Page images


The following are Dr. Emmon's exact analyses of—


Sap-wood. Bark.

Potash 22.25 6 20

Soda 1.84

Chlorine 0.31 1.70

Sulphuric acid 0.50 1.80

Phosphate of lime 27.22 6.50

Phosphate of peroxide of iron.. 0.31

Carbonic acid 27.69 37.29

Lime 12.64 30.36

Magnesia 3 00 9.40

Silica 030 0.40

Coal 0.17 0.65

Organic matter 4.02 4.20

180.25 98.30


Sap-wood. Bark.

Potash 16.19 4.930

Soda 3.11 3 285

Chloride of sodium 0.42 0.540

Sulphate of lime 0.05 0.637

Phosphate of peroxide of iron.. 0.80 0.375

Phosphate oflime 17.50 2 425

Phosphate of magnesia 0.20

Carbonic acid 29.10 44.830

Lime 18.63 51.578

Magnesia 8.40 0.150

Silica 0.85 0.200

Soluble silica 0.80 0 400

Organic matter 4.60 2.100

100.65 109 450


Wood. Bark.

Potash 20.84 1.77

Soda 206 0.27

Chlorine 0.02 0.40

Sulphuric acid 0.23 trace.

Phosphate of lime 15 40 5.04

Phosphate of peroxide of iron.. 1.20 5.04

Carbonic acid 34.83 32 22

Lime 17.33 39.32

Magnesia 4.40 0.80

Silex 2.80 14.00

Soluble silica 0.30

Coal and organic matter 2.20 1.30

100.21 100.86


Colors Of Flowers.—Those of the common pink Phlox are light blue early in the morning, and afterwards bright pink, as the sun advances. Those of the Oenothera tetra flora are white in the morning and red at noon. Hibiscus variabilis, flowers white in the morning, pink at noon and red at sunset. The bracts of Hakea Victoria are yellowish white the first year in the centre; in the second year, a rich golden color; the third year, a rich orange; the fourth year, a blood red; the green portion of the bracts become annually darker.


The best way to grow Asparagus is a "question''with the journals just now. I infer the subject interests. I beg to offer a sketch of my practice.

In the matter of soil I am not over particular. I only care to avoid extremes, of wet or dry. The best is probably a light sandy loam in cool situation, but noitcet.— A strong loam on a bed of brick clay is little inferior. Whatever soil be adopted, a foot in depth of half rotten stable manure should be laid on the surface, and the ground trenched up or loosened at least two feet deep, the manure being thoroughly mixed with it. Early in spring, having a stock of three or strong two year old plants at hand, prepare for planting by marking off for beds parallel lines of four feet, with two feet between each bed for alleys. In these beds set the plants nine inches from each other in two rows, commencing one foot from the edge of the bed, only just covering the roots with soil. This will give two feet between the rows in the beds, more than is usually allowed; but my object is to grow it well. After the planting is finished, lay a two inch covering of stable manure over the beds, and lake the soil from alleys three inches deep and throw over the manure.

I differ with most writers in the after treatment of my beds. I cut the second year from planting, but do not take off "all I can get till the middle of June, then leaving and encouraging all the rest to grow." I leave all I can spare of the earliest shoots; and, after it has been a month or so in season, cut off all that comes afterwards, provided I have enough shoots in that time to cover the bed without crowding. The shoots of this season, have to form the buds of the next; the more time afforded them to grow, and the less they are crowded, the finer in proportion will the shoots from the eyes be. Attention to this will obviate the necessity of "plucking of flowers-or young fruit as fast as they appear;" a recommendation which will probably share the fate of a similar one made to "pluck off potatoe blossoms" a few years ago. In the winter treatment of my beds I also have my own notions. As soon as the stalks are ripe they are cut off; the soil raked from over the roots into the alleys till the crowns of the roots are ncitrly visible, when I place on the beds a layer of manure two inches in thickness, and the soil in the alleys is replaced over this in the spring. This I practice every season, and by it any one without any pre-, tensions to chemical knowledge may have, in any common garden ground, asparagus. in abundance, averaging each stalk 2% or 3 inches in circumference, which I think any reasonable man ought to be pleased with. Salt is an excellent manure for it in dry, sandy soils; others it renders wet, stiff, cold, and miserable, in which we might as well try to grow cantaloupes as asparagus. There are tons of salt thrown away every year on asparagus.

