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For the "American Farmer."
on the surface, has been thoroughly soaked by sa Surface Manuring.
rain, its capability for fermenting is gone. CLIFTON, Fairfax Co., Va., Aug. 22, 1867.
Many of our farmers certainly bare observed
the looseness of their soil several weeks after Meests. Editors :
they have turned under fresh masure, a sigo Rainy days, I think, are not only an improve that tbe fermentation of the manore under the ment to the farm, but also to the farmer's mind. surface of the soil has co-operated with the soil At least I, whenever such a day makes its ap- to its benefit. Wbat I have said above is with pearance, am always tempted to pay particular regard to fresh manure. The article referred to attention to the spiritual part of our business, says: “Sbould the plain, practical farmer want reading over my agricultural journals and books. any further proof that ibere is no loss by ferDoing so to-day, as it is raining, I came across mentation of any of the valuable constituentsthe July number of the “Farmer" from 1866, what he considers the strength of the manure and found a decidedly able written article on the vastly greater effect of, and benefit received "Surface Mapuring,' although I cannot endorse from rotten manure, ought to be more than it fully. I remember now distinctly that, when enough for his satisfaction." Has the writer of I read the article, more than a year ago, I felt this article bore in mind, bow mueb fresh tempted to make some remarks, and not baving manure it takes to procure one load of rotten? done it then, I determined, at once, to do it now. Manure, by being put in a pile, loses, in 81 days, Before advocating "surface manuring," a thing 26 7-10 per cent.; in 254 days, 35 7-10 per cent.; important for some sections of the country, but in 384 days, 37 5-10 per cent.; and in 393 days, dangerous for others, all the advantages and 52 8-10 per cent. Take an average of 37 per disadvantages, in regard to location, climate cent. lost before it is applied to the land, and atmospherical influences, ought to be well con you can make your calculation. By using the sidered and set forth to the public. The state fresh manure from the stable, you would have ment in the article, that surface manuring is been enabled to manure three times the area as practiced to a great extent in England, proves if retained for rotting. I do not pretend to say, the correctness of my remark in regard to at that the durability of the fresh manure is equal mosphere, as the air of England is naturally to rotten, but being enabled to produce as good very moist. If you go to the interior of France a crop on thrice the area with fresh manure, the and Germany, you will find surface mapuring material for manure is increased and you enabled mostly confined to mendows. We must not to return it to your soil every otber year, where forget to bear in mind, that our climate is en as, by allowing your manure to rot away, you tirely different from that of the old country in would not be able to manure oftener than every general, our soil being subject to a hot sun, sixth year. The view taken in the artiele resevere droughts, and torrents of rain pot known ferred to, about turning under maenre, is not in Europe. It is with “surface manuring " as correct. It states : “It also appears that when with most everything in farming, it is subject to manure is ploughed into the soil, there is commodifications, according to different agencies paratively little chance for it to be thas preacting differently under peeuliar eircumstances pared and brought to the plant, bat that the present at the different sections of the country. roots have to find and use it as they best can. The advocates of surface manuring will mostly Hence it will be seen that, when manure is be found to reside near coasts of large bodies of ploughed under, the roots of plants cannot as water, or in such sections of the country where soon, nor as throughly receive the benefit of it, the air is mostly damp. I agree with them, that as when difused through the surface soil by the under the peculiar advantages they have in at- rains; while being covered with several inches mospherical respect, the system of surface manu--often six or eight-of soil, there is compararing in the fall, and turning it noder in spring, tively little chance for rains to dissolve, bring it is practical and to advantage, although I contend to, and diffuse it through the surface soil, that, the earlier the manure can be turned where it is mostly needed." Now, if it is desired under, shallow, the better it is. It certainly is to manure for a crop, the soil has to be well better to have the process of fermenting and de- prepared by deep ploughing and harrowing. If composition take place under the surface of the this has been done, haul and spread your manure soil, then on top. . We avoid at the same time and turn it uuder, not more than three inches, any loss by beavy rains, which cannot be pre- sow and harroy. The writer is mistaken if he vented, even if the land is perfectly level. Fur- considers manure necessary for the first start of thermore, as soon as the fresh manure, spread the young grain. The proof of this assertion
