantages over Bordeaux that they do not discolor the foliage or affect the appearance of the fruit. Use according to directions, usually about 1 part to 30 of water. These may be used at the same times and for the same purposes as Bordeaux.

Lime-sulphur wash is used largely in commercial orcharding, but it is a nasty mess to prepare and must be used in late fall or winter. For the home orchard one of the miscible oils now advertised will be found more satisfactory. While they cost more, there is no time or expense for preparation, as they mix with cold water and are immediately ready for use. They are easier to apply, more comfortable to handle, and will not so quickly rot out pumps and spraying apparatus. Like the sulphur wash, use only during late fall and winter.

Kerosene emulsion is made by dissolving Ivory, soft, whale-oil, or tar soap in hot water and adding (away from the stove, please!) kerosene (or crude oil); 1/2 lb. soap, 1 gal. water, 2 gals, kerosene. Immediately place in a pail and churn or pump until a thick, lathery cream results. This is the stock solution: for use, dilute with five to fifteen times as much water, according to purpose applied for–on dormant fruit trees, 5 to 7 times; on foliage, 10 or even 15.

Of the poisons for eating-insects, arsenate of lead is the best for use in the fruit orchard, because it will not burn the foliage as Paris green is apt to do, and because it stays on longer. It can be used in Bordeaux and lime-sulphur mixtures, thus killing two bugs with one spray. It comes usually in the form of a paste–though there is now a brand in powder form (which I have not yet tried). This should be worked up with the fingers (it is not poison to touch) or a small wooden paddle, until thoroughly mixed, in a small quantity of water and then strained into the sprayer. Use, of the paste forms, from one- fourth to one lb. in 20 gals, clear water.

Paris green is the old standard. With a modern duster it may be blown on pure without burning, if carefully done. Applied thus it should be put on during a still morning, before the dew goes. It is safer to use as a spray, first making a paste with a small quantity of water, and then adding balance of water. Keep constantly stirred while spraying.

If lime is added, weight for weight with the green, the chances of burning will be greatly reduced. For orchard work, 1 lb. to 100 gals. water is the usual strength.

The accompanying table will enable the home orchardist to find quickly the trouble with, and remedy for, any of his fruit trees.

The quality of fruit will depend very largely upon the care exercised in picking and storing. Picking, carelessly done, while it may not at the time show any visible bad results, will result in poor keeping and rot. If the tissue cells are broken, as many will be by rough handling, they will be ready to cause rotten spots under the first favorable conditions, and then the rot will spread. Most of the fruits of the home garden, which do not have to undergo shipping, will be of better quality where they ripen fully on the tree. Pears, however, are often ripened in the dark and after picking, especially the winter sorts. Apples and pears for winter use should be kept, if possible, in a cold, dark place, where there is no artificial heat, and where the air will be moist, but never wet, and where the thermometer will not fall below thirty-two degrees. Upon exceptionally cold nights the temperature may be kept up by using an oil stove or letting in heat from the furnace cellar, if that is adjacent. In such a place, store the fruit loosely, on ventilated shelves, not more than six or eight inches deep. If they must be kept in a heated place, pack in tight boxes or barrels, being careful to put away only perfect fruit, or pack in sand or leaves. Otherwise they will lose much in quality by shriveling, due to lack of moisture in the atmosphere. With care they may be had in prime quality until late in the following spring.

