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Full text of "Agriculture for beginners"

AGRICUUURE 

FOR 

BEGINNERS 

BURKETT STEVENS 
AND HILL 




BCOMP'\?Q 






\l 






Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2010 with funding from 

NCSU Libraries 



http://www.archive.org/details/agricultureforbOOburl< 



AGRICULTURE FOR 
BEGINNERS 



BV 

CHARLES WILLIAM BURKETT 

Editor of the Amer/c.4X Acr/clltlr/st 

formerlv director of agriclltiral experiment station 

K.\NSAs State Agriclltlral College 



FRANK LINCOLN STEVENS 

Professor of Plant Pathoijogv, University of Illinois 

FORMERLY TeACHER OF SCIENCE IN HlC.H ScHOOL 

CoLiMBis, Ohio 

AND 

DANIEL HARVEY HILL 

President of the North Carolina College of 
Agricvlti're and Mechanic Arts 



REVISED EDITIOX 



GIXX AND COMPANY 

BOSTON • NEW YORK • CHICAGO • LONDON 



Ccii-VRK,IIT, 1903, 1904, igi4, HY 

Charles William Uurkett, Frank Lincoln Stevens 

AND Daniel Harvey Hill 



ALL KKIHIS RESERVED 
214.2 



i;lNN AND lUMl'AiW • I'KU- 
PKIHTOKS • UOSTUN • U.S.A. 



PREFACE 

Since its first publication "Agriculture for Beginners" 
has found a welcome in thousands of schools and homes. 
Naturally many suggestions as to changes, additions, and 
other improvements have reached its authors. Naturally, too, 
the authors have busied themselves in devising methods to 
add to the effectiveness of the book. Some additions have 
been made almost ever)- year since the book was published. 
To embodv all these changes and helpful suggestions into a 
stricth- unified volume ; to add some further topics and sec- 
tions ; to bring all farm practices up to the ideals of to-day ; to 
include the most recent teaching of scientific investigators — 
these were the objects sought in the thorough revision which 
has just been given the book. The authors hope and think 
that the remaking of the book has added to its usefulness 
and attractiveness. 

They believe now, as they believed before, that there is no 
line of separation between the science of agriculture and the 
practical art of agriculture. They are assured by the success 
of this book that agriculture is eminently a teachable subject. 
They see no difference. bet\veen teaching the child the funda- 
mental principles of farming and teaching the same child 
the fundamental truths of arithmetic, geography, or grammar. 
The)' hold that a youth should be trained for the farm just as 
carefully as he is trained for any other occupation, and that 
it is unreasonable to expect him to succeed without training. 



iv AGRICULTIRE FOR BEGIXXERS 

If they are right in these views, the training must begin 
in the public schools. This is true for t^vo reasons : 

1. It is universally admitted that aptitudes are devel- 
oped, tastes acquired, and life habits formed during the years 
that a child is in the public school. Hence, during these 
important years ever\- child intended for the farm should 
be taught to know and love nature, should be led to form 
habits of obser\ation, and should be required to begin a 
study of those great laws upon which agricultiu-e is based. 
A training like this goes far toward making his life-work 
profitable and delightful. 

2. Most boys and girls reared on a farm get no educa- 
tional training except that given in the public schools. If, 
then, the truths that unlock the doors of nature are not 
taught in the public schools, nature and nature's laws will 
always be hid in night to a majorit}- of our bread-winners. 
They must still in ignorance and hopeless drudgers- tear 
their bread from a reluctant soil. 

The authors return hearty thanks to Professor Thomas 
F. Hunt. Universit)- of California ; Professor Augustine D. 
Selby, Ohio Experiment Station ; Professor W". F. Massey, 
horticulturist and agricultural writer ; and Professor Franklin 
Sherman, Jr.. State Entomologist of North Carolina, for 
aid in proofreading and in the preparation of some of the 
material. 



CONTEXTS 

CHAPTER I. THE SOIL 

SECTION PAGE 

I. Origin of the Soil i 

II. Tillage of the Soil 6 

III. The MoisTiRE of the Soil 9 

IV. How THE Water rise.s in the Soil 13 

V. Draining the Soil 14 

VI. Improving the Soil 17 

VII. Manlring the Soil 21 

CHAPTER II. THE SOIL AND THE PLANT 

VIII. R00T.S 25 

IX. How the Plant feeds from the Soil 29 

X. Root-Tlbercles 30 

XI. The Rot.\tion of Crops ^^ 

CHAPTER III. THE PLANT 

XII. How the Plant feeds from the Air 39 

XIII. The Sap Current 40 

XIV. The Flower and the Seed 42 

XV. Pollination 46 

XVI. Crosses, Hybrids, and Cross-Pollin.\tion 48 

XVII. PROP.A.GATION BY BiTDs 51 

XVIII. Plant Seeding 59 

XIX. Selecting Seed Corn 66 

XX. Weeds 69 

XXI. Seed Pcrity and Vitality 72 



vi AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 

CHAPTER IV. HOW TO RAISE A FRUIT TREE 

SECTION PAGE 

XXII. Gr.\ftixg 78 

XXIII. Budding Si 

XXIV. Plaxting and Pruning S3 

CHAPTER V. HORTICULTURE 

XXV. Market-g.\rdening 89 

XXVI. Flower-g.\rdening loS 

CHAPTER VI. THE DISEASES OF PLANTS 

XXVII. The Cause and Nature of Plant Disease .... 122 

XXVIII. Yeast and Bacteria 127 

XXIX. Prevention of Plant Disease 129 

XXX. Some Special Plant Diseases 130 

CHAPTER VII. ORCHARD, GARDEN. AND FIELD INSECTS 

XXXI. Insects in Gener.\l 144 

XXXII. Orchard Insects 132 

XXXIII. Garden .\nd Field Insects 165 

XXXIV. The Cotton-Boll Weevil 173 

CHAPTER VIII. FARM CROPS 

XXXV. Cotton 180 

XXXVI. ToB.\cco 1S9 

XXXVII. Whe.\t 192 

XXXVIII. Corn 197 

XXXIX. Peanuts 202 

XL. Sweet Pot.\toes 204 

XLI. White, or Irish. Potatoes 206 

XLII. O.ATS 209 



CONTENTS vii 

SECTION PA«^ 

XLIII. Rye 213 

XLIV. Uarley -'5 

XLV. Sugar Plants 217 

XLVI. Hemp and Flax --^ 

XLVII. Buckwheat ^-9 

XLVIII. Rkt. -3' 

XLIX. The Timber CRf)i" -3- 

L. The Farm Garden -35 

CHAPTER IX. FEED STUFFS - 

EI. Grasses -3^ 

LIE Eegumes -44 

CHAPTER X. DOMESTIC AXIMAES 

EIIE Horses 262 

EIV. Cattle -7° 

EV. Sheep 276 

lAI. Swine -79 

EVIE Farm Poiltrv -^- 

E\'III. Pee CuLTiRE -S6 

EE\. Why we feed Animals 290 

CHAPTER XI. FARM DAIRVIXG 

EX. The Dairy Cow 293 

l.Xl. Mii.K, Cream, Churning, and Butter 297 

EXn. Hi)W Milk sours 302 

EX in. The Bahcock Milk-Tester 304 

CHAPTER XII. MISCEEEAXEOUS 

EX IV. Growing Feed Stuffs on the Farm 309 

EXV. Farm Tools and M.achines 313 

LXVI. Liming the Land 3^5 



viii AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 

SECTION PAGE 

LXVII. Birds 31S 

LXVIII. Farming on Dry Land 323 

LXIX. Irrigation 326 

LXX. Life in the Country 330 

APPEXDLX 339 

GLOSSARY 342 

IXDEX 351 



TO THE TEACHER 

An earnest teaching of this book will add to the attractive- 
ness of your course of study. Do not hesitate to enter very 
heartily into the subject. To teach agriculture you need not 
feel that you must be an authority on all questions arising in 
this broad field. To teach the elements of agriculture one 
need not be an expert in agricultural science. A farm prac- 
tice based on the fundamental principles of science will 
make life on the farm easier and will make the farm more 
beautiful, more productive, and more profitable. Any earnest 
teacher can easily learn these principles and then teach them 
with success. 

When it is possible, lead the pupils out into the field, 
make simple experiments before them, and have them also 
perform experiments. Let them learn directly from nature ; 
a fact gained at first hand will linger in the mind long after 
mere second-hand book-knowledge has departed. Teach by 
observation and experiment. The young mind grasps the 
concrete but wearies with the abstract. 

You will find in the practical exercises many suggestions 
as to experiments that you can make with your class. Do 
not neglect these. They will be the life of your work. In 
many cases it will be best to perform the experimental or 
observational work first, and turn later to the text to amplify 
the pupil's knowledge. 

Although the authors have arranged this book in a logical 
order, they hope that teachers will feel free to teach each 



X AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 

topic in the season best suited to its study. Omit any chapter 
or section that does not deal with conditions in your state or 
with your crops. 

Tr}- to get for your school library ever)- farm bulletin 
issued by the United States Department of Agriculture and 
as many bulletins as possible from different state experiment 
stations. These bulletins cost nothing and are mines of 
practical and interesting information. 



TO THE PUPIL 

Consult the glossar\- in the back of this book for the 
meanings of all hard words. 

Perform all the suggested experiments for yourself. Do 
not be content to watch your teacher or your fellow-students 
perform the experiments. First-hand work gives expertness, 
accuracy, interest, knowledge, and power. 

Above all, learn of nature. At first she is a shy and 
silent teacher, but on better acquaintance she will talk to 
you in many tongues. 



AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 

CHAPTER I 

the' soil 

section i. origin' of the soil 

The word soil occurs many times in this Httle book. In 
agriculture this word is used to describe the thin layer of 
surface earth that, like some great blanket, is tucked around 
the wrinkled and age-beaten form of our globe. The harder 
and colder earth under this surface layer is called the subsoil. 
It should be noted, however, that in waterless and sun-dried 
regions there seems little difference between the soil and 
the subsoil. 

Plants, insects, birds, beasts, men, — all alike are fed on 
what grows in this thin layer of soil. If some wild flood in 
sudden wrath could sweep into the ocean this earth-wrapping 
soil, food would soon become as scarce as it was in Samaria 
when mothers ate their sons. The face of the earth as we 
now see it, daintily robed in grass, or uplifting waving acres 
of com, or even naked, water-scarred, and disfigured by man's 
neglect, is ver)- different from what it was in its earliest davs. 
How was it then } How was the soil formed } 

Learned men think that at first the surface of the earth 
was solid rock. How was this rock changed into workable 
soil } Occasionally a curious boy picks up a rotten stone, 
squeezes it, and finds his hands filled with dirt, or soil. Now, 

I 



2 AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 

just as the boy crumbled with his fingers this single stone, 
the great forces of nature with boundless patience crumbled, 
or, as it is called, disintegrated, the early rock mass. The 
simple but giant-strong agents that beat the rocks into pow- 
der with a clublike force a millionfold more powerful than 
the club force of Hercules were chiefly (i) heat and cold; 
(2) water, frost, and ice; (3; a ven- low form of vegetable 
life; and (4) tiny animals — if such minute bodies can be 
called animals. In some cases these forces acted singly ; in 
others, all acted together to rend and crumble the unbroken 
stretch of rock. Let us glance at some of the methods used 
by these skilled soil-makers. 

Heat and cold are working partners. You already know 
that most hot bodies shrink, or contract, on cooling. The 
early rocks were hot. As the outside shell of rock cooled 
from exposure to air and moisture it contracted. This shrink- 
age of the rigid rim of course broke mam* of the rocks, and 
here and there left cracks, or fissures. In these fissures water 
collected and froze. As freezing water expands with irre- 
sistible power, the expansion still further broke the rocks to 
pieces. The smaller pieces again, in the same wa}, were acted 
on by frost and ice and again crumbled. This process is 
still a means of soil-formation. 

Running water was another giant soil-former. If you would 
understand its action, obser\'e some usually sparkling stream 
just after a washing rain. The clear waters are discolored by 
mud washed in from the surrounding hills. As though dis- 
liking their muddy burden, the waters strive to throw it off. 
Here, as low banks offer chance, they run out into shallows 
and drop some of it. Here, as they pass a quiet pool, they 
deposit more. At last they reach the still water at the mouth 
of the stream, and there they leave behind the last of their 



THE SOIL 3 

mud load, and often form of it little three-sided islands called 
deltas. In the same way mighty rivers like the Amazon, the 
Mississippi, and the Hudson, when they are swollen by rain, 
bear great quantities of soil in their sweep to the seas. Some 
of the soil they scatter over the lowlands as they whirl sea- 
ward ; the rest they deposit in deltas at their mouths. It is 




Fig. I. Rock marked by the ScRAriNc of a C^laciek over it 

estimated that the Mississippi carries to the ocean each year 
enough soil to cover a square mile of surface to a depth of 
two hundred and sixty-eight feet. 

The early brooks and rivers, instead of bearing mud, ran 
oceanward either bearing ground stone that they themselves 
had worn from the rocks by ceaseless fretting, or bearing 
stones that other forces had already dislodged. The large 
pieces were whirled from side to side and beaten against 
one another or against bedrock until they were ground into 
smaller and smaller pieces. The rivers distributed this rock 



4 AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 

soil just as the later rivers distribute mudd\- soil. For ages 
the mo\"ing waters ground against the rocks. \'ast were the 
waters ; vast the number of years ; vast the results. 

Glaciers were another soil-producing agent. Glaciers are 
streams " frozen and mo\"ing slowly but irresistibly onwards, 
down well-defined valleys, grinding and pulverizing the rock 
masses detached by the force and weight of their attack." 
Where and how were these glaciers formed ? 

Once a great part of upper North America was a \-ast 
sheet of ice. Whatever moisture fell from the sky feU as 
snow. No one knows what made this long winter of snow, 
but we do know that snows piled on snows until mountains 
of white were built up. The lower snow was by the pres- 
sure of that above it packed into ice masses. By and by 
some change of climate caused the masses of ice to break 
up somewhat and to move south and west. These mo\ing 
masses, carr\-ing rock and frozen earth, ground them to 
powder. King thus describes the stately movement of 
these snow mountains : " Beneath the bottom of this slowly 
moxing sheet of ice, which with more or less difficultA* 
kept itself conformable with the face of the land over which 
it was riding, the sharper outstanding points were cut 
away and the deeper river canons filled in. Desolate and 
rugged rocky wastes were thrown down and spread over 
with rich soil." 

The joint action of air, moisture, and frost was still another 
agent of soil-making. This action is called u'cathcriug. When- 
ever you have noticed the outside stones of a spring-house, 
3^ou have noticed that tiny bits are crumbling from the face 
of the stones, and adding little by little to the soil. This is a 
slow way of making additions to the soil. It is estimated that 
it would take 728,000 years to wear aw^y limestone rock to 



THE SOIL 



5 



a depth of thirty-nine inches. But when you recall the count- 
less years through which the weather has striven against the 
rocks, you can readily understand that its never-wear)ing 
actixity has added immensely to the soil. 

In the rock soil formed in these various ways, and indeed 
on the rocks themselves, tiny plants that live on food taken 
from the air began to grow. They grew just as )-ou now see 
mosses and lichens grow on the surface of rocks. The decay 




Fig. 2. Ground Rock at End of a Glacier 

of these plants added some fertility to the newly formed soil. 
The life and death of each succeeding generation of these 
lowly plants added to the soil matter accumulating on the 
rocks. Slowly but unceasingly the soil increased in depth 
until higher vegetable forms could flourish and add their dead 
bodies to it. This vegetable addition to the soil is generally 
known as Imunts. 

In due course of time low forms of animal life came to 
live on these plants, and in turn by their work and their death 
to aid in making a soil fit for the plowman. 



6 AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 

Thus with a dehberation that fills man with awe, the pow- 
erful forces of nature splintered the rocks, ciTimbled them, 
filled them with plant food, and turned their flinty grains into 
a soft, snug home for vegetable life. 



SECTION II. TILLAGE OF THE SOIL 

A good many years ago a man hv the name of Jethro Tull 
lived in England. He was a farmer and a most successful 
man in every way. He first taught the English people and 
the world the value of thorough tillage of the soil. Before 
and during his time farmers did not till the soil veiy intel- 
ligently. They simply prepared the seed-bed in a careless 
manner, as a great many farmers do to-day, and when the 
crops were gathered the fields were not large. 

Jethro Tull centered attention on the important fact that 
careful and thorough tillage increases the available plant food 
in the soil. He did not know why his crops were better 
when the ground was frequently and thoroughly tilled, but 
he knew that such tillage did increase his yield. He ex- 
plained the fact by saying, " Tillage is manure." We have 
since learned the reason for the truth that Tull taught, and, 
while his explanation was incorrect, the practice that he was 
following was excellent. The stirring of the soil enables the 
air to circulate through it freely, and permits a breaking down 
of the compounds that contain the elements necessar}' to 
plant growth. 

You have seen how the air helps to crumble the stone and 
brick in old buildings. It does the same with soil if permitted 
to circulate freely through it. The agent of the air that chiefly 
performs this work is called carbonic acid gas, and this gas . 
is one of the greatest helpers the farmer has in cariy-ing on 



THE SOIL 7 

his work. We must not forget that in soil preparation the 
air is just as important as any of the tools and implements 
used in cultivation. 

If the soil is fertile and if deep plowing has always been 
done, good crops will result, other conditions being favorable. 




Fig. 3. Sloi'e to Water shows Soil weathered from 
Face of Cliff 

If, however, the tillage is poor, scanty har\'ests will always 
result. For most soils a two-horse plow is necessary to break 
up and pulverize the land. 

A shallow soil can always be improved by properlv deepen- 
ing it. The principle of greatest importance in soil-preparation 



8 AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 

is the gradual deepening of the soO in order that plant-roots 
mav have more comfortable homes. If tlie farmer has been 
accustomed to plow but four inches deep, he should adjust 
the plow so as to turn live inches at the next plowing, 
then sLx, and so on until the seed-bed is nine or ten inches 
deep. This gradual deepening \\ill not injure the soil but 
will put it quickly in good condition. If to good tillage 




Fig. 4. Mixed Grasses gruwn fur Forage 

rotation of crops be added, tlie soil will become more fertile 
\\ith each succeeding year. 

The plow, harrow, and roller are all necessary to good 
tillage and to a proper preparation of the seed-bed. The soil 
must be made compact and clods of all sizes must be crushed. 
Then the air circulates freely, and pa>ing crops are the rule 
and not the exception. 

Tillage does these things: it increases the plant-food 
supplv, destroys weeds, and influences the moisture content 
of the soil. 



THE SOIL 9 

EXERCISE 

1. What tools are used in tillage? 

2. How should a poor and shallow soil be treated? 

3. Whv should a poor and shallow soil be well compacted before 
sowing the crop ? 

4. Explain the value of a circulation of air in the soil. 

5. What causes iron to rust? 

6. Why is a two-horse turning-plow better than a one-horse plow ? 

7. Where will clods do the least harm — on top of the soil or below 
the surface ? 

8. Do plant roots penetrate clods ? 

9. Are earthworms a benefit or an injun,' to the soil? 
10. Name three things that tillage does. 



SECTION III. THE MOISTURE OF THE SOIL 

Did any one ever explain to you how important water is 
to the soil, or tell you why it is so important .'' Often, as you 
know, crops entirely fail because there is not enough water 
in the soil for the plants to drink. How necessar}' is it, then, 
that the soil be kept in the best possible condition to catch 
and hold enough water to carr\' the plant through dr}-, hot 
spells ! Perhaps you are ready to ask, " How does the mouth- 
less plant drink its stored-up water ? " 

The plant gets all its water through its roots. You have 
seen the tiny thread-like roots of a plant spreading all about 
in fine soil; they are down in the ground taking up plant 
food and water for the stalk and leaves above. The water, 
carrying plant food with it, rises in a simple but peculiar 
way through the roots and stems. 

The plants use the food for building new tissue, that is, 
for growth. The water passes out through the leaves into 
the air. When the summers are dry and hot and there is 



lO 



AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 



but little water in the soil, the leaves shrink up. This is 
simpU' a method they have of keeping the water from pass- 
ing too rapidly off into the air. I am sure you have seen 
the corn blades all shriveled on ver\- hot days. This shrink- 
age is nature's way of diminishing the current of water that 
is steadily passing through the plant. 

A thrifty farmer will tr)- to keep his soil in such good con- 
dition that it will have a supply of water in it for growing 
crops when dr)- and hot weather comes. He can do this by 
deep plowing, by subsoiling, by add- 
ing any kind of decaying vegetable 
matter to the soil, and by growing 
crops that can be tilled frequently. 
The soil is a great storehouse for 
moisture. After the clouds have 
emptied their waters into this store- 
house, the water of the soil comes to 
the surface, where it is evaporated 
into the air. The water comes to the 
surface in just the same way that oil 
rises in a lamp-wick. This rising of 
the water is called capillarity. 
It is necessar)- to understand what is meant by this big 
word. If into a pan of water you dip a glass tube, the water 
inside the tube rises above the level of the water in the pan. 
The smaller the tube the higher will the water rise. The 
greater rise inside is perhaps due to the fact that the glass 
attracts the particles of water more than the particles of water 
attract one another. Now apply this principle to the soil. 

The soil particles have small spaces between them, and the 
spaces act just as the tube does. When the water at the sur- 
face is carried away by drying winds and warmth, the water 




-^m^- 



Fig. 5. Ax Enlarged 
View of a Section of 
Moist Soil, showing 
Air Spaces and Soil 
Particles 



12 



AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 



deeper in the soil rises through the soil spaces. In this way 
water is brought from its soil storehouse as plants need it. 

Of course when the underground water reaches the sur- 
face it evaporates. If we want to keep it for our crops, we 
must prepare a trap to hold it. Nature has shown us how this 
can be done. Pick up a plank as it lies on the ground. Under 
the plank the soil is wet, while the soil not covered by the 




Fig. 7. Apparatus for testing the Holding of Water by 
Different Soils 

plank is dr}-. Why ? Capillarit}- brought the water to the sur- 
face, and the plank, b\- keeping away wind and warmth, acted 
as a trap to hold the moisture. Now of course a farmer can- 
not set a trap of planks over his fields, but he can make a 
trap of dry earth, and that will do just as well. 

When a crop like corn or cotton or potatoes is cultivated, 
the fine, loose dirt stirred by the cultivating-plow will make 
a mulch that ser\-es to keep water in the soil in the same way 



THE SOIL 



13 



that the plank kept moisture under it. The mulch also helps 
to absorb the rains and prevents the water from running off 
the surface. Frequent cultivation, then, is one of the best pos- 
sible ways of saving moisture. Hence the farmer who most 
frequently stirs his soil in the growing season, and especially 
in seasons of drought, reaps, other things being equal, a more 
abundant harvest than if tillage were neglected. 

EXERCISE 

1 . Why is the soil wet under a board or under straw ? 

2. Will a soil that is fine and compact produce better crops than one 
that is loose and cloddy ? Why ? 

3. Since the water which a plant uses comes through the roots, can 
the morning dew afford any assistance ? 

4. Why are weeds objectionable in a growing crop ? 

5. Why does the farmer cultivate growing com and cotton? 



SECTION IV. HOW THE WATER RISES IX THE SOIL 

When the hot. dn.- days of summer come, the soil depends 
upon the subsoil, or undersoil, for the moisture that it must 
furnish its growing plants. The water was stored in the 
soil during the fall, 
winter, and spring 
months when there 
was plenty of rain. 
If you dig down into 
the soil when every- 
thing is dr\- and hot, 
you will soon reach 
a cool, moist under- 
soil. The moisture 

increases as vou dig 

J . ', ., Fig. 8. Using Lamp-Chimnevs to show 

deeper mto the soil. ^„^ c^ ^^ „. ^ 

^ THE Rise of u ater in Soil 




14 AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 

Now the roots of plants go down into the soil for this 
moisture, because they need the water to carr\- the plant 
food up into the stems and leaves. 

You can see how the water rises in the soil by performing 
a simple experiment. 

EXPERIMENT 

Take a lamp-chimney and fill it with fine, drj' dirt. The dirt from a 
road or a field will do. Tie over the smaller end of the lamp-chimney a piece 
of cloth or a pocket handkerchief, and place this end in a shallow pan 
of water. If the soil in the lamp-chimney is clay and well packed, the 
water will quickly rise to the top. 

By filling three or four lamp-chimneys with as many different soils, 
the pupil will see that the water rises more slowly in some than in 
others. 

Now take the water pan away, and the water in the lamp-chimneys 
will gradually evaporate. Study for a few days the effect of evaporation 
on the several soils. 



SECTION V. DRAINING THE SOIL 

A wise man was once asked, "What is the most valuable 
improvement ever made in agriculture?" He answered, 
" Drainage." Often soils unfit for crop-production because 
they contain too much water are by drainage rendered the 
most valuable of farming lands. 

Drainage benefits land in the following ways : 

1. It deepens the subsoil by removing unnecessary water 
from the spaces between the soil particles. This admits air. 
Then the oxygen which is in the air, by aiding decay, pre- 
pares plant food for vegetation. 

2. It makes the surface soil, or topsoil, deeper. It stands 
to reason that the deeper the soil the more plant food be- 
comes available for plant use. 



THE SOIL 



15 



3. It improves the texture of the soil. Wet soil is sticky. 
Drainage makes this sticky soil crumble and fall apart. 

4. It prevents \\-ashing. 

5. It increases the porosit)- of soils and permits roots to 
go deeper into the soil for food and moisture. 

6. It increases the warmth of the soil. 

7. It oermits earlier working in spring and after rains. 




Fig. 9. Laying .\ Tile Dr.\ix 



8. It favors the growth of germs which change the 
unavailable nitrogen of the soil into nitrates ; that is, into 
the form of nitrogen most useful to plants. 

9. It enables plants to resist drought better because the 
roots go into the ground deeper early in the season. 

A soil that is hard and wet will not grow good crops. 
The nitrogen-gathering crops will store the greatest quan- 
tit}- of nitrogen in the soil when the soil is open to the free 



i6 



AGRICULTURE FOR BEGIXXERS 



circulation of the air. These \:aluable crops cannot do this 
when the soil is wet and cold. 

Sandy soils vi"ith sand}' subsoils do not often need 
drainage ; such soils are natiu^ally drained. With claj' soils 
it is different. It is ven* important to remove the stagnant 
water in them and to let the air in. 

\\'hen land has been properly drained the other steps in 
improvement are easily taken. After soil has been dried and 




Fig. io. A Tile ix Posmox 



mellowed by proper drainage, then commercial fertilizers, 
barnyard manure, cowpeas, and clover can most readily do 
their great work of impro\ing the texture of the soil and of 
making it fitter for plant growth. 

Tile Drains. Tile drains are the best and cheapest that 
can be used. It would not be too strong to say that drain- 
ing by tiles is the most perfect drainage. Thousands of 
practical tests in this countn,^ have proved the superiorit\- of 
tile draining for the foUovi-ing reasons : 



THE SOIL 17 

1 . Good tile drains properly laid last for years and do not 
fill up. 

2. They furnish the cheapest possible means of removing 
too much water from the soil. 

3. They are out of reach of all cultivating tools. 

4. Surface water in filtering through the tiles leaves its 
nutritious elements for plant growth. 

EXPERIMENTS 

To show the Efiect of Drainage. Take two tomato cans and fill 
both with the same kind of soil. Punch several holes in the bottom 
of one to drain the soil above and to admit air circulation. Leave 
the other unpunctured. Plant seeds of any kind in both cans and 
keep in a warm place. Add every third day equal quantities of water. 
Let seeds grow in both cans and observe the difference in growth for 
two or three weeks. 

To show the Effect of Air in Soils. Take two tomato cans ; fill 
one with soil that is loose and warm, and the other \\-ith wet clay or 
muck from a swampy field. Plant a few seeds of the same kind in each 
and observe how much better the dr}*, warm, open soil is for growing 
farm crops. 

SECTION VI. IMPROVING THE SOIL 

We hear a great deal about the exhaustion or wearing out 
of the soil. Many uncomfortable people are always declaring 
that our lands will no longer produce profitable crops, and 
hence that farming will no longer pav. 

Now it is true, unfortunately, that much land has been 
robbed of its fertility, and, because this is true, we should 
be most deeply interested in ever)thing that leads to the 
improvement of our soils. 

When our countn,' was first discovered and trees were 
growing ever\where, we had virgin soils, or new soils that 



iS 



AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 



xeae rich and jHoductive because they were filled with 
vegetable matter and plant food. There are not many 
virgin soils now because the trees have been cut from the 
best lands, and these lands have been :^rmed so carelessly 
that the vegetable matter and available plant f c-.od have been 




laigeH" used up. Xow that fresh land is scarce it is ver\' 
oecessaiy to restore fertility' to these exhausted lands. \\'hat 
are some of the wa}-s in which this can be done ? 

There are several things to be done in tning to reclaim 
wMn-out land. One of the first of these is to till the land 
wdL Many of you may have heard the stor\' of the dying 
father who called his sons about him and whispered feebly, 
" Thoe is great treasure hidden in the garden." The sons 
could hardly wait to bun- their dead father before, thud, 



THE SOIL 19 

thud, thud, their picks were going in the garden. Day after 
day they dug ; they dug deep ; they dug wide. Not a foot 
of the crop-worn garden escaped the probing of the pick as 
the sons feverishly searched for the expected treasure. But 
no treasure was found. Their work seemed entirely useless. 




Fig. 12. Increasing the Prodictive Power of the Soil 
Second crop of cowpeas on old, abandoned land 

" Let US not lose ever\' whit of our labor ; let us plant diis 
pick-scarred garden," said the eldest. So the garden was 
planted. In the fall the hitherto neglected garden yielded 
a har\-est so bountiful, so unexpected, that the meaning 
of their father's words dawned upon them. " Truly," they 
said, " a treasure was hidden there. Let us seek it in all 
our fields." 



20 AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 

The ston^ applies as well to-day as it did when it was first 
told. Thorough culture of the soil, frequent and intelligent 
tillage — these are the foundations of soil-restoration. 

Along with good tillage must go crop-rotation and good 
drainage. A supply of organic matter will prevent hea\y 
rains from washing the soil and carr}'ing away plant food. 
Drainage will aid good tillage in allowing air to circulate 
between the soil particles and in arranging plant food so 
that plants can use it. 

But we must add humus, or vegetable matter, to the soil. 
You remember that the virgin soils contained a great deal 
of vegetable matter and plant food, but by the continuous 
growing of crops like wheat, corn, and cotton, and by con- 
stant shallow tillage, both humus and plant food ha\e been 
used up. Consequently much of our cultivated soil to-day 
is hard and dead. 

There are three ways of adding humus and plant food to 
this lifeless land : the first way is to appl}' barnyard manure 
(to adopt this method means that livestock raising must be 
a part of all farming) ; the second way is to adopt rotation 
of crops, and frequently to plow under crops like clover and 
cowpeas ; the third way is to apply commercial fertilizers. 

To summarize : if we want to make our soil better \ear 
by year, we must cultivate well, drain well, and m the most 
economical way add humus and plant food. 

EXPERIMENT 

Select a small area of ground at your home and di\-ide it into four 
sections, as shown in the following sketch : 

On Section A apply barnyard manure ; on Section B apply com- 
mercial fertilizers ; on Section C applj? nothing, but till well : on 
Section D apply nothing, and till verj? poorly. 



THE SOIL 



21 



A, B, and C should all be thoroughly plowed and harrowed. Then 
add barnyard manure to .4. commercial fertilizers to B, and harrow A, 
B, and C at least four times until the soil 
is mellow and fine. D will most likely 
be cloddy, like many fields that we often 
see. Now plant on each plat some crop 
like cotton, corn, or wheat. When the 
plats are ready to harvest, measure the 
yield of each and determine whether 
the increased yield of the best plats has 
paid for the outlay for tillage and 
manure. The pupil will be much inter- 
ested in the results obtained from the 
first crop. 

Now follow a system of crop-rotation 
on the plats. Clover can follow corn or 
cotton or wheat ; and cowpeas, wheat. 
Then determine the yield of each plat 

for the second crop. By following these plats for several years, and in- 
creasing the number, the pupils will learn many things of greatest value. 



.1 


B 


c 


1) 



Fk; 



SECTION VII. MANURING THE SOIL 

In the early days of our histor)-, when the soil was new 
and rich, we were not compelled to use large amounts 
of manures and fertilizers. Yet our histories speak of 
an Indian named Squanto who came into one of the 
New England colonies and showed the first settlers how, 
by putting a fish in each hill of corn, they could obtain 
larger yields. 

If people in those days, with new and fertile soils, could 
use manures profitably, how much niore ought we to use 
them in our time, when soils have lost their virgin fertility, 
and when the plant food in the soil has been exhausted by 
\ears and years of cropping ! 



22 



AGRICULTURE FOR BEGIXXERS 




To sell year after year all the produce grown on land is 
a sure way to ruin it. If, for example, the richest land 
is planted eveiy year in com, and no stable or farm}^ard 
manure or other fertilizer returned to the soil, the land so 
treated will of course soon become too poor to grow anj^ crop. 
If, on the other hand, clover or alfaLEa or com or cotton-seed 
meal is fed to stock, and the manure from the stock returned 
to the soil, the land will be kept rich. Hence those farmers 

who do not sell such raw 
products as cotton, com, 
wheat, oats, and clover, but 
who market articles made 
from these raw products, 
find it easier to keep their 
land fertile. For illustra- 
tion : if instead of selling 
hay, farmers feed it to 
sheep and sell meat and 
wool 4 if instead of sell- 
ing cotton seed, they feed 
its meal to cows, and seU milk and butter; if instead of sell- 
ing stover, they feed it to beef cattle, they get a good price 
for products and in addition have all themanure needed to 
keep their land productive and increase its \^ue each 3ear. 
If we wish to keep up the ietbhty of our lands we should 
not allow anjthing to be lost from our farms. All the ma- 
nures, straw, roots, stubble, healthy vines — in fact eventhing 
decomposable — should be plowed imder or used as a top- 
dressing. Especial care should be taken in storing manure. 
It should be watchfully protected from sun and rain. If a 
farmer has no shed under which to keep his manure, he 
should scatter it on his fields as fast as it is made. 



Fig. 14. RjELATiox of HrMis to 
Growth of Cors 

I, dlay siAsofl ; 2, same, wbb feitOiaer ; 
3, gami»^ widi hiimiin 



THE SOIL 



23 



He should understand also that liquid manure is of more 
value than solid, because that important plant food, nitrogen, 
is found almost wholly in the liquid portion. Some of the 
phosphoric acid and considerable amounts of the potash are 
also found in the liquid manure. Hence economy requires that 








P'iG. 15. The Cotton Plant with and without Food 

In left top pot, no plant food : in left bottom pot, plant food scant)- ; in both right 
pots, all elements of plant food present 

none of this escape either by leakage or b\- fermentation. 
Sometimes one can detect the smell of ammonia in the stable. 
This ammonia is formed by the decomposition of the liquid 
manure, and its loss should be checked by sprinkling some 
floats, acid phosphate, or muck over the stable floor. 



24 AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 

Manv farmers find it desirable to buy fertilizers to use 
with the manure made on the farm. In this case it is 
helpful to understand the composition, source, and availability 
of the various substances composing commercial fertilizers. 
The three most valuable things in commercial fertilizers are 
nitrogen, potash, and phosphoric acid. 

The nitrogen is obtained from (i) nitrate of soda mined 
in Chile, (2) ammonium sulphate, a by-product of the gas 
works, (3) dried blood and other by-products of the slaughter- 
houses, and (4) cotton-seed meal. Nitrate of soda is soluble 
in water and may therefore be washed away before being 
used by plants. For this reason it should be applied in small 
quantities and at intervals of a few weeks. 

Potash is obtained in Germany, where it is found in sev- 
eral forms. It is put on the market as muriate of potash, 
sulphate of potash, kainite, which contains salt as an im- 
puritv', and in other impure forms. Potash is found also in 
unhachcd wood ashes. 

Phosphoric acid is found in various rocks of Tennessee, 
Florida, and South Carolina, and also to a large extent in 
bones. The rocks or bones are usually treated with sulphuric 
acid. This treatment changes the phosphoric acid into a 
form ready for plant use. 

These three kinds of plant food are ordinaril}" all that we 
need to supply. In some cases, however, lime has to be 
added. Besides being a plant food itself, lime helps most 
soils by impro^■ing the structure of the grains ; by sweetening 
the soil, thereby aiding the little li^•ing germs called bacteria; 
by hastening the decay of organic matter ; and b\- setting 
free the potash that is locked up in the soil. 



CHAPTER II 



THE SOIL AND THE PLANT 



SECTIOxN VIII. ROOTS 

You have perhaps observed the regularity of arrangement 
in the twigs and branches of trees. Now pull up the roots of a 
plant, as, for example, sheep sorrel, J imson weed, or some other 
plant. Note the branching of the roots. 
In these there is no such regularity as 
is seen in the twig. Trace the rootlets to 
their finest tips. How small, slender, 
and delicate they are ! Still we do not 
see the finest of them, for in taking the 
plant from the ground we tore the most 
delicate away. In order to see the real 
construction of a root we must grow 
one so that we may examine it unin- 
jured. To do this, sprout some oats in 
a germinator or in any box in which 
one glass side has been arranged and 
allow the oats to grow till the}- are two or 
more inches high. Now examine the 
roots and you will see very fine hairs, 
similar to those shown in the accompanying figure, forming 
a fuzz over the surface of the roots near the tips. This 
fuzz is made of small hairs standing so close together that 
there are often as many as 38,200 on a single square inch. 

25 




Fig. 16. Root-Hairs 
ON A Radish 



26 



AGRICULTURE FOR BEGIXXERS 



/ 







Fig. 17. A Slicx of 
A Root 



Fig. 17 shows how a root looks when it has been cut cross- 
wise into what is known as a cross section. The figure is 
much increased in size. You can see 
how the root-hairs extend from the 
root in every direction. Fig. 18 shows 
a single root-hair very greatl)- en- 
krged, with particles of sand stick- 
ing to it. 

These hairs are the feeding-organs 

of the roots, and the\' are formed 

only near the tips of the finest roots. 

You see that the large, coarse roots 

that 3'ou are familiar with have noth- 

H«biT magnified ing to do with absorbing plant food 

from the soil. They serve merely to conduct the sap and 

nourishment from the root-hairs to the tree. 

WTien you apply manure or other fertilizer to a tree, 
remember that it is far better to supply the 
fertilizer to the roots that are at some dis- 
tance from the trunk, for such roots are the 
real feeders. The plant food in the manure 
soaks into the soil and immediately reaches 
the root-hairs. You can understand this 
better b\- studxing the distribution of the 
roots of an orchard tree, shown in Fig. 19. 
There you can see that the fine tips are found 
at a long distance from the main trunk. 

You can now readily see why it is that 
plants usually wilt when they are trans- 
planted. The fine, dehcate root-hairs are 
then broken oif, and the plant can but poorly keep up its 
food aiKi water supply untQ new hairs have been formed. 




Fig. iS. A Root- 
ELaik with Par- 
tici.es of Soil 

STICKIXG TO it 



THE SOIL AXD THE PLANT 



27 



While these are forming, water has been evaporating from 
the leaves, and consequently the plant does not get enough 
moisture and therefore droops. 

Would you not conclude that it is ver\- poor farming to 
till deeply anv crop after the roots have extended between 




Clay and Gravel 
Groundwater 



Fig. 19. UisTRiBiTioN of Apple-Trek Roots 

the rows far enough to be cut by the plow or cultivator.? In 
cultivating between corn rows, for example, if you find that 
you are disturbing fine roots, you may be sure that you are 
breaking off millions of root-hairs from each plant and hence 
are doing harm rather than good. Fig. 20 shows how the 
roots from one com row intertangle with those of another. 
You see at a glance how many of these roots would be 



2S 



AGRICULTURE FOR BEGIXXERS 



destroyed by deep culri^"ation. Stirring the upper inch of soil 
when the plants are well grovm is sufficient tillage and does 
no injun- to the roots. 

A deep soil is much better than 
a shallow !^'-:], ?■- :''r^ ^^erth rr:akes "'■74'- 




Fig. 20. 



Row TO Row 



h ' -: : sier for the roots 

::. c.:^.. wci^ ;^^d. Fig. 21 illus- 
tiates well how far down into the 
soil the alfalfa roots go. 

EXERCISE 

Dig up the roots of several cuhivaied 
plants and tsieeds and compare dieni. Do 
Tou find smne that are fine or filKVius? 
scHnelfle^y like the carrot? ThedanddioD 

is a good example of a tap-rooL Tap-roots are deep feeders. Examine 
veiy carefuMy the roots of a medium-sized com plant. Sift the dirt away 
gently so as to loosen as few roots as possible. How do the roots com- 
pare in area with the part above the ground? Try to trace a single root 
of the corn plant bxnm the stalk to its ven- tip. How long are the roots of 
mature plants? Are they deep <m- shallow feeders? Germinate some oats 
or beans in a glass^ded box, as suggested, and obsene the root-hairs. 




Fig. 21 
Alf.^ifa Root 



THE SOIL AND THE PLANT 



29 



SECTION IX. HOW THE PLANT FEEDS FROM 
THE SOIL 

Plants receive tlicir nourishment from two sources — 
from the air and from the soil. The soil food, or mineral 
food, dissolved in water, must reach the plant through the 
root-hairs with which all plants are provided in great num- 
bers. Each of these hairs may be compared to a finger reach- 
ing among the particles of earth for food and water. If we 
examine the root-hairs ever so closely, 
we find no holes, or openings, in them. 
It is evident, then, that no solid particles 
can enter the root-hairs, but that all 
food must pass into the root in solution. 

An experiment just here will help us 
to understand how a root feeds. 

EXPERIMENT 

Secure a narrow glass tube like the one in 
Fig. 22. If you cannot get a tube, a narrow, 
straight lamp-chimney will, with a little care, do 
nearly as well. From a bladder made soft by 
soaking, cut a piece large enough to cover the 
end of the tube or chimney and to hang over 
a little all around. Make the piece of bladder 
secure to the end of the tube by wrapping tightly with a waxed thread, 
as at B. Partly fill the tube with molasses (or it may be easier in case 
you use a narrow tube to fill it before attaching the bladder). Put the 
tube into a jar or bottle of water so placed that the level of the molasses 
inside and the water outside w-ill be the same. Fasten the tube in this 
position and observe it frequently for three or four hours. At the end 
of the time you should find that the molasses in the tube has risen above 
the level of the liquid outside. It may even overflow at the top. If you 
use the lamp-chimney the rise will not be so clearly seen, since a greater 
volume is required to fill the space in the chimney. This increase in 




Fig. 22. Experiment 

TO SHOW HOW Roots 

TAKE ur Food 



30 AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 

the cootoits of the tube is due to die entrance of water from the outside. 
The water has passed through the thin bladder, or memlHane, and has 
come to occupy space in the tube. Th»e is also a passage the other 
way, but the molasses can pass through the bladder membrane so 
slowhr that the passage is scarody noticeable. There are no holes, or 
opemagi. in die memlHane, but still there is a free passage of liquids in 
both directions, although the nK»e heavfly laden solud<m must move 
mme slowly. 

A root-hair acts in much the same \ray as the tube in our 
experiment, with the exception that it is so made as to allow 
certain substances to pass in only one direction, that is, toward 
the inside. The outside of the nx>t-hair is bathed in solutions 
rich in nourishment. The nourishment passes from the out- 
side to the inside through the deUcate membrane of the root- 
hair. Thus does food enter the plant-root. From the root-hairs, 
foods are carried to the inside of the rooL 

From diis you can see how important it is for a plant to 
have fine, loose soil for its root-hairs ; also how necessai}- is 
the water in the soil, since the food can be used onl}- when 
it is dissolved in water. 

This passage of liquids from one side of a membrane to 
another is called osntosis. It has man}' uses in the plant 
kingdom. We sa}' a root takes nourishment b\' osmosis. 

SECTION X- ROOT-TL'BERCLES 

Tubercle is a big word, but \ou ought to know how to pro- 
noimce it and what is meant b\- root-tubercles. We are going 
to tell you what a root-tubercle is and somrthing about its 
importance to agriculture. WTien wu have learned this, we 
are sure you will want to examine some plants for 5"ourself 
in order that you may see just what tubercles look like on 
a real root. 



THE SOIL AND THE PLANT 



31 



Root-tubercles do not form on all kinds of plants that 
farmers grow. They are formed only on those kinds that 
botanists call hginucs. The clovers, cowpeas, vetches, soy 
beans, and alfalfa are all legumes. The tubercles are little 
knotty, wart-like growths on the roots of the plants just 
named. These tubercles are caused by tiny forms of life 
called, as you perhaps already know, bacteria, or germs. 




Fig. 23. TiBERCLES on Clover Roots 

The specimen at the right was grown in soU inoculated with soil from an old clover 
field. The one at the left was grown in soil not inoculated 

Instead of living in nests in trees like birds or in the 
ground like moles and worms, these tiny germs, less than 
one twenty-fi\e thousandth of an inch long, make their homes 
on the roots of legumes. Nestling snugly together, they live, 
grow, and multiply in their sunless homes. Through their 
activit}- the soil is enriched by the addition of much nitro- 
gen from the air. They are the good fairies of the farmer, 



32 



AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 




and no magician's wand ever blessed a land so much as these 
im-isible folk bless the land that they live in. 

Just as bees gather hone\' from the flowers and carr}- it to 
the hives, where they prepare it for their own future use and 
for the use of others, so do these root-tubercles gather nitro- 
gen from the air and fix it in their root honies, where it can 

be used by other crops. 
In the earlier pages 
of this book }-ou were 
told something about 
the food of plants. One 
of the main elements 
of plant food, perhaps 
you remember, is nitro- 
gen. Just as soon as 
the roots of the legu- 
minous plants begin to 
push down into the soil, 
the bacteria, or germs 
that make the tuber- 
cles, begin to build their 
homes on the roots, 
and in so doing they 
add nitrogen to the soil. You now see the importance of grow- 
ing such crops as peas and clover on your land, for b\- their 
tubercles you can constantly add plant food to the soil. Xow 
this much-needed nitrogen is the most costly part of the fer- 
tilizers that farmers buy every year. If even^ farmer, then, 
would grow these tubercle-bearing crops, he would rapidly 
add to the richness of his land and at the same time escape 
the necessit}' of buying so much expensive fertilizer. 



Mi' 





Fig. 24. Soy Beans and Cowpeas, 
Two Great Soil-Improvers 



THE SOIL AND THE PLANT 33 

EXPERIMENT 

Take a spade or shovel and dig carefully around the roots of a cowpea 
and a clover plant ; loosen the earth thoroughly and then pull the plants 
up, being careful not to break off any of the roots. Now wash the roots, 
and after they become dry count the nodules, or tubercles, on them. 
Observe the difference in size. How are they arranged.'' Do all legumi- 
nous plants have equal numbers of nodules? How do these nodules 
help the farmer.'' 

SECTION XL THE ROTATION OF CROPS 

Doubtless you know what is meant by rotation, for your 
teacher has explained to you already how the earth rotates, 
or turns, on its axis and revolves around the sun. When we 
speak of crop-rotation we mean not only that the same crop 
should not be planted on the same land for two successive years 
but that crops should follow one another in a regular order. 

Many farmers do not follow a system of farming that in- 
volves a change of crops. In some parts of the country the 
same fields are planted to corn or wheat or cotton year after 
year. This is not a good practice and sooner or later will 
wear out the soil completely, because the soil-elements that 
furnish the food of that constant crop are soon exhausted 
and good crop-production is no longer possible. 

Why is crop-rotation so necessary ? There are different 
kinds of plant food in the soil. If any one of these is used 
up, the soil of course loses its power to feed plants properly. 
Now each crop uses more of some of the different kinds 
of foods than others do, just as you like some kinds of food 
better than others. But the crop cannot, as you can, learn 
to use the kinds of food it does not like ; it must use the 
kind that nature fitted it to use. Not only do different crops 
feed upon different soil foods, but they use different quan- 
tities of these foods. 



34 AGRICULTURE FOR BEGIXXERS 

Now if a farmer plant the same crop in the same field 
each year, that crop soon uses up all of the available plant 
food that it likes. Hence the soil can no longer properly 
nourish the crop that has been year by year robbing it. If 
that crop is to be successfully grown again on the land, 
the exhausted element must be restored. 

This can be done in two ways : first, by finding out what 
element has here been exhausted, and then restoring this 



Fig. 25. Gr.\ss following Corn 

element by means either of commercial fertilizers or manure ; 
second, b)- planting on the land crops that feed on different 
food and that will allow or assist kind Mother Nature " to 
repair her waste places." An illustration may help you to 
remember this fact. Nitrogen is, as already explained, one of 
the commonest plant foods. It may almost be called plant 
bread. The wheat crop uses up a good deal of nitrogen. 
Suppose a field were planted in wheat year after year. ]\Iost 
of the a\:ailable nitrogen would be taken out of the soil after 



THE SOIL ANJ) THE PLANT 



35 



a while, and a new wheat erop, If planted on the field, would 
not ^et enough of its proper food to yield a paying' harvest. 
This same land, however, that could not grow wheat could 
produce other crops that do not require so much nitrogen. 
For example, it could grow cowpeas. Cowpeas, aided by 
their root-tubercles, are able to gather from the air a great 




Fig. 26. Cowpeas and Corn — August 

part of the nitrogen needed for their growth. Thus a good 
crop of peas can be obtained even if there is little available 
nitrogen in the soil. On the other hand wheat and corn and 
cotton canncjt use the free nitrogen of the air, and they suffer 
if there is an insufflcient quantity present in the soil ; hence 
the necessity of growing legumes to supply what is lacking. 
Let us now see how easily plant food may be sa\-ed by 
the rotation of crops. 



36 



AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 



If you sow wheat in the autumn it is ready to be han-ested 
in time for planting cowpeas. Plow or disk the wheat stubble, 
and sow the same field to cowpeas. If the wheat crop has 
exhausted the gi'eater part of the nitrogen of the soil, it makes 
no difference to the cowpea ; for the cowpea will get its nitro- 
gen from the air and not only provide for its own gro\Uh 




Fig. 



CliWI'EAS and C(.)K.N OCTOKLK 



but \\-ill leave quantities of nitrogen in the queer nodules of 
its roots for the crops coming after it in the rotation. 

If com be planted, there should be a rotation in just the 
same way. The com plant, a summer grower, of course uses 
a certain portion of the plant food stored in the soil. In order 
that the crop following the corn may feed on what the corn 
did not use, this crop should be one that requires a some- 
what different food. Moreover, it should be one that fits in 
well with corn so as to make a winter crop. We find just 



THE SOIL AND THE PLANT 



37 



such a plant in clover or wheat. Like the cowpea, all the 
varieties of clover have on their roots tubercles that add the 
important element, nitrogen, to the soil. 

From these facts is it not clear that if you wish to im- 
prove vour land quickly and keep it always fruitful you must 
practice crop-rotation } 



An Ii.iastratiox of Crop-Rotation 

Here are two svstems of crop-rotation as practiced at one 
or more agricultural experiment stations. Each furnishes an 
ideal plan for keeping up land. 