Thomas Meehas, in Farm Journal.

If one of our leading market gardeners would, for one season, adopt the English plan of cultivating and cutting this vegetable, and supply his customers with it, the white, bitter, stringy trash now so common in our markets would find no buyers.

A late number of the London Gardeners' Chronicle very clearly alludes to the main points on which successful management depends:

1st. Abundance of manure applied at the proper time.

2d. Preservation of the stems and leaves during the whole season of growth, and, if possible, the prevention of seeding.

3d. Not to cut until the roots have become large and strong and then cut the same beds only every other year.

4th. To keep the roots near the surface in order to give them full benefit of atmospheric heat, that the growth may be strong and rapid and therefore green, succulent, and melting.

We extract as follows from the article referred to:

The grower of this vegetable ought to recollect that the two points of excellence in it are first size, and sound succulence. It should be thick as the thumb and brittle as glass. To secure this result two things are indispensable; it must be produced by very vigorous plants, and it must grow very fast. These two cardinal points must be coasidered separately.

Its vigor will depend upon the soil in which it grows, the quantity of manure it receives, and its general treatment. The long, stout, succulent fangs, or roots, of an asparagus are Bo tender that they will not form freely in soil which offers much resistance.

The natural asparagus is never large; on the contrary, it ia more like what is technically called "sprue." The cause of that is, we presume, to be sought in the want on the sea shore of the powerful manure on which it greedily feeds, when it can obtain it. The wild asparagus has all that

it requires for mere health; bat it is ill fed; it differs from the fine garden plant just as lean kine differ from fat bullocks. Feeding makes all, or great part of the difference. Experience shows that no manure is too strong for this plant; its great spongy roots can take up any quantity with advantage, if applied at the right season. That season is after it has begun to move in the spring; applied at any other time the fat, oozy slime which it loves, is absorbed without being assimilated, and soon produces a fatal rot in the roots. Beside this, the plant must be cherished during summer while not under the knife, for it is only thus that its vital powers can be much increased. No exuberance of growth in the asparagus stems can be regarded as excessive; nothing should be done to check it.

All precautions will, however, fail if the asparagus is called upon to bear a crop before it is old enough. Early bearing ruins plants as much as animals, and inevitably brings on premature debility. The older it is before the cutting begins, the stronger, other circumstances being equal, will it be found.

The asparagus being brought to the requisite state of vigor, the next question is how to secure the necessary succulence, which it never has beyond two or three inches in an English market, and not often anywhere else. That succulence will depend upon temperature as much as other causes. The warmer the asparagus bed is kept while the sprouts are rising, the more brittle they will be, provided the temperature of the soil does not rise above 75 deg. at the most.

Disease Amosg Nut Or Stoke Fbuit.— Last year lions. Geville pointed out this malady, and this year shows its attacks on our cherries. Those of many gardens, after having blossomed well and formed their fruit apparently in a sound condition, were all at once killed, either partially or completely, at the moment when the nut or pit was being formed. On examining the branches we found the pith turned black, with a sort of vegetable gangrene. Prunes, also, were partially attacked in the environs of Paris, same as the cherries. At Montreuil, many peaches were destroyed in the same way.— Rev. Hort.

Time Of Maturing Axd Ripebtng is Some Plants And Fruits.—Grasses from 13 to 45 days. Raspberry, Strawberry, Cherry, &c., 2 months. Roses, Whitethorn and Horse Chestnut, 4 months. Vine, Pear, Apple, Walnut, Beech, Plum, Nut, Almond, 5 to 6 months. Olive, 7 months.

[ocr errors]

The following appeared in an Eastern paper—most cultivators of plums would probably, like Franklin, like to know the cost of the whistle.