FRUIT | PEST | REMEDY | TIMES TO APPLY | | | AND WHEN
——+————–+——————————-+—————- Apple | Apple-scab | Bordeaux 5-5-50, or summer | 3.–b B O–a B | | lime-sulphur spray | F–f 14 d. | | |
| Apple-maggot | Pick up and destroy all | (See key below.) | or | fallen fruits |
| Railroad worm| Dig out or kill with wire; | | Borer | search for in fall and spring| | | |
| Codlin moth | Arsenate of lead, 4 in 100; | | | or Paris Green, 1 in 200. | 2.–a B F-f | | Burlap bands on truck |20 d. | | for traps during July |
| | |
| Cankerworm | Same as above | | | |
| Tent- | Same as above, also wipe out | | caterpillar | out or burn nests | | | |
| Blister-mite | Lime-sulphur wash; kerosene | Late fall or | | emulsion (dilute 5 times) | early spring. | | or miscible oil (1 in 10 gal.)| | | |
| Bud-moth | Arsenate of lead or Paris | 2.–When leaves | | Green | appear–b B O. ——+————–+——————————-+—————– Cherry| Leaf blight | Bordeaux 5-5-50 | 4.–b B C–a | | | calyx closes–f | | | 15 d–f 15 d. | | |
| Curculio | Arsenate of lead, 8 in 100. | 1.–a B F. | | Curculio catcher (see Plum) | 3 times a week | | |
| Black-knot | Cut out and burn at once | | | (see Plum) |
| | |
| Fruit-rot | Pick before fully ripe. | | | spread out in cool airy room | ——+————–+——————————-+—————– Peach | Borer | Dig out or kill with wire | | Yellows | Pull out and burn | | | tree–replant |
| | |
| Curculio | Do not spray. Catch on sheets | | | (see Plum) |
| | |
| Brown-rot | Summer lime-sulphur; open | | | pruning; pick rotten fruit | 3.–When fruit | | | is half
| | | grown–f 10 | | | d–f 10 d. | | |
| Leaf-curl | Bordeaux 5-5-50; lime-sulphur | 1–b buds swell, | | wash | fall or early | | | spring.
——+————–+——————————-+—————– Pear | Blight | Cut out diseased branches; | | | clean out sores; disinfect | | | with corrosive sublimate 1 | | | in 1000; paint over |
| | |
| Scab | Bordeaux 5-5-50, or summer | 2.–b B O–a B | | sulphur (see Apple) | O–f 14 d. | | |
| Blister-mite | | ——+————–+——————————-+—————– Plum | Leaf-blight | Bordeaux or summer sulphur | 1.–After fruits | | | set.
| Fruit-rot | Same; also thin fruits so as | | Black-knot | not to touch (see Cherry) | | Curculio | also have neighboring trees | | | cleaned up |
| | Jar down on sheets stretched | | | beneath trees and destroy | a B F–cool | | | mornings-3 | | | times a week. ——+————–+——————————-+—————– Any | San José | Lime-sulphur wash, kerosene | Late fall or | scale | emulsion, 5 times diluted; | early spring. | | miscible oil, 1 in 10 gals | | | |
| Oyster-shell | Kerosene emulsion | May or June, | scale | | when young | | | whitish lice | | | appear.
——+————–+——————————-+—————–

a-After. b-Before. d-Days. f-Follow up in. B-Blossoms. O-Open. F-Fall.

Do not let yourself be discouraged from growing your own fruit by the necessity for taking good care of your trees. After all, you do not have to plant them every year, as you do vegetables, and they yield a splendid return on the small investment required. Do not fail to set out at least a few this year with the full assurance that your satisfaction is guaranteed by the facts in the case.

CHAPTER XVIII

BERRIES AND SMALL FRUITS

Besides the tree-fruits discussed in the preceding chapters, there is another class which should be represented in every home garden–the berries and small fruits. These have the advantage of occupying much less room than the former do and are therefore available where the others are not.

The methods of giving berries proper cultivation are not so generally known as the methods used with vegetables. Otherwise there is no reason why a few of each should not be included in every garden of average size. Their requirements are not exacting: the amount of skill, or rather of attention, required to care for them is not more than that required by the ordinary vegetables. In fact, once they are well established they will demand less time than the annual vegetables.

Of these small fruits the most popular and useful are: the strawberry, the blackberry, dewberry and raspberry, the currant, gooseberry and grape.

The strawberry is the most important, and most amateurs attempt its culture–many, however, with indifferent success. This is due, partly at least, to the fact that many methods are advocated by successful growers, and that the beginner is not likely to pick out _one_ and stick to it; and further, that he is led to pay more attention to how many layers he will have, and at what distance he will set the plants, than to proper selection and preparation of soil and other vital matters.

The soil should be well drained and rich–a good garden soil being suitable. The strawberries should not follow sod or corn. If yard manure is used it should be old and well rotted, so as to be as free as possible from weed seeds. Potash, in some form (see Fertilizers) should be added. The bed should be thoroughly prepared, so that the plants, which need careful transplanting, may take hold at once. A good sunny exposure is preferable, and a spot where no water will collect is essential.

