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Jonathan Talcott, of New York, planted Jackson White, the Early Goodrich, and the Ohio Russet, of which the Jackson White was eight or ten days the earliest, and also the best in quality; yield about a hundred and fifty bushels per acre. The Early Goodrich, though a few days later, is preferred for its hardiness, smooth and perfect appearance, and yield per acre. The Ohio Russet matures with the Early Goodrich, is full as good in quality, but the yield is only medium.
A correspondent of the Rural American has for several years raised the Garnet potato, and says he finds it all its originator ever claimed for it. The Gleason he thinks far ahead of any variety he has ever raised, in respect to yield and freedom from rot; although, as a table potato, he considers it po better than the Garnet. From eight pounds of this variety he raised one barrel of fine potatoes, without extra cultivation. He planted eight rows of the Gleason, four of the Garnet, two of the Peach-blow, and five of the Eastern Red, putting a forkfull of coarse manure in each hill, by way of experiment. He generally applies a large handful of ashes instead of barn-yard manure. From the eight rows of the Gleason, thirty-three bushels were harvested, nearly all fit for the table, and entirely free from rot; from the eleven remaining rows of the varieties named, only thirty bushels were gathered, making a yield of one and three-tenths bushel in favor of the Gleason. Only a few dis. eased potatoes were found among the Garnets, but many among the Peach-blows and Eastern Reds.
Andrew Archer, of Maine, planted side by side, and on the same quality of land, seven varieties of the potato, with the following results: The Cuzco yielded 370 bushels per acre; the Orono, 320; the Early Goodrich, 320; the General Grant, 304; the Early Sebec, 264; the Mercer, 240;' the Jackson, 240. He states that the Early Goodrich, the past year, maintained its former reputation as a first class potato in every respect; and that the General Grant is equally so, either for the table or the market, and is the earliest variety on record, cultivated in Maine, being two weeks earlier than the Early Sebec, and three weeks earlier than the Early Goodrich. The Early Goodrich and the General Grant do not rot, and he thinks they are far superior to any other varieties now grown in that State.
Isaac Hicks and Sons, of New York, planted nine rows of each of nine
varieties, with the following results: The Early Goodrich yielded 188 bushels per acre; Early Samaritan, 96; Early Rose, 235; Harrison, 265; Calico, 267; Gleason, 254; Vanderveer, 227; Gardner, 215; Peach-blow, 196. All were dug before the middle of September. The Peach-blows were beginning to rot, and were sent to the New York market as fast as possible. Three or four only of the Gleasons were found rotten in each barrel; all the other varieties were sound, and kept well. The Peachblow brought, in the market, $3 75 to $4 per barrel; the Gleason, $2 50 to $3; the Vanderveer, $2 50; and the Early Goodrich, $2 25.'
Mr. Bristoe, of Kentucky, planted the varieties named below, with the results annexed :
Mr. Bristoe does not regard the Peach-blow as a sure crop in the South; as, whatever the time of planting, it will not produce potatoes till late in June. He has planted from April to the middle of July, with about equal success.
The following table shows the results of an experiment made by Thomas Meehan, editor of the Philadelpbia Weekly Press, and a committee of agricultural editors and others, by boiling fifteen popular varieties of the potato. The numbers affixed denote their qualities respectively. No.1 signifies best; No. 2 next best, &c.:
From an inspection of the table it will be seen that the Early Rose and the Early Goodrich hold the first place in the total value of their good qualities; but, as color is of less importance than either texture or flavor, the Early Rose must be regarded as the best on the list. The Cuzco, Garnet, Chili, Gleason, and Carter also take a high rank. I
Peter Henderson, of New Jersey, cut one potato weighing four ounces into two parts, in such a way that the largest possible number of eyes in each piece would be presented upward; then each part was placed on
the soil of one of the benches of his greenhouse, at a temperature of about seventy degrees, and kept entirely dry until the cut surface had healed over, and shoots began to start from the eyes. The shoots, when four or five inches in length, were cut off about one-fourth of an inch from the surface of the potato, and rooted by shading and watering in the usual way, and then put in two-inch pots, in rich soil, and started to grow. Other shoots were afterward thrown up from the potato in great numbers, and rooted as before. When the first shoots were seven or eight inches high, cuttings were taken from the tops of these also and rooted; so that by the 1st of June one hundred and fifty good shoots had been produced from this potato, each of which was equal to a set made directly from the tuber. These sets were planted out the first week in June, in land not well suited for the growth of the potato. The crop, when dug in September, weighed four hundred and fifty pounds, equal to seven and a half bushels, being an increase of sixteen hundred fold.
It may be questioned whether this process is of any practical value, or whether it will pay. It is not claimed that it would, when potatoes bring only the ordinary price; but, when they are sold at the price at that time of the Early Rose, $3 per pound, there is no doubt whatever of its practical utility.