you will find by sowing any kind of seed in the you will see that I am not all an opponent to most miserable, poor soil. By moisture and surface inanuring, if judiciously applied, but that atmospherical influence it will germinate and I strongly object to this practice, as a general grow quite brisk for a certain period. This thing. proves, that manure is not essential for germina Yours respectfully, L. A. Hansen. ting and the first growth. But as soon the roots require more nourishment than they find in
The Selection of Dairy Cows Again. the surface, they will extend downwards in
Messrs. Editors : search of it, and find it in the manure turned under. Our object should always be to induce
The article in your last number, from the downward tendencies of the roots by manure
American Stock Journal, contains truths about And subsoil ploughing, as this enables the plants selecting cows, which can be disputed by no to withstand drought and other bardships. A
There is, mean wbile, one thing not menplant, persuaded by manure to run its roots tioned, viz. : the system of Guenon in selecting near the surface, never will have the capacity to
and judging cows. This system is comparativeendure unfavourable seasons as well as the other. I ly very little known in our country, and still it Nevertheless, there are circumstances under is of the highest importance, for everybody who which surface manuring is advantageous. For keeps cows, to be familiar with it. Also, in instance, on meadows, not subject to inunda- this assertion, I am led by experience. In 1852, tion; on young grass after the grain has been
the Danish government sent a gentleman of the removed ; and on wheat, if circumstances have veterinary department to France, to be instructprevented manuring before seeding. In the first ed on this subject. After returning, the governcase there is comparatively a small waste, as
ment sent him through the country, from dairy to meadows generally are moist, and the manure dairy, to instruct such gentlemen as might debeing applied in the fall, the moisture of the sire to obtain information on the subject. I ground, and the dampness of the atmosphere then happened to be travelling in Europe and combined, retain the greatest part of the fertil- in Denmark at the time this gentleman made izing agents. In the second case, it depends his round. He stopped at a friend of mine, entirely upon the season how much of the fer
where I was visiting, and during one week made tilizing qualities are retained. Excessive drought excursions to various other estates where large will carry off the greater portion by evaporation, dairies were kept. It was my good luck to but if tolerably wet season sets in, it will be accompany him, and being present at the exmostly preserved for the young grass. The ad
amination of about five hundred cows. It was, vantages to the young grass is so great, that we
indeed, astonishing to see how close he was able are justified in running the risk. In the third to tell the yield of milk of each cow, according case, it is even desirable on level land, if the
to the signs of the Guenon system. Ever since, wheat is tall enough to cover the ground, and
I have made this system my guide, and I can thereby preventing any great waste of the ma
say that I very rarely have been mistaken. The pure by washing. The advantage by surface only trouble is, that it requires considerable manuring wheat is, that you are enabled to haul study to acquire the necessary knowledge, if your fresh manure as it is made and spread it. every one has to teach himself by book ; whereBy this process you are enabled to manure a
as, if a teacher, master of the subject, was sent much larger area, and have the benefit of ma- by the government through the country to give nure produced after seeding. I cannot close my instructiors, any man, with good common sense, remark on the article without mentiouing the by being present at the examination of two or final point put forth," that surface manuring is three hundred cows, would be able to gain the nature's mode.” There are thousands of things, I knowledge, required for his own private use, in nature's mode, which have been improved by
one week. sciences. Nature, and all that is found within Our government spends millions in bricks and the world, was created for the benefit of man.
mortar, and, I think, it might be able to spend Man was created with endowments above all
a few thousands on a thing of so great importother creatures, and everything was made sub
ance to our agricultural fellow-citizens. ject to his free will and judgment. If we had
L. A, HANSEN. contented ourselves to follow nature's mode, we
Clifton, Fairfax Co., Va., August, 1867. would to-day be savages and not a civilized people.
Jo It is said there are 2,548 acres in hops in Well, gentlemen, in spite of all my remarks, Sauk county, Wis. Last year there were but 888.