First Veak Second Year Third Year 


Summer Winter | Summer Winter j Summer 


Winter 


„ Crimson i „ ,,., i| „ 
Com ' , Cotton \\ heat Cowpeas 
clover ' i 

, 1 


Rye for 

pasture 


or 


Summer 


Winter Summer 


Winter Summer Winter 


Com 


,,., Clover 
^^ heat 

and grass 


Clover 
and grass 


Grass 


Grass for 

pasture or 

meadow 





In these rotations the cowpeas and clovers are nitrogen- 
gathering crops. They not only furnish ha}- but the\' enrich 
the soil. The wheat, corn, and cotton are money crops, but 
in addition they are culti\ated crops ; hence they improve 
the physical condition of the soil and give opportunity to kill 
weeds. The grasses and clovers are of course used for pas- 
turage and hay. This is only a suggested rotation. Work 
out one that will meet your home need. 



38 AGRICULTURE FOR BEGIXXERS 



EXERCISE 



Let the pupils each present a system of rotation that includes the crops 
raised at home. The system presented should as nearly as possible meet 
the f ollo-wing requirements : 

1 . Legumes for gathering nitrogen. 

2. Mone\- crops for cash income. 

3. Cultivated crops for tillage and weed-destruction. 

4. Food crops for feeding live stock. 



CHAPTER III 

THE PLANT 

SECTION XII. HOW A PLANT FEEDS FROM 
THE AIR 

If you partly burn a match you will see that it becomes black. 
This black substance into which the match changes is called 
carboti. Examine a fresh stick of charcoal, which is, as you 
no doubt know, burnt wood. You see in the charcoal every 
fiber that you saw in the wood itself. This means that every 
part of the plant contains carbon. How important, then, is 
this substance to the plant ! 

You \\ill be surprised to know that the total amount of 
carbon in plants comes from the air. All the carbon that 
a plant gets is taken in by the leaves of the plant ; not a 
particle is gathered by the roots. A large tree, weighing 
perhaps ii.ooo pounds, requires in its growth carbon from 
16,000,000 cubic yards of air. 

Perhaps, after these statements, you may think there is 
danger that the carbon of the air may sometime become 
exhausted. The air of the whole world contains about 1.760,- 
000,000.000 pounds of carbon. Moreover, this is continually 
being added to by our fires and by the breath of animals. 
When wood or coal is used for fuel the carbon of the burn- 
ing substance is returned to the air in the form of gas. Some 
large factories burn great quantities of coal and thus turn 
much carbon back to the air. A single factor)- in Germany 

39 



40 AGRICULTURE FOR BEGIXXERS 

is estimated to give back to the air daih' about 5,28o,ocx) 
pounds of carbon. You see, then, that carbon is constantly 
being put back into the air to replace that which is used by 
growing plants. 

The carbon of the air can be used by none but green 
plants, and by them only in the sunlight. We may compare 
the green coloring matter of the leaf to a machine, and the 
sunlight to the power, or energy, which keeps the machine 
in motion. By means, then, of sunlight and the green col- 
oring matter of the leaves, the plant secures carbon. The 
carbon passes into the plant and is there made into t\vo 
foods ver)- necessan,' to the plant ; namely, starch and sugar. 

Sometimes the plant uses the starch and sugar immedi- 
ately. At other times it stores both away, as it does in the 
Irish and the sweet potato and in beets, cabbage, peas, and 
beans. These plants are used as food by man because they 
contain so much nourishment ; that is, starch and sugar which 
were stored awa\' by the plant for its own future use. 

EXERCISE 

Examine some charcoal. Can you see the rings of growth ? Slightly' 
char paper, cloth, meat, sugar, starch, etc. WTiat does the turning black 
prove .' WTiat per cent of these substances do 30U think is pure carbon ? 

SECTION XIII. THE SAP CURRENT 

The root-hairs take nourishment from the soil. The leaves 
manufacture starch and sugar. These manufactured foods 
must be carried to all parts of the plant. There are two 
currents to earn* them. One passes from the roots through 
the young wood to the leaves, and one, a downward current, 
passes through the bark, earning needed food to the roots 
(see Fig. 28). 



THE PLANT 



41 



If you should injure the roots the water supply to the 
leaves would be cut off and the leaves would immediately 
wither. On the other hand, if you 
remove the bark, that is, girdle the 
tree, vou in no way interfere with the 
water supply and the leaves do not 
wither. Girdling does, however, inter- 
fere with the downward food current 
through the bark. 

If the tree be girdled the roots 
sooner or later suffer from lack of food 
supplv from the leaves. Owing to this 
food stoppage the roots will cease to 
grow and will soon be unable to take 
in sufficient water, and then the leaves 
will begin to droop. This, however, 
may not happen un- 
til several months 
after the girdling. 
Sometimes a partly 
girdled branch grows 
much in thickness 
just above the gir- 
dle, as is shown in Fig. 29. This extra 
growth seems to be due to a stoppage of 
the rich supply of food which was on its 
way to the roots through the bark. It pig ,„ ^ Thicken- 
could go no farther and was therefore ing above the Wire 

used by the tree to make an unnatural '^^■^'^ caused the 

, , . . ,- .,, , Girdling 

growth at this pomt, 1 ou will now under- 
stand how and why trees die when they are girdled to clear 
new ground. 




1 






Fig. 28. Movement of 
THE Sap Current 




42 



AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 



It is. then, the general law of sap-movement that the up- 
u-ard current from the roots passes through the wood)- portion 
of the trunk, and that the current bearing the food made 
by the leaves passes downward through the bark. 

EXERCISE 

Let the teacher see that these and all other experiments are performed 
by the pupils. Do not allow them to guess, but make them see. 

Girdle valueless trees or saplings of several kinds, cutting the bark 
away in a complete circle around the tree. Do not cut into the wood. 
How long before the tree shows signs of injur}? Girdle a single small 
limb on a tree. What hapf>ens ? Explain. 



stiff.-a> 



sty.- — 



SECTION XIV. THE FLOWER AND THE SEED 

Some people think that the flowers b\- the wa}side are for 
the purpose of beautifying the world and increasing man's 
enjo\-ment. Do you think this is true .' 
Undoubtedly a flower is beautiful, and to be 
beautiful is one of the uses of man}- flowers ; 
but it is not the chief use of a flower. 

You know that when peach or apple blos- 
soms are nipped by the spring frost the fruit 
crop is in danger. The fruit of the plant 
bears the seed, and the flower produces 
the fruit. That is its chief dut)-. 

Do you know any plant that produces seed 
without flowers .' Some one answers, ' ' The 
com, the elm. and the maple all produce seed, but have 
no flower." Xo, that is not correct. If you look closely 
you will find in the spring xexy small flowers on the elm 
and on the maple, while the ear and the tassel are really 
the blossoms of the com plant. Ever)- plant that produces 




Fig. 30. Parts of 
THE Pistil 



THE PLANT 



43 



seed has flowers, although they may sometimes seem ven' 
curious flowers. 

Let us see what a flower really is. Take, for example, a 
buttercup cotton, tobacco, or plum blossom (see Figs. 31 

Pistil Pistil 




Stamen 



Petal 



Stamen 




Fig. 31. A Buttercup 

and 32). You will find on the outside a row of green leaves 
inclosing the flower when it is still a bud. These leaves 
are the sc/>als. Next on the inside is a row of colored 



Stigma 



leaves, or petals. Ar- 
ranged inside of the petals 
are some threadlike parts, 
each with a knob on the 
end. These are the sta- 
mens. Examine one sta- 
men closely (Fig. 33). On 
the knob at its tip you 
should find, if the flower 
is fully open, some fine 
grains, or powder. In the 
lily this powder is so abundant that in smelling the flower 
you often brush a quantity' of it off on your nose. This 
substance is called pollen, and the knob on the end of the 
stamen, on which the pollen is borne, is the anther. 




Fir.. 



A Plum Blossom 



44 



AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 




f^ iSlajiDeEii 



The pollen is of very great importance to the flower. 

Without it there could be no seeds. The stamens as pollen- 
bearers, then, are very important. But 
there is another part to each flower that 
is of equal value. This part 370U will find 
in the centCT of the flower, inside the 
circle of stamens. It is called the pistil 
(Fig. 32). The swollen tip of the pistil 
is the stigma. The swollen base of the 
pistil forms the (n^ary. If you careful!}^ 
cut open this ovary j'ou will find in it 
very small immature seeds. 

Some plants bear all these parts in the 
same flower; that is, each blossom has 
stamens, pistil, petals, and sepals. The pear 

blossom and the tomato blossom represent such flowers. Other 

plants bear their stamens and pistils in separate blossoms. 

Stamens and pistils may 

even occur in separate 

plants, and some blossoms 

have no sepals or petals 

at all. Look at the com 

plant. Here the tasse! :? 

a cluster of man}' flc' ■ rr~. 

each of which bears : 

stamens. The ear is 

wise a cluster of i,;^;._, 

flowers, each of which 

bears only a pistiL The 

dust that you see falling 

fiXHn the tassel is the pollen, and the long silky threads 

of the ear are the stigmas. 




Fig. 34- A Tomato Blossom 



THE PLANT 



45 




-h b: 



Now no plant can bear seeds unless the pollen of the 
stamen falls on the stigma. Corn cannot therefore form seed 
unless the dust of the tassel falls upon the silk. Did you 
ever notice how poorly the cob is filled on a single corn- 
stalk standing alone in a field .? Do you see why ? It is 
because when a plant stands alone the wind blows the pollen 
away from the tassel, and little or none is received on the 
stigmas below. 

In the corn plant the stamens and pistils are separate ; that 
is, they do not occur on the same flower, although they are 
on the same 



plant. This is 

also true of the 

cucumber (see 

Fig. 35). In 

many plants, 

however, such 

as the hemp, 

hop, sassafras, willow, and others, the staminate 

parts are on one plant and the pistillate parts 

are on another. This is also true in several other cultivated 

plants. For example, in some strawberries the stamens are 

absent or useless ; that is, they bear no good pollen. In such 

cases the grower must see to it that near by are strawberry 

plants that bear stamens, in order that those plants which do 

not bear j^oUen may become pollinated ; that is, may have 

pollen carried to them. After the stigma has been supplied 

with pollen, a single pollen grain sends a threadlike sprout 

down through the stigma into the ovary. This process, if 

successfully completed, is called fertilization. 



Fig. 35. Cucumher Blossoms 




46 AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 

EXERCISE 

Examine several flowers and identify the parts named in the last 
section. Try in the proper season to find the pollen on the maple, 
willow, alder, and pine, and on wheat, cotton, and the morning-glory. 

How fast does the ovary of the apple blossom enlarge? Measure 
one and watch it closely from day to day. Can you find any plants that 
have their stamens and ovaries on separate individuals ? 



SECTION XV. POLLINATION 

Nature has several interesting ways of bringing about pol- 
lination. In the corn, willow, and pine the pollen is picked 
up by the wind and carried away. Much of it is lost, but 
some reaches the stigmas, or receptive parts, of other corn, 
willow, or pine flowers. This is a very wasteful method, and 
all plants using it must provide much pollen. 

Many plants employ a much better method. They have 
learned how to make insects bear their pollen. In plants of 
this type the parts of the blossom are so shaped and so 
placed as to deposit pollen from the stamen on the insect 
and to receive pollen from the insect on the stigmas. 

When you see the clumsy bumblebee clambering over and 
pushing his way into a clover blossom, you may be sure that 
he is getting well dusted with pollen and that the next blossom 
which he visits will secure a full share on its stigmas. 

When flowers fit themselves to be pollinated by insects 
they can no longer use the wind and are helpless if insects 
do not visit them. They therefore cunningly plan two ways to 
invite the visits of insects. First, they provide a sweet nectar 
as a repast for the insect visitor. The nectar is a sugary solu- 
tion found in the bottom of the flower and is used by the 
visitor as food or to make honey. Second, flowers advertise 



THE PLANT 



47 



to let each insect know that they have something for it. 
The advertising is done either by showy colors or by per- 
fume. Insects have wonderful powers of smell. When you 
see showy flowers or smell fragrant ones, you will know that 
such flowers are advertising the presence either of nectar or 
of pollen (to make beebread) and that such flowers depend 
on insects for pollination. 











Fig. 36. Bkks carrying Pollen \ •. 

A season of heavy, cold rains during blossoming-time may 
often injure the fruit crop by preventing insects from carry- 
ing pollen from flower to flower. You now also understand 
why plants often fail to produce seeds indoors. Since they 
are shut in. they cannot receive proper insect visits. Plants 
such as tomatoes or other garden fruits dependent upon 
insect pollination must, if raised in the greenhouse where 
insects cannot visit them, be pollinated by liand. 



48 AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 

EXERCISE 

Exclude insect \isirors from some flower or flower cluster, for example, 
clover, by covering with a paper bag. and see whether the flower can 
produce seeds that are capable of growing. Compare as to number 
and \-itaht)- the seeds of such a flower with those of an uncovered 
flower. Obser\-e insects closely. Do j'ou ever find pollen on them.' 
What kinds of insects \-isit the clover ? the cowpea ? the sourwood ? the 
flax ? Is wheat pollinated by insects or by the wind or by some other 
means? Do bees fly in rainy weather? How will a long rainy season 
at blossoming-time affect the apple crop? "^^^ly? Should bees be kept 
in an orchard? \\'hy? 



SECTION XVI. CROSSES. HYBRIDS. AND CROSS- 
POLLINATION 

In our study of flowers and their pollination we have seen 
that the seed is usually the descendant of two parents, or at 
least of two organs — one the ovar\-, producing the seed ; the 
other the pollen, which is necessarj' to fertilize the o\^ary. 

It happens that sometimes the pollen of one blossom fer- 
tilizes the ovan* of its own flower, but more often the pollen 
from one plant fertilizes the ovan.- of another plant. This 
latter method is called cross-pollination. As a rule cross- 
pollination makes seed that \\\\\ produce a better plant than 
simple pollination would. Cross-pollination by hand is often 
used by plant-breeders when, for purposes of seed-selection, 
a specially strong plant is desired. The steps in hand pollina- 
tion are as follows : ( i ) remove the anthers before they open, 
to prevent them from pollinating the stigma (the steps in this 
process are illustrated in Figs. 17, 38-39) ; (2) cover the 
flower thus treated with a paper bag to prevent stray pollen 
from getting on it (see Fig. 40) ; (3) when the ovar\- is suffi- 
ciently developed, carr)' poUen to the stigma by hand from the 



THE PLANT 



49 



anthers of another plant which you have selected to furnish 
it, and rebag to keep out any stray pollen which might acci- 
dentally get in ; (4) collect the seeds when they are mature 
and label them properly. 

Hand pollination has this advantage — you know both 
parents of \our seed. If pollination occur naturally you 
know the maternal but have ■•• 

no means of judging the ^ 

paternal parent. You can 

readilv see, therefore, how •' /. 

hand pollination enables you 
to secure seed derived from 
two well-behaved parents. 

Sometimes we can breed 
one kind of plant on an- 
other. The result of such 
cross-breeding is known as 
a hybnd. In the animal 
kingdom the mule is a com- 
mon example of this cross- 
breeding. Plant hybrids were 
formerly called mules also, 
but this suggestive term is 
almost out of use. 

It is only when plants of 
two distinct kinds are crossed 
that the result is called a hybrid ; for example, a blackjack 
oak on a white oak, an apple on a pear. If the parent plants 
are closely related, for example, two kinds of apples, the 
resulting plant is known simply as a cross. 

Hybrids and crosses are valuable in that they usually differ 
from both parents and yet combine some qualities of each. 




P"lG. 



37 



The bud on right at top is in proper con- 
dition for removal of anthers ; the anthers 
have been removed from the buds below 




Fig. 3S. Orange Blossom irefared ec'R crossing 
First, bud ; second, antiiei^ nnremoved ; tiiird. anthers reiric>ved 




Fig. 39. Tomato Blossom ril^dy to cross 
First, bud : second, anthers uni^esDoved ; duid, enlfaers lemoved 




Fig. 40 
First, blossom bagged to keep out stray pollen : second, fruit bagged for jHX>tectkaj 

50 



THE PLANT 51 

They often leave off some of the quahties of the parent plants 
and at other times have such qualities more markedly than 
did their parents. Thus they often produce an interesting 
new kind of plant. Sometimes we are able by hybridization to 
combine in one plant the good qualities of two other plants 
and thus make a great advance in agriculture. The new forms 
brought about by hybridization may be fixed, or made perma- 
nent, by such selection as is mentioned in Section XVIII. 
Hybridization is of great aid in originating new plants. 

It often happens that a plant will be more fruitful when 
pollinated by one variet}' than by some other variety. This is 
well illustrated in Fig.' 41. A fruit-grower or farmer should 
know much about these subjects before selecting varieties for 
his orchard, vineyard, etc. 

EXERCISE 

With the help of your teacher try to cross some plants. Such an ex- 
periment will take time, but will be most interesting. You must remem- 
ber that many crosses must be attempted in order to gain success with 
even a few. 

SECTION XVII. PROPAGATION BY BUDS 

It is the business of the farmer to make plants grow, or, as 
it is generally called, to propagate plants. This he does in 
one of two ways : by buds (that is, by small pieces cut from 
parent plants), or by seeds. The chief aim in both methods 
should be to secure in the most convenient manner the best- 
paying plants. 

Many plants are most easily and quickly propagated by 
buds ; for example, the grape, red raspberrj^ fig, and many 
others that we cultivate for the flower only, such as the 
carnation, geranium, rose, and begonia. 




Fig. 41 

Brighton pollinated by i, Salem ; 2, Creveling : 3, Lindley ; 4, Brighton ; 
5, Self-poUinated ; 6, Nectar ; ;, Jefferson ; S, Niagara 

5- 



THE PLANT 



53 



j^V- 



./"' 







■\' 



In growing plants from cuttings, a piece is taken from the 
kind of plant that one wishes to grow. The greatest care 
must be exercised in order to get a healthy cutting. If we 
take a cutting from a poor plant, what can we expect but to 
grow a poor plant like the one from which our cutting 
was taken ? On the other hand, if a fine, strong, vigorous, 
fruitful plant be 
selected, we shall 
expect to grow- 
just such a fine, 
healthy, fruitful 
plant. 

We expect the 
cutting to make 
exactly the same 
variety of plant 
as the parent 
stock. W'e must 
therefore decide 
on the variety of 
berr}', grape, fig, 
carnation, or rose 
that we wish to 
propagate, and 
then look for the strongest and most promising plants of this 
variety within our reach. The utmost care will not produce 
a fine plant if we start from poor stock. 

What qualities are most desirable in a plant from which 
cuttings are to be taken ? First, it should be productive, 
liardy, and suited to your climate and your needs ; second, 
it should be healthy. Do not take cuttings from a diseased 
plant, since the cutting may carry the disease. 



Fig. 42. Gkraxium Cutting 
Dotted line shows depth to which cutting should be planted 



54 



AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 




Fig. 43 
Grape Cutting 



Cuttings may be taken from various parts of the plant, 
sometimes even from parts of the leaf, as in the begonia 
(Fig. 46). More often, however, they 
are drawn from parts of the stem 
(Figs. 43-45). As to the age of 
the twig from which the cutting is 
to be taken. Professor Bailey says : 
" For most plants the proper age 
or maturity of wood for the making 
of cuttings may be determined by 
giving the twig a quick bend ; if 
it snaps and hangs by the bark, it 
is in proper condition. If it bends 
Showing depth to which cutting without breaking, it is too young and 

should be planted ^^^^ ^^ ^^^ ^j^^ j^ -^ SpUntCrS, it is 

too old and woody." Some plants, as the geranium (Fig. 42), 

succeed best if the cuttings from which they are grown 

are taken from soft, young parts 

of the plant ; others, for example, 

the grape or rose, do better when 

the cutting is made from more 

mature wood. 

Cuttings may vary in size 
and may include one or more 
buds. After a hardy, vigorous 
cutting is made, insert it about 
one half or one third of its 
length in soil. A soil free from 
organic matter is much the best, 
since in such soil the cuttings are 




•"jmmWM 



Y/MW/mz/v - 



Fig. 44. Carxatiox Cutting 



much less liable to disease. A fine, clean sand is com- 
monly used by professional gardeners. When cuttings have 



THE PLANT 



55 




rooted well — this may require a nionth or more — they 
may be transplanted to larger pots. 

Sometimes, instead of cutting off a piece and rooting it, 
portions of branches are made to root before they are sepa- 
rated from the parent plant. This method is often followed, 
and is known as laycri?ig-. It is a simple process. Just bend 
the tip of a bough down and buiy it in the earth (see Fig. 47). 

The black raspbeny forms layers 

naturally, but gardeners often 

^"^^^^ ly-. , /'■;^~^ aid it by bur}ing the over- 

-' [ '\y^- ) hanging tips in the earth, 

so that more 
>^ tips may eas- 
^"^ ily take root. 
Strawberries 
develop runners that root 
themselves in a similar fashion. 
Grafts and buds are really cuttings which, in- 
stead of being buried in sand to produce roots of 
their own, are set on the roots of other plants. 
Grafting and budding are practiced when these methods 
are more convenient than cuttings or when the gardener 
thinks there is danger of failure to get plants to take root as 
cuttings. Neither grafting nor budding is, however, neces- 
san,- for the raspberry or the grape, for these propagate most 
readily from cuttings. 

It is often the case that a budded or grafted plant is 
more fruitful than a plant on its own roots. In cases of this 
kind, of course, grafts or buds are used. 

The white, or Irish, potato is usually propagated from pieces 
of the potato itself. Each piece used for planting bears 
one eye or more. The potato itself is really an underground 



Fig. 45. Rose 
Cutting 



56 



AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 



stem and the eyes are buds. This method of propagation is 
therefore realh' a peculiar kind of cutting. 

Since the eye is a bud and our potato plant for next year 
is to develop from this bud, it is of much importance, as we 
have seen, to know exactly what kirid of plant our potato 
comes from. If the potato is taken from a small plant that 
had but a few poor potatoes in the hill, we may expect the 
bud to produce a similar plant and a correspondingly poor 

crop. We must see to it, 
then, that our seed pota- 
toes are drawn from vines 
that were good producers, 
because new potato plants 
are like the plants from 
which they were grown. 
Of course when our pota- 
toes are in the bin we can- 
not tell from what kind 
of plants they came. We 
must therefore select our 
seed potatoes in the field. 
Seed potatoes should al- 
ways be selected from those hills that produce most bounti- 
fully. Be assured that the increased }'ield will richly repay 
this care in selecting. It matters not so much whether the 
seed potato be large or small ; it must, however, come from 
a hill bearing a large yield of fine potatoes. 

Sweet-potato plants are produced from shoots, or growing 
buds, taken from the potato itself, so that in their case too 
the piece that we use in propagating is a part of the original 
plant, and will therefore be like it under similar conditions. 
Just as with the Irish potato, it is important to know how 




Fig. 46. Begoxia-Leaf Cutting 



THE PLANT 



57 



good a yielder you are planting. You should watch during 
harvest and select for propagation for the next }ear only 
such plants as yield best. 

We should exercise fully as much care in selecting proper 
individuals from which to make a cutting or a layer as we do 
in selecting a proper animal to breed from. Just as we select 
the finest Jersey in the herd for breeding purposes, so we 
should choose first the variety of plant we desire and then 
the finest individual plant of 
that variety. 

If the variety of the potato 
that we desire to raise be Early 
Rose, it is not enough to select 
any Early Rose plants, but the 
ver)^ best Early Rose plants, to 
furnish our seed. 

It is not enough to select 
large, fine potatoes for cuttings. 
A large potato may not produce a bountifully yielding plant. 
It xi'lll produce a plant like the one that produced it. It may 
be that this one large potato was the only one produced by 
the original plant. If so, the plant that grows from it will 
tend to be similarly unproductive. Thus you see the impor- 
tance of selecting in the field a plant that has exactly the 
qualities desi?rd in the new plant. 

One of the main reasons why gardeners raise plants from 
buds instead of from seeds is that the seed of many plants 
will not produce plants like the parent. This failure to "come 
true," as it is called, is sometimes of value, for it occasionally 
leads to improvement. For example, suppose that a thousand 
apple or other fruit or flower seeds from plants usually prop- 
agated by cuttings be planted ; it may be that one out of 




Fig. 47. Layering 



58 



AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 



a thousand or a million will be a very valuable plant. If a 
valuable plant be so produced, it should be most carefully 
guarded, multiplied by cuttings or grafts, and introduced far 
and wide. It is in this way that new varieties of fruits and 
flowers are produced from time to time. 

Sometimes, too, a single bud on a tree 
will differ from the other buds and will 
produce a branch different from the other 
branches. This is known as bud variation. 
When there is thus developed a branch 
which happens to be of a superior kind, it 
should be propagated by cuttings just as 
you would propagate it if it had originated 
from a seed. 

Mr. Gideon of Minnesota planted many 
apple seeds, and from them all raised one 
tree that was very fruitful, finely flavored, 
and able to withstand the cold ^Minnesota 
winter. This tree he multiplied by grafts 
and named the Wealthy apple. It is said 
that in giving this one apple to the world he benefited 
mankind to the value of more than one million dollars. 
It will be well to watch for any valuable bud or seed variant 
and never let a promising one be lost. Plants grown in 
this way from seeds are usually spoken of as seedlings. 



Fig. 48. Currant 
Cutting 



Plants to be propagated from Buds 



The following list gives the names and methods by which 
our common garden fruits and flowers are propagated : 
Figs : use cuttings 8 to 10 inches long or layer. 
Grapes : use long cuttings, layer, or graft upon old vines. 




A LUSCIOL;; AND EASILY GROWN BERRV 



THE PLANT 59 

Apples: graft upon seedlings, usually crab seedlings one 
year old. 

Pears : bud upon pear seedlings. 

Cherries : bud upon cherry stock. 

Plums : bud upon peach stock. 

Peaehes : bud upon peach or plum seedlings. 

Quinces : use cuttings or layer. 

Blackbejries : propagate by suckers; cut from parent stem. 

Blaek raspberries : layer; remove old stem. 

Red raspberries : propagate by root-cuttings or suckers. 

Strawberries : propagate by runners. 

Currants sxid goosebenies : use long cuttings (these plants 
grow well only in cool climates; if attempted in warm 
climates, set in cold exposure). 

Carnations, geraniums, jvses, begonias, etc. : propagate by 
cuttings rooted in sand and then transplanted to small pots. 

EXERCISE 

Propagate fruits (grape, fig. strawberry) of various kinds : also orna- 
mental plants. How long does it take them to root? Geraniums rooted 
in the spring will bloom in the fall. Do you know any one who selects 
seed potatoes properly? Make a careful selection of seed at the next 
harv'est-time. 

SECTION XVIII. PLANT SEEDING 

In propagating by seed, as in reproducing by buds, we 
select a portion of the parent plant — for a seed is surely a 
part of the parent plant — and place it in the ground. There 
is, however, one great difference between a seed and a 
bud. The bud is really a piece of the parent plant, but a 
piece of one plant only, while a seed comes from the parts 
of two plants. 



6o AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 

You will understand this fuUy if you read carefully Sec- 
tions XI\'-X\'I. Since the seed is made of twro plants, 
the plant that springs from a seed is much more likely to 
differ from its modier plant, that is, from the plant that pro- 
duces the seed, than is a plant produced merely by buds. In 
some cases plants " come true to seed " vet}- accurately. In 
others they \^ary greatly. For example, when we plant the 
seed of wheat, turnips, r)?^e, onions, tomatoes, tobacco, or cot- 
ton, we get plants that are in most respects like the parent 
planL On the other hand the seed of a Crawford peach or 
a Bald^iin apple or a Bartlett p>ear will not produce plants 
like its parent, but will rather resemble its wild forefathers. 
These seedlings, thus taking after their ancestors, are always 
far inferior to our present cultivated forms. In such cases 
seeding is not praddcable, and we must resort to bud propa- 
gation of one sort or another. 

While in a few plants like those just mentioned the seed 
does not " come true," most plants, for example, cotton, 
tobacco, and others, do '' come true." WTien we plant King 
cotton we may expect to raise King cotton. There will be, 
however, as ever\- one knows, some or even considerable \:ari- 
ation in the field. Some plants, even in exactly the same soil, 
will be better than the average, and some will be poorer. Now 
we see this variation in the plants of our field, and we beheve 
that the plant will be in the main like its parent. WTiat 
should we learn from this ? Surely that if we wish to produce 
sturdy, healthy, productive plants we must go into our fields 
and pick aiit just such plants to seatre seed from as we wish 
to produce another year. If we wait untfl the seed is separated 
from the plant that produced it before we select our cotton 
seed, we shall be planting seed from poor as well as from good 
plants, and must be content with a crop of just such stock 




Figs. 49 and 50. Chkvsanthkmums and Asparagus 



61 



62 AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 

as we have planted. By selecting seed from the most pro- 
ductive plants /;/ the field and by repeating the selection 
each year, vou can continually improve the breed of the 
plant you are raising. In selecting seed for cotton you may 
follow the plan suggested below for wheat. 

The difference that you see bet\veen the wild and the culti- 
vated chiA'santhemums and between the samples of aspara- 
gus shown in Figs. 49 and 50 was brought about by just such 
continuous seed-selection from the kind of plant wanted. 



Fig. 51. Two Varieties of Fl.\x from One Parent Stock 

By the careful selection of seed from the longest flax 
plants the increase in length shown in the accompanying 
figure was gained. The selection of seed from those plants 
bearing the most seed, regardless of the height of the plant, 
has produced flax like that to the right in the illustration. 
These two kinds of flax are from the same parent stock, but 
slight differences have been emphasized by continued seed- 
selection, until we now have really two varieties of flax, one 
a hea\T seed-bearer, the other producing a long fiber. 

You can in a similar way improve your cotton or an}- other 
seed crop. Sugar beets have been made by seed-selection to 
produce aix)ut double the percentage of sugar that the}- did 



THE PLANT 



63 



a few years ago. Preparing and tilling land costs too much 
in money and work to allow the land to be planted with poor 
seed. When you are tr}-ing by seed-selection to increase the 
yield of cotton, there are two principles that should be borne 
in mind : first, seed should be chosen only from plants that 
bear many well-filled bolls of long-staple cotton ; second, seed 
should be taken from no plant that does not by its healthy 
condition show hardihood in resisting disease and drouth. 

The plan of choosing seeds from selected plants may be 
applied to wheat ; 
but it would of 
course be too time- 
consuming to se- 
lect enough single 
wheat plants to 
furnish all of the, 
seed wheat for the 
next year. In this 
case adopt the 
following plan : 
In Fig. 52 let 
A represent the 
total size of your wheat field and let B represent a plat large 
enough to furnish seed for the whole field. At harvest-time 
go into section A and select the best plants you can find. 
Pick the heads of these and thresh them by hand. The seed 
so obtained must be carefully saved for your next sowing. 

In the fall sow these selected seeds in area B. This area 
should produce the best wheat. At the next har\'est cull not 
from the whole field but from the finest plants of plat B, and 
again save these as seed for plat /?. Use the unculled seed from 
plat B to sow your crop. By following this plan continuously 




Fig. 



64 AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 

you will even- year have seed from several generations of 
choice plants, and each year you \\i\\ improve your seed. 
/ It is of course advisable to move your seed plat £ ever)- year 
or two. For the new plat select land that has recently been 
planted in legumes. Always give this plat unwean-ing care. 

In the selection of plants from which to get seed, you 
must know what kind of plants are really the best seed 
plants. First, jw/ 7;iust not regard single heads or grams, 
but vmst select seed from the most perfect plant, looking at 
the plant as a whole and not at any single part of it. A first 
consideration is yield. Select the plants that )-ield best and 
are at the same time resistant to drouth, resistant to rust and 
to winter, early to ripen, plump of grain, and nonshattering. 
What a fine thing it would be to find even one plant free 
from rust in the midst of a rusted field ! It would mean a 
rust-resistant plant. Its offspring also would probabl}- be 
rust- resistant. If you should ever find such a plant, be sure to 
save its seed and plant it in a plat by itself. The next \-ear 
again save seed from those plants least rusted. Possibly you 
can develop a rust-proof race of wheat ! Keep your eyes open. 

In England the average \-ield of wheat is thirt}- bushels an 
acre, in the United States it is less than fifteen bushels ! In 
some states the yield is even less than nine bushels an acre. 
Let us select our seed ^^-ith care, as the English people do, 
and then we can increase our \-ield. By careful seed-selection 
a plant-breeder in ^linnesota increased the \-ield of his wheat 
by one fourth. Think what it would mean if twent}--five 
per cent were added to the world's supply of wheat at 
comparatively no cost : that is, at the mere cost of careful 
seed-selection. This would mean an addition to the world's 
income of about S500,cxx),ooo each year. The United States 
would get about one fifth of this profit. 



THE PLANT 65 

It often happens that a single plant in a crop of corn, 
cotton, or wheat will be far superior to all others in the field. 
Such a plant deser\-es special care. Do not use it merely as 
a seed plant, but carefully plant its seeds apart and tend care- 
fully. The following season select the best of its offspring 
as favorites again. Repeat this selection and culture for 
several )ears until you fix the variety. This is the way new 
\arieties are originated from plants propagated by seed. 

In 1862 Mr. Abraham Fultz of Pennsylvania, while pass- 
ing through a field of bearded wheat, found three heads of 
beardless, or bald, wheat. These he sowed by themselves 
that year, and as they turned out specially productive he 
continued to sow this new variety. Soon he had enough seed 
to distribute over the country. It became known as the P^ultz 
wheat and is to-day one of the best varieties in the United 
States and in a number of foreign countries. Think how 
manv bushels of wheat have been added to the world's annual 
supplv by a few moments of intelligent observ^ation and action 
on the part of this one man ! He saw his opportunity and 
used it. How many similar opportunities do you think are 
lost ? How much does your state or country lose thereby ? 

EXERCISE 

Select one hundred seeds from a good, and one hundred from a poor, 
plant of the same variety. Sow them in two plats far enough apart to 
avoid cross-pollination, yet try to have soil conditions about the same. 
Give each the same care and compare the yield. Try this with corn, cot- 
ton, and wheat. Select seeds from the best plant in your good plat and from 
the poorest in your poor plat and repeat the experiment. This will require 
but a few feet of ground, and the good plat will pay for itself in yield, 
while the poor plat will more than pay in the lesson that it will teach you. 

Write to the Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C., and to 
your state experiment station for bulletins concerning seed-selection 
and methods of plant-improvement. 



66 AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 

SECTION XIX. SELECTING SEED CORN 

If a fanner would raise good crops he must, as already 
stated, select good seed Many of the farmer's disappoint- 
ments in the quantity and quality' of his cropys — disappoint- 
moits often thought to oome from other causes — are the 
result of planting poor seed. Seeds not full}- ripened, if they 
" grow at all, produce imperfect plants. 

Good seed, therefore, is the first thing 
necessary' for a good crop. The seed of 
perfect plants onl}' should be saved. 

By wise and i>ersistent selection, made 
in the field before the crop is fully ma- 
tured, com can be improved in size and 
made to mature earher. Gather ears onl}- 
from the most productive plants and save 
i-nly the largest and best kernels. 

You have no doubt seen the common 

American blackbirds that usually migrate 

and feed in such large numbers. They 

all look alike in eveiy vtclx. Xow, has it 

Fig. ^^. The Kind ever occurred to you to ask why all black- 

OF Eae to Select ^^^^ ^^ ^lack .? The blackbirds are black 

sunjdy because their parents are black. 

Now in the same way that the \-oung blackbirds resemble 
dieir paients, com will resemble its parent stock. How many 
ears of com do you find on a stalk ? One, two. sometimes 
three or four. You find two ears of com on a stalk because 
it is the nature of that particular stalk to produce two ears. 
In the same way the nature of some stalks is to produce but 
one ear, whfle it is the nature of others sometimes to produce 
two or more. 



THE PLANT 



^7 



This resemblance of offspring to parent is known to scien- 
tists as heredity, or as '" Hke producing Hke." 

Some Southern corn-breeders take advantage of this law 
to improve their corn crop. If a stalk can be made to produce 
two ears of corn just as large as the single ear that most 
stalks bear, we shall get twice as much corn from a field in 
which the " two-eared " 
variety is planted. In 
the North and West the 
best varieties of corn 
have been selected to 
make but one ear to the 
stalk. It is generally 
believed that this is the 
best practice for the 
shorter growing seasons 
of the colder states. 

These facts ought to 
be ver}- helpful to us 
next year when our 
fathers are planting 
corn. We should get 
them to plant seed se- 
cured only from stalks 
that produced the most 
corn, whether the stalk had two or more ears or onl\' one. 
If we follow this plan year by year, each acre of land will 
be made to produce more kernels and hence a larger crop of 
corn, and }et no more work will be required to raise the crop. 

In addition to enlarging the yield of corn, you can, bv 
proper selection of the best and most productive plants in the 
field, grow a new \'ariet\- of seed corn. To do this \-ou need 




Fig. 54. Select Seed from a Stalk ' 

LIKE THAT ON LeFT 



63 AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 

only take the largest and best kernels from stalks bearing two 
ears ; plant these, and at the next harvest again save the best 
kernels from stalks bearing the best ears. If you keep up this 
practice with great care for several )'ears, you will get a vigor- 
ous, fruitful variet}- that will command a high price for seed. 

EXPERIMENT 

Even^ school boy and girl can make this experiment at leisure. From 
your own field get two ears of corn, one from a stalk bearing only one 
ear and the other from a stalk bearing two well-grown ears. Plant the 




Fig. 55. Improvemext of Corn by Selectiox 

Boone Count)' white com on left, and original tj^pe, from which it was developed 
by selection, on right 

grains from one ear in one plat, and the grains from the- other in a 
plat of equal size. Use for both the same soil and the same fertilizer. 
Cultivate both plats in the same way. When the crop is ready to har\-est, 
husk the corn, count the ears, and weigh the corn. Then write a short 
essay on your work and on the results and get your teacher to correct 
the story for your home paper. 



THE PLANT 



69 



SECTION XX. WEEDS 



Have you ever noticed that some weeds are killed by one 
particular method, but that this same method ma\' entirely fail 
to kill other kinds of weeds ? If we wish to free our fields of 
weeds with the greatest ease, we must know the nature of 
each kind of weed and then attack 
it in the way in which we can 
most readily destroy it. 

The ordinary pigweed (Fig. 56) 
differs from many other weeds in 
that it lives for only one year. 
When winter comes, it must die. 
Each plant, however, bears a great 
number of seeds. If we can pre- 
\-ent the plant from bearing seed 
in its first year, there will not be 
man}' seeds to come up the next 
season. In fact, only those seeds 
that were too deeply buried in the 
soil to come up the previous spring 
will be left, and of these two-year- 
old seeds many will not germinate. 
During the next season some old 
seeds will |)roduce plants, but the 
number will be very much dimin- 
ished. If care be exercised to prevent the pigweed from 
seeding again, and the same watchfulness be continued for 
a few seasons, this weed will be almost entirely driven from 
our fields. 

A plant like the pigweed, which lives only one year, is 
called an annual and is one of the easiest weeds to destroy. 




Fig. 56. PicwKKi) 



70 



AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 






Mustard, plantain, chess, dodder, cockle, crab grass, and 
Jimson weed are a few of our most disagreeable annual weeds. 
The best time to kill any weed is when it is ver}- small ; 
therefore the ground in early spring should be constantly 
stirred in order to kill the young weeds before they grow to 

be strong and hardy. 

The wild carrot dif- 

^rtj^ "-:- '-^■- -r^^'^:ii^^ f ers from an annual 

in this way : it lives 
throughout one whole 
year without produc- 
ing seeds. During its 
first year it accumu- 
lates a quantity of 
nourishment in the 
root, then rests in the 
winter. Throughout 
the following sum- 
^^2L T.^^^ I ^ mer it uses this nour- 

ishment rapidly to 
produce its flowers 
and seeds. Then the 
plant dies. Plants 

that live through two 
Fig. 57. Wild Carrot ^^^^^^^ .^^ ^^-^ ^^.^^ 

are called biennials. Weeds of this kind may be destroyed 
by cutting the roots below the leaves with a grubbing-hoe or 
spud. A spud may be described as a chisel on a long handle 
(see Fig. 58). If biennials are not cut low enough they will 
branch out anew and make many seeds. Among the most 
common biennials are the thistle, moth mullein, wild carrot, 
wild parsnip, and burdock. 




THE PLANT 



71 



A third group of weeds consists of those that live for more 
than two years. These weeds are usually most difficult to 
kill. They propagate by means of running rootstocks as 
well as by seeds. Plants that 
live more than two seasons 
are known as perennials and 




Fig. 58. A Spud 



Fig. 59. Hoi'ND's Tongue 



include, for example, many grasses, dock, Canada thistle, 
poison i\y, passion flower, horse nettle, etc. There are many 
methods of destroying perennial weeds. They may be dug 
entirely out and removed. Sometimes in small areas they 
may be killed by crude sulphuric acid or may be starved 
by covering them with boards or a straw stack or in some 
other convenient way. A method that is very- effective is 



72 



AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 



to smother the weeds by a dense gro\\th of some other 
plant, for example, cowpeas or buckwheat. Co\^-peas are to 
be preferred, since they also enrich the soil by the nitrogen 

that the root-tubercles 
gather. 

\\'eeds do injur}- in 
numerous ways ; they 
shade the crop, steal 
its nourishment, and 
waste its moisture. 
Perhaps their only serv- 
ice is to make lazy 
people till their crops. 



EXERCISE 

You should learn to 

know by name the twenty 

worst weeds of your \-i- 

cinitA' and to recognize 

their seeds. If there are 

any weeds you are not 
Fig. 6o. Canada Thistle ii ^ • j 

able to recognize, send a 

sample of each to your state experiment station. Make a collection, 

properl)^ labeled, of weeds and weed seeds for your school. 




SECTION XXI. SEED PURITY AND YITALITY 

Seeds produce plants. The difference between a large and 
a small yield ma)^ depend upon the kind of plants we raise, 
and the kind of plant in turn is dependent upon the seeds 
that we sow. 

Two things are important in the selection of seeds — 
purity and \-italit}\ Seeds should he pure; that is, when sown 



THE PLANT 73 

they should produce no other plant than the one that we wish 
to raise. They should be able to grow. The ability of a seed 
to grow is termed its vitality. Good seed should be nearly or 
quite pure and should possess high vitality. The vitality of 
seeds is expressed as a per cent ; for example, if 97 seeds 
out of 100 germinate, or sprout, the vitality is said to be 97. 
The older the seed the less is its vitality, except in a few 
rare instances in which seeds cannot germinate under two 
or three years. 

Cucumber seeds may show 90 per cent vitality when they 
are one year old, 75 per cent when two years old, and 70 
per cent when three years old — the per cent of vitality 
diminishing with increase of years. The average length of 
life of the seeds of cultivated plants is short : for example, the 
tomato lives four years ; corn, two years ; the onion, two years ; 
the radish, five years. The cucumber seed may retain life after 
ten years ; but the seeds of this plant too lose their vitality 
with an increase in years. 

It is important when buying seeds to test them for purity 
and vitality. Dealers who are not honest often sell old seeds, 
although they know that seeds decrease in value with age. 
Sometimes, however, to cloak dishonesty they mix some new 
seeds with the old, or bleach old and yellow seeds in order to 
make them resemble fresh ones. 

It is important, therefore, that all seeds bought of dealers 
should be thoroughly examined and tested ; for if they do 
not grow, we not only pay for that which is useless but we 
are also in great danger of producing so few plants in our 
fields that we shall not get full use of the land, and thus we 
may suffer a more serious loss than merely paying for a few 
dead seeds. It will therefore be both interesting and profit- 
able to learn how to test the vitality of seeds. 



74 



AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 



To test vitalit}- plant one hundred seeds in a pot of earth 
or in damp sand, or place them between moist pieces of flan- 
nel, and take care to keep them moist and warm. Count those 
that germinate and thus determine the percentage of \itality. 
Germinating between flannel is much quicker than planting 
in earth. Care should be used to keep mice away from ger- 
minating seeds. (See Fig. 6i.) 

Sometimes the appearance of a package wall show- whether 
the seed has been kept in stock a long time. It is, however, 
much more difficult to find out whether the seeds are pure. 
You can of course easily distinguish seeds that differ much 
from those you wish to plant, but often certain weed seeds 




A B 

Fig. 6i. A Seed-Germinator 
Consisting of two soup plates, some sand, and a piece of cloth 

are so nearly like certain crop seeds as not to be easily recog- 
nized by the eye. Thus the dodder or " love vine," which 
so often ruins the clover crop, has seeds closely resembling 
clover seeds. The chess, or cheat, has seeds so nearly like 
oats that only a close observer can tell them apart. However, 
if you watch the seeds that you buv, and study the appear- 
ance of crop seeds, you may become expert in recognizing 
those that have no place in your planting. 

One case is reported in which a seed-dealer intentionally 
allowed an impurit)' of 30 per cent to remain in the crop 
seeds, and this impurit}^ was mainly of weed seeds. There 
were 450,000 of one kind and 288,000 of another in each 



THE PLANT 



75 



pound of seed. Think of planting weeds at that rate ! Some- 
times three fourths of the seeds you buy are weed seeds. 

In purchasing seeds the only safe plan is to buy of dealers 
whose reputation can be relied upon. 

It not seldom happens that seeds, like corn, are stored in 
open cribs or barns before the moisture is entirely dried out 
of the seeds. Such seeds are liable to be frozen during a 
severe winter, and of 
course if this happens 
they will not sprout 
the following spring. 
The only way to tell 
whether such seeds 
have been killed is to 
test samples of them 
for vitality. Testing 
is easy ; replanting is 
costly and often results 
in a short crop. 



Impurities in Seeds 



EXERCISE 1 2 

Examine seeds both for Fig. 62 

vitality and purity. Write 
for farmers' bulletins on 
both these subjects. What 
would be the loss to a 
farmer who planted a ten- 
acre clover field with seeds 

that were 80 per cent bad t Can you recognize the seeds of the prin- 
cipal cultivated plants.? Germinate some beet seeds. What per cent 
comes up ? Can you explain ? Collect for your school as many kinds 
of wild and cultivated seeds as you can. 



Tube I represents one pound of redtop grass as 
bought ; Tube 2, amount of pure redtop grass seeds 
in Tube i ; Tube 3, amount of chaff and dirt in 
Tube I ; Tube 4, amount of weed seeds in Tube i ; 
Tube 5, amount of total waste in Tube i ; Tube 6, 
amount of pure germinable seeds in Tube i 



CHAPTER IV 
HOW TO RAISE A FRUIT TREE 

Let each pupil grow an apple tree this year and attempt 
to make it the best in his neighborhood. In your attempt 
suppose you tr\' the following plan. In the fall take the 
seed of an apple — a crab-apple is good — and keep it in a 
cool place during the winter. The simplest way to do this is* 
to bun- it in damp sand. In the spring plant it in a rich, 
loose soil. 

Great care must be taken of the young shoot as soon as 
it appears above the ground. You want to make it grow as 
tall and as straight as possible during this first 3'ear of its 
life, hence vou should give it rich soil and protect it from 
animals. Before the ground freezes in the fall take up the 
young tree with the soil that was around it and keep it all 
winter in a cool, damp place. 

Now when spring comes it will not do to set out the 
carefully tended tree, for an apple tree from seed will not 
be a tree like its parent, but will tend to resemble a more 
distant ancestor. The distant ancestor that the 3-oung apple 
tree is most likely to take after is the wild apple, which is 
small, sour, and otherwise far inferior to the fruit we wish 
to grow. It makes little difference, therefore, what kind of 
apple seed we plant, since in any event we cannot be sure 
that the tree grown from it will bear fruit worth ha\-ing 
unless we force it to do so. 

76 




Fig. 6;. A Vuu.ng Fklu-Gkowkk 



77 



78 



AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 



SECTION XXII. GR.\FTIXG 

By a process known as grafting you can force your tree 
to produce whatever variety of apple you desire. Many 
people raise fmit trees directly from seed without grafting. 
Thus they often produce really worthless trees. By grafting 
they would make sure not only of ha\'ing good trees rather 
than poor ones but also of having the particular kind of fruit 

that they wish. Hence you must 
now graft your tree. 

First you must decide what va- 
riet}' of apple you want to grow on 
the tree. The Magnum Bonum 
is a great favorite as a fall apple. 
The Wlnesap is a good winter apple, 
while the Red Astrachan is a profit- 
able early apple, especially in the 
lowland of the coast region. The 
Northern Spy, ^sop, and Spitz- 
enburg are also admirable kinds. 
Possibly some other apple that you 
know may suit your taste and needs 
better than any of these varieties. 
If vou have decided to raise an ^-Esop or a Magnum 
Bonum or a Winesap, you must now cut a twig from the 
tree of your choice and graft it upon the little tree that 
you have raised. Choose a twig that is about the thickness 
of the young tree at the point where you wish to graft. 
Be careful to take the shoot from a vigorous, healthy part 
of the tree. 

There are many ways in which you may join the chosen 
shoot or twig upon the young tree, but perhaps the best 




Fig. 64. Tongue Grafting 



HOW TO RAISE A FRUIT TREE 



79 



Fig. 65 
A Completed Graft 



one for you to use is known as tongue grafting. This is 
illustrated in Fig. 64. The upper part, b, which is the shoot 
or twig that you cut from the tree, is 
known as the scion; the lower part, a, 
which is the original tree, is called the 
stock. 

Cut the scion and stock as shown in 
Fig. 64. Join the cut end of the scion 
to the cut end of the stock. When you 
join them, notice that under the bark of 
each there is a thin layer of soft, juicy 
tissue. This is called the canibinm. To 
make a successful graft the cambium in 
the scion must exactly join the cambium 
in the stock. Be careful, then, to see that 
cambium meets cambium. You now see 
Showing scion and stock ^^.j-jy grafting cau be more successfully 

from which it was made 

done if you select a 
scion and stock of nearly the same size. 

After fitting the parts closely together, 
bind them with cotton yam (see Fig. 65) 
that has been coated with grafting wax. 
This wax is made of equal parts of tallow, 
beeswax, and linseed oil. Smear the wax 
thoroughly over the whole joint, and make 
sure that the joint is completely air-tight. 

The best time to make this graft is when 
scion and stock are dormant, that is, when 
they are not in leaf. During the winter. To make a root graft, cut 
say in Februan,', is the best time to graft ^ °"s ' ^ ^ ^"""s 
the tree. Set the grafted tree away again in damp sand 
until spring, then plant it in loose, rich soil. 




8o 



AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 



Since all parts growing above the graft 
will be of the same kind as the scion, 
while all branches below it will be like 
the stock, it is well to graft low on the 
stock or even upon the root itself. The 
slanting double line in Fig. 66 shows 
the proper place to cut off for such 
grafting. 

If you like you may sometime make 
the interesting and valuable experiment 
of grafting scions from various kinds of 
apple trees on the branches of one stock. 
In this way you can secure a tree bearing 
a number of kinds of fruit. You may 
thus raise the l^onum. Red Astrachan, 
Wlnesap, and as many other varieties of apples as you wish, 
upon one tree. For this experiment, however, you will find 
it better to resort to cleft grafting, which is illustrated in 
Fig. 68. 

Luther Burbank, the originator of the Burbank potato, in 
attempting to find a variety of apple suited to the climate 



Fig. 67. A Com- 
I'LETED Root Graft 




h V f 

Fig. 6S. Clf.ft Grafting 




HOW TO RAISE A FRUIT TREE 



8i 




of California, grafted more than five 
hundred kinds of apple scions on one 
tree, so that he might watch them side 
by side and find out which kind was 
best suited to that state. 