The cost of fences is a great burden upon agriculture everywhere. In the prairie sections, where stone is never available, and timber rarely at hand, the expense is increased; and here the feasibility of obtaining serviceable live fences is naturally an important inquiry. Western farmers have long been seeking the best plant for this purpose. In the climate of Great Britain the hawthorn (Cratægus oxyacantha) has been successfully employed for centuries; but, in the climate of the Mississippi Valley, it is not sufficiently at home to answer the purpose; the atmosphere is too hot, dry, and variable. The honey locust, ( Gleditschia triacanthos,) has been tried, as also the buckthorn, (Rhamnus catharticus,) the Cherokee rose, (Rosa larigata,) and others; but the Osage orange thorn, (Maclura aurantiaca,) after years of experiment, in different parts of the country, appears to be a more promising material for hedges than any other upon which experiments have been made. It was called by the French Bois d'arc; by the Indians, bow-wood; and Osage orange by the present inhabitants of the West. In 1841 it was thus described by William Kenrick:
“A native of Arkansas, where it rises in beautiful proportion to the height of sixty feet, and has been pronounced one of the most beautiful of our native trees. The wood is, perhaps, the most durable in the world, and for ship-building is esteemed preferable to live-oak. It is valuable for furniture, as it receives the finest polish, and yields a yellow dye. It is remarkably tough, strong, and elastic, and preferred by the Indians to all other woods for bows. It deserves a trial for hedges. I know of no yood so beantiful for this purpose.”
A few facts in the history of its introduction and use in the West, as a hedge plant, are stated upon the authority of Hon. M. L. Dunlap, of Illinois. In 1842 a nurseryman of Peoria County, Illinois, Mr. Edson Harkness, after a trial during two seasons, in which it was killed to the roots by frost, came to the erroneous conclusion that it would not stand the climate. In 1844 Mr. Charles H. Larrabee, of Pontotoc County, Mississippi, sent a package of seed to the editor of the Prairie Farmer, suggesting its probable utility as a hedge plant, and its great value to Illinois especially. In 1845 Professor J. B. Turner, of Jacksonville, Mlinois, stated that it had proved hardy for six years, and that he thought it would make a good hedge, if the plants would bear close planting.
It is claimed that a Mr. Choteau, of St. Louis, planted Osage seed as early as 1800. The elder Landreth propagated some plants in 1803, which are DOW two feet in diameter, and thirty to forty in height. Mr Hancock, of Fulton County, Illinois, set a hedge in 1844. It was not till 1846 that any considerable quantity of seed was sent North. Mr. William H. Mann, then a resident of Fapnin County, Texas, living upon Bois d'Arc Creek, hearing that the seed was worth eighty dollars per bushel at Cincinnati and in the northwest, proceeded to wash out thirty bushels of seed, for which he refused twenty dollars per bushel before starting, only to meet the disappointment, on arrival at Peoria, of learning that there was no demand for it, the impression having gone abroad that it was a failure. After some effort and delay, it was distributed in small lots, upon a year's credit, at twenty dollars per bushel. The late Cyrus Overman, of Fulton County, entered into a copartnership with Mr. Mann in planting a few bushels of the seed, and from this beginning the growing of Osage thorn plants has assumed its present proportions. In 1851 three to five hundred bushels of seed were brought into Illinois, and in 1855 the firm above named brought from Texas one thousand bushels. Prior to 1860 the price varied with the demand from fire to thirty dollars per bushel. In 1867 the trade in seed was resumed with a speculațive demand, by which the market became overstocked, and the price was reduced from fifty to five dollars. In 1868 the trade amounted to eighteen thousand bushels. The price, eight dollars at first, went up to fifty. During the winter of 1868–69, twelve thousand bushels went north of Memphis, ten thousand of which have been sold for the spring planting. The price ranged from twelve to eighteen dollars. Texas and Arkansas received not less than one hundred thousand dollars for Osage seed in the autumn of 1868.
It is estimated that ten thousand bushels of seed will be planted in the northwest in 1869, producing 300,000,000 plants, at 30,000 to a bushel of seed, and making 60,000 miles of fence, allowing 5,000 plants to a mile-enough to supply 22,000 farms of a quarter-section, at 840 rods to a farm. One nurseryman has four hundred acres of quicks grow. ing.
Mr. Dunlap thus figures the comparative cost of live and of dead fences:
First year: To prepare the hedge-row for a mile of hedge will cost in labor about five cents a rod, equal to .......
$16 00 5,000 plants .......
........... Setting........................ Cutting and hoeing........
Total cost for three years, twenty-five cents per rod.
The next two years it will cost nothing, and will then be ready for plashing, or it may stand a year or two longer. We may add ten cents a rod for plashing and trimming, where the hedge will need an annual shearing, at a cost of about two cents a rod. This is in case the hedge is to be kept within bounds; but in many cases, where it is also valuable for shelter and for timber, this extra expense is not incurred. Such a fence, when ten years old, will be worth its full cost to be cut down for vineyard stakes, or similar use.
The first ten years of a first-class hedge should not cost a farmer, including interest for three years while it is growing, over fifty cents a