Page images
PDF
EPUB

them off. One little fellow told me it was no use; he said they ate up an acre before break. fast, and then got on the fence and asked every passer by if he had any potatoes. Don't youch for the lad's story.

J. R. Tull.-I have had considerable experience with potatoes, especially sweet ones ; #bich I find the most profitable root crop that I can raise. My average yield per acre is about 200 bushels; the market value of which is from $1 50 to $2 per bushel in the full, at digging time, and in the spring from $3 to $5 per bushel, for seed. The small potatoes, pot saleable in the full for family use, are what I reserve for seed. This makes the land clear t.e, orer all expenses, more than $100 per acre. I find the yellow and red Nansemond the best varieties for this latitude. They are of easy cultivation, requiriug little more labor than Irish potatoes.

The land wants to be plowed deep, early in the spring as possible, then let it lay until the plants are ready for setting out; before putting them out, give it a second plowing and pulverize it well; then with two horses and large plow throw two or three furrows together for a ridge to set the plants on; making the ridges four feet apart from top to top. Do not make a large ridge, nor a broad one, but rather sharp; about 6 or 8 inches Ant on top. Set the plants out in the afternoon, pouring a little water round each one. Throw a little dry soil over when the water is soaked away. Set the plants lü inches apart on the ridges.

The ground being clean when the plants are set out, twice working will generally bo sufficient; but if not, they must be kept clean until the ground is sufficiently covered with the rines to prevent any weeds or grass frow growing. The main difficulty with the sweet potato is keeping them through the winter, which cannot be done in this climate without a building made for the purpose, where the temperature can be kept at about 55 degrees Fahrenheit. The difficulty in procuring seed and plants discourages many from engaging in the culture of the sweet potato.

Of Irish potatoes, the Neshannock, pinkeye, Paltimore blue, peach blow, and a few others, have been growi). The last mentioned has given the best results, while the Neshannock and others of the older sorts seem to be deteriorating. The very new sorts I have not tested. Of sweet potatoes, the yellow Nansemond takes the lead; though last year the red Bermuda was tried with good success. It will ripen a month earlier than the Nansemond, and is prized as an early sort.

The Colorado bug made its appearance here in 1864, and was very destructire. Since that year it has annually made its mark in the potato fields, but is gradually becoming less troublesome-partly owing, perhaps, to its insect enemies, and partly to the fact that its habits have become better understood.

H. Sodowsky.The best variety of Irish potato for general use is the peach blow. For early potatoes I would plant the early York. It yields a good crop and comes early. We have had plenty by the middle of June for three years past, which is as long as ! have tried them,

G. W. Puughan.—The Neshannock is preferred for an early Irish potato; the peach blow for a late, and the large red for a sweet potato. Ground for potatoes should be well manured and plowed deep. The Irish should be planted in hills, or drilled in rows; the sweet in hills, mounds, or in ridges 12 to 15 inches apart. Turnips should be sown in July or August. The ground should be plowed in the spring and again when the seed is 80WD. Beets and carrots are little raised here, only for table use. I tend Irish potatoes with hoe and double shovel plow; sweet potatoes with hoe. The potato bug often destroys the tops of the plants, injuring them badly. I know no way of destroying them. They are sometimes driven from the vines by brushes, commenciog at one side of the patch and fullowing each row up and down until they leave. Potatoes keep best where there are no cellars, in old chip piles, or covered with earth and then with stable or barn yard manure.

J. G. Swann. -Neshaddock and peach blow in drills 18 inches apart. Two boeings and one plowing. Sweet potatoes, large ridges 18 inches apart. Hoeing and plowing. Largest yield of sweet potatoes, 100 bushels; of Irish potatoes, 200 bushels. With plow and harrow. In long rows, covered well.