The plants are grown from “layers.” They are taken in two ways: (1) by rooting the runners in the soil; and (2) by layering in pots. In the former method they are either allowed to root themselves, or, which gives decidedly better results, by selecting vines from strong plants and pushing them lightly down into the soil where the new crown is to be formed. In the second method, two-inch or three-inch pots are used, filling these with soil from the bed and plunging, or burying, them level with the surface, just below where the crown is to be formed, and holding the vine in place with a small stone, which serves the additional purpose of marking where the pot is. In either case these layers are made after the fruiting season.

SETTING THE PLANTS

In using the soil-rooted layers, it is generally more satisfactory to set them out in spring, as soon as the ground can be worked, although they are sometimes set in early fall–August or September–when the ground is in very good condition, so that a good growth can at once be made. Care should be used in transplanting. Have the bed fresh; keep the plants out of the soil as short a time as possible; set the plants in straight, and firm the soil; set just down to the crown–do not cover it. If the soil is dry, or the season late, cut off all old leaves before planting; also shorten back the roots about one-third and be sure not to crowd them when setting, for which purpose a trowel, not a dibble, should be used if the condition of the ground makes the use of any implement necessary. If so dry that water must be used, apply it in the bottom of the hole. If very hot and dry, shade for a day or two.

METHODS OF GROWING

I describe the three systems most valuable for the home garden: (1) the hill, (2) the matted row, and (3) the pot-layered. (1) In the hill system the plants are put in single rows, or in beds of three or four rows, the plants one foot apart and the rows, or beds, two or three feet apart. In either case each plant is kept separate, and all runners are pinched off as fast as they form, the idea being to throw all the strength into one strong crown. (2) In the matted row system the plants are set in single rows, and the runners set in the bed at five or six inches each side of the plants, and then trained lengthways of the row, this making it a foot or so wide. The runners used to make these secondary crowns must be the first ones sent out by the plants; they should be severed from the parent plants as soon as well rooted. All other runners must be taken off as they form. To keep the beds for a good second crop, where the space between the rows has been kept cultivated and clean, cut out the old plants as soon as the first crop of berries is gathered, leaving the new ones–layered the year before– about one foot apart. (3) The pot-layering system, especially for a small number of plants, I consider the best. It will be seen that by the above systems the ground is occupied three years, to get two crops, and the strawberry season is a short one at best. By this third system the strawberry is made practically an annual, and the finest of berries are produced. The new plants are layered in pots, as described above. The layers are taken immediately after the fruit is gathered; or better still, because earlier, a few plants are picked out especially to make runners. In either case, fork up the soil about the plants to be layered, and in about fifteen days they will be ready to have the pots placed under them. The main point is to have pot plants ready to go into the new bed as soon as possible after the middle of July. These are set out as in the hill system, and all runners kept pinched off, so that a large crown has been formed by the time the ground freezes, and a full crop of the very best berries will be assured for the following spring. The pot-layering is repeated each year, and the old plants thrown out, no attempt being made to get a second crop. It will be observed that ground is occupied by the strawberries only the latter half of the one season and the beginning of the next, leaving ample time for a crop of early lettuce, cabbage or peas before the plants are set, say in 1911, and for late cabbage or celery after the bed is thrown out, in 1912. Thus the ground is made to yield three crops in two years–a very important point where garden space is limited.

CULTIVATION

Whatever system is used–and each has its advocates–the strawberry bed must be kept clean, and attention given to removing the surplus runners. Cultivate frequently enough to keep a dust mulch between the rows, as advocated for garden crops. At first, after setting, the cultivation may be as deep as three or four inches, but as the roots develop and fill the ground it should be restricted to two inches at most. Where a horse is used a Planet Jr. twelve-tooth cultivator will be just the thing.

MULCHING

After the ground freezes, and before severe cold sets in (about the 1st to the 15th of December) the bed should be given its winter mulch. Bog hay, which may be obtained cheaply from some nearby farmer, is about the best material. Clean straw will do. Cover the entire bed, one or two inches over the plants, and two or three between the rows. If necessary, hold in place with old boards. In spring, but not before the plants begin to grow, over each plant the mulch is pushed aside to let it through. Besides giving winter protection, the mulch acts as a clean even support for the berries and keeps the roots cool and moist.