SECTION XXIII. BUDDING 

If, instead of an apple tree, you 
were raising a plum or a peach tree, a 
form of propagation known as budding 
would be better than grafting. Occa- 
sionally budding is also employed for 
apples, pears, cherries, oranges, and 
lemons. Budding is done in the fol- 
lowing manner, A single bud is cut F'^'- 69- How to cut a 
from the scion and is then inserted ^'"'^ ''^''^' -^ ^^''''^' 
under the bark of a one-year-old peach seedling, so that the 
cambium of the bud and stock may grow together. 

Cut scions of the kind of fruit tree you desire from a one- 
year-old twig of the same variet}-. \\>ap them in a clean, 





B D 

Fig. 70. The Steps in Blddixg 



82 



AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 



moist cloth until you are ready to use them. Just before 

using cut the bud from the scion, as shown in Fig. 69, 
I This bud is now ready to be inserted on the 

north side of the stock, just two or three 
inches above the ground. The north side is 
selected to avoid the sun. Xow, as shown at 
a in Fig. 70, make a cross and an up-and- 
dowa incision, or cut, on the stock ; pull the 
bark back carefully, as shown in B\ insert 
the bud C as shown in D ; then fold the 
bark back and wrap with yam or raffia, as 
shown in E. As soon as the bud and branches 
have united, remove the \ATapping to prevent 
its cutting the bark and cut the tree back 
Fig. 71 close to the bud, as in Fig. 71, so as to force 

Sloping line shows nourishment into the inserted bud. 

where to cut tree Budding is donc in the field ^nthout 

disturbing the tree as it stands in the 

ground. The best time to do budding is 

during the summer or fall months, when 

the bark is loose enough to allow the buds 

to be easily inserted. 

Trees may be budded or grafted on one 

another only when they are nearly related. 

Thus the apple, crab-apple, ha\\thorn, and 

quince are all related closely enough to 

graft or bud on one another ; the pear 

grows on some hawthorns, but not well on p-j^ _, 

an apple ; some chestnuts will unite with Lines show where 

some kinds of oaks. to trim 

By using any of these methods you can succeed in getting 

with certaintv the kind of tree that vou desire. 





BOTH liLsV :>iuKlNo All Li-ci 



HOW TO RAISE A FRUIT TREE 



83 



SECTION XXIV. PLAXTIXG AXD PRUXIXG 

The apple tree that you grafted should be set out in the 
spring. Dig a hole three or four feet in diameter where you 

wish the tree to grow. Place the 
tree in the hole and be ver)- 
careful to preserxe all the fine 
roots. Spread the roots out fully, 
water them, and pack fine, rich 
soil firmly about them. Place 
stakes about the voung tree to 
protect it from injury. If the 
spot selected is in a windy loca- 
tion, incline the tree slightly 
toward the prevailing wind. 

You must prune the tree as 
it grows. The object of prun- 
ing is to give the tree proper 
shape and to promote fruit- 
bearing:. If the bud at the end 




vV :il ,N*^Vi 



Fig. 73 

Present shape comes from pruning 

of the main shoot grows, you will 
have a tall, cone-shaped tree. If, 
however, the end of the }oung 
tree be cut or " headed back " to 
the lines shown in Fig. 72. the 
buds below this point will be forced 
to grow and make a tree like that 
shown m Fig. 73. The proper 
height of heading for different 
fruits varies. For the apple tree a 
heio;ht of tvvo or three feet is best. 




*^c^*i^i 



Fig. 74 

Correct shape 



84 



AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 



Cutting an end bud of a shoot or branch ahvays sends the 
nourishment and growth into the side buds. Trimming or 
pinching off the side buds throws the growth into the end 
bud. You can therefore cause your tree to take almost any 
shape you desire. The difference between the trees shown in 
Figs. T^ and 74 is entirely the result of pruning. Fig. 74 
illustrates in general a correctly shaped tree. It is evenly 
balanced, admits light freely, and yet has enough foliage to 




Fig. 75 

Unthinned 



w|tdl*fc¥;;;:' 



Fig. 76 

Properly thinned 



prevent sun-scald. Figs, 75 and y^ show the effect of 
wisel}' thinning the branches. 

The best time to prune is either in the winter or be- 
fore the buds start in the spring. Winter pruning tends to 
favor wood-production, while summer pruning lessens wood- 
production and induces fruitage. 

Each particular kind of fruit requires special pruning ; for 
example, the peach should be made to assume the shape 
illustrated in Fig. ']']. This is done by successive trim- 
mings, following the plan illustrated in Figs. 71, 78, 79. You 
will gain several advantages from these trimmings. First, 



HOW TO R_\ISE A FRUIT TREE 



85 



nourishment will be forced into the peach bud that you set on 
vour stock. This will secure a \igorous growth of the scion. 
By a second trimming take off the "heel " (Fig. 78, //) close 
to the tree, and thus prevent decay at this point. One year 
after budding you should reduce the 
tree to a '"whip," as in Fig. 79, by 
trimming at the dotted line in Fig. 
78. This establishes the " head '" of 
the tree, which in the case of the 
peach should be ver}- low, — about 




Fig. 77. The Customary Way 
of pruning .\ i*e.\ch 



Fig. 7S. Two-Vear- 

Old Tree 

Cut off heel, h 



sixteen inches from the ground, — in order that a low foliage 
may lessen the danger of sun-scald to the main trunk. 

In pruning never leave a stump such as is shown in 
Fig. 78, //, Such a stump, ha\-ing no source of nourishment, 
will heal ver\- slowly and with great danger of decay. If 
this heel is cleanly cut on the line ch (Fig. 78), the wound 



86 



AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 



.J 



>j.' 



Fig. 79. Three- 
Year-Old Tree 

CUT BACK 



will heal rapidly and with little danger of decay. Leaving 

such a stump endangers the soundness of the whole tree. 
Fig. 80 shows the results of good and poor 
pruning on a large tree. When large limbs 
are removed it is best to paint the cut sur- 
face. The paint will ward off fungous disease 
and thus keep the tree from rotting where it 
was cut. 

Pruning that leaves large limbs branch- 
ing, as in Fig. 74, a, is not to be recom- 
mended, since the limbs when loaded with 
fruit or when beaten by heavy winds are liable 
to break. Decay is apt to set in at the point 
of breakage. The entrance of decay-fungi 

through some such wound or through a tiny crevice at such 

a crotch is the beginning of the end of many a fruitful tree. 
Sometimes a tree will go 

too much to wood and too 

little to fruit. This often 

happens in rich soil and 

may be remedied by another 

kind of pruning known as 

root-p7-u7iing. This consists 

in cutting off a few of the 

roots in order to limit the 

food supply of the plant. 

You ought to learn more 

about root-pruning, however, 

before you attempt it. 




Fig. So 
Refuses to heal Heals promptly 



How is a peach tree made? First, the blossom appears. Then pol- 
lination and fertilization occur. The fruit ripens. The pit. or seed, is 
saved. In the spring of the next year the seed is planted. The young 



HOW TO RAISE A FRUIT TREE 



87 



tree, known as the stock, comes up quickly. In August of that year a 
bud of the variety which is wanted is inserted in the little stock, near 
the ground. One year later, in the spring, the stock is cut off just above 
the bud. The bud throws out a shoot, which grows to a height of about 
six feet, and in the fall this little peach tree is sold as a one-year-old 
tree. However, as is seen, the root is two years old. 

How is an apple tree made.' The seeds are saved in the fall of one 
year and planted the following year. The seedlings of the apple do not 
g^row so rapidlv as those of the peach. .At the end of the vear thev are 




K;i.. 51. ReAI'V 10 BEAK 

taken up and sorted, and in the following spring they are planted. In 
July or August they are budded. In the spring of the ne.xt year the 
stock is cut off above the bud. and the bud-shoot grows three or four 
feet. One year later the shoot branches and the top begins to form ; and 
in the fall of the following year the tree may be sold as a two-year-old, 
although most persons prefer to buy it a year later as a three-year-old. 
In some parts of the country, particularly in the West, the litde seedling 
is grafted in the second winter, in a grafdng room, and the young 
grafts are set in the nursery row in the spring to complete their growth. 
The planting in the orchard of the young peach and the young apple 
tree is done in practically the same way. After the hole for the tree has 
been dug and after proper soil has been provided, the roots should be 
spread and the soil carefully packed around them. 



88 AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 

EXERCISE 

Do you know an)' trees in your neighborhood that bear both wild and 
budded or grafted fruit? What are the chief varieties of apples grown 
in your neighborhood ? grapes ? currants ? plums ? cherries ? figs ? What 
is a good apple tree worth ? Is there any land near by that could support 
a tree and is not now doing so ? Examine several orchards and see 
whether the trees have the proper shape. Do you see any evidence of 
poor pruning? Do )'OU find any heels? Can you see any place where 
heels have resulted in rotten or hollow trees? How could you have 
prevented this? Has the removal of branches ever resulted in serious 
decay? How is this to be prevented? 

If your home is not well stocked with all the principal kinds of fruit, 
do you not want to propagate and attend to some of each kind? You 
will be surprised to find how quickly trees will bear and how soon you 
will be eating fruit from your own planting. Growing your own trees 
will make you feel proud of your skill. 



CHAPTER V 

HORTICULTURE 

SECTION XXV. MARKET-GARDENING 

The word Jiojiicnltiirc is one of those broad words under 
which much is grouped. It includes the cultivation of orchard 
fruits, such as apples and plums ; of small fruits, such as 
strawberries and raspberries ; of garden vegetables for the 
table ; of flowers of all sorts, including shrubbery and orna- 
mental trees and their arrangement into beautiful landscape 
effects around our homes. Horticulture then is a name for 
an art that is both far-reaching and important. 

The word gardciiing is generally given to that part of 
horticulture which has for its chief aim the raising of vege- 
tables for our tables. 

Flower-gardening, or the cultivation of plants valued for 
their bloom in making ornamental beds and borders and fur- 
nishing flowers for the decoration of the home, is generally 
called jJoricnlturc. Landscape-gardening is the art of so 
arranging flower-beds, grass, shrubber}-, and trees as to pro- 
duce pleasing effects in the grounds surrounding our homes 
and in great public parks and pleasure grounds. 

Landscape-gardening, like architecture, has developed into 
a great art and is now regarded as one of the so-called " fine 
arts," that is, arts that require taste, education, and refine- 
ment. The landscape-gardener forms pictures in nature just 
as the artist makes them on canvas, but uses natural objects 
in his pictures instead of paint and canvas. 

89 



90 



AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 



Market-Gardening. Formerly market-gardening was done 
on small tracts of land in the immediate vicinity of large 
cities, where supplies of stable manure could be used from 
the city stables. But with the great increase in the popula- 
tion of the cities, these small areas could no longer supply 
the demand, and the introduction of commercial fertilizers 
and the building of railroads enabled gardeners at great 




Fig. 82. Strawberry-Growing is an Art 



distances from city markets to grow and ship their products. 
Hence the markets, even in winter, are now supplied with 
fresh vegetables from regions where there is no frost. Then, 
as spring opens, fruits and vegetables are shipped from more 
temperate regions. Later vegetables and fruits come from 
the sections nearer the great cities. This gradual nearing of 
the supply fields continues until the gardens near the cities 
can furnish what is needed. 



HORTICULTURE 



91 



The market-gardeners around the great Northern cities, 
finding that winter products were coming from the South 
and from warmer regions, began to build hothouses and b\- 
means of steam and hot-water pipes to make warm cUmates 
in these glass houses. Many acres of land in the colder 
sections of the country- are covered with heated glass houses, 
and in them during the \\"inter are produced fine crops of 
tomatoes, lettuce, radishes, cauliflowers, eggplants, and other 
vegetables. The 
degree of perfec- 
tion which these 
attain in spite of 
ha\ing such arti- 
ficial culture, and 
their freshness as 
compared to the 
products brought 
from a great dis- 
tance, have made 
winter gardening 
under glass a ver\- 
profitable business. 
But it is a busi- 
ness that calls for the highest skill and the closest attention, 

Xo garden, even for home use, is complete without some 
glass sashes, and the garden will be all the more successful 
if there is a small heated greenhouse for starting plants that 
are afterwards to be set in the garden. 

Hotbeds. If there is no greenhouse, a hotbed is an 
important help in the garden. The bed is made bv dig- 
ging a pit two feet deep, seven feet wide, and as long as 
necessar)-. 




Fig. S3. Setiing Plants in a Cold-Fr.\me 



92 



AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 



The material for the hotbed is fresh horse manure mixed 

with leaves. This is thrown into a heap to heat. As soon as 

steam is seen coming from the heap the manure is turned 

over and piled again so that the outer part is thrown inside. 

When the whole is uniformly heated and has been turned 

two or three times, it is packed firmly into the pit already dug. 

A frame six feet 

wide, twelve inches 

high on the north 

side and eight 

inches on the south 

side and as long as 

the bed is to be, is 

now made of plank. 

This is set upon 

the heated manure, 

thus leaving six 

inches on each side 

outside the frame. 

More manure is 

then banked all 

around it, and three 

or four inches of 

fine light and rich 

soil are placed in- 
F,G. 84. The Gladiolus ^.^^ ^^^ ^^^^^_ 

The frame is then covered with hotbed sashes six feet 
long and three feet wide. These slide up and down on strips 
of wood let into the sides of the frame. A thermometer 
is stuck into the soil and closely watched, for there will be 
too much heat at first for sowing seed. When the heat in 
the early morning is about 85°, seeds may be sowed. The 




HORTICULTURE 93 

hotbed is used for starting tomato plants, eggplants, cabbage 
plants, and other vegetables that cannot stand exposure. It 
should be made about eight or ten weeks before the tender 
plants can be set out in the localit}\ In the South and South- 
west it should be started earlier than in the North. For 
growing the best tomato plants, and for such hardv plants as 
lettuce and cabbage, it \^^ll be better to have cold-frames in 
addition to the hotbed ; these need not be more than t\^o or 
three sashes. 

Cold-Frames. A cold-frame is like the frame used for a 
hotbed, but it is placed on well-manured soil in a sheltered 
spot. It is covered \\-ith the same kind of sashes and is used 




Fig. 85. : - ; 

for hardening the plants sowed in the hotbed. The frame 
must be well banked with earth on the outside, and the 
glass must be covered on cold nights \\ith straw, mats, or 
old carpets to keep out frost. 

Care of Hotbed and Cold-Frame. If the sun be allowed to 
shine brightly on the glass of a cold-frame or hotbed, it will 
soon raise the temperature in the hotbed to a point that will 
destroy the plants. It is necessan.-, then, to pay close atten- 
tion to the bed and, when the sun shines, to slip the sashes 
down or raise them and place a block under the upper end to 
allow the steam to pass off. The cold-frame also must be aired 
when the sun shines, and the sashes must be gradually 



94 AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 

slipped douTi in mild weather. Finally, they may be re- 
moved entirely on sunshin}^ days, so as to accustom the 
plants to the open air, but they must be replaced at night. 
For a while before setting the plants in the open gardens, 
leave the sashes off night and day. 

While the hotbed may be used for starting plants, it is 
much better and more convenient to have a little greenhouse 
with fire heat for this purpose. A little house with but four 




Fig. S6. Greenhouse and Cold-Frames 

sashes on each side will be enough to start a great many 
plants, and will also give room for some flowers in pots. 
With such a house a student can learn to manage a more 
extensive structure if he gives close attention to airing, 
watering, and keeping out insects. 

Sowing. The time for sowing the different kinds of seeds 
is an important matter. Seeds vary greatly in their require- 
ments. All need three conditions — a proper degree of heat, 
moisture, and air. Some seeds, like English peas, parsnips. 



HORTICULTURE 



95 



beets, and radishes, will germinate and grow when the soil is 
still cool in the early spring, and peas will stand quite a frost 
after they are up. Therefore we plant English peas as early 
as the ground can be worked. 

But if we should plant seeds like corn, string (or snap) 
beans, squashes, and other tender plants before the ground 
is warm enough, they would decay. 

Seeds cannot germinate in soil that is perfectly dr)-, for 
there must be moisture to swell them and to start growth. 




Fig. Sj. Gathkring and shipping Celery 

The oxygen of the air is also necessar}^, and if seeds are 
buried so deeply that the air cannot reach them, they will 
not grow, even if they are warm and moist. 

The depth of planting must var}^ with the character and size 
of the seed. English peas may be covered six inches deep and 
will be all the better for such covering, but if corn be covered 
so deep, it hardly gets above the ground. In planting small 
seeds like those of the radish, cabbage, turnip, lettuce, etc., a 
good rule is to cover them three times the thickness of the seed. 



96 



AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 



In sowing seeds when the ground is rather dty, it is a 
good plan, after covering them, to tramp on the row so as 
to press the soil closely to the seeds and to help it to retain 
moisture for germination, but do not pack the soil if it is damp. 

In spring never dig or plow the garden while it is still 
wet, but alwavs wait until the soil is dr)' enough to crumble 
freely. 

What Crops to grow. The crops to be raised will of course 
depend upon each gardener's climate, surroundings, and 

markets. Some- 




times it may pay 
a grower, if his 
soil and climate 
are particularly 
suited to one 
crop, to expend 
most of his time 
and energy on 
this crop ; for ex- 
ample, in some 
sections of New 
York, on pota- 
toes ; in parts of 
]Michigan, on celery ; in Georgia, on watermelons ; in west- 
em North Carolina, on cabbage. If circumstances allow this 
sort of gardening, it has many advantages, for of course it 
is much easier to acquire skill in growing one crop than in 
growing many. 

On the other hand, it often happens that a gardener's 
situation requires him to grow most of the crops known to 
gardening. Each gardener then must be guided in his selec- 
tion of crops by his surroundings. 



A Large Yield of Cabbages 



HORTICULTURE 97 

Care of Crops. The gardener who wishes to attain the 
greatest success in his art must do four things : 

First, he must make his land rich and keep it rich. Much 
of his success depends on getting his crops on the market 
ahead of other growers. To do this, his crops must grow 
rapidly, and crops grow rapidly only in rich soil. Then, 
too, land conveniently situated for market-gardening is nearly 
always costly. Hence the successful market-gardener must 
plan to secure the largest possible yield from as small an 
area as is practicable. The largest yield can of course be 
secured from the richest land. 

Second, the gardener must cultivate his rich land most 
carefully and economically. He crowds his land with prod- 
ucts that must grow apace. Therefore he, least of all growers, 
can afford to have any of his soil go to feed weeds, to have 
his land wash, or to have his growing crops suffer for lack of 
timely and wise cultivation. To cultivate his land economi- 
cally the gardener must use the best tools and machines 
and the best methods of soil management. 

Third, to get the best results he must grow perfect vege- 
tables. To do this, he must add to good tillage a knowledge 
of the common plant diseases and of the ways of insects and 
bacterial pests ; he must know how and when to spray, how 
and when to treat his seed, how and when to poison, how and 
when to trap his insect foes and to destroy their hiding-places. 

Fourth, not only must the gardener grow perfect vegetables, 
but he must put them on the market in perfect condition and 
in attractive shape. Who cares to buy wilted, bruised, spoiling 
vegetables ? Gathering, bundling, crating, and shipping are all 
to be watched carefully. Baskets should be neat and attractive, 
crates clean and snug, barrels well packed and well headed. 
Careful attention to all these details brings a rich return. 



98 



AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 



Among the gardener's important crops are the follovring : 
Asparagus. This is a hard}- plant. Its seed may be sowed 
either earl\- in the spring or late in the fall. The seeds 
should be planted in rows. If the plants are well cultix-ated 
during the spring and summer, they will make vigorous roots 
for transplanting in the autumn. 

In the fall prepare a piece of land by breaking it unusually 
deep and bv manuring it heavily. After the land is thor- 
oughly prepared, make in 
it furrows for the aspara- 
gus roots. These fur- 
rows should be six inches 
deep and three feet apart. 
Then remove the roots 
from the rows in which 
thev have been gro\nng 
during the summer, and 
set them t^vo feet apart 
in the prepared furrows. 
Cover carefully at once. 
In the follo\A"ing spring 
the vouns: shoots must be 




59. A Crate of Asfak 



well cultivated. In order to economize space, beets or lettuce 
may be grown between the asparagus rows during this first 
season. With the coming of cold weather the asparagus 
must again be freely manured and all dead tops cut off. 
Some plants will be ready for market the second spring. 
If the bed is kept free from weeds and well manured, it 
will increase in productiveness from year to year. 

Beans. The most generally planted beans are those known 
as string, or snap, beans. Of the manv varieties, all are sensi- 
tive to cold and hence must not be planted until frost is over. 



HORTICULTURE 



99 



Another widely grown kind of bean is the Hma, or butter, 
bean. There are two \-arieties of the lima bean. One is large 
and generally grows on poles. This kind does best in the 
Xonhem states. The other is a small bean and may be 
grown without poles. This kind is best suited to the warmer 
climates of the Southern states. 

Cabbage. In comparatively warm clim.ates the first crop 
of cabbage is generally grown in the following way. The 
seeds are sowed in beds in September, and the plants grown 
from this sowing are 
in November trans- 
planted to ground 
laid off in sharp 
ridges. The young 
plants are set on 
the south side of the 
ridges in order that 
they may be some- 
what protected from 
the cold of winter. 
As spring comes 

on, the ridge is partly cut down at each working until the 
field is leveled, and thereafter the cultivation should be level. 

Early cabbages need hea\y applications of manure. In the 
spring, nitrate of soda applied in the rows is \er\- helpful. 

Seeds for the crop following this early crop should be 
sowed in March. Of course these seeds should be of a later 
varien- than the first used. The young plants should be trans- 
planted as soon as they are large enough. Early cabbages are 
set in rows three feet apart, the plants eighteen inches apart 
in the row. As the later \-arieties grow larger than the earlier 
ones, the plants should be set two feet apart in the row. 




Fig. 90. Cabbage ready for Shipment 



lOO 



AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 



In growing late fall and winter cabbage the time of sowing 
varies with the climate. For the Northern and middle states, 
seeding should be done during the last of March and in April. 
South of a line passing west from \'irginia it is hard to carr}^ 
cabbages through the heat of summer and get them to head 
in the fall. However, if the seeds are sowed about the first 
of August in rich and moist soil and the plants set in the 
same sort of soil in September, large heads can be secured 

for the December market. 
Celery. In the extreme 
northern part of our coun- 
tr}', celer}- seeds are often 
sowed in a greenhouse or 
hotbed. This is done in 
order to secure plants early 
enough for summer blanch- 
ing. This plan, however, 
suits only ver}" cool climates. 
In the middle states the 
seeds are usually sowed in 
a well-prepared bed about 
April. The young plants 
are moved to other beds as 
soon as they need room. 
Generally they are transplanted in July to rows prepared for 
them. These should be four feet apart, and the plants should 
be set six inches apart in the row. The celer}- bed should be 
carefully cultivated during the summer. In the fall, hill the 
stalks up enough to keep them erect. After the growing season 
is over dig them and set them in trenches. The trenches 
should be as deep as the celer\' is tall, and after the celery 
is put in them they should be covered with boards and straw. 





iii 


f 


^"^^'^ 



Fig. 91. 



Celery trimmed, washed, 
and bunched 



HORTICULTURE loi 

In the more southern states, celer)- is usually grown in beds. 
The beds are generally made six feet wide, and rows a foot 
apart are run crosswise. The plants are set six inches apart, in 
September, and the whole bed is earthed up as the season ad- 
vances. Finally, when uinter comes the beds are covered with 
leaves or straw to prevent the plants from freezing. The celer\' 
is dug and bunched for market at any time during the winter. 

By means of cold-frames a profitable crop of spring celen^ 
may be raised. Have the plants ready to go into the cold- 
frames late in October or early in November. The soil in 
the frame should be made ver\' deep. The plants should 
make only a moderately rapid grouth during the winter. 
In the early spring they will grow rapidly and so crowd one 
another as to blanch well. As celery grown in this way comes 
on the market at a time when no other celers- can be had, it 
commands a good price. 

In climates as warm as that of Florida, beds of celer\' can 
be raised in this way without the protection of cold-frames. 
A slight freeze does not hurt celer\-, but a long-continued 
freezing spell will destroy it. 

Some kinds of celer\- seem to turn white naturallv. These 
are called self-blanching kinds. Other kinds need to be 
banked with earth in order to make the stalks whiten. This 
kind usually gives the best and crispest stalks. 

Cucumbers and Cantaloupes. Although cucumbers and 
cantaloupes are ver\' different plants, they are grown in pre- 
cisely the same way. Some gardeners plant them in hills. 
However, this is perhaps not the best plan. It is better to 
lay the land off in furrows six feet apart. After filling these 
with well-rotted stable manure, throw soil over them. Then 
make the top flat and plant the seeds. After the plants are 
up thin them out, leaving them a foot or more apart in the 



I02 



AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 



rows. Cultivate regularly and carefully until the vines cover 
the entire ground. 

It is a good plan to sow cowpeas at the last working of 
cantaloupes, in order to furnish some shade for the melons. 
As both cucumbers and cantaloupes are easily hurt by cold, 
they should not be planted until the soil is warm and all 
danger of frost is past. 

Cucumbers are always cut while they are green. They 
should never be pulled from the vine, but should always be 

cut with a piece of 
■^Y ''v^^ ^-- \^^^' the stem attached. 

Cantaloupes should 
be gathered before 
they turn yellow 
and should be rip- 
ened in the house. 
In some sec- 
tions of the countr)^ 
the little striped 
'^ '^ Sdi cucumber-beetle at- 

FiG. 92. Striped CrcrMBER Beetle and Larva |^(-1^s tJig melons 

•^" '"^^s^ifi^d and cucumbers as 

soon as they come up. These beetles are ver\' active, and if 
their attacks are not prevented they will destroy the tender 
plants. Bone dust and tobacco dust applied just as the plants 
appear above the ground will prevent these attacks. This 
treatment not only keeps off the beetle, but also helps the 
growth of the plants. 

Eggplants. Eggplants are so tender that they cannot 
be transplanted like tomatoes to cold-frames and gradually 
hardened to stand the cold spring air. These plants, started 
in a warm place, must be kept there until the soil to which 




HORTICULTURE 



103 



thev are to be transplanted is well warmed by the advance 
of spring. After the warm weather has fully set in, trans- 
plant them to rich soil, setting them three feet apart each 
way. This plant needs much manure. If large, perfect fruit 
is expected, the ground can hardly be made too rich. 

Eggplants are subject to the same bacterial blight that is so 
destructive to tomatoes. The only way to prevent this disease 
is to plant in ground not lately used for tomatoes or potatoes. 




Fig. 93. An Omun Harvest 

Onions. The method of growing onions varies with the 
use to which it is intended to put them. To make the early 
sorts, which are eaten green in the spring, little onions called 
sfts are planted. These are grown from seeds sowed late in 
the spring. The seeds are sowed thickly in rows in rather 
poor land. The object of selecting poor land is that the growth 
of the sets may be slow. When the sets have reached the 
size of small marbles, they are ready for the fall planting. 

In the South the sets may be planted in September. 
Plant them in rows in rich and well-fertilized soil. They 



I04 



AGRICULTURE FOR BEGIXXERS 



wiU be ready for market in March or April. In the more 
northerlv states the sets are to be planted as early as possible 
in the spring. 

To grow ripe onions the seeds must be sowed as early in 
the spring as the ground can be worked. The plants are 
thinned to a stand of three inches in the rows. As they 
grow, the soil is drawn away from them so that the onions 
sit on top of the soil \iith only their roots in the earth. 




As soon as the tops rif)en pull the onions and let them 
lie in the sun until the tops are dr\\ Then put them under 
shelter. As onions keep best with their tops attached, do 
not remove these until it is time for marketing. 

Peas. The English pea. is about the first vegetable of the 
season to be planted. It may be planted as soon as the ground 
is in workable condition. Peas are planted in rows, and it is a 
good plan to stretch wire netting for them to climb on. How- 
ever, where peas are extensively cultivated they are allowed 
to fall on the ground- 



HORTICULTLRE 105 

There are many sorts of peas, differing both in quaht)' and 
in time of production. The first to be planted are the extra- 
early varieties. These are not so fine as the later, wrinkled 
sorts, but the seeds are less apt to rot in cold ground. Fol- 
lowing these, some of the fine, wrinkled sorts are to be planted 
in regular succession. Peas do not need much manure and 
do best in a light, warm soil. 

Tomatoes. There is no vegetable grown that is more 
widely used than the tomato. \\'hether fresh or canned it 
is a staple article of food that can be sen-ed in manv wavs. 

By careful selection and breeding, the fruit of the tomato 
has in recent years been much improved. There are now- 
many varieties that produce perfectly smooth and solid fruit, 
and the grower can hardly go amiss in his selection of 
seeds if he bears his climate and his particular needs in mind. 

Early tomatoes are started in the greenhouse or in the 
hotbed about ten weeks before the time for setting the 
plants in the open ground. They are transplanted to cold- 
frames as soon as they are large enough to handle. This is 
done to harden the plants and to give them room to grow- 
strong before the final transplanting. 

In kitchen gardens tomatoes are planted in row-s four feet 
apart with the plants two feet apart in the rows. Thev are 
generally trained to stakes with but one stalk to a stake. 
When there is plent}- of space, however, the plants are 
allow-ed to grow- at will and to tumble on the ground. In 
this way they bear large crops. During the winter the mar- 
kets are supplied with tomatoes either from tropical sections 
or from hothouses. As those grown in the hothouses are 
superior in flavor to those shipped from Florida and from 
the West Indies, and as they command good prices, great 
quantities are grown in this way. 



io6 AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 

In the South the bacterial blight which attacks the plants 
of this family is a serious drawback to tomato culture. The 
only way to escape this disease is to avoid planting tomatoes 
on land in w-hich eggplants, tomatoes, or potatoes have been 
blighted. Lime spread around the plants seems to prevent 
the blight for one season on some soils. 

At the approach of frost in the fall, green tomatoes can 
easily be preserved by wrapping them in paper. Gather 
them carefully and wrap each separately. Pack them in 
boxes and store in a cellar that is close enough to prevent 
the freezing of the fruit. A few da^"s before the tomatoes 
are wanted for the table unpack as many as are needed, re- 
move the paper, and allow them to ripen in a warm room. 

Tomatoes require a rich soil. Scattering a small quantity 
of nitrate of soda around their roots promotes rapid growth. 

Watermelons. As watermelons need more room than can 
usually be spared in a garden, the\' are commonly grown as 
a field crop. 

A \-er}- light, sandy soil suits watermelons best. They can 
be grown on \er\- poor soil if a good supply of compost be 
placed in each hill. The land for the melons should be laid 
off in about ten-foot checks ; that is, the furrows should cross 
one another at right angles about ever)' ten feet. A wide 
hole should be dug where the furrows cross, and into this 
composted manure should be put. 

The best manure for watermelons is a compost of stable 
manure and wood-mold from the forest. Pile the manure 
and wood-mold in alternate layers for some time before the 
planting-season. During the winter cut through the pile 
several times until the two are thoroughly mixed and finely 
pulverized. Be sure to keep the compost heap under shelter. 
Compost will lose in value if it is exposed to rains. 



HORTICULTURE lO/ 

At planting-time, put two or three shovelfuls of this com- 
post into each of the prepared holes, and over the top of the 
manure scatter a handful of any high-grade complete fertil- 
izer. Then cover fertilizer and manure with soil, and plant 
the seeds in this soil. In cultivating, plow both ways of the 
checked rows and throw the earth toward the plants. 

Some growers pinch off the vines when they have grown 
about three feet long. This is done to make them branch 
more freely, but the pinching is not necessar)-. 

A serious disease, the watermelon wilt, is rapidl}- spreading 
through melon-growing sections. This disease is caused by 
germs in the soil, and the germs are hard to kill. If the wilt 
should appear in your neighborhood, do not allow any stable 
manure to be used on your melon land, for the germs are 
easily scattered by means of stable manure. The germs also 
cling to the seeds of diseased melons, and these seeds bear 
the disease to other fields. If you treat melon seeds as you 
are directed on page 1 3 5 to treat oat seeds, the germs on the 
seeds will be destroyed. By crossing the watermelon on the 
citron melon, a watermelon that is resistant to wilt has recently 
been developed and successfully grown in soils in which wilt 
is present. The new melon, inferior in flavor at first, is being 
improved from season to season and bids fair to rival other 
melons in flavor. 




Flu. 93. Dewuerries 



io8 



AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 



SECTION XXVI. FLOWER GARDENING 

The comforts and joys of life depend largely upon small 
things. Of these small things perhaps none holds a position 
of greater importance in countr}' life than the adornment of 
the home, indoors and outdoors, with flowers tastefullv ar- 
ranged. Their selection and planting furnish pleasant recrea- 
tion ; their care is a pleasing employment ; and each little 




Fig. 96. Ax Easy Way to beautify the Hume 

plant, as it sprouts and grows and develops, may become 
as much a pet as creatures of the sister animal kingdom. 
A beautiful, well-kept yard adds greatly to the pleasure and 
attractiveness of a countr}- home. If a beautiful yard and 
home give joy to the mere passer-by, how^ much more must 
their beaut)' appeal to the owners. The decorating of the 
home shows ambition, pride, and energ}' — important ele- 
ments in a successful life. 



HORTICULTURE 



109 



Plant trees and shrubs in your yard and border your 
masses of shrubben- with flower-beds. Do not disfigure a 
lawn by placing a bed of flowers in it. Use the flowers 
rather to decorate the shrubben-, and for borders along 
walks, and in the comers near steps, or against foundations. 

If you wish to 
raise flowers for the 
sake of flowers, not 
as decorations, make 
the flower-beds in the 
back }ard or at the 
side of the house. 

Plants may be 
grown from seeds or 
from bulbs or from 
cuttings. The root- 
ing of cuttings is an 
interesting task to 
all who are fond of 
flowers. Those who 
have no greenhouse 
and who wish to 
root cuttings of ge- 
raniums, roses, and 
other plants may do 

so in the following way. Take a shallow pan, an old-fashioned 
milk pan for instance, fill it nearly full of clean sand, and 
then wet the sand thoroughly. Stick the cuttings thickly 
into this wet sand, set the pan in a warm, sunny window, 
and keep the sand in the same water-soaked condition. Most 
cuttings will root well in a few weeks and may then be set 
into small flower-pots. Cuttings of tea roses should have two 




Fig. 97. A Back Yard to refine the 
Children of the Family 



no 



AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 



or three joints and be taken from a stem that has just made 
a flower. Allow one of the rose leaves to remain at the top of 
the cutting. Stick this cutting into the sand and it will r:*ot 
in about four weeks. Cuttings of Cape jasmine ma}" i 

in the same way. Some geraniums, the rose _ r. 

for example, may be growTi from cuttings of '.':.. : :s. 




J- ;g. o?. Kei'l'TTIn - 

Bulbs are simply the lower ends of the leaves of a plant 
wrapped tightly around one another and inclosing the bud 
that makes the future flower-stalk. The h}-acinth, the narcis- 
sus, and the common garden onion are examples of bulbous 
plants. The flat part at the bottom of the bulb is the stem 
of the plant reduced to a flat disk, and betv^-een each tn-o 
adjacent leaves on this flat stem there is a bud, just as above- 
ground there is a bud at the base of a leaf. These buds on 
the stem of the bulb rarely grow, however, unless fcnred to 



HORTICULTURE 



III 



do so artificially. The number of bulbs may be greatly in- 
creased by making these buds grow and form other bulbs. 
In increasing hyacinths the matured bulbs are dug in the 
spring, and the under part of the flat stem is carefully scraped 
awav to expose the base of the buds. The bulbs are then put 
in heaps and covered with sand. In a few weeks each bud 
has formed a little bulb. 
The gardener plants the 
whole together to grow 
one season, after which 
the little bulbs are sepa- 
rated and grown into 
full-sized bulbs for sale. 
Other bulbs, like the 
narcissus or the daffodil, 
form new bulbs that 
separate without being 
scraped. 

There are some other 
plants which have under- 
ground parts that are 
corfimonly called bulbs 
but which are not bulbs 
at all ; for example, the 

gladiolus and the caladium. or elephant's ear. Their under- 
ground parts are bulblike in shape, but are reallv solid flat- 
tened stems with eyes like the underground stem of the Irish 
potato. These parts are called conns. Thev mav be cut into 
pieces like the potato and each part will grow. 

The dahlia makes a mass of roots that look greatly like 
sweet potatoes, but there are no eyes on them as there are 
on the sweet potato. The only eyes are on the base of the 




Fig. 99. A Clematis 



112 



AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 



stem to which they are joined. They may be sprouted Hke 
sweet potatoes and then soft cuttings made of the green 
shoots, after which they may be rooted in the greenhouse 
and later planted in pots. 

There are many perennial plants that will bloom the first 
season when grown from the seed, though such seedlings 
are seldom so good as the plants from which they came. 
They are generally used to originate new varieties. Seeds 
of the dahlia, for instance, can be sowed in a box in a warm 
room in earlv March, potted as soon as the plants are large 




I'lG. loo. Outdoor-Grown Chrysanthemums 

enough to handle, and finally planted in the garden when 
the weather is warm. They will bloom nearly as soon as 
plants grown by dividing the roots or from cuttings. 

In growing annual plants from seed, there is little difficulty 
if the grower has a greenhouse or a hotbed with a glass sash. 
Even without these the plants may be grown in shallow boxes 
in a warm room. The best boxes are about four inches deep 
with bottoms made of slats nailed a quarter of an inch apart 
to give proper drainage. Some moss is laid over the bottom 
to prevent the soil from sifting through. The boxes should 
then be filled with light, rich soil. Fine black forest mold, 
thoroughly mixed with one fourth its bulk of well-rotted 



HORTICULTURE 



113 



manure, makes the best soil for filling the seed-boxes. If 
this soil be placed in an oven and heated very hot, the 
heat will destroy many weeds that would otherwise give 
trouble. After the soil is put in the boxes it should be 
well packed by pressing it with a flat wooden block. Sow 
the seeds in straight rows, and at the ends of the rows put 
little wooden labels 
with the names of 
the flowers on them. 
Seeds sowed in the 
same box should be 
of the same general 
size in order that they 
may be properly cov- 
ered, for seeds need 
to be covered accord- 
ing to their size. 
After sowing the seed, 
sift the fine soil over 
the surface of the 
box. The best soil 
for covering small 
seeds is made by rub- 
bing dry moss and 

leaf-mold through a sieve together. This makes a light cover 
that will not bake and will retain moisture. After covering 
the seeds, press the soil firm and smooth with a wooden 
block. Now sprinkle the covering soil lightly with a watering- 
pot until it is fairly moistened. Lay some panes of glass 
over the box to retain the moisture, and avoid further water- 
ing until moisture becomes absolutely necessary. Too much 
watering makes the soil too compact and rots the seed. 




Fig. ioi. Thk Carnation (Eldokauu) 



114 



AGRICULTURE FOR BEGIXNERS 



As soon as the seedlings have made a second pair of 
leaves, take them up with the point of a knife and transplant 
them into other boxes filled in the same way. They should 

be set two inches apart so as to 
give them room to grow strong. 
They may be transplanted from 
the boxes to the flower-garden by 
taking an old knife-blade and cut- 
ting the earth into squares, and 
then lifting the entire square with 
the plant and setting it where it 
is wanted. 

There are many flower-seeds 
which are so small that they must 
not be covered at all. In this class 
we find begonias, petunias, and 
Chinese primroses. To sow these 
prepare boxes as for the other 
-eeds, and press the earth smooth. 
Then scatter some fine, dry- moss 
ihinly over the surface of the soil. 
Sprinkle this with water until it is 
/i B^^^^^l well moistened, and at once scatter 
W^ |BH^^^HI the seeds thinly over the surface 

[ i M 11 1 ^nd cover the boxes with panes of 

glass until the seeds germinate. 
Transplant as soon as the young 
plants can be lifted out separately on the blade of a penknife. 
Many kinds of flower-seeds may be sowed directly in the open 
ground where they are to remain. The sweet pea is one of 
the most popular flowers grown in this way. The seeds should 
be sowed rather thickly in rows and covered fully four inches 




Fig. I02. The Poet's 
Narcissus 



HORTICULTURE 



"S 




Fig. 



A Cyclamen 



deep. The sowing should be varied in time according to the 

climate. From North Carolina southward, sweet peas may 

be sowed in the 
fall or in Januar)% 
as they are ver}' 
hardy and should 
be forced to bloom 
before the weather 
becomes hot. Late 
spring sowing will 
not give fine flow- 
ers in the South. 
From North Caro- 
lina northward the 

seeds should be sowed just as early in the spring as the 

ground can be easily worked. When the plants appear, stakes 

should be set along 

the rows and a strip 

of woven-wire fence 

stretched for the plants 

to climb on. Moming- 

glor\- seeds are also 

sowed where they are 

to grow. The seeds 

of the moonflower are 

large and hard and will 

fail to grow unless they 

are slightly cut. To 

start their growth make 

a slight cut just through 

the hard outer coat of 

the seed so as to expose i-ig. 104. a MoutKN Swlli ptA 




ii6 



AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 



the white inside. In this way they will grow very readily. 
The seeds of the canna, or Indian-shot plant, are treated in 
a similar way to start them growing. 

The canna makes large fleshy roots which in the North 
are taken up, covered with damp moss, and stored under 
the benches of the greenhouse or in a cellar. If allowed to 

get too dry, they will 
wither. From central 
North Carolina south 
it is best to cover them 
up thickly with dead 
leaves and let them 
stay in the ground 
where they grew. In 
the early spring take 
them up and divide 
for replanting. 

Perennial plants, 
such as our flowering 
shrubs, are grown 
from cuttings of the 
ripe wood after the 
leaves have fallen in 
autumn. From North 
Fig. 105. Dahlias Carolina southward 

these cuttings should be set in rows in the fall. Cuttings ten 
inches long are set so that the tops are just even with the 
ground. A light cover of pine leaves will prevent damage 
from frost. Farther north the cuttings should be tied in 
bundles and well buried in the ground with earth heaped 
over them. In the spring set them in rows for rooting. In 
the South all the hardy hybrid perpetual roses can be grown 




HORTICULTURE 



117 



in this way, and in any section the cuttings of most of the 
spring-flowering shrubs will grow in the same manner. The 
Japanese quince, which makes such a show of its scarlet 
flowers in early spring, can be best grown from three-inch 
cuttings made of the roots and planted in rows in the fall. 
Manv of our ornamental evergreen trees, such as the arbor 
vitae. can be grown in the spring from seeds sowed in a frame. 



d- 




A .^ 


a»i^_. 




H^r- 


A-^^W— 


^.,I^^MHH||| 


f^^^^l^% 


)^^^A 


^E 






^^^^^^^^^^^^^BIH^n^^DBB^AHE^^^D^Bii 



Fli.. 100. FOUR-O'CLOCKS SET I.N" A GOOU I'LACK 

Cotton cloth should be stretched over the trees while they 
are young, to prevent the sun from scorching them. When 
a year old they may be set in nurser\' rows to develop until 
they are large enough to plant. Arbor vita? may also be grown 
from cuttings made by setting young tips in boxes of sand 
in the fall and keeping them warm and moist through the 
winter. Most of them will be rooted by spring. 

The kinds of flowers that you can grow are almost count- 
less. You can hardly make a mistake in selecting, as all are 



ii8 



AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 



interesting. Start this year with a few and gradually increase 
the number under your care year by year, and aim always to 
make your plants the choicest of their kind. 

Of annuals there are over four hundred kinds cultivated. 
You may select from the following list : phlox, petunias, 
China asters, California poppies, sweet peas, pinks, double 




Fig. 107. A Window Box 

and single sunflowers, hibiscus, candytuft, balsams, morning- 
glories, stocks, nasturtiums, verbenas, mignonette. 

Of perennials select bleeding-hearts, pinks, bluebells, holly- 
hocks, perennial phlox, perennial hibiscus, wild asters, and 
goldenrods. From bulbs choose crocus, tulip, daffodil, nar- 
cissus, lily of the valley, and lily. 

Some climbers are cobaea, honeysuckle, Virginia creeper, 
English ivy, Boston i\y, cypress vine, hyacinth bean, climbing 
nasturtiums, and roses. 



HORTICULTURE 



119 



To make your plants do best, cultivate them carefully. 
Allow no weeds to grow among them and do not let the sur- 
face of the soil dry into a hard crust. Beware, however, of 
stirring the soil too deep. Loosening the soil about the roots 
interrupts the feeding of the plant and does harm. Climbing 
plants may be trained to advantage on low woven-wire fences. 
These are especially serviceable for sweet peas and climbing 
nasturtiums. Do not let the 
plants go to seed, since 
seeding is a heavy drain on 
nourishment. Moreover, the 
plant has served its end 
when it seeds and is ready 
then to stop blossoming. 
You should therefore pick 
off the old flowers to pre- 
vent their developing seeds. 
This will cause many plants 
which would otherwise soon 
stop blossoming to continue 
bearing flowers for a longer 
period. 

Window-Gardening. Growing plants indoors in the win- 
dow possesses many of the attractions of outdoor flower- 
gardening, and is a means of beautifying the room at very 
small expense. Especially do window-gardens give delight 
during the barren winter time. They are a source of culture 
and pleasure to thousands who cannot afford extended and 
expensive ornamentation. 

The window-garden may var)^ in size from an eggshell 
holding a minute plant to boxes filling all the available space 
about the window. The soil may be in pots for individual 







Fig. ioS. A Window-Garde.n 



I20 



AGRICULTURE FOR BEGIXXERS 




Fig. 109. Ax Inside Window Box in its 
Full Glory 



plants or groups of plants or in boxes for collections of 
plants. You may raise your flowers inside of the window on 

shelves or stands, 
or you may have a 
set of shelves built 
outside of the win- 
dow and inclosed 
in glazed sashes. 
The illustration on 
page 1 19 gives an 
idea of such an 
external window- 
garden. 

The soil must 
be rich and loose. 
The best contains some undecayed organic matter such as 
leaf-mold or partly decayed sods and some sand. Raise your 
plants from bulbs, cuttings, or seed, just as in outdoor gardens. 
Some plants do bet- 
ter in cool rooms, 
others in a warmer 
temperature. 

If the tempera- 
ture ranges from 3 5 '^ 
to 70°, averaging 
about 55°, azaleas, 
daisies, carnations, 
cand\tuft, alyssum, 
dusty miller, chrv^s- 
anthemums, cine- 
rarias, camellias, daphnes, geraniums, petunias, \-iolets, prim- 
roses, and verbenas make especially good growths. 




Fig. 11c. 



WlNLiOW BLOOil 




A LL.v. 



HORTICULTURE 



121 



If the temperature is from 50° to 90", averaging 70°, trv' 
abutilon, begonia, bouvardia, caladium, canna, Cape jasmine, 
coleus, fuchsia, gloxinia, heUotrope, lantana, lobelia, roses, 
and smilax. 

If your box or window is shaded a good part of the time, 
raise begonias, camellias, ferns, and Asparagus Sprengeri. 




Fig. III. Fekns for 13uth Lndooks and Outdoors 

When the soil is dr)-, water it ; then apply no more water 
until it again becomes dr\'. Beware of too much water. The 
plants should be washed occasionally with soapsuds and 
then rinsed. If red spiders are present, sponge them off 
with water as hot as can be borne comfortably by the hand. 
Newspapers afford a good means of keeping off the cold. 



CHAPTER VI 

THE DISEASES OF PLANTS 

SECTION XXVII. THE CAUSE AND NATURE OF 
PLANT DISEASE 

Plants have diseases just as animals do ; not the same 
diseases, to be sure, but just as serious for the plant. Some 
of them are so dangerous that they kill the plant ; others 
partly or wholly destroy its usefulness or its beauty. Some 
diseases are found oftenest on very young plants, others prey 
on the middle-aged tree, while still others attack merely the 
fruit. Whenever a farmer or fruit-grower has disease on his 
plants, he is sure to lose much profit. 

You have all seen rotten fruit. This is diseased fruit. 
Fruit rot is a plant disease. It costs farmers millions of 
dollars annually. A fruit-grower recently lost sixty carloads 
of peaches in a single year through rot which could have 
been largeh' prevented if he had known how. 

Manv of the yellowish or discolored spots on leaves are 
the result of disease, as is also the smut of wheat, corn, and 
oats, the blight of the pear, and the wilt of cotton. Many of 
these diseases are contagious, or, as we often hear said of 
measles, " catching." This is true, among others, of the 
apple and peach rots. A healthy apple can catch this dis- 
ease from a sick apple. You often see evidence of this in 
the apple bin. So, too, many of the diseases found in the 
field or garden are contagious. 



THE DISEASES OF PLANTS 



123 



Sometimes when the skin of a rotten apple has been 
broken you will find in the broken place a blue mold. It was 
this that caused the apple to decay. This mold is a living 
plant ; very small, certainly, but nevertheless a plant. Let us 
learn a little about molds, in order that we may better under- 
stand our apple and potato rots, as well as other plant diseases. 

If you cut a lemon and let it stand for a day or tw^o, there 
will probably appear a blue mold like that you have seen 
on the surface of canned 
fruit. Bread also some- 
times has this blue mold ; 
at other times bread has a 
black mold, and yet again 
a pink or a yellow mold. 

These and 
all other molds 
are tiny living 
plants. Instead 
of seeds they 
produce many 
vers- small bod- 
ies that serve 
the purpose of 

seeds and reproduce the mold. These are called spores. 
Fig. 112 shows how they are borne on the parent plant. 

It is also of great importance to decide whether by keep- 
ing the spores away we may prevent mold. Possibly this 
experiment will help us. Moisten a piece of bread, then dip 
a match or a pin into the blue mold on a lemon, and draw 
the match across the moist bread. Vou will thus plant the 
spores in a row, though they are so small that perhaps you 
may not see any of them. Place the bread in a damp place 





Fig. 112. Taxgleo Threads of Blue Mold 
The single stalk on the left shows how spores are borne 



124 



AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 




Fig. ii^. Magnified Rose Mildew 



for a few" da\s and watch it. Does the mold grow where \ou 
planted it ? Does it grow elsewhere ? This experiment should 

prove to you that molds 
\ - v^-v,^? , -y are li\"ing things and can 

be planted. If you find 
spots elsewhere, you must 
bear in mind that these 
spores are ven* small and 
light and that some of 
them were probably blown 
about when you made 
your sowing. When you 
touch the moldy portion 
of a dr\- lemon, you see 
a cloud of dust rise. This dust is made of miUions of sp)ores. 
If you plant many other kinds of mold you will find that 
the molds come true to the kind that is planted ; that like 
produces like even 
among molds. 

You can prove, 
also, that the mold 
is caused only by 
other mold. To do 
this, put some wet 
bread in a wide- 
mouthed bottle and 
plug the mouth of 
the bottle with cot- 
ton. Kill all the 
spores that may be in this bottle by steaming it an hour in a 
cooking-steamer. This bread will not mold until you allow 
live mold from the outside to enter. If. however, at anv time 




Fig. 114. A Mildewed Rose 



THE DISEASES OF PLANTS 



125 



you open the bottle and allow spores to enter, or if you plant 
spores therein, and if there be moisture enough, mold will 
immediately set in. 

The little plants which make up these molds are called 
fungi. Some fungi, such as the toadstools, puffballs, and 




Fig. 115. A Highly Magnified Section of Diseased Pear Leaf 
Showing how spores are borne 

dexil's snuff-box. are quite large ; others, namely the molds, are 
ver)' small ; and others are even smaller than the molds. Fungi 
never have the green color of ordinar\- plants, always repro- 
duce by spores, and feed on li\ing matter or matter that was 
once alive. Puffballs, for example, are found on rotting wood 
or dead twigs or roots. Some fungi grow on li\ing plants, 



126 



AGRICULTURE FOR BEGIXXERS 



and these produce plant disease by taking their nourishment 
from the plant on which they grow ; the latter plant is called 
the host. 