E. A. Riehl.-- Best sorts of Irish potatoes are early Goodrich, Harrison and peach blow; the latter rotting badly and almost discarded. Plow deep. Plant as early as possible in spri in rows three and one-half feet, and 18 inches in the rows. Cultivate with cultivator and shovel plow. Sweet potatoes: Yellow Nansemond and Bermuda, best in or. der named; have had Brazilian one year and do not like it. Nansemond best in quality and earliest ripe. Bermuda is at leas: twice as productive, producing nearly all large potatoes, and of medium quality. Plants grown in hot-beds in spring, and planted 14 inches apart on ridges. The ridges made by horse power with a machine made for this purpose (cut and design in Nos. 10 and 2, Farmer's Advertiser), cultivate well and harvest just before frust. Find it most profitable to store and keep over winter, selling them during winter and spring, for from $2 50 to $3 per bushel ; and the small ones for seed bring from $8 to $15 per bushel in the spring. To keep them successfully they must be ripe, dug in dry weather, bandled as carefully as egys, so as not to bruise them, packed in small quantities in dry sand, and kept at a uniform temperature of from 45 to 60 de

grees Fahrenheit.

J. Dalsiger.-I possess very little experience in root crops, excepting the common potato. I have tried some beets and carrots on a very small scale. In seasons not too dry they did tolerably well, but it takes much time to keep them clear of weeds when small. Cattle like them, and I am led to think that they make excellent feed for them, particu. larly for milch cows. My intention is not to give up these trials; and I will report in future time on them, if I am able. Sweet potatoes did not do well with me, and I have given up their culture. Irish potatoes bring better crops on well prepared and deeply plowed land, and well cultivated. We also found covering the land after they are planted, at least six inches deep with straw, a very good method. In ordinary seasons they will bring good crops in that way, and they need not be cultivated. But I prefer to plow the land three or four times; the last to a depth of 12 to 15 inches, planting them deep, without any straw, but cultivating them well, and kveping the ground clearly hoe and shovel plow. I had, last seasop a very good crop on a small piece of ground which I had prepared from 15 to 18 inches deep for planting grape vines, the great drouth potwithstanding. Others covered with straw, on land of the sam. quality, and plowed at least eight inches deep, brought not so good a crop. The best time for planting is very early in spring, in March if possible, and then about first of June. If there is an early frost in fall the latter may perhaps not get ripe; but if there is no early frost, they bring me commonly a very good crop of good potatoes. They are dug with hoe, spades, or forks; if plowed up a great many are lost. They are kept in the cellar, or, where there is no cellar, left in the field on a dry spot, well covered up with strax and earth, at leust 18 inches deep. A good average crop is 20 bushels from one of seed. I have raised 39 bushels from one. The best varieties for quantity and quality are the peach blow and the early Goodrich, and the Cusco for quantity only—its quality being inferior to the others. The pinkeye rusty.coat-a Goodrich seedling—is also a good kind, bringing good crops.

We huve nearly every year in our plantations the common potato bugs (cantharides), and now, for a year or two, the Colorado potato bug. The former can be driven off by striking the vines with brush; for the latter I tried several means without avail, except hand-picking

T. Engelmann.-Root crops are not raised for marketing. Every farmer plants a patch of potatoes for his own use. In the spring, generally in April or beginning of May, the ground is plowed and harrowed, and the potatoes are planted in shallow furrows, about 18 inches apart each way, and covered about 2 or 3 inches deep with soil, and then about

8 or 10 inches deep with straw. This is all the labor which the potato requires until dig. ging time]; and in this way good crops have regularly been obtained, and potatoes of superior quality. Flukes, peach blows and pinkeyes are generally selected for seed, but not much care is taken to keep them pure.

J. Birber.—The Irish potatoes which succeed with me are the Peach Blows and Early Yorks. Of sweet potatoes, the common Southern, Nansemond and Bermuda, all do well. The ground is deeply plowed in the fall, and the Irish potatoes are planted early in the spring. Late planting does not often succeed, on account of the hot, and often dry months of July and August. Sweet potato plants are raised in a hot bed and put out as early as the season will permit, in order to start their growth before the hot months come on. The digging is done with a fork. Irish potatoes are kept very easily, by putting them in heaps on the ground, covering with straw and earth deep enough to prevent freezing. Sweet potatoes are much more difficult to keep; I bave succeeded very well by keeping in a dry cellar, covering with flax straw, and never allowing the temperature to fall below 40°. & LEGUMES.—Best varieties of peas and beans: their management: cost and value as feed crops?

1. A. McConnell.—Pea and bean crops don't pay, for feed.

H. Pierce.—Peas are not sowed as a field crop. Tom. Thumb, for early, and Champion of England, for late, are the best varieties. The small navy bean is preferred.