INSECTS AND DISEASE

For white-grub and cut-worm see pages elsewhere in the text. For rust, which frequently injures the leaves so seriously as to cause practical loss of crop, choose hardy varieties and change bed frequently. Spraying with Bordeaux, 5-5-50, four or five times during first season plants are set, and second season just before and just after blossoming, will prevent it. In making up your strawberry list remember that some varieties have imperfect, or pistillate blossoms, and that when such varieties are used a row of some perfect-flowering (bi- sexual) sort must be set every nine to twelve feet.

VARIETIES

New strawberries are being introduced constantly; also, they vary greatly in their adaptation to locality. Therefore it is difficult to advise as to what varieties to plant. The following, however, have proved satisfactory over wide areas, and may be depended upon to give satisfaction. Early crop:–Michel’s Early, Haverland, Climax; mid- season crop:–Bubach No. 5, Brandywine, Marshall, Nic. Ohmer, Wm. Belt, Glen Mary, Sharplesss; late crop:–The Gandy, Sample, Lester Lovett.

The blackberry, dewberry and raspberry are all treated in much the same way. The soil should be well drained, but if a little clayey, so much the better. They are planned preferably in early spring, and set from three or four to six or seven feet apart, according to the variety. They should be put in firmly. Set the plants in about as deep as they have been growing, and cut the canes back to six or eight inches. If fruit is wanted the same season as bushes are set, get a few extra plants–they cost but a few cents–and cut back to two feet or so. Plants fruited the first season are not likely to do well the following year. Two plants may be set in a place and one fruited. If this one is exhausted, then little will be lost. Give clean cultivation frequently enough to maintain a soil mulch, as it is very necessary to retain all the moisture possible. Cultivation, though frequent, should be very shallow as soon as the plants get a good start. In very hot seasons, if the ground is clean, a summer mulch of old hay, leaves or rough manure will be good for the same purpose.

In growing, a good stout stake is used for each plant, to which the canes are tied with some soft material. Or, a stout wire is strung the length of the row and the canes fastened to this–a better way, however, being to string two wires, one on either side of the row.

Another very important matter is that of pruning. The plants if left to themselves will throw up altogether too much wood. This must be cut out to four or five of the new canes and all the canes that have borne fruit should be cut and burned each season as soon as through fruiting. The canes, for instance, that grow in 1911 will be those to fruit in 1912, after which they should be immediately removed. The new canes, if they are to be self-supporting, as sometimes grown, should be cut back when three or four feet high.

It is best, however, to give support. In the case of those varieties which make fruiting side-shoots, as most of the black raspberries (blackcaps) do, the canes should be cut back at two to three feet, and it is well also to cut back these side shoots one-third to one-half, early in the spring.

In cold sections (New York or north of it) it is safest to give winter protection by “laying down” the canes and giving them a mulch of rough material. Having them near the ground is in itself a great protection, as they will not be exposed to sun and wind and will sometimes be covered with snow.

For mulching, the canes are bent over nearly at the soil and a shovelful of earth thrown on the tips to hold them down; the entire canes may then be covered with soil or rough manure, but do not put it on until freezing weather is at hand. If a mulch is used, it must be taken off before growth starts in the spring.

THE BLACKBERRY

The large-growing sorts are set as much as six by eight feet apart, though with careful staking and pruning they may be comfortably handled in less space. The smaller sorts need about four by six. When growth starts, thin out to four or five canes and pinch these off at about three feet; or, if they are to be put on wires or trellis, they may be cut when tied up the following spring. Cultivate, mulch and prune as suggested above.

Blackberries will do well on a soil a little dry for raspberries and they do not need it quite so rich, as in this case the canes do not ripen up sufficiently by fall, which is essential for good crops. If growing rank they should be pinched back in late August. When tying up in the spring, the canes should be cut back to four or five feet and the laterals to not more than eighteen inches.