The same blue mold that grows on bread often attacks 
apples that have been slightly bruised ; it cannot pierce 
healthy apple skin. You can plant the mold in the bruised 
apple just as you did on bread and watch its rapid spread 
through the apple. You learn from this the need of prevent- 
ing bruised or decayed apples from coming in contact with 

health}- fruit. 
f\ 1— H Just as the fun- 

gus studied above 
lives in the apple 
or bread, so other 
^"arieties Hac on 
leaves, bark, etc. 
Fig. 1 1 3 represents 
the surface of a 
mildewed rose leaf 
greatly magnified. 
This mildew is a 
fungus. You can 
see its creeping stems, its upright stalk, and numerous spores 
readv to fall off and spread the disease A^th the first breath 
of wind. You must remember that this figure is greatly 
magnified, and that the whole portion shown in the figure is 
only about one tenth of an inch across. Fig. 114 shows the 
general appearance of a twig affected by this disease. 

Mildew on the rose or on any other plant may be killed 
by spraying the leaves with a solution of liver of sulphur ; 
to make this solution, use one ounce of the liver of sulphur 
to tAvo gallons of water. 




Fig. 116. Spores of the Pear Scab 
The spores are borne on stalks 



THE DISEL\SES OF PLANTS 12/ 

The fungus that causes the pear-leaf spots has its spores 
in little pits (Fig. 115). The spores of some fungi also grow 
on stalks, as shown in Fig. 1 16. This figure represents an en- 
larged view of the pear scab, which causes so much destruction. 

You see, then, that fungi are li\ing plants that grow at the 
expense of other plants and cause disease. Now if you can 
cover the leaf with a poison that will kill the spore when it 
comes, you can prevent the disease. One such poison is the 
Bordeaux {bor-do') mixture, which has proved of great value 
to farmers. 

Since the fungus in most cases lives within the leaves, the 
poison on the outside does no good after the fungus is estab- 
lished. The treatment can be used only to frci'cnt attack, 
not to cure, except in the case of a few mildews that live 
on the outside of the leaf, as does the rose mildew. 

EXERCISE 

Why do things mold more readily in damp places? Do you now 
understand why fruit is heated before it is canned ? Tr^- to grow several 
kinds of mold. Do you know any fungi which may be eaten .'' 

Transfer disease from a rotten apple to a healthy one and note the 
rapidity of decay. How many really healthy leaves can you find on a 
strawberry plant ? Do you find any sp>ots with reddish borders and white 
centers? Do. you know that this is a serious disease of the strawberry? 
What damage does fruit mold do to peaches, plums, or strawberries? 

Write to your experiment station for bulletins on plant diseases and 
methods for making and using spraying mixtures. 

SECTIOX XXVni. YEAST AND BACTERIA 

Can you imagine a plant so small that it would take one hun- 
dred plants lying side by side to equal the thickness of a sheet of 
writing-paper } There are plants that are so small. Moreover, 
these same plants are of the utmost importance to man. Some 
of them do him great injur)-, while others aid him ven- much. 



128 AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 

You will see their importance when you are told that 
certain of them in their habits of life cause great change in 
the substances in which they live. For example, when living 
in a sugar)^ substance they change the sugar into a gas and an 
alcohol. Do you remember the bright bubbles of gas you 
have seen rising in sweet cider or in \\-ine as it soured ? 
These bubbles are caused by one of these small plants — the 
yeast plant. As the yeast plant grows in the sweet fruit juice, 
alcohol is made and a gas is given off at the same time, and 

this gas makes the bubbles. 
Later, other kinds of plants 
equally small will grow and 
change the alcohol into an 
acid which you will recognize 
as vinegar by its sour taste 
and peculiar odor. Thus vine- 
gar is made bv the action of 
FIG. 1,7. Yeast Plants ^^.^ different kinds of little 

A, a single plant: B, group of two bud- ,. . , ^ . ^, ■ ■, 

ding cells :C, group of several cells ll^^g plants in the Cider. 

That these are living beings 
you can prove by heating the cider and keeping it tightly sealed 
so that nothing can enter it. You will find that because the 
li\-ing germs have been killed by the heat, the cider will not 
ferment or sour as it did before. The germs could of course 
be killed by poisons, but then the cider would be unfit for use. 
It is this same little yeast plant that causes bread to rise. 

When you see any decaying matter you may know that 
in it minute plants much like the yeast plant are at work. 
Since decay is due to them, we take advantage of the fact 
that they cannot grow in strong brine or smoke ; and we 
prepare meat for keeping by salting it or by smoking it or 
by both of these methods. 





THE DISEASES OF PLANTS 129 

You see that some of the yeast plants and bactfria, as 
manv of these forms are called, are ver}- friendly to us. while 
others do us great harm. 

Some bacteria grow within the bodies of men and other 
animals or in plants. When they do so they may produce 
disease. Typhoid fever, diphtheria, consumption, and many 
other serious diseases are caused by bacteria. Fig. 118, e, 
shows the bacterium that causes typhoid fever. In the pic- 
ture, of course, it is ver\' greatly magnified. In reality these 
bacteria are so small that about twenty-five thousand of them 
side by side would extend 
only one inch. These ^s' 

small beings produce their , ^ 

great effects bv ver\- rapid ^ „ ^ 

* ' ' . Fig. iiS. Forms of Bacteria 

multiplication and by giv- 

. a. grippe : b, bubonic plague : c, diphtheria: 

ing off powerful poisons. J^ tuberculosis : e, tj-phoid fever 

Bacteria are so small 
that they are readily borne on the dust particles of the air 
and are often taken into the body through the breath and 
also through water or milk. You can therefore see how care- 
ful vou should be to prevent germs from getting into the air 
or into water or milk when there is disease about your home. 
You should heed carefully all instructions of your physician 
on this point, so that you may not spread disease. 

SECTION XXIX. PREVENTION OF PLANT DISEASE 

In the last two sections you have learned something of the 
nature of those fungi and bacteria that cause disease in animals 
and plants. Now let us see how we can use this knowledge 
to lessen the diseases of our crops. Farmers lose through 
plant diseases much that could be saved by proper precaution. 



I30 AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 

First, you must remember that every diseased fruit, twig, 
or leaf bears millions of spores. These must be destroyed 
by burning. They must not be allowed to lie about and 
spread the disease in the spring. See that decayed fruit in 
the bin or on the trees is destroyed in the same manner. 
Never throw decayed fruit into the garden or orchard, as it 
may cause disease the following year. 

Second, you can often kill spores on seeds before they 
are planted and thus prevent the development of the fungus 
(see pp. 134-137). 

Third, often the foliage of the plant can be sprayed with 
a poison that will prevent the germination of the spores (see 
pp. 138-140). 

Fourth, some varieties of plants resist disease much more 
stoutly than others. We may often select the resistant form 
to great advantage (see Fig. 119). 

Fifth, after big limbs are pruned off, decay often sets in 
at the wound. This decay may be prevented by coating the 
cut surface with paint, tar, or some other substance that will 
not allow spores to enter the wound or to germinate there. 

Sixth, it frequently happens that the spore or fungus 
remains in the soil. This is true in the cotton wilt, and the 
remedy is so to rotate crops that the diseased land is not used 
again for this crop until the spores or fungi have died. 

SECTION XXX. SOME SPECIAL PLANT DISEASES 

Fire-Blight of the Pear and Apple. You have perhaps 
heard your father speak of the " fire-blight " of pear and 
apple trees. This is one of the most injurious and most 
widely known of fruit diseases. Do you want to know the 
cause of this disease and how to prevent it ? 



THE DISEASES OF PLANTS 1 31 

First, how will you recognize this disease ? If the diseased 
bough at which you are looking has true fire-blight, \ou will 
see a blackened twig with withered, blackened leaves. Dur- 
ing winter the leaves do not fall from blighted twigs as they 
do from healthy ones. The leaves wither because of the dis- 
eased twig, not because they are themselves diseased. Only 
rarely does the blight really enter the leaf. Sometimes a 
sharp line separates the blighted from the healthy part of 
the twig. 

This disease is caused by bacteria, of which you have read 
in another section. The fire-blight bacteria grow in the juicy 
part of the stem, between the wood and the bark. This 
tender, fresh layer (as explained on page 79) is called the 
ca)nbiitm, and is the part that breaks awa\- and allows }0u 
to slip the bark off when }ou make your bark whistle in the 
spring. The growth of new wood takes place in the cambium, 
and this part of the twig is therefore full of nourishment. 
If this nourishment is stolen the plant of course soon suffers. 

The bacteria causing fire-blight are readily carried from 
flower to flower and from twig to twig by insects ; therefore 
to keep these and other bacteria away from your trees you 
must see to it that all the trees in the neighborhood of your 
orchard are kept free from mischievous enemies. If harm- 
ful bacteria exist in near-by trees, insects will caxxy them to 
\"0ur orchard. You must therefore watch all the relatives of 
the pear ; namely, the apple, hawthorn, crab, quince, and 
mountain ash, for any of these trees may harbor the germs. 

When any tree shows blight, ever)' diseased twig on it 
must be cut off and burned in order to kill the germs, and 
you must cut low enough on the t\vig to get all the bacteria. 
It is best to cut a foot below the blackened portion. If by 
chance vour knife should cut into wood containinir the living; 




^3- 



THE DISEASES OF PLANTS 



133 



germs, and then you should cut into healthy wood with the 
same knife, you yourself would spread the disease. It is 
therefore best after each cutting to dip your knife into a solu- 
tion of carbolic acid. This will kill all bacteria clinging to 
the knife-blade. The surest time to do complete trimming is 
after the leaves fall in the autumn, as diseased twigs are most 
easily recognized at that time, 
but the orchard should be care- 
fully watched in the spring also. 
If a large limb shows the blight, 
it is perhaps best to cut the tree 
entirely down. There is little 
hope for such a tree. 

A large pear-grower once 
said that no man with a sharp 
knife need fear the fire-blight. 
Yet our country loses greatly 
by this disease each year. 

It may be added that winter pruning tends to make the 
tree form much new wood and thus favors the disease. Rich 
soil and fertilizers make it much easier in a similar way for 
the tree to become a prey to blight. 




Fig. 120. Fire-Blight Bacteria 
Magnified 



EXERCISE 

Ask your teacher to show you a case of fire-blight on a pear or apple 
tree. Can you distinguish between healthy and diseased wood ? Cut the 
twig open lengthwise and see how deep into the wood and how far down 
the stem the disease extends. Can you tell surely from the outside how 
far the twig is diseased ? Can you find any twig that does not show a 
distinct line of separation between diseased and healthy wood.'' If so, 
the bacteria are still living in the cambium. Cut out a small bit of the 
diseased portion and insert it under the bark of a healthy, juicy twig 
within a few inches of its tip and watch it from day to day. Does the 



134 



AGRICULTURE FOR BEGIXXERS 



tree catch the disease? This experiment may prove to you how easily 
the disease spreads. If you should see any drops like dew hanging from 
diseased twigs, touch a little of this moisture to a healthy flower and 
watch for results. 

Cut and bum aU diseased tnigs that you can find. Estimate the 
damage done by fire-blight. 

Farmers' bulletins on orchard enemies are published by the Depart- 
ment of Agriculture, Washington, D.C.. and can be had by writing for 
them. They ■will help your father much in treating fire-blight. 

Oat Smuts. Let us go out into a near-by oat field and 
look for all the blackened heads of grain that we can find. 
How many are there ? To count accurately 
let us select an area one foot square. \\q 
must look carefully, for many of these 
blackened heads are so low that we shall 
not see them at the first glance. You will 
be surprised to find as many as thirt}- or 
fort}- heads in ever\- hundred so blackened. 
These blackened heads are due to a plant 
disease called svint. 

When threshing-time comes you will 
notice a great quantit)' of black dust com- 
ing from the grain as it passes through the 
machine. The air is full of it. This black 
dust consists of the spores of a tiny fun- 
The glumes at a more gous plant. The fungous smut plant grows 
nearly destroyed than u|x)n the oat plant, ripcns its sporcs in 

the glumes at 3 ■,-,■, i ■ ■, ii ii 

the head, and is ready to be thoroughly 
scattered among the grains of the oats as they come from 
the threshing-machine. 

These spores cling to the grain and at the next planting 
are ready to attack the sprouting plantlet. A curious thing 
about the smut is that it can gain a foothold only on ver)- 




Fig. 121. Lx>osE 
Smut of Oats 



THE DISEASES OF PLANTS 



135 



young oat plants ; that is, on plants about an inch long or 
of the age shown in Fig. 121. 

When grain covered with smut spores is planted, the 
spores develop with the sprouting seeds and are ready to 
attack the young plant as it 
breaks through the seed-coat. 
You see, then, how important 
it is to have seed grain free from 
smut. A substance has been 
found that will, without injur- 
ing the seeds, kill all the smut 
spores clinging to the grain. 
This substance is called for- 
mal i)i. Enough seed to plant 
a whole acre can be treated 
with formalin at a cost of onl\- 
a few cents. Such treatment 
insures a full crop and clean 
seed for future planting. Try it 
if you have any smut. 

Fig. 122 illustrates what mav 




be gained by using seeds treated 



Fig. 122. A Crop from Oats 

TREATED WITH FORMALIN 



to prevent smut. The annual 
loss to the farmers of the United States from smut on oats 
amounts to several millions of dollars. All that is needed to 
prevent this loss is a little care in the treatment of seed 
and a proper rotation of crops. 



EXERCISE 



Count the smutted heads on a patch three feet square and estimate 
the percentage of smut in all the wheat and oat fields near your home. 
On which is it most abundant.' Do you know of any fields that have 



136 AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 

been treated for smut? If so, look for smut in these fields. Ask how 
they were treated. Do you know of any one who uses bluestone for 
wheat smut ? Can oats be treated with bluestone ? 

At planting time get an ounce of formalin at your drug store or from 
the state experiment station. Mix this with three gallons of water. 
This amount will treat three bushels of seeds. Spread the seeds thinly 
on the barn floor and sprinkle them with the mixture, being careful 
that all the seeds are thoroughly moistened. Cover closely with blankets 
for a few hours and plant very soon after treatment. Try this and esti- 
mate the per cent of smut at next harvest-time. Write to your experi- 
ment station for a bulletin on smut treatment. 

Potato Scab. The scab of the white, or Irish, potato is 
one of the commonest and at the same time most easily pre- 
vented of plant diseases. Yet this disease diminishes the 






Fig. 123. A Scabby Seed Fig. 134. A Healthy Seed 
Potato Potato 

profits of the potato-grower very materially. Fig. 1 2 3 shows 
a very scabby potato, while Fig. 124 represents a healthy one. 
This scab is caused by a fungous growth on the surface 
of the potato. Of course it lessens the selling-price of the 
potatoes. If seed potatoes be treated to a bath of formalin 
just before they are planted, the formalin will kill the fungi 
on the potatoes and greatly diminish the amount of scab at 
the next harvest. Therefore before they are planted, seed 
potatoes should be soaked in a weak solution of formalin 
for about two hours. One-half pint of formalin to fifteen 
gallons of water makes a proper solution. 





Fig. 125 

From a scabby potato, like the one in 
Fig. 123, this yield was obtained 



Fig. 126 

From a healthy potato, like the one in 
Fig. 124, this peld was obtained 




Fig. 127. Effect of Spr.a.yixg 
Sprayed potatoes on left ; unsprayed on right 



137 



138 



AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 



One pint of formalin, or enough for thirty gallons of water, 
will cost but thirty-five cents. Since this solution can be used 
repeated!}", it will do for many bushels of seed potatoes. 

Late Potato Blight. The blight is another serious disease 
of the potato. This is quite a different disease from the scab 
and so requires different treatment. The blight is caused by 
another fungus, which attacks the foliage of the potato plant. 
When the blight seriously attacks a crop, it generally destroys 





Fig. 128. Yield from Two Fields of the Same Size 
The one at the top was sprayed : the one at the bottom was unsprayed 

the crop completely. In the year 1845 a potato famine ex- 
tending over all the United States and Europe was caused 
by this disease. 

Spraying is the remedy for potato blight. Fig. 128 shows 
the effect of spraying upon the yield. In this case the sprayed 
field yielded three hundred and twenty-four bushels an acre, 
while the unsprayed yielded only one hundred bushels to an 
acre. Fig. 127 shows the result of three applications of the 
spraying mixture on the diseased field. Figs. 129 and 130 
show how the spraying is done. 




Vn:. i2i). Si'kWiNi; Machixk 




Fig. 130. Straw... :ii . uine 
'39 



I40 



AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 



EXERCISE 

Watch the potatoes at the next han-est and estimate the number that 
is damaged by scab. You will remember that formalin is the substance 
used to prevent grain smuts. Write to your state experiment station 
for a bulletin telling how to use formalin, as well as for information 
regarding other potato diseases. Give the treatment a fair trial in a por- 
tion of your field this j-ear and watch carefully for results. Make an 
estimate of the cost of treatment and of the profits. How does the scab 
injure the value of the potato .' The late blight can often be recognized 
b}' its odor. Did you ever smell it as j-ou passed an affected field ? 




Fjg. 131. Club Root \ 

Club Root. Club root is a disease of the cabbage, turnip, 
cauliflower, etc. Its general effect is shown in the illustra- 
tion (Fig. 131). Sometimes this disease does great damage. 
It can be prevented by using from eight}- to ninet}' bushels 
of lime to an acre. 

Black Knot. Black knot is a serious disease of the plum 
and of the cherr%- tree. It attacks the branches of the 



THE DISEASES OF PLANTS 



141 



tree; it is well illustrated in Fig. 132. Since it is a con- 
tagious disease, great care should be exercised to destroy 
all diseased branches of either wild or cultivated plums or 
cherries. In many states its destruction is enforced by law. 




Fig. 132. Black K.nut 

All black knot should be cut out and burned some time before 
February of each year. This will cost litde and save much. 
Peach Leaf Curl. Peach leaf curl does damage amount- 
ing to about $3,000,000 yearly in the United States. It 
can be almost entirely prevented by spraying the tree with 
Bordeaux mixture or lime-sulphur wash before the buds 



142 



AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 



open in the spring. It is not safe to use strong Bordeaux 
mixture on peach trees when they are in leaf. 

Cotton Wilt. Cotton 
wilt when it once estab- 
lishes itself in the soil 
completely destroys the 
crop. The fungus re- 
mains in the soil, and no 
amount of spraying will 
kill it. The only known 
remedy is to cultivate a 




Fig. 133. Moldy Peaches 

resistant variety of cotton or to 
rotate the crop. 

Fruit Mold. F"ruit mold, or 
brown rot, often attacks the un- 
ripe fruit on the tree, and turns it 
soft and brown and finally fuzz\- 
with a coat of mildew. Fig. 133 
shows some peaches thus attacked. 
Often the fruits do not fall from 
the trees but shrivel up and be- 
come "mummies" (Fig. 134). 
This rot is one of the most serious 
diseases of plums and peaches. 
It probably diminishes the value 
of the peach har\'est from 50 to 75 per cent. Spraying accord- 
ing to the directions in the Appendix will kill the disease. 




Fig. 134. Peach Mummies 








d->al 



I'lo. 135. IlALi 



Ti.Li: si RAVED To I'KHVEN T PE.\CU ClRL 



Note the difference in foliage and fruit on the sprayed and unsprayed halves of 
the tree, and the difference in yield showTi below 



143 



CHAPTER VII 



ORCHARD, GARDEN, AND FIELD INSECTS 



SECTION XXXI. INSECTS IN GENERAL 



The farmer who has fought "bugs" on crop after crop 
needs no argument to convince him that insects are serious 
enemies to agriculture. Yet even he may be surprised to 

learn that the damage 
done by them, as esti- 
mated by good authorit}-, 
amounts to millions and 
millions of dollars yearly 
in the United States and 
Canada. 

Even,- one thinks he 
knows what an insect is. 
If, however, we are will- 
ing in this matter to make 
our notion agree with that 
of the people who have 
studied insects most and 
know them best, we must 
include among the true insects only such air-breathing animals 
as have six legs, no more, and have the body divided into 
three parts — head, thorax, and abdomen. These parts are 
clearly shown in Fig. 136, which represents the ant, a true 
insect. All insects do not show the divisions of the body so 

144 




Fig. 136. Ants 



ORCHARD. GARDEN. AND FIELD INSECTS US 

clearly as this figure shows them, but on careful examination 
you can usually make them out. The head bears one pair of 

■Antennae 

Orqan /k^j^y<S^ 
oundEye //'\^y^yU'^'\\ 

im rr^ y^: / Vy /\\ / / 

Ovipositor 




Fig. 137. Parts ok an Insect 

feelers, and these in many insects ser\-e also as organs of smell 
and sometimes of hearing. Less prominent feelers are to 
be found in the region of the mouth. 
These ser\e as organs of taste. 

The eyes of insects are especially 
noticeable. Close examination shows 
them to be made up of a thousand or 
more simple eyes. Such an eye is 
called a compound eye. An enlarged 
\iew of one of these is shown in 
Fig. 138. 

Attached to the thorax are the legs 
and also the wings, if the insect has 
A\-ings. The rear portion is the ab- 
domen, and this, like the other parts, is composed of parts 
known as segments. The insect breathes through openings 
in the abdomen and thorax called spiracles (see Fig. 137). 




Fig. 13S. CoMPoiND Eye 
OF Dr.\gon Fly 



146 



AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 



An examination of spiders, mites, and ticks shows eight 
legs ; therefore these do not belong to the true insects, nor 
do the thousand-legged worms and their relatives. 

The chief classes of insects are as follows : the flies, with 
two wings only ; the bees, wasps, and ants, with four delicate 
wings ; the beetles, \\'ith four wings — two hard, homy ones 
covering the two more delicate ones. When the beetle is at 
rest its two hard wings meet in a straight line down the 
back. This peculiarit\- dis- 
tinguishes it from the true 
bug, which has four mngs. 
The two outer winsrs arc 





Fig. 139. The Hoise Fly 

1?. egg : fi. lar\-a. or maggot : <-, pupa ; tf. adult male. (All enlarged) 

partly homy, and in folding lap over each other. Butterflies 
and moths are much alike in appearance but differ in habit. 
The butterfly works by day and the moth by night. Note 
the knob on the end of the butterfly's feeler (Fig. 143). 
The moth has no such knob. 

It is important to know how insects take their food, for 
by kno\nng this we are often able to destrov insect pests. 
Some are provided with mouth parts for chewing their 
food ; others have a long tube with which they pierce plants 
or animals and, like the mosquito, suck their food from 



ORCHARD. GARDEN. AND FIELD INSECTS 147 




adult : b. side view of sucking mouth-part 
Both a and b are much enlarged 



the inside. Insects of this latter class cannot of course be 
harmed bv poison on the surface of the leaves on which 

they feed. 

Many insects change 
tlieir form from youth to old 
age so much that you can 
scarcely recognize them 
as the same creatures. 
First comes the egg. The 
egg hatches into a worm- 
A Typical Big like animal known as a 

grub, maggot, or cater- 
pillar, or. as scientists call 
it, a lafi'a. This creature feeds and grows until finally it settles 
down and spins a home 
of silk, called a cocoon 
(Fig. 1431. If we open 
the cocoon we shall find 
that the animal is now 
covered with a hard out- 
side skeleton, that it can- 
not move freely, and that 
it cannot eat at all. The 
animal in this state is 
known as the ////a (Figs. 
145 and 146). Some- 
times, however, the pupa 
is not covered by a co- 
coon, sometimes it is soft, 
and sometimes it has 
some power of motion (F"ig. 141 ). After a rest in the pupa 
stage the animal comes out a mature insect (Figs. 142 and 143). 




Fir.. 141. 
larva : b. puf>a : 



Beetle 
. adult : (/. burrow 



148 



AGRICULTURE F^I'R BEGINNERS 



From this you can see that it is especially important to 
know all you can about the life of injurious insects, since it 
is often easier to kill these pests at one stage of their life 
than at another. Often it is bdtter to aim at destroying the 




Fig. 14Z. MoTM aso Cocoos 

the lar\^ that hatch from its eggs, although, as you must 
remember, it is generaUy the larvae that do the most harm. 
Larvae grow ven- rapidly; therefore the food supply must 
be great to meet the needs of the insect 

Some insects, the grasshopper for example, do not com- 
pletely change their form. Fig. 147 represents some \x>ung 
grasshoppers, w^hich vei>' closely resemble their parents. 




Fig. 143. BlTTERFLY 



Abdomen, of Bioiterfl.ij 



Tkora.c of Butterfly 




/ "~ ^ -^^- ^ ' True Legs 

Spimcle Prole'gs- I'Bufter/lijXegs) 

(Ternpomrij CaierpiUa,r 
Structures ) 



Fig. 144. Structure of the Caterpill.vr 



149 



ISO 



AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 



Insects lay many eggs and reproduce with remarkable 
rapidity. Their number therefore makes them a foe to be 
much dreaded. The queen hone}^bee often la\-s as many as 
4(xx> eggs in twent\'-four hours. A singie house fly lays 
between loo and 150 eggs in one day. The mosquito lays 




eggs in quantities of from 200 to 400. The white ant often 
lays 80,000 in a day, and so continues for two years, 
probably lajing no less than 40,000,000 eggs. In one 
sunmier the bludxitde fly could have 500,000,000 de- 
scendants if they all Uved. The plant louse, at the end of 
the fifth brood, has laid in a single year enough e^s to 



ORCHARD. GARDEN'. AND FIELD INSECTS 151 



produce 300,000,000 young. Of course ever)- one knows 
that, owing to enemies and diseases (for the insects have 
enemies which prey on them 
just as they prey on plants) 
comparatively few of the in- 
sects hatched from these 
eggs lixe till they are grown. 
The number of insects 
which are hurtful to crops, 
gardens, flowers, and forests 
seems to be increasing each 
season. Therefore farm bo\"s 
and girls should learn to 
recognize these harmful in- 
sects and to know how 
they live and how they may 
be destroyed. Those who 
know the forms and habits of these enemies of plants and 
trees are far better prepared to fight them than are those 
who strike in the dark. Moreover such 
knowledge is always a source of interest 
and pleasure. If you begin to studv in- 
sects, vou will soon 




Fig. 146. -1 ^ -KFLY Pupa 

N'ote outline of the butterflv 




Tf^^ 



iV 



/. 



:-\-^ 



^':Tm^- 



Fig. 147. The 
Growth of a 
Grasshopper 




find }our love for 
the stud)- growing. 

EXERCISE 

Collect cocoons and 
pupae of insects and 



^ ^ hatch them in a breeding- 

cage similar to the one 
illustrated in Fig. 149. Make several cages of this kind. Collect lar\-ae 
of several kinds : supply them with food from plants upon which you 



1^2 



AGRICULTURE FOR BEGIXNERS 



found them. Find out the time it takes them to change into another 

stage. Write a description of this process. 

The plaijt louse could produce in its twelfth brood lo.ooo.ooo.ooo,- 

000,000.000.000 offspring. Each louse is about one tenth of an inch 

long. If all should live and be arranged 
in single file, how many miles long 
would such a procession be.^ 





Fig. 149. C.^vGE ix which 
TO BREED Insects 

nower-pot, lamp-chimnej', and 
cloth 



SECTION XXXII. ORCHARD INSECTS 

The San Jose Scale. The San Jose scale is one of the 
most dreaded enemies of fnait trees. It is in fact an outlaw 
in many states. It is an unlavi-ful act to sell fruit trees affected 
by it. Fig. 150 shows a view of a branch nearly covered with 
this pest. Although this scale is a ver\' minute animal, }"et 



ORCHARD. GARDEN. AND FIELD IX.SECiS 1^3 



SO rapidly does it multiply that it is very dangerous to the 
tree. Never allow new trees to be brought into your orchard 
until you feel certain that they are free from the San Jose 
scale. If, however, it should in any way gain access to your 
orchard, you can prevent its spreading by thorough spraving 
with what is known as the lime-sulphur mixture. This mix- 
ture has long been used on the Pacific coast as a remedy for 
various scale insects. W'^hen 
it was first tried in other 




parts of the United States the results were not satisfacton^ 
and its use was abandoned. However, later experiments with 
it have proved that the mixture is thoroughly effective in kill- 
ing this scale and that it is perfectly harmless to the trees. 
Until the lime-sulphur mixture proved to be successful the 
San Jose scale was a most dreaded nurser}- and orchard foe. 
It was even thought necessar)- to destroy infected trees. The 
lime-sulphur mixture and some other sulphur washes not 
onlv kill the San Jose scale but are also useful in reducing- 
fungous injur}-. 



154 



AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 



There are several ways of making the lime-sulphur mixture. 
It is generally best to buy a prepared mixture from some 
trustworthy dealer. If you find the scale on your trees, write to 
your state experiment station for directions for combating it. 
The Codling Moth. The codling moth attacks the apple 
and often causes a loss of from t^venty-five to seventy-five 

per cent of the 
crop. In the state 
of Xew York this 
insect is causing 
an annual loss of 
about three million 
dollars. The effect 
it has on the fruit 
is most clearly seen 
in Fig. 152. The 
moth lays its egg 
upon the young 
leaves just after 
the falling of the 
blossom. She flies 
on from apple to 
apple, depositing 
an egg each time 
until from fift)- to 
seventy-five eggs are deposited. The larva, or " worm," soon 
hatches and eats its way into the apple. Many affected apples 
ripen too soon and drop as " windfalls." Others remain on 
the tree and become the common wormy apples so familiar 
to growers. The lar\'a that emerges from the windfalls moves 
generally to a tree, crawls up the trunk, and spins its cocoon 
under a ridge in the bark. From the cocoon the moth comes 




Fig. 152. The Codling Moth 

a, burrow of worm in apple : i. place where worm enters : 
c, place where worm leaves ; e, the larva ; d. the pupa : 
/. the cocoon : _/ and g; moths : /i, magnified head of lar\-a 




•55 



1^6 



AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 



ready to start a new generation. The last generation of the 
lar\'as spends the winter in the cocoon. 

Trcatinctit. Destroy orchard trash which may serve as 
a winter home. Scrape all loose bark from the tree. Spray 
the tree with arsenate of lead as soon as the flowers fall. A 
former method of fighting this pest was as follows : bands 
of burlap four inches wide tied around the tree furnished a 
hiding-place for larvae that came from windfalls or crawled 

from wormy ap- 



pies on the tree. 
The lan^ae caught 
under the bands 
were killed every 
five or six days. 
W'e know now, 
however, that a 
thorough spray- 
ing just after the 
blossoms fall kills 
the worms and 
renders the bands unnecessary. Furthermore, spraying pre- 
vents wormy apples, while banding does not. Follow the 
first spraying by a second two weeks later. 

It is best to use lime-sulphur mixture or the Bordeaux 
mixture with arsenate of lead for a spray. Thus one spray- 
ing serves against both fungi and insects. 

The Plum Curculio. The plum curculio, sometimes called 
the plum weevil, is a little creature about one fifth of an inch 
long. In spite of its small size the curculio does, if neglected, 
great damage to our fruit crop. It injures peaches, plums, and 
cherries by stinging the fruit as soon as it is formed. The 
word " stinging " when applied to insects — and this case is 




Fig. 154. Plum Curculio 
Lana, pupa, adult, and mark on the fruit. (Enlarged) 



ORCHARD. GARDEN, AND FIELD INSECTS 157 




no exception — means piercing the object with the egg-layer 
(ovipositor) and depositing the egg. Some insects occasion- 
ally use the ovipositor merely for defense. The curculio has 
an especially interesting method of laying her egg. First she 
digs a hole, in which she places the egg and pushes it well 
down. Then with her snout she makes a crescent-shaped cut 
in the skin of the plum, around the egg. This mark is shown 
in Fig. 1 54. As this peculiar cut is followed by a flow of gum, 
you will always be able to 
recognize the work of the 
curculio. Having finished 
with one plum, this indus- 
trious worker makes her 
way to other plums until 
her eggs are all laid. 
The maggotlike larva soon 
hatches, burrows through 
the fruit, and causes it to 
drop before ripening. The 
larva then enters the ground 
to a depth of several inches. 

There it becomes a pupa, and later, as a mature beetle, emerges 
and winters in cracks and crevices. 

Treatment. Burn orchard trash which mav serve as winter 
quarters. Spraying with arsenate of lead, using two pounds 
of the mixture to fifty gallons of water, is the only successful 
treatment for the curculio. For plums and peaches, sprav first 
when the fruit is free from the calyx caps, or dried flower- 
buds. Repeat the spraying two weeks later. For late peaches 
spray a third time two weeks after the second spraving. This 
poisonous spray will kill the beetles while they are feeding 
or cutting holes in which to lay their eggs. 




I 



t^ 



Fig. 155. Leaf Galls of Phylloxera 
ON Clintox Grape Leaf 



158 



AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 



r'r 



-.. ^ 








■- ti^. 



Fig. 156. The 
Cankerworm 




Fowls in the orchard do good by capturing 
the larvae before they can burrow, while hogs 
will destroy the fallen fruit before the larvae 
can escape. 

The Grape Phylloxera. The grape phyl- 
loxera is a serious pest. You have no doubt 
seen its galls upon the grape leaf. These galls 
are caused by a small louse, the phylloxera. 
Each gall contains a female, which soon fills 
the gall with eggs. These hatch into more 
females, which emerge and form new galls, and so 
the phylloxera spreads (see Fig. 155). 

Treatment. The Clinton grape is most liable to in- 
juiy from this pest. Hence it is better to grow other 
more resistant kinds. Sometimes the lice attack the 
roots of the grape vines. In many sections where irrigation is 
practiced the grape rows are flooded when the lice are thickest. 
The water drowns the lice and does no harm to the vines. 




ORCHARD, GARDEx\, AND FIELD INSECTS 159 



The Cankerworm. The cankerworm is the larva of a 
moth. Because of its pecuHar mode of crawhng, by looping 
its body, it is often called the looping worm or measuring 
worm (Fig. 157, r). These worms are such greedy eaters 
that in a short time they can so cut the leaves of an orchard 
as to give it a scorched appearance. Such an attack practi- 
cally destroys the crop and does lasting injury to the tree. 
The worms are 
green or brown 
and are striped 
lengthwise. If 
the tree is jarred, 
the worm has a 
peculiar habit of 
dropping toward 
the ground on a 
silken thread of 
its own making 
(Fig. 156). 

In early sum- 
mer the larvae 
burrow within the 
earth and pupate 
there ; later they 
emerge as adults (Fig. i 57, c/ and r). You observe the peculiar 
difference between the wingless female, d, and the winged 
male, r. It is the habit of this wingless female to crawl up 
the trimk of some near-by tree in order to deposit her eggs 
upon the twigs. These eggs (shown at a and ^) hatch into 
the greedy lar\-as that do so much damage to our orchards. 

Nearly all the common birds feed freely upon the canker- 
worm, and benefit the orchard in so doing. The chickadee 




Fig. 157. The Spring Cankerworm 

a, egg mass : fi, egg, magnified ; c, larva ; (/, female moth ; 
^, male moth 



i6o 



AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 



is perhaps the most useful. A recent writer is ver}- positive 
that each chickadee will devour on an average thirty female 
cankenvorm moths a day ; and that if the average number of 
eggs laid by each female is one hundred and eighty-five, one 
chickadee would thus destroy in one day five thousand five 

hundred and fift}' eggs, and, in 
the twenty-five days in which the 
cankenvorm moths crawl up 
the tree, would rid the orchard 
of one hundred and thirt}'-eight 
thousand seven hundred and 
fifty. These birds also eat im- 
mense numbers of cankerworm 
eggs before they hatch into 
worms. 

Treatment. The inability of 
the female to fly gives us an 
easy way to prevent the larval 
offspring from getting to the 
foliage of our trees, for we know 
that the only highway open to 
her or her larvae leads up the 
trunk. We must obstruct this 
highway so that no crawling 
creature may pass. This is 
readily done by smoothing the 
bark and fitting close to it a 
band of paper, and making sure that it is tight enough to 
prevent an)thing from crawling underneath. Then smear 
over the paper something so sticky that any moth or lar\'a 
that attempts to pass will be entangled. Printer's ink will do 
very well, or you can buy either dendrolene or tanglefoot. 




Fig. 158. Eggs of the Fall 
Cankerworm 




Fig. 159. Aitle-Tree Tent Caterpillar 
a, eggs : d. cocoon : i. caterpillar 



161 



1 62 



AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 



Encourage the chickadee and all other birds, except the 
English sparrow, to sta\- in your orchard. This is easily 
done bv feeding and protecting them in their times of need. 
The Apple-Tree Tent Caterpillar. The apple-tree tent 
caterpillar is a lar\a so well known that you only need to be 
told how to guard against it. The mother of this caterpillar 
is a reddish moth. This insect passes 
the winter in the egg state securely fas- 
tened on the twigs as sho\Mi in Fig. 1 59, «. 
Tiratincnt. There are three principal 
methods, (i) Destroy the eggs. The egg 
masses are readily seen in winter and may 
easily be collected and burned by boys. 
The chickadee eats great quantities of 
these eggs. (2) With torches bum the 
nests at dusk when all the worms are 
within. You must be ven- careful in burn- 
ing or you will harm the young branches 
with their tender bark. (3) Encourage 
the residence of birds. Urge your neigh- 
bors to make war on the lar\"ae, too, since 
the pest spreads rapidly from farm to 
farm. Regularly spra\-ed orchards are 
rarely troubled by this pest. 

The Twig Girdler. The t\vig girdler la\"s her eggs in the 
twigs of pear, pecan, apple, and other trees. It is necessarx- 
that the lanae develop in dead wood. This the mother pro- 
vides by girdling the twig so deeply that it will die and fall 
to the ground. 

Treatvioit. Since the larvae spend the winter in the dead 
twigs, burn these tvvigs in autumn or early spring and thus 
destroy the pest. 




Fig. 160. The Twig 
Girdler at its De- 
structive Work 

rt, the girdler; b, the egg- 
hole : r, the groove cut 
by girdler ; e, the egg 



ORCHARD, GARDEN'. AND FIELD INSECTS 163 

The Peach-Tree Borer. In Fig. 161 you see the effect of 
the peach-tree borer's acti\-it}-. These borers often girdle and 
thereby kill a tree. Fig. 162 shows the adult state of the 
insect. The eggs are laid on peach or plum trees near the 
ground. As soon as the lana emerges, it bores into the bark 




Fig. 161. Borer Sig.xs .\ruixd Base of Pe.\ch Tree 



and remains there for months, passing through the pupa 
stage before it comes out to lay eggs for another generation. 
Treatment. If there are only a few trees in the orchard, 
digging the worms out \nth a knife is the best way of destroy- 
ing them. You can know of the borer's presence by the 
exuding gum often seen on the tree-trunk. If you pile earth 
around the roots early in the spring and remove it in the late 
fall, the winter freezing and thawing will kill many of the lanas. 



164 



AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 



EXERCISE 

How many apples per hundred do you find injured by the codling^ 
moth ? Collect some cocoons from a pear or an apple tree in winter, place 
in a breeding-cage, and watch for the moths that come out. Do you 
ever see the woodpecker hunting for these same cocoons ? Can you find 
cocoons that have been emptied by this bird ? Estimate how many he 
considers a day's ration. How many apples does he thus save? 




Fig. 16::. Pe.a.ch-Tree Borers, Male and Female 
Female with broad yellow band across abdomen 

Watch the curculio lay her eggs in the plums, peaches, or cherries. 
What per cent of fruit is thus injured? Estimate the damage. 

Let the school offer a prize for the greatest number of tent-caterpillar 
eggs. Watch such trees as the apple, the wild and the cultivated cherr)', 
the oak. and many others. 

Make a collection of insects injurious to orchard fruits, showing in 
each case the whole life history of the insect, that is. eggs, larva, pupa, 
and the mature insects. 




THE TROLlW.E-MtME CHINCH BUG (ENLARGED; 
I, bugs on plant; 2, eggs; 3, young bug; 4 and 5, older bugs; 6, long- 
winged bug ; 7 and 8, short-winged bug 



ORCHARD. GARDEN. AND FIELD INSECTS 16 = 



SECTION XXXIII. GARDEN AND FIELD INSECTS 



The Cabbage Worm. The cabbage worm of the early 
spring garden is a familiar object, but you may not know 
that the innocent-looking little white butterflies hovering 
about the cabbage patch are laying eggs which are soon to 
hatch and make the dreaded cabbage worms. In Fig. 164 
a and b show the common cabbage butterfly, c shows several 
examples of the caterpillar, and d 
shows the pupa case. In the pupa 
stage the insects pass the winter 
among the remains of old plants or in 
near-by fences or in weeds or bushes. 
Cleaning up and burning all trash 
will destroy many pupae and thus 
prevent many cabbage worms. In 
Fig. 1 64 c and / show the moth and 
zebra caterpillar ; g represents a moth 
which is the parent of the small green 
worm shown at //. This worm is a 
common foe of the cabbage plant. 

Trcatvicnt. Birds aid in the destruction of this pest. Paris 
green mixed with air-slaked lime will also kill many lar\ae. 
After the cabbage has headed, it is ver}- difficult to destroy 
the worm, but pyrethrum insect powder used freely is helpful. 

The Chinch Bug. The chinch bug, attacking as it does 
such important crops as wheat, corn, and grasses, is a well- 
known pest. It probably causes more money loss than any 
other garden or field enemy. In Orange county, North Caro- 
lina, farmers were once obliged to suspend wheat-growing for 
two years on account of the chinch bug. In one year in the 
state of Illinois this bug caused a loss of four million dollars. 




Fir. 



163. The Dreaded 
Chinch Bug 




Fig. 164. Cabbage Worms and Butterflies 



166 



ORCHARD, GARDEN. AND FIELD INSECTS 167 



Treatment. Unfortunately we cannot prevent all of the 
damage done by chinch bugs, but we can diminish it some- 
what by good clean agriculture. Destroy the winter homes of 
the insect by burning drv- grass, leaves, and rubbish in fields 
and fence rows. Although the insect has wings, it seldom or 
never uses them, usually traveling on foot ; therefore a deep 
furrow around the field to be protected will hinder or stop 
the progress of an invasion. The 
bugs fall into the bottom of the fur- 
row, and may there be killed by drag- 
ging a log up and down the furrow. 
Write to the Division of Entomolog}-. 
Washington, for bulletins on the 
chinch bug. Other methods of preven- 
tion are to be found in these bulletins. 

The Plant Louse. The plant louse 
is ver)- small, but it multiplies with 
ver}- great rapidit}-. During the sum- 
mer the young are bom alive, and 
it^ is only toward fall that eggs are 
laid. The individuals that hatch from 
eggs are generally wingless females, 
and their young, bom alive, are both 
winged and wingless. The winged forms fl}- to other plants 
and start new colonies. Plant lice mature in from eight to 
fourteen da}s. 

The plant louse gives off a sweetish fluid of which some 
ants are ver\- fond. You mav often see the ants stroking: 
these lice to induce them to give off a freer flow of the 
"honey dew." This is really a method of milking. However 
friendly and useful these " cows " may be to the ant, they 
are enemies to man in destroying so many of his plants. 




Fig. 165. A Plant 
LoisE 



i68 



AGRICULTURE FOR BEGIXXERS 



Treatment. These are sucking insects. Poisons therefore 
do not avail. Thev may be killed by spraying with kerosene 

emulsion or a strong soap 
solution or with tobacco 
water. Lice on cabbages 
are easily killed by a mix- 
ture of one pound of lye 
soap in four gallons of 
warm water. 

The Squash Bug. The 
squash bug does its great- 
est damage to young 
plants. To such its attack 
is often fatal. On larger 
plants single leaves may 
die. This insect is a seri- 
ous enemy to a crop and is 
particularly difficult to get rid of, since it belongs to the class 
of sucking insects, not to the biting insects. For this reason 
poisons are useless. 




Fig. i66. A Cheap Spr-\yixg Oitfit 




V 



Treatvient. About the 
only practicable remedy 
is to pick these insects 
by hand. We can, how- 
ever, protect our young 
plants by small nettings 
and thus tide them over 
the most dangerous period 
of their lives . T hese bugs 
greatly prefer the squash as food. You can therefore dimin- 
ish their attack on your melons, cucumbers, etc. by planting 
among the melons an occasional squash plant as a "trap plant." 



Fig. 167. A Squash Big 



ORCHARD. GARDEN. AND FIELD INSECTS 169 

Hand picking will be easier on a few trap plants than over the 
whole field. A small board or large leaf laid beside the young 
plant often furnishes night shelter for the bugs. The bugs 
collected under the board may easily be killed everv' morning. 

The Flea-Beetle. The flea-beetle inflicts much damage on 
the potato, tomato, eggplant, and other garden plants. The 
accompanying figure shows the common striped flea-beede 
which lives on the tomato. The lana of this beetle lives in- 
side of the leaves, mining its way through the leaf in a real 
tunnel. Any substance disagreeable 
to the beetle, such as plaster, soot, 
ashes, or tobacco, \\-ill repel its at- 
tacks on the garden crops. i 

The Weevil. The weevil is com- ^ 
monlv found among seeds. Its at- 
tacks are serious, but the insect may 
easily be destroyed. 

Treatment. Put the infected seeds fig. 16S. FllvBeetle 
in an air-tight box or bin, placing and l.a.rva 

on the top of the pile a dish con- •'• l^n^ : b, adult. Unes on sides 
. . , 1 ■ 1 1 • 1 1 , show real length of insects 

tammg carbon disulphide, a table- 
spoonful to a bushel of seeds. The fumes of this substance 
are hea\y and will pass through the mass of seeds below 
and kill all the weevils and other animals there. The bin 
should be closely covered with canvas or hea\y cloth to 
prevent the fumes from being carried away by the air. Let 
the seeds remain thus from two to five days. Rep)eat the 
treatment if any weevils are found alive. Fumigate when the 
temperature is 70° Fahrenheit or above. In cold weather 
or in a loose bin the treatment is not successful. Caution : 
Do not approach the bin with a light, since the fumes of 
the chemical used are highly inflammable. 




I/O AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 

The Hessian Fly. The Hessian fly does more damage to 

the wheat crop than all other insects combined, and probably 

ranks next to the chinch bug as the second worst insect 

enemy of the farmer. It was probably introduced into this 

countr\- by the Hessian troops in the War of the Revolution. 

In autumn the insect lays its eggs in the leaves of the 

wheat. These hatch into the lan'ae, which move dovMi into 

the crown of the plant, where they pass the winter. There 

they cause on the plant a slight gall formation, which injures 

or kills the plant. In 

the spring adult flies 

emerge and lay eggs. 

The larvae that hatch 

feed in the lower joints 

of the growing w^heat 

and prevent its proper 

growth. These lar\ae 

^^ pupate and remain as 
Fig. i6q. The Hessian i j : • i i 

pupae m the wheat 

stubble during the summer. The fall brood of flies appears 

shortly before the first hea\y frost. 

Treatment. Bum all stubble and trash during July and 
August. If the fly is ver\- bad, it is well to leave the stubble 
unusually high to insure a rapid spread of the fire. Burn 
refuse from the threshing-machine, since this often harbors 
many larxae or pupae. Follow the burning by deep plowing, be- 
cause the burning cannot reach the insects that are in the base 
of the plants. Delay the fall planting until time for heavy frosts. 

The Potato Beetle ; Tobacco Worm. The potato beetle, 
tobacco worm, etc., are too well known to need description. 
Suffice it to say that no good farmer will neglect to protect 
his crop from any pest that threatens it. 




ORCHARD. GARDEN. AND FIELD INSECTS ijl 

The increase, owing to various causes, of insects, of 
fungi, of bacterial diseases, makes a study of these pests, 
of their origin, and of their prevention a necessar\- part of 
a successful farmer's training. Tillage alone will no longer 
render orchard, \-ineyard, and garden fruitful. Protection 
from even- form of plant enemies must be added to tillage. 




r iL.. 170. :?iKA\i.N'-. int. <^'t\i, ii-AMj 
One wav of increasing the \-ield of fruit 



In dealing with plants, as with human beings, the great 
object should be not the cure but the prevention of disease. 
If disease can be prevented, it is far too costly to wait for 
it to develop and then to attempt its cure. Men of science 
are studying the new forms of diseases and new insects as 
fast as they appear. These men are finding ways of fighting 
old and new enemies. Young people who expect to farm 
should earlv learn to follow their adnce. 



172 



AGRICULTURE FOR BEGIXXERS 



EXERCISE 

How does the squash bug resemble the plant louse? Is this a true 
bug? Gather some eggs and watch the development of the insects 
in a breeding<age. Estimate the damage done to some crops by 
the flea-beetle. What is the best method of prevention? 




Fig. 171. A.N Apple Tree showing Proper C.\re 



Do you know the large moth that is the mother of the tobacco 
worm? You may often see her \-isiting the blossoms of the Jimson 
weed. Some tobacco-growers cultivate a few of these weeds in a 
tobacco field. In the blossom they place a little cobalt or "fly-stone" 
and sirup. When the tobacco-worm moth %-isits this flower and sips 
the poisoned nectar, she will of course lav no more troublesome eggs. 



ORCHARD. GARDEN. AND FIELD INSECTS IJS 



SECTION XXXIV. THE COTTON-BOLL WEEVIL 

So far as known, the cotton-boll \vee\il, an insect which is 
a native of the tropics, crossed the Rio Grande River into 
Texas in 1891 and 1892. It settled in the cotton fields 
around Brownsville. Since then it has widened its destruc- 
tive area until now it has invaded the whole territory' shown 
by the map on page 177. 

This weevil is a small 
gray or reddish-brown snout- 
beetle hardly over a quarter 
of an inch in length. In 
proportion to its length it 
has a long beak. It belongs 
to a family of beetles which 
breed in pods, in seeds, 
and in stalks of plants. It 
is a greedy eater, but feeds 
only on the cotton plant. 

The sjown weevils tr\- to 




Fig. 172. Adult Cottox-Boll 
Weevil 
Enlarged 



outlive the cold of winter by hiding snugly away under grass 
clumps, cotton-stalks, rubbish, or under the bark of trees. 
Sometimes they go down into holes in the ground. A com- 
fortable shelter is often found in the forests near the cotton 
fields, especially in the moss on the trees. The weevils can 
stand a good deal of cold, but fortunately many are killed 
by winter weather. Moreover birds destroy many ; hence by 
spring the last year's crop is ver\' greatly diminished. 

In the spring, generally about the time cotton begins 
to form " squares," the weevils shake off their long winter 
sleep and enter the cotton fields with appetites as sharp as 
razors. Then shortly the females begin to lay eggs. At first 



174 



AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 



these eggs are laid only in the squares, and generally only 
one to the square. The young grub hatches from these eggs 
in two or three days. The newly hatched grub eats the in- 
side of the square, and the square soon falls to the ground. 

Entire fields mav at times be 







Fig. 173. Eggs among the 

Anthers of a Sqiwre at 

THE Point indicated by 

THE Arrow 



Fk;. 174. Cross Section 
SHOWING Anthers of a 
Square with Egg of 
Weevil, and showing 
the Hole where the 
Egg was deposited 



seen without a single square on 

the plants. Of course no fruit Greatly enlarged 

can be formed without squares. 