From the North Western Farmer,
half a dozen, or more, of lateral branches, each Scientific Farming.
terminating in a rootlet capable of absorbing
as much as the one originally destroyed. But BY R, T. BROWN, A. N., M. D.
it must not be forgotten that this multiplication In the last chapter we reached the conclusion does not always follow the breaking of roots. that the growing crop of vegetation is furnished If the growth of an annnual plant be far adwith the materials of its growth mainly from vanced it does not readily reproduce its injured the decay of previous growths, animal and roots. About the time when corn begins to vegetable. The solid part of this food is stored joint it has a tendency to throw out long, slenaway in the soil, in the form of compounds der roots. If these be cut at this period of soluble in water, but the atmosphere is the store growth, they very readily repair the injury by house of the larger portion of the material sus multiplying themselves, thus adding greatly to taining vegetable life and growth. Either in the vigor of growth. After the tassel has apthe form of permanent gases, or of temporary peared, roots should be broken with caution. If vapors, there flows into this great common re the season should prove favorable, and August ceptacle, from the whole organic world, a con be warm and showery, no injury will result, stant, though not uniform, stream of vegetable and even the crop may be benefitted by close food. We will not, at the present, look further plowing at this period of growtb ; but, on the into the sources of this common supply, but turn- other hand, if dry, hot weather follows this late ing to the plant itself we will consider, for a 1 plowing, the broken roots will merely heal moment, the conditions most favorable to its over, leaving no absorbing surface, and reproappropriating a large share of this common ducing no new rootlets. Therefore, we may stock of food. Plants take in food at their two safely conclude, that close plowing, and, constextremities—the leaf and the root. A large quently, breaking the roots in the early stages and bealthy leaf surface, and a corresponding of corn cultivation is multiplying the rootlets root surface, are the conditions of vigorous and thus promoting growth; but late in the growth, so far as these relate to the planı itself. season it will always be hazardous. The health of the plant, and its ultimate pro In the cultivation of fruit trees, or other perenductiveness, demands that the two absorbing nial plants, the same law holds good-root extremities should be well balanced ; and nature pruning early in the season, multiplies the dumconstantly strives to maintain an equilibrium ber of rootlets; but late in the season it has a between the extent of leaf surface, and the contrary effect.
is really as much difference between a root and perfect development of roots and leaf, the farmer the spongiola, or rootlets, by which it termi- has placed his crop in an attitude to draw bis nates, as there is between a stem and a leaf. full share from this common store of vegetable The measure of root absorption is not so much food, he has not done all that can be done to the aggregate length of root, as the number of produce the largest yield from the ground. He terminating roots—for roots in healthy growing may create a local and private supply of bis plants always terminate in open mouths. There own, or rather he may withhold the products of has long been a dispute between practical far- decomposition arising from the decay of his own mers and theorists, on the subject of the effect plants and animals, from the common stock de of breaking the roots in the cultivation of crops. posited in the atmosphere for public use. The farmer insists that in plowing close to his When speaking of the nature of ammonia and corn, and thus breaking many roots, he greatly its importance in the vegetable economy, in a promotes the vigor of his crop; but the man of former number, we alluded to this subject of theory tells him that he is destroying the organs absorbing the gases from the atmosphere and by which alone his corn can draw nourishment retaining them in the soil; but we come now to from the soil, and in the proportion in which he speak of holding them as private property from breaks the roots, he is injuring his crop. Now, the hour of their birth till the growing plants true science will grasp all the circumstances, require them. This process is known as COMPOSTand not fail to reconcile the conflict between ing. It consists in placing the waste matter them. It is true that the first effect of breaking from the barnyard and the house, together with a root is to rob the plant of the use of the mouth all other animal and vegetable matter that can at the extremity of the root broken ; but nature, be conveniently procured, in such a condition as ever watchful, rallies her forces to repair the will favor the most rapid decay, and with it injury, and directly the broken root sends out place such substances as will either absorb and
hold the products of decomposition, or will to fifteen inches with this. Over the muck, lay chemically combine with them to form com- another foot of manure moistened, and follow it pounds that will be permanent and involatile. with muck, and so continue on, raising the I well remember the time in Indiana when it was boards on the sides as the heap goes up, till you not an uncommon practice to throw out mapure have reached the top of the posts. These several around the log stable till it accumulated in such layers may be added from time to time as the formidable piles, that it became easier to pull rubbish accumulates about the barnyard, being down the stable and remove it to some other careful always to complete the last layer as far location than to remedy the difficulty in any as you have material for it, and leave it covered other way. Now, however, the thrifty farmer with muck. has his “manure beap," to which, from time to The muck should be prepared and hauled in time, he contributes the accumulating rubbish the fall when the swamps are dry, and the mateof the barnyard, more for the negative purpose rial much lighter to haul. If the compost heap of getting it out of the way, and giving a neat consists largely of stable manure, or of animal and cleanly appearance to the premises, than for substance, the covering of muck will be required any positive good that is to be derived from the to be much thicker than if it is litter or straw.