Blackberry enemies do not do extensive injury, as a rule, in well- cared-for beds. The most serious are: (1) the rust or blight, for which there is no cure but carefully pulling and burning the plants as fast as infested; (2) the blackberry-bush borer, for which burn infested canes; and (3) the recently introduced bramble flea-louse, which resembles the green plant-louse or aphis except that it is a brisk jumper, like the flea-beetle. The leaves twist and curl up in summer and do not drop off in the fall. On cold early mornings, or wet weather, while the insects are sluggish, cut all infested shoots, collecting them in a tight box, and burn.

BLACKBERRY VARIETIES

As with the other small fruits, so many varieties are being introduced that it is difficult to give a list of the best for home use. Any selections from the following, however, will prove satisfactory, as they are tried-and-true:–Early King, Early Harvest, Wilson Junior, Kittatinny, Rathburn, Snyder, Erie.

THE DEWBERRY

This is really a trailing blackberry and needs the same culture, except that the canes are naturally slender and trailing and therefore, for garden culture, must have support. They may be staked up, or a barrel hoop, supported by two stakes, makes a good support. In ripening, the dewberry is ten to fourteen days earlier than the blackberry, and for that reason a few plants should be included in the berry patch. Premo is the earliest sort, and Lucretia the standard.

RASPBERRY

The black and the red types are distinct in flavor, and both should be grown. The blackcaps need more room, about three by six or seven feet; for the reds three by five feet will be sufficient. The blackcaps, and a few of the reds, like Cuthbert, throw out fruiting side branches, and should have the main canes cut back at about two and a half feet to encourage the growth of these laterals, which, in the following spring, should be cut back to about one-third their length. The soil for raspberries should be clayey if possible, and moist, but not wet.

RASPBERRY ENEMIES

The orange rust, which attacks the blackberry also, is a serious trouble. Pull up and burn all infested plants at once, as no good remedy has as yet been found. The cut-worm, especially in newly set beds, may sometimes prove destructive of the sprouting young canes. The raspberry-borer is the larva of a small, flattish, red-necked beetle, which bores to the center of the canes during summer growth, and kills them. Cut and burn.

RASPBERRY VARIETIES

Of the blackcaps, Gregg, McCormick, Munger, Cumberland, Columbian, Palmer (very early), and Eureka (late), are all good sorts. Reds: Cuthbert, Cardinal (new), Turner, Reliance, The King (extra early), Loudon (late). Yellow: Golden Queen.

CURRANTS

The currant and gooseberry are very similar in their cultural requirements. A deep, rich and moist soil is the best–approaching a clayey loam. There need be no fear of giving too much manure, but it should be well rotted. Plenty of room, plenty of air, plenty of moisture, secured where necessary by a soil or other mulch in hot dry weather, are essential to the production of the best fruit.

The currant will stand probably as much abuse as any plant the home gardener will have to deal with. Stuck in a corner, smothered in sod, crowded with old wood, stripped by the currant-worm, it still struggles along from year to year, ever hopefully trying to produce a meager crop of poor fruit. But these are not the sort you want. Although it is so tough, no fruit will respond to good care more quickly.

To have it do well, give it room, four or five feet each way between bushes. Manure it liberally; give it clean cultivation, and as the season gets hot and dry, mulch the soil, if you would be certain of a full-sized, full-flavored crop. Two bushes, well cared for, will yield more than a dozen half-neglected ones. Anywhere north of New York a full crop every year may be made almost certain.

PRUNING CURRANTS

Besides careful cultivation, to insure the best of fruit it is necessary to give some thought to the matter of pruning. The most convenient and the most satisfactory way is to keep it in the bush form. Set the plants singly, three or four feet apart, and so cut the new growth, which is generously produced, as to retain a uniform bush shape, preferably rather open in the center.

The fruit is produced on wood two or more years old. Therefore cut out branches either when very small, or not until four or five years later, after it has borne two or three crops of fruit. Therefore, in pruning currants, take out (1) superfluous young growth; (2) old hard wood (as new wood will produce better fruit); and (3) all weak, broken, dead or diseased shoots; (4) during summer, if the tips of the young growths kept for fruiting are pinched off, they will ripen up much better– meaning better fruit when they bear; (5) to maintain a good form, the whole plant may be cut back (never more than one-third) in the fall.