The Cubculio.—Among the numerous applications for the protection of the plum and other fruit trees from the ravages of this pomological pest, none seem to have proved effectual but shaking the trees night and morning, for many days, and collecting the insects upon clothes for destruction. This is so laborious, and requires such unremitting attention, that none but the most enthusiastic and persevering fruit growers will adopt it.

An ingenious amateur cultivator in this city has contrived a machine, by which his trees are subjected to a smart concussion every five minutes, night and day, during the season in which the curculio deposits its eggs in the fruit. This has proved entirely successful, and from trees that once set an abundance of fruit which never matured, he now gathers an ample supply for his own family, with a surplus for his friends.

As this contrivance is not expensive, and may be modified to suit the wants of the small cultivator, as well as those who raise plums for the market, a brief description of it may be acceptable to some of our readers. The motive power, by which this machine is operated, is a small stream of water from a cistern in the upper loft of a building contiguous to the trees. The water is conveyed to this cistern by a forcing pump worked by a small windmill, and as it is received into a cistern upon the lower floor, it is retransferred by a pump, and thus kept in constant circulation. In its descent from the upper to the lower vessel, it falls upon an over-shot bucket wheel, made of tin, three feet in diameter and three inches wide, which drives a train of wheels ending in a small gear that revolves once in five minutes. This gear works into a rack that has two adjacent teeth filed off, so as to allow the rack, at each revolution, suddenly to slip back. To the rack wires are attached, and led thence and connected with the hammers leaning against the plum trees. By the slow forward motion of the rack, the hammers are raised until the gear reaches the point of the missing teeth, when it is suddenly drawn forward by the descending weight of the hammers, which fall upon the trees with sufficient force to dislodge or frighten away every insect. The hammers are made of blocks of wood, twelve inches in length, and three in diameter, with long handles inserted like a

common beetle. The handles are fastened by a hinge to posts driven into the ground, and inclined at an angle of about 25 degrees from the perpendicular. The blow is received upon the stump of a limb sawed off within six inches of the boll.

The cost of the whole affair was thirty dollars, and the gentleman who devised it is of opinion that a small plum orchard, say of 50 or 100 trees,might be effectually protected from insect depredators, by an apparatus, the first cost of which wouid not exceed one hundred dollars.

The Advent Of The Locusts.—Dr. G. B. Smith, of Baltimore, who is generally well informed on the subject, announces that the seventeen years' locusts will appear this year on the whole of the eastern and western shores of Maryland, commencing about five miles from Baltimore, and extending to Carlisle, Pa. They will appear, also, all over Maryland, in very small numbers. They will also appear in Kanawha county, Va., and in this State about Lexington, Frankfort, Flemingsburgh, and extending to Meigs and Gallia counties, Ohio. In Massachusetts, about Barnstable, and adjacent towns, he says they will likewise appear. Dr. Smith adds: They can be found in all the above places, wherever trees, shrubbery or forests grew in 1838, by digging down one or two feet. They will be found in their cells, inside of lumps of earth of the size of the fist or larger; and when these are broken, by the spade or otherwise, the cells will be exposed, and the locust grubs in them, one in each cell.

Ivy on Buildings —It is a mistaken idea that ivy renders a structure damp, and hastens its decay. On the contrary, nothing so effectually keeps the building dry,as may be seen by examining beneath the ivy after rain, though everything around is deluged with wet. Its exuberant and web-like roots, issuing as they do from every portion of the branches, and running all over the surface on which it grows, bind everything together that comes within their reach with such a firm and intricate lace work, that not a single stone can be removed from its position without first tearing away its protecting safeguard. In proof of this, we refer to ruins of ancient castles and buildings; for, while in those parts of the structure that have not the advantage of this protection, all has gone to utter decay; where the ivy has thrown its preserving mantle, everything is comparatively perfect and fresh, and oftentimes the very angles of the sculptured stone are found to be almost as sharp and entire as when first they came from the hand of the builder.—Am. Ag.



