Home Vegetable Gardening Part 16
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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 sc.r.a.pe out all sores. Disinfect all sores with corrosive sublimate solution--1 to 1000--or with a torch, and paint over at once.
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, a.r.s.enate 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 quant.i.ty 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 quant.i.ty 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 s.h.i.+pping, 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 a.r.s.enate 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 a.r.s.enate 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 a.r.s.enate 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 Jose Lime-sulphur wash, kerosene Late fall or scale emulsion, 5 times diluted; early spring.
miscible oil, 1 in 10 gals Oyster-sh.e.l.l 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 a.s.surance that your satisfaction is guaranteed by the facts in the case.
BERRIES AND SMALL FRUITS
Besides the tree-fruits discussed in the preceding chapters, there is another cla.s.s 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 pus.h.i.+ng 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 s.p.a.ce 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 a.s.sured 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 s.p.a.ce is limited.
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.
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.
Home Vegetable Gardening Part 16
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Home Vegetable Gardening Part 16 summary
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