In from one to two weeks the grub or larva becomes fully 
grown and, without changing its home, is transformed into 
the pupa state. Then in about a week more the pupae come 
out as adult weevils and attack the bolls. They puncture 
them with their snouts and lay their eggs in the bolls. The 
young grubs, this time hatching out in the boll, remain there 
until grown, when they emerge through holes that the\- make. 



ORCHARD, GARDKX. AND HELD INSECTS 175 




Fig. 175. The Larva of the Cotton- 
Boll Weevil ixjiring a Soiare 

At present there seem but few way 
grow cotton that will mature 
too early for the weevils to do 
it much harm. A second is 
to kill as many wee\41s as pos- 
sible by burning the homes 
that shelter them in winter. 



These holes allow damf>- 
ness to enter and de- 
stroy the bolls. This 
life-round continues un- 
til cold weather drives 
the insects to their %\-in- 
ter quarters. By- that 
time they have increased 
so rapidly that there is 
often one for ever)- boll 
in the field. 

This weevil is prov- 
ing very hard to destroy. 
s to fitfht it. One is to 




K: ,. I-' . \ i>v Cotton-Boll 

Weevil kkom Aiit>vE and below 

Greatly enlarged 



Fig. 177. The PiPA OK THE 

CoTTo.N-BoLL Weevil in a 

Square 



1/6 



AGRICULTLRE FOR BEGINNERS 



The places best adapted for a winter home for the weevil 
are trash piles, rubbish, driftwood, rotten wood, weeds, moss 

on trees, etc. A further help, 
therefore, in destroying the 
weevil is to cut down and 
burn all cotton-stalks as soon 
as the cotton is harvested. 





Fig. 178. A Cotton Boll with 
Feeding-Hole-s of Weevil, and 
BEARING Three Specimens of the 

Insect 



Fig. 179. The Mexican 

Cotton-Boll \Veevil, 

showing Stricttre 



This destroys countless numbers of lar\^ae and pupae in the 
bolls and orreatlv reduces the number of weevils. In addition. 




Fk;. iSo. 



A Series of Fill-Grown Wekvils. showing 
Variations in Size 



all cornstalks, all trash, all large clumps of grass in neigh- 
boring fields, should be burned, so as to destroy these winter 
homes of the weevil. Also avoid planting cotton near trees. 
The bark, moss, and fallen leaves of the. tree furnish a 
winter shelter for the weevils. 



ORCHARD, GARDEN, AND FIELD INSECTS 177 

A third help in destroying the weevil is to rotate crops. 
If cotton does not follow cotton, the weevil has nothing on 
which to feed the second year. 

In adopting the first method mentioned the cotton growers 
have found that bv the careful selection of seed, bv earlv 



COL. 


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L ^ T OF f3 


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LV 


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VJ^18« 


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Fig. iSi. Map showing Distrihltion of the Cotton-Boll 
Weevil in 1913 

planting, by a free use of fertilizers containing phosphoric 
acid, and by frequent plowing, they can mature a crop about 
thirty days earlier than they usually do. In this way a good 
crop can be harvested before the weevils are ready to be 
most destructive. 



CHAPTER VIII 
FARM CROPS 

Even' crop of the farm has been changed and improved 
in many ways since its forefathers were wild plants. Those 
plants that best serve the needs of the farmer and of farm 
animals have undergone the most changes and have received 
also the greatest care and attention in their production and 
improvement. 

While we have many different kinds of farm crops, the 
cultivated soil of the world is occupied by a ver}- few. In 
our country the crop that is most valuable and that occupies 
the greatest land area is generally known as the ^rass crop. 
Included in the general term " grass crop " are the grasses 
and clovers that are used for pasturage as well as for hay. 
Xext to grass in value come the great cereal, corn, and the 
most important fiber crop, cotton, closely followed by the 
great bread crop, wheat. Oats rank fifth in value, potatoes 
sixth, and tobacco seventh. (These figures are for 191 3.) 

Success in growing any crop is largely due to the suit- 
ableness of soil and climate to that crop. When the planter 
selects both the most suitable soil and the most suitable 
climate for each crop, he gets not only the most bountiful 
yield from the crop but, in addition, he gets the most desir- 
able quality of product. A little careful obser\-ation and study 
soon teach what kinds of soil produce crops of the highest 
excellence. This learned, the planter is able to grow in each 
field the several crops best adapted to that special type of soil. 

178 



FARM CROPS 



179 



Thus we have tobacco soils, trucking soils, wheat and corn 
soils. Dairying can be most profitably followed in sections 
where crops like cowpeas, clover, alfalfa, and corn are pecul- 
iarly at home. Xo one should try to grow a new crop in 
his section until he has found out whether the crop which 
he wants to grow is adapted to his soil and his climate. 




Fig. 1S2. Alfalfa in the Stack 
This is the second cutting of the season 



The figures below give the average amount of money 
made annually an acre on our chief crops : 

Flowers and plants, S1911; nursery products, $261; 
onions, Si 40; sugar cane, S55 ; small fruits, Si 10; hops, 
$175 ; vegetables, S78 ; tobacco, $80; sweet potatoes, S55 ; 
hemp. S53 ; potatoes, S78 ; sugar beets, S54 ; sorghum cane, 
S22 ; cotton, S22 ; orchard fruits. Si 10; peanuts, S21; fla.x- 
seed, S14 ; cereals, S14 ; hay and forage, Si i ; castor beans, 
$6 (United States Census Report). 



l8o AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 

SECTION XXXV. COTTON 

Although cotton was cultivated on the Eastern continent 
before America was discovered, this crop owes its present 
kingly place in the business world to the zeal and intelli- 
gence of its American growers. So great an influence does 
it wield in modern industrial life that it is often called King 
Cotton. Thousands upon thousands of people scan the news- 
papers each day to see what price its staple is bringing. From 
its bount}' a vast army of toilers, who plant its seed, who pick 
its bolls, who gin its staple, who spin and weave its lint, who 
grind its seed, who refine its oil, draw daily bread. Does not 
its proper production desen-e the best thought that can be 
given it.? 

In the cotton belt almost any well-drained soil will produce 
cotton. The following kinds of soil are admirably suited to 
this plant : red and gray loams with good clay subsoil ; sandy 
soils over clay and sandstone and limestone ; rich, well- 
drained bottom-lands. The safest soils are medium loams. 
Cotton land must always be well drained. 

Cotton was originally a tropical plant, but, strange to 
say, it seems to thrive best in temperate zones. The cotton 
plant does best, according to Newman, in climates which 
have (I) six months of freedom from frost; (2) a moderate, 
well-distributed rainfall during the plant's growing period ; 
and (3) abundant sunshine and little rain during the plant's 
maturing period. 

In America the Southern states from \'irginia to Texas 
have these climatic qualities, and it is in these states that the 
cotton industn," has been developed until it is one of the giant 
industries of the world. This development has been very 
rapid. As late as 1736 the cotton plant was grown as an 




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i 1 1 1 1 i l ] 



' M 1 1 1 1 i n i 1 1 1 1 H 1 1 1 1 1 1 r i TiTiT i T i TiTif i I i TiTiT i T i T MM i f i ^i'i'iY i 'riT i ti 




iSi 



I82 



AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 



ornamental flowering plant in many front yards; in 191 1, 
16,250,276 bales of cotton were grown in the South, In 
recent years the soil and climate of lower California and parts 
of Arizona and New Mexico have been found well adapted 
to cotton. 

There are a great many varieties of cotton. Two types are 
mainlv gro\\Ti bv the practical American farmer. These are 




Fig. 184. Cotton in the Growing Sea.son 



the short-stapled, upland variet)^ most commonly grown in 
all the Southern states, and the beautiful, long-stapled, black- 
seeded sea-island t}-pe that grows upon the islands and a 
portion of the mainland of Georgia, South Carolina, and 
Florida. The air of the coast seems necessar}- for the pro- 
duction of this latter variet)'. The seeds of the sea-island 
cotton are small, smooth, and black. They are so smooth 
and stick so loosely to the lint that they are separated from 
it by roller-gins instead of by saw-gins. When these seeds 
are planted away from the soil and air of their ocean home, 
the plant does not thrive. 



FARM CROPS 183 

Many attempts have been made and are still being made 
to increase the length of the staple of the upland types. The 
methods used are as follows : selection of seed having a long 
fiber ; special cultivation and fertilization ; crossing the short- 
stapled cotton on the long-stapled cotton. This last process, 
as already explained, is called hybridizing. Many of these 
attempts have succeeded, and there are now a large number 
of varieties which excel the older varieties in profitable yield. 
The new \arieties are each \ear being more widely grown. 




Fig. 1S5. CoTTu-N ready h\iR I'kkixg 

Every farmer should study the new types and select the 
one that will best suit his land. The new types ha\'e been 
developed under the best tillage. Therefore if a farmer would 
keep the new type as good as it was when he began to 
grow it, he must give it the same good tillage, and practice 
seed-selection. 

The cotton plant is nourished by a tap-root that w ill seek 
food as deeply as loose earth will permit the root to penetrate ; 
hence, in preparing land for this crop the first plowing should 
be done at least with a two-horse plow and should be deep 
and thorough. This deep plowing not only allows the tap-root 
to penetrate, but it also admits a circulation of air. 



1 84 AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 

On some cotton farms it is the practice to break the land 
in winter or early spring and then let it lie naked until 
planting-time. This is not a good practice. The winter 
rains wash more plant food out of unprotected soil than a 
single crop would use. It would be better, in the late sum- 
mer or fall, to plant crimson clover or some other protective 
and enriching crop on land that is to be planted in cotton 
in the spring. This crop, in addition to keeping the land 
from being injuriously washed, would greatly help the coming 
cotton crop by leaving the soil full of vegetable matter. 

In preparing for cotton-planting, first disk the land thor- 
oughh", then break with a hea\y plow and harrow until a fine 
and mellow seed-bed is formed. Do not spare the harrow at 
this time. It destroys many a weed that, if allowed to grow, 
would have to be cut by costly hoeing. Thorough work before 
planting saves much expensive work in the later days of the 
crop. Moreover, no man can afford to allow his plant food 
and moisture to go to nourish weeds, even for a short time. 

The rows should be from three to four feet apart. The 
width depends upon the richness of the soil. On rich land the 
rows should be at least four feet apart. This width allows 
the luxuriant plant to branch and fruit well. On poorer lands 
the distance of the rows should not be so great. The dis- 
tribution of the seed in the row is of course most cheaply 
done by the planter. As a rule it is best not to ridge the 
land for the seed. Flat culture saves moisture and often pre- 
vents damage to the roots. In some sections, however, where 
the land is flat and full of water, ridging seems necessar}- if 
the land cannot be drained. 

The cheapest way of cultivating a crop is to prevent grass 
and weeds from rooting, not to wait to destroy them after 
thev are well rooted. To do this, it is well to run the 




i8i 



1 86 AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 

two-horse smoothing-harrow over the land, across the rows, a 
few days after the young plants are up. Repeat the harrow- 
ing in six or eight days. In addition to destroying the young 
grass and weeds, this harrowing also removes many of the 
young cotton plants and thereby saves much hoeing at 
" chopping-out " time. When the plants are about two 
inches high they are " chopped out " to secure an evenly 
distributed stand. It has been the custom to leave two stalks 
to a hill, but many growers are now leaving only one. 

The number of times the crop has to be worked depends 
on the soil and the season. If the soil is dr)^ and porous, 
cultivate as often as possible, especially after each rain. Never 
allow a crust to form after a rain ; the roots of plants must have 
air. Cultivation after each rain forms a dr)- mulch on the top 
of the soil and thus prevents rapid evaporation of moisture. 

If the fiber (the lint) only is removed from the land on 
which cotton is grown, cotton is the least exhaustive of the 
great crops grown in the United States. According to some 
recent experiments an average crop of cotton removes in the 
lint only 2.75 pounds of nitrogen, phosphoric acid, potash, 
lime, and magnesia per acre, while a crop of ten bushels of 
wheat per acre removes 32.36 pounds of the same elements 
of plant food. Inasmuch as this crop takes so little plant food 
from the soil, the cotton-farmer has no excuse for allowing 
his land to decrease in productiveness. Two things will keep 
his land in bounteous harvest condition : first, let him return 
the seeds in some form to the land, or, what is better, feed the 
ground seeds to cattle, make a profit from the cattle, and re- 
turn manure to the land in place of the seeds ; second, at the 
last working, let him sow some crop like crimson clover or 
rye in the cotton rows to protect the soil during the winter 
and to leave humus in the ground for the spring. 



FARM CROPS 



187 



The stable manure, if that is used, should be broadcasted over 
the fields at the rate of six to ten tons an acre. If commercial 
fertilisers are used, it may be best to make two applications. 
To give the young plants a good start, apply a portion of 
the fertilizer in the drill just before planting. Then when 
the first blooms appear, put the remainder of the fertilizer in 
drills near the plants but not too close. [Many good cotton- 
growers, however, apply all the fertilizer at one time. 




Fig. 187. Weighing a Day's Picking uf Cotton 

Relation of Stock to the Cotton Crop. On many farms 
much of the money for which the cotton is sold in the fall 
has to go to pay for the commercial fertilizer used in growing 
the crop. Should not this fact suggest efforts to raise just as 
good crops without ha\-ing to buy so much fertilizer .^ Is there 
any way by which this can be done t The following sugges- 
tions may be helpful. Raise enough stock to use all the cotton 
seed sjo\\-n on the farm. To go with the food made from the 
cotton seed, grow on the farm pea-vine hay, clover, alfalfa. 



i88 



AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 



and other such nitrogen-gathering crops. This can be done 
at small cost. What will be the result .-' 

First, to say nothing of the money made from the cattle, 
the large quantity of stable manure saved will largely reduce 
the amount of commercial fertilizer needed. The cotton- 
farmer cannot afford to neglect cattle-raising. The cattle sec- 
tions of the countr}' are likely to make the greatest progress 
in agriculture, because they have manure always on hand. 




Fig. iSS. Modi: 



N Bales 



Second, the nitrogen-gathering crops, while helping to feed 
the stock, also reduce the fertilizer bills by supplying one of 
the costly elements of the fertilizer. The ordinar)- cotton fer- 
tilizer consists principally of nitrogen, of potash, and of phos- 
phoric acid. Of these three, by far the most costly is nitrogen. 
Now peas, beans, clover, and peanuts will leave enough nitro- 
gen in the soil for cotton, so that if they are raised, it is 
necessar}- to buy only phosphoric acid and sometimes potash. 



FARM CROPS 



189 



SECTION" XXXVI. TOBACCO 

The tobacco plant connects Indian agriculture with our 
own. It has always been a source of great profit to our 
people. In the early colonial days tobacco v\"as almost the 
onlv money crop. Many rich men came to America in those 
days merely to raise tobacco. 

Although tobacco will grow in almost 
any climate, the leaves, which, as most of 
you know, are the salable part of the 
plant, get their desirable or undesirable 
qualities ver)- largely from the soil and 
from the climate in which they grow. 

The soil in which tobacco thrives best 
is one w hich has the following qualities : 
dr\ness, warmth, richness, depth, and 
sandiness. 

Commercial fertilizers also are almost 
a necessity ; for, as tobacco land is limited 
in area, the same land must be often 
planted in tobacco. Hence even a fresh, 
rich soil that did not at first require ferti- 
lizing soon becomes exhausted, and, after 
the land has been robbed of its plant food 
by crop after crop of tobacco, frequent application of fertili- 
zers and other manures becomes necessan.'. However, even 
tobacco growers should rotate their crops as much as possible. 

Deep plow ing — from nine to thirteen inches — is also 
a necessity- in preparing the land, for tobacco roots go deep 
into the soil. After this deep plowing, harrow until the soil 
is thoroughly pulverized and is as fine and mellow as that 
of the flower-grarden. 




Fig. 1S9. A Le-\f 
OF Tobacco 



I90 AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 

Unlike most other farm crops the tobacco plant must be 
started first in a seed-bed. To prepare a tobacco bed the 
almost universal custom has been to proceed as follows. 
Carefully select a protected spot. Over this spot pile brush- 
wood and then burn it. The soil will be left dr}-, and all the 
weed seeds will be killed. The bed is then carefully raked 
and smoothed and planted. Some farmers are now preparing 




Fig. 190. A Promising Crup of Tobacco 

their beds without burning. A tablespoonful of seed will sow 
a patch twent\-five feet square. A cheap cloth cover is put 
over the bed. If the seeds come up well, a patch of this size 
ought to furnish transplants for five or six acres. In sowing, 
it is not wise to cover the seed deeply. A light raking in or 
an even rolling of the ground is all that is needed. 

The time required for sprouting is from two to three 
weeks. The plants ought to be ready for transplanting in 



FARM CROPS 



191 



from four to six weeks. \\'eeds and grass should of course 

be kept out of the seed-bed. 

The plants, when ready, are transplanted in very much 

the same way as cabbages and tomatoes. The transplanting 

was formerly done by hand, but an effective machine is now 
widely used. The rows should be 
from three to three and a half feet 
apart, and the plants in the rows 
about two or three feet apart. If the 
plants are set so that the plow and 




Topping Tobacco 



cultivator can be run with the rows and also across the rows, 
they can be more economically worked. Tobacco, like corn, 
requires shallow cultivation. Of course the plants should be 
worked often enough to give clean culture and to provide 
a soil mulch for saving moisture. 

In tobacco culture it is necessary to pinch off the " buttons " 
and to cut off the tops of the main stalk, else much nourish- 
ment that should go to the leaves will be given to the seeds. 
The suckers must also be cut off for the same reason. 



192 



AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 



The proper time for har\-esting is not easily fixed ; one 
becomes skillful in this work only through experience in the 
field. Briefly, we may say that to- 
bacco is read}' to be cut when the 
leaves on being held up to the sun 
show a light or golden color, when 
they are sticky to the touch, and 
when they break easily on being 
bent. Plants that are overripe are 
inferior to those that are cut early. 

The operations included in cutting, 
housing, dning, shipping, sweating, 
and packing require skill and practice. 

SECTION XXXVII. WHEAT 



\\'heat has been cultivated from 
earliest times. It was a chief crop 
in Eg}'pt and Palestine, and still 




¥iG. 192. A Hand 



holds its importance in 
the temperate portions 
of Europe, Asia, Africa, 
Australia, and America. 
This crop ranks third 
in value in the United 
States. It grows in cool, 
in temperate, and in 
warm climates, and in 
many kinds of soil. It does best in clay loam, 
and worst in sandy soils. Clogged and water- 
soaked land will not grow wheat with profit 
to the farmer ; for this reason, where good 




Wheat Heads 



FARM CROPS 



193 



wheat-production is desired the soil must be well drained and 
in good physical condition — that is, the soil must be open, 
crumbly, and mellow. 

Clay soils that are hard and lifeless can be made valuable 
for wheat-production by covering the surface with manure, 
by good tillage, and by a thorough system of crop-rotation, 
Cowpeas and other leginnes make a most valuable crop 
to precede wheat, for in 
growing they add atmos- 
pheric nitrogen to the 
soil, and their roots loosen 
the root-bed, thereby ad- 
mitting a free circulation 
of air and adding humus 
to the soil. Moreover, 
the legumes leave the 
soil with its grains fairly 
close packed, and this is a 
help in wheat growing. 

One may secure a good 
seed-bed after cotton and 
corn as well as after cow- 
peas and other legumes. 
They are summer-culti- 
vated crops, and the clean culture that has been given them 
renders the surface soil mellow and the undersoil firm and 
compact. They are not so good, however, as cowpeas, since 
they add no atmospheric nitrogen to the soil, as all legu- 
minous crops do. 

From one to two inches is the most satisfactory depth for 
planting wheat. The largest number of seeds comes up when 
planted at this depth. A mellow soil is very helpful to good 




Fig. 194. Roots ok a Single 
Wheat Plant 



194 



AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 



coming up and provides a most comfortable home for the 
roots of the plant. A compact soil below makes a moist 
undersoil ; and this is desirable, for the soil water is needed 
to dissolve plant food and to carr}^ it up through the plant, 
wliere it is used in building tissue. 

There are a great many varieties of wheat : some are 
bearded, others are smooth ; some are winter and others 

are spring varie- 
ties. The smooth- 
headed varieties 
are most agree- 
able to handle 
during har\-est 
and at threshing- 
time. Some of 
the bearded varie- 
ties, however, do 
so well in some 
soils and climates 
that it is desirable 
to continue grow- 
ing them, though 
they are less agreeable to handle. No matter what variety 
you are accustomed to raise, it may be improved bv careful 
seed-selection. 

The seed-drill is the best implement for planting wheat. 
It distributes the grains evenly over the whole field and leaves 
the mellow soil in a condition to catch what snow may fall 
and secure what protection it affords. 

In many parts of the countiT, because not enough live stock 
is raised, there is often too little manure to applv to the wheat 
land. Where this is the case commercial fertilizers must be 




Fig. 195. Selecting Wheat Seed 




t* 



#. 




'95 



196 



AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 



used. Since soils differ greatly, it is impossible to suggest a 
fertilizer adapted to all soils. The elements usually lacking in 
wheat soils are nitrogen, phosphoric acid, and potash. The 
land may be lacking in one of these plant foods or in all ; in 
either case a maximum crop cannot possibly be raised. The 
section on manuring the soil will be helpful to the wheat-grower. 




Fig. 197. A BoLNTiFUL Crop of Wheat 

It should be remembered always in buying fertilizers for 
wheat that whenever wheat follows cowpeas or clover or 
other legumes there is seldom need of using nitrogen in the 
fertilizer ; the tubercles on the pea or clover roots will furnish 
that. Hence, as a rule, only potash and phosphoric acid will 
have to be purchased as plant food. 

The farmer is assisted always by a study of his crop and 
by a knowledge of how it grows. If he find the straw inferior 
and short, it means that the soil is deficient in nitrogen ; but 



FARM CROPS 



197 



on the other hand, if the straw be luxuriant and the heads 
small and poorly filled, he may be sure that his soil contains 
too little phosphoric acid and potash. 

EXERCISE 

Let the pupils secure several heads of wheat and thresh each sepa- 
rately by hand. The grains should then be counted and their plumpness 
and size observed. The practical importance of this is obvious, for the 
larger the heads and the greater the number 
of grains, the larger the yield per acre. Let 
them plant some of the large and some of the 
small grains. A single test of this kind will 
show the importance of careful seed-selection. 




Fig. 19S ^ / 1 1 
A Widely Grown Crop ' 




SECTION XXXVin. CORN 

When the white man came to this 

country- he found the Indians using 

corn ; for this reason, in addition to its 

name viaize, it is called Indian co?vi. 

Before that time the civilized world did not know 

that there was such a crop. The increase in the 

yield and the extension of the acres planted in this 

strictl}' American crop have kept pace with the 



198 AGRICULTrRE FOR BEGINNERS 

rapid and wonderful growth of our countn-. Corn is king of the 
cereals and the most important crop of American agriculture. 
It grows in almost ever\' section of America. There is hardly 
any limit to the uses to which its grain and its stalks are now 
put. Animals of many kinds are fed on rations into which it 
enters. Its grains in some form furnish food to more people 
than does any other crop except possibly rice. Its stalk and its 
cob are manufactured into many different and useful articles. 

A soil rich in either decaying animal or vegetable matter, 
loose, warm, and moist but not wet, will produce a better 
crop of corn than any other. Corn soil should always be 
well tilled and cultiv^ated. 

The proper time to begin the cultivation of corn is before 
it is planted. Plow well. A shallow, worn-out soil should not 
be used for corn, but for cowpeas or r}-e. After thorough plow- 
ing, the harrow — either the disk or spring-tooth — should be 
used to destroy all clods and leave the surface mellow and fine. 
The best results will be obtained by turning under a clover 
sod that has been manured from the savings of the barnyard. 

When manure is not available, commercial fertilizers will 
often prove profitable on poor lands. Careful trials will best de- 
termine how much fertilizer to an acre is necessar}-, and what 
kinds are to be used. A little study and experimenting on the 
farmer's part will soon enable him to find out both the kind 
and the amount of fertilizer that is best suited to his land. 

The seed for this crop should be selected according to the 
plan suggested in Section XIX. 

The most economical method of planting is by means of 
the horse planter, which, according to its adjustment, plants 
regularly in hills or in drills, A few days after planting, the 
cornfield should be harrowed with a fine-tooth harrow to 
loosen the top soil and to kill the grass and the weed seeds 




199 



200 



AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 



that are germinating at the surface. \\'hen the com plants 
are from a half inch to an inch high, the harrow may again be 
used. A little work before the weeds sprout will save many days 
of labor during the rest of the season, and increase the vield. 




Fig. 200. The Difference is due to Tillage 



Corn is a crop that needs constant cultivation, and during 
the growing season the soil should be stirred at least four 
times. This cultivation is for three reasons : 

I . To destroy weeds that would take plant food and water. 



FARM CROPS 



20 1 



2. To provide a mulch of diy soil so as to prevent the 
evaporation of moisture. The action of this mulch has already 
been explained. 

3. Because "tillage is manure." Constant stirring of the 
soil allows the air to circulate in it, provides a more effec- 
tive mulch, and helps to change unavailable plant food into 
the form that plants use. 

Deep culture of corn is not advisable. 
The roots in their early stages of growth 
are shallow feeders and spread widely 
only a few inches below the surface. 
The cultivation that destroys or disturbs 
the roots injures the plants and lessens 
the yield. We cultivate because of the 
three reasons given above, and not to 
stir the soil about the roots or to loosen 
it there. 

In many parts of the countiy the 
cornstalks are left standing in the fields 
or are burned. This is a great mistake, 
for the stalks are worth a good deal 
for feeding horses, cattle, and sheep. 
These stalks may always be saved by 
the use of the busker and shredder. 
Corn after being matured and cut can be put in shocks 
and left thus until dry enough to run through the busker 
and shredder. This machine separates the corn from the 
stalk and husks it. At the same time it shreds tops, leaves, 
and butts into a food that is both nutritious and palatable to 
stock. For the amount that animals will eat, almost as much 
feeding value is obtained from com stover treated in this 
way as from timoth}- hay. The practice of not using the 




Fig. 201 



202 AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 

stalks is wasteful and is fast being abandoned. The only 
reason that so much good food is being left to decay in the 
field is because so many people have not fully learned the 
feeding value of the stover. 

EXERCISE 

To show the effect of cultivation on the yield of corn, let the pupils 
lay off five plats in some convenient field. Each plat need consist of 
only two rows about twenty feet long. Treat each plat as follows : 

Plat I. No cultivation : let weeds grow. 

Plat 2. Mulch with straw. 

Plat 3. Shallow cultivation : not deeper than two inches and at least 
five times during the growing season. 

Plat 4. Deep cultivation : at least four inches deep, so as to injure 
and tear out some of the roots (this is a common method). 

Plat 5. Root-pruning: ten inches from the stalk and six inches 
deep, prune the roots with a long knife. Cultivate five times during 
the season. 

Observe plats during the summer, and at husking-time note results. 

SECTION XXXIX. PEANUTS 

This plant is rich in names, being known locally as "ground 
pea," "goober," " earthnut," and " pindar," as well as gen- 
erally by the name of " peanut." The peanut is a true 
legume, and, like other legumes, bears nitrogen-gathering 
tubercles upon its roots. The fruit is not a real nut but rather 
a kind of pea or bean, and develops from the blossom. After 
the fall of the blossom the "spike," or flower-stalk, pushes 
its way into the ground, where the nut develops. If unable 
to penetrate the soil the nut dies. 

In the United States, North and South Carolina, Virginia, 
and Tennessee have the most favorable climates for peanut 
culture. Suitable climate and soil, however, may be found 



FARM CROPS 



20:5 



from New Jersey to the :\Iississippi valley. A high, porous, 
sandy loam is the most suitable. Stiffer soils, which may in 
some cases yield larger crops than the loams, are yet not so 
profitable, for stiff soils injure the color of the nut. Lime 
is a necessity and must be supplied if the soil is deficient. 
Phosphoric acid and potash are needed. 

Greater care than is usually bestowed should be given to 
the selection of the peanut seed. In addition to following 
the principles given in 
Section XV I II , all musty, 
defective seeds must be 
avoided and all frosted 
kernels must be rejected. 
Before it dries, the pea- 
nut seed is easily injured 
by frost. The slightest 
frost on the vines, either 
before or after the plants 
are dug, does much harm 
to the tender seed. 

In growing peanuts, 
thorough preparation of 
the soil is much better 

than later cultivation. Destroy the crop of young weeds, 
but do not disturb the peanut crop by late cultivation. Har- 
vest before frost, and shock high to keep the vines from 
the ground. 

The average yield of peanuts in the United States is 
twenty-two bushels an acre. In Tennessee the yield is 
twent)'-nine bushels an acre, and in North Carolina and 
Vire:inia it reaches thirtv bushels an acre. 




Fi< 



A I'EA.NLT I'LAM" 



204 



AGRICULTURE FOR BEGIXXERS 



SECTION XL. SWEET POTATOES 

The roots of sweet potatoes are put on the market in 
various forms. Aside from the form in which they are 
ordinarily sold, some potatoes are dried and then ground 
into flour, some are canned, some are used to make starch, 
some furnish a kind of sugar called glucose, and some 

are even used to make 
alcohol. 

The fact that there 
are over eight}- varieties 
of potatoes shows the 
popularit}- of the plant. 
X'ow it is evident that 
all of these varieties can- 
not be equally desirable. 
Hence the wise grower 
will select his varieties 
with prudent forethought. 
He should studv his 




Fig. 203. Sweet Potatoes 



market, his soil, and his seed (see Section XX'HI). 

Four months of mild weather, months free from frost and 
cold winds, are necessar)- for the growing of sweet potatoes. 
In a mild climate almost any loose, well-drained soil will pro- 
duce them. A light, sandy loam, however, gives a cleaner 
potato and one, therefore, that sells better. 

The sweet potato draws potash, nitrogen, and phosphoric 
acid from the soil, but in applying these as fertilizers the 
grower must study and know his own soil. If he does not 
he may waste both money and plant food by the addition of 
elements already present in sufficient quantit}' in the soil. 
The only way to come to reliable conclusions as to the needs 



I'ARM CROrS 205 

of the soil is to try two or three different kinds of fertilizers 
on plats of the same soil, during the same season, and notice 
the resulting crop of potatoes. 

Sweet potatoes will do well after almost any of the usual 
field crops. This caution, however, should be borne in mind. 
Potatoes should not follow a sod. This is because sods are often 
thick with cutworms, one of the serious enemies of the potato. 

It is needless to say that the ground must be kept clean 
bv thorough cultivation until the vines take full possession of 
the field. 

In harvesting, extreme care should be used to avoid cut- 
ting and bruising the potato, since bruises are as dangerous 
to a sweet potato as to an apple, and render decay almost a 
certainty. Lay aside all bruised potatoes for immediate use. 

For shipment the potatoes should be graded and packed 
with care. An extra outlay of fifty cents a barrel often brings- 
a return of a dollar a barrel in the market. One fact often 
neglected by Southern growers who raise potatoes for a 
Northern market is that the Northern markets demand a 
potato that will cook dr\- and mealy, and that they will not 
accept the juicy, sugary potato so popular in the South. 

The storage of sweet potatoes presents difficulties owing to 
their great tendency to decay under the influence of the ever- 
present fungi and bacteria. This tendency can be met by 
preventing bruises and by keeping the bin free from rotting po- 
tatoes. The potatoes should be cleaned, and after the moisture 
has been dried off they should be stored in a dry, warm place. 

The sweet-potato vine makes a fair quality of hay and 
with proper precaution may be used for ensilage. Small, 
defective, unsalable potatoes are rich in sugar and starch 
and are therefore good stock food. Since they contain so 
much water they must be used only as an aid to other diet. 



206 



AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 



SECTION XLI. WHITE, OR IRISH, POTATOES 

Maize, or Indian corn, and potatoes are the two greatest 
gifts in the way of food that America has bestowed on the 
other nations. Since their adoption in the sixteenth centur)'as 
a new food from recently discovered America, white potatoes 
have become one of the world's most important crops. 




i-iG. 204. Cultivating and Ridging roTATuES 

No grower will harvest large crops of potatoes unless he 
chooses soil that suits the plant, selects his seed carefully, 
cultivates thoroughly, feeds his land sufficiently, and sprays 
regularly. 

The soil should be free from potato scab. This disease 
remains in land for several years. Hence if land is known 
to have any form of scab in it, do not plant potatoes in 
such land. Select for this crop a deep and moderately light, 
sandy loam which has an open subsoil and which is rich in 
humus. The soil must be light enough for the potatoes, or 



FARM CROPS 207 

tubers, to enlarge easily and dn.- enough to prevent rot or 
blight or other diseases. Potato soil should be so close- 
grained that it will hold moisture during a dr}- spell and yet 
so well-drained that the tubers will not be hurt by too much 
moisture in wet weather. 

If the land selected for potatoes is lacking in humus, fine 
compost or well-rotted manure will greatly increase the yield. 
However, it should be remembered that green manure makes 
a good home for the growth of scab germs. Hence it is safest 
to apply this sort of manure in the fall, or, better still, use a 
hea\T dressing of manure on the crop which the potatoes are 
to follow. Leguminous crops supply both humus and nitro- 
gen and, at the same time, improve the subsoil. Therefore 
such crops are excellent to go immediately before potatoes. 
If land is well supplied with humus, commercial fertilizers 
are perhaps safer than manure, for when these fertilizers are 
used the amount of plant food is more easily regulated. Select 
a fertilizer that is rich in potash. For gardens unleached wood 
ashes make a valuable fertilizer because they supply potash. 
Early potatoes need more fertilization than do late ones. 
\\'hile potatoes do best on rich land, they should not be over- 
fed, for a too hea\y growth of foliage is likely to cause blight. 

Be careful to select seed from sound potatoes which are 
entirely free from scab. Get the kinds that thrive best in the 
section in which they are to be planted and which suit best 
the markets in which they are to be sold. Seed potatoes 
should be kept in a cool place so that they will not sprout 
before planting-time. As a rule consumers prefer a smooth, 
regularly shaped, shallow-eyed white or flesh-colored potato 
which is mealy when cooked. Therefore, select seed tubers 
with these qualities. It seems proved that when whole pota- 
toes are used for seed the vield is larger than when sliced 



208 



AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 



potatoes are planted. It is of course too costly to plant whole 
potatoes, but it is a good practice to cause the plants to thrive 
by planting large seed pieces. 

Like other crops, potatoes need a thoroughly prepared 
seed-bed and intelligent cultivation. Break the land deep. 
Then go over it with an ordinary harrow until all clods are 
broken and the soil is fine and well closed. The rows should 




Fig. 205. Gathering Totatoes 

be at least three feet from one another and the seeds placed 
from twelve to eighteen inches apart in the row, and covered 
to a depth of three or four inches. A late crop should be 
planted deeper than an early one. Before the plants come 
up it is well to go over the field once or twice with a harrow 
so as to kill all weeds. Do not fail to save moisture by fre- 
quent cultivation. After the plants start to grow, all cultiva- 
tion should be shallow, for the roots feed near the surface 



FARM CROPS 209 

and should not be broken. Cultivate as often as needed to 
keep down weeds and grass and to keep the ground fine. 

Allow potatoes to dry thoroughly before they are stored, 
but never allow them to remain long in the sunshine. Never 
dig them in damp weather, for the moisture clinging to them 
will cause them to rot. After the tubers are dry, store them 
in barrels or bins in a dry, cool, and dark place. Never allow 
them to freeze. 

Among the common diseases and insect pests that attack 
the leaves and stems of potato vines are early blight, late 
blight, brown rot, the flea-beetle, and the potato beetle, or 
potato bug. Spraying with Bordeaux mixture to which a 
small portion of Paris green has been added will control 
both the diseases and the pests. The spra}'ing should begin 
when the plants are five or six inches high and should not 
cease until the foliage begins to die. 

Scab is a disease of the tubers. It ma}- be prevented 
(i) by using seed potatoes that are free from scab; (2) by 
planting land in which there is no scab ; and (3) by soaking 
the seed in formalin (see page 135). 

SECTION XLII. OATS 

The oat plant belongs to the grass family. It is a hardy 
plant and, under good conditions, a vigorous grower. It 
stands cold and wet better than any other cereal except pos- 
sibly r)-e. Oats like a cool, moist climate. In warm climates, 
oats do best when they are sowed in the fall. In cooler 
sections, spring seeding is more generally practiced. 

There are a great many varieties of oats. No one variety 
is best adapted to all sections, but many varieties make fine 
crops in many sections. Any variety is desirable which has 



2IO 



AGRICULTURE FOR BEGLXXERS 



these qualities : power to resist disease and insect enemies, 
hea\y grains, thin hulls, good color, and suitabilit}- to local 
surroundings. 

As oats and r\-e make a better yield on poor land than any 
other cereals, some farmers usually plant these crops on their 
poorest lands. However, no land is too good to be used for 

so valuable a crop as oats. 
Oats require a great deal of 
moisture ; hence light, sandy 
soils are not so well adapted 
to this crop as are the sandy 
loams and fine clay loams 
with their closer and heavier 
texture. 

If oats are to be planted 
in the spring, the ground 
should be broken in the fall, 
winter, or early spring so 
that no delay may occur at 
seeding-time. But to have 
a thoroughly settled, com.- 
pact seed-bed the breaking 
of the land should be done 
at least a month before the 
seeding, and it will help greatly to run over the land with a 
disk harrow immediately after the breaking. 

Oats ma\- be planted by scattering them broadcast or by 
means of a drill. The drill is better, because the grains are 
more uniformly distributed and the depth of planting is better 
regfulated. The seeds should be covered from one and a half 
to two inches deep. In a ver\- dn,' season three inches may 
not be too deep. The amount of seed needed to the acre 




Fig. zo6. Oats 
Common oats at left ; side oats at right 



FARM CROPS 



211 



\-aries considerably, but generally the seeding is from t\vo to 
three bushels an acre. On poor lands t^vo bushels will be a 
fair average seeding ; on good lands as much as three bushels 
should be used. 

This crop fits in well, over wide areas, with various rota- 
tions. As the purpose of all rotation is to keep the soil pro- 
ductive, oats should alternate even- few vears with one of the 




KiG. 207. Harvesting Oats 

nitrogen-gathering crops. In the South, cowpeas, soy beans, 
clovers, and vetches may be used in this rotation. In the 
North and West the clovers mixed with timothy hay make 
a useful combination for this purpose. 

Spring-sowed oats, since they have a short growing season, 
need their nitrogenous plant food in a form which can be 
quickly used. To supply this nitrogen a top-dressing of 
nitrate of soda or sulphate of lime is helpful. The plant 



212 AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 

can gather its food quickly from either of these two. As fall- 
sowed oats have of course a longer growing season, the nitro- 
gen can be supplied by w-ell-rotted manure, blood, tankage, 
or fish-scrap. Use barnyard manure carefull}'. Do not apply 
too much just before seeding, and use onl}^ thoroughl}" rotted 
manure. It is alx'i'ays desirable to have a bountiful supph- of 
humus in land on which oats are to be planted. 

The time of han^esting wSi vary with the use which is to 
be made of the oats. If the crop is to be threshed, the har- 
vesting should be done when the kernels have passed out of 
the milk into the hard dough state. The lower leaves of the 
stalks will at this time have turned yellow, and the kernels 
\Aill be plump and full. Do not, however, wait too long, 
for if you do the grain vcil\ shatter and the straw lose in 
feeding A-alue. 

On the other hand, if the oats are to be ait for hsy k is 
best to cut them while the grains are still in the milk ?:. _7 
At this stage the leaves are still green and the pla:::; .,: _ 
rich in protein. 

Oats should be cured quickly. It is ven' important that 
threshed oats should be dry before the}^ are stored. Should 
thev on being stored still contain moisture, the}- will be likel}' 
to heat and to discolor. Anv discoloring will reduce their 
value. Nor should oats ever be allowed to remain long in 
the fields, no matter how well they may seem to be shocked. 
The dew and the rain will injure their value by discoloring 
them more or less. 

Oats are muscle-builders rather than fat-former^ H:-:?e 
they are a valuable ration for work animals, dain . r ..nd 
breeding-stock. 



FARM CROPS 
SECTION' XLIII. RYE 



213 



Rye has the power of gathering its food from a wider 
area than most other plants. Of course, then, it is a fine crop 
for poor land, and fanners often plant it only on worn land. 




Vu 



:oS. RVE KEAUV I(iK CrXTING 



However, it is too good a cereal to be treated in so ungener- 
ous a fashion. As a cover-crop for poor land it adds much 
humus to the soil and makes capital grazing. 

There are t^vo t)pes of ne — the winter and the spring. 
The winter type is chiefly grown in this countr)'. Rye seeds 



2 14 AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 

should be bought as near home as possible, for this plant 
thrives best when the new crop grows under the same con- 
ditions as the seed crop. 

Rye will grow on almost any soil that is drained. Soils 
that are too sandy for wheat \\'ill generally peld good crops 
of rj-e. Clay soils, however, are not adapted to the plant nor 
to the grazing for which the plant is generally sowed. For 
winter r}-e the land should be broken from four to six 
inches. Harrows should follow the plows until the land is 
well pulverized. In some cold prairie lands, however, r\e is 
put in with a grain-drill before a plow removes the stubble 
from the land. The purpose of planting in this way is to let 
the stubble protect the young plants from cold, driving winds. 

Rye should go into the ground earlier than wheat. In cold, 
bleak chmates, as well as on poor land, the seeding should 
be early. The young plant needs to get rooted and topped 
before cold weather sets in. The only danger in ver)- early 
planting is that leaf-rust sometimes attacks the fonvard crop. 
Of course the earlier the r\e is ready for fall and winter 
pasturage, the better. If a drill is used for planting, a seeding 
of from three to four pecks to the acre should give a good 
stand. In case the seeds are to be sowed broadcast, a bushel 
or a bushel and a half for ever)' acre is needed. The seed 
should be covered as wheat seed is and the ground rolled. 

Rye is generally used as a grazing or as a soiling crop. 
Therefore its value will depend largely on its \-igorous grovsth 
in stems and leaves. To get this growth, liberal amounts of 
nitrogenous fertilizer will have to be applied unless the land 
is ver\' rich. Put barnyard manure on the land just after the 
first breaking and disk the manure into the soil. Acid phos- 
phate and kainite added to the manure may pay handsomely. 
A spring top-dressing of nitrate of soda is usually helpful. 



FARM CROPS 215 

Rye has a stiff straw and does not fall, or " lodge," so badly 
as some of the other cereals. As soon as r\e that is meant 
for threshing is cut, it should be put up in shocks until it 
is thoroughly dry. Begin the cutting when the kernels are 
in a tough dough state. The grain should never stand long 
in the shocks. 

SECTION XLIV. BARLEY 

Barley is one of the oldest crops known to man. The old 
historian Pliny says that barley was the first food of mankind. 
Modern man however prefers wheat and com and potatoes 
to barley, and as a food this ancient crop is in America turned 
over to the lower animals. Brewers use barley extensively in 
making malt liquors. Barley grows in nearly all sections of 
our country, but a few states — namely, Minnesota, California, 
Wisconsin, Iowa, and North and South Dakota — are seed- 
ing large areas to this crop. 

For malting-purposes the barley raised on rather light, 
friable, porous soil is best. Soils of this kind are likely to 
produce a medium yield of bright grain. Fertile loamy and 
clay soils make generally a heavier yield of barley, but the 
grain is dark and fit only to be fed to stock. Barley is a shal- 
low feeder, and can reach only such plant food as is found 
in the top soil, so its food should alwa\s be put within reach 
by a thorough breaking, harrowing, and mellowing of the soil, 
and by fertilizing if the soil is poor. Barley has been success- 
fully raised both by irrigation and by dry-farming methods. 
It requires a better-prepared soil than the other grain crops ; 
it makes fine yields when it follows some crop that has 
received a hea\y dressing of manure. Capital yields are pro- 
duced after alfalfa or after root crops. This crop usually 
matures within a hundred days from its seeding. 



2i6 AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 

\\"hen the crop is to be sold to the brewers, a grain rich 
in starch should be secured. Barley intended for malting 
should be fertilized to this end. Many experiments have 
shown that a fertilizer which contains much potash will pro- 
duce starchy barle}'. If the barley be intended for stock, vou 
should breed so as to get protein in the grain and in the 
stalk. Hence barley which is to be fed should be fertilized 
^rith mixtures containing nitrogen and phosphoric acid. 




Fig. .^09. Barley 

Young barley plants are more likely to be hurt b}- cold than 
either wheat or oats. Hence barley ought not to be seeded 
until all danger from frost is o\-er. The seeds should be cov- 
ered deeper than the seeds of wheat or of oats. Four inches is 
perhaps an average depth for covering. But the covering will 
vaiy with the time of planting, with the kind of ground, with 
the climate, and \rith the nature of the season. Fewer seeds 
will be needed if the barley is planted by means of a drilk 



FARM CROPS 217 

Like other cereals, barley should not be grown continuously 
on the same land. It should take its place in a well-planned 
rotation. It mav profitablv follow potatoes or other hoed 
crops, but it should not come first after wheat, oats, or r}-e. 

Barley should be harvested as soon as most of its kernels 
have reached the hard dough state. It is more likely to shat- 
ter its grain than are other cereals, and it should therefore 
be handled with care. It must also be watched to prevent 
its sprouting in the shocks. Be sure to put few bundles in 
the shock and to cap the shock securely enough to keep 
out dew and rain. If possible the barley should be threshed 
directly from the shock, as much handling will occasion a 
serious loss from shattering:. 



SECTION XLV. SUGAR PLANTS 

In the United States there are three sources from which 
sugar is obtained ; namely, the sugar-maple, the sugar-beet, 
and the sugar-cane. In the early days of our country- con- 
siderable quantities of maple sirup and maple sugar were 
made. This was the first source of sugar. Then sugar-cane 
began to be grown. Later the sugar-beet was introduced. 

Maple Products. In many states sirup and sugar are still 
made from maple sap. In the spring when the sap is flow- 
ing freely maple trees are tapped and spouts are inserted. 
Through these spouts the sap flows into vessels set to catch 
it. The sap is boiled in evaporating-pans, and made into 
either sirup or sugar. Four gallons of sap yield about one 
pound of sugar. A single tree yields from two to six pounds 
of sugar in a season. The sap cannot be kept long after 
it is collected. Practice and skill are needed to produce an 
attractive and palatable grade of sirup or of sugar. 



2l8 



AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 



Sugar-Beets. The sugar-beet is a comparatively new root 
crop in America. The amount of sugar that can be obtained 
from beets varies from twelve to tA,\ent)- per cent. The rich- 
ness in sugar depends somewhat on the varien gTo\\Ti and 
on the soil and the climate. 

So far most of our sugar-beet seeds have been brought 
over from Europe. Some of our planters are now, however. 




Fig. 2IO. Catchlsg Maple Sap 



gaining the skill and the knowledge needed to grow these 
seeds. It is of course important to grow seeds that will 
produce beets containing much sugar. 

These beets do well in a great \-ariet}' of soils if the land 
is rich, well prepared, and well drained, and has a porous 
subsoil. 

Beets cannot grow to a large size in hard land. Hence 
deep plowing is ver\- necessar}- for this crop. The soil should 



FARM CROPS 



219 



be loose enough for the whole body of the beet to remain 
underground. Some growers prefer spring plowing and some 
fall plowing, but all agree that the land should not be turned 
less than eight or ten inches. The subsoil, however, should 
not be turned up too much at the first deep plowing. 

Too much care cannot be taken to make the seed-bed firm 
and mellow and to have it free 
from clods. If the soil is dr)' at 
planting-time and there is likeli- 
hood of high winds, the seed- 
bed may be rolled with profit. 
Experienced growers use from 
ten to twelve pounds of seeds 
to an acre. It is better to use 
too many rather than too few 
seeds, for it is easy to thin out 
the plants, but rather difficult 
to transplant them. The seeds 
are usually drilled in rows about 
twenty inches apart. Of course, 
if the soil is rather warm and 
moist at planting-time, fewer 
seeds will be needed than when 
germination is likely to be slow. 

A good rotation should always be planned for this beet. 
A very successful one is as follows : for the first year, corn 
heavily fertilized with stable manure ; for the second year, 
sugar-beets ; for the third year, oats or barley ; for the fourth 
year, clover ; then go back again to corn. In addition to 
keeping the soil fertile, there are t\vo gains from this rota- 
tion : first, the clean cultivation of the corn crop just ahead 
of the beets destroys many of the weed seeds ; second, the 




Fifi. 211. Siuak-Heet 



220 AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 

beets must be protected from too much nitn^en in the soil, 
for an excess of nitrogen makes a be&t too large to be rich in 
sugar. The manure, heavilv^ applied to the com. will leave 
enough nitrogen and other plant food in the soil to make a 
good crop of beets and a\X)id any danger of an excess. 

WTien the outside leaves of the beet take on a yellow tinge 
and drop to the ground, the beets are ripe. The mature beets 




i-IG. ^i;. brG.iLK.-BzZT> j> THE V. AY TC> A 1-ACTXjKY 

are richer in sugar than the immature, therefOTe they should 
not be harvested too soon. They may remain in the ground 
without injury for some time after the^- are ripe. Cold weather 
does not injure the roots unless it is accompanied by freezing 
and thawing. 

The beets are harvested by sugar-beet pullers or by hand. 
If the roots are to be gathered by hand the\- are usualty 
loosened by plowing on each side of them. If the roots are 
stored they should be put in long, narrow pfles and covered 



FARM CROPS 



221 



with straw and earth 
to protect them from 
frost. A ventilator 
placed at the top of 
the pile will enable 
the heat and moisture 
to escape. If the 
beets get too warm 
they will ferment and 
some of their sugar 
will be lost. 

Sugar-Cane. Sugar- 
cane is grown along 
the Gulf of Mexico 
and the South Atlantic 
coast. In Mississippi, 
in Alabama, Florida, 
Georgia, South Caro- 
lina, northern Louisi- 
ana, and in northern 
Texas it is generally 
made into sirup. In 
southern Louisiana 
and southern Texas 
the cane is usually 
crushed for sugar or 
for molasses. 

The sugar-cane is 
a huge grass. The 
stalk, which is round, 
is from one to two 
inches in thickness. 




Fig. 213. Stalk of Sugar-Caxe 

A-B, joints of cane showing roots : B-C. stem : 
C-D, leaves 



222 



AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 



D 



The stalks vary in color. Some are white, some yellow, some 
green, some red, some purple, and some black, while others 
are a mixture of two or three of these colors. As shown in 
Fig. 214 the stalk has joints at distances of from two to six 
inches. These joints are called nodes, and the sections be- 
tween the nodes are known as internodes. 
The internodes ripen from the roots 
upward, and as each ripens it casts its 
leaves. The stalk, when ready for har- 
vesting, has only a few leaves on the top. 
Under each leaf and on alternate 
sides of the cane a bud, or "' eye," forms. 
From this eye the cane is usually propa- 
gated ; for, while in tropical countries the 
cane forms seeds, yet these seeds are 
rarely fertile. When the cane is ripe it is 
stripped of leaves, topped, and cut at the 
ground with a knife. The sugar is con- 
tained in solution in the pith of the cane. 
Cane requires an enormous amount 
of water for its best growth, and where 
the rainfall is not great enough, the plants 
^, buds, or eyes ; c, nodes; are irrigated. It requires from seventy- 
five to one hundred gallons of water to 
make a pound of sugar. Cane does best 
where there is a rainfall of two inches a week. At the same 
time a well-drained soil is necessary to make vigorous canes. 
The soils suited to this plant are those which contain large 
amounts of fertilizing material and which can hold much water. 
In southern Louisiana alluvial loams and loamy clay soils are 
cultivated. In Georgia, Alabama, and Florida light, sandy 
soils, when properly fertilized and worked, make good crops. 