Liquid Manure.—While I i utisider the addition of certain chemical fixing agents to the mass of yard manure as unnecessary, still their use in connection with the drainings, the liquid yard manure, is to be highly recommended; for in this case the whole of the added substance can be directly applied to the definite object of retaining vapors of ammonia, and therefore the process is not an expensive one; since a relatively small amount of fixing material is sufficient to prevent the escape of ammonia from a large quantity of the liquid, and also to fix tho ammonia of the solid manure, so soon as the latter is drenched with the former. The mixture must of course be made in the reservoir which collects the drainings; and which may occupy a separate accessible position, or may be placed in the midst of, and covered by the manure. Especially in the latter case, care must be taken that the fixing agent employed be such as does not occasion the separation of quantities of solid matter, which might easily stop up the pumps.

In practice three substances are especially employed as fixing material, viz.: gypsum (or plaster of Paris,) green vitriol, and sulphuric acid. The two former cause the separation in the tanks of a more or less considerable sediment which, in case of gypsum, consists mostly of carbonate of lime, or when green vitriol is employed, of a mixture of oxyd of iron and sulphuret of iron. The lime sediment, together with the liquid, which contains all the ammonia, dissolved in the form of sulphate of ammonia, may be applied directly to crops, and especially to meadows, with the greatest advantage. The iron sediment formed when green vitriol is used is also a good fertilizer; but mny at first act injuriously from containing the sulphuret of iron, which when exposed to the air becomes again poisonous green vitriol, (protosulphate of iron) that is destructive to young plants. By long and thorough exposure to the air, however, another body (persulphate of iron) is formed, which is innoxious. Green vitriol has long been used as a fixing agent in Switzerland, and in some parts of Belgium, while in England sulphuric acid is preferred, and the latter must always be employed where the separation of sediment is to be avoided.

A well known English farmer who has made many experiments upon the use of sulphuric acid, obtained the best results when he added 1 lb. sulphuric acid to 150 lbs. of tank liquid, (1 lb. to 20 gallons, nearly.) He also found that in comparing

the effects of the two equal quantities of tank liquid, one treated with sul. acid, and the other applied in its usual state, that in case of the former au expenditure of $10 gave a hay increase of $65 value. A similar if not so great advantage may of course be expected in case of all crops to which liquid manure is applied.

The extent to which ammonia may be lost when common liquid manure (i. e. liquid which has not been mixed with a fixing agent) is spread out upon a large surface, as when it is applied from the watering cart to a growing crop, thereby evaporating with great rapidity, is made evident by an experiment of D. Krutzsek who found that the solid residue remaining after the evaporation of perfectly putrid yard liquid, contained 3.\ per ct. ammonia; while the same liquid, treated with an acid (fixed) before evaporation, gave a residue containing I::.1, per ct. of ammonia. According to the estimate above given, the liquid manure yielded by each cow during a year, requires about 23 lbs. of sulphuric acid to fix its ammonia—if it be assumed, by way of example, that 2-3 of the urine is absorbed by the straw or litter and thus becomes a part of the solid manure, while the other J finds its way to the tank. To a pailful of tank liquor, may be reckoned J—\ lb. of sul. acid, and when the solid contents of the cistern are known, it is easy to calculate the total amount of acid required to be added from time to time, every week, for example. In case the whole of the contents of the cistern are applied to maintain the solid manure in i proper state of moisture, or preparation of compost, thus not being brought into direct contact with the crops, it is advisable to add yearly to the tank about 20—25 Ibs. of acid for each head of cattle. The outlay cannot fail to be well repaid, though it must be confessed that the advantages of the last case are not so remarkable, is when the liquid manure is applied as such directly to the crops; and this not because the action of the acid is not as perfect in one case as in the other, but for the reason that when yard manure and composts are skilfully prepared, the loss of ammonia is very slight, even without the use of fixing agents. I therefore recommend before making any great outlay for fixing materials to be used in the improvement of solid yard manure or compost, to determine by accurate experiment on the small scale, what is the money profit resulting from their application, and thus ascertain i' their use will pay; but when the yard drawings are to be applied directly to the crops, one can trust that the use of sulphuric acid in the proportions mentioned will yield most ample profit, will in fact, under favorable circumstances as to weather, &c., repay the outlay three to six-fold. It should be added that muriatic acid (spirit of salt, hydrochloric acid) may be used with the same results as sulphuric acid whenever it is cheaply obtainable.