From this heap, as decomposition goes If the heap beats much, apply more water, and on, carbonic acid, ammónia, sulphurated and if there is any bad smell about it, give it more phosphurated hydrogen, &c., escape in a con- muck, or sprinkle over the manure a little plasstant stream, with an odor as rank and villain- ter of Paris before you cover it with muck. A ous as that which offended Falstaff's nostrils. small addition of quick lime will basten the de
In this re-arrangement of the organic mate- composition and add to the value of the compost. rials, nitrates, carbonates, and other salts of In about six or eight months time, a pile thus ammonia and potash are formed, but these being constructed will, on cutting through it, present soluble are washed out of the mass by the drench- the appearance of a uniform black mass of very ing rains to which the unprotected pile is expos- high fertilizing power. ed, till in the end little else remains but the redundent carbon of the organic substances decom Pet Hawk, to Scare Yellow Birds. posed. This is the "well rotted manure" of A friend in Chester county, gives us the folwhich the farmer often speaks. A good absor- lowing notes : bent it is indeed the very best, but in its prepa NOTE 16T.—"Some ten days ago, the little yelration all the available plant food contained in low birds made a strong attack on our seed the original material of the manure heap, bas patch, and seemed likely to eat it up. We had been suffered to go to waste, or at least bas been à pet sparrow-hawk, wbich we used to keep added to the common stock in the air. The pro- birds out of cherry trees. I brought him out and cess of composting is different in different coun tied him in the patch to å post. A panic and a tries, but the principle involved is the same in scattering at once ensued, and never a bird has all. Organic matter, moistened with water and been seen to eat seed. I apprehend that pet covered with regetable mould, or clay loam, will hawk might be very nseful to the gardener. The retain all the gases escaping from its decomposi- other birds seem to know them very well. The tion. This is the fundamental principle of pre- little ones get away in a hurry, but robbins paring composts. A convenient application of and blackbirds seem dieposed to dispute the this principle is to place a row of posts in the territory. ground so that they will stand about eight feet NOTE 2ND.-"Rabbits and ground hogs have bigh and three or four feet apart. About six feet been making continuous attacks on our fine from this and parallel with it place a similar row. cabbage patch. Extend these to any convenient length and put a "The remedy adopted was to tie a useless dog temporary roof over them. Place rough boards in the patch, and give him there, shelter, food loosely against the inner side of each row of and drink. Results: no more cabbage taken. posts as you proceed with the construction of your Note 3D.-"We had the most perfect bed of pile. Begin your "heap" by putting in a lay- cabbage plants I ever heard of, raised along side er of stable manure, barn yard litter, &c., about of our chicken yard, and near the coops where a foot deep. If it is not sufficiently wet, mois- the little ones were raised."-Practical Farmer. ten it with water, and proceed to haul " swamp muck," (which is nothing more than the black A soil may contain all the elements nemud from the bottom of any swamp or pond,) cessary for fertility, be sufficiently moist, and and cover the manure to the depth of from ten still not be fertile unless air have free access.
sections of country most favorable to this condi
tion, may be regarded as the grape district. BY WI. GRIFFITH, OF NORTH EAST, PA.