D 



D 



x--fe^ 



Fig. 214. Stick of 
Sugar-Cane 



D, internodes ; X, semi- 
transparent dots in rows 







i 





223 



i 


^^" 


yi 




-Jfc 


^ 




^3r 






f^0^- 


1 


i 


•'*i^p*j^j 


1^ 




^^i^r^^r 


R^^S 



wV 



•< ^■'5 ' JJ-»; 



s-!C 



m 




J24 



FARM CROPS 



225 



Cane is usually planted in rows from five to six feet apart. 
A trench is opened in the center of the row with a plow and 
in this open furrow is placed a continuous line of stalks which 
are carefully covered with plow, culti\ator, or hoe. From 
one to three continuous lines of stalks are placed in the fur- 
row. From two to six tons of seed cane are needed for an acre. 



1 


1 


1,1-^ 


/^ Jl^ ^m\. 



Fig. 217. A Common Tvi'E ok Sirup Factory 



In favorable weather the cane soon sprouts and cultivation 
begins. Cane should be cultivated at short intervals until the 
plants are large enough to shade the soil. In Louisiana one 
planting of cane usually gives two crops. The first is called 
plant cane ; the second is known as first-year stubble, or ratoon. 
Sometimes second-year stubble is grown. 

In Louisiana large quantities of tankage, cotton-seed meal, 
and acid phosphate are used to fertilize cane-fields. Each 



226 AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 

country has its own time for planting and harvesting. In 
Louisiana, for example, canes are planted from October to 
April. In the L'nited States cane is harxested each year 
because of frost, but in tropical countries the stalks are per- 
mitted to grow from fifteen to twent)^four months. 

On many farms a small mill, the rollers of which are turned 
b)^ horses, is used for crushing the juice out of the cane. 
The juice is then evaporated in a k^tle or pan. This equip- 
ment is ver\' cheap and can easily be operated bj" a small 
family. While these mills rarely extract more than one half 
of the juice in the cane, the sirup made by them is ven* pal- 
atable and usually commands a good price. Cosdy machinei}' 
which saves most of the juice is used in the large commercial 
sugar houses. 

SECTION XLVL HEMP ANT) FLAX 

In the early^ ages of the world, mankind is supposed to 
have worn very litde or no clothing. Then leaves and the 
inner bark of trees were fashioned into a protection from the 
weather. These flimsy garments were later replaced by skins 
and furs. As man advanced in knowledge, he learned how 
to twist wool and hairs into threads and to weave these into 
durable garments. Still later, perhaps, he discovered that 
some plants conceal under their outer bark soft, tough fibers 
that can be changed into excellent cloth. Flax and hemp 
were doubtless among the first plants to furnish this fiber. 

Flax. Among the fiber crops of the world, flax ranks next 
to cottoiL It is the material from which is woven the linen 
for sheets, towels, tablecloths, shirts, collars, dresses, and a 
host of other articles. Fortunately for man, flax will thrive 
in many countries and in many climates. The fiber from 



FARM CROPS 



22\ 



which these useful articles are made, unlike cotton fiber, does 
not come from the fruit, but from the stem. It is the soft, 
silky lining of the bark which lies between the woody outside 
and the pith cells of the stem. 

The Old World engages largely in flax culture and flax 
manufacture, but in our countr)- flax is grown principally 
for its seed. From the seeds we make linseed oil, linseed-oil 
cake, and linseed meal. 

Flax grows best on deep, 
loamy soils, but also makes a 
profitable growth on clay soils. 
With sufficient fertilizing mate- 
rial it can be grown on sandy 
lands. Nitrogen is especially 
needed by this plant and should 
be liberally supplied. To meet 
this demand for nitrogen, it pays 
to plant a leguminous crop im- 
mediately before flax. 

After a mellow seed-bed has 
been made ready and after the 
weather is fairly warm, sow, if 
a seed crop is desired, at the 
rate of from two to three pecks an acre. A good seed crop 
will not be harvested if the plants are too thick. On the 
other hand, if a fiber crop is to be raised, it is desirable to 
plant more thickly, so that the stalks may not branch, but 
run up into a single stem. From a bushel to two bushels of 
seed is in this case used to an acre. Flax requires care and 
work from start to finish. 

When the seeds are full and plump the flax is ready 
for harvesting. In America a binder is generally used for 




Flax 



228 



AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 



cutting the stalks. Our average yield of flax is from eight 
to fifteen bushels an acre. 

Hemp. Like flax, hemp adapts itself wonderfully to many 
countries and many climates. However, in America most of 
our hemp is grown in Kentucky. 

Hemp needs soil rich enough to give the young plants a 
very rapid growth in their early days so that they may form 




Fig. 



•ig. 



Cutting Hemp 



long fibers 



To give this crop abundant nitrogen without 
great cost, it should be grown in a rotation which includes 
one of the legumes. Rich, well-drained bottom-lands produce 
the largest yields of hemp, but uplands which have been 
heavily manured make profitable yields. 

The ground for hemp is prepared as for other grain crops. 
The seed is generally broadcasted for a fiber crop and then 
harrowed in. No cultivation is required after seeding. 



FARM CROPS 229 

If hemp is grown for seed, it is best to plant with a drill 
so that the crop ma\' be culti\'ated. The stalks after being 
cut are put in shocks until they are dr}\ Then the seeds are 
threshed. Large amounts of hemp seed are sold for caged 
birds and for poultr}- ; it is also used for paint-oils. 



SECTION XLVII. BUCKWHEAT 

Buckwheat shares with r)-e and cowpeas the power to 
make a fairly good crop on poor land. At the same time, 
of course, a full crop can be expected only from fertile land. 

The three varieties most grown in America are the com- 
mon gray, the silver-hull, and the Japanese. The seeds of 
the common gray are larger than the silver-hull, but not so 
large as the Japanese. The seeds from the gray variety are 
generally regarded as inferior to the other two. This crop 
is grown to best advantage in climates where the nights are 
cool and moist. It matures more quickly than any other 
grain crop and is remarkably free from disease. The yield 
varies from ten to forty bushels an acre. Buckwheat does 
not seem to draw plant food heavily from the soil and can 
be grown on the same land from year to year. 

In fertilizing buckwheat land, green manures and rich 
nitrogenous fertilizers should be avoided. These cause such 
a luxuriant growth that the stalks lodge badly. 

The time of seeding will have to be settled by the height 
of the land and bv the climate. In northern climates and in 
high altitudes the seeding is generally done in May or June. 
In southern climates and in low altitudes the planting may 
wait until July or August. The plant usually matures in about 
seventy days. It cannot stand warm weather at blooming- 
time, and must always be planted so that it may escape 



2:;o 



AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 



waim weather in its U[cx>inmg period and cold weather in its 
matniing season. The seeds are commonly broadcasted at 
an average rate erf four pecks to the acre. If the land is loose 
and pulverized, it should be ndled. 

Bodndieat ripens unevenly and -nill continue to bloom 
finosL Harvesting: "usuallv besir- "v~t ;;f^::- ^^e :^r=-t ?rop 




of seeds have matured. To keep the grains from shattering, 
the harvesting is best done during damp or cloudv da3-s or 
earl}' in the monaing while the dew is still on the grain. The 
grain shooild be threshed as soon as it is dr\" enough to go 
through the thresher. 

Biickwheat is girown largely for table use. The grain is 
crushed into a dark iflomr that makes most palatable break- 
fast cakes. The grain, e^>ecMly when mixed with com, is 
becoming pc^jukr for poeMij^ food. The middlings, which 
are rich in fais and protein, are prized for dairy cows. 



FARM CROPS 2^1 



SECTION XLVIII. RICE 



The United States produces only about one half of the rice 
that it consumes. There is no satisfactory reason for our not 
raising more of this staple crop, for five great states along 
the Gulf of Mexico are well adapted to its culture. 

There are two distinct kinds of rice, upland rice and low- 
land rice. Upland rice demands in general the same methods 
of culture that are required bv other cereals, for example, 




Fig. 221. Threshing Rice 

oats or wheat. The growing of lowland rice is considerably 
more difficult and includes the necessit}- of flooding the 
fields with water at proper times. 

A stiff, half-clay soil with some loam is best suited to this 
crop. The soil should have a clay subsoil to retain water 
and to give stiffness enough to allow the use of harvesting- 
machinen-. Some good rice soils are so stiff that thev must 
be flooded to soften them enough to admit of plowing. Plow 
deeply to give the roots ample feeding-space. Good tillage, 
which is too often neglected, is valuable. 

Careful seed-selection is perhaps even more needed for 
rice than for any other crop. Consumers want kernels of the 
same size. Be sure that nouf seed is free from red rice and 



2 32 AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 

other weeds. Drilling is much better than broadcasting, as 
it secures a more even distribution of the seed. 

The notion generally prevails that flooding returns to the 
soil the needed fertilit}-. This may be true if the flooding- 
water deposits much silt, but if the water be clear it is untrue, 
and fertilizers or leguminous crops are needed to keep up 
fertilitv. Cowpeas replace the lost soil-elements and keep 
down weeds, grasses, and red rice. 

Red rice is a weed close kin to rice, but the seed of one 
will not produce the other. Do not allow it to get mixed and 
sowed with your rice seed or to go to seed in vour field. 



SECTION XLIX. THE TIMBER CROP 

Forest trees are not usually regarded as a crop, but they 
are certainly one of the most important crops. We should 
accustom ourselves to look on our trees as needing and as 
deserx-ing the same care and thought that we give to our other 
field crops. The total number of acres given to the growth 
of forest trees js still enormous, but we should each year add 
to this acreage. 

Unfortunately ver\- few forests are so managed as to add 
yearly to their value and to preser\-e a model stand of trees. 
Axmen generally fell the great trees without thought of the 
young trees that should at once begin to fill the places left 
vacant b\- the fallen giants. 0\\*ners rarely study their wood- 
lands to be sure that the trees are thick enough, or to find 
out whether the saplings are ruinously crowding one another. 
Disease is often allowed to slip in unchecked. Old trees 
stand long after they have outlived their usefulness. 

The farm wood-lot, too. is often neglected. As forests are 
being swept away, fuel is of course becoming scarcer and 



FARM CROPS 233 

more costly. Even- farmer ought to plant trees enough on 
his waste land to make sure of a constant supply of fuel. 
The land saved for the wood-lot should be selected from land 
unfit for cultivation. Steep hillsides, rocky slopes, ravines, 
banks of streams — these can, without much expense or 
labor, be set in trees and insure a never-ending fuel supply. 




Fig. 222. Wood Lot 
Before proper treatment 

The most common enemies of the forest crop are : 

First, forest fires. The waste from forest fires in the United 
States is most startling. Many of these fires are the result 
of carelessness or ignorance. Most of the states have made 
or are now making laws to prevent and to control such fires. 

Second, fungous diseases. The timber loss from these 
diseases is exceedingly great. 

Third, insects of many kinds prey on the trees. Some 
strip all the leaves from the branches. Others bore into the 



2 34 AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 

roots, trunk, or branches. Some lead to a slow death ; others 
are more quickly fatal. 

Fourth, improper grazing. Turning animals into young 
woods may lead to serious loss. The animals frequently ruin 
young trees by eating all the foliage. Hogs often unearth and 
consume most of the seeds needed for a good growth. 



'fclS Mt^ 



:^Sa.f^^il^ 



im^^^^ 




Fig. 223. Wood Lot 
After proper treatment 

The handling of forests is a business just as the growing 
of corn is a business. In old forests, dead and dying trees 
should be cut. Trees that occupy space and yet have little 
commercial value should- give way to more valuable trees. 
A quick-growing tree, if it is equally desirable, should be 
preferred to a slow grower. An even distribution of the 
trees should be secured. 

In all there are about five hundred species of trees which 
are natives of the United States. Probably not over seventy 



FARM CROPS 235 

of these are desirable for forests. In selecting trees to plant 
or to allow to grow from their own seeding, pick those that 
make a quick growth, that have a steady market value, and 
that suit the soil, the place of growth, and the climate. 

SECTION L. THE FARM GARDEN 

Every farmer needs a garden in which to grow not only 
vegetables but small fruits for the home table. 

The garden should always be within convenient distance 
of the farmhouse. If possible, the spot selected should have 
a soil of mixed loam and clay. Every foot of soil in the gar- 
den should be made rich and mellow by manure and cultiva- 
tion. The worst soils for the home garden are light, sandy 
soils, or stiff, clayey soils ; but any soil, by judicious and 
intelligent culture, can be made suitable. 

In laying out the garden we should bear in mind that hand 
labor is the most expensive kind of labor. Hence we should 
not, as is commonly done, lay off the garden spot in the form 
of a square, but we should mark off for our purpose a long, 
narrow piece of land, so that the cultivating tools may all 
be conveniontlv drawn by a horse or a mule. The use of the 
plow and the horse cultivator enables the cultivation of the 
garden to be done quickly, easily, and cheaply. 

Each vegetable or fruit should be planted in rows, and not 
in little patches. Beginning with one side of the garden the 
following plan of arrangement is simple and complete : two 
rows to corn for table use ; two to cabbages, beets, radishes, 
and eggplants ; two to onions, peas, and beans ; two to oyster- 
plants, okra, parsley, and turnips ; two to tomatoes ; then four 
on the other side can be used for strawberries, blackberries, 
raspberries, currants, and gooseberries. 




2^6 



FARM CROPS 237 

The garden, when so arranged, can be tilled in the spring 
and tended throughout the growing season with little labor 
and little loss of time. In return for this odd-hour work, the 
farmer's family will have throughout the year an abundance of 
fresh, palatable, and health-giving vegetables and small fruits. 

The keynote of successful gardening is to stir the soil. 
Stir it often with four objects in view : 

1. To destroy weeds. 

2. To let air enter the soil. 

3. To enrich the soil by the action of the air. 

4. To retain the moisture by preventing its evaporation. 



corn 


corn 


cabbage 


beets 




radish 


es ' 


cabbage 


beets 




^ss-i> 


ants 1 


onions 


peas 


beans 




onions 


peas 


beans 




oyster-plants 


okra 


parsley 




parsnips 


ovster-plants 


okra 


parsJev 




parsnips 




to 


niatoes 






tomatoes 


strawberries 


currants 


1 raspberries 




blackberries | 


strawberries 


currants 


raspl)erries 


1 


blackberries 


strawberries 


currants 


raspberries 




blackberries 1 


strawberries 


1 currants 


raspberries 




blackberries | 



Fig. 225. How to lav out the Garden ' 

This illustration shows that practically even,- garden vege- 
table and all the small fruits can be included in the farm 
garden, and all the work be done by horse-drawn tools. 

^ The number of rows and arrangement of the vegetables in the outline 
above are merely suggestive. They should be changed to meet the needs 
and the tastes of each particular family. 



CHAPTER IX 
FEED STUFFS 

SECTIOX LI. GIL\SSES 

Under usual conditions no farmer expects to grow live 
stock successful!}- and economically without setting apan a 
large part of his land for the gro\Ath of mowing and pasture 
crops. Therefore to the grower of stock the management of 
grass crops is all-important. 

In planting either for a meadow or for a pasture, the farmer 
should mix different ^'arieties of grass seeds. Nature mixes 
them when she plants, and Nature is always a trust\vorth3' 
teacher. 

In planting for a pasture the aim should be to sow such 
seeds as will give green grass from early spring to latest fall. 
In seeding for a meadow such varieties should be sowed 
together as ripen about the same time. 

Even in those sections of the countn- where it grows 
sparingly and where it is easily crowded out, clover should 
be mixed \nth all grasses sowed, for it leaves in the soil a 
wealth of plant food for the grasses coming after it to feed 
on. Nearly ever)^ part of our countn' has some clover that 
experience shows to be exactly suited to its soil and cli- 
mate. Study these clovers carefully and mix them with 
your grass seed. 

The reason for mixing clover and grass is at once seen. 
The true grasses, so far as science now shows, get all their 

238 



FEED STUFFS 



239 



nitrogen from the soil ; hence they more or less exhaust the 
soil. But, as several times explained in this book, the clovers 
are legumes, and all legumes are able by means of the bac- 
teria that live on their roots to use the free nitrogen of the 
air. Hence without cost to the farmer these clovers help the 
soil to feed their neighbors, the true grasses. For this reason 
some light peren- 
nial legume should 
always be added to 
grass seed. 

It is not possible 
for grasses to do 
well in a soil that 
is full of weeds. 
For this reason it 
is always best to 
sow grass in fields 
from which culti- 
vated crops have 
just been taken. 
Soil which is to 
have grass sowed 
in it should have 
its particles pressed 
together. The small 
grass seeds cannot take root and grow well in land that has 
just been plowed and which, consequently, has its particles 
loose and comparatively far apart. On the other hand, land 
from which a crop of com or cotton has just been har\-ested 
is in a compact condition. The soil particles are pressed well 
together. Such land when mellowed by harrowing makes a 
splendid bed for grass seeds. A firm soil draws moisture up 




Fig. 226. Single Plant uk Gl\m Millet 



240 AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 

to the seeds, while a mellow soil acts as a blanket to keep 
moisture from wasting into the air, and at the same time 
allows the heated air to circulate in the soil. 

In case land has to be plowed for grass-seeding, the plow- 
ing should be done as far as possible in advance of the seeding. 
Then the plowed land should be harrowed several times to 
get the land in a soft, mellow condition. 

If the seed-bed be carefully prepared, little work on the 
ground is necessar)' after the seeds are sowed. One light 
harrowing is sufficient to cover the broadcast seeds. This 
harrowing should always be done as soon as the seeds are 
scattered, for if there be moisture in the soil the tiny seeds 
will soon sprout, and if the harrowing be done after germi- 
nation is somewhat advanced, the tender grass plants will 
be injured. 

There are manv kinds of pasture and meadow grasses. 
In New England, timothv, red clover, and redtop are gen- 
erallv used for the mowing crop. For permanent pasture, in 
addition to those mentioned, there should be added white 
clover and either Kentucky or Canadian blue grass. In the 
Southern states a good meadow or pasture can be made of 
orchard grass, red clover, and redtop. For a permanent 
pasture in the South, Japan clover, Bennuda, and such other 
local grasses as have been found to adapt themselves readily 
to the climate should be added. In the Middle States tem- 
porar}' meadows and pastures are generally made of timothy 
and red clover, while for permanent pastures white clover 
and blue grass thrive well. In the more western states the 
grasses previouslv suggested are readily at home. Alfalfa is 
proving its adaptability to nearly all sections and climates, 
and is in many respects the most promising grass crop of 
America. 




241 



242 AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 

It hardlv ever pays to pasture meadows, except slightly, 
the first season, and then only when the soil is dr}-. It is 
also poor policy to pasture any kind of grass land early in 
the spring when the soil is \vet, because the tramping of 
animals crushes and destroys the crowns of the plants. After 
the first year the sward becomes thicker and tougher, and 
the grass is not at all injured if it is grazed wisely. 




Fig. 228. Alfalfa the Wonderful 
The first crop of the season is being cut and stored for winter 

The state of maturity at which grass should be harvested 
to make hay of the best qualit}' varies somewhat with the 
different grasses and with the use which is to be made of 
the hay. Generally speaking, it is a good rule to cut grass 
for hay just as it is beginning to bloom or just after the bloom 
has fallen. All grasses become less palatable to stock as they 
mature and form seed. If grass be allowed to go to seed, 
most of the nutrition in the stalk is used to form the seed. 




243 



^44 AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 

Hence a good deal of food is lost b\- waiting to cut hay until 
the seeds are formed. 

Pasture lands and meadow lands are often greatly improved 
b\' replowing and harrowing in order to break up the turf 
that forms and to admit air more freely into the soil. The 
plant-roots that are destroyed by the plowing or harrowing 
make quickly a\^able plant food by their decay, and the 
physical improvement of the soil leads to a thicker and better 
stand. In the older sections of the country- commercial fer- 
tilizer can be used to ad\:antage in producing hay and pastur- 
age. If, however, clover has just been grown on grass land 
or if it is growing well with the grass, there is no need to 
add nitrogen. If the grass seems to lack sufficient nourish- 
ment, add phosphoric acid and potash. However, grass not 
grown in company wnth clover often needs dried blood, 
nitrate of soda, or some other nitrogen-suppl\-ing agent. Of 
course it is understood that no better fertilizer can be applied 
to grass than bamj-ard manure. 

SECTION LIT. LEGUMES 

Often land which was once thought excellent is left to 
grow up in weeds. The owner sa\-s that the land is worn 
out, and that it will not pay to plant it. What does " worn 
out " mean ? Simply that constant cropping has used up the 
plant food in the land. Therefore, plants on worn-out land 
are too nearlv staned to \-ield bountifully. Such wearing out 
is so easily prevented that no owner ought e\-er to allow his 
land to become poverh,--stricken. But in case this misfortune 
has happened, how can the land be again made fertile ? 

On page 24 you learned that phosphoric acid, potash, and 
nitrogen are the foods most needed by plants. " Worn out," 




245 



246 AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 

then, to put it in another \ra3-, usually means that a soil 
has been robbed of one of these plant necessities, or of two or 
of all three. To make the land once more fruitful it is neces- 
san- to restore the missing food or foods. How can this be 
done? Two of these plant foods, namely, phosphoric acid 
and potash, are minerals. If either of these is lacking, it 
can be supphed only bj' putting on the land some fertilizer 
containing the missing food. Fortunately, however, nitrogen, 
the most costly- of the plant foods, can be readily and cheaply 
returned to poor land. 

As explained on page 32 the leguminous crops have the 
power of drawing nitrogen from the air and, by means of 
their root-tubercles, of storing it in the sol. Hence by 
growing these crops on poor land the expensive nitrogen is 
quickly restored to the soil, and only the two cheaper plant 
foods need be bought How important it is then to grow 
these l^uminous plants ! Every farmer should so rotate his 
planting that at least once ever\- two «" three years a crop 
of l^;umes may add to the fruitfulness of his fields. 

Moreover these crops help land in another wa)' . They send 
a multitude of roots deep into the ground. These roots loosen 
and pulverize the soil, and their decay, at the end of the grow- 
ing season, leaves much humus in the soil. Land will rarely 
become worn out if l^^umes are regularly and wisely grown. 

From the fact that they do well in so many different sec- 
tions and in so many different cUmates, the following are the 
most useful legumes : alfalfa, clovers, cowpeas, vetches, and 
soy beans. 

Alfalfa. Alfalfa is primarily a hay crop. It thrives in the 
Far West, in the Middle West, in the North, and in the 
South. In fact, it will do well wherever the soil is rich, moist, 
deep, and imderlaid by an open subsoil. The \^ast areas given 



FEED STUFFS 



247 



to this valuable crop are yearly increasing in ever\^ section 
of the United States. Alfalfa, however, unlike the covvpea, 
does not take to poor land. For its cultivation, therefore, 
sood fertile land that is moist but not water-soaked should 
be selected. 

Good farmers are partial to alfalfa for three reasons. First, 
it yields a heavy crop of forage or hay. Second, being a 
legume, it improves the soil. Third, one seeding lasts a long 
time. This length 
of life may, how- 
ever, be destroyed 
by pasturing or abus- 
ing the alfalfa. 

Alfalfa is differ- 
ent from most plants 
in this respect : the 
soil in which it grows 
must have certain 
kinds of bacteria in 
it. These cause the 
growth of tubercles 
on the roots. These 
bacteria, however, 
are not always pres- 
ent in land that has not been planted in alfalfa. Hence if 
this plant is to be grown successfully these helpful bacteria 
must sometimes be supplied artificially. 

There are t\vo ver}' easy ways of supplying the germs. 
First, fine soil from an alfalfa field may be scattered broad- 
cast over the fields to be seeded. Second, a small mass of 
alfalfa tubercle germs may be put into a liquid containing 
proper food to make these germs multiply and grow ; then 




Fig. sii. 



Sheep eattening on Aleaeea 
Stubble 



248 AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 

the seeds to be planted are soaked in this hquid in order 
that the germs may fasten on the seeds. 

Before the seeds are sowed the soU should be mellowed. 
Over this well-prepared land about twent\- pounds of seed to 
the acre should be scattered. The seed may be scattered by 
hand or by a seed-sower. Cover ^^-ith a hght harrow. The time 
of planting \-aries somewhat with the climate. Except where 
the winters are too severe the seed may be sowed either in 
the spring or in the fall. In the Sov.th sow onlv in the fall. 




Fig. 232. Herd of Dairy Cattle gr-azixg ox Alf-axfa Stubble 

During the first season one mowing, perhaps more, is 
necessan" to insure a good stand and also to keep down the 
weeds. \\'hen the first blossoms appear in the early summer, 
it is time to start the mower. After this the alfalfa should 
be cut even- two, three, or four weeks. The number of times 
depends on the rapidit)" of growth. 

This crop rarely makes a good \-ield the first year, but if 
a good stand be secured, the peld steadily increases. After a 
good stand has been secured, a top-dressing of either commer- 
cial fertilizer or stable manure wiU be ver}- helpful. An occa- 
sional cutting-up of the sod with a disk harrow does much good. 



FEED STUFFS 249 

Clovers. The different kinds of clovers will sometimes 
grow on hard or poor soil, but they do far better if the soil 
is enriched and properly prepared before the seed is sowed. 
In many parts of our countr)' it has been the practice for 
generations to sow clover seed with some of the grain crops. 
Barley, wheat, oats, and r)-e are the crops with which clover 
is usually planted, but many good farmers now prefer to sow 
the seed only with other grass seed. Circumstances must 
largely determine the manner of seeding. 

Crimson clover, which is a winter legume, usually does 
best when seeded alone, although r\-e or some other grain 
often seems helpful to it. This kind of clover is an excel- 
lent crop with which to follow cotton or corn. It is most 
conveniently sowed at the last culti\ation of these crops. 

Common red clover, which is the standard clover over 
most of the countr}-, is usually seeded with timothy or with 
orchard grass or with some other of the grasses. In sowing 
both crimson and red clover, about ten to fifteen pounds of 
seed for each acre are generally used. 

To make good pastures, white and Japan clover are favor- 
ites. White clover does well in most parts of America, and 
Japan clover is especially valuable in warm Southern climates. 
Both will do well even when the soil is partly shaded, but 
they do best in land fully open to the sun. 

Careful attention is required to cure clover hay well. The 
clover should always be cut before it forms seed. The best 
time to cut is when the plants are in full bloom. 

Let the mower be started in the morning. Then a few hours 
later nm over the field with the tedder. This will loosen the 
hay and let in air and sunshine. If the weather be fair let 
the hay lie until the next day, and then rake it into rows for 
further drying. After being raked, the hay may either be left 



« 







Fig. 233. Crimson Clover 



250 



FEED STUFFS 251 

in the rows for final curing or it may be put in cocks. If the 
weather be unsettled, it is best to cock the hay. Many farmers 
have cloth covers to protect the cocks and these often aid 
greatly in saving the hay crop in a rainy season. In case 
the hay is put in cocks, it should be opened for a final drying 
before it is housed. 

Cowpeas. The cowpea is an excellent soil-enricher. It 
supplies more fertilizing material to turn into the soil, in a 
short time and at small cost, than any other crop. Moreover, 
bv good tillage and by the use of a very small amount of fer- 
tilizer, the cowpea can be grown on land too poor to produce 
any other crop. Its roots go deep into the soil. Hence 
they gather plant food and moisture that shallow-rooted plants 
fail to reach. These qualities make it an invaluable help in 
bringing worn-out lands back to fertility. 

The cowpea is a warm-weather legume. In the United 
States it succeeds best in the south and southwest. It has, 
however, in recent years been grown as far north as Massa- 
chusetts, New York, Ohio, Michigan, and Minnesota, but in 
these cold climates other legumes are more useful. Cowpeas 
should never be planted until all danger of frost is past. 
Some varieties make their full growth in two months ; others 
need four months. 

There are about two hundred varieties of cowpeas. These 
varieties differ in form, in the size of seed and of pod, in the 
color of seed and of pod, and in the time of ripening. They 
differ, too, in the manner of growth. Some grow erect; others 
sprawl on the ground. In selecting varieties it is well to 
choose those that grow straight up, those that are hardy, 
those that fruit early and abundantly, and those that hold 
their leaves. The variety selected for seed should also suit 
the land and the climate. 



252 AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 

The cowpea will grow in almost any soil. It thrives best 
and \-ields most bountifully on well-drained sandy loams. The 
plant also does well on clay soils. On light, sandy soils a 
fairlv good crop may be made, but on such soils, wilt and 
root-knot are dangerous foes. A warm, moist, well-pulverized 
seed-bed should always be pro\"ided. Few plants equal the 
cowoea in repavins: careful Dreoaration. 











If this crop is grown for hay. the method of seeding and 
cultivating will differ somewhat from the method used when 
a seed crop is desired. When cowpeas are planted for hay 
the seeds should be drilled or broadcasted. If the seeds are 
small and the land somewhat rich, about four pecks should 
be sowed on each acre. If the seeds are com para ti\ely large 
and the soil not so fertile, about six pecks should be sowed to 
the acre. It is safer to disk in the seeds when they are sowed 
broadcast than it is to relv on a harrow to cover them. In 



FEED STUFFS 253 

sowing merely for a hay crop, it is a good practice to mix 
sorghum, com, soy beans, or millet with the cowpeas. The 
mixed hay is more easily harvested and more easily cured 
than unmixed cowpea hay. Shortly after seeding, it pays to 
run over the land lightly with a harrow^ or a weeder in order 
to break any crust that may form. 

Mowing should begin as soon as the stalks and the pods 
have finished growing and some of the lower leaves have 
begun to turn yellow. An ordinar)^ mower is perhaps the 
best machine for cutting the vines. If possible, select only a 
bright day for mowing and do not start the machine until 
the dew on the vines is dried. Allow the vines to remain 
as they fell from the mower till they are wilted ; then rake 
them into windrows. The vines should generally stay in the 
windrows for two or three days and be turned on the last 
day. They should then be put in small, airy piles or piled 
around a stake that has crosspieces nailed to it. The drying 
vines should never be packed ; air must circulate freely if 
good hay is to be made. As piling the vines around stakes 
is somewhat laborious, some growers watch the curing care- 
fully and succeed in getting the vines dry enough to haul 
directly from the windrows to the barns. Never allow the 
vines to stay exposed to too much sunshine when thev are 
first cut. If the sun strikes them too strongly, the leaves will 
become brittle and shatter when they are moved. 

When cowpeas are grown for their pods to ripen, the seeds 
should be planted in rows about a yard apart. From two to 
three pecks of seeds to an acre should be sufficient. The 
growing plants should be cultivated two or three times with 
a good cultivator. Cowpeas were formerly gathered by hand, 
but such a method is of course slow and expensive. Pickers 
are now commonlv used. 



254 AGRICULTURE FOR BEGIXXERS 

S:~.e fsuTr.ers use the covq>tz crop only as a soil-enricher. 
Hence mev neither gather the seeds nor cut the hay, but 
plow the whole crop into the soil. There is an average of 
about foit>'-seven pounds of nitrogen in each ton of cowjjea 
vines. Most of this valuable nitrogen is drawn by the plants 
from the air. This amount of nitrogen is equal to that con- 
tained in 9300 pounds of stable manure. In addition each 
ton of cowpea vines contains ten pounds of phosphoric acid 
and twenty-nine pounds of potash. 

There is danger in plowing into the soil at one time any 
bountiful green crop like cowpeas. As alread\' explained on 
page 10, a process called capillarity enables moisture to rise 
in the soil as plants need iL Now if a heavy cowpea crop 
or any other similar crop be at one plowing turned into the 
soil, the soil particles will be so separated as to destroy 
capillarity. Too much vegetation turned under at once mav 
also, if the weather be warm, cause fermentation to set 
in and "sour the land." Both of these troubles may be 
avoided bj- cutting up the \Tnes with a disk harrow or other 
implement before covering them. 

The custom of planting cowpeas between the rows at the 
last working of com is a good one, and wherever the climate 
permits this custom should be followed. 

Vetches. The vetches hax'e been rapidly growing in favor 
for some }^ears. Stock eat vetch hay greedily, and this hay 
increases the flow of milk in dairy animals and helps to 
keep animals fat and sleek. Only two species of vetch are 
widely grown. These are the tare, or spring vetch, and the 
winter, or hairj^ vetch. Spring vetch is grown in comparatively 
few sections of our countr}-, It is, however, grown widely in 
England and northern continental Europe. What we say here 
wiH be confined to hair}^ vetch. 



FEED STUFFS 



255 



After a soil has been supplied with the germs needed by 
this plant, the hairy vetch is productive on many different 
kinds of soil. The plant is most vigorous on fertile loams. By 
good tillage and proper fertilization it may be forced to grow 
rather bountifully on poor sandy and clay loams. Acid or 
wet soils are not suited to vetch. Lands that are too poor to 
produce clovers will frequently yield fair crops of vetch. If 




Fiu. 235. Vetch 

this is borne in mind, many poor soils may be wonderfully 
improved by growing on them this \aluable legume. 

Vetch needs a fine well-compacted seed-bed, but it is 
often sowed with good results on stubble lands and between 
cotton and corn rows, where it is covered by a cultivator or 
a weeder. 

The seeds of the vetch are costly and are brought chiefly 
from Germany, where this crop is much prized. The pods 
ripen so irregularly that they have to be picked by hand. 



2 56 AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 

In northern climates early spring sowing is found most sat- 
isfactory. In southern climates the seeding is best done in 
the late summer or early fall. As the vetch vines have a 
tendency to trail on the ground, it is wisest to plant with the 
vetch some crop like oats, barley, r)-e, or wheat. These plants 
will support the vetch and keep its vines from being injured 
by falling on the ground. Do not use r}-e with vetch in the 
South. It ripens too early to be of much assistance. If 
sowed with oats the seeding should be at the rate of about 
twenty or thirty pounds of vetch and about one and a half 
or t^vo bushels of oats to the acre. \'etch is covered in the 
same way as wheat and ne. 

Few crops enrich soil more rapidly than vetch if the whole 
plant is turned in. It of course adds nitrogen to the soil and 
at the same time supplies the soil with a large amount of 
organic matter to decay and change to humus. As the crop 
grows during the winter, it makes an excellent cover to pre- 
vent washing. IMany orchard-growers of the Northwest find 
vetch the best winter crop for the orchards as well as for 
the fields. 

Soy, or Soja, Bean. In China and Japan the soy bean is 
grown largelv as food for man. In the United States it is 
used as a forage plant and as a soil-improver. It bids fair to 
become one of the most popular of the legumes. Like the 
cowpea, this bean is at home only in a warm climate. Some 
of the earlv-ripening varieties have, however, been planted 
with fair success in cold climates. 

While there are a large number of varieties of the so)- bean, 
only about a dozen are commonly grown. They differ mainly 
in the color, size, and shape of the seeds, and in the time 
needed for ripening. Some of the varieties are more hair}- 
than others. 



FEED STUFFS 



257 



Soy beans may take many places in good crop-rotations, 
but they are unusually valuable in short rotations with small 
grains. The grains can be cut in time for the beans to follow 
them, and in turn the beans can be harx'ested in the early 
fall and make way for another grain crop. 

It should always be remembered that soy beans will not 
thrive unless the land on which they are to grow is already sup- 
plied, or is supplied at the time of sowing, with bean bacteria. 




Fig. 236. Chinese Soy Beans 

The plant will grow on many different kinds of soil, but 
it needs a richer soil than the cowpea does. As the crop can 
gather most of its own nitrogen, it generally requires only 
the addition of phosphoric acid and potash for its growth on 
poor land. When the first crop is seeded, apply to each acre 
four hundred pounds of a fertilizing mixture which contains 
about ten per cent of phosphoric acid, four per cent of potash, 
and from one to two per cent of nitrogen. 



AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 

^:.nted for hay or for grazing, mellow the 

::-. broadcast or drill in closety about one 

-T - : - r^ to each acre. Cover from one to 

: allow a crust to form over the 

; : .: : : reak through a crust well. When 

-"; ■ : : — fds. a half bushel of seed to the 

^-- ; ^-~ _:j;'.:. Trie plants sh'i'uld stand in the rows 




from four to six ir.: ws should be from 

thirty to forty indhc.:> i;.,.iij ^.mjl a-ii...:i.... Never plant until 
the sun has thoroughly warmed the land. The bean may be 
sowed, however, earlier than cowpeas. A most convenient 
time is just after com is planted. The rows should be culti- 
vated often enough to ke^ out weeds and grass and to keep 
a good dust muldi, but the cultivation must be shallow. 

As soy beans are grown for hay and also for seed, the har- 
vesting will, as with the other l^;ume5, be controlled by the 



FEED STUFFS 259 

purpose for which the crop was planted. In harvesting for 
a hay crop it is desirable to cut the beans after the pods 
are well formed but before they are fully grown. If the cut- 
ting is delayed until the pods are ripe, the fruit will shatter 
badly. There is a loss, too, in the food value of the stems if 
the cutting is late. The ordinary mowing-machine with a 
rake attached is generally the machine used for cuttins: the 




Fig. 23S. Sov Beans in Corn 



Stalks. The leaves should be most carefully preserved, for 
they contain much nourishment for stock. 

Whenever the beans are grown for seeds, harvesting should 
begin when three fourths of the leaves have fallen and most 
of the pods are ripe. Do not wait, however, until the pods are 
so dr\- that they have begun to split and drop their seeds. 
A slight amount of dampness on the plants aids the cutting. 
The threshing mav be done with a flail, with pea-hullers, or 
with a grain-threshing machine. 



26o 



AGRICULTURE FOR BEGIXXERS 



The beans produce more seed to the acre than cowpeas do. 
Fort\- bushels is a high \ield. The average }"ield is between 
twenty and thirty- bushels. 

Descriptive Table 



C;.:; 




L;rx 


Rz VA- :<; 


Alfalfa 


Hay 


Perennial 


AD animals like ii: hogs 
eat it even when itisdrv. 


Red clover 


Hay and pastore 


Perennial 


Best of the clovers for hav. 


Alsike clover 


Haj^ and pasture 


Perennial 


Seeds itself for twenty- 
years. This clover is a 
great favorite with bees. 


Mammoth clover 


Hay and pasture 


Perennial 


Best for green manure: 


White clover 


Pastnre 


Perennial 


Excellent for lawns and 
bees. 


Japan clover 


Pasture 


Perennial 


ExceDent for forest and 
old soils. 


Cowpea 


Hay and grain 


Annual 


Used for hay, green 
manure, and pastures. 


Sov bean 


Hay and grain 


Annual 


Often put in sUo with com. 


Vetches 


Hay and soiling 


Annual 


Pasture for sheep and 
swine. With cereals 
it makes excellent hav 
and soiling-food. 



CHAPTER X 
DOMESTIC ANIMALS 

The progress that a nation is making can with reasonable 
accuracy be measured by the kind of Hve stock it raises. The 
general mle is, poor stock, poor people. All the prosperous 
nations of the globe, especially the grain-growing nations, get 
a large share of their wealth from raising improved stock. 
The stock bred by these nations is now, however, verv' dif- 
erent from the stock raised by the same nations years ago. 
As soon as man began to progress in the art of agriculture 
he became dissatisfied with inferior stock. He therefore 
bent his energies to raise the standard of excellence in 
domestic animals. 

By slow stages of animal improvement the ugly, thin- 
flanked wild boar of early times has been transformed into 
the sleek Berkshire or the well-rounded Poland-China. In 
the same manner the wild sheep of the Old World ha\e been 
developed into wool and mutton breeds of the finest excel- 
lence. By constant care, attention, and selection the thin, 
long-legged wild ox has been bred into the bounteous milk- 
producing Jerseys and Holsteins or into the Shorthorn moun- 
tains of flesh. From the small, bony, coarse, and shaggy 
horse of ancient times have descended the hea\y Norman, 
or Percheron, draft horse and the fleet Arab courser. 

The matter of meat-production is one of vital importance 
to the human race, for animal food must always supply a 
large part of man's ration. 

R 261 



262 AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 

Live stock of various kinds consume the coarser foods, 
like the grasses, hays, and grains, which man cannot use. 
As a result of this consumption they store in their bodies 
the exact substances required for building up the tissues of 
man's body. 

When the animal is used b}" man for food, one class of 
foods stored away in the animal's body produces muscle ; 
another produces fat, heat, and energ}-. The food furnished 
by the slaughter of animals seems necessar}- to the full devel- 
opment of man. It is true that the flesh of an animal v^ill 
not support human life so long as would the grain that the 
animal ate while growing, but it is also true that animal food 
does not require so much of man's force to digest it. Hence 
the use of meat forces a part of man's life- struggle on the 
lower animal. 

When men feed grain to stock, the animals receive in return 
power and food in their most a\*ailable forms. Men strengthen 
the animal that they themselves may be strengthened. One 
of the great questions, tlien, for the stock- grower's considera- 
tion is how to make the least amount of food fed to animals 
produce the most power and flesh. 

SECTION LIII. HORSES 

While we have a great many kinds of horses in America, 
horses are not natives of this countn*. Just where wild horses 
were first tamed and used is not certainly kno\ATi. It is be- 
lieved that in earlv ages the horse was a much smaller animal 
than it now is, and tliat it gradually attained its present size. 
Where food was abundant and nutritious and the climate mild 
and healthful, the early horses developed large frames and 
hc2Lxy limbs and muscles ; on the other hand, where food 



DOMESTIC ANIMALS 



263 



was scarce and the climate cold and bleak, the animals re- 
mained as dwarfed as the ponies of the Shetland Islands 

One of the first records concerning the horse is found 
in Genesis xlix, 17, where Jacob speaks of "an adder 
that biteth the horse heels." Pharaoh took "six hundred 
chosen chariots" and "with all the horses and chariots" 




Fig. z^g. The Family Pti 

pursued the Israelites. The Greeks at first drove the horse 
fastened to a rude chariot ; later they rode on its back, learn- 
ing to manage the animal with voice or switch and without 
either saddle or bridle. This thinking people soon invented 
the snaffle bit, and both rode and drove with its aid. The 
curb bit was a Roman invention. Shoeing was not practiced 
by either Greeks or Romans. Saddles and harnesses were at 
first made of skins and sometimes of cloth. 



264 



AGRICULTURE FOR BEGIXXERS 



Among the Tartars of middle and northern Asia and also 
among some other nations, mare's jnilk and the flesh of the 
horse are used for food. Old and otherwise worthless horses 
are regularly fattened for the meat markets of France and 
Germanv. \'arious uses are made of the different parts of a 
horse's bodv. The mane and tail are used in the manufacture 




Fig. 240. Perchekon Horse (a Draft Type) 

of mattresses, and also furnish a haircloth for upholstering ; 
the skin is tanned into leather ; the hoofs are used for glue, 
and the bones for making fertilizer. 

Climate, food, and natural surroundings have all aided in 
producing changes in the horse's form, size, and appearance. 
The \-ar\ing circumstances under which horses have been 
raised ha\-e given rise to the different breeds. In addition, the 



DOMESTIC ANIMALS 



265 



masters' needs had much to do in developing the t\pe of 
horses wanted. Some masters desired work horses, and kept the 
heavy, muscular, stout-limbed animals ; others desired riding 
and driving horses, so they saved for their use the light-limbed. 





Fig. 241 

Diagram shows the proper shape of the fore and hind legs of a horse, ^^■hen the 
straight lines divide the legs equally, the leg action is straight and regular 

angular horses that had endurance and mettle. The follow- 
ing table gives some of the different breeds and the places 
of their development : 



I. Draft, or Heavy, Breeds 

1. Percheron. from the province of Perche, France. 

2. French Draft, developed in France. 

3. Belgian Draft, developed by Belgian farmers. 

4. Clydesdale, the draft horse of Scotland. 

5. Suffolk Punch, from the eastern part of England. 

6. English Shire, also from the eastern part of England. 



266 



AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 



II. Carriage, or Coach, Breeds 

1. Cleveland Bay. developed in England. 

2. French Coach, the gentleman's horse of France. 

3. German Coach, from Germany. 

4. Oldenburg Coach. Oldenburg. Germany. 

5. Hackney, the English high-stepper. 



III. Light, or Roadster. Breeds 

1 . American Trotter, developed in America. 

2. Thoroughbred, the English running horse. 

3. American Saddle Horse, from Kentucky and Mrginia. 

There is a marked difference in the form and type of 
these horses, and on this difference their usefulness depends. 





Fig. 242. Wide Hock 

This horse stands great strains 
and is not fatigued easily 



Fig. 243. Narrow Hock 

This horse becomes exhausted 
verv easily 



The draft breeds have short legs, and hence their bodies 
are comparatively close to the ground. The depth of the body 
should be about the same as the length of leg. All draft 
horses should have upright shoulders, so as to pro\ide an 
easy support for the collar. The hock should be wide, so that 



DOMESTIC ANIMALS 



267 



the animal shall have great leverage of muscle for pulling. 
A horse ha\-ing a narrow hock is not able to draw a hea\y 
load and is easily exhausted and liable to curb-diseases (see 
Figs. 242 and 243). 

The legs of all kinds of horses should be straight ; a line 
dropped from the point of the shoulder to the ground should 
divide the knees, canon, fetlock, and foot into two equal parts. 



u ^ 




*g^ k'lf^ 








^^3B^^'^' ' 


—^ 


■HMMMH^- 


fSk .T . 




!-^C'. 


in 


^^^^r ^^|H^^|h 


w^r irif i-^^^■ ■'.■ -i 


. 1 


y 


imm 


^M If ' sB 




g^ijg^ *^"ti^^^^mm m 






■Bb-JK n -11111711 1WM j> r t^ 


iM' IW1I 1 1 IflflfWM'lllSMlMil 



Fig. 



The Roadster Type 



When the animal is formed in this way the feet have room 
to be straight and square, with just the breadth of a hoof 
between them (Fig. 241). 

Roadsters are lighter in bone and less heavily muscled ; 
their legs are longer than those of the draft horses and, 
as horsemen say, more "daylight" can be seen under the 
body. The neck is long and thin, but fits nicely into the 
shoulders. The shoulders are sloping and long and give 
the roadster abilit\- to reach well out in his stride. The 



268 



AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 



head is set gracefully on the neck and should be carried 
with ease and erectness. 

Every man who is to deal with horses ought to become, by 
observation and study, an expert judge of forms, qualities, 
types, defects, and excellences. 




Fig. 245. Side View of Legs 

The diagram shows how the straight Hnes ought to cross the legs of 
a properly shaped horse 



The horse's foot makes an interesting study. The horny 
outside protects the foot from mud, ice, and stones. Inside 
the hoof are the bones and gristle that serve as cushions 
to diminish the shock received while walking or running on 
hard roads or streets. When shoeing the horse the frog 
should not be touched with the knife. It is very seldom 
that any cutting need be done. Many blacksmiths do not 
know this and often greatly injure the foot. 



DOMESTIC ANIMALS 



269 



Since the horse has but a small stomach, the food given 
should not be too bulky. In proportion to the horse's size, 
its grain ration should be larger than that of other animals. 
Draft horses and mules, however, can be fed a more bulky 
ration than other horses, because they have larger stomachs 
and consequently have more room to store food. 




2. 1 7 

Fig. 246. How to measure a Horse 

The horse should be groomed ever)' day. This keeps 
the pores of the skin open and the hair bright and glossy. 
When horses are working hard, the harness sliould be 
removed during the noon hour. During the cool seasons 
of the year, whenever a horse is wet with sweat, it should on 
stopping work, or when standing for awhile, be blanketed, 
for the animal is as liable as man to get cold in a draft or 
from moisture evaporating rapidly from its skin. 



270 AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 

EXERCISE 

If the pupil will take an ordinary tape measure, he can make some meas- 
urements of the horse that will be very interesting as well as profitable. 
Let him measure : 

1. The height of the horse at the withers, i to i. 

2. The height of the horse at croup, 2 to 2. 

3. Length of shoulder, i to 3. 

4. Length of back, 4. 

5. Length of head. 5. 

6. Depth of body, 6 to 6. 

7. Daylight under body, 7 to 7. 

8. Distance from point of shoulder to quarter. 3 to 3. 

9. Width of forehead. 
10. Width between hips. 

Note. Man}- interesting comparisons can be made (i) by measuring 
several horses; (2) by studying the proportion between parts of the same 
horse. 

Proportions of a Horse 

1. How many times longer is the body than the head? Do you get 
the same result from different horses ? 

2. How does the height at the withers compare with the height 
at the croup .' 

3. How do these compare with the distance from quarter to shoulder .'' 

4. How does the length of the head compare with the thickness of 
the body and with the open space, or " daylight,"' under the body? 



SECTION LIV. CATTLE 

All farm animals were once called cattle ; now, this term 
applies only to beef and dair}' animals — neat cattle. 

Our improved breeds are descended from the wild ox of 
Europe and Asia, and have attained their size and usefulness 



DOMESTIC ANIMALS 



271 



bv care, food, and selection. The uses of cattle are so familiar 
that we need scarcely mention them. Their flesh is a part 
of man's daily food ; 
their milk, cream, 
butter, and cheese 
are on most tables ; 
their hides go to 
make leather, and 
their hair for plas- 
ter ; their hoofs are 
used for glue, and 
their bones for fer- 
tilizers, ornaments, 
buttons, and many 
other purposes. 

There are two 
main classes of cat- 
tle — beef breeds and dair}- breeds. The principal breeds 
of each class are as follows : 




Fig. 247. A Pkize-Winner 



I. Bec-f Bn-c'ds 

Aberdeen-Angus, bred in Scotland, and often called doddies. 

Galloway, from Scotland. 

Shonhom. an English breed of cattle. 

Hereford, also an English breed. 

Sussex, from the county of Sussex. England. 



II. Dairy Breeds 

1. Jersey, from the Isle of Jersey. 

2. Guernsey, from the Isle of Guernsey. 

3. A\Tshire. from Scotland. 

4. Holstein-Frisian. from Holland and Denmark. 

5. Brow-n Swiss, from Switzerland. 



272 AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 

Other breeds of cattle are Devon, Dutch Belted, Red- 
Polled, Kerr\', and West Highland. 

In general structure there is a marked difference between 
the beef and dair)- breeds. This is shown in Figs. 248, 249. 
The beef cow is square, full over the back and loins, and 
straight in the back. The hips are covered evenly with 
flesh, the legs full and thick, the under line, or stomach 
line, parallel to the back line, and the neck full and short. 




Fig. 248. Aberdeex-Angus Cow (a Beef Type) 

The eye should be bright, the face short, the bones of fine 
texture, and the skin soft and pliable. 

The dair\' cow- is widely different from the beef cow. She 
shows a decided wedge shape when you look at her from 
front, side, or rear. The back line is crooked, the hip 
bones and tail bone are prominent, the thighs thin and 
poorly fleshed ; there is no breadth to the back, as in the 
beef cow, and little flesh covers the shoulders ; the neck is 
Ions: and thin. 



DOMESTIC ANIMALS 



273 



The udder of the dairy cow is most important. It should 
be full but not fleshy, be well attached behind, and extend well 
forward. The larger the udder the more milk will be given. 

The skin of the dairy cow, like that of the beef breeds, 
should be soft and pliable and the bones fine-textured. 

