« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
els may be obtained upon an acre. The varieties most admired are the Hovey's Seedling, Mammoth Alpine, Burr's, New Pine, Black Prince, and Hudson.
The Currant. This bush grows exceedingly well and vigorously, and should be shaded a little from the intense heat of the sun, that it may mature well. The common red currant gives the highest yield, but requires a cool situation, and a moistened, loose soil.
The Gooseberry. It is not much found in the southern part of this State, and requires almost the same properties of soil as the currant bush. The berry, as it grows hereabouts, is smooth and of medium size. It is found in abundance in the groves, but is much improved by cultivation. Some of the large foreign sorts are subject to mildew, but the natives and smaller class of imported sorts, flourish and bear well.
The Cranberry will succeed very well in the most northern parts of Illinois, on a swampy soil.
Nurseries. The number of nurseries in this State is truly a matter of astonishment. In Northern Illinois, nurseries are found capable of supplying the surrounding country with apple, as well as other fruit, and ornamental trees, and flowering plants. And yet, more trees are planted from Eastern nurseries, than from home establishments. It is a fact, however, that as far as our principal variety—the apple—is concerned, the eastern trees are worth less, and cost much more than
those of the same size or age at home. They are worth less, because : usually more attenuated in form, and unacclimated here, and when
badly handled—which is often the case with those peddled about the country—they have less vitality, and are more apt to die, or become diseased; and they cost more, because heavy charges and large commissions have to be added to the nursery price. It is known that eastern apple trees, which are “peddled” through the West, at from 20 to 30 cents per tree, are bought East at from $80 to $100 per thousand.
The principal nurseries in the State of Illinois, are :
The Grove Nursery, of J. & 0. Kennikott, at West Northfield, Cook County, office No. 47 Clarkson Street, Chicago.
The Lake Nursery, at Waukegan, Robert Douglas, proprietor; this nursery is thirty-five miles north of Chicago, on the Chicago and Milwaukie Railroad.
The Franklin Grove Nursery, A. R. Whitney, proprietor. Franklin Grove, Lee County, is located but one mile south of Franklin Station, on the Chicago and Dixon Air Line Railroad.
The Pleasant Ridge Nursery, Perry Aldrich, proprietor, five miles east of Hennepin, one mile east of Swaney, on the Hennepin and Indiantown road, town of Aripze, Bureau County.
The Bloomington Nursery, F. K. Phoenix, proprietor, at Bloomington, II.
The Kankakee Nursery, at Kankakee, ni. McGrew, Leas & Co., proprietors, where first-rate Osage plants for hedging may be had at reasonable prices.
The Dupage Nurseries, Lewis Ellsworth & Co. proprietors, at Naperville, Dupage County, III.
The Persimmon Grove Nursery, at Princeton, Bureau County, Ill., Arthur Bryant, proprietor.
In any of the above-mentioned establishments, fruit trees of good parentage and germ, as well as shrubs, and various plants for hedging and ornamental purposes, may be had; and all those that are engaged in the cultivation of choice trees or plants, will do well to get their supplies as little away from these places as possible.
AFTER many tiresome attempts that have been made in the west + and southwest of the United States, to promote this important branch
of culture, it may now be considered as a department of national agriculture, whose progress cannot be checked.
Experiments in the cultivation of the grape were made many years ago in this State; it appears that the first trials to introduce it were made in the years 1830 to 1836, in the neighborhood of Belleville, by Germans, who had emigrated to this country from the banks of the Rhine. They at first only planted such varieties as may be found on the banks of the Rhine. These
grew but poorly, for some years bore very little fruit, and gradually died away. This want of success created discouragement. It was generally believed that the climate of that part of the country was altogether unfavorable to the grape, and hence no farther attention was bestowed on that branch of agriculture, until a few years since, when it became known that the grape culture, near Cincinnati, made rapid and encouraging progress. Therefore in the years 1845 to 1847, this culture was resumed by the grape-growers near Belleville, and for that purpose they had some cuttings of the American Catawba sent to them from Cincinnati. The Catawba derives its name from a variety growing wild near the Catawba River. The soil near Belleville, and that in St. Clair County, seems to be particularly adapted for the grape, since it is a sandy loam, containing neither too little nor too much moisture. The open prairieland seems to be less adapted for grape culture, and this may
frequently prove so, on account of the too great fertility and richness of the soil. With regard to the best mode of cultivation, it should be remembered that it is not necessary to lay out the land in ridges, by trench ploughing. It will be sufficient to dig holes two feet square, or to make them three feet long, and two feet deep.
In a vineyard newly laid out, the principal object is to keep the ground cleansed of weeds; but as soon as the vines have attained their full size, it is sufficient to plough and hoe the land twice a year; the first time in spring, and again soon after the vintage. If, in the meantime, the weeds should grow too high, they should be cut off with the sickle. The tillage of the soil should be deferred until after the middle of May, when no more injurious night-frosts are to be dreaded. These are the most important suggestions concerning the tillage; as to the treatment of the vines themselves, let it not be forgotten that the stocks should be planted from six to eight feet apart; this open space, aś may be easily conjectured, will cause them to grow strong, vigorous, and productive of good and plentiful crops.
The two principal home varieties, are the Isabella and the Catawba. The former is more adapted to northern latitudes, from 42° upwards, while the latter grows better in a southern region, perhaps not much above 37°
Of distinguished foreign varieties, the Rhenish Grape, originating on the banks of the Rhine, and first grown in this country in the State of Ohio, near Cincinnati, deserves to be mentioned. A farmer in Peoria County obtained a few samples of this kind, and says that they have produced a fair crop of grapes, fifteen seasons in seventeen. It has a considerable resemblance to the Isabella, in appearance and flavor, but the vine is of much slower growth, and very hardy. The destruction to which grapes are more or less exposed, is caused by the rot, produced by excessive rains, followed by very sultry weather. If the winter lasts very long, the frost will sometimes affect, and even kill the buds, without, however, injuring the vines. The best quality of wine, which may be bad at Belleville, is the Catawba wine, which is far superior to any other kind grown in the United States. That the grape culture is quite remunerating near Belleville, and even a little farther north, is confirmed by the statements of most of the growers there. One of these informs us that from two acres of land, which have been in a bearing condition since 1850, he obtained 610 gallons in the first year, and 652 gallons in 1853; this, however, shows only the richest crops he obtained in the course of six years ; but though the vines may have yielded but half as much at other times, it will still leave a handsome average yield-about 160 gallons per acre.
The market price of the Catawba is from two to three dollars a gallon.
The rot, and the mildew, to which the grapes are more or less subject, may be diminished by very careful treatment in the cultivation, as well as a judicious selection of the locality. If we consider the difficulties and risks attending the cultivation of foreign grapes, which may either degenerate or prove to be failures, it will doubtless appear a better plan to bestow a little more attention on the grafting of those wild varieties of grapes, which nature allows to grow and thrive freely in the Mississippi valley. This enterprise has already been started by a few people, who commenced their researches last year, going to the Ozark Mountains, as far as Springfield. They gathered whatever they thought valuable of the kind, and returned with five new varieties of grape vines, and a quantity of seed. Not a little work and labor were expended in rendering useful these wild children of nature.
The most valuable varieties thus discovered are :
1. The Halifax vine, a native of the east; the grapes are pretty large, of good, rather peculiar flavor.
2. The Wine Home vine, was found growing wild in a rocky place; the dark grapes are of medium size, and the juice nearly colorless.
3. The Waterloo, or Rockhouse Indian vine, growing wild in the neighborhood of Waterloo, Ill. This vine grows very luxuriantly, and has a rough appearance. The little grapes are close together, and contain a very dark colored juice. This grape ripens about the middle of October. The wine has a fine, bright, reddish-blue color, and strongly resembles the best Burgundy.
4. The Ozark Muscat wine, from the Ozark Mountains; in appearance it is similar to No. 2. The grape tastes like nutmeg, a peculiarity which is not shared by the wine.
5. The Little Ozark vine. The whole plant has a bright and fresh appearance; the dark and long clusters nestle close under the shining, green leaves, and not a rotten berry is to be seen on the whole stock. They ripen about the beginning of October.
6. The Ozark Seedling. Most of the seedlings reared from the seeds gathered in the Ozark Mountains, after some years proved to be