J. T-fft. -Small navy bean, plant in hills, 16 inches apart. Use cultivator and hoe. It is never raised for feed.

T. Gregg.–Peas are never grown here as field crops; beads not often. The white Davy bean is usually planted for that purpose. For garden culture, I have had good suc. cess with the early Mohawk, early six week, Valentine, and Lima.

G. W. Vaughan.-Sometimes raise a large quantity of beans, by sowing like oats or beat, in the month of June. This is the cheapest way of raising the navy bean; it keeps down the weeds and bears abundantly, and if the fall is dry we save all; if not, many rot before they are ready to gather.

J. Bilsiger.—Peas and beans we raise only in the garden, for our own consumption. We like best the Tom. Thumb, Eugenie and English pea; and the yellow dwarf, six weeks, and Lima bean. All these, except the latter, are badly infested with the bug every year.

3. TEXTILE PLANTS.—Your experience with flax, hemp and cotton: best varieties, method o planting, cultivating, etc.: valne as a farm crop?

E. Yoss.-Some flax raised; is valuable both for the lint aud seed. ¥. A. M-Connell -We have growo fax and hemp, but they don't pay as a farm crop.

7. Gregg.–Flax, bemp and cottou are seldom seen growing in this county, though all have been. The first is grown less rarely than the others.

8. Butler.--Flax is a good crop here.

J. Balsiger. With finx, hemp and cotton I have had very little experience. I have seen hemp growing spontaneously in the neighborhood, to a fine size. Flax and cotton I did cultivate for one year; they did well, as far as I could judge; but as I bad vo machinery to prepare those products for the market, or work them up, I discontinued their culture.

10. GPOUND PLANTS.—Pumpkins, squashes, watermelons, etc.: management, cost and valao w a field crop: insects and diseases?

E. 1988.-Raised in moderate quantities.

[graphic]

M. A. McConnell.—We think pumpkins pay big for cattle. I feed them cut in the fall to milch cows improves the quality and increases the quantity of milk in all cases.

II. Pierce.—The common sort of pumpkin is planted sometimes with corn, and is fed to cattle and hogs io fall, preparatory to feeding corn, and sometimes as alternate feed. Hubbard squash is the favorite. Watermelons, on a sandy soil, 6 miles east, are raised as a field crop.

J. Teft.--Only raised amongst corn. Have no idea of cost or value of crop. Striped bug.

A. Rankin.- I think pumpkins and squashes, when fed to stock in the full, are about equal to guod grass pasture, and would recommend farmers to raise them for feed, just before winter sets in, as they can be raised at very little cost.

T. Gregg.—The Hubbard and Boston marrow squashes, I have found to be the best for garden cultivation.

G. W. Paughan.-Ground plants are generally of little value, as a field crop, and few raise them, save for their own use. Pumpkins and squashes are generally planted with corn, but not extensively. Small striped and black bugs often destroy the young plants.

E. A. Riehl.-Of squashes, I consider the Hubbard and American Turban the best; of watermelons, the Ice Cream is superior to all others; Ward's Nectar, the best of the musk varieties.

J. Bulsiger.-Pumpkins, squashes and watermelons do well on rich land; the former are commonly planted with the corn, and fed out to cattle and hogs; but as far as I could see, neither were very fond of them. Squashes we raise for our own use, but with great trouble defend them from the ravages of the big black bugs which destroy the plants. We know of no other means of destroying these pests thap by hand-picking the insects and their eggs, and crushing them.

J. Burber.--Pumpkins, squashes and melons succeed well by planting on newly turned sod, fresh timber land, or by manuring in the bill, when planted on old land. The greatest enemy is a small striped bug, which attacks the plants when quite young; it will even eat the young and tender squash.

1. Warder.--I have paid some special attention to growing watermelons. I break my ground deep, plant about 10 feet apart, inanure in the hills, and thin to one vine; keep the ground well stirred with shovel plow until the vines begin to run, then smooth the sur. face with a harrow, and keep clean with the hoe. I sold, last year, fisty dollars' worth, raised on a piece of ground 35 yards square (just one-fourth of an acre), besides what were eaten by my family of six, and goers and comars. Average price, 15 cents; commenced ripening the first of August.