The Dairy Type. Because of lack of flesh on the back, 
loins, and thighs, the cow of the dairy type is not profitably 
raised for beef, nor is the beef so good as that of the beef 




Fig. 249. Jersey Cow (a Dairy Type) 

tvpes. This is because in the dair)--animal food goes to 
produce milk rather than beef. In the same way the beef 
cow gives little milk, since her food goes rather to fat than 
to milk. For the same reasons that you do not expect a 
plow horse to win on the race track, you do not expect a cow 
of the beef type to win premiums as a milker. 

" Scrub " cattle are not profitable. They mature slowly 
and consequently consume much food before they are able 
to give any return for it. Even when fattened, the fat and 



274 AGRICULTURE FOR BEGIXXERS 

lean portions are not evenly distributed, and "choice cuts" 

are few and small. 

By far the cheapest method of securing a healthy and 

profitable herd of dair}- or beef cattle is to save only the 

calves whose sires are pure-bred animals and whose mothers 

are native cows. In this way farmers of even little means 

can soon build up an excellent herd. 

Improving Cattle. The fact that it is not possible for 

ever}- farmer to possess pure-bred cattle is no reason why 

he should not improve the 
stock he has. He can do 
this by using pure-bred 
sires that possess the qual- 
ities most to be desired. 
Scrub stock can be quickly 
improved by the continu- 
ous use of good sires. It 
is never wise to use grade, 
or cross-bred, sires, since 
the best qualities are not 

fixed in them. 
Fig. 250. He.\d of a Galluwav Cow . . 

^Moreover, it is possible 

for ever}- farmer to determine exactly the producing-power of 

his dair}- cows. When the cows are milked, the milk should 

be weighed and a record kept. If this be done, it will be found 

that some cows produce as much as five hundred, and some 

as much as ten hundred, gallons a year, while others produce 

not more than two or three hundred gallons. If a farmer kills 

or sells his poor cow-s and keeps his best ones, he will soon 

have a herd of only hea\-}- milkers. Ask your father to tn.' 

this plan. Read eventhing you can find about taking care of 

cows and impro\-ing them, and then start a herd of your own. 




DOMESTIC ANIMALS 



275 



Conclusions, (i) A cow with a tendency to get fat is not 
profitable for the dair\'. (2) A thin, open, angular cow will 
make expensive beef, (3) "The sire is half the herd." This 
means that a good sire is necessary to improve a herd of 
cattle. The improvement from scrubs upward is as follows : 
the first generation is one-half pure ; the second is three- 
fourths pure ; the third is seven-eighths pure ; the fourth 
is fifteen-sixteenths pure, etc. (4) By keeping a record of 




Fig. 251. HoLSTEiN Cow 

the quantity and quality of milk each cow gives you can 
tell which are profitable to raise from and which are not. 
(5) Good food, clean water, kindness, and care are necessary 
to successful cattle-raising. 

The ownership of a well-bred animal usually arouses so 
much pride in the owner that the animal receives all the 
care that it merits. The watchful care given to such an ani- 
mal leads to more thought of the other animals on the farm, 
and often brings about the upbuilding of an entire herd. 



276 



AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 



SECTION LV. SHEEP 

The sheep was perhaps the first animal domesticated by 
man, and to-day the domesticated sheep is found wherever 
man hves. It is found domesticated or wild m almost evety 
climate, and finds means to thrive where other animals can 
scarcely live ; it pro\ides man with meat and clothing, and is 
one of the most profitable and most easilv cared- for of animals. 




Fig. 



A \ 



Sheep increase so rapidly, mature at such an early age, 
and have flesh so wholesome for food that nearly eveiy- farm 
should have its flock. Another consideration that may be 
urged in favor of sheep-raising is that sheep improve the 
land on which they are pastured. 

Sheep are docile and easily handled, and they five on a 
greater diversit}' of food and require less grain than any other 
kind of Hve stock. In mixed farming there is enough food 
wasted on most farms to maintain a small flock of sHeep. 




-77 



2/8 AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 

Sheep may be divided into three classes : 



I . Fine- J I 'ooled Breeds 

1. American Merino. 

2. Delaine Merino. 

3. Rambouillets. 

1 1 . Medium- 1 J 'ooled Breeds 

1. Southdown. 

2. Shropshire. 

3. Horned Dorset. 



4. Hampshire Down. 

5. Oxford Down. 

6. Cheviot. 

III. Long- J I 'ooled Breeds 

1 . Leicester. 

2. Lincohi. 

3. Cotswold. 



The first group is grown principally for wool, and mutton 
is secondary ; in the second group, mutton comes first and 




Fig. 254. In the Pasture 

wool second ; in the third group both are important con- 
siderations. Wool is nature's protection for the sheep. Have 
you ever opened the fleece and observed the clean skin 
in which the fibers grow } These fibers, or hairs, are so 



DOMESTIC ANIMALS 



279 



roughened that they push all dirt away from the skin toward 
the outside of the fleece. 

Wool is valuable in proportion to the length and evenness 
of the fiber and the density of the fleece. 

EXERCISE 

1. How many pounds ought a fleece of wool to weigh ? 

2. Which makes the better clothing, coarse or fine wool .'' 

3. Why are sheep washed before being sheared .-* 

4. Does cold weather trouble sheep ? wet weather ? 



SECTIOX LVI. SWIXE 

The wild boar is a native of Europe, Asia, and Africa. 
The wild hogs are the parents from which all our domestic 
breeds have sprung. In many parts of the world the wild 
boar is still found. These animals are active and powerful, 




Fig. 255. Which will you raise? 

and as they grow older are fierce and dangerous. In their 
wild state they seek moist, sandy, and well-wooded places, 
close to streams of water. Their favorite foods are fruits, 
grass, and roots, but when pressed by hunger they will eat 
snakes, worms, and even higher animals, like birds, fowls, 
and fish, 

Man captured some of these wild animals, fed them abun- 
dant and nutritious food, accustomed them to domestic life, 



28o 



AGRICULTURE FOR BEGIXXERS 



selected the best of them to raise from, and in the course 
of generations developed our present breeds of hogs. The 
main changes brought about in hogs were these : the legs 
became shorter, the snout and neck likewise shortened, the 
shoulders and hams increased their power to take on flesh, 
and the frame was strengthened to carry the added burden 
of flesh. As the animal grew heavier it roamed less widely, 
and as it grew accustomed to man its temper became less fierce. 




Fig. 256. A Pair of Pokkers 

Meat can be more cheaply obtained from hogs than from 
any other animal. W^hen a hog is properly fed and cared for 
it vdW make the farmer more money in proportion to cost 
than any other animal on the farm. 

The most profitable t}-pe of hog has short legs, small bones, 
straight back and under line, hea^y hams, small well-dished 
head, and hea\y shoulders. The scrub and " razorback " 
hogs are ven- unprofitable, and require an undue amount of 
food to produce a pound of gain. It requires two years to get 



DOMESTIC ANIMALS 



281 



the scrub to weigh what a well-bred pig will weigh when 
nine months old. Scrub hogs can be quickly changed in 
form and type by the use of a pure-bred sire. 

A boy whose parents were too poor to send him to college 
once decided to make his own money and get an education. 
He bought a sow and began to raise pigs. He earned the food 
for the mother and 
her pigs. His hogs 
increased so rap- 
idly that he had to 
work hard to keep 
them in food. By 
saving the money 
he received from 
the sale of his hogs 
he had enough to 
keep him two years in college. Suppose you try his plan, 
and let the hog show you how fast it can make money. 

We have several breeds of swine. The important ones are : 




Fig. 257. A Good Type 



I. Large Breeds 

1. Chester White. 

2. Improved Yorkshire. 

3. Tamworth. 

II. Medium Breeds 

1. Berkshire. 

2. Poland-China. 



3. Duroc-Jersey. 

4. Cheshire. 

III. Small Breeds 

1. \'ictoria. 

2. Suffolk. 

3. Essex. 

4. Small Yorkshire. 



Hogs will be most successfully raised when kept as little 
as possible in pens. They like the fields and the pasture 
grass, the open air and the sunshine. Almost any kind of 
food can be given them. Unlike other stock, they will devour 
greedily and tirelessly the richest feeding-stuffs. 



282 AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINXERS 

The most desirable h<^ to raise is one that will produce 
a more or less even mixture of fat and lean. WTiere only 

com is fed. the bodv becomes ven- fat and is r.?: s" desirable 




Fig. 2^S. DoiXER is over 



for food as when middlings, tankage, cowpeas, or soy beans 
are added as a part of the ration. 

When hogs are kept in pens, cleanliness is most important, 
for only by cleanliness can disease be avoided. 



SECTION LVII. FAIO.I POULTRY 

Our geese, ducks, turke37S, and domestic hens are all 
descendants of wild fowls, and are more or less similar to 
them in appearance. 

The earhest recorded uses of fowls were for food, for 
fighting, and for sacrifice. To-da\' the domestic fowl has 
foin- well-defined uses — ^g-production, meat-production, 
feather^roduodon, and pest-destruction. 

Hens of course produce most of our eg^. Some duck 
e^s are sold for table use. Goose and duck bod\-feathers 
bring good prices. As pest-destroyers turke}^ and chickens 
are most useful. They eat large numbers of bugs and worms 




sTANDAKU-UKED FUWLo 



DOMESTIC ANIMALS 



283 



that are harmful to crops. A Uttle proper attention would very 
largely increase the already handsome sum derived from our 
fowls. They need dr}-, warm, well-lighted, and tidily kept 
houses. They must have, if we want the best returns, an 
abundant supply of pure water and a variet\- of nutritious 
foods. In cold, rainy, or snowy weather they should have 
a sheltered yard, and in good weather should be allowed a 
range wide enough to give them 
exercise. Their bodies and their 
nests must be protected from 
ever\- form of vermin. 

For eggs, the Leghorn vari- 
eties are popular. Some hens 
of this breed have been known 
to lay more than two hundred 
eggs in a year. Specially cared- 
for flocks have averaged eleven 
or even twelve dozen eggs a 
year. Farm flocks of ordinarv' 
breeds average less than eight 
dozen. Other excellent egg 
breeds are the Spanish, Anda- 
lusian, and Minorca. 

The principal so-called meat breeds are the Brahma, 
Cochin, and Langshan. These are ver)- large, but rather 
slow-growing fowls, and are not noted as layers. They are 
far less popular in America, even as meat-producers, than 
the general-purpose breeds. 

The Plymouth Rock, Wyandotte, Rhode Island Red, and 
Orpington are the leading general-purpose breeds. They are 
favorites because they are at once good-sized, good layers, 
tame, and good mothers. The chicks of these breeds are 




Fig. 259. Cock 



284 



AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 



hardv and thrift}-. In addition to these breeds, there are 
many so-called fancy breeds that are prized for their looks 
rather than for their value. Among these are the Hamburg, 
Polish, Sultan, Silkie, and the many Bantam breeds. 

The leading duck breeds are the Pekin, Aylesbur)-, In- 
dian Runner, Musco\y, Rouen, and Cayuga. The principal 

varieties of geese 
are the Toulouse, 
Emden, Chinese, 
and African. 

Among the best 
breeds of turkeys are 
the Bronze, White 
Holland, Xarragan- 
sett, Bourbon, Slate, 
and Buff. 

Geese, ducks, and 
turkeys are not so 
generall}' raised as hens, but there is a constant demand at 
good prices for these fowls. 

The varieties of the domestic- hen are as follows : 

I. 




Fig. 260. BruuLier 



II. 



Egg Breeds 


III. 


General-Purpose Breeds 


I. Leghorn. 




I. Plymouth Rock. 


2. Minorca. 




2. Wyandotte. 


3. Spanish. 




3. Rhode Island Red. 


4. Blue Andalusian. 




4. Orpington. 


5. Anconas. 






Meat Breeds 

1. Brahma. 

2. Cochin. 

3. Langshan. 

4. Dorking. 


IV. 


Fancy Breeds 

1. Polish. 

2. Game. 

3. Sultan. 

4. Bantam. 


5. Cornish. 











Fig. 261. Breeding Yards 




Fig. 262. IxciBAToR 



2S5 



286 AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 

As the price of both eggs and fowls is steadily advancing, 
a great many people are now raising fowls by means of an 
incubator for hatching, and a brooder as a substitute for the 
mother hen. 

The use of the incubator is extending each year and is now 
almost universal where any considerable number of chicks 
are to be hatched. Doubtless it will continue to be used 
wherever poultr^^-production is engaged in on a large scale. 

The brooder is employed to take care of the chickens as 
soon as thev leave the incubator. 



SECTION LVIII. BEE CULTURE 

Stock-raisers select breeds that are best adapted to their 
needs. Plant-growers exercise great care in their choice of 
plants, selecting for each planting those best suited to the 
conditions under which they are to 
be grown. Undoubtedly a larger 
yield of honey could be had each 
vear if similar care were exercised 
in the selection of the breed of bees. 
To prove this, one has only to 
compare the yield of two different 
Fig. 263. A Carmolan kinds. The common East Indian 
honey bee rarely produces more than 
ten or twelve pounds to a hive, while the Cyprian bee, which 
is a most industrious worker, has a record of one thousand 
pounds in one season from a single colony. This bee, be- 
sides being industrious when honey material is plentiful, is 
also ver)- persevering when such material is hard to find. 
The Cyprians have two other ver}- desirable qualities. They 




DOMESTIC ANIMALS 



287 



Stand the cold of winter well and stoutly defend their hives 
against robber bees and other enemies. 

The Italian is another good bee. This variet)- was brought 
into the United States in i860. While the yield from the 
Italian is somewhat less than from the Cyprian, the Italian 
bees produce a whiter comb and are a trifle more easily 
managed. 

The common black or brown bee is found wild and domes- 
ticated throughout the countr}^ When honey material is 
abundant, these bees 
equal the Italians in 
honey-production, but 
when the season is 
poor, they fall far short 
in the amount of honey 
produced. 

The purchase of a 
good Cyprian or Italian 
hive will richly repay 
the buver. Such a 



N.^ 




Fig. 264. A Cakmulan Drone 



colony will cost more at the outset than an ordinan,- colony, 
but will soon pay for its higher cost by greater production. 

A beehive in the spring contains one queen, several hun- 
dred drones, and from thirty-five to forty thousand workers. 
The duty of the queen is to lay all the eggs that are to hatch 
the future bees. This she does with untiring industr)-, often 
laying as many as four thousand in twent\--four hours. 

The worker bees do all the work. Some of them visit the 
flowers, take up the nectar into the honey-sac, located in 
their abdomens, and earn' it to the hive. They also gather 
pollen in basketlike cavities in their hind legs. Pollen and 
nectar are needed to prepare food for the young bees. In 



288 



AGRICULTURE FOR BEGIXXERS 



the hive other workers create a breeze by buzzing with their 
wings and produce heat by their activit}- — all to cause the 
water to evaporate from the nectar and to convert it into 
honey before it is sealed up in the comb. After a success- 
ful day's gathering you may often hear these tireless workers 
buzzing till late into the night or even all through the night. 
You know that the bees get nectar from the flowers of 
various plants. Some of the chief honey plants are alfalfa, 
buckwheat, horsemint, sourwood, white sage, wild penny- 
royal, black gum, holly, chestnut, magnolia, and the tulip 

tree. The }-ield of honey mav often 
be increased by pro\"iding special 
pasturage for the bees. The linden 
tree, for example, besides being 
ornamental and valuable for timber, 
produces a most bee-inviting flower. 
Vetch, clover, and most of the leg- 
umes and mints are valuable plants 
to furnish pasture for bees. Catnip 
may be cultivated for the bees and 
sold as an herb as well. 
In spraying fruit trees to prevent disease you should 
always avoid sprapng when the trees are in bloom, since the 
poison of the sprav seriously endangers the lives of bees. 

The eggs laid by the queen, if they are to produce workers, 
require about t^vent^'-one days to bring forth the perfect bee. 
The newly hatched bee commences life as a nurse. A\'hen 
about ten days old it b'egins to tr\' its wings in short flights, 
and a few days later it begins active work. The life of a 
worker bee in the busy season is only about six weeks. You 
may distinguish voung exercising bees from real workers 
by the fact that they do not fly directly away on emerging 




Fig. 



:65. A Cakniolax 

QUEEX 



DOMESTIC ANIMALS 



J89 




Fig. 266. Good Form of Hive 



from the hive, but circle around a bit in order to make sure 
that they can recognise home again, since they would receive 
no cordial welcome if they should attempt to enter another 

hive. They hesitate upon 
returning from even these 
short flights, to make sure 
that they are in front of their 
own door. 

There are several kinds of 
enemies of the bee which all 
beekeepers should know. 
One of these is the robber 
bee, that is, a bee from 
another colony attempting to steal honey from the rightful 
owners, an attempt often resulting in frightful slaughter. 
Much robben- can be avoided by clean handling ; that is, 
by leaving no honey about to cultivate a taste for stolen 
sweets. The bee moth is another serious enemy. The lan-a 
of the moth feeds on the wax. Keep the colonies of bees 
strong so that they may be able to overcome this moth. 

Oueenless or other\\-ise weak colonies should be protected 
by a narrow entrance that admits only one bee at a time, 
for such a pass may be 
easily guarded. Fig. 267 
shows a good anti-robber}- 
entrance which mav be 
readily pro^•ided for even- 
weak colonv. Mice mav be 




Fig. 267. AxTi-RoBBixG Entrance 
sf. stationan- piece : s, slide : /. pin, or stop 



kept out by tin-lined entrances. The widespread fear of the 
kingbird seems unfounded. He rarely eats anything but drones, 
and few of them. This is also true of the swallow. Toads, 
lizards, and spiders are, however, true enemies of the honevbee. 



290 AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 

EXERCISE 

Can you recognize drones, workers, and queens? Do bees usuall}' 
fimit thdr visits to one kind of blossom on an}- one trip ? What effect 
has the kind of flowo" on the flavor of the honey produced? What 
kinds of flowers should the beekeeper pro%'ide for his bees? Is the 
kingbird reall}- an enemy to the bee? 



SECTION LIX. WHY WE FEED ANIMALS 

In the first place, we give various kinds of feed stuffs 
to our animals that they may live. The heart beats all the 
time, the lungs contract and expand, digestion is taking 
place, the blood circulates through the body — something 
must supply force for these acts or the animal dies. This 
force is derived from food. 

In the next place, food is required to keep the body warm. 
Food in this respect is fuel, and acts in the same way that 
wood or coal does in the stove. Our bodies are warm all the 
time, and they are kept warm by the food we eat at mealtime. 

Then, in the third place, food is required to enable the 
body to enlarge — to grow. If you feed a colt just enough 
to keep it ahve and warm, there wiU be no material present 
to enable it to grow ; hence you must add enough food to 
form bone and flesh and muscle and hair and fat. 

In the fourth place, we feed to produce strength for work. 
An animal poorly fed cannot do so much work at the plow 
or on the road as one that receives all the food needed. 

Both food and the force produced by it result from the 
activity^ of plants. B}- means of sunlight and moisture a 
sprouting seed, taking out of the air and soil different ele- 
ments, grows into a plant. Then, just as the plant feeds 
on the air and soil to get its growth, so the animal feeds 



DOMESTIC ANIMALS 291 

on the plant, to get its growth. Hence, since our animals 
feed upon plants, we must find out what is in plants in order 
to know what animal food consists of. What, we are now 
ready to ask, are plants made of .-' 

Chemists have found that in studying plants there are five 
important groups of substances to be considered. These are 
protein, carbohydrates, fat, mineral matter, and water. What 
is each of these, and what use does the animal make of each ? 

First, protein, the most important, must be considered. 
The animal food called by this queer name is not unknown 
to you. You have all your lives seen it in compounds like 
the white of an egg, lean meat, or the gluten of wheat. It 
is made of three gases (oxygen, hydrogen, and nitrogen) and 
two solid bodies (carbon and sulphur). The bodies of plants 
do not contain very much protein. Roots, grass, hay, and 
straw have a ven*- small amount of it. On the other hand, 
all seeds contain a great deal of this substance. What use 
do the animals make of protein ? Animals form their new 
blood, their muscles, and their lean meat from protein food. 
It is easy, then, to see the value of protein. 

In addition, this substance rebuilds largely the waste of 
the body. This is harder to understand. Probably every boy 
has made a snow man, and knows that unless he can add 
new snow regularly, the body of the snow man will soon waste 
away. All animal bodies are daily using up the materials of 
the body. If this waste is not made up, the bodies of animals, 
like the body of the snow man, soon waste away. Now, just 
as the boy in cold climates supplies new snow to his snow 
man's body to keep it whole, so nature uses protein to build 
up the wasted materials of animal bodies. 

Let us next consider the carbohydrates. Sometimes the 
words starchy foods are used to describe the carbohydrates. 



2^2 AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 

You have long known forms of these in the w hite material 
of cx)m and of potatoes. The carbohydrates are formed of 
three elements — carbon, ox\gen, and hydrogen. The use 
of these carbohydrates is to furnish to animal bodies either 
heat or energ\^ or to enable them to store fat. 

In the next place, let us look at the fat in plant food. 
This consists of the oil stored up in the seeds and other parts 
of the plant. The grains contain most of the oil. Fat is used 
by the animal to make heat and energ\- or to be stored aw^y 
in the body. 

The next animal food in the plant that we are to think 
about is the mineral matter. The ashes of a burnt plant fur- 
nish a common example of this mineral matter. The animal 
uses this material of the plant to make bone, teeth, and tissue. 

The last thing that the plant furxdshes the animal is water 
— just common water. Young plants contain comparatively 
large quantities of water. This is one reason why they are 
soft, juicv, and palatable. But, since animals get their 
water chiefly in another wa)% the water in feed stuffs is not 
important. 

What these Coinocxos do ix the Body 

Protein I'.:: 

1. Forms flesh, bone, blood, i. Furnishes body heat, 
internal CHrgans, hair, and milk. 2. Furnishes energy. 

2. Maj- be used to make faL 3. Furnishes body faL 

3. Ma\' be used for heaL 

4. May be used to produce yfineral yfattcr 
energ\\ Furnishes mineral matter for the 

Carbohydrates bones in the body. 

1 . Furnish bodj- heaL 

2. Furnish eneigy. '^^'^'^ 

3. Make fat. Supplies water in the body. 



CHAPTER XI 

FARM DAIRYING 

SECTION LX. THE DAIRY COW 

Success in dain,- farming depends largely upon the proper 
feeding of stock. There are two questions that the dair\' 
farmer should always ask himself : Am I feeding as cheaply 
as I can ? and. Am I feeding the best rations for milk and 




Fi. 



IkS. MlI,KIN>.- I'lMl- 



butter production ? Of course cows can be kept alive and in 
fairly good milk flow on many different kinds of food, but 
in feeding, as in everything else, there is an ideal to be 
sought. 

R 293 



294 



AGRICULTURE FOR BEGIXXER5 



What, then, is an ideal ration for a dair\- cow ? Before trj-ing 
to answer this question the word 7'ation needs to be explained. 
By ration is meant a sufficient quantit}' of food to support prop- 
erlv an animal for one day. If the animal is to have a proper 
ration, we must bear in mind what the animal needs in order to 
be best nourished. To get material for muscle, for blood, for 
milk, and for some other things, the animal needs, in the first 




Fig. 269. A Dairy 

place, food that contains protein. To keep warm and fat, the 
animal must, in the second place, have food containing carbohy- 
drates and fats. These foods must be mixed in right proportions. 

With these facts in mind we are prepared for an answer 
to the question, What is an ideal ration } 

First, it is a ration that, without waste, furnishes both 
in weight and bulk of dr\- matter a sufficient amount of 
digestible, nutritious food. 



FARM DAIRYING 295 

Second, it is a fation that is comparatively cheap. 

Third, it is a ration in which the milk-forming food 
(protein) is rightly proportioned to the heat-making and fat- 
making food (carbohydrates and fat). Any ration in which 
this proportion is neglected is badly balanced. 

Xow test one or two commonly used rations b\- these rules. 
Would a ration of cotton-seed meal and cotton-seed hulls be a 
model ration ? No. Such a ration, since the seeds are grown at 
home, would be cheap enough. However, it is badlv balanced, 
for it is too rich in protein ; hence it is a wasteful ration. Would 
a ration of com meal and com stover be a desirable ration } 
This, too, since the com is home-grown, would be cheap for the 
farmer ; but, like the other, it is badly balanced, for it contains 
too much carbohydrate food and is therefore a wasteful ration. 

A badly balanced ration does harm in t^vo wa)s : first, the 
milk flow of the cow is lessened by such a ration ; second, 
the cow does not profitably use the food that she eats. 

The following table gives an excellent dair\- ration for the 
farmer who has a silo. If he does not have a silo, some 
other food can be used in place of the ensilage. The table 
also shows what each food contains. As you grow older, it 
will pay you to study such tables most carefully. 







Digestible 


M.\TTER 




Feed Stiffs 


Dry 
matter 


Protein 


Carbo- 
hydrates 


Fat 


Cowpea hay = 15 pounds ^ . . . 
Corn stover = 10 pounds . . . 
Corn ensilage = 30 pounds . . . 
Cotton-seed meal = 2 pounds . . 


i3^5o 
5^95 

6.27 
I. S3 


1.62 
•17 

•27 
•74 


579 

1 3-24 

3-39 

•33 


.16 
.07 
.21 

.24 


Total = 57 pounds .... 


-7^55 


2. So 


12.75 


.6S 



^ Alfalfa or clover hay may take the place of cowpea hay. 



296 AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 

Care of the Cow. As the cow is one of the best money- 
makers on the farm, she should, for this reason, if for no 
other, be comfortably housed, well fed and watered, and 
most kindly treated. In your thoughts for her well-being, 
bear the follo\A"ing directions in mind : 

1. If you are not following a balanced ration, feed each 
day several different kinds of food. In this way you will 
be least likely to waste food. 

2. Feed at regular hours. ' Cows, like people, thrive best 
when their hves are orderly. 

3. Milk at regular hours. 

4. Brush the udder carefully with a moist cloth before 
you begin to milk. Cleanliness in handling makes the 
milk keep longer. 

5. Always milk in buckets or cups that have been scalded 
since the last using. The hot water kills the bacteria that 
collect in the dents or cracks of the utensil. 

6. Never let the milk pail remain in the stable. Milk 
rapidly absorbs impurities. These spoil the flavor and cause 
the milk to sour. 

7. Xever scold or strike the cow. She is a ner\-ous 
animal, and rough usage checks the milk flow. 




^ 




FARM DAIRYING 



297 



SECTION LXI. MILK, CREAM, CHURNING, 
AND BUTTER 

Milk. ]\Iilk is, as you know, nature's first food for mam- 
mals. This is because milk is a model food — it contains 
water to slake thirst, ash to make bone, protein to make 
flesh and muscle, and fat and sugar to keep the body warm 
and to furnish energy. 

The Different Kinds of Milk. Whole, or unskimmed, 
milk, skimmed milk, and buttermilk are too familiar to need 
description. When a cow is just fresh, her milk is called 
colostJiim. Colostrum is rich in the ver\' food that the baby 
calf needs. After the calf is a few days old, colostrum 
changes to what is commonly known as milk. 

The following table shows the composition of each of the 
different forms of milk : 



Composition of Milk 



Digestible Matter in 100 Pounds 



Dry 
matter 



Protein 



Carbo- 
hydrates 



Fat 



Colostrum 
Milk (unskimmed) 
Skimmed milk . 
Buttermilk . . 



25.4 
12.8 

94 
9.9 



17.6 
3-6 

2.9 

3-9 



2-7 
4.9 

5-2 

4.0 



3-6 
37 
1-3 



A noticeable fact in this table is that skimmed milk differs 
from unskimmed mainly in the withdrawal of the fat. Hence, 
if calves are fed on skimmed milk, they should have in addi- 
tion some food like corn meal to take the place of the fat 
withdrawn. A calf cannot thrive on skimmed milk alone. The 
amount of nourishing fat that a calf gets out of enough milk 
to make a pound of butter can be bought, in the form of lin- 
seed or corn meal, for one or two cents, while the butter-fat 



298 



AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 



is worth, for table use, thirtj-five cents. Of course, then, 
it is not economical to allow calves to use unskimmed milk. 
Some people undervalue skimmed milk ; with the addition 
of some fatty food, it makes an excellent ration for calves, 
pigs, and fowls. 

Cieam. Cream is simply a mixture of butter-fat and milk. 
The butter-fat floats in the milk in little dobe-shaued bodies. 




or globules. Since these glolniles are lighter than milk, they 
rise to the surface. Skimming the milk is a mere gathering 
tc^ether of these butter-fat globules. As most of the butter- 
fat is contained in the cream, pains should be taken to get 
all the cream from the nulk at skimming time. 

After the cream has been collected, it must be allowed 
to " ripen " or to " sour " in order that it may be more easily 
churned- Churning is only a second step to collect in a compact 
shape the fat globules. It often happens that at chuming-time 



FARM DAIRYING 



299 



the cream is too warm for successful separation of the glob- 
ules. Whenever this is the case the cream must be cooled. 

The Churn. Revolving churns without inside fixtures are 
best. Hence, in buying, select a barrel or a square box churn. 




(^ \ 



Fic. 271. A Hand Skpakator 

This kind of churn '" brings the butter " by the falling of the 
cream from side to side as the churn is revolved. Never fill 
the churn more than one-third or one-half full of cream. 
A small churn is always to be avoided. 

Churning. The proper temperature for churning ranges 
from 58° to 62° Fahrenheit. Test the cream when it is put 



300 



AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 



into the churn. If it be too cold, add warm water until the 
proper temperature is reached ; if too warm, add cold water 
or ice until the temperature is brought down to 62°. Do not 
churn too long, for this spoils butter. As soon as the granules 
of butter are somewhat smaller than grains of wheat, stop 
the churn. Then draw off the buttermilk and at a temper- 
ature as low as 50° wash the butter in the churn. This 

washing with cold water 
so hardens the granules 
that they do not mass 
too solidly and thus de- 
stroy the grain. 

Butter. The butter so 
churned is now ready to 
be salted. Use good fine 
daity salt. Coarse barrel 
salt is not fit for butter. 
The salt can be added 
while the butter is still 
in the churn or after it 
is put upon the butter- 
worker. Never work by 
hand. The object of work- 
ing is to get the salt 
evenly distributed and to drive out some of the brine. It is 
usually best to work butter twice. The two workings bring 
about a more even mixture of the salt with the butter and 
drive off mpre water. But one cannot be too particular not 
to overwork butter. Delicate coloring, attractive stamping 
with the dair}- owner's special stamp, and proper covering 
with paper cost little and of course add to the ready and 
profitable sale of butter. 




Fig. 2: 



A Power Churn 



FARM DAIRYING 301 

Dairv Rules 

Stable and Cows 

1 . Whitewash the stable once or twice each year : use land plaster, 
muck, or loam daily in the manure-gutters. 

2. On their way to pasture or milking-place, do not allow the cows 
to be driven at a faster gait than a comfortable walk. 

3. Give abundance of pure water. 

4. Do not change feed suddenly. 

1;. Keep salt always within reach of each cow. 

Milking 

1. Milk with dr}- hands. 

2. Never allow the milk to touch the milker's hands. 

3. Require the milker to be clean in person and dress. 

4. ^lilk quietly, quickly, thoroughly. Never leave a drop of milk 
in the cow's udder. 

5. Do not allow cats, dogs, or other animals around at milking-time. 

L 'tensils 

1. Use only tin or metal cans and pails. 

2. See that all utensils are thoroughly clean and free from rust. 

3. Require all cans and pails to be scalded immediately after they 
are used. < 

4. After milking, keep the utensils inverted in pure air, and sun them, 
if possible, until they are wanted for use. 

5. Always sterilize the churn with steam or boiling water before and 
after churning. This prevents any odors or bad flavors from affecting 
the butter. All cans, pails, and bottles should also be sterilized daily. 

n 




302 AGRICULTURE FOR BEGIXXERS 

SECTION LXII. HOW MILK SOURS 

On another page you have been told how the yeast plant 
grows in cider and causes it to sour, and how bacteria some- 
times cause disease in animals and plants. Now you must 
learn what these same living fomis have to do \nth tlie 
souring of milk, and maybe \ou will not forget how you can 
prevent your milk from souring. In the first place, milk 
sours because bacteria from the air fall into the milk, begin 



r 






o M-vo ^n " o ou 




O OQ 



o 



Fig. 27^. Microscopic ArrEAR.A.NCE of Pure and Impure Milk 

At the left, pure milk : at the right, milk after standing in a \rarm room for a few- 
hours in a dirty dish, showing, besides the fat-globules, many fonns of bacteria 

to grow, and ven- shortlv change the sugar of the milk to an 
acid. When this acid becomes abundant, the milk begins to 
curdle. As vou know, the bacteria are in air, in water, and 
in bam dust ; they stick on bits of hay and stick to the cow. 
They are most plentiful, however, in milk that has soured ; 
hence, if we pour a little sour milk into a pail of fresh milk, 
the fresh milk \nll sour ver\- quickly, because we have, so 
to speak, "'seeded'" or "planted"" the fresh milk with the 
souring germs. No one, of course, ever does this purposely 
in the dair\-, vet people sometimes do what amounts to die 
same thing — that is, put fresh mOk into poorly cleaned 



FARM DAIRYING 303 

pails or pans, the cracks and corners of which are cozv 
homes for miUions of germs left from the last sour milk 
contained in the vessel. It follows, then, that all utensils 
used in the dair}- should be thoroughly scalded so as to kill 
all germs present, and particular care should be taken to 
clean the cracks and crevices, for in them the germs lurk. 

In addition to this thorough cleansing with hot water, we 
should be careful never to stir up the dust of the bam just 
before milking. Such dust}- work as pitching hay or stover 
or arranging bedding should be done either after or long 
before milking-time, for more germs fall into the milk if 
the air be full of dust. 

To further avoid germs the milker should wear clean 
overalls, should have clean hands, and, above all, should never 
wet his hands with milk. This last habit, in addition to being 
filthy, lessens the keeping power of the milk. The milker 
should also moisten the parts of the cow which are nearest 
him, so that dust from the cow's sides mav not fall into 
the milker's pail. For greater cleanliness and safetv manv 
milkmen curr\- their cows. 

The first few streams from each teat should be thrown 
away, because the teat at its mouth is filled with milk which, 
haWng been exposed to the air, is full of germs, and will do 
much toward souring the other milk in the pail. Barely a gill 
will be lost by thro\^•ing the first drawings away, and this of 
the poorest milk too. The increase in the keeping quality 
of the milk will much more than repay the small loss. If 
these precautions are taken, the milk will keep several 
hours or even several days longer than milk carelessly 
handled. By taking these steps to prevent germs from fall- 
ing into the milk, a can of milk was once kept sweet for 
thirts'-one davs. 



304 AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 

The work of the germ in the dmry is not, however, con- 
fined to souring the milk. Certain kinds of germs give to 
the different sorts of cheeses their marked flavors and to 
butter its flavor. If the right germ is present, cheese or 
butter gets a proper flavor. Sometimes undesirable germs 
gain entrance and give flavors that we do not like. Such 
germs produce cheese or butter diseases. " Bitter butter " is 
one of these diseases. To keep out all unpleasant meddlers, 
thoroughly cleanse and scald ever}^ utensil. 

EXERCISE 

\Miat causes milk to sour ? WTiy do unclean utensils affect the milk ? 
How should milk be cared for to preA^ent its souring.' Prepare two 
samples, one carefully, the other carelessly. Place them side by side. 
Which keeps longer? Why? 

SECTION LXIII. THE BABCOCK MILK-TESTER 

It is not sufficient for a farmer or a dair\-man to know how 
much milk each of his c'ows yields. He should also know 
how rich the milk is in butter-fat. \\'ide-awake makers of 
butter and cheese now buy milk, not by the pound or bv the 
gallon, but b}- the amount of butter-fat contained in each 
pound or gallon of milk. A gallon of milk containing four 
and a half per cent of fat will consequently be worth more 
than a gallon containing only three per cent of fat. So it 
mav happen that a cow gi^"ing only two gallons of milk may 
pay a butter-maker more than a cow giving three gallons of 
milk. Of course it is easy to weigh or measure the quantit}' of 
milk given by a cow, and most milkers keep this record ; but 
until recent years there was no way to find out the amount of 
fat in a cow's milk except by a slow and costly chemical test. 
Dain'men could only guess at the richness of milk. 



FARM DAIRYING 305 

In 1890 Dr. S. M. Babcock of the Wisconsin Experi- 
ment Station invented a wonderful little machine that quickly 
and cheaply measures the fat in milk. Few machines are 
more useful. So desirous was Dr. Babcock of helping the 
farmers that he would not add to the cost of his machine by 
taking out a patent on his invention. His only reward has 
been the fame won by the invention of the machine, which 
bears his name. This most useful tester is now made in vari- 
ous sizes so that ever}' handler of milk may buy one suited 
to his needs and do his own testing at very little cost. 

The operation of the machine is very simple. Suppose 
that the members of the class studying this book have been 
asked to take a Babcock machine and test the milk of a small 
herd of cows. They can readily do so by following these 
directions : 

While the milk is still warm from the first cow to be tested, 
mix it thoroughly by pouring it at least four times from one 
vessel to another. A few ounces of this mixed milk is then 
taken for a sample, and carefully marked with the name of 
the cow. A number is also put on the sample, and both the 
cow's name and the number entered in a notebook. A small 
glass instrument, called a pipette, comes with each machine. 
Put one end of the pipette into the milk sample and the other 
end into the mouth. Suck milk into the pipette until the milk 
comes up to the mark on the side of the pipette. As soon 
as the mark is reached, withdraw the pipette from the mouth 
and quickly press the forefinger on the mouth end. The 
pressure of the finger will keep the milk from running out. 
Then put the lower end of the pipette into one of the small 
long-necked bottles of the machine, and, lifting the finger, 
allow the milk to flow gently into the bottle. Expel all the 
milk by blowing through the pipette. 



3o6 AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 

The next step is to add a strong, biting acid known as 
sulphuric acid to the test-bottle into which you have just 
put the milk. A glass marked to show just how much acid 
to use also comes with the machine. Fill this glass measure 
to the mark. Then pour the acid carefully into the test- 
bottle. Be sure not to drop any of the acid on your hands or 
vour clothes. As the acid is heavier than the milk, it will sink 
to the bottom of the bottle. With a gentle whirling motion, 
shake the bottle until the two fluids are thoroughly mixed. 
The mixture will turn a dark bro\Mi and become ven- warm. 

Xow fill the other bottles in the same way with samples 
drawn from different cows. Treat all the samples precisely 
as you did the first. Do not forget to put on each sample 
the name of the cow giving the milk and on each test-bottle 
a number corresponding to the name of the cow. 

You are now ready to put the test-bottles in the sockets of 
the machine. Arrange the bottles in the sockets so that the 
whirling frame of the machine will be balanced. Fit the cover 
on the machine and turn the handle slowly. Gradually gain 
in speed until the machine is whirled rapidly. Continue the 
turning for about seven minutes at the speed stated in the 
book of directions. 

After this first turning is finished, pour enough hot water 
into each test-bottle to cause the fat to rise to the neck of 
the bottle. Re-cover the machine and turn for one minute. 
Again add hot water to each bottle until all the fat rises into 
the neck of the bottle and again turn one minute. 

There remains now only the reading of the record. On 
the neck of each bottle there are marks to measure the amount 
of fat. If the fat inside the tube reaches only from the low- 
est mark to the second mark, then there is only one per cent 
of fat in this cow's milk. This means that the owner of the 



FARM DAIRYING 307 

cow gets only one pound of butter-fat from each hundred 
pounds of her milk. Such a cow would not be at all profit- 
able to a butter-seller. If the fat in another test-bottle reaches 
from the lowest mark to the fourth mark, then you put in 
your record-book that this cow's milk contains four per cent 
of butter-fat. This record shows that the second cow's milk 




F:c,. zjj^. l;.v;_u^K Tl^ilk and how to use n 

The tester, acid, acid measure, test-bottle, and thermometer at bottom : filling the 
pipette on right : adding the acid and measuring the fat at top 

}ields four pounds of fat to ever}- hundred pounds of milk. 
This cow is three times more valuable to a butter-maker than 
the first cow. In the same way add one more per cent for 
each higher mark reached by the fat. Four and one-half per 
cent is a good record for a cow to make. Some cows vield 
as high as five or six per cent, but they do not generally keep 
up this record all the year. 



3o8 AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 

The Babcock tester shows only the amount of pure butter- 
fat in the milk. It does not tell the exact amount of finished 
butter which is made from lOO pounds of milk. This is 
because butter contains a few other things in addition to 
pure butter-fat. Finished and salted butter weighs on an 
average about one sbcth more than the fat shown by the 
tester. Hence to get the exact amount of butter in every 
lOO pounds of milk, you wiU have to add one sixth to the 
record shown by the tester. Suppose, for example, you took 
one sample from 600 pounds of mUk and that your test 
showed 4 per cent of fat in ever)' 100 pounds of milk. 
Then, as you had 600 pounds of milk, you would have 
24 pounds of butter-fat. This fat, after it has been salted 
and after it has absorbed moisture as butter does, will gain 
one sixth in weight. As one sixth of 24 is 4, this new 
4 pounds must be added to the weight of the butter-fat. 
Hence the 600 pounds of milk would produce about 
28 pounds of butter. 

EXERCISE 

1. Find the number of pounds of butter in 1200 pounds of milk 
that tests 3 per cent of butter-fat. 

2. A cow yields 4800 pounds of milk in a year. Her milk tests 4 
per cent of butter-fat. Find the total amount of butter-fat she jields. 
Find also the total amount of butter. 

3. The milk of two cows was tested : one jnelded in a year 6000 
pounds of mUk that tested 3 per cent of fat: the other yielded 5000 
p>ounds that tested 4 per cent. Which cow \-ielded the more butter- 
fat? What was the money value of the butter produced by each if 
butter-fat is worth twent)--five cents a pound.' 



CHAPTER XII 

MISCELLANEOUS 

SECTION LXIV. GROWING FEED STUFFS ON THE 

FARM 

Economy in raising live stock demands the production 
of all '■ roughness " or roughage materials on the farm. By 
roughness, or roughage, of course }ou understand that bulky 
food, like hay, grass, clover, stover, etc., is meant. It is 
possible to purchase all roughage materials and yet make a 
financial success of growing farm animals, but this certainly 
is not the surest way to succeed. Ever\- farm should raise 
all its feed stuffs. In deciding what forage and grain crops 
to grow we should decide : 

1. The crops best suited to our soil and climate. 

2. The crops best suited to our line of business. 

3. The crops that will give us the most protein. 

4. The crops that produce the most. 

5. The crops that ^^^ll keep our soil in the best condition. 

I. The crops best suited to our soil and climate. Farm 
crops, as ever}- child of the farm knows, are not equallv 
adapted to all soils and climates. Cotton cannot be produced 
where the climate is cool and the seasons short. Timothy 
and blue grass are most productive on cool, limestone soils. 
Cowpeas demand warm, dr)' soils. But in spite of climatic 
limitations, Nature has been generous in the wide variet}' of 
forage she has given us. 

•^ 309 



,IO 



AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 



Our aim should be to make the best use of what we have, 
to improve by selection and care those kinds best adapted to 
our soil and climate, and to secure, by better methods of grow- 
ing and curing, the greatest yields at the least possible cost, 

2. The crops best suited to our line of business. A farmer 
necessarily becomes more or less of a specialist ; he gathers 
those kinds of live stock about him which he likes best 
and which he finds the most profitable. He should, on his 
farm, select for his main crops those that he can grow with 
the greatest pleasure and with the greatest profit. 



4^^^T 





Filling the Barn 



Farm 



The successful railroad manager determines by practical 
experience what distances his engines and crews ought to 
run in a day, what coal is most economical for his engines, 
what schedules best suit the needs of his road, what trains 
pay him best. These and a thousand and one other matters 
are settled by the special needs of his road. 

Ought the man who wants to make his farm pay be less 
prudent and less far-sighted ? Should not his past failures 



MISCELLANEOUS 31 1 

and his past triumphs decide his future ? If he be a dair)' 
farmer, ought he not by practical tests to settle for himself 
not only what crops are most at home on his land but also 
what crops in his circumstances yield him the largest returns 
in milk and butter ? If swine-raising be his business, how 
long ought he to guess what crop on his land yields him 
the greatest amount of hog food ? Should a colt be fed on 
one kind of forage when the land that produced that forage 
would produce twice as much equally good forage of another 
kind ? All these questions the prudent farmer should answer 
promptly and in the light of wise experiments. 

3. The crops that li- ill give us the most protein. It is the 
farmer's business to grow all the grass and forage tliat his farm 
animals need. He ought never to be obliged to purchase a 
bale of forage. ^Moreover, he should grow mainly those crops 
that are rich in protein materials, for example, cowpeas, 
alfalfa, and clover. If such crops are produced on the farm, 
there will be little need of buying so much cotton-seed meal, 
corn, and bran for feeding purposes. 

4. TJie erops that produce the most. We often call a crop 
a crop without considering how much it yields. This is a 
mistake. We ought to grow, when we have choice of two 
crops, the one that is the best and the most productive on the 
farm. Average corn, for instance, yields on an acre at least 
twice the quantity of feeding-material that timothy does. 

5. Tiic crops that loill keep our soil in the best conditioji. 
A good farmer should always be thinking of how to improve 
his soil. He wants his land to support him and to maintain 
his children after he is dead. 

Since coupeas, clover, and alfalfa add atmospheric nitrogen 
to the soil and at the same time are the best feeding-materials, 
it follows that these crops should hold an important place in 



312 AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 

even- system of crop-rotation. By proper rotating, by proper 
terracing, and by proper drainage, land may be made to retain 
its fertilit\- for generations. 

EXERCISE 

1. Wliy are cowpeas, clover, and aifalfa so important to the fanner? 

2. A\~hat is meant by the protein of a food? 

3. Why is it better to feed the farm crops to animals on the farm 
rather than to sell these crops ? 



SECTION LXV. FAR:^I TOOLS -\ND MACHINES 

The drudgen- of farm life is being lessened from year 
to year by the invention or improvement of farm tools and 
machines. Perhaps some of you knovF how tiresome was 
the old uj>-and-down chum dasher that has now generall}' 
given place to the " quick-coming " chums. The toothed, 
horse-drawn culti^^tor has nearly displaced " the man with 
the hoe," while the scj-the, slow and back-breaking, is everv- 
where getting out of the way of the mowing-machine and 
the horserake. The old heavy, sweat-drawing grain-cradle is 
slinking into the backwoods, and in its place we have the 
horse-drawn or steam-drawn har\-ester that cuts and binds 
the grain, and even threshes and measures it at one opera- 
tion. Instead of the plowman's wearily making one furrow 
at a time, the gang-plows of the plains cut many furrows at 
one time, and instead of walking the plowman rides. The 
shredder and busker turns the hitherto useless cornstalk into 
food, and at the same time husks, or shucks, the com. 

The farmer of the futiu-e must know three things well : 
first, what machines he can profitably use ; second, how to man- 
age these machines ; third, how to care for these machines. 




313 




Fig. 27S. The Harvester at Work 




Fig. 279. In Need uf Impkuvemext 



314 



MISCELLANEOUS 315 

The machinerv' that makes farming so much more eco- 
nomical and that makes the farmer's Hfe so much easier and 
more comfortable is too complicated to be put into the hands 
of bunglers who will soon destroy it, and it is too costly to be 
left in the fields or under trees to rust and rot. 

If it is not convenient for ever}' farmer to have a separate 
tool-house, he should at least set apart a room in his bam, or 
a shed for storing his tools and machines. As soon as a 
plow, harrow, cultivator — indeed any tool or machine — has 
finished its share of work for the season, it should receive 
whatever attention it needs to prevent rusting, and should 
be carefully housed. 

Such care, which is neither costly nor burdensome, will 
add many years to the life of a machine. 

SECTION LXVL LIMING THE LAND 

Occasionall}-, when a cook puts too much vinegar in a salad, 
the dish becomes so sour that it is unfit to eat. The vinegar 
which the cook uses belongs to a large group of compounds 
known as acids. The acids are common in nature. They 
have the power not only of making salads sour but also of 
making land sour. Frequently land becomes so sour from 
acids forming in it that it will not bear its usual crops. 
The acids must then be removed or the land will become 
useless. 

The land may be soured in several ways. Whenever a large 
amount of vegetable matter decays in land, acids are formed, 
and at times sourness of the soil results. Often soils sour 
because they are not well drained or because, from lack of 
proper tillage, air cannot make its way into the soil. Some- 
times all these causes may combine to produce sourness. 



3i6 AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 

Since most crops cannot thrive on very sour soil, the farmer 
must find some method of making his land sweet again. 

So far as we now know, liming the land is the cheapest 
and surest way of overcoming the sourness. In addition to 
sweetening the soil by overcoming the acids, lime aids the 
land in other ways : it quickens the growth of helpful bac- 
teria ; it loosens stiff, heavy clay soils and thereby fits them 
for easier tillage ; it indirectly sets free the potash and 
phosphoric acid so much needed by plants ; and it increases 
the capillarity of soils. 

However, too much must not be expected of lime. Often 
a farmer's yield is so increased after he has scattered lime 
over his fields that he thinks that lime alone will keep his 
land fertile. This belief explains the saying, " Lime enriches 
the father but beggars the son." The continued use of lime 
without other fertilization will indeed leave poor land for the 
son. Lime is just as necessary to plant growth as the potash 
and nitrogen and phosphoric acid about which we hear so 
much, but it cannot take the place of these plant foods. Its 
duty is to aid, not to displace them. 

We can tell by the taste when salads are too sour ; it is 
more difficult to find out whether land is sour. There are, 
however, some methods that will help to determine the 
sourness of the soil. 

In the first place, if land is unusually sour, you can deter- 
mine this fact by a simple test. Buy a pennyworth of blue 
litmus paper from a drug store. Mix some of the suspected 
soil with a little water and bury the litmus paper in the 
mixture. If the paper turns red the soil is sour. 

In the second place, the leguminous crops are fond of lime. 
Clover and vetch remove so much lime from the soil that 
they are often called lime plants. If clover and vetch refuse 



MISCELLANEOUS 317 

to grow on land on which they formerly flourished, it is gen- 
erall}-, though not always, a sign that the land needs lime. 

In the third place, when water grasses and certain weeds 
spring up on land, that land is usually acid, and lime will be 
helpful. Moreover, fields adjoining land on which cranberries, 
raspberries, blackberries, or gallberries are growing wild, may 
always be suspected of more or less sourness. 

Four forms of lime are used on land. These, each called 
by different names, are as follows : 

First, quicklime, which is also called burnt lime, caustic 
lime, builders' lime, rock lime, and unslaked lime. 

Second, air-slaked lime, which is also known as carbonate 
of lime, agricultural lime, marl, and limestone. 

Third, water-slaked, or hydrated, lime. 

Fourth, land plaster, or g}-psum. This form of lime is 
known to the chemists as sulphate of lime. Do not forget 
that this last form is never to be used on sour lands. We 
shall therefore not consider it further. 

Air-slaked lime is simply quicklime which has taken from 
the air a gas called carbon dioxide. This is the same gas that 
you breathe out from your lungs. 

Water-slaked lime is quicklime to which water has been 
added. In other words, both of these are merely weakened 
forms of quicklime. One hundred pounds of quicklime is 
equal in richness to 132 pounds of water-slaked lime and 
to 17S pounds of air-slaked lime. These figures should be 
remembered by a farmer when he is buying lime. If he can 
buy a fair grade of quicklime delivered at his railway station 
for S5.00 a ton, he cannot afford to pay more than S3. 7 5 a 
ton for water-slaked lime, nor more than $2.75 for air-slaked 
lime of equal grade. Quicklime should always be slaked 
before it is applied to the soil. 