At the first view, the reader will be likely to The primary conditions of successful grape conclude that these sections are to be sought for culture, are, a well adapted climate, suitable soil, in the Southern States, that, as a mitter of strong healthy plants, of varieties suited to the
course, the country will be found less favorable particular locality to be occupied, and thorough for grapes as we pass to the north. tillage.
But this is by no means the case. Indeed it is Many other things are important, and by no
so far otherwise as to fix the southern limits of means to be disregarded ; some of which, in order practical grape culture north of the 30th parallel. to secure any great measure of success should it is the opinion of the writer, from many years receive careful attention; but these are altogether experience and careful observation, that the narindispensable, as experience has abundantly de
row belt of country lying along the south shore monstrated. The isothermal lines indicate with tolerable the best localities on the continent, east of the
of Lake Erie, will compare very favorably with accuracy, the requisite temperature, and with Rocky Mountains (or west indeed, for that matdue deference to different varieties, may be relied ter) in its adaption to growing grapes. upon to determine the boundaries and fix the
Thus, while the unseasonable and blighting limits of what may be regarded as grape or wine frost, both late in the spring and early in autumn, growing districts.
is the great terror of our grape growers in MisIt will be borne in mind that these lines are
souri and Southern Ohio we are here so far exseldom found to traverse the lines of latitude, empt, as to be almost entirely freed from anxiety. for any considerable distance, being interrupted and varied by local conditions, as by large bodies Again, colder periods have been realized at Cinof water, altitude, &c., so that, in many in- cinnati, and even as far south as St. Louis than
ever have been registered along our favored stances, they cross lines of latitude at angles South shore." quite acute, so as not to be recognized, except
Regarding what kind of soil is best adapted by scientific observations; in other cases they to growing grapes, there has been, and still conare interrupted and diverted suddenly, with
tinues to be, a great variety of opinions. On variations of several degrees.
the one hand it is contended that clay soils are Perhaps it may considerably abate the anxiety always to be preferred, and the stiffer and the of some who are about to plant vineyards upon heavier the better ; while others maintain the suthe south shore of Lake Erie, to be reminded periority of the light soils, and, as if insisting that in the application of this test, we are nearly upon the opposite extreme, they tell us the in range with Cincinnati; and I will take occa
"lighter the soil the better;" while others again, eion bere to observe, that additional encourage planting themselves (and their vines as well) ment is guaranteed by the fact that the rain fall, upon middle ground, prefer a gravelly loam, or during the growing season, is at least one fourth shale, with a slight mixture of clay, and always, less on our lake shore than at Cincinnati, and
the drifts, to any and all other conditions, or along the southern boundary of Ohio ; and when combinations of soil. it is remembered that, except in the very driest
But it is worthy of remark, that very satisfacseasons, we have here more rain than is desirable, tory results have frequently been realized upon the relative chances of success are seen to be every variety of soil, and therefore, by the every greatly in our favor.
where recognized rule"by their fruits, &c.," In making these comparisons, I by no means no composition of soil, as yet occupied, can, as a intended to undervalue the Ohio valley as a matter of course, be rejected. The truth is, the grape or wine district. My only object is to re nature and condition of the sub-soil, are of far lieve our own cultivators from their ill-founded
more consequence than the nature or composition apprehensions and misgivings, regarding low of the surface; and as my main object is to imtemperature, &c. Again, those districts, or sec press and instruct beginners, I will take the libtions of country where the health and vigor oferty to add, though perhaps out of place, in a vegetation is maintained for the greatest number formal discussion of this subject, that atmosof days, are, as a general rule, most favorable pberic conditions, aside from temperature, ars for growing and ripening the grape.
vastly more important than anything relating To maintain the life and vigor of grape foil- to the soil, or the depths below, intermediate or age for the longest possible period, is the great remote. And yet, it must be borne in mind, that desideratum in grape culture; and hence those a dry soil, or a porous sub-soil, or such thorough