11. MIOCELLANEOUS.-Hopg, tobacco, broom corn, sorghum, onions, chiccory: growth, management and value a: a farm crop ?

M. A. McConnell.-Hops are a good crop, but we don't grow them; they will, with care, pay as a farm crop.

H. Pierce.- Hops and tobacco are not grown except for home use in gardens. Broom corn, 8 miles south, is raised in large quantities, and is the most paying crop. The Otaheite sorghum is best, producing from 50 to 200 gallons per acie. Not much sorghum will be planted this coming summer (1868) as there is but little sale for the molasses.

C. E. Burney.—No experience with sorghum; I think the renders of the machinery make the most money.

V. dllrich. – My experience with sorghum is limited, having raised only enough for home consumption, I have always done that, not using any other sirup, and but very little sugar. The largest yield I have ever had, was 120 gallons, from one-half acre ; raised on bigh dry prairie land, that you might call rieb. The last of April, I planted without soaking the seed; it came up well, was plowed three or four times, and hoed once, and kept clean from weeds. It matured the first of October, and was then worked; seeds being all black and stalk giving a yellowish cast. Kept no account of cost of crop. I sold 70 gallons, at $1 per gallon, reserving the remainder for my own use; at the same price, I would have made $120. Expenses did not exceed $50, and probably, not more than $35 or $40. We then had war prices, now they are nearly one balf less. The cane was ran through a cast iron mill, with three rollers and one sweep; used one horse, or a span. Evaporate in plain pans six and one-half feet in length by three wide; one and one-half inch wood sides ; eight inches deep, with sheet iron bottom. I have a brick furnace, just large enough to take on the pans; these pans hold 85 or 90 gallops. At first we filled the paps full, and had to boil slow to prevent their running over; this rendered the process of evaporation so long that the sirup became very dark. By filling the pan half full, we found we could boil with full force and evaporate very quickly, making clear, light sirup. It is important to stir it constantly when nearly done. When done, set or slide the pan off the furnace to one side, putting another pan of juice in its place, so there will be no loss of heat from fire. At the same time, continue stirring the sirup just off, as this makes it of a much lighter and handsome yellow color. When it is partly cool, it can be put into the cask, or some vessel to entirely cool. Keep the pans washed clean, ready for use again by the time the sirup over the fire is ready to come off. Press out the juice just as fast as wanted and no faster, for the sooner it is evapo. rated after pressing, the better the sirup. My mill cost $44; the fue took about 1,000 bricks, costing $10; the work I did myself; the pans cost $10 more; the whole expense need not exceed $75, for farm or family use. I rent my mill out to neighbors, at $2 for 24 bours use, and in this way it has paid for itself. But without renting a mill, it will pay any farmer to raise sorghum enough for his own use. It should always be planted just before corn planting, and not left, as is usual, until everything else is planted. Should be plowed well and hoed, and put on good ground to realize a profit.

A. Rankin. I consider sorghum a very profitable crop. Decidedly the best ground for sorghum is new prairie, high ground; it also does well on clay soil. Avoid all coarse manure, Yield of molasses per acre, 200 gallons. I have raised onions, but did not always find them profitable. Yield, from 50 to 400 bushels per acre.

G. W. Minier.-Nothing but onions; these pay well.

T. Gregg.-Hops and chiccory have not been grown here; tobacco and broom corn, seldom; onions, never, as a field crop. Sorghum is produced to a more limited extent than formerly. Such soil as mine will yield 200 to 250 gallops per acre of sirup, with good culture ; though the amount usually reached does not exceed 150 gallons. My soil has produced sirup of a very fine quality. Two-borse iron cylinder mills are in most common use, with home made, sheet iron and zinc evaporators.

G. W. Paughan. I have no experience in hops, none in tobacco, and do not use it in any way. Onions I raise for table use only. Sorghum and broom corn look much alike, and are weakly when young, but grow fast if tended well. They need faithful hoeing to thrive,

S. Buller.-Broom corn a good crop here.
J. G. Swann.-Tobacco, broom corn and sorghum pay well.

J. Barber.-Sorghum succeeds in the same soil, and is cultivated similarly to corn. It is not cultivated to the same extent, in this vicinity, as formerly.

J. Warder.-I know but little about the cultivation of hops, but should judge they would do well on our soil, as I have found them here frequently growing wild. About ten years ago, I grubbed up a vine in a clearing, brought it home and planted it near the porch; it bore hops in the greatest profusion, and formed in summer a grateful sbade, without cultivation.

« PreviousContinue »