3l8 AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 

As a rule lime should be spread broadcast and then har- 
rowed or disked thoroughly into the soil. This is best done 
after the ground has been plowed. For pastures or meadows 
air-slaked lime is used as a top-dressing. When air-slaked lime 
is used it may be spread broadcast in the spring ; the other 
forms should be apphed in the fall or in the early winter. 



SECTION LX\'II. BIRDS 

What do birds do in the world .' is an important question 
for us to think about. First, we must gain by observation 
and by personal acquaintance with the U\-ing birds a knowl- 
edge of their work and their way of doing it. In getting this 
knowledge, let us also consider what we can do for our birds 
to render their work as complete and effective as possible. 

Think of what the birds are doing on even* farm, in even- 
garden, and about even- home in the land. Think of the 
milhons of beautiful wings, of the graceful and attractive 
figures, of the cunning nests, and of the singing throats! 
Do you think that the whole senice of the birds is to be 
beautiful, to sing charmingly, and to rear their Utde ones ? 
By no means is this their chief service to man. Aside from 
these services the greatest work of birds is to destroy insects. 
It is one of the wise provisions of nature that many of the 
most brilliandy winged and most enchanting songsters are 
our most practical friends. 

Not all birds feed on insects and animals ; but even 
those that eat but a small amount of insect food may still 
destroy insects that would have damaged fruit and crops 
much more than the birds themselves do. 

As to their food, birds are divided into three general 
classes. First, those that live whoUy or almost whoUv on 



MISCELLANEOUS 



319 



insects. These are called insectivorous birds. Chief among 
these are the warblers, cuckoos, swallows, martins, flycatchers, 
nighthawks. whippoorwills, swifts, and humming-birds. W'e 
cannot have too many of these birds. They should be 
encouraged and protected. They should be supplied with 
shelter and water. 

Birds of the second class 
feed by preference on fruits, 
nuts, and grain. The blue- 
bird, robin, wood thrush, 
mocking-bird, catbird, chick- 
adee, cedar-bird, meadow lark, 
oriole, jay, crow, and wood- 
pecker belong to this group. 
These birds never fail to per- 
form a service for us by de- 
vouring many weed seeds. 

The third class is knoun 
as the hard-billed birds. It 
includes those birds which 
live principally on seeds and 
grain — the canan,-, goldfinch, sparrow, and some others. 

Birds that come early, like the bluebird, robin, and red- 
wing, are of special service in destroying insects before the 
insects lay their eggs for the season. 

The robins on the lawn search out the caterpillars and cut- 
worms. The chipping sparrow and the wren in the shrubber\^ 
look out for all kinds of insects. They watch over the orchard 
and feed freely on the enemies of the apple and other fruit 
trees. The trunks of these trees are often attacked bv borers, 
which gnaw holes in the bark and wood, and often cause 
the death of the trees. The woodpeckers hunt for these 




Fig. 2S0. A Kingbird 



!20 



AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 



appetizing borers and by means of their barbed tongues bring 
them from their hiding-places. On the outside of the bark 
of the trunk and branches the bark hce work. These are 
devoured by the nuthatches, creepers, and chickadees. 

During the winter the bark is the hiding-place for hiber- 
nating insects, which, like plant lice, feed in summer on the 

leaves. Throughout the 
winter a single chickadee 
will destroy great num- 
bers of the eggs of tlie 
cankerworm moth and 
of the plant louse. The 
blackbirds, meadow larks, 
crows, quail, and sparrows 
are the gi'eat protectors 
of the meadow and field 
crops. These birds feed 
on the army wonns and 
cutworms that do so 
much injury to the young 
shoots ; thev also destroy 
the chinch bug and the 
grasshopper, both of which feed on cultivated plants. 

A count of all the different kinds of animals shows that 
insects make up nine tenths of them. Hence it is easy to see 
that if something did not check their increase they would soon 
almost overrun the earth. Our forests and orchards furnish 
homes and breeding-places for most of these insects. Suppose 
the injurious insects were allowed to multiply unchecked in 
the forests, their numbers would so increase that they would 
invade our fields and create as much terror among the farmers 
as they did in Pharaoh's Eg^;pt. The birds are the only direct 




Fig. 2S1. A Warbler 



MISCELLANEOUS 



321 



friends man has to destroy these harmful insects. What 
benefactors, then, these Httle feathered neighbors are ! 

It has been estimated that a bird will devour thirty insects 
daily. Even in a widely extended forest region a very few birds 
to the acre, if they kept up this rate, would daily destroy many 
bushels of insects that would play havoc with the neighboring 
orchards and fields. 

Do not imagine, 
however, that to de- 
stroy insects is the 
only use of birds. 
The da)- is far more 
delightful when the 
birds sing, and when 
we see them flit in 
and out, giving us a 
glimpse now and then 
of their pretty coats 
and quaint ways. By 
giving them a home 
we can suiTound our- 
selves with many birds, sweet of song and brilliant of plumage. 

If the birds felt that man were a friend and not a foe, they 
would often turn to him for protection. During times of 
severe storm, extreme drought, or scarcity of food, if the birds 
were sufficiently tamed to come to man as their friend, as 
they do in rare cases now, a little food and shelter might 
tide them over the hard time and their service afterwards 
would repay the outlay a thousandfold. If the boys in your 
families would build bird-houses about the house and barn 
and in shade trees, they might save yearly a great number 
of birds. In building these places of shelter and comfort, due 




Fig. 282. The Hairy Woodpecker 



322 AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 

care must be taken to keep them clear of English sparrows 
and out of the reach of cats and bird-dogs. 

Whatever we do to attract the birds to make homes on 
the premises must be done at the right time and in the right 
wa\-. Think out carefully what materials to pro\'ide for them. 
Bits of string, linen, cotton, }am, tow and other waste 
material, all help to induce a pair to build in the garden. 




Fig. ::S3. Protecting oir Friends 

It is an interesting study — the preparation of homes for 
the birds. Trees mav be pruned to make in\iting crotches. 
A tangled, overgro\\Ti comer in the garden will in\-ite some 
birds to nest. 

Wrens, bluebirds, chickadees, martins, and some other 
varieties are all glad to set up housekeeping in man-made 
houses. The proper size for a bird-room is easily remem- 
bered. Give each room six square inches of floor space and 
make it eight inches high. Old, weathered boards should be 
used ; or, if paint is employed, a dull color to resemble an 



MISCELLANEOUS 323 

old tree-trunk will be most inviting. A single opening near 
the top should be made two inches in diameter for the larger 
birds ; but if the house is to be headquarters for the wren, 
a one-inch opening is quite large enough, and the small door 
ser\'es all the better to keep out English sparrows. 

The barn attic should be turned over to the swallows. 
Small holes may be cut high up in the gables and left open 
during the time that the swallows remain with us. They 
will more than pay for shelter by the good work they do in 
ridding the barn of flies, gnats, and mosquitoes. 

SECTION LXVIII. FARMING ON DRY LANDS 

Almost in the center of the western half of our continent 
there is a vast area in which very little rain falls. This sec- 
tion includes nearly three hundred million acres of land. It 
stretches from Canada on the north into Texas on the south, 
and from the Missouri River (including the Dakotas and 
western Minnesota) on the east to the Rocky Mountains on 
the west. In this great area farming has to be done with little 
water. This sort of farming is therefore called "dry-farming." 

The soil in this section is as a rule very fertile. There- 
fore the difference between farming in this dry belt and 
farming in most of the other sections of our country is a 
difference mainly due to a lack of moisture. 

As water is so scarce in this region two things are of 
the utmost importance : first, to save all the rain as it 
falls ; second, to save all the water after it has fallen. To 
save the falling rain it is necessary for the ground to be 
in such a condition that none of the much-needed rain may 
mn off. Every drop should go into the soil. Hence the 
farmer should never allow his top soil to harden into a crust. 



324 



AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 



Such a crust will keep the rain from sinking into the thirsty 
soil. Moreover the soil should be deeply plowed. The deeper 
the soil the more water it can hold. The land should also 
be kept as porous as possible, for water enters a porous soil 
freely. The addition of humus in the form of vegetable 
manures will keep the soil in the porous condition needed. 
Second, after the water has entered the soil it is important 
to hold it there so that it may supply the gro\dng crops. If 




Fig. 2S4. The Disk Harrow 



the land is allowed to remain untilled after a rain or during 
a hot spell, the water in it will evaporate too rapidly and thus 
the soil, like a well, vsill go dr)' too soon. To prevent this the 
top soil should be stirred frequently \\"ith a disk or smoothing 
harrow. This stirring will form a mulch of dr}' soil on the 
surface, and this will hold the water. Other forms of mulch 
have been suggested, but the soil mulch is the only practical 
one. It must be borne in mind that this surface cultivation 
must be regular!}- kept up if the moisture is to be retained. 



MISCELLANEOUS 



325 



Some experiments in wheat-growing have shown how 
readily water might be saved if plowing were done at the 
right time. Wheat sowed on land that was plowed as soon as 
the summer crops were taken off yielded a very much larger 
return than wheat sowed on land that remained untilled for 
some time after the summer crops were gathered. This 




Fig. 2S5. Red Kafir Corn in Shock 



difference in yield on lands of the same fertility was due to 
the fact that the early plowing enabled the land to take up 
a sufficient quantity of moisture. 

In addition to a vigilant catching and saving of water, the 
farmer in these dr)' climates must give his land the same 
careful attention that lands in other regions need. The seed- 
bed should be most carefully prepared. It should be deep, 
porous, and excellent in tilth. During the growing season 
all crops should be frequently cultivated. The harrow, the 



326 AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 

cultivator, and the plow should be kept busy. The soil should 
be kept abundantly supplied with humus. 

Some crops need a little different management in dry- 
farming. Com, for example, does best when it is listed ; 
that is, planted so that it will come up three or four inches 
beneath the surface. If planted in this way, it roots better, 
stands up better, and requires less work. 

Just as breeders study what animals are best for their 
climates, so farmers in the dr\' belt should study what crops 
are best suited to their lands. Some crops, like the sorghums 
and Kafir com, are peculiarly at home in scantily watered 
lands. Others do not thrive. Experience is the only sure 
guide to the proper selection. 

To sum up, then, farmers can grow good crops in these 
lands only when four things are done : first, the land must 
be thoroughly tilled so that water can freel}' enter the soil ; 
second, the land must be frequently cultivated so that the 
water \\i\\ be kept in the soil ; third, the crops must be 
properly rotated so as to use to best advantage the food and 
water supply ; fourth, humus must be freely supplied so as 
to keep the soil in the best possible condition. 

SECTION LXIX. IRRIGATION 

Irrigation is the name given to the plan of supplying water 
in large quantities to gi'owing crops. Since the dawn of his- 
tOR- this practice has been more or less followed in Asia, in 
Africa, and in Europe. The Spanish settlers in the south- 
western part of America were probably the first to introduce 
this custom into our countn\ In New ^lexico there is an 
irrigating trench that has been in constant use for three 
hundred vears. 



MISCELLANEOUS 



)27 



The most common source of water for irrigating purposes 
is a river or a smaller stream. Artesian wells are used in 
some parts of the country. Windmills are sometimes used 
when only a small supply of water is needed. Engines, 
hydraulic rams, and water-wheels are also employed. The 
water-wheel is one of the oldest and one of the most useful 
methods of raising water from streams. There are thousands 
of these in use in the dw regions of the West. Small 




Fig. 2S6. I'uMi'iNG Water fuk Ikkigahon 



buckets are fastened to a large wheel, which is turned by the 
current of a stream. As the wheel turns, the buckets are 
filled, raised, and then emptied into a trough called a flume. 
The water flows through the flume into the irrigating ditches, 
which distribute it as it is needed in the fields. In some 
parts of California and other comparatively dry sections, 
wells are sunk in or near the beds of underground streams, 
and then the water is pumped into ditches which convey it 
to the fields to be irrigated. 



328 



AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 



Engines are often used for pumping water from streams 
and transferring it to ditches or canals. The canals distribute 
the w^ter over the land or over the growing crops. 

None of these methods, however, can be used for watering 
ver}^ large areas of land. Hence, as the value of farm lands 
increased other methods were sought. Shrewd men began 
to turn longing eyes on the wide stretches of barren land in 
the West. They knew that these waste lands, seemingly so 




Fig. 2S-. The Main Ditch of an Irrigation Plant 

unfertile, would become most fruitful as soon as water was 
turned on them. Could water enough be found ? New plans 
to pen up floods of water were prepared, and immense sums 
were spent in carr}dng out these plans. Enormous dams of 
cemented stone were thro^^•n across the gorges in the foot- 
hills of the mountains. Behind these solid dams the water 
from the rains and the melting snow of the mountains was 
backed for miles, and was at once ready to chaiige barrenness 
into fruitfulness. The stored water is led bv means of main 



MISCELLANEOUS 



329 



canals and cross ditches wherever it is needed, and countless 
acres have been brought under cultivation. 

Water is generally applied either by making furrows for 
its passage through the fields or by flooding the land. The 
latter plan is the cheaper, but it can be used only on level lands. 
Where the land is somewhat irregular a checking system, 
as it is called, is used to distribute the water. It is taken 
from check to check until the entire field has been irrigated. 




Fiw. :■ 



illt: ^Rl'CE^^ ul IRRIGATING CoRN 



The furrow method is usually employed for fruits and for 
farm and garden crops. In many places the grass and grain 
crops are now supplied with water by furrows instead of 
by flooding. 

Irrigated lands should be carefully and thoroughly tilled. 
The water for irrigation is costly, and should be made to go 
as far as possible. Good tillage saves the water. Moreover, 
all cultivated crops like corn, potatoes, and orchard and tmck 
crops ought to be cultivated frequently to save the moisture. 



330 AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 

to keep the soil in fit condition, and to aid the bacteria in the 
soil. It was a wise farmer who said, " One does not need to 
grow crops many years in order to leani that nothing can 
take the place of stirring the soil." 

Methods of Irrigating Crops 

Tree fruits. Water is conducted through veiy narrow fur- 
rows from three to five feet apart, and allowed to sink about 
four feet deep, and to spread under the ground. Then the 
supply is cut off. The object is to wet the soil deeply, and 
then by tillage to hold the moisture in the soil. 

Small fniits. The common practice is to run water on 
each side of the row until the rows are soaked. 

Potatoes. A thorough soaking is given the land before 
planting-time, and then no more than is absolutely necessar}- 
until blossoming-time. After the blossoms appear keep the 
soil moist until the crop ripens. 

Garden crops. Any method may be employed, but the 
vital point is to cultivate the ground as early as it can be 
worked after it has been irrigated. 

Meadoii's and alfalfa. Flooding is the most common 
method in use. The first irrigation comes early in the spring 
before gro\\th has advanced much, and the successive water- 
ings after the har\-esting of each crop. 

SECTION LXX. LIFE IN THE COUNTRY 

As ours is a countr}- in which the people rule, even* boy 
and even,- girl ought to be trained to take a wide-awake interest 
in public affairs. This training cannot begin too early in life. 
A wise old man once said, " In a republic you ought to begin 
to train a child for good citizenship on the day of its birth." 




Fu;. 2S9. Beauty from Flowers amj Grass 




Fig. 2yo. .V Col.nirv Roau in Mh( kel.nhurg CuUiNiv, 
North Carolina 



33^ 



332 AGRICULTURE FOR BEGIXNERS 

Happ}' would it be for our nation if all the young people 
who live in the country could begin their training in good 
citizenship by becoming workers for these four things : 

First, attractive country homes. 

Second, attractive countr}- schoolhouses and school grounds. 

Third, good country schools. 

Fourth, good roads. 

If the thousands on thousands of pupils in our schools 
would become active workers for these things and continue 
their work through life, then, in less than half a centur\-, life 
in the country would be an unending delight. 

One of the problems of our day is how to keep bright, 
thoughtful, sociable, ambitious boys and girls contented on 
the farm. Every step taken to make the country home more 
attractive, to make the school and its grounds more enjoyable, 
to make the way easy to the homes of neighbors, to school, 
to post-office, and to church, is a step taken toward keeping 
on the farm the ver}- boys and girls who are most apt to 
succeed there. 

Not even- man who lives in the countn- can have a showy 
or costly home, but as long as grass and flowers and vines 
and trees grow, an\' man who wishes can haxe an attractive 
house. Not ever)^ woman who is to spend a lifetime at 
the head of a rural home can have a luxuriously furnished 
home, but any woman who is \A-illing to take a little trouble can 
have a cozy, tastefully furnished home — a home fitted with 
the conveniences that diminish household drudgery. Even 
in this day of cheap literature, all parents cannot fill their 
children's home with papers, magazines, and books, but by 
means of school and Sunday-school libraries, by means of 
circulating book clubs, and by a little self-denial, earnest 
parents can feed hungr\- minds just as they feed hungrj- bodies. 




THE QUEEN OF FLOWERS FOR THE HOME 




333 



oo4 



AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 



Agricultural papers that arouse the interest and quicken 
the thought of farm bovs bv discussing the best, easiest, and 







Fig. 292. Ax Unimproved Schoolhouse 

cheapest ways of farming ; journals full of dainty suggestions 
for household adornment and comfort ; illustrated papers 
and magazines that amuse and cheer ever\- member of the 
famil}- ; books that rest tired bodies and open and strengthen 







CV»'Hij- "- 



Fig. 293. An Improved Schoolhouse 

growing minds — all of these are so cheap that the money 
reser\-ed from the sale of one hog will keep a family fairly 
supplied for a year. 




Fig. 294. The Same Road aeter and ueeoke Imtkuvement 



335 



336 AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 

If the parents, teachers, and pupils of a school join hands, 
an unsightly, ill-furnished, ill-lighted, and ill-ventilated school- 
house can at small cost be changed into one of comfort and 
beaut}'. In many places pupils have persuaded their parents 
to form clubs to beautify the school grounds. Each father 
sends a man or a man with a plow once or twice a year to 
work a day on the grounds. Stumps are removed, trees 
trimmed, drains put in, grass sowed, flowers, shrubben,', \ines. 




Fig. 293. Washington's Country Home 

and trees planted, and the grounds tastefully laid off. Thus 
at scarcelv noticeable money cost a rough and unsightly school 
ground gives place to a charming school yard. Cannot the 
pupils in ever}' school in which this book is studied get their 
parents to form such a club, and make their school ground 
a silent teacher of neatness and beaut}- ? 

Life in the countr}- wiW never be as attractive as it ought 
to be until all the roads are improved. Winter-washed roads, 



MISCELLANEOUS 337 

penning young people in their own homes for many months 
each year and destroying so many of the innocent pleasures 
of youth, build towns and cities out of the wreck of country 
homes. Can young people who love their country and their 
country homes engage in a nobler crusade than a crusade 
for improved highways ? 



APPENDIX 

SPRAYING MIXTURES 

FOR BITING INSECTS 
Dry Paris Greex Wet Paris (tReex 

Paris green .... i lb. Paris green . . i to 2 lb. 
Lime or flour . 4 to i6 lb. Lime . . . . i to 1 lb. 

Water .... 50 gal. 

FOR SOFT-BODIED SUCKING INSECTS 
Kerosene E.mulsiox 

Hard soap (in fine shavings) -i^ lb. 

Soft water i gal. 

Kerosene 2 gal. 

Dissolve soap in boiling water, add kerosene to the hot water, churn 
with spraying pump for at least ten minutes, until the mixture changes 
to a creamy, then to a soft, butterlike, mass. This gives three gallons of 
66-per-cent oil emulsion, which may be diluted to the strength desired. 
To get 15-per-cent oil emulsion add ten and one-half gallons of water. 

FOR FUNGOUS DISEASES 
Cori'ER SULFH.VTE 

Copper sulphate i lb. 

Water 18 to 25 gal. 

Use only before foliage opens, to kill wintering spores. 

Bordeaux Mi.xtlre 

Copper sulphate (bluestone) 4 to 5 lb. 

Lime (good, unslaked) 5 to 6 lb. 

Water 50 gal. 

339 



340 AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 

Dissolve the copper sulphate (bluestone; in t\venr\--five gallons of 
water. Slake the lime slowly so as to get a smooth, thick cream. Never 
cover the lime with too much water. After thorough slaking add 
twenty-five gallons of water. When the lime and the bluestone have 
dissolved, pour the two liquids into a third vessel. Be sure that each 
stream mixes with the other before either enters the vessel. Strain 
through a coarse cloth. 

Mix fresh for each time. Use for molds and fungi generally. Apply 
in fine spray with a good nozzle. 

Bordeavx-Paris-Greex Mixture 

Ordinar)- Bordeaux mixture 50 gal. 

Paris green 4 oz. to 2 lb. 

Use for both fungi and insects on apple, potato, etc. 

Bordeaux-Arsenate-of-Lead Mixture 

Ordinar}' Bordeaux mixture 50 gal. 

Arsenate of lead 2 to 3 lb. 

Used for fungous and insect enemies of the potato, and of the apple 
when bitter rot is troublesome. 

Commercial Lime-Sulphur Arsenate of Lead 

Commercial lime-sulphur i^ gal. 

Arsenate of lead 2 to 3 lb. 

Water 5° gal. 

L"se for spraying apples. 

Ammoxiacal Copper Carbonate 

Copper carbonate 5 o^- 

Ammonia (26° Baume; about 3 pt. 

Water 5° gal- 
Dissolve the copper carbonate in the smallest possible amount of 
ammonia. This solution may be kept in stock and diluted to the proper 
strength as needed. 

Use this instead of the Bordeaux mixture after the fruit has reached 
half or two thirds of the mature size. It leaves no spots as does the 
lime-sulphur wash or the Bordeaux mixture. 



APPENDIX 341 

SPRAYS FOR BOTH FUNGOUS AND INSECT PESTS 

Home-Made Lime-Sulphur Wash 

Lime 20 lb. 

Sulphur 15 lb. 

Water 50 gal. 

The lime, the sulphur, and about half of the water required are boiled 
together for forty-five minutes in a kettle over a fire, or in a barrel or 
other suitable tank by steam, strained, and then diluted to 50 gallons. 
This is the wash regularly used against the San Jose scale. It may be 
substituted for Bordeaux mixture when spraying trees in the dormant 
state. Commercial lime-sulphur may also be used in place of this home- 
made wash. Use one gallon of the commercial lime-sulphur to nine 
gallons of water in the dormant season. 

Self-Boiled Lime-Sulphur Wash 

The self-boiled lime-sulphur wash is a combination of lime and sulphur 
boiled only by the heat of the slaking lime, and is used chiefly for 
summer spraying on peaches, plums, cherries, etc. as a substitute for 
the Bordeaux mixture. 

Lime 8 lb. 

Sulphur 6 to 8 lb. 

Water 50 gal. 

The lime should be placed in a barrel and enough water poured on it 
to start it slaking and to keep the sulphur off the bottom of the barrel. 
The sulphur, which should first be worked through a sieve to break up 
the lumps, may then be added, and, finally, enough water to slake the 
lime into a paste. Considerable stirring is necessary to prevent caking 
on the bottom. After the violent boiling which accompanies the slaking 
of the lime is over, the mixture should be diluted ready for use, or at 
least enough cold water added to stop the cooking. From five to fifteen 
minutes are required for the process. If the hot mass is permitted to 
stand undiluted as a thick paste, a liquid is produced that is injurious to 
peach foliage and, in some cases, to apple foliage. 

The mixture should be strained through a sieve of twenty meshes to the 
inch in order to remove the coarse particles of lime, but all the sulphur 
should be worked through the strainer. 



GLOSSARY 



To enable young readers to understand the technical words necessarily 
used in the text only popular definitions are given. 

Abdomen : the part of an insect lying behind the thorax. 

Acid : a chemical name given to many sour substances, ^'inegar 

and lemon juice owe their sour taste to the acid in them. 
Adult : a person, animal, or plant grown to full size and strength. 
Ammonia (amjiiotiiiim) : a compound of nitrogen readily usable as 

a plant food. It is one of the products of decay. 
Annual : a plant that bears seed during the first year of its existence 

and then dies. 
Anther : the part of a stamen that bears the pollen. 
Atmospheric nitrogen : nitrogen in the air. Great quantities of this 

valuable plant food are in the air : but, strange to say, most 

plants cannot use it directly from the air, but must take it in 

other forms, as nitrates, etc. The legumes are an exception, as 

they can use atmospheric nitrogen. 
Available plant food : food in such condition that plants can use it. 
Bacteria : a name applied to a number of kinds of very small living 

beings, some beneficial, some harmful, some disease-producing. 

They average about one twenty-thousandth of an inch in length. 
Balanced ration : a ration made up of the proper amounts of carbo- 
hydrates, fats, and protein, as explained in text. Such a ration 

avoids all waste of food. 
Biennial : a plant that produces seed during the second year of its 

existence and then dies. 
Blight : a diseased condition in plants in which the whole or a part 

of a plant withers or dries up. 
Bluestone : a chemical; copper sulphate. It is used to kill fungi, etc. 

342 



GLOSSARY 343 

Bordeaux Mixture : a mixture invented in Bordeaux, France, to 

destroy disease-producing fungi. 
Bud (noun) : an undeveloped branch. 
Bud (verb) : to insert a bud from tlie scion upon the stock to insure 

better fruit. 
Bud variation : occasionally one bud on a plant will produce a branch 

differing in some ways from the rest of the branches ; this is bud 

variation. The shoot that is produced by bud variation is called 

a sport. 
Calyx : the outermost row of leaves in a flower. 
Cambium: the growing layer lying between the wood and the bark. 
Canon : the shank bone above the fetlock in the fore and hind legs 

of a horse. 
Carbohydrates : carbohydrates are foods free from, nitrogen. They 

make up the largest part of all vegetables. Examples are sugar, 

starch, and cellulose. 
Carbolic acid : a chemical often used to kill or prevent the growth of 

germs, bacteria, fungi, etc. 
Carbon : a chemical element. Charcoal is nearly pure carbon. 
Carbon disulphide : a chemical used to kill insects. 
Carbonic acid gas : a gas consisting of carbon and oxygen. It is pro- 
duced by breathing, and whenever carbon is burned. It is the 

source of the carbon in plants. 
Cereal : the name given to grasses that are raised for the food con- 
tained in their seeds, such as corn, wheat, rice. 
Cobalt : a poisonous chemical used to kill insects. 
Cocoon : the case made by an insect to contain its lar\-a or pupa. 
Commercial fertilizer : an enriching plant food bought to improve soil. 
Compact : a soil is said to be compact when the particles are closely 

packed. 
Concentrated : when applied to food the word means that it contains 

much feeding value in small bulk. 
Contagious : a disease is said to be contagious when it can be spread 

or carried from one individual to another. 
Cross : the result of breeding two varieties of plant together. 
Cross pollination : the pollination of a flower by pollen brought from 

a flower on some other plant 



344 AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 

Croup : the top of the hips. 

Culture: the art of preparing ground for seed and raising crops by 

tillage. 
Curb disease : a swelling on the back part of the hind leg of a horse 

just behind the lowest part of the hock joint. It generally causes 

lameness. 
Curculio : a kind of beetle or weevil. 

Dendrolene : a patented substance used for catching cankerworms. 
Digestion: the act by which food is prepared by the juices of the 

body to be used by the blood. 
Dormant : a word used to describe sleeping or resting bodies, — bodies 

not in a state of activity. 
Drainage : the process by which an excess of water is removed from 

the land by ditches, terraces, or tiles. 
Element : a substance that cannot be divided into simpler sub- 
stances. 
Ensilage : green foods preserved in a silo. 
Evaporate : to pass off in vapor, as a fluid often does ; to change 

from a solid or liquid state into vapor, usually by heat. 
Exhaustion: the state in which strength, power, and force have been 

lost. When applied to land, the word means that land has lost 

its power to produce well. 
Fermentation : a chemical change produced by bacteria, yeast, etc. 

A common example of fermentation is the change of cider into 

vinegar. 
Fertility : the state of being fruitful. Land is said to be fertile when 

it produces well. 
Fertilization : the act which follows pollination and enables a flower 

to produce seed. 
Fetlock: the long-haired cushion on the back side of a horse's leg 

just above the hoof. 
Fiber : any fine, slender thread or threadlike substance, as the rootlets 

of plants or the lint of cotton. 
Filter : to purify a liquid, as water, by causing it to pass througli 

some substance, as paper, cloth, screens, etc. 
Formalin : a forty per cent solution of a chemical known as formal- 
dehyde. Formalin is used to kill fungi, bacteria, etc. 



GLOSSARY 345 

Formula : a recipe for the making of a compound ; for example, fer- 
tilizer or spraying compounds. 
Fungicide : a substance used to kill or prevent the growth of fungi ; 

for example, Bordeaux Mixture or copper sulphate. 
Fungous : belonging to or caused by fungi. 
Fungus (plural fungi) : a low kind of plant life lacking in green 

color. Molds and toadstools are examples. 
Germ : that from which anything springs. The term is often applied 

to any very small organism or living thing, particularly if it 

causes great effects such as disease, fermentation, etc. 
Germinate : to sprout. A seed germinates when it begins to grow. 
Girdle : to make a cut or groove around a limb or tree. 
Glacier : an immense field or stream of ice formed in the region of 

constant snow and moving slowly down a slope or valley. 
Globule : a small particle of matter shaped like a globe. 
Glucose : a kind of sugar very common in plants. The sugar from 

grapes, honey, etc. is glucose. That from the sugar cane is not. 
Gluten : a vegetable form of protein found in cereals. 
Graft : to place a living branch or stem on another living stem so 

that it may grow there. It insures the growth of the desired 

kind of plant. 
Granule : a little grain. 
Gypsum : land plaster. 
" Head back " : to cut or prune a tree so as to form its head, that is, 

the place where the main trunk first gives off its branches. 
Heredity : the resemblance of offspring to parent. 
Hibernating : to pass the winter in a torpid or inactive state in close 

quarters. 
Hock : the joint in the hind leg of ciuadrupeds between the leg and 

the shank. It corresponds to the ankle in man. 
Host : the plant upon which a fungus or insect is preying. 
Humus : the portion of the soil caused by the decay of animal or 

vegetable matter. 
Hybrid : the result of breeding two different kinds of plants together. 
Hydrogen: a chemical element. It is present in water and in all 

living things. 
Individual : a single person, plant, animal, or thing of any kind. 



34<5 AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 

Inoculate : to give a disease by inserting the germ that causes it in 

a healthy being. 
Insectivorous : anj-thing that eats insects. 
Kainit : salts of potash used in making fertilizers. 
Kernel : a single seed or grain, as a kernel of corn. 
Kerosene emulsion : see Appendix. 

Larva (plural larvae) : the young or immature form of an insect. 
Larval: belonging to lan-a. 

Layer : to propagate plants by a method similar to cutting, but differ- 
ing from cutting in that the young plant takes root before it is 

separated from the parent plant. 
Legume : a plant belonging to the family of the pea, clover, and 

bean ; that is. having a flower of similar structure. 
Lichen : a kind of flowerless plant that grows on stones, trees, boards, 

etc. 
Loam : an earthy mixture of clay and sand with organic matter. 
Magnesia : an earth}- white substance somewhat similar to lime. 
Magnify : to make a thing larger in fact or in appearance ; to enlarge 

the appearance of a thing so that the parts may be seen more easily. 
Membrane : a thin layer or fold of animal or vegetable matter. 
Mildew : a cobw^ebby growth of fungi on diseased or decaying things. 
Mold : see wZ/^^zt'. 
Mulch : a covering of straw, leaves, or like substances over the roots 

of plants to protect them from heat drought etc., and to preser\-e 

moisture. 
Nectar : a sweetish substance in blossoms of flowers from which bees 

make honey. 
Nitrate : a readilv usable form of nitrogen. The most common nitrate 

is saltpeter. 
Nitrogen : a chemical element, one of the most important and most 

expensive plant foods. It exists in fertilizers, in ammonia, in 

nitrates, and in organic matter. 
Nodule : a little knot or bump. 

Nutrient : anv substance which nourishes or promotes growth. 
Organic matter : substances made through the growth of plants or 

animals. 
Ovary : the particular part of the pistil that bears the immature seed. 



GLOSSARY 347 

Ovipositor : the organ with which an insect deposits its eggs. 

Oxygen : a gas present in the air and necessary to breathing. 

Particle : any very small part of a body. 

Perennial : living through several years. All trees are perennial. 

Petal : a single leaf of the corolla. 

Phosphoric acid : an important plant food occurring in bones and rock 

phosphates. 
Pistil : the part of the blossom that contains the immature seeds. 
Pollen : the powdery substance borne by the stamen of the flower. 

It is necessary to seed production. 
Pollination : the act of carrying pollen from stamens to pistils. It is 

usually done by the wind or by insects. 
Porosity : tlie state of having small openings or passages between 

the particles of matter. 
Potash : an important part of plant foods. The chief source of 

potash is kainit, muriate of potash, sulphate of potash, wood 

ashes, and cotton-hull ashes. 
Propagate : to cause plants or animals to increase in number. 
Protein: the name of a group of substances containing nitrogen. It 

is one of the most important of feeding stuffs. 
Pruning : trimming or cutting parts that are not needed or that are 

injurious. 
Pulverize : to reduce to a dustlike state. 
Pupa : an insect in the stage of its life that comes just before the 

adult condition. 
Purity (of seed) : seeds are pure when they contain only one kind of 

seed and no foreign matter. 
Ration : a fixed daily allowance of food for an animal. 
Raupenleim : a patented sticky substance used to catch the cankerworm. 
Resistant : a plant is resistant to disease when it can ward off attacks 

of the disease ; for example, some varieties of the grape are resist- 
ant to the phylloxera. 
Rotation (of crops) : a well-arranged succession of different crops on 

the same land. 
Scion : a shoot, sprout, or branch taken to graft or bud upon another 

plant. 
Seed bed : the laver of earth in which seeds are sown. 



34S AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINXERS 

Seed selection : tze caxefol selection of seed from particular plants 

with the object of keeping or increasing some desirable quality. 
Seedling : a young tt'Is^t ^ -st from the seed- 
Sepal : one of the ^r: t- :. die calyx. 
Set: ayoungplan: ::r :- i^\:::n. 
Silo: a house or pi: ;.:■ _ avay green food fM" winter use so 

as to exclude air and moisture. 
Sire: father. 
Smut : a disease of plants, pardculariy of cereals, which causes die 

plant or some part of it to become a powdery mass. 
Spike : a lengthened flower cluster widi staUdess floweis. 
Spiracle : an air opening in the body of an insect. 
Spore : a small body formed by a fungus to reproduce the fungus. 

It serves the same use as seeds do for flowering plants. 
Spray : to apply a liquid in the form of a Tery fine mist by the aid of 

a spraying pump tor the purpose of killing fungi or insects. 
Stamen : the part of the flower that bears the poUen. 
Stamina: endurance. 
Sterilize: to destroy all the germs or spores in or on anjihing. 

Sterilizing is often done by heat cm- chonicals. 
Stigma : the part of the pistil that receives the pdlen. 
Stock : the stem or main part of a tree or plant. In grafting or bud- 
ding the scion is insoted upon the stock. 
Sbarex : as used in diis book die word means the dry stalks of com 

from which the ears have been removed. 
Sabscil : the sofl undo- the topsoil. 
Sulrh-T : a yellowish chemical element; twimstone. 
lai:: :: r. i'- root of a plant, which runs direcdy down into the 

-s^derable depth without dividing. 
TerriTr , r:h run on a level around a slope or hillside to 

j;;ei : ; : : . :.cni washing. 
Thorax : : r r : i'.t part of the body of an insect The thwax lies 

' : -nen and the head. 
T 1 1 : - - t -. T : - : -imeat for measuring heat. 

T:..i 7 . : 'rr'iri-5 land for seec. 2^1 ktezir-g the ground 

.-. _ .__:: ;-.^:= i_: .le growth of crops. 



GLOSSARY 349 

Transplant : a plant grown in a bed with a view to being removed to 

other soil; a technical term used by gardeners. 
Tubercle : a small, wartlike growth on the roots of legumes. 
Udder : the milk vessel of a cow. 
Utensil : a vessel used lor household purposes. 
Variety : a particular kind. For example, the Winesap, Bonum,yEsop, 

etc., are different varieties of apples. 
Ventilate : to open to the free passage of air. 
Virgin soil : a soil which has never been cultivated. 
Vitality (of seed) : vitality is the ability- to grow. Seed are of good 

vitalit}- if a large per cent of them will sprout. 
Weathering : the action of moisture, air, frost, etc. upon rocks. 
Weed : a plant out of place. A wheat plant in a rose bed or a rose 

in the wheat field would be regarded as a weed, as would any 

plant growing in a place in which it is not wanted. 
Wilt (of cotton) : a disease of cotton in which the whole plant droops 

or wilts. 
Withers : the ridge between the shoulder bones of a horse, at the 

base of the neck. 
Yeast : a preparation containing the yeast plant used to make bread 

rise. etc. 



INDEX 



Acid phosphate, 23, 214, 225 
Alfalfa, 28, 179, 187, 242, 244, 245, 

246-248 
Alfalfa root, 28 
Animals, domestic, 261-292 

why we feed, 290 
Annual, 69, 112, 118, 260 
Ant, 144, 150 
Anther, 43 
Apple, 42, 59, 76, 78, 83-85, 123 

fire-blight of, 130 
Apple-tree tent caterpillar, 161, 162 
Arsenate of lead, 156, 157 
Ashes, 207 
Asparagus, 98 

Babcock milk-tester, 304 

Bacteria, 24, 127, 128, 129, 131, 133 

Balanced ration, 294-295 

Barley, 215-217 

Beans, 95, 98 

Bee, 286-290 

Beehive, anti-robbing entrance of, 

289 • 
Beet, 95, 96 

sugar-, 2 1 8-2 2 1 
Beet sugar, 218 
Beetle, 146, 148 

cucumber, 102 

potato, 170 
Biennials, 70 
Bird homes, 322 
Birds, 31^-32^3 
Black knot, 140 
Blackberry, 59 
Blight, 106 

eggplant, 103 

pear and apple, 130 

potato, 138, 209 

tomato, 106 
Bordeaux mixture, 127, 141, 142, 

156, 209 



Borer, peach, 163, 164 
Breeding-cage, insect, 152 
Buckwheat, 229-230 
Bud variation, 58 
Budding, 55, 81-82 
Buds, 51, 59 
Bug, 147 

Bulbs, 109, I ID, III 
Burbank, Luther, 80 
Butter, 297, 300 
Butterfly, 146, 14S, 149 

Cabbage, 93, 95, 96, 99 

Cabbage worm, 165, 166 

Caladium, 1 1 1 

Cambium, 79, 131 

Cankerworm, 159, 160 

Canna, 1 16 

Cantaloupes, loi 

Cape jasmine, 1 10 

Capillarity, 10 

Carbohydrates, 291, 292, 295 

Carbon, 39, 40, 291 

Carbon disulphide, 169 

Carbonic acid gas, 6, 317 

Caterpillar, 147, 149, 161 

Cattle, 270-275 

beef type of, 272 
dairy type of, 273 
improving of, 274 

Cauliflower, 91, 140 

Celery, 100, loi 

Cherries, 59. 81, 164 

Chinch bug, 165, 167 

Churn, the, 297, 299, 300 

Churning, 299 

Cleft grafting, 80 

Clover, 187, 249-251 

Club root, 140 

Cocoon, 147, 148, 150. 151 

Codling moth, 154, 156, 164 

Cold-frame, 93-97, 101 



35' 



352 



AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 



Colostrum, 297 
Consumprion, germ of, 129 
Corms, III 
Com, 197-202 

blossom of, 45 

freezing of seed, 75 

roots of, 27, 28 

selection of seed, 66, 67, 68 
Cotton. 180-188 

resistant variet)' of, 132 

Sea Island, 132, 182 

short-stapled, 182 
Cotton w"ilt, 142 
Cotton-boU wee\-il, 173 
Cotton-seed meal, 24, 225, 295 
Cow- 
Aberdeen Angus, 272 

Galloway, 274 

Holstein, 275 

Jersey, 273 

care of, 296 

the dairy, 293-296 
Cowpeas, 251-254 
Cream, 297, 298 
Crop-rotation, 33-37 
Crops, 178-237 

rotation of, 20, 33, 1S9, 211, 
217, 219, 228 

value of, per acre, 179 
Cross section, 26 
Crosses, 49 
Cross-pollination, 48 
Cucumber, 73. 10 1 
Cucumber beetle, 102 
Curculio, plum, 156 
Currant, 59 

Cuttings. 52, 53, 54, 55. 109 
Cyclamen, 1 1 3 

Dahlia, in, 112, 116 
Dair>- rules, 301 
Dairying, 297-301 
Dendrolene, 160 
Diphtheria, germ of, 129 
Diseases of plants, 122-143 
Domestic animals, 261-292 
Drainage, benefits of, 15 
Dr)- farming, 323-326 
Ducks, 282 

Eggplants. 102, 103 
Ensilage, 295 



Farm crops, 17S-237 

Farm garden, 235-237 

Farm tools, 315-315 

Farming on dr)- lands, 323-330 

Fats, 291, 292, 295 

Feed stuffs, 238-260 

digestible nutrients in, 290-292 
growing, on the farm, 309-313 

Feeding animals, 290 
reasons for, 290, 292 

Fertilization, 45 

Fertilizers, 22-24 

Field insects, 144-177 

Figs. 51. 59 

Fire-blight, 130 

Flax. 226-229 

Flea-beetle, 169, 172, 209 

Floriculture, 89, 108 

Flower, the, 42, 43 

Flower box, 112 

Flower gardening, 108— 121 

Fly, 146, 150 

Formalin, 135. 136. 138 

Fowls, 282-286 

Fruit mold, 126, 142 

Fruit rot, 122 

Fruit tree, how to raise a, 76-87 

Fultz. Abraham, 65 

Fungi, 125, 126, 127 

Garden, 235-237 

Garden insects, 165-177 

Gardening, market-, 89-90 

Geese, 284 

Geranium, 52, 54, 109, no 

Germs, 24, 127, 129, 131, 135; see 

also Bacteria 
Girdler, 162 
Girdling, 41 
Glacier, 3, 4, 5 
Gladiolus, 92, in 
Gooseberries, 59 
Grafting, 55. 78-81 

cleft. 80 

root, 79 

time for, 79 

tongue, 79, 80 
Grafting wax, 79 
Grape, 51, 53. 58. 59 
Grape cutting, 54 
Grape phylloxera, 157, 158 
Grape pollination, 52. 53 



INDEX 



:>Do 



Grasses. 23S-244 
Grasshopper. 14S. 151 
Greenhouse, 91-94 

Heading back. S3 
Hemp. 226-229 
Hens. 2S2-2S6 
Herediu". 67 
Hessian fly, 170 
Homes, counm-. 330-337 
Hone\- dew. 167 
Horse. 262-270 

diasrrams bv which to judge. 
265-269 ' 

Percheron. 264 

proportions of. 270 

roadster. 267 
Horticulture. S9-121 
Host, 126 
Hotbed. 91-97 

How to raise a fruit tree. 76-S7 
Humus. 5. 20, 21. 22. 193. 207 
Husker and shredder. 201 
Hybrids. 49. 50, 51, 1 S3 

Insects, cage for breeding, 1 52 

classes of. 146 

eggs of. 1 50 

eyes of. 145 

field. 144. 165 

garden. 144-177 

general. 144 

how thev feed. 146. 147 

orchard. 144 

parts of, 145 
Irish, or white, potato. 206-209 

propagation of, 56, 57 
Irrigation, 326-330 

method of, 330 

Kafir com. 325. 326 

Kainite. 214 

Kerosene emulsion. 16S 

Land, improvement of. 17, 21, 31, 

34- -44 
Landscape-gardening. S9 
Larva. 147. 14S 
Layering. 55, 57 
Legumes. 31. 207. 244-260 
Lettuce. 91. 93. 95 
Life in the country, 330-337 



Lime, 140 

Lime-sulphur wash, 141, 142. 153, 

154. 156 
Liming land, 315-31S 
Louse, plant, 150, 151. 152, 167 

Machines, farm, 313-315 
Maize. 197 
Manures, 20, 21-24 
Maple sugar, 217 
Market-gardening. S9. 90 
Meadows. 240. 242 
Melons. loi. 106 
Mildew. 124 

how to prevent, 126 
Milk, 297 

sours, how. 302 
Milk-tester. Babcock. 304 
Mineral matter, 291. 292 
Moisture. 9 
Mold. 123. 124, 125 
Moonflower, 1 1 5 
Moming-glon,-, 1 1 5 
Moth, 1 48 

codling. 154. 156. 164 

mosquito. 150 
Mulch. 12 

Narcissus, 114 

Nectar, 46, 47 

Nitrate of soda. 24. 99. 211. 214 

Nitrogen. 15. 2^. 24. 31. 32. 34. 35. 

36, 37. iSS. 246 
Nitrogen-gathering crops, 15, iS, 

244-260 
Nodules, 36 

Oats, 209-215 
Oat smut, 134 
Onion. 103. 104 
Orchard insects. 143 
Osmosis, 30 
Ovan.-, 44 
Ovipositor, 157 

Paris green, 165, 209 

Parsnips, 94 

Pasture grasses, 23S-244 

Peach. 42. 59. Si, 84, S5, S7, 141. 142 

Peach curl. 141, 143 

Peach mold, 142 

Peach mummies, 142 



354 



AGRICULTURE FOR BEGINNERS 



Peach tree, how made, 86-87 

Peach-tree borer, 163, 164 

Peanuts, 202-203 

Pear, 44, 49, 59, 81, 130 

Pear fire-blight, 1 30 

Peas, 95, 104, 251-254 

Perennials, 71, 112, 116, 118, 260 

Petal, 43 

Phosphoric acid, 23, 24, 186, 188, 

196. 216, 244, 254 
Phylloxera, 157, 158 
Pipette, 305 
Pistil, 43, 44 
Plant, the, 25, 39 
Plant disease, cause of, 122 

nature of, 122 

prevention of, 122, 129 
Plant food, 18, 19, 20, 21, 24 

from air, 39 

from soil, 29 

kinds of, 33 
Plant louse, 150, 152, 167, 16S 
Plant seeding, 59, 109 
Planting a tree, 76-S7 
Plant-propagation, 51-59 

by buds, 51 
Plants grown from seed, 109 

from bulbs, 109 
Plow, right way to, 1 1 
Plum curculio, 156, 157 
Plums, 43, 59, 81, 164 
Pollen, 43, 47, 48 
Pollination, 45-48 

by hand, 49 

cross-, 49, 50 

grape, 52, 53 
Potash, 23, 24, 1S6, 188, 196, 207, 

216, 244, 246, 254 
Potato, sweet, 204, 205 

white, or Irish, 56, 57, 206-209 
Potato beetle, 170, 209 
Potato blight, 138, 209 
Potato scab, 136, 205, 209 
Potato seed, 56, 57 
Poultry, 282-286 
Prevention of plant diseases, 129, 

130 
Propagation of plants by buds, 58 

by cuttings, 52 
Protein, 212, 291, 294, 295, 297 
Pruning, 83, 84-87 

root, 85, 86 



Pupa, 147, 150, 151 
Purity of seed, 72-75 
Pyrethrum powder, 165 

Quince, 59 

Radish, 95 

Raspberry, 59 

Ration, balanced, 294, 295 

Ratoon, 225 

Red raspberry, 59 

Rice, 231-232 

Roads, 332, 337 

Root-hairs, 24, 25, 27, 29, 32 

Root-pruning, 86 

Roots, 25, 26, 27, 28 

Root-tubercles, 30, 37 

Rose, 109, 121, 124 

Rot of fruit, 122 

Rotation of crops, 8, 20, 21, 33-37 

189, 211, 217, 219, 228 
Rye, 213-215 

San Jose scale, 152, 153 
Sap current, the, 40 
Scab, 136, 209 
Schoolhouses, 334 
Scion, 79, 81, 82 
Seed, 42 

Seed purity, 72-75 
Seed vitality, 72-75 
Seed-germination, 74 
Seed-germinator, 74 
Seeding, 60, 1 14 
Seed-selection, 56, 62, 64, 66 

in the field, 56, 62, 68 

of corn, 66 

of cotton. 60, 61 

of potatoes, 56, 57 

of wheat, 64, 65 
Seed-selection plat, 63, 64 
Selection of seed. See Seed-selec- 
tion 
Sepal, 43 
Sheep, 276-279 
Silo, 295 
Smuts, 134, 135 
Soil, I 

bacteria in, 24 

deepening of, 8 

definition of, i 

drainage of, 14 



INDEX 



355 



Soil, how formed. 2. 3 

how water rises in, 13 

impro\ing, 17 

manuring of, 21 

moisture of, 9 

origin of. i 

particles of, magnified, 10 

and plant, 25 

retention of water by, 1 2 

tillage of. 6 

virgin. 17. iS 
Sowing seed. 94 
.Soy beans. 236-260 
Spiders, red. 121 
Spiracles, 145 
Spores. 123. 124. 125, 130, 135 

prevention of, 130 
Spraying. 137, 138, 139, 155, 156, 

157,209 
Spra\-ing outfit, 13S, 155, 16S, 171 
Squanto. 21 
Squash, 45. 95 
Squash bug. 16S 
Stamen. 43-4S 
Starch. 40 
Starchy food. 291 
Stigma, 44-45 
Stock. 79. S2 
Strawberry 4;. ;:. ;9, 90 

St)-le, 43 

Subsoil. I 

Subsoiling, 10 

Sugar, 40 

Sugar plants, 217 

Sugar-beet, 21S-221 

Sugar-cane. 221 

Sugar-maple. 217 

Sulphate of ammonia. 211 

Sun-scald. 84 

Sweet pea. 114, 115 

Sweet potato, 56, 57, 1 1 1 , 204-205 

Swine. 279-282 

Tent caterpillar, 162 
Tile drain. 15. 16 

benefits of, 14 
Tillage, 6-9, 19. 28, 200 
Timber, 232-235 

enemies of, 233 
Tobacco, 1 89- 1 92 



Tobacco worm. 170, 172 
Tomato, 40, 105 
Tongue grafting, 79, So 
Tools, 313 

Topping tobacco, 191 
Trap plant, 16S 
Tree, manuring of. 26 
Truck crops, 98- 107 
Tubercle, 30, 32 
TuU, Tethro, 6 
quoted. 6 
Turkeys, 282 
Tiumip, 95 
Twig girdler. 1 62 
Typhoid fever, germ of, 129 

Vetches, 255-257 
Vitality- of seed, 72-75 

Wasp. 146 
Water. 10 

absorption of. by plants, 10 

retention of. by soil, 9 

rise of, in soil. 13 

saved by plants, 10 

saved by soils. 12 
Watermelons, 106 
Wax. 79 

Weathering. 4, 7 
Weeds, 69, 74 

annual. 69 

biennial, 70 

perennial, 71 
Weevil. 169 

cotton-boll, 173-177 

plum, 156 
Wheat. 192-197 

selection of seed, 63 

peld of, 64 
Why feed animals, 290 
Wilt 

cotton. 142 

watermelon. 107 
Window box. 1 1 8 
Window-garden. 119-121 
Window-gardening. 1 19 
Worn-out land, reclaiming of, 19, 
244 

Yeast, 127, 128