Treatment Of Hohse-dung.—The use of fixing agents has proved to be especially advantagous with such manures as are very rich in compounds of nitrogen. Of such character is the urine of the horse, and when horse dung, itself so heating, is to be moistened and brought to a proper state of decay, by drenching it with tlie liquids that have drained from it, the employment of chemical means for retaining ammonia is most necessary.

In places where large quantities of horsedung accumulate, which must often lie several months, exposed perhaps to the summer heats, before it can be brought into use—the method proposed and carried into practice by Schattenmann, will be found very useful, if it is desired to preserve the qualities of the manure a long time unimpaired. Such a preservation can only be effected by artificially retarding the fermentation, which in case of horse dun;, may go on, as is well known, with such energy and rapidity as to cause even a spontaneous combustion of the mass.— Schattenmann seeks to hinder the fermentation not only by letting all the liquids of the manure run into a capacious cistern, but he drenches the first dung, especially in hot weather, with considerable quantities of water, and collects the washings in the same cistern with the first drainings. By this procedure the dung is, on the one hand, saturated with moisture; and on the other hand, fermentable substances are dissolved out and removed, thus in a double manner hindering the too rapid progress of the decay that soon supersedes.

This treatment is improved upon by adding green vitirol; or where this is costly, dilute sulphuric acid or even plaster of pans to the collected liquids, in quantity sufficient to fix their ammonia, which may then be used to drench repeatedly the solid portions, as has been before written of, in connection with the management of common yard manure.

The urine of the horse evolves during its putrefaction considerable quantities of sulphuretted hydrogen; to prevent its unpleasant odor, it is well to use a few pounds of green vitrioi in all cases, even when gypsurn or sulphuric acid is depended upon as the chief fixing agent.

Finally the manure of sheep may be treated as has been recommended for horse

manure, especially when it accumulates in the yard during the summer in considerable quantity, and does not remain in the stable under the animals.

Peat Coal As A Fixing Agent.—Experiments have been made in Saxony with peat coal, which fully demonstrate its value as a means of retaining the virtues of liquid manure. By its use not only is the volatile ammonia held back, as when gypsum, sul. acid &c., are employed, but it is carried into a less soluble combination whereby its leaching into the subsoil is hindered. Doubtless on many light soils, no inconsiderable share of the ammonia contained in liquid manure which has been treated with the other mentioned fixing agents, is lost by the action of rains. Beside this advantage, the coal has, as is well known, the faculty of absorbing any vapors of ammonia that may be floating in the air, or that are brought down in rains and dews.

Finally the porous coal acts upon many soluble mineral salts, especially upon those containing potash in an analogous manner, though not in so high a degree. It renders them less soluble, and therefore are more durable in their action, as they remain a longer time in the vicinity of the roots and plants.

These properties are possessed in the highest degree by the exceedingly porous wood-charcoal: this is however too dear in Germany to be used on the large scale.

Peat or turf coal acts more favorably as a fixer, according as the original peat or turf from which it is prepared, is more of a light and woody nature and less mingled with sand and earth.— Country Gcjit.

Kural Conveniences.

We do not allude to the common, slipshod, and imperfect way in which these supplies are obtained; that is, by means of late and stunted vegetables in a weedy and unmanured garden, or fruit of a doubtful character, on neglected, moss-grown, unpruned trees, and everything else of a similar style of production. These cannot be called luxuries, and even the inhabitant of dense cities, who sees only brick walls, and one small patch of clear sky just overhead, may get much better at the nearest market, or the corner of the next street.

What we allude to, are articles of much higher perfection—the best early vegetables from the hot bed; the most delicious raised in the open garden; fruits of the most improved varieties, under the best cultivation, and comprising the whole yearly circle, from the earliest strawberries and cherries, through the profusion of sorts that

« PreviousContinue »