Madison, Wisconsin, March, 1919
The flowers In the foreground are Lupines, perennials hardy at least in Southern Wisconsin
Growing and Marketing Plants
H. C. Christensen
The growing of vegetable plants in greenhouses, hotbeds and cold frames for market may be made quite an additional source of income to the gardener, especially as most of the work connected with it may be done at a time when outdoor work does not claim one’s attention.
The war gardens of the past two years have greatly increased the sale of plants and the demand has been almost unlimited, and as the interest in gardening has been stimulated by war work the demand will probably continue to be good for some time yet.
I believe it will pay one to have a small greenhouse to start the plants in, as it eliminates much of the cold, disagreeable work connected with early hot-beds, and as it is getting harder to secure materials for making hot-beds the cost of heating is not any greater.
A good supply of soil should be secured in the fall. If one has a greenhouse it is filled then, if hotbeds it is put in piles and covered with manure to prevent freezing. We like a clay loam that is prepared by plowing under a heavy sod in the fall, working it thoroughly through the spring and summer to reduce the sod and keep it free from weeds. To this is added one-third of well rotted manure and some sand if the soil is very heavy.
A good supply of flats will be needed if the plants are to be sold to the grocers or retailers. We use two sizes, 16 1/2" x 22", 12" x 16 1/2" and 3" deep as these sizes fit conveniently in either a 3ft. or a 3ft. 4 in. sash frame. A few pots and dirt bands will be needed, as there is some demand for potted plants.
The plants that arc mostly in demand are: celery, tomatoes, pepper, egg plant, cabbage, cauliflower, kohl-rabi and head lettuce. To these may be added a few flowering plants as asters, salvia and pansies.
Our earliest tomatoes are sown in the greenhouse about the first of March. When the plants have 4 or 5 leaves which will be in 5 or 6 weeks they are set into hotbeds about 2 1/2 inches apart and when about 4 inches high are set in the larger sized flats, six dozen to a flat. These sold last year for 15 cents per dozen. For home trade we pull them directly from the beds and charge 20 cents per dozen. Some of the plants are set in the flats directly from the seed flats, but it is harder to secure uniform plants by this method.
Four inch pots are used in potting and plants from these sell for 60 cents per dozen. We grow the Buckstaff, John Baer and Dwarf Stone. While the last named is not a heavy yielder, the stocky plant it makes causes a demand for it which we try to discourage. To keep up a succession of plants, seed is sown every 3 weeks until the middle of April.
Egg plants, pepper and salvias are slow growing plants, so we sow the seeds of these the latter part of February. When the plants have grown 4 or 5 leaves they are set in hotbeds about the same distance apart as the tomatoes and when 4 inches high they are set in the smaller sized flats, 2 dozen egg plants, 3 dozen salvias and 3 dozen peppers to a flat. The egg plants bring 25 cents, the salvias 30 cents and the peppers 15 cents per dozen.
The first cabbage, cauliflower and kohlrabi seed is sown about March 1st. They are grown as cool as possible with as much ventilation as weather will permit, so the plants will be stocky and hardy. In preparing a bed for cabbage, we first put about 3 inches of the well enriched soil on the bed and about an inch of soil on top of this that has no manure in it, sowing the seed in drills in this. It helps to prenvent damping off, to which cabbage and especially cauliflower are particularly liable. When the plants are about the right size for setting we transplant into smaller sized flats, eight dozen to a flat. The cabbage and kohl-rabi bring 10 cents and the cauliflower 20 cents per dozen. The home trade is supplied directly from the frames at 8 cents per dozen or 60 cents per hundred. To keep up a succession, seed is sown every three weeks up to the first of June. Cauliflower brings 15 cents per dozen.
For early cabbage we grow Jersey Wakefield, Copenhagen Market and Glory of Enkhousen and for later, Succession and All-seasons. For cauliflower Early Snowball and Dry Weather. White Vienna is the only kohl-rabi we grow.
Celery, Celeriac and parsley are sown in flats in the greenhouse, about the middle of February. The soil in the flats is smoothed off and firmed with a board and the seed sown and then a quarter of and inch of clean sand sifted over the seed to prevent damping off. When the seedlings have 3 or 4 leaves they are set into the smaller flats 8 dozen to a flat, and bring 10 cents per dozen.
Asters are treated about the same as celery only the seed is not sown until the middle of March. Pansies are sown in July the year previous and wintered over in cold frames. When in bloom they are lifted with a trowel and set into the larger flats 4 dozen to a flat. They bring 30 cents per dozen.
Of late years there has grown to be quite a demand for head lettuce plants. The seed is sown the middle of March and as soon as the seedlings have 4 or 5 leaves, they are set into the smaller flats 4 dozen to a flat and bring 10 cents per dozen. May King is grown mostly.
The greater part of our plants are sold to the grocer, though we also have a good trade at home, as small gardens are numerous in our vicinity. Occasionally when we have a large supply we advertise in the daily papers.
Roses for Lawn and Border.
There is a rose for every purpose, say flower specialists of the U. S. Department of Agriculture. Selection and breeding have been practiced with this best loved of all flowers for ages, and have resulted in the development of a multitude of rose varieties, some of which are adapted to use under almost any conceivable conditions. By familiarizing himself before the planting seasons in fall and spring with the different types of roses and the purposes for which they are especially suited, the rose gardener in city or country may add greatly to the attractiveness of his home.
Roses for use on lawns and along borders must have habits of growth and foliage which fit them particularly for mass effects. Foliage, in fact, is more to be desired under such conditions than fine flowers, since it is a feature during the whole growing season, while the flowers may cover a period less than a fortnight in length. When suitable sorts are chosen, roses are quite as appropriate and effective for use in relief planting about the ground line of buildings or in masses upon the lawn or along borders as other ornamental shrubs. For such use, however, they must be hardy and moderately free in growth, and must possess foliage reasonably disease-resistant and free from insect attack.
One of the roses which has been found admirable for this landscape planting, is the Rugosa or Wrinkled Japanese rose. It is hardy in the north, succeeds well in the south, and thrives within reach of ocean spray. It blooms nearly all summer. Both red and white varieties are available. The Carolina rose, also suitable for lawn use, thrives in the entire territory east of the Mississippi river succeeding especially well in moist places. Both these varieties are relatively tall, reaching a height of from 6 to 8 feet. The Rosa lucida, a wild type native from Pennsylvania north, is on the other hand, desirable for a low ground cover 2 to 3 feet high. It grows well at the seaside and under other adverse conditions. The prairie rose has a wider range than any of the other roses named above, being native from Canada to Florida and west to Wisconsin, Nebraska and Texas. It is a single variety and thrives under adverse conditions. Among the other roses mentioned in the bulletin as useful for landscape planting are the Arkansas rose, Sweet Brier, Rosa eglanteria or Rosa lutea, Dwarf Polyantha, Cabbage rose, and the Damask rose.
Soils and Fertilizers.
The roses classed in the lawn and border group are adapted to a wide range of soil conditions, and may be counted on to succeed in any but extremely heavy or very sandy soils. Many of them will do well even on such soil types. The principal essentials are thorough drainage and a plentiful supply of organic matter, with a reasonably constant water supply during the growing season. In general a soil capable of growing good garden or field crops is suitable for roses. The deeper the soil and the better the preparation at the beginning, the more satisfactory will be the results.
The best fertilizer for roses is rotted cow manure, though any other well-rotted manure or good compost will serve the purpose. Fresh manure, especially horse manure, should be avoided, though if no other manure is available it may be used with extreme care. It must not come in direct contact with the roots when planting nor should any quantity of it be used immediately beneath the plant to cut off direct connection with the subsoil and the water supply. Of the commercial fertilizers, ground bone is excellent as additional food. It will not, however, answer as a substitute for an abundant supply of compost. Cottonseed meal, where it is cheap enough, may be used as a substitute for bone. Wood ashes are sometimes a helpful addition or, when they are not available, lime and muriate of potash may be used and should be applied separately.
Start early celery, cabbage and cauliflower early this month.
Edited by Mrs. S. N. Whittlesey, Cranmoor, Secretary Wisconsin Cranberry Growers Association
A typographical error occurred in the article of Miss Lyda M. Huyck, published in the February issue, that to those unversed would be very misleading. In the paragraph, “We will continue with our well proven net picking”—“net” should read “wet.” Net picking is impossible. Wet picking means the method of harvesting now, approved by some growers, of raking on the water. This is done by taking one section at a time flooding it deep enough to float all the berries, when they can be easily and quickly scooped or raked from the vines. Larger scoops or rakes can be used— fewer berries are lost, and a great many more can be gathered in a day than with the dry raked method, making the expense of getting them far cheaper. As but few berries can be put in a crate a great many drying crates are needed to facilitate rapid drying. It is in the drying or curing of these water raked berries that the danger lies. The few who have seemingly mastered the art - and it is an art—are very strong adherents—while the objectors are so fearful of injury to the keeping quality of the berry, and so averse to moisture, they will not have a berry taken from the vine till every particle of dew even is dried off. At the present time the water-raked method is the much debated question among the Wisconsin cranberry growers.
We are pleased to note that among the twenty-eight exhibitors at the Horticultural convention at Madison, Jan., 1919, nine of them were cranberry people. With the exception of E. G. Dano, of Tomah, all were from Cranmoor Station and Township.
Our Mr. E. G. Dano, of Tomah, is still a sufferer from injuries received in early January, when a passenger engine struck the buggy in which he was riding. With a broken collar bone, broken ribs, badly scratched face and neuritis developing later, he has certainly had something to endure. With the mental and physical strain over the injured, Mrs. Dano must also have endured something.
Chas. A. K. Rankin, a young cranberry grower of Corvallis, Wash., and a member of this association, was recently stationed at Pelham Bay Park, and while on leave, called and lunched with Mr. A. U. Chaney in New York city. Mr. Rankin walked out of the University of Washington into the U. S. Navy the first day of the war and has convoyed many troops, beside the ship Tuscania on her fatal voyage—while on the U. S. Steamship South Dakota.
Mr. R. C. Brown, a jeweler and optometrist of Riverhead, N. Y., is also a grower of Long Island Cranberries, with bogs at Calverton. With his check for annual dues Mr. Brown writes: “We have had personally a very successful year, due to a normally good crop, and the prevailing high prices since Thanksgiving. We still have about 50 barrels left to ship, which will be cleaned up inside of a couple weeks’ time. We are getting $25.00 for some of them. We have had a long period of wonderful record prices. In the long history of our bog, and during my father’s time from 1875 there have never been any such wonderful prices or returns.”
It is true that never before did prices soar as they have this season. That there is still the demand and people willing to pay, shows that the Cranberry is coming into its own, and will be considered not only a luxury but a staple product.
With the passing away of Mrs. Daniel Rezin, Sr., another break is made in the ranks of the cranberry people. For more than twenty-five years Mr. and Mrs. Rezin and their three sons and one daughter have been owners and cultivators of cranberry marshes. —at one time all in Cranmoor township. Since Mr. Rezin’s death in 1913 Mrs. Rezin has spent her time with her children at their marsh homes. Of late years Richard and Mrs. S. A. Warner were located at Warrens, Wis., Daniel, Jr., at Warrenton, Oregon, Robert still at Cranmoor, where, for the last three years Mrs. Rezin made her home—the greater part of this time confined to her bed, a nearly helpless but patient sufferer. Release came Sunday morning, February 9, 1919. Funeral services were held at St. John’s Episcopal church in Grand Rapids, with interment at Forest Hill cemetery. The pall bearers were B. P. Clinton, Jacob Searls, M. O. Potter, A. E. Bennett, Edward Kruger and S. N. Whittlesey, all old time friends.
What of the Future?
It seemed to me as I visited around among the members at our annual convention this winter, that our State Horticultural Society shows signs of growing pains.
In most eases, State Horticultural Societies finally develop so that their activities are specially directed in some one direction, generally as commercial apple growers. There have been times when this has seemed to be the tendency of the Wisconsin society. At the past convention there was some complaint that the commercial apple men had been neglected. When one considers the diversity of interests, in fact one might say the opposing interests represented in our Society it is rather a wonder we all get on so peaceably. Consider that we have:
Commercial apple growers, Home orchardists, Cherry growers, Cranberry growers, Market gardeners, Home gardeners, Professional florists, Private gardeners, Home flower lovers, Retail nurserymen, Wholesale nurserymen, Perhaps a few commission men, Small fruit growers,
A miscellaneous collection of Professors,
Home makers, And probably some who don’t belong among any of the above.
Does it not look as though your Secretary would be puzzled to keep everybody satisfied?
To be of greatest value, we are too diversified in our general interests. Then what shall we do? Allow some one interest to pre dominate? That will hardly satisfy many.
The other alternative seems to be to make the state society a sort of parent association to correlate all work and keep everything going strong, with the principal interests represented in separate auxiliary societies or sections.
This idea as applied to the Wisconsin society is not original with the writer by any means. It was first brought to my mind by the talk of Dr. Fracker at our annual banquet a year ago, and the success of the Woman’s Auxiliary during the past year has increased my interest.
This is but the rough presentation of the idea. I hope that those who read this will write to Mr. Cranefield expressing their opinions either for or against the plan. If there is merit in the thing, then I am sure the time is here when we must work out the practical details.
— W. A. Toole, Baraboo, Wis. Killing Woolly Aphis on Roots.
Carbon disulphid, in solution at the rate of one-half one to four gallons of water and applied at the rate of three-fourths gallon per square foot of soil, will control the root form of the woolly apple aphis and without injury to the trees under suitable conditions, says the U. S. Department of Agriculture, in Bulletin 730, recently published. The solution is prepared by pouring the carbon disulphid into the water and agitating the mixture vigorously. When applied on the soil around a tree the liquid penetrates into the ground and the poison gas given off by the chemical kills the pest. Every square foot of infested soil should be subjected to the action of the solution in order to insure complete control. This may be accomplished by pouring the liquid in a shallow basin made in the soil around the tree.
In orchard practice where many trees are to be treated, the solution is best applied by using a power spraying outfit and two auxiliary tanks. The advantages of this method, according to the bulletin, are, the even diffusion of the liquid and complete aphid mortality in the soil area treated and the safety with which the disulphid can be used. The disadvantages of the method are: the huge amounts of water required, with consequent high cost of labor ; the difficulty on any but level ground of preparing basins with level floors, thus insuring the proper distribution of the liquid over the area treated, and the wide area of infested roots on older trees, every square foot of which must be treated with the liquid. This last condition precludes the use of carbon disulphid except on small trees with restricted root areas.
Sodium cyanid, kerosene emulsion and deep planting of trees were other measures of control investigated, but they are not recommended by the department. If the weather is not severe, hotbeds may be started early in March. See that they are well protected on the outside with dry straw or dry manure. Heating or wet manure freezes and takes heat from the beds. The small, well pruned and well sprayed home orchard is worth more to the farm than the large one uncared for. Cut out the trees you can not take care of.
AMONG WISCONSIN BEEKEEPERS
The Wisconsin BeeKeepers Page
Prof. H. F. Wilson Editor
This page is to be devoted to the interests of the Wisconsin State Beekeepers’ Association. Questions, notes and papers from members will be gladly received and published as space will permit. The fee for annual membership in the Wisconsin Beekeepers’ Association is FIFTY CENTS. By an agreement with the Horticultural Society for 1919 this will include subscription to Wisconsin Horticulture. Send membership fee to H. F. Wilson, Secretary, Madison, Wisconsin.
The 49th Annual Convention of the National Beekeepers’ Association was held at the La Salle Hotel, Chicago, Feb. 18, 19 and 20. The meetings were well attended, and those preesent had the pleasure* of hearing Dr. C. C. Miller make a short speech. The main topic before the Convention was the reorganization of the National Association, and several plans were presented which are to be considered later. Dr. E. F. Phillips gave a paper on a European Foul Brood which was of vital importance to Wisconsin bee-keepers and we hope to publish this paper in our next number.
Our Work For 1919
By Gus. Dittmer, President
During the last year there has been considerable talk regarding the changing of our constitution so that the annual convention might be held at other places than Madison at the discretion of the executive officers. Obviously such a change as this should be considered very carefully to determine whether or not greater benefit can be derived by holding the annual convention at other places than Madison. I am of the opinion that if such an amendment is proposed that all arguments for and against its adoption should be seriously considered before making such a change. Personally, I can see no reaeson for such a change. It might be very gratifying to groups of beekeepers in different sections of the state to have the meeting held in a nearby city and possibly much wire pulling would be done by local districts to have the meetings held there regardless of the greatest benefit to the State Association. This association was organized for the sole purpose of promoting apiculture and benefiting beekeepers of the state and should not be used to satisfy the pride of individuals or single groups of individuals.
We have for many years worked hard to secure the recognition of the Legislature, the University and the State Department of Agriculture for Wisconsin apiculture. We have succeeded to some extent but as we must all agree a start has just been made and we cannot afford to lessen our efforts at this time. I believe we all realize that Wisconsin apiculture does not receive the support from the state that it should. Therefore, we must continue here at Madison where the work was started and brought to its present status until we have received a suitable recognition from the state. We must keep in touch with the Agricultural College and the State Department of Agriculture whose goodwill and support we now have and whose representatives are doing much to improve beekeeping conditions as well as helping to secure more substantial recognition from the Legislature. If meetings are wanted or needed in other localities, let the local organizations already established or to be established in the state, make their wants and desires known to the Agricultural College or Department of Agriculture and they will be taken care of. The Agricultural College and Department of Agriculture have already started to do this work with much success and satisfaction to the beekeepers of certain localities, as for instance, my own part of the state.
All of the state agricultural societies meet in annual convention at the State Capitol where they have their offices and headquarters under the auspices of the State Department of Agriculture and College of Agriculture and the industries reached by them and fostered and maintained by state appropriations amounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars. But where do the beekeepers come in and how far have we advanced as one of the state agricultural societies? About $1,500 is allowed for the suppression of foul brood and less than that for the maintenance of a state apiary and api cultural instruction at the Agricultural College. Should we be satisfied with these results? I say, No! We must keep at it until we have impressed the Legislature and those in authority with the importance of our industry to the extent that not less than 10,000 dollars a year will be available for the suppression of foul brood until it is rooted out and certainly not less than this amount for the support of a state apiary, scientific research, apicultural instruction and extension work in the Agricultural College. I am not one of those who are afraid that my immediate territory will be over-stocked with bees, but on the contrary, I believe that during a heavy honey run, tons of honey go to waste for the lack of bees to gather the crop.
Wisconsin is today the largest dairy state in the Union, not alone because of the money spent in its interest, but because of the continued and persistent work of the dairy interests combined in a state association. There is no reason whatever why Wisconsin should not become one of the largest honey producing states in the Union, but the initial push to this end must come from the beekeepers of the state organized as local associations and centered in the state association. This organization must keep itself in touch with the state authorities and institutions at headquarters. The economic building up of the industry is not all we have to do. After we have attained a status comparable with other industries, we will have to keep at it everlastingly to hold our own. No one else will do it for us. I hope I may be permitted to make the following suggestions.
Provisions should at once be made to enable the secretary to in crease the membership and the dues should be increased to $1 a year to give us a sufficient fund for carrying on the necessary work and propaganda. Our Board of Managers should have authority to devise means and plans for cooperating with the University and Department of agriculture and to have charge of legislative work. Also to help in the establishment of local associations with the help of the University Extension Department and the funds of the Association to be used in helping to pay the Secretary for his time and expenses There is no object gained by allowing funds to accumulate in our treasury and never knowing what to do with the money. Use it for a purpose and we certainly have a good one. Use it all rather than leave anything undone. If more is needed, we can probably make arrangements for meeting the demand. The Board of Directors should meet at once after the adjournment of the annual convention and make plans for the next year’s work. This positively cannot be done in the main body of the convention or in a committee of the whole. The Board of Managers also should have power to act on important matters between conventions, to consider legislative matters and to advise with the College of Agriculture, the State Department of Agriculture and the Federal Department of Agriculture in cases of extreme need. It may be argued that such a procedure is undemocratic and is liable to put the affairs of the association in the hands of a few. This need not be, however, as our Board of Managers have nothing to do whatever with the election of officer or themselves and they cannot make any changes in our constitution or by laws.
Control of Anthracnose on Raspberries
The anthracnose disease of raspberries has caused great loss to Wisconsin growers for years, al though in many cases the gradual failure and dying out of the plantations was attributed to other causes.
It is a stem disease largely, although it sometimes extends to the veins of the leaves and is sometimes called “stem-canker.”
Professor Dutton of the Michigan College has carried on experiment for two years and the results show that the disease can be successfully controlled. The following are his conclusions:
“The results of these experiment shows that anthracnose on black raspberries can be satisfactorily controlled with lime-sulphur. To insure success at least three applications should be made, as follows:
First—In spring before growth starts. Use lime-sulphur diluted at the rate of 2 1/2 gallons in 50.
Second—When new shoots are six to eight inches high. Use lime-sulphur diluted at the rate of 1 1/4 gallons in 50.
Third—Just before blooming period. Use lime-sulphur diluted at the rate of 1 1/4 gallons in 50.
Clean cultivation should be practiced. Weeds in the rows will hold moisture, making conditions favorable for anthracnose development. The bearing canes should be removed as soon as the fruit is harvested.”
Most house plants root readily in a glass of water if kept in an even temperature and not in direct sunlight.
As a reward for good behavior, no doubt, the State Council of Defense, now dead, defunct, deceased, willed the “War Garden” work to this Society.
We want to hold as much as possible of last year's gain, but we are making no patriotic appeal nor any “starving millions” appeal. We are appealing to the people of Wisconsin to help themselves by planting gardens again this year and all the years to come. By doing this we will surely help feed all who are less fortunately situated than we are.
We are to make gardens this year for the pleasure and the profit to be derived from them and that ought to be enough. There will be no difficulty in getting gardeners, practically every one who had a garden last year wants one this year, but not every lot owner who furnished land free to war gardeners is willing to do it, this year.
The greatest difficulty lies in persuading the garden committees who served last year to act this year. In order to accomplish anything worth while there must be a central organization, a clearing house, through which vacant lots may be listed and assigned to applicants. Here is where our members who live in cities can help. Up to the end of February only fifteen cities of the fifty-six reporting a city garden committee in 1918 have reported an organization this year as follows: Wausau, La Crosse, Manitowoc, Marshfield, Monroe, Chippewa Falls, So. Milwaukee, Bayfield, Washburn, Menomonie, West Allis, Beloit, Superior, Kaukauna and Madison.
Members of this Society living in cities not named in this list are req nested to take a hand in organizing a committee and report to this office. We have on hand a supply of the March Supplement, a manual on gardening, exactly fitted to Wisconsin conditions, and as many of these will be sent free as may be needed, but will be sent only to some committee or other body that will attend to a proper and economical distribution of them. Here is an opportunity for every member, living in a city not named above to help in promoting gardening.
The American Apple Show
Illinois apple growers held an apple show in Chicago last December. Wisconsin was asked to joint but declined, as it did not appeal to us as a “win-the-war" measure.
A meeting was held in Chicago Feb. 7th attended by representatives from twelve states and the American Apple Show Association organized. H. M. Dunlap, of Illinois, was elected president; F. Cranefield, vice president, and Prof. Laurenz Greene, of Indiana, secretary. An executive committee of five was also elected. An “all American” show will be held in Chicago, probably in November and it is up to Wisconsin growers to make plans now to win. This will be our first real opportunity since the World's Fair at St. Louis in 1904 to show Wisconsin apples at their best; the state fair is too early and winter meeting too late. The premium list will be printed in Wisconsin Horticulture as soon as announced by the executive committee.
Boost a Little
You can help your friend, you can help the Society and indirectly every one concerned in horticulture by securing a new member. Strange as it may seem to you, there are over a million people in Wisconsin who are not members and don’t know of the advantages of membership. Nor do they know how simple and easy it is to acquire membership. Further many people who know something about the Society consider it an organization composed mostly of professional fruit growers, while in fact not over ten per cent are in that class, the remaining ninety per cent being amateurs. We have nearly three hundred members in Milwaukee and every one an enthusiastic gardener. So just boost a little: do a little missionary work by telling your neighbor about the Society. If you can’t conveniently do that send his name to the secretary, who will do his worst.
Constitution and By Laws Revised
One of the most important events of the annual convention was the revision of our constitution and by-laws to conform to state laws enacted since the last -evision in 1909. The constitution with a brief historical sketch of the Society is being published in pamphlet form and a copy will be mailed to every member.
We Will Keep Bees
Our family is growing; soon we will have all the good people in Wisconsin under our family roof. Here come the bee-keepers as an auxiliary society about 300 strong and many more to follow. We need the bees to pollenize our Howers, the bees need the flowers, together we ought to have a sweet time.
Pruning Fruit Trees
Orchard trees may be pruned at any time when the wood is not actually frozen, and at such times the primer is not apt to be on the job. So far this has been an unusually mild winter and many growers have pruned their orchards. Amateurs will take notice that they may prune their fruit trees any time in March without tear of injury to the trees.
The citrus growers of California are conducting experiments to test the quality of buds from especially productive and also less productive citrus fruits. There seems to be an impression that buds from trees which are good bearers will make good bearing trees. Perhaps this will apply to apples and plums.
Domesticating Our Native Wild Flowers
William Toole, Sr., Baraboo, Wis.
Why should we plant our native wild flowers in our gardens when they may be had for the gathering from our roadsides, our woodlands and marshes? We may wish to do so for reasons of sentiment, and also because of their intrinsic beauty.
These beauties of our wild lands are free to the finder but yearly they become more scarce. The green groves have passed away from many a hillside; field crops now grow where we used to gather the wild phlox and the painted cup, and farther apart are the wild ladyslipper or moccasin flower. Less frequently than formerly can we gather armsful of our Turk's Cap Lily.
I do not know just where to go in Sauk county to find the side saddle flower of the Pitcher Plant, also several of the Orchid family as Pogonia, Calipogon and the Showy Orchis. The Trailing Arbutus plant is becoming so rare here one should keep secret the knowledge of the few plants that are left.
Pleasant recollections of trips to woods and fields for nature study or for enjoyment of the surroundings, bring to us longing for the beauties we have discovered in out of the way places. We associate in our minds certain species with special surroundings or conditions, and we at first thought that wild plants should succeed only under such circumstances to which it seemed as though they were wonted. With closer observation we note that many wild plants succeed in their native way under widely varying conditions. For instance, here in Sauk county we expect to find the prairie phlox in open brush lands where the soil is lighter than what we would call sandy loam. In my collection of this phlox the choicest varieties which I have of the species were gathered in a marsh south of Madison. We find the woods phlox here only in the rich soil of the timberlands yet in Indiana, last spring. I found the two species in some instances growing together, although generally in separate localities.
Our spider lily, Tradescantia Virginiana usually colonizes in light soils, yet I have found it also thriving near marshy ground in a black peaty soil.
The showy lady slipper is described in the botany as growing in marshy ground. I have often found it but never in wet or marshy situations. While it is well to study the preferences of various plants to some extent, the prime need of most of them is a chance to grow without being crowded out with grasses and other plants. When given good garden cultivation a number of kinds of our wild plants, will thrive better than we find them doing in their native habitat. Even plants seemingly so retiring as the c and the Harebell if given a chance in cultivation, will attain to a size of plant exceeding any we find in a wild state. Some kinds are not deeply rooted and may need some artificial watering in a prolonged dry spell, but nearly all of them are satisfied with good cultivation.
I have tried to give to some plants what seemed like natural conditions in a wooded slope where the soil is good, and leaf mold abounds, but both species of Phlox, Jacob’s ladder, Hepatica and others do better in the open with cultivation. The wild Turk’s Cap Lily enjoys a place of its own and prefers cultivation in good soil, although it is mostly found in moist wild meadows.
Of course these native plants of various kinds should not be forgotten when not in flower, otherwise weeds will crowd them out. Some kinds show their beauty and make their growth in spring and early summer, dying down to the ground early—their places should be marked. This class includes Blood-root, Dutchman’s Breeches, Green Dragon Arum, Adders rongue, Spring Beauty.
There are but few annuals and not many biennials among our native wild flowers that are worth considering as attractive.
A convenient time to collect and transplant most of these native flowering plants is when they are in flower, as they can then be most easily identified. I have had good success in moving a number of kinds at that stage of growth. Some kinds bear moving best during the short resting spell which follows their season of blooming. This is so with the Moccasin flowers or Cyprepide-ums, the Lillies, and I think the lupines or Sundial. I have not had good success with the Lupine and would like to try them from seed. The Badger flower Anem one pulsatilla is impatient of removal in early spring. I shall try it sometime after the seeds are ripened.
When moving these wild plants, care should be taken to secure plenty of roots which should not at any time become dry. Soil taken with the plants helps to save the roots, but when I know that I can make the roots safe I sometimes shake away the soil for convenience in packing to carry them home. With a stout trowel to dig with, and plenty of paper and baskets for packing, one can make them safe for carrying home,—just as safely as plants can be sent a long distance by express. Some kinds can be conveniently raised from seed as I have done with our native Phlox, the cardinal flower, blackeyed Susan, the compass plant and others. With seedlings there is a chance for variation and through selection one can plan for bringing out new’ varieties. Such opportunities are manifest in the Phloxes, Jacobs Ladder, the native Asters, black-eyed Susan, wild Lillies, Pleurisy root and others. I have derived much satisfaction from this work with some of the kinds.
In planting I would advise grouping together low’ growing, early flowering kinds. In this class I would list Hepatica, Spring Beauty or Claytonia, Lungwort or Mertensia, Dutchman’s Breeches or Dicentra, Rue Anemone or Anemonella, Isopyrum, Wood Anemone, Jacob’s Ladder, the Pasque flower, called by some the Badger flower, Dog Tooth Violet—both white and yellow’, Northern Bedstraw, Blood Root, Marsh Marigold, both of our native Phloxes, wild Columbine, Yellow’ Puccoon, Harebell, some of the early Meadow’ Rues or Thalictrains, Wake Robin or Trillium, Violets in variety, Trailing Arbutus, if you can make it grow, and others which are worthy of a place with these. Those who choose to grow but few kinds would probably make a choice from this list. Individual preference might lead to choice of other kinds. Perennial plants and shrubs go well together, those who have room and choose to do so can make pleasing combinations of our native plants with shrubs.
Sometimes there is a desire for plants which will give flowers under the shade of trees. While no plants will have their best showing in such a condition, some of our natives adapt themselves to such a use. For such a purpose I recommend the white Eupatorium of White Snakeroot, Joe Pye Weed, and spine of the native asters such as Novae Anglae and our native Phlox.
This paper is not written to persuade anyone to cultivate our native flowers but to encourage those who desire to do so and hesitate because of lack of experience. If the work is commenced in a small way, interest and experience are soon acquired. To be able to recognize and name our native flora with the feeling that they are familiar acquaintances adds much to the joys of outdoor life. I would urge anyone to not assume an appearance of pride in not being able to remember botanical names. To forget names should be tolerated in old people but is not helpful to the young. When I came to Wisconsin sixty years ago next spring I soon noticed that there was a Wide range of flora differing from those with which I had become familiar in Rhode Island. Of course I wished to know the lames and learned that the same common name might be applied to a number of different species. There were pinks without end, bunch pinks, squaw pinks, prairie pinks, Indian pinks and some that have got away from my recollection. Blue bells and Mayflowers were applied indiscriminately, and there were snake root and snake weed without rest.
Wood’s Class Book of Botany introduced me to a large class of acquaintances and a world of satisfaction. The hard names are not troublesome but the habit the botanists have of changing old established names is disconcerting. Most people have accepted a number of botanical names as a matter of course. Why not acquire knowledge of enough names to make the list of value in identifying such as should be old acquaintances.
Notes on Muskmelon Culture
By N. A. Rasmussen
For early melons start plants under glass; for the main crop plant seeds in the open ground. For Wisconsin markets one-half the acreage should be early melons. For the early crop plant seeds in hotbed four to six weeks in advance of time when plants may be safely set in open ground which, in central and southern Wisconsin, is about June 1st.
Use “dirt-bands” for plants instead of sod. Soil for seedlings should be rich in plant food and very light in texture.
Bands 3 x 3 inches should be used and may be either of wood or paper. Plant four to six seeds in each band and remove all but two plants when transplanting.
Plants should not be transplanted until the second pair of true or “rough” leaves appear. Set four by five feet in the field,—one or not more than two plants to a hill. Great care should be used in transplanting so as to avoid loosening the soil about the roots.. The holes should be dug in advance of planting; slip the band into the hole and by pushing down with the thumbs, retaining hold on bottom of band with the fingers the plants may be removed from the band without disturbance of the roots.
Cultivation in the field is the same as for cucumbers. The soil should be light in texture, soil that will not bake under ordinary conditions, and of course must be well drained. Light, sandy soil will produce earlier melons than heavy soil, but the quality is not as good. Milwaukee Market is one of the most profitable varieties to grow.
The Plant Disease Situation in the State
By R. E. Vaughan
In reviewing the plant disease situation in Wisconsin for the season of 1918 three things stand out prominently: 1. The general good health of our crop; 2. The intensive surveys that have been made for diseases of grains and potatoes; 3. The splendid cooperation in the work between the United States Department of Agriculture, the state agricultural department, and the plant pathology department and extension service of the University. With 180 million people facing starvation as a result of the great war we can be very thankful that Wisconsin is in a position to do her bit in “keeping the wolf from the door” of our Allies. Probably small amounts of our important horticultural crops will actually be shipped across the ocean, but they will play a part in releasing other food and in keeping up the morale and health of the home folks.
“An apple a day Keeps the doctor away.”
Remedies for the control of plant disease can only be intelligently applied when the nature and causes of the various diseases are known and the locations where the diseases in question are of economic importance. Thanks to the researches of Professor Jones, Dr. Keitt, and others we are accumulating a fundamental knowledge of the nature and causes of such diseases as cabbage yellows and cherry leaf spot or “shot hole”. Dr. Walker is aiding the onion growers in solving their problems and Messrs. McKinney and Richards are actively engaged with experiments on potato scab and Rhizoctonia.
During the summer of 1918 members of the plant pathology department traveled many hundred miles in the state observing the condition of the apples and cherries, potatoes, cabbage, and onion, and cereals of all kinds. Whenever possible, advantage was taken of the county agents and emergency food agents because of their intimate knowledge of the plant disease condition in the counties.
The Plant Disease Survey of the U. S. Department of Agriculture stationed a field agent, Professor Wright, in Wisconsin from July 1 to September 28 for the particular purpose of detecting the first evidence of any outbreak of late blight on potato. All other crop diseases were also reported upon by Mr. Wright. On August 13 a field showing a field of late blight was found near Rice Lake, Barron county, and later several other fields were found in the vicinity. Through the able work and leadership of County Agent Cuff, Barron was well supplied with sprayers and spray material, and, when the warning was sounded, all the spray machines were hauled out and put to work. The results at digging were:
Thorough spraying with Bordeaux mixture held the blight in cheek until the frosts of September killed the vines and the danger from blight was over.
The injury to potatoes caused by frosting is of much greater importance than it is usually considered. It is a matter of common knowledge that when potatoes are frozen solid they become soft upon thawing and are known to the trade as “leakers”. However, when a potato is slightly chilled, a few degrees below the freezing point, there is no external visible indication of damage. It is only when such potatoes are cut open that the result of chilling is observed. They may show dark lines in the region of the vascular ring beneath the skin or a net work of discolored strands in the flesh. The discoloration is always more marked at the stem end than at the eye end of the tuber.
Cabbage diseases always claim considerable attention from the plant pathology department and I am pleased to say that the yellow disease, which a few years ago threatened to ruin the cabbage growing industry in the lake shore region of Racine and Kenosha Counties, is now practically under control through the use of the specially selected strain, Wisconsin Hollander. There is approximately a thousand pounds of this seed available for 1919. Mr. W. J. Hansche, Route 4, Racine, handles this seed as he did last vear.
Cabbage black leg, a fungus disease, has been found more serious this year than in any previous season when this crop has been under observation. Virulent attacks have been made on fields of Wisconsin Hollander as well as other strains and varieties. Some fields of Hollander and domestic cabbage were nearly worthless. Black leg came the nearest to producing an epidemic of any plant disease that was observed in 1918. The fungus causing black leg lives over with the seed and on old stumps and leaves so that two avenues of control should be considered (1) sound seed, disinfected; (2) rotation of seed bed and field. Seed treatment will not be an absolute guarantee against black leg because some of the fungus threads may get down under the seed coats into the very heart of the seed beyond the reach of any disinfectant. Formaldehyde solution, 1 oz. to 2 gal of water, for 20 minutes has been recommended tor cabbage seed treatment, but does not prove quite as satisfactory as corrosive sublimate 1:1000 which can easily be made up in small quantities from tablets obtainable at any drug store. There is, however, a very great promise of being able to use heat in disinfecting cabbage and other seeds according to preliminary results of experiments now in progress.
The use of the formaldehyde drip attachment on onion seeders was again successfully demonstrated in fields south of Racine.
Mr. Piper, one of the large growers, arranged two 30-gallon tanks on his large 2-horse 6-row machine and treated over 40 acres. He was so thoroughly convinced of the value of this treatment that he left no cheek rows for comparison. However, we do know that a full crop was harvested this year from fields that in 1917 gave from half to two-thirds of a crop because of smut. In a field where the smut trouble was very severe check rows were left untreated. These gave 186 bushels to the acre while the field treated went 681 bushels, a gain of 495 bushels.
In addition to the extensive survey work that was carried on last year as a result of the cooperative relations established with the U. S. Department of Agriculture, there is now stationed at Madison in connection with the plant pathology department a branch laboratory of the Office of Cereal Investigation. Dr. A. G. Johnson of our department has been placed in charge of all the investigations on cereal diseases caused by fungi of the ascus and imperfecti groups. Furthermore, the U. S. Department of Agriculture, Office of Cotton, Truck, and Forage Crop Investigations, has detailed to our laboratory Dr. F. R. Jones, who is continuing investigations on pea blight, and Dr. J. C. Walker, who is devoting his time to finding ways and means of better controlling cabbage and onion troubles.
Cooperation, working together, is an important reason why Wisconsin is so widely and favorably known in the field of plant disease control and there is every indication that future results will equal if not surpass those that have been recorded.
Pruning and Spraying Bush Fruits
T. H. Kiethly, Indiana
The systematic pruning of the bush fruits, especially of currants and gooseberries is very often neglected, yet it is just as important that they be pruned regularly and to some fixed system as it is that the grape, for instance, be so treated.
One should have some definite system of pruning each species of bush fruit and the choice of system must depend upon certain conditions, such as the fruiting habit of the plants, the manner of training, the location of the plantation, the variety one is growing, etc. No system, however practical it may be, can be applied in an ironclad way to all varieties of a class nor to all bushes of a certain variety, but must be intelligently varied to meet the case in hand. I shall tell briefly of some of the systems we have found practical in our work.
The pruning of currants and gooseberries can all be done at one time in late winter or early spring. They both produce most of their fruit on the laterals on canes older than one year and on fruit spurs on these canes, hence the same system of pruning applies to them both. We first remove all canes over four years of age. Then head in all lateral shoots that have made a vigorous growth. We take off 2 to 4 inches from a growth of ten to twelve inches. We rarely head in any laterals on the four year canes. We then remove all but three or four of the one year canes or whips and head them back to about 2 feet in height. This makes for a short bushy cane that will not drop over when laden with fruit. Lastly we go around the bush and trim off any growths that trail down. When the bush is pruned it has three or four canes one year old, three or four two years old, three or four three years old and three or four four years old, but none over four years of age. Occasionally this system has to be varied to meet the varying conditions of seasons, etc., but always we have new wood coming on and old wood being taken out.
The raspberries all produce their fruit on one year canes that bear only once and die that autumn. Each spring one or more leafy shoots arise from the crown of each black raspberry bush. These we tip back or pinch out the growing tip from two to two and a half feet high. If allowed to grow tall and then cut back to this height a weak, lateral growth results, but when nipped at the right stage several strong laterals will be thrown out and will greatly increase the fruiting surface. One often has to go over the black caps three or four times to get these shoots at the proper height. Before growth starts in the spring we prune the lateral growths of the young canes to from eight to fourteen inches in length and then with a pruning hook remove all the dead canes that bore the past season’s crop of fruit and enough of the weaker young canes so that no bud has more than four or five canes on it. When we transplant black raspberries we trim off all the old wood as near to the bud as possible so as not to spread disease.
The blackberry should be pruned about as I have outlined for the black raspberry, except where supports are used for the canes, the shoots need not be nipped in the summer.
The shoots of the ordinary red raspberry should not be nipped in the summer, but if one is dealing with the drooping purple canes, as Shaffer and Columbian, the nip-pining should be done the same as for black caps. The young canes of the red raspberry should be headed in in the spring before growth starts at from three to four feet. All old dead canes and weak young ones should be removed at the same time.
Now as to the spraying, all bush fruits should receive a good, thorough coating of winter strength lime sulphur applied late in the spring just as the leaf buds are bursting open. Even if some of the leaves are commencing to unfold we have never noticed any spray injury. The later it can be applied without injury the more good it does. We have found that this winter spray controls the anthracnose of the black raspberry better than any other thing we have tried. It also holds the San Jose scale in check on the currants and saves as a general clean up for many fungous troubles. When the leaves on the currant and gooseberries approach a quarter of a dollar in size we spray with arsenate of lead for the currant worms, and repeat in about ten days. This gets them before they get a start and they rarely bother us. If you wait till you see them to spray, you are apt to find them about as hard to stop as a forest fire. Before the war caused copper sulphate to soar in price we always combined bordeaux with the arsenate of lead for these summer sprayings for the currants and gooseberries and never had any serious loss from leaf blight or from gooseberry mildew. Two years ago we decided because of the high price of copper sulphate to use summer strength lime sulphur, one gal. to 40, with the arsenate instead of the bordeaux. So far the past two years we used no bordeaux. This we found to be a false economy and as direct result we had to grub out as fine a patch of Red Cross currants as one would care to see. They had been ruined by leaf blight. In our opinion had we stuck to Bordeaux we would still have those bushes. In some localities the currant louse or aphis gives trouble. The best spray for this is Nicotine sulphate and can be applied as a combined spray or separately. These lice work on the under surface of the leaves and as the spray must hit them in order to kill one must use an angle nozzle. Fortunately we have never had a bad infestation of these aphids, although we have had enough to see what damage they could do if they appeared in numbers.
It looks now as though the market would be very keen for all kinds of berries for the next few years and I believe we will all be repaid for extra effort in spraying and pruning these crops.
The Grain Rust Campaign and the Horticulturist
By S. B. Fracker .
One of the big effects of the war was the realization it brought to America of the importance of food. Our problem had always been how to dispose of farm products instead of how to raise them. This condition had been rapidly changing in recent decades, but so quietly had over-production given place to under-production that the new situation was scarcely realized. Even in 1914 the brewery interests, for example, were advertising the number of millions of bushels of grain they were using without benefit to the consumer.
The sudden realization of a world food shortage which came with the outbreak of war caused a marshalling of every force to prevent any possible waste. It was necessary to stop losses in production as well as waste in consumption. When it was realized that a reduction in the wheat crop of 1916 from 1,025,000,000 bushels, the 1915 figures, to 636,000,000 bushels had taken place, largely through the effect of a single pre-ventible plant disease, the necessity of heroic measures was apparent.
Black stem rust of grain had been the cause of many serious losses to wheat, oats, barley, and rye crops now and then for decades. The most remarkable feature of these conditions was the fact that the remedy had been known for many generations. Two centuries ago farmers discovered that black rust did untold injury in fields adjoining barberry hedges. At the time of the Revolutionary war Massachusetts prohibited the planting of the common barberry but seems never to have enforced the statute. In 1865 it was definitely proven that the barberry rust was the same as that on grain.
It may seem strange under these circumstances that these bushes were imported so persistently into the United States. They originated in Asia, but the berries proved popular in Europe and were brought into America by the early settlers. In Wisconsin they arrived by 1840 and sixty years ago were well established in Dane, Walworth, Winnebago, Manitowoc, Brown, Sauk, La Crosse, Trempealeau and other counties.
The question of a campaign of eradication was becoming insistent three years ago after excellent results had followed similar action in European countries. Denmark led the war and has not had a rust epidemic since the common barberries were destroyed. Many other countries followed suit. The United States last year, becoming the granary of the world, could not afford to lose a fourth of its entire grain crop from a preventible disease and began an eradication campaign.
The experiment station, and the state federal departments of agriculture joined hands. Thousands of copies of educational articles were published and reams of mimeograph letters were sent out. Park boards, state institutions and public officials set the example and owners of large estates rapidly fell in line: In Wisconsin over a hundred thousand sources of grain rust infection had been destroyed by the time the buds burst in the spring.
In twelve places in the sta barberries had escaped from their usual locations around houses am. been carried by birds into the woods. In nine of these places all have been destroyed and progress has been made in the others. There are possibly other counties in which the barberries are numerous in the woods but such conditions are not proving as difficult to handle as was anticipated.
The horticultural society can help during the coming season even more than during the past. The conspicuous and easily found plants have been taken out. but isolated and missed ones remain. Members can be of greaet assistance by notifying the department of any tall barberry bushes found especially along country roads. This campaign will be continued until not a shrub of the dangerous kind remains.