Wisconsin horticulture; official organ of the Wisconsin state horticultural society

Volume X
Madison, Wisconsin, September, 1919
Number 1

“Masterly Inactivity” Best For the Peony

Reid Howell. New Jersey

In the Garden Magazine for August.

The time to order Peony roots is August; planting should be done in September. There is nothing difficult about their cultivation. As a matter of fact, you may stick your Peonies in the ground, never giving them another thought, and the probabilities are that year after year they will struggle through the weeds and grass and produce a very fair display of flowers. They are neither Orchids nor Roses and are literally easier to grow than a Geranium.

Peonies indeed will resent nursing and coddling; they don't like much stirring of the ground about their stems. Briefly, about the principal “culture” consists in letting them alone, except to keep them clear of grass and weeds.

Many of the disappointments experienced are due to some of the eyes having been destroyed, either by hasty or rough planting or a stirring of the ground directly over the plants in early spring. No weeding or raking should be done near the plants Mkitil the shoots are well up out of the ground.

Planting is a simple job. There is no need of “excavating to the depth of 21/-; to 3 feet” for the planting of those roots, unless you want to do it for your health. It isn’t necessary. Some hysterical horticulturist wrote this a hundred years or so ago, and every Peony man since has seemed to think it necessary to copy it. Imagine excavating to the depth of 2V-> to 3 feet for a bed of 100 Peonies, or even 50! It brings visions of steam shovels, straining horses, shouting men. The duffer who first wrote that ought to have added, "and if you change your mind about the Peonies, and decide to have a house instead, you will have an excavation ready for the foundations.” Simply dig a hole for each individual root. The hole need not be "as deep as a well,” nor "as wide as a church door.” but just large enough for the roof to go in, with some little space to spare all around it.

The rest of the advice that experience has taught me can best be presented in the negative form of what NOT to do!

Don't I'se Manure

Never use fresh manure in any way, shape, or form, unless as a mulch after planting, and even in this case, it must be kept away from directly over the crown of the plant. If your ground has been prepared with manure a year in advance of planting, it will be an excellent thing; otherwise, when you come to set your roots, don’t use manure at all. Peonies can be, and frequently are, overfed. Assuming that you have just ordinarily good garden soil, T would advise against enriching it in any way except by the addition of pure raw bone-meal. And if where you are planting the soil is not good. I suggest replacing it to the depth of two feet or more with good garden soil.

Don't Plant Carelessly

Don’t pliint too deep. Too deep planting is responsible for many partial to complete failures. If roots are set with eyes much more than three inches below the level of the soil when planting is completed, the plants may fail to bloom for several years, or the blooms may be of indifferent quality year after year.

Don't plant too sheilloic. Plants with the topmost eyes less than two inches below the level of the soil are likely to be exposed in one way or another. From 2l/2 to 3 inches is about right, making due allowance for settling of ground after planting.

Don't set too close in permanent planting; that is. if you mean to let them remain as you plant them. Peonies should not be set closer than three feet apart each way. Four feet is far better.

Don't 'Worry About "Protection

Peonies (all varieties) are literally as "hardy as the oak." and need no protection whatever, even in latitudes where the temperature goes down to any quantity of degrees below zero. Indeed, the best blooming seasons are invariably those which follow hard, "stay-frozen” winters. The first winter after planting, the roots are, of course, loose in the ground, and for this one season, a light cover of, say two inches of coarse litter —grass, or fine straw—is thought by some to be necessary to prevent heaving of roots.

“Once planted, all is done.” is almost a literal truth about Peonies. Assuming that you follow the foregoing directions in planting, etc., the after-culture or fertilization consists only, in my opinion, of applying one pound of bone meal to every plant directly after the blooming season is past. This bone meal should be dug lightly with the hands or with a hand-trowel into the soil around the plants to the depth of only an inch or two, but not too close to the stem.

Don 7 use lime in preparing beds. A certain grower reports the death of several acres of plants due to excessive liming of the soil.

Don’t fail to water plants plentifully during the blooming period; but don’t use manure water at this time, or at any time, unless you are careful not to get it dose to stems of plants.

Don't Worry Anorr Diseases

There aren't any diseases that need give you any concern whatever, eminent horticultural professors to the contrary notwithstanding. True, there is a fungous disease, which attacks the leaves of 1 he plants. This usually occurs only during very wet summers, and follows the blooming period. Purple blotches appear on the leaves and though a great ado has been made about it, it does not seem to render them especially unsightly. The trouble does not extend to, or affect the root in the slightest degree. There is another “disease” of a like character which attacks the stems and sometimes causes them to wilt rather suddenly; but this, except in rare cases, also follows the blooming season, but it does not affect the root in any way. The Peony root itself is subject to no disease that is either fatal or even of temporary seriousness. There are times when plants become “sulky” and refuse to bloom for a season, sometimes even two successive seasons. There are also times when the buds do not mature, and sometimes they turn brown or blast before opening but don’t ask any one to explain it, for they can’t and any grower who undertakes to do so is just groping in the dark. | It seems to be pretty well established that these are all forms of one. the botrytis, disease which is, in our experience, controllable by dusting on dry bordeaux.—Ed.

Some of the above difficulties may be due to the plant’s method of taking a season off—a rest; the fruit trees in your orchard do no less. Or it may be caused by over-fertilization or the use of strong manure.

Selecting the Place to Plant

Don’t plant in low wet ground. Peonies require lots of moisture but they will not do well in low and constantly damp ground. A situation where there would be a constant supply of water around the roots they would not tolerate at all.

Don’t plant under tries. Peonies will do admirably in partial shade—the shade cast by buildings or trees when the latter are located at a considerable distance. But in no case should roots be set, say for example, within 30 feet of a tree a foot in diameter, and they cannot do well when planted within 12 feet of a Privet hedge.

Don’t plant Peonies along the foundation walls of a building, unless you see to it that the plants get their share of water during the growing season. Frequently plantings about the base of a house receive no water for many weeks in succession, the rains all coming from the wrong direction—for the plants! Moreover, the soil directly around a house frequently contains too too much miscellaneous refuse—often large quantities of lime—for plants to do well.

Don’t worry about ants. At a certain stage in their development Peony buds exude a sticky substance which attracts ants by the thousands and they swarm all over the buds and plants. It is scarcely worth while to take any trouble to get rid of them, inasmuch as they don’t do the slightest injury, and by the time the buds are ready to unfold, have entirely disappeared.

Don't Move Vock Peonies

Some growers have voiced the opinion that roots ought to be taken up and divided every four or five years. But it is a mistake to do so. Roots should be left undisturbed indefinitely. If this is done the plants will increase in vigor and productiveness year after year, the blooms growing larger and more fragrant and nearer and nearer to absolute perfection in form. The Peonies I originally planted have remained undisturbed for 25 years, and each one produces every year from 25 to 100 magnificent blooms.

As to Attention After Blooming

A great many people thoughtlessly cut down the Peony stems after blooming, close to the ground, to make room for other flowering plants—perhaps annuals nearby. A Peony root has actually more lives than the proverbial cat, but this often kills it outright, and if it does not will at least, in every case, cripple the plant to the extent of its bearing the very poorest sort of flowers for several subsequent seasons. Foliage is necessary to the life of the plant; in other words, it breathes through, and lives, by reason of its leaves; and thus through the summer months the Peony is growing below ground, storing up energy and forming its eyes for the following season's bloom. It is plainly obvious. too, that even in cutting blooms, too much stem should not be taken with the flower. At least two leaves must be left growing on every stem from which you take blooms. This is as important as not cutting down the whole plant.

By the first of September the root has finished its work and has become dormant. After first heavy


Edited by Mrs. S. N. Whittlesey, Cranmoor, Secretary Wisconsin Cranberry Growers Association

Cranberry Growers Meet

The cranberry growers of the Wisconsin State Association held their thirty-second annual summer meeting as per schedule at the Grand Rapids street car pavilion near Nekoosa on Tuesday, August 12, 1919.

The weather conditions were fine, enabling those from a distance coming in autos to make the long drives in comparative comfort and ease. One realizes and appreciates the loyalty of members that will arise at 3 a. ni. and drive from fifty to one hundred miles to be present. And when they drive from Billings, Mont., as did Maud Searls Deshler and her husband, it speaks volumes for the tie that endures in the hearts of cranberry families.

The great size of the assembly room made our gathering seem small, but by actual count there were more than one hundred in attendance.

The meeting differed somewhat from those of years before in that there were fewer written articles than usual and by a musical innovation that was a happy feature. The charming manner and sweet voice of the singer Mrs. F. R. Barber of Warrens, Wis., ably supported by her son as accompanist and the violin solo of the son accompanied by the mother at the piano were noteworthy attractions, added to these the unison of voices of all present in familiar songs of the day led by Mrs. Barber, made a pleasing respite in the afternoon’s program.

Disappointment over the non-appearance of Prof. Whitson and Secy. Cranefield was very great. Prof. Whitson was detained by an unexpected visit from his aged father and Sec’y Cranefield by misinformation regarding trains, making continuance of his trip from Portage impossible for date set. Prof. Whitson’s paper came later and that all may get its substance at once we are including it in this September issue of Horticulture. Another thought to be disappointment was turned into a pleasant surprise when our “Pat. the Ditcher” (Mr. Frank Patterson) appeared in person with his paper, coming to us from Floodwood, Minn.

Many topics came up for discussion in the available time. The meeting adjourned at 5 p. m. till the next annual which will be held at Madison.

Madison, Wisconsin. August 11, 1919.

Mrs. S. N. Whittlesey,

Secretary Wis. State Cranberry Growers Association.

Dear Mrs. Whittlesey:

It is a great disappointment to me that I am unable to attend the meeting of The Cranberry Growers Association.

The work I did in cooperation with the Wisconsin Cranberry Growers a number of years ago was one of the most enjoyable pieces of work I have ever undertaken, and to me at least, was very profitable. Since I have not been engaged for a number of years in the work immediately related to cranberry culture, I can say little at this time which would be of practical value to cranberry men, and in place of taking a number of words to say that little. I am going to outline a suggestion which it seems to me might be of considerable help in the development of the cranberry business,— namely the holding of a short school for cranberry growers each year either at the College of Agriculture at Madison, or at some other suitable place.

In order to make the object and possibilities of such a school clear, will you permit me to outline very briefly the history of the work which the Agriculture College has attempted to do for the cranberry industry.

My attention was first called to the requests which cranberry growers had made for assistance by Professor Henry, formerly Dean of the College of Agriculture. At his request in 1902 we transferred a small fund which the federal government had set aside for experimental work in irrigation to a study of the uses of water in connection with the cranberry industry. The legislature of 1902 and 1903 made the state appropriation of $2500 a year for two years in addition to the federal fund, and work was begun in the summer of ’03.

It was recognized at once that the problems involved would require assistance from the Department of Horticulture as well as of Soils, and Professor Sandsten, formerly Horticulturist of the Station was associated with me during the first few years of this work. Professor Sandsten undertook as his part of the work, a study of the varieties of cranberries, of the insect enemies and the means for their control and the fungus diseases to which the cranberry plant is subject. Since that time the work then included in the Department of Horticulture at the College has been very much differentiated. A department of Entomology for the study of insects affecting agricultural production, and a department of Plant Pathology for the study of fungous diseases have been organized separately from the department of Horticulture. This department has been able to devote a larger portion of its time and energy to the study of varieties of agricultural crops, and methods for their propagation.

Every one who has had any experience with cranberries realizes that in each of these three fields there are very important problems remaining to be solved, the solution of which is possible only through the work of men who are able to specialize along these separate lines.

The problems undertaken by the Soils Department, then called the department of Agricultural Physics included a study of the effects of sanding and drainage, on the formation of frost, the possibility of making more accurate predictions of frosts, and on the use of fertilizers for increasing the crop yields.

It was soon learned that on a well sanded and drained marsh the temperature of the soil rises considerably higher during the day and is much less liable to frosts during the night than on an unsanded and wet marsh. The sand, being relatively dry, does not lose its heat through the evaporation of water as a wet marsh does, and it has a higher heat conductivity; so that the heat penetrates more deeply. Moreover it acts as a mulch lessening the upward capillary movement of water which would otherwise reach the surface and be evaporated causing the continual loss of heat.

A full understanding of these principles enables the grower to manage his marsh with much less water than is otherwise necessary to protect from frosts.

Through the cooperation of the state and federal weather bureaus a more efficient system of weather prediction was worked out. A considerable amount of information in regard to the relation between frosts on cranberry marshes and the general weather conditions prevailing wras acquired.

One of the problems in which I was personally very much interested was the use of fertilizers for increasing the yield of cranberries. Some study was given the problem, but I believe there is still a large field for further investigation. It has been clearly shown that a cranberry plant requires but small amounts of lime, and in fact grows best on an acid soil in which its sap probably has a higher degree of acidity. In several cases it appeared that nitrogen fertilizers were beneficial. In most cases of our early work the nitrogen was added in the form of nitrate. Since nitrates do not develop readily in marsh soils, naturally most plants which in the process of their evolution have adapted themselves to marsh soils use their nitrogen in the form of ammonium salts. It is therefore quite probable that better results in the fertilization of cranberries would be secured through the use of nitrogen in the form of ammonium than in nitrates. It is practically always'true that crops growing on marsh land, especially on acid marshes require both potassium and phosphorus to permit them to make the largest growth. It is highly probable that larger yields of cranberries than have usually been secured can be grown through the use of a fertilizer in which the right amounts of nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus are properly balanced. To determine the correct formula for this fertilizer will, however, require considerable additional work, although investigations by the New Jersey Experiment Station have added very materially to our knowledge of this matter.

Not only will the use of fertilizers increase yields, but the more vigorous growth of the cranberry vine which it encourages will render it distinctly less liable to diseases, especially fungous diseases to which it is subject.

A. R. Whitson.

We have to chronicle the passing away of Mr. A. C. Bennett, one of the oldest and best known cranberry men of the state. Grandpa Bennett, as he was affectionately styled, has been in failing health for a long time, the end coming early in August, at the home of his son, A. E. Bennett in Cran-moor township. The funeral was at the home and attended by the entire Cranmoor community and other friends and relatives from away. Burial was at Forest Hill, Grand Rapids, Wis. Thus another break is made in the list of Wisconsin cranberry growers.

Cultivation is better for plants than irrigation, but on account of our sudden dry spells it is often necessary to water at times during the summers. The job should be thoroughly done so that water reaches to the roots of the plant.


The Wisconsin BeeKeepers Page

Prof. H. F. Wilson Editor

Beekeepers’ Chautauqua Big Success

University Extension Division Promises Beekeepers Ciiautauqua in 1020

Did You Register? Will You Register in 1920? tieal and easy to get and the value received by individual beekeepers cannot be estimated. Dr. C. C. Miller was to have been there but could not get away. Mr. E. R. Root was present and gave some new and unpublished information

The social side of the meetings were very important, and numerous groups of beekeepers could be found at any time between meetings discussing various beekeeping topics and the H. C. L.

Immediately after each afternoon session a call was made for swimmers ami a good swarm collected at the bathing beach: contrary to all scientific knowledge, several queens seemed to be acceptable to the colony at all times.

A beekeepers' meeting never before equalled in Wisconsin and one not likely to be forgotten by those in attendance was held on the University ground August 18 to 23.  160 beekeepers registered

for the course from thirty different counties. A total of 6049 colonies were represented. Twenty beekeepers registered as having 100 or more colonies.

The instruction given by Dr. Phillips and Mr. Demuth was prae-eoneerning new apparatus which he has devised. A stenographic report of the lectures was taken and if they can be satisfactorily arranged will be distributed among the beekeepers at cost.

The meetings were held under a tent with ideal weather conditions and the ehautauqua plan was carried out in full. Many beekeepers pitched their tents on the camp ground provided while others were provided with rooms near by.

On Friday evening a boat picnic was held on Lake Waubesa and about sixty people enjoyed the lunch and program. One of the old time beekeepers present was Mr. F. M. Wileox. of Mauston, who told of the early history of the Wisconsin State Beekeepers’ Association.

A petition from the beekeepers to the University authorities was presented asking for another ehautauqua in 1920.

Among other matters discussed was the price of honey. The general opinion was that extracted should retail at thirty cents a pound. The wholesale price to be twenty to twenty-five cents per pound depending upon the selling order.

Mr. H. L. McMurray has been engaged to devote all of his time to work in Wisconsin working in cooperation with the United States Department of Agriculture, the University Extension Department and the State Department of Agriculture. He will have charge of the apiary inspection work for the State Department and the extension work for the University. If you desire to have any meetings held in your county during the next year, please write to this office.

Mr. James I. llambeleton. formerly in charge of the University apiary, has been away on leave of absence during the war but is back at work again and will have charge of the experimental woork in beekeeping.

If you will secure one new member for the state association by December 1, we can have that membership of 500 that we are working for. The membership of the Association is now 408.

Write to Dr. S. B. Franker, Stale Entomologist, State Capitol, for a copy o fthe new bee law. It is of vital interest to you and your neighbor beekeepers.

Have you any bees or honey for sale? If so, advertise in this paper.


(Continued from page 3)

frosts, the tops may be cut off, but 1 would advise not cutting right down to the ground, but allowing a few inches of the stem to show, to the end that when the annual garden clean up comes the following spring, you will know just where the Peonies are, and therefore where to avoid raking.

Be Philosophical

Don’t be too yreatly peeved if your color scheme goes askew. Many people seem to plan their Peony plantings with a certain color effect in mind, or else for a definite succession of blooms. This is the one direction in which Peonies sometimes disappoint, for ‘‘early,’’ mid-season,’ ’ and ‘'late, attached to the description of the varieties in the catalogues, are really very uncertain. Climate, soil, and the vagaries of the season, all have an enormous influence on the blooming period. For example, two certain varieties may bloom here in our soil and climate, at the same time; somewhere else, near by, they may bloom a week apart. Even here, on our own soil, we have .had in certain seasons Couronne d’Or open very shortly after Festiva Maxima, although normally they are ten days or more apart.

1 have always thought that the ideal Peony garden should consist of two plants of each of the varieties desired; one plant for cut flowers, the other for outside display. For while a bed or row of high-grade Peonies in blossom outdoors is a sight worth traveling some little distance to see. beyond question the only way the individual flower may be had at its best is to cut it in the bud and open it indoors. But it is quite an accomplishment to know just when to cut the many varieties, for scarcely any two sorts may be treat eel exactly alike in this respect. Roughly speaking, the bomb type may be cut much earlier in its stage of development than the rose type, although there are some exceptions to the latter sort, such as Edulis Superba and Festiva Maxima. which open easily and quickly.

The Yellows Disease of Asters

William Toole.

At the recent summer meeting of the Wisconsin State Horticultural Society at Fort Atkinson the visitors at the Gladiolus gardens of Mr. Bicknell noticed the diseased condition of a bed of Asters, and some of the ladies asked Prof. Vaughan to tell of a remedy. Prof. Vaughan answered that so far no remedy is known. He said that it is a bacterial disease in some respects of the nature of the yellows disease of the cabbage, and it seems possible that disease resistant strains might be bred by selection, as has been done with the cabbage. Prof. Jones has requested some of our flower growers to take up the work but so far 1 do not know of any one doing it. If some of us should succeed in producing disease resistant strains of this popular flower, they would confer a valuable benefit on their fellow flower lovers. Save seeds from the healthy plants which are almost sure to be found even in the most affected collections. After raising plants from these seeds report results to Prof. L. R. Jones, Plant Pathologist, College of Agriculture, Madison, Wisconsin.

Mr. A. Martiny of the Lake Geneva Gardeners club says that he accidently discovered this season that asters grown in partial shade escape the disease.

The Fort Atkinson Meeting

Our memories of the Fort Atkinson meeting will be pleasant ones. It was quiet, restful. The program on Tuesday forenoon proved of unusual interest and many are now thinking about rural parks or recreation centers as something very practical and very desirable.

A synopsis of all the informal talks on this subject will be given in a later issue.

The afternoon session, discussions on strawberries, raspberries, insect pests, etc., was no different from other and similar sessions; there seemed to be no place to stop and if President Rasmussen had not forcibly dispersed the crowd at six o’clock some of them would be there yet, arguing.

The second day was ideal. We visited the great Coe, ('onverse and Edwards nursery and wandered as we willed thru blocks of shade and fruit trees, miles and miles long, at least that was the impression but mostly we wandered over the acres of Superb strawberries in fruit.

After lunch we just took it easy awhile then were escorted thru the big James plant where all manner of appliances for the {lid and comfort of dairy farmers are made and then off across country to visit the Edgewater and other model farms. Not much of horticulture in that but it was a change from our usual summer meeting sight seeing and it was mighty restful. There was no rush, no hurrying to get over a certain schedule, just a nice easy afternoon. Just before we reached town we called on Mr. Westerfield who has gardens, greenhouses and a sprinkling system of irrigation.

After we had brushed the hayseed from our hair and gotten rid of the cow smell acquired on our trip we sat down to a splendid dinner at the Black Hawk Tavern as guests of the Fort Atkinson people.

Fort Atkinson is a remarkable little city. There are several large manufacturing plants but these do not “show on the surface.” The people are home owners, that is evident without asking questions, because we know that renters would not take the pride in their lawns and gardens that these people do. Every lawn in the city is neat and clean, every home has shrubs and flowers and every street magnificent old shade trees. It’s a pretty, quiet, restful place and if the people are not happy they ought, to be at least contented.

We shall always have pleasant memories of Fort Atkinson, of the kindness and courtesy of its peo pie who so quietly and yet so splendidly cared for us.

Saving Garden Seed vs. Buying

Sometimes it pays to save your own seed. Mr. Rasmussen says that he has a strain of Stone tomato that ripens evenly and much earlier than Stone grown from commercial seed. While no particulars are available it is quite certain that he did not save his seed merely from the largest or prettiest fruits but no doubt went over his entire field carefully until he found a plant that ripened several fruits a little earlier than the others and saved seeds from fruits of this plant rather than from the first fruit that ripened in the field. A similar careful selection of plants grown from these seeds in following years will give the desired results. In this way it is profitable to save seeds.

Rural Planning

Professor Aust of the Agricultural College is an earnest advocate of rural planning and largely thru his efforts a law was passed at the recent session of the legislature creating in the department of agriculture, of which C. P. Norgard is head, a division of rural planning. For the information of our readers the law is given in full:

No. 532, A.] [Published Aug. 2, 1919.

CHAPTER 693, LAWS OF 1919.

AN ACT to create section 1458—11 of the statutes, relating to rural planning.

The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do enact as follows:

Section 1. A new section is added to the statutes to read: Section 14 58—

partment of agriculture a division of rural planning. Such division shall be in charge of the commissioner of agriculture.

Section 2. This act shall take effect upon passage and publication.

Approved July 30, 1919.


Watch the late-sown lettuce, turnips, etc., for green aphis. This insect may be kept in check by spraying with some of the tobacco preparations. The treatment will have to be repeated several times to get all the insects.

Thin out the currant bushes now if it has not been done—cut out the oldest wood and thin some new growth so each branch has a chance to develop. This often increases the size of the fruit remaining.

Do not try to see how many flowers may be packed into a vase, but rather how few. Often one flower makes as attractive a vase as a dozen.


Conducted by the Department of Economic Entomology College of Agriculture

The Syrphus Flies

These insects are very beneficial in that they feed almost entirely on plant lice. Plant lice although frail insects withstand heat and cold to a very high degree and this fact coupled with their wonderful ability to develop in great numbers enables them to increase upon their host plants in great numbers anil if it were not for the several kinds of predaceous and parasitic insect enemies that feed upon them, and hold them in check, the losses would be enormous. Plant lice on fruit trees, truck and field crops and especially the pea aphis would destroy large areas of plants and do an enormous amount of damage if it were not for these beneficial insects.

One of the most important groups of plant lice feeders is a family of flies known as flower flies and scientifically as Syr-phidae. They are also known to some people as sweet bees or more often hover flies because of their habit of hovering in mid-air about the flowers. They are not however, true bees and can neither sting nor bite. The young or larvae of the Syrphid flies are quite inconspicuous being grublike maggots without legs or distinct heads. In fact they appear more like slugs crawling around among the aphids and devouring large quantities of them. Frequently they will destroy .all the plant lice on individual plants.

The adult female flies lay their small white elongated bean-shaped eggs among the colonies upon which the larvae feed. Under the microscope they present a beautiful seulptored ornamentation. The eggs hatch in a few days and the larvae feeding upon the plant lice grow rapidly. In from one to three weeks depending upon the species, they become full grown, then seek a suitable place in a curled leaf, leaf axile or the soil and change into a form known as the resting stage or pupae. In this stage the outer covering becomes hard and contracted and they usually become elongated and club-like within this case. A change takes place in which the adult fly is developed and cutting its way out of the shell, it appears with the wings closely folded to the body but they soon inflate and dry. The Syrphid is then ready to take wing and search out colonies for depositing a new series of eggs.

The adult Syrphus fly is prettily marked with black and yellow spots or bands, especially on the abdomen. This bright coloration seems to suggest to the casual ov-server a bee or something associated with a sting.

These flower flies are some of the best friends the farmer has and should be protected and not killed under a misapprehension of their relation to mankind.

Charles L. Fluke.

Chrysanthemums, geraniums and other garden flowers may be taken up and put in pots for winter growing in the house.

Act Now to Prevent Next Year’s Cutworm Losses

In late summer and early fall dull colored moths or millers lay eggs on weeds and grasses from which young cutworms hatch. Grass land that is to be planted to some cultivated crop next spring should if possible be plowed and harrowed before this time to remove the grass and weeds before the eggs are laid. If it cannot be plowed at that time it should be plowed as soon as possible afterward so as to destroy the eggs and also the food of the newly hatched cutworms. If earlier plowing is impractical, late fall or winter plowing will destroy many hibernating cutworms. Fields which were badly infested this season and permitted to grow up to weeds should receive the same treatment for they are likely to produce a big crop of cutworms for next season.

L. G. Gentner.

The Green Clover Worm on Beans

A great many bean plants are showing injury in the form of holes and irregular ragging in the foliage. In many instances the injury is quite uniform throughout the whole plot. Most of this is due to the green elover worm, so-called because it was first found on clover.

The caterpillar is a slender tapering green worm with a narrow white stripe and a second fainter white line on each side. It bears only four pairs of false legs instead of five like most caterpillars, which causes it to walk in a looping manner. It varies in length from an eighth of an inch to an inch and a quarter and is usually found on the under sides of the leaves.

The small circular green eggs are laid on the foliage by variegated dark brown to black moths or millers, which hide in the fields during the day time blit become active at dusk. When the moth is at rest the wings are folded so as to resemble a triangle. It flies about in a zig zag manner.

This insect often becomes a serious pest of alfalfa and also attacks clover, soy beans, cowpeas, strawberry and blackberry. During this season it has caused a good deal of injury to beans not only in this state, but also in the East. The larvae are still working in numbers and may be found by careful search. If the bushes are disturbed, they wriggle quickly to the ground.

No control has as yet been worked out for this pest on beans, however, spraying the plants thoroughly with an arsenical before the pods have formed will undoubtedly kill the caterpillar. After the pods have formed, it may be dangerous to apply poisons. It is suggested that in small plots the larvae may be beaten from the plants on to some sort of screen and destroyed.

L. (I. Gentner.

Insect Helps Control Other Insects

A European parasitic fly that may become of far-reaching importance in the control of the gipsy moth and brown-tail moth and certain other serious pests of similar character is being multiplied from importations of this new insect enemy. A report of the work with the parasite— known as Compsilura concinnata —has just been made by entomologists of the United States Department of Agriculture.

This report shows that this parasite has reduced the damage done by the gipsy moth and the brown-tail moth in the New England States, where they were so abundant and destructive that they ate the leaves off enormous areas of forest and shade trees every year. It has been found that Compsilura also aids in the control of other insect pests.

The white-marked tussock moth, a serious pest in the New England States a few years ago, has practically disappeared since Compsilura has become established. The cabbage worm, still a serious pest, has been lessened in some sections. Celery worms are not as common as formerly, and the fall webworm is scarcely noticed in the Northeastern States now.

The entomologists do not claim that this parasite is the sole cause of this reduction, but it has proved an important natural enemy to all of them. It is thought that Compsilura may become one of the most important economic parasites in this country, The results of the study of this parasite have been issued in Bulletin 766 of the United States Department of Agriculture.

About Raspberry Cane Borers

A member writes as follows: Many branches on my raspberrie.s, loaded with fruit have died. Am wondering whether it is an insect killing them as on some of the canes there seems to be a sawdust and several holes bored in them. Other growers complain of the same trouble and also on gooseberry bushes. Will the whole plant be apt to be affected?

Dr. Fracker of the state department of agriculture to whom this question was referred replies as follows:

“Your raspberry bushes are apparently being attacked by one of several cane borers which occasionally cause a large amount of injury to this fruit. Currants and gooseberries are attacked more often than raspberries by insects of this kind. The only satisfactory control measures consist of cutting out the infected canes. As the picking season is now over, it would be best for you to destroy all the old canes at once and any of the younger ones which appear to be attacked.

One of the borers shows its presence by girdling the tip of the young canes in two places, causing the tip to wilt. In order to prevent it from multiplying and causing more and more damage, it is desirable to go over the bushes several times and cut off all the canes below the lower girdle. The egg of the borer is deposited between the two girdles but the young borer after hatching from the egg tunnels almost immediately into the stalk lower down.’’

Order tulips, daffodils, and hyacinths for spring flowering. They may be planted the last of September or first of October with good results.

Tip the branches of blackcap raspberries to the ground and throw a little earth over them. These tips soon root, growing good young plants for setting out next year.

l’eony seed for planting must be picked as soon as it is brown If allowed to dry it will take much longer to germinate if it will germinate at all. As soon as picked, put in sand or soil until time to plant—this prevents its drying.

The Home Vegetable Garden

H. J. Moore, Queen Victoria Park, Niagara Falls, Ont.

In the Canadian Horticulturist

It is a mistake to think that as the crops mature the work for the year is finished. Good crops have been produced and it is now our duty to harvest them properly and to harvest every usable particle.

Do not dig your potatoes for winter storage until the haulms are entirely withered. As soon as this takes place remove them from the soil. There is nothing to be gained by leaving them in the ground. Their growth is finished, and if left they are very likely to rot. After digging, allow them to dry thoroughly. They may then be temporarily stored in a cool, dark shed. Save even the smallest; if you cannot use them give them to a neighbor who keeps pigs or chickens.


Upon the manner in which onions are ripened and harvested largely depends their keeping qualities. Allow your onions to make all the growth possible. Do not bend down the stems as long as most of them are erect and vigorous. Generally, the stems will fall of their own accord. If, however, a few still remain erect when the majority have fallen, they may be bent down to favor maturing with the rest. In some localities the idea is prevalent that bending down the stems favors the development of the bulbs. This may to some extent be true when the leaves have performed their functions, but not while the plants are still vigorous, for upon the amount of food sent down from the leaves to the bulbs will depend the ultimate size of the latter. The raw food materials are absorbed by the root hairs, in solution, and are sent upward to the leaves. These in conjunction with the carbon dioxide absorbed by the leaves are elaborated, and the food now in its proper form is sent downward to the bulbs. Onions do not feed directly from the soil, although the roots absorb the elements which are later converted into food.

When the leaves of the onions have lost their green color, and become dry and brown, remove the bulbs from the soil by means of a fork, and spread them out to dry for two or three days, turning them at intervals so that equal drying is favored. If the ground is wet or rain is imminent, the drying process had better been done on the floor or shelves of a dry and airy shed.


Spring or summer leeks will, if proper cultivation has been afforded and is continued, develop into nice plants before winter, at which time they may be lifted and be stored in boxes of dry sand where they will keep for a few weeks, and may during this time be used for stewing, soups or for other purposes for which onions are required, and so save the latter less perishable subject. Leeks which are not required during during early winter may be allowed to remain in the soil, where with little or no protection they will survive the winter and be of service for early spring and summer use. Cultivate the leeks and promote the growth of good, succulent specimens.

Winter Radishes

During winter fresh salads are greatly appreciated. The winter radish is an excellent one. Cultivate these as long as possible, so that you will have large and toothsome specimens by November, when you will store them in boxes of sand for use as desired.


There are many ways of harvesting beans for winter use. On a small plot, however, the process is a very simple one. When thorough ripening occurs, as indicated by the yellow and dried stems, remove the plants bodily and spread them out on the floor of a shed or other suitable place. The beans may be removed from the pods and be stored away whenever convenient. This practice is a more cleanly one than removing the pods from the plants, leaving the latter as an eyesore in the garden.


Peas, like beans, should be thoroughly ripened whether for use as food during winter (except for canning green) or for seeds. Thoroughly ripened peas are of greater nutritive value, and of greater germinating power than those itn-maturely harvested. This advice about peas is perhaps a little late, but where late ones are successfully grown it may be timely.


When these notes are read it may be a little early to harvest the beet crop for winter use, as this is unnecessary until the first autumn frost. The suggestions, however, are timely. As much depends upon the proper lifting as upon the proper storage of the crop. Beets damaged when lifting “bleed,” and do not keep well, nor are they of the best quality when cooked. For these reasons they should be carefully dug with (Concluded on page 14)


(Continued from page 12)

a fork. Avoid breaking the leaves near the crown when digging. Remove the leaves by cutting two inches above the crown; to cut closer than this may induce harmful bleeding. The beet is a vegetable which on exposure to the air or when placed in a warm temperature quickly loses the moisture from its cells and becomes soft and useless. If, however, the roots arc carefully packed in sand in boxes or in layers of sand in a cool, frostproof cellar, they may keep all winter and be used as desired.


II eavv frosts quickly injure carrots. Therefore at the approach of cold weather carefully dig the crop, and after removing the leaves store the roots in soil or sand in any frost-proof place, where, however, the temperature does not rise above 50 degrees Fahrenheit during the winter. Carrots and beets may be stored away under the same conditions.

Recent Investigations in Cucumber Diseases

Prof. R. E. Vaughn, at Summer Meeting.

During the past ten years the disease known as cucumber mosaic has been causing severe losses in many parts of the country. At the present time this disease is probably the most serious cucumber trouble in the Middle West and is of particular importance in districts where pickling cucumbers are grown.

The disease is at present being studied by the U. S. Department of Agriculture in co-operation with the University of Wisconsin, the work being a continuation of studies which have been in progress in Michigan and Wisconsin for the last four years.

The most serious losses from the disease occur on the cucumber but it also affects muskmelons seriously and is often found on squash, pumpkin, gourds and ornamental and wild cucurbits. The watermelon and citron, however, seem to be nearly immune to infection.

The most characteristic symptom of the disease and that from which it derivves its name of mosaic, is a mottling of green and yellow which affects the leaves and fruits. This mottling is most apparent on the fruits, which develop dark green wart-like swellings while the body of the fruit remains a light yellowish green. These warts may be small and very numerous or may be few in number and raised sharply above the surface, but in most cases the fruit is more or less distorted and of little commercial value.

The young leaves of diseased plants are also mottled with small, sharply defined spots of yellowish green, the remainder of the leaf being a darker green than normal. These darker portions of the leaf are usually somewhat thicker than the yellow areas and as a result the surface of the leaf appears to be wrinkled and tends to have a slight downward curl. The older leaves are seldom mottled but usually show a yellowing which extends in a v-shaped fashion along the larger veins. These older leaves gradually die and wither and the vines at the end of the season will consist of a bare stem ending in a small cluster of dark green, wrinkled and dwarfed leaves which lie close to the ground in a rosette-like group. The disease is also serious in the greenhouse and presents about the same symptoms with the exception that infected vines often wilt rapidly and die within a short time, while in the field they usually will live till frost.

The mosaic disease, like all diseases of this type, has not yet been connected with any bacterium or fungus. There is an infective principle or virus present in the juices of diseased plants, however, which will produce the disease in healthy plants if the diseased plant juices are brought in contact with slight wounds. Such infection may take place very readily as shown by the fact that the mere brushing together of the leaf hairs of diseased and healthy plants has been known to produce the disease. In the field, infection takes place to a certain extent in picking and other field operations in which diseased and healthy plants are handled in succession. This is particularly true of pick-

ing, as in this ease the hands are constantly coining in contact with the juices of the plant and the slight wounds occurring when the fruit is removed offer a ready means of infection.

The great source of infection in the field, however, comes from cucumber insects, particularly the melon aphis and the striped cucumber beetle. The aphis, which is a sucking insect, will nearly always produce the disease if it is transferred from a mosaic to a healthy plant, and severe attacks of aphids in fields where mosaic plants are present are usually followed by serious losses from mosaic.

The striped beetle carries the juice of the diseased plant on its mouthparts and these juices then come in contact with the wounds produced when the insect feeds on the healthy plant. While this insect does not always transmit the disease when transferred from mosaic to healthy plants, they do so in many eases and their numbers are usually large enough to result in the rapid spread of the disease when it once appears in the field.

While the means by which the disease passes from plant to plant has been worked out to quite an extent, the source from which the first infection comes each year has been a serious problem. Mosaic plants are found on soils of all types and the use of fertilizers, lime, etc., seems to have no relation to its appearance. The question of infection through the soil has been nearly eliminated by experiments in which seed was planted in fields where the disease had been severe for several years, cheesecloth cages being put down over certain parts of the plot as soon as the seed had been planted. The plants were allowed to grow under these eages until the end of the season, the cage excluding insects but allowing normal growth. At the end of the season it has always been found that all the eaged plants were healthy although practically all the uncaged plants in the field were mosaic diseased. As these trials have been in progress for several seasons it seems likely that the soil can be eliminated as a source of the disease.

Tt has been shown that the striped cucumber beetle may carry the bacteria causing the wilt of cucumbers and that this disease is also carried over the winter by the insect. Since cucumber mosaic is also spread by the striped beetle, it was thought possible that it might also be concerned in its overwintering but there is as yet no experimental evidence to support this theory.

In several eases the disease has appeared on new land in isolated localities where no mosaic has ever been known to occur and such outbreaks have at once suggested that the seed might be a source of infection. During the last three years seed has been saved from fruits of mosaic vines and planted the next season on new land in districts where the disease does not occur. Several thousand plants have been grown from such seed but up to date only an extremely small number have shown the disease. There is evidence therefore that the disease may develop from the seed but if it does so it is only in rare cases and the widespread appearance of mosaic each year would seem to require some further source of early infection.

In studying the various cucurbits on which mosaic may occur, it was found that it was common on the wild cucumber, Echinocystis lobata, which is found growing wild in this section and is very commonly planted where a quick growing ornamental vine is desired. This plant usually comes up from self sown seed each year after it is planted and it was noted that diseased plants were found year after year in the same spots at several points in Michigan and Wisconsin. These observations were of considerable interest as the wild cucumber appears in the spring at approximately the same time that the first striped cucumber beetles emerge from hibernation. This is usually about May 15, and the insects feed on the wild plant until the cucumbers appear in the field, thus furnishing a means of carrying the disease from the wild host plant to the cultivated cucumber.

During the past year trials have been made with seed saved from mosaic diseased wild cucumber plants and it has been demonstrated that in this case the disease lives over in the seed, about ten per cent of the plants grown from such seed being mosaic diseased from the time they appear. We thus have a possible means of overwintering in the wild plant, the striped beetle acting as a means of introducing it in the cucumber fields and human and insect agencies then accounting for its further spread.

It is not yet possible to say, however, just how important this wild host may be, until a considerable amount of survey work has been done to determine how commonly the disease may occur on the wild plant and how frequently such mosaic plants are found in sections where the disease is present It at least offers a good possibility, however, of accounting for a certain amount of early infection each year.

Until the overwhelming problem is further worked out, it is hardly possible to recommend satisfactory control measures for the disease, since ordinary spraying methods are of little use in diseases of the mosaic type. In the greenhouse, however, a removal of diseased plants as soon as they appear and thorough control of insects will help greatly in cheeking the disease.

Do not allow manure to come in contact with freshly set peonies or iris roots. It as a rule means disease and decay.