Madison, Wisconsin, October, 1919
When Secretary Cranefield wrote that President Rasmussen proposed to take the orchard committee on their annual inspection by auto the proposition seemed novel because of differing from previous custom. Remembering the oft times tedious waiting for the next train it seemed as if time might be saved by this new venture.
Monday evening, July 21st, found our party, consisting of Nick, Fred, Lou, Walter, and the writer at Hotel Maryland in Milwaukee, holding a conference to plan for the next day’s trip. The majority agreed with Nick to make an early start, so six o’clock in the morning found us on the way for Port Washington and breakfast.
For several miles out of Milwaukee the most notable feature for observation was the great amount of vegetable gardening or truck farming carried on.
Port Washington supplied us with breakfast and gasoline, Sheboygan was soon reached and passed. We noticed the general backward appearance of corn along the route. Some was so very late we concluded that it must be a second crop following peas. Wild flowers along the roadside included Bouncing Bet and Chicory. These would indicate early settlement at least back to before the time of the civil war. A mixture of white flowered Chicory we noticed occasionally. Of native wild flowers Wild Bergamot—Monarda — and Willow herbs, Epilobium were conspicuous in various places. These two natives are well distributed over the state. There is not so much of a showing of home orchards as one might expect to see in this part of the state. We inspected the Manitowoc orchard about 10 a. m. and were well pleased with the evidence of careful management.
Appleton was an objective point for dinner. One feature of the farm-gardens both south and west of Manitowoc excited our curiosity; we noticed many different patches of white Poppies, which were evidently not grown for ornament. Their location and surroundings seemed to indicate that they were grown for some economic purpose. They were a single flowered variety of the Somniferum species.
After dinner at Appleton we hastened for Stevens Point. Passing Freemont and Weyauwega reminded some of us of the Waupaca Co. seedling apples, of which all we have left of commercial value is the Wolf River variety. We passed at Waupaca the A. D. Barnes and other orchards. Too close planting, and other reasons gave the impression that apple growing there is declining. We supposed that beyond Waupaca was a special potato growing country, and some of our party said that the large buildings which we saw near the railroad were potato warehouses, but we did not notice any large potato fields. The farms have not the general thrifty appearance of the dairy sections.
We took supper at Stevens Point and then on for Marshfield. It was full bed time when we reached our hotel and all were anxious for a general clean up.
All of the members of our party except one were young men—none much over 50, I guess, and they naturally had regard for appearance. Those who carried their own shaving outfits had a special advantage. At times through the day the motion of the breeze and the breeze of motion were so strong that hats and caps were flighty, so sometimes we rode bareheaded. As there was not a baldheaded man in the party, our clothing did not hold all of the dust of travel. It seems as if baldheadedness might be of advantage in auto travel.
Sometimes numbered routes were blended and a study of the road map while traveling was necessary. At times the breeze made this impossible. I would suggest pasting the map to cloth or other tough flexible material and then dividing into convenient sections for outdoor use. With a travel of 250 miles to our credit for Tuesday we felt that we had earned the right to eat breakfast before starting from Marshfield. Leaving Marshfield by daylight we were able to see that here is a ljne farming country with prosperity smiling on every side. Dairying and pea canning were in evidence. Home orchards are not plentiful. Corn made a fine showing as was the case generally over the state away from the lake shores. Some patches of grain were yellow with sow thistle in bloom. Wheat in straw' or shock showed better color than in the southern part of the state. We were hoping that our route through Medford would take us past the former trial orchard but it w'as off to the right of our line of travel. Soil and contour of the country about Medford make it seem as if this should be a fairly good apple country. Advancing farther north to Philips and beyond there is an increase of the proportion of uncultivated land. There is room for many more good farmers in that part of the state and northward. When at Philips some of our party called on Mr. Tobey, an old time member of our State Horticultural Society. The real estate men here have great faith in the future of this part of the state. Hastening on we reached Park Falls in time for dinner, which we enjoyed but we did not see any falls. We were much interested in our glimpses of the sylva and flora of this part of the state. For many miles hemlock, pine, spruce, and arbor vitae were prominent among Evergreens in places. The pearly everlasting Anephelis Margari-taeea, is very conspicuous and plentiful in various places throughout the northern part of the state. It is so good and everlasting it seems as if it could be made of commercial value. A patch of red fruit in one place we decided must be the dwarf Cornel or bunch berry. There were numerous small bogs covered with the shrub Leather leaf, with the former botanical name — Casandre — now C'hamae-daphne. The whimsical member of our party called them cranberry bogs. With a distant view they were very similar.
The country was rougher as we approached Ashland before reaching the level land which borders that city, which is too rough for agriculture. We reached Ashland early enough to visit our long time horticultural brother, Irving Smith, with his good wife and two sons. We learned that there had been no shortage of rain in this part of the state and hay is so abundant they don’t know what to do with all of it. Our night’s rest as Ashland after a short run of only about 175 miles sent us forth clean and refreshed on our way before breakfast. The route among, over and around the hills between Ashland and Iron River is novel, interesting, and tiresome. The road is tortuous both up and down and side wavs. Along the way we noted slight attempts at farming which had been abandoned. The combination of sand, rock, ridges, gray pine and stunted oaks indicate that this large stretch of country can never be successfully farmed. We passed occasional blue berrying parties, so it seems there are homes somewhere in the vicinity. After breakfast at Iron River we passed through a mors promising farming country with plenty of room for more settlers. Blueberry parties were in evidence dear to the trial orchard at Maple, and again going south from Poplar clear to Eau Claire. A hailstorm at Maple about ten days before our visit had stripped the fruit from
One Day We Had Our Picture Taken.
the trees and badly torn and bruised the bark on the branches. There was enough fruit on the ground to have made a fine crop. We were much pleased with the Poplar orchard. This orchard pays. More will be said of it in the report of the orchard committee. Judging from what we noticed it seems as if this orchard has given much encouragement to the planting of home orchards.
We turned southward from route ten to route eleven a few miles east of Superior. An auto trouble gave our party a chance to gather blueberries, Serviceberries and nearly ripe sand cherries, all near together. Dinner was had at Solon Springs. Here was one of Wisconsin’s many summer resorts. The campers were numerous. Here some of our party made a bargain in blueberries. One member had secured his at Ashland. We had supper in good time at Rice Lake. We had seen many good fields of corn in our travels but it seemed as if the best ever was near Rice Lake. Chippewa Falls was reached after dark. We had traveled about 230 miles that day. Friday morning we went northward from Chippewa Falls and then we followed the Flambeau road to the Holcombe orchard. A heavy thunderstorm came up on the way and held by us until we inspected the orchard. We were well pleased with the care which had been given the orchard this season. Back to Chippewa Falls for dinner and then by way of Eau Claire and Menomonie to the Weston orchard. This orchard is very satisfactorily and well cared for. We wished to visit a commercial orchard in the vicinity but the weather was too threatening. Another shower caught us while going through Menomonie so we hurried on to Eau Claire and a late supper. We were off again Saturday morning before breakfast which we took at Whitehall. The earc or lack of care given this orchard was very disappointing to the committee. Corn looked well in this valley as it usually does, but we saw none which would surpass that near Rice Lake.
Nearing La Crosse we passed through some very good farming country but very steep in places. We marveled to see where the reapers had cut the grain. After dinner we passed on through Vernon county, past Viroqua, through Mount Sterling and over the bluffs to the west side of the Kiekapoo valley. There is an abundance of scenery over hills and through valleys on this route. At Gays Mills we found the people discus-
(Continued on page 23)
A Favorable Season
Not in the memory of the oldest cranberry men has there been in Wisconsin such a favorable growing and harvesting season of cranberries as this of 1919.
It is true that in some sections there are very serious failures, due to hail, and to some unknown, early damaging cause, but generally the vines came out in fine shape, made steady growth and yielded unusually early.
With the absence of late August and early September killing frosts and only one and one half days lost time the first twenty-five days of September, it has been possible to get the crops in without trouble or loss and the size and quality of berries is all that need be desired.
The apple crop seems not to have been so fortunate. We hope people will remember that apples and cranberries are the two staple winter fruits. The keeping quality, economy and various methods of use of the berry are quite as good and numerous and much the same as the apple, so with abundance of cranberries in market one need not suffer for a winter fruit.
Grapes this year seem to be plentiful. An especially fine flav-orded jelly can be made from the combination of grapes and cranberries, using equal quantities of grape and berry—proceeding as with other jellies—adding one cup of sugar to two cups of fruit juice.
Dr. H. F. Bergman of the U. S. Agricultural Dept, of Washington D. C., whose work and presence last year will be remembered, has been spending the past month in northern Wisconsin in investigations relative to cranberries. Dr. Bergman’s connection with government service ends September 30 as he has accepted a position as professor of Botany in the college of Hawaiia and sails for Honolulu, October 5. We extend wishes for success and pleasure.
We Were at the State Fair
The cranberry booth and exhibit at the state fair this year is said to be the best ever. We must say again that cranberry people cannot provide the cranberry at its best at the early date of the fair, for our fruit is not at perfection at that time. This year we were fortunate in an earlier ripening and more than fortunate in the continued services of Miss Anna M. Bamberg, the lady in charge, who for three years has been faithful, devoted and efficient in her efforts to make the showing all it should be.
Mr. Henry S. Gane, a long time member of our State Association and now sales manager of the Pacific Cranberry Exchange writes from Ilwaco, Wash.:
Growing cranberries in this state is somewhat of an experiment, but we believe that they will do well here from the fac-t that a few small bogs have done so. The surprising thing to me is the fact that some plantings seem to do so well early and other plantings are so slow.
A company of which I am the head, has seventeen acres and it has been very slow coming into bearing. On the other hand, I planted three acres for my wife and children and this fall when it is only two years old, wTe will get about 120 barrels of cranberries of the McFarlin variety.
The bogs in this state are all sanded and under a high degree of cultivation. The most troublesome feature that we have to contend is that of weeds. There seems to be 50 to 100 different varieties and they most certainly grow at a great rate. The only way they can be handled is by constant weeding when the bog is very young. If the weeds once get a good start, it is impossible to check them.
Our crop here is smaller than anticipated but we are pleased to learn that the crops in all the eastern states are very fine this year.
Henry S. Gane.
State Florists’ Meet
The annual meeting of the State Florists’ Association was held in Milwaukee Friday of state fair week. J. E. Mathewson of Sheboygan, was elected president for the ensuing year, Richard Haentze of Fond du Lac, vice-president. H. J. Seel of Milwaukee, secretary and Gus Rusch, Milwaukee, treasurer. The business meeting was followed by a banquet at the Hotel Blatz. The 1920 summer meeting will be held at Sheboygan
Fact and Fiction About Robin Redbreast
We all love song birds and want them protected but sometimes over-zealous bird friends go to extremes in defense of birds and thus defeat their purpose. A correspondent in the Rural New Yorker goes so far as to claim that the robin destroys gypsy moth, cutworms and other similar pests and is corrected by C. 0. Ormsbee in a succeeding issue as follows:
The Truth About the Robin
On page 1182 there is a short letter entitled “A Defense of the Robin,” in which are contained more mis-statements than are contained in any other article that I have ever seen published in the columns of The R. N.-Y. I believe that all birds have more or less of both good and bad qualities, and the robin is no exception to this rule. Often local conditions have an influence in determining whether the balance falls on the good or evil side, and this may be true, in some instances, in the case of the robin.
It is true that the robin Is one of our sweetest songsters, as well as one of the handsomest of our birds. To a certain extent it endears itself to us by its domestic and almost affectionate habits. We admire it for the love and affection that it bears to each member of its own family, and its agonized cries when disturbed excite our sympathy. There are a dozen more minor characteristics of which we approve, and it may be that these, combined, are sufficient to turn the balance in its favor. These are aesthetic or sentimental qualities of which I am not going to speak. But, economically the robin is an unmitigated nuisance with scarcely one single redeeming feature. In its food habits it may be called omnivorous, but it has very decided preferences. It arrives in the North very early in the spring, and at a time when food is very scarce, and, at this time, it may destroy seeds of cer-
i tain noxious plants that have wintered upon the stalk. When other food is scarce, it may destroy a few harmful insects, but only to escape starvation and always under protest. Its favorite animal food is the angleworm, said by naturalists to be highly beneficial, and, when this is to be had, the robin will eat no other worm or insect. The writer alludes to the habit of the robin of hopping about the lawn in search of cutworms. This is all bosh. Cutworms do not inhabit lawns and, even if they were to be found there, the robin would not touch them. Find the nest of the robin in some barn or outbuilding. Place a box of earth near the nest. Put angleworms, cutworms, white grubs, or caterpillars and worms of a dozen different sorts on the earth, and watch results. I have done so many times. The robins will eat the angleworms, and will feed them to its young, but will go out and hunt for more of this sort rather than touch any other kind that I have ever offered. It may eat them rather than starve, but it will not do so voluntarily.
The writer speaks of chipmunks eating peas. The chipmunk cannot be starved into eating peas. I had some once in a cage, and tried them thoroughly. Neither will the English sparrow eat them. But the robin will break open a pod, eat one pea and allow the others to waste. He speaks of the habit of the mole of eating potatoes. Examine the mouth and teeth of a mole and see how ridiculous this story is. A mole could not eat a potato no matter how much it might wish to do so.
I do not know of a single edible berry that the robin will not eat, and as soon as the berries and small fruits begin to appear, it will leave its diet of worms and subsist wholly upon these foods. It will eat a few varieties that are of little or no economic importance, but its great favorite is the Early Richmond cherry. This it will attack before it is half ripe, ' and pick a little hole in it, thus • spoiling it, or, just out of pure meanness, it will carry the fruits !
away and drop them upon the ground. It will do the same with raspberries and currants. Mulberries afford no protection, except, possibly, as a diversion. When the berries are gone, it will attack the small grains, more especially wheat, in much the same manner.
Summing it all up, the robin is a bird that, economically, should be banished from the face of the earth. Sentimentally and aesthetically, it should be protected and encouraged by every possible means. You can pay your money and take your choice.
C. 0. Ormsbee.
Do not plant fruit trees in the fall. If some designing or ignorant nursery agent has beguiled you into fall delivery, bury the trees rather than plant them. The safest plan is to shoo away anybody who insists on selling you trees for fall delivery.
Currants may be safely planted in October if plenty of straw or manure is packed about the roots. Black raspberries may also be set to advantage in the fall but reds are better spring planted.
On the whole there are few fruit or ornamental plants that may safely be exposed to five months of drying cold with no root system hitched up to a winter supply of water.. Whenever possible prepare the ground in the fall for spring setting by spading or plowing and be ready as soon as the soil can be handled in the spring.
Place squash on shelves in a dry room near the furnace or in a warm attic room. They must not be in a damp or frosty place. They will stand a great deal of heat and dry air, but little moisture. If you want squash or pumpkins to keep well, handle them carefully so they are not bruised.
Our next annual meeting will be held in the early part of December. We desire to have the program ready for publication in the next issue of this magazine. If you have something of importance to present to the Convention, please send in your name with a title of your paper. All papers should be written out before the convention so that they may be published at a later date in the Wisconsin Horticulture.
Every affiliated local of the State Association should elect their representative for the Board of Managers before December 1. This member should be in Madison a day before the meeting begins to talk over problems to be presented before the State Convention.
State Fair Exhibit
The State Fair Bee and Honey Exhibit was proclaimed by many to be the best exhibit which the apiculturists of Wisconsin have put on for many years. The thing which pleases us about as much as anything else is the attitude which the State Fair Directors and officials took. They all expressed their opinion and appreciation of how well the whole affair was managed.
This cooperation is necessary and we are glad to have the good will and backing of these men. Next year they have promised to add a 60-foot extension to our present building.
All beekeepers and exhibitors especially will welcome this improvement. We are badly in need of a good display room for this growing industry and it is much better to have our exhibits in a building by themselves than to have them scattered among ice cream sandwich stands, washing machine agents and fountain pen auctioneers.
The exhibitors are already making plans for getting their entries in early next year. All came through with a number of blue, red and white ribbons to their credit. The awards from these alone made the time spent in the journey and preparation of their exhibits well worth while not to speak of the large honey sales. One man sold out completely his stock on the first day.
The success of the fair was largely due to the efforts of the superintendent, Mr. Gus Dittmer. This is the first year he has acted in that capacity and he is already laying plans for the future. There are a number of schemes up his sleeve for improvement.
One of the things which Mr. Dittmer and Mr. Allen, who judged the exhibit, will do will be to revise the premium list. The need for revision in the premium list is apparent. Wrangling, disputes and discontent will largely be eliminated and all exhibitors will have a better understanding of how they are to prepare their entries. This matter of revision will probably be thoroughly discussed at the December meeting of the State Beekeepers’ Association.
Now what we must do is to get every one interested for the coming year. Every county in the state and every local beekeepers’ association should be represented. There is absolutely no reason for these organizations not being at the State Fair. Make your plans now and get in touch with Mr. Dittmer.
James I. Hambleton.
Preparation for Wintering Bees
Every thoughtful beekeeper is thinking about his winter problems. If he thinks “through” he will discover that he has three separate distinct factors.
1. The Bees. If he has neglected to requeen and feed if necessary to stimulate the production of at least 3 pounds of vigorous young bees, his hives will be empty of live bees in the spring. About 75% of the colonies in a certain section of Wisconsin were lost on that “rock” last winter.
2. The Stores. The second factor is plenty of good stores—that is FOOD that will be so free from indigesable matter that the bees may live 5 months in comfort and quietness. Clover and buckwheat honey and sugar syrup seem to be the safest. In most sections of the state there is a flush flow from golden rod and aster. Where this surrounds the brood nest at least 5 pounds of thick sugar syrup should be fed at one time after the aster flow. Often a few pounds of aster honey stored after the brood has practically all emerged in October proves fatal. If the weather continues warm during October, the beekeeper had better “remember the aster.”
3. Protection. This is of vital importance in this northern latitude. I have failed to find a beekeeper in Wisconsin who gives adequate protection for out-door wintering. Quadruple packing cases as described in Farmers’ Bulletin No. 1012 (U. S. Department of Agriculture) should be used—only the size of the case should be large enough to give 8 inches packing underneath, 10 inches at sides and ends and 12 inches on top. Dry sawdust, planer shavings, leaves or chaff should be used for packing.
If a cellar is used, it should be warm, about 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Cold cellars are usually damp. A cellar with a furnace is frequently the best. However, they sometimes get too dry. Ventilators are useful only to help keep the temperature uniform and in case it gets too dry, the air from outside is helpful. There is no need of “guessing” or “hoping” or “trusting to luck.” We know that a sufficient number of young bees, plus sufficient good food plus adequate protection equals a strong oolony next spring.
H. L. McMurry.
AN AUTO TRIP
(Continued from page 19) sing the heat, thermometers indicating 97 to 103 in the shade. There were many interesting things about our visit to the trial orchard and the hundreds of acres of commercial orchard, but I must not anticipate too much of the future report of the orchard committee. We took supper at Boscobel and lodging at Spring Green. Sunday morning after breakfast we made our way to the trial orchard in Sauk county on the Ski-Hi fruit farm owned by A. K. Bassett. The heaviest growth of grain as shown in shock was seen near Sauk Prairie. This orchard is looking well as is the fruit farm also. We made a short call at Pansy Heights and then away for Lake Geneva, taking our dinner at Madison.
Sunday afternoon was another hot one with the thermometer registering in the upper nineties. When we passed fields of grain stubble the wind passing over to us seemed like a blast from a furnace. Tires were cooked as we traveled and in addition to the hindrance of changing tires Nick had to buy some new ones. Along the roadside were plenty of others with tire troubles.
We were fortunate in reaching Lake Geneva in advance of a storm which swept over our back track to the grief of many less fortunate ones. The Lake Geneva orchard was inspected before dark and supper. Heavy blooming in the spring failed to produce a setting of apples so there did not seem to be any need of spraying after the buds had passed from the pink. As usual this orchard was well eared for. We found sleeping accommodations where we could and paid $2.50 each for the privilege. Early Monday morning we headed for the Pewaukee orchard and breakfasted at Elkhorn. We noticed many home orchards with little indications of fruit. Too close planting in home orchards is a fault prevalent here and all over the state. We found improved conditions in the Pewaukee orchard, with chance for still further improvement. We reached Milwaukee before noon time with a travel by auto of more than 1,400 miles to our credit, in addition to the railway travel to and fro between our homes and Milwaukee to complete the trip. We are proud of our road system in Wisconsin and appreciate the plan of distinctly marked routes. More has been done than we supposed for better routes and indications are that much more will be done in the near future. These improvements cause many detours in lines of travel and the connections with the regular routes are not always as plainly marked as should be. May public opinion sustain our good roads work in Wisconsin.
Plant Spring Flowering Bulbs Now
October is the season for planting the spring flowering bulbs. Of these the tulip is tire most popular for outdoor growing and the least satisfactory for indoors.
For forcing indoors, plant in pots or boxes, in three to four inches of soil, bulbs of narcissus, hycinths and daffodils barely covering the bulbs. Water thoroughly and set them away in a cool, dark cellar for at least two months. By that time the bulbs should be well rooted and ready to respond to light and heat.
The commonest cause of failure in forcing bulbs is in bringing them into the light too soon. Just pack them away and forget them except for an occasional look to see that they are not drying out. Outdoor culture is simple; simply plant the bulbs, covering lightly. The character of the soil is of slight importance as tulip bulbs will blossom nicely if planted in coal ashes. There is one sure way to invite failure in outdoor culture and this in neglecting to cover beds before heavy freezing weather. Rarely or never will tulips bloom if left unprotected through the winter.
Where Credit Is Due
The excellent article on peony culture printed in the September number of the WISCONSIN HORTICULTURE was taken from the Garden Magazine which is copyrighted.
Copyrighted publications almost without exception grant other publishers permission to use copyrighted material if full credit is given. This is so generally understood and agreed that the application for ‘‘permission to print” is usually a mere form.
The article in question was headed in the G. M. as follows: ‘‘Masterly Inactivity is the Best Thing for the Peony, Ried Howell, New Jersey.
‘‘An enthusiastic amateur summarizes his experiences and observations in the successful cultivation of this flower. The information here conveyed is the digest of his own work and the recommendations of the most skilled specialists in the country. This article was the substance of an address before the Ridgewood, N. J. Garden Club.”
In view of the following letter to the Garden Magazine we leave it to our readers to judge the standard of ethics of one ‘‘Reid Howell, New Jersey,” to say nothing of the care exercised by the Garden Magazine in copyrighting this article. The letter is from William W. Kline, the Mohican Peony Gardens, Sinking Spring, Pa.
To the Editor of the Garden Magazine :
On picking up the August Garden Magazine I have been amazed beyond expression to find that the Peony article under the caption ‘‘Masterly Inactivity is the best thing for the Peony” is simply a copy, word for word, of a little booklet, the text of which I myself wrote, and which we send to every patron. I enclose a copy. With the exception of the first three lines of the article, as you print it, and a three line ‘‘interjection” by the editor, there is not a line or word that is not my very own. There is no word, thought, or suggestion from anv other specialist, nor—excepting three lines—from the “author.” I am assuming that you are unaware of the facts and believe that you will do something in The Garden Magazine to mend this matter.—William W. Kline, The Mohican Peony Gardens, Sinking Spring, Pa.
—This article was not mailed to Garden Magazine by Mr. Howell, its author, but came from one of the audience that heard his lecture. Only the material published was received, and this was aceept-the editors as “the substance of” the address, whereas it was instead merely material to which Mr. Howell referred.—Ed.
We are really ashamed to impose this long story on our readers but the editor of the Garden Magazine intimates we lack an understanding of the ethics of journalism. If we admit it we must also crave his sympathy. Anyhow, it was corking good peony dope if Ried Howell didn’t write it.
A Small Fruit Survey
What has happened to the bush and cane fruits that used to grow in almost every farm garden in our state ? Why have raspberries and blackberries been abandoned so generally! To throw new light on this important horticultural question a survey of Wisconsin by sections has been completed by the state department of agriculture and the experiment station. R. H. Roberts, of Madison, spoke to horticulturists at Fort Atkinson on the results of the survey. He confined his remarks and conclusions to cane fruits, basing his discussion on findings at Eau Claire, Sparta, Kenosha, Racine, Oshkosh, Green Bay, Sturgeon Bay, Madison, Ft. Atkinson, Algoma, Chippewa, Richland Center, Ripon and Baraboo. Here are the main conclusions:
The largest decrease in cane fruit planting took place in the late nineties.
Cane fruits do not properly belong on the general farm, any way, in large amount over and above family needs.
Crown gall and anthracnose diseases are responsible to the greatest extent for the decline in the growing of black caps. Crown gall, and one or two economic factors are the reasons why red raspberries have fallen off in Wiseon-
With sweet corn selling at 30 cents a dozen ears and good prices • prevailing for strawberries, the average trucker is not inclined to feel that he can raise red raspberries profitably if he has to neglect his other crops to do so.
Fully 85 per cent of the growers cannot get dependable pickers at harvest.
From li/> to 2 cents a pint is the average run of prices paid to pickers who are able to gather in from 55 to 60 pints a day. May it not be good policy to pay a slightly higher rate, as do a few growers? With reds at $4 and $5 a crate it would seem like good business to hire capable pickers at good wages.
The small truck man, and not the general farmer, must be looked to by consumers for an increase in the cane fruit crop. There is a decided demand for the cane fruits, however, and growers situated to handle the plantations with exacting care and attention, are the men who will find it profitable to invest right now in good, hardy, adaptable stock.
Those were the statements of Mr. Roberts, based on the survey. He said that surprising as it may seem, the question of adaptable varieties for the different sections of the state and suitable cultural methods involved are not as strong factors in the cane fruit decline as those things already mentioned. Economic conditions and not lack of knowledge and practice in handling cane fruits, are to blame for the slump. To this must also be added the final reason, namely, that the man who is successful with cane fruits must enjoy “fussing over them.” