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the grain must be thoroughly cleaned, if it is desired to serve as food for human beings.
A correspondent of the Ohio Cultivator says, that he “has made experiments to render land designed for wheat-culture more fertile, breaking up and ploughing under buckwheat plantations." This seems to be a method which meets the general approbation of those who have ever made the same experiment, with care and attention.
This branch of agriculture comes more and more into use, and is very lucrative to the farmer, if he understands the proper and judicious management. Considering the great increase of the production of beer, it is not to be expected that the prices will ever be lower than twenty cents. The middle and southern parts of Illinois seem to be particularly favorable for the growing of hops. In the neighborhood of Belleville, and in Missouri, the most promising beginnings have been made in the culture of hops.
Deep, loamy soil, is best for hops, and good corn land is good hop land also. To prepare land for hops, plough nine or ten inches deep, the land to be furrowed the same as for corn. Hops have running roots, from one foot to three feet long, with joints or eyes to them. These roots are cut from the old hill, every spring, after they have been planted two years. The joints or eyes are two or three inches apart. These are the roots to be planted; they must be cut so as to have three joints to a piece, and put three pieces to a hill. They are covered three inches deep. The second year, the quantity and quality are likely to be as good as ever from the field. Hops are generally planted at a distance which gives eight hundred hills to the acre. They twine around poles from thirteen to twenty feet long.
In order to obtain good potatoes for seed, make choice of a small spot of arable, well-drained land—an eastern slope, and new land, are the best-ploughed early in the spring, and furrowed four or five inches deep, 23 feet apart. Select middling-sized potatoes, which have touched the ground during the winter previous; but do not cut them. Drop one every eight inches along the furrows, and cover them by filling the furrows with earth.' Then cover them with a top dressing of forest-leaves and straw, two inches deep. As soon as the tops of the young plants are two or three inches high, pass between them with a shovel plough, followed by a hoe, destroying the weeds and levelling the ground; do not hill. This is all you have to do until fall; when the ground begins to freeze, cover over with straw, chaff, or forest-leaves, six inches deep, to keep them from frost. Your potatoes will now have a chance to rest and ripen during the winter. In this way you will have the greatest yield and best quality. Continue this course from year to year, and the rot will not only disappear, but your crop will increase from 25 to 100 per cent.
The third year you may increase your field crop, by ploughing in fine manure.
In some parts of the State we learn that the rank growth of the crop has chiefly developed itself in the vines, which are luxuriant beyond precedent, while the essential root itself, the potatoe, is found, upon being pulled, to amount to almost nothing, being very small and poor. This, however, may be no sign of a bad crop, for strong vines are considered a proof of good potatoes. There is time enough yet for the roots to grow to their full size, and they probably will, if the vines continue in good health. The crop is a very large one, and if the yield proves to be abundant, the price will fall much below its present cost.
Mr. Albert Weinberger, a farmer of thorough experience, in Whitefield township, Marshall County, Illinois, gives good encouragement in speaking of his own potatoe growths; hę says, that the average crops in his neighborhood may be laid down at about 100 bushels per acre, although he himself raised 150 bushels per acre last year,
and so did several of the neighboring farmers, in spite of the more or less injurious influences of the weather during the summer; this is a very good crop.
The average price of potatoes last year, in some markets of Illinois, was about fifty cents per bushel, and it is not an uncommon occurrence, that speculators make engagements for potatoes, even as early as the time of their planting.
In opposition to the system of planting potatoes late in the season, a communication was made to us by a farmer, that he raised no less than two hundred bushels of potatoes per acre, having planted them about the middle of May, that they should be well advanced by the time the hot weather comes on; or, according to his opinion, they may not be planted till after the middle of June, that they may have the benefit of the September rains. He says that last season, late planted potatoes in his neighborhood were almost an entire failure.
These are now existing in a number of varieties. The roots are usually spindle-shaped and farinaceous; the vines are herbaceous, taking roots at intervals; the leaves are hastate, (cross-bow shaped), and consequently three-lobed. The flowers, which are few, are white externally, and purplish within. In Northern Illinois, only one variety succeeds perfectly, viz: the Nansemond, brownish-yellow, short variety, which can be grown as far north as the varieties of Indian corn.
The ground should be trench-ploughed, at least one foot deep, and the soil thoroughly pulverized; this should be done at the time of setting the plants, and is a principle to be observed in all hoed crops—to plant in newly-ploughed land. No manure should be used, as this gives an excess of vine at the expense of tuber, nor will the potatoes be so rich, for with high manuring, they incline to be watery.
The best seed-time is about the first of April, and as the season is usually pretty rough then, it is necessary to put the seed-potatoes in hot-beds, for sprouting, and then cover them with hay or straw, to shelter them from rain or snow, still much prevailing at that early
About the first or middle of May, the plants will be several inches high, and should be transplanted as soon as no more danger of frost is to be feared. The ground into which they are then planted, and which has been prepared as above described, is laid off with a twohorse plough, in ridges about four feet wide.
These ridges are then divided with a hoe into hills the same distance apart, making four feet each way, so as to allow of culture with a shovel-plough both ways. The bills should be made large, like a two-bushel basket, though a little broader at the base; a smail excavation is made with the hand in the top of the hill; at the bottom of which a plant is set in the usual way, and a little water is then poured in, to settle the earth about the plants; if ordinary care has been bestowed on them, very few will fail. In the after culture a shovel
plough is run through in both directions, which, with the aid of the trowel about the top of the hills, will keep the crop free from weeds. The shovel-plough not only kills the weeds, but by breaking the crust, admits the air to permeate the soil, which is of high importance to the fair growth of all tuberous-rooted plants. The crop should be worked in this way several times, until the vines too much obstruct the way, when little farther attention is required, except to raise the vines with a stick, or by the hand; since they then have a disposition to send down roots at the joints, which should not be permitted.
Being in possession of various accounts from persons in this State, who have been growing the sweet potatoe for several years, we are led to the conclusion, that even the rich, loamy, prairie soil, with its abun. dance of vegetable mould, yields pretty good average crops of this favorite variety of tuberous plants; while on the other hand it may be considered as a long established fact, that sandy loam answers the purpose still better.
No rotation with other crops is required in growing the sweet potatoe; it succeeds well year after year in the same place. The great advantage to be derived from this is, that a suitable place can be selected, in which every excellence is united. The principal objects are to bave a place where the plants may enjoy much heat and sunshine, and where they are at the same time protected from cold winds and blasts.
It were to be wished that farmers and gardeners, even in the northern counties of this State, would give this vegetable the attention it deserves.
Is grown to a certain extent in several parts of the State, as well as in most of the Western States of this country. It is not only the seed, but the fibre also, which makes this a plant of high value.
No country in the world presents so many and so great advantages for the production of flax, as our own. In any of the Western States, the seed will always pay the expenses of growing, and give to the grower the average profit of 50 to 75 per cent. The production of tlax has sometimes been encouraged by manufacturers of woven goods in the Eastern States, for they have always been obliged to import their supplies of flax from Europe; and the prices paid for it, including the cost of transportation, duties, etc., makes the material pretty expensive before it reaches their hands; the question, therefore, arises, whether flax would not be much less expensive as a home product. There can be no doubt that it would—and great sums would be added to the present profits of flax-growing, which are only based upon the yields of flax-seed.
It is thought by some, that the growth of flax is injurious to the soil; but the experience of those who have paid complete and long attention to it, entirely contradicts this.
The soil best adapted to flax, is a rich, alluvial, or sandy loam, or a loose marl, neither too wet nor too dry. Upon poor, wet, or gravelly soils, it will not succeed, and manure should be applied on land of an inferior kind. Good wheat land will also be good for flax; soils of medium quality are best suited to its growth.
The ploughing should be done in fall, and the land be well drained, and repeatedly and carefully cleansed from weeds. In the spring the cultivator may be passed over the land to the depth of four or five inches ; a light harrow may then be run over it. Then the land should be rolled and barrowed, to make a fine surface for the reception of the seed, and a firm and compact bottom.
The expense of preparing grass land directly for flax, may sometimes be too great, and it is therefore desirable that some other crop should intervene, of plants such as do not occupy the land long, and which during their growth want frequent stirring; such plants as beans, peas, &c., because the repeated stirring renders the mould soft and loose, and at the same time destroys the weeds which would otherwise do much damage to the filax.
The seed may be sown any time between the middle of April, and the middle of June; later sowing is not to be recommended, as the crop always blossoms in the month of July, and if sown later, the plant is short, and the fibre soft and brittle. The seed should be spread evenly, and, if possible, in moist weather.
The roots penetrate downward about half the length of the stem; and a soil of the above description, loose and loamy, should therefore be chosen for the cultivation of flax; a soil which is not liable, either to contain too much moisture, or to be too dry, but is capable of being