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when sot only 12 or 15 inches apart, this thing is apt to be overdone, and the leaf is likely to be too thin and very liable to damage when curing, especially if unfavorable weather occurs. Broadleaf or seedleaf, being used mostly for binders, must be thin, and hence is set about 18 inches apart, but in former times, before the trade was so particular for thin leaf, these varieties were set 26 to 30 inches in the row. Now, if it is desired to get the most wrapper leaves in a crop, plants are set 18 to 20 inches for Havana seed, and 22 to 24 inches apart in the row for broadleaf, as a general rule among planters who manure heavily and who are disappointed in much less than one ton of cured leaf per acre. Formerly the rows were four feet apart for Connecticut broadleaf, but three and one-half feet is now the almost universal rule throughout Pennsylvania, New York and Wisconsin, with the plants about the distance apart just mentioned.
Cultivation.—Abundance of manure does not remove the necessity of thorough cultivation. Crops often need such treatment very badly where there are no weeds at all. The soil should be kept pulverized and loosened to as great a depth as possible without injury to the roots of the plant, particularly in the early stages of growth. The tobacco crop especially needs thorough cultivation, not so much with the hoe as with the culturevator, or with other labor-saving machines, care being taken to use only those machines, as the crop advances, that do their work without injury to the fibrous roots, or, in other words, which cut deepest in the center of the row and work closer to the surface near the plant. When plants are set by machine, an attachment can be affixed that will act as a cultivator, thus killing any weeds that may be starting. It is well to go over the field in a few days with a hand hoe and gently loosen the earth around and between the plants. It is the glory of the thrifty planter, not to allow a weed to be seen in his tobacco patch, and this is carried out to the greatest perfection in Lancaster county, Pennsylvania. As tobacco is grown solely for the leaf, great care should be taken in the later cultivation that no injury be done to the leaves. When land has been thoroughly cultirated, the weeds are entirely eliminated in the early part of the season, and the plant so shades the ground, in its later stage of growth, that weeds cannot flourish.
Within a week from the first, light hoeing, a culturevator, set narrow, should be run between the rows and run deeply, for too much care cannot be taken to
FIO. 117. PROVT'S HOEING MACHINE.
For tobacco and other crops requiring close culture. It can be "ed with one or two horses. When the ground is level and you wish i0 keen it so. run the* hoes even, but if you wish to ridge, the hoes can be fitted to the desired angle. It can be adjusted so as to hoe the most delicate plants without injury , ami to any width of row. it is made by the Beicher & Taylor Agricultural Tool Co., of Chicopee Falls, Mass.
keep the under soil mellow. A good stirring of the soil at this time is desirable, pulverizing, admitting light and air and leaving it in a condition more favorable to the plant. It is well to go over the field a week later with the hand hoe, to destroy any weeds missed by the cultivator. If the right tools are used, horse labor can be employed very largely in cultivation, and this is coming to be the practice throughout the cigar-leaf regions, and with great benefit to the crop, as well as saving to the planter. A favorite implement with New England and New York planters is Prout's hoeing machine, Fig. 117, which is peculiarly adapted to this crop. Of course, other cultivators and horse hoes are used, but this is considered one of the best.
With seedleaf, it is a rule to draw the dirt towards the plant at the second hoeing, so as to hill it a very little. The cultivator may be run between the rows to advantage five or six times, but do not commit the error of using it too late, for it is quite certain that after the plant is half grown, the cultivator does more harm than good by disturbing the roots, and the roots of seedleaf reach out further from the plant than do the roots of Havana. When tobacco is ready to top, the roots are too much developed to permit cultivating. All the later culture that is needed—the cutting down of weeds in the row—can be better done with the hand hoe. Some growers, who believe in "feeding high," sow 100 to 300 pounds per acre in the rows just before the second cultivation.
Havana seed requires considerable more hilling than seedleaf, because it tips over more readily. The first hilling should be the same, but at the second cultivating hill up decidedly more than for seedleaf. When the ridger has been used in preparing the land, a hiller, such as is attached to some cultivators, can be used advantageously, or one can be made readily as follows: Take a board, five inches wide and two feet long, sharpen to a point from a distance of one foot from the apex. Upon each side of the edge nail a piece of barrel stave, two and one-half feet long and five inches wide, making the upper edge even with the top of the wedge ; make a hole near the apex, and fasten to the middle piece of a common cultivator between the horse-hoe teeth, leaving the cutter turned out. At a third cultivation, this same hiller can again be used to advantage, but place a four-inch block upon the point of the hiller, so that it will take the dirt from the middle of the row, and build up the ridges still more. The hiller will not be found desirable where the ridger has not been used, as it will "hill" too much.
When the ground has been fitted by hand, use a common cultivator with the horse-hoe teeth turned out at the second hoeing; the amount of hilling can be regulated, of course, by the operator. At the third cultivation you can narrow the cultivator, bear a trifle harder on the handles, run the hoe teeth a little deeper, and then hill still more. When Havana stands up, the leaves do not lop towards the ground as much as do those of the seedleaf plant; consequently it can be cultivated later without danger of the horse stepping on the leaves. The shorter roots of the Havana also admit of later cultivation by horse power than is practicable, or desirable, with seedleaf.
Management of the Crop. — Where the stand is uneven, it always pays to reset with good plants and water them carefully. Sometimes plants are tipped over by heavy rains when the ground is soft. All such plants should be set up again and the earth firmed about them. Many prudent growers, while setting out their plants, provide an extra one here and there—sometimes as often as every other hill in every tenth or twelfth row—so as to have stock at hand to reset in place of plants that have died, or that are eaten by worms, or cut by careless hoeing. If a good body of earth is taken up with such plants, they can be set up in the vacant spaces even when fully a foot high. If the weather is favorable, these transplanted plants will quickly thrive; if it is hot and dry, they wilt at first, but will usually straighten up nearly as well as those that have not been moved. This near-at-hand transplanting is much more desirable at this late day than any transfer from distant tobacco beds, as the roots are less disturbed and