In special situations it may be advisable to train the currant to one or a few main stems, as against a wall; this can be done, but it is less convenient. Also it brings greater danger from the currant-borer.

The black currant, used almost entirely for culinary or preserving purposes, is entirely different from the red and white ones. They are much larger and should be put five to six feet apart. Some of the fruit is borne on one-year-old wood, so the shoots should not be cut back. Moreover, old wood bears as good fruit as the new growth, and need not be cut out, unless the plant is getting crowded, for several years. As the wood is much heavier and stronger than the other currants, it is advisable gradually to develop the black currants into the tree form.

ENEMIES OF THE CURRANT

The worst of these is the common currant-worm. When he appears, which will be indicated by holes eaten in the lower leaves early in spring, generally before the plants bloom, spray at once with Paris green. If a second brood appears, spray with white hellebore (if this is not all washed off by the rain, wipe from the fruit when gathered). For the borer, cut and burn every infested shoot. Examine the bushes in late fall, and those in which the borers are at work will usually have a wilted appearance and be of a brownish color.

VARIETIES OF CURRANTS

Red Dutch, while older and smaller than some of the newer varieties, is hardier and not so likely to be hurt by the borer. London Market, Fay’s Prolific, Perfection (new), and Prince Albert, are good sorts. White Grape is a good white. Naples, and Lee’s Prolific are good black sorts.

THE GOOSEBERRY

This is given practically the same treatment as the currant. It is even more important that it should be given the coolest, airiest, location possible, and the most moist soil. Even a partially shaded situation will do, but in such situations extra care must be taken to guard against the mildew–which is mentioned below. Summer mulching is, of course, of special benefit.

In pruning the gooseberry, it is best to cut out to a very few, or even to a single stem. Keep the head open, to allow free circulation of air. The extent of pruning will make a great difference in the size of the fruit; if fruit of the largest size is wanted, prune very close. All branches drooping to the ground should be removed. Keep the branches, as much as possible, from touching each other.

GOOSEBERRY ENEMIES

The currant-worm attacks the gooseberry also, and is effectively handled by the arsenate of lead, Paris green or hellebore spraying, mentioned above.

The great trouble in growing gooseberries successfully is the powdery mildew–a dirty, whitish fungous growth covering both fruit and leaves. It is especially destructive of the foreign varieties, the culture of which, until the advent of the potassium sulfide spray, was being practically abandoned. Use 1 oz. of potassium sulfide (liver of sulphur) to 2 gals. water, and mix just before using. Spray thoroughly three or four times a month, from the time the blossoms are opening until fruit is ripe.

GOOSEBERRY VARIETIES

Of the native gooseberries–which are the hardiest, Downing and Houghton’s Seedling are most used. Industry is an English variety, doing well here. Golden Prolific, Champion, and Columbus, are other good foreign sorts, but only when the mildew is successfully fought off.

THE GRAPE

No garden is so small that there cannot be found in it room for three or four grape-vines; no fruit is more certain, and few more delicious.

If it is convenient, a situation fully exposed to the sun, and sloping slightly, will be preferable. But any good soil, provided only it is rich and thoroughly drained, will produce good results. If a few vines are to be set against walls, or in other out-of-the-way places, prepare the ground for them by excavating a good-sized hole, putting in a foot of coal cinders or other drainage material, and refilling with good heavy loam, enriched with old, well rotted manure and half a peck of wood ashes. For culture in the garden, such special preparation will not be necessary–although, if the soil is not in good shape, it will be advisable slightly to enrich the hills.

One or two-year roots will be the most satisfactory to buy. They may be set in either fall or spring–the latter time, for New York or north, being generally preferable. When planting, the cane should be cut back to three or four eyes, and the roots should also be shortened back– usually about one-third. Be sure to make the hole large enough, when setting, to let the roots spread naturally, and work the soil in well around them with the fingers. Set them in firmly, by pressing down hard with the ball of the foot after firming by hand. They are set about six feet apart.

GRAPE PRUNING

As stated above, the vine is cut back, when planting, to three or four eyes. The subsequent pruning–and the reader must at once distinguish between pruning, and training, or the way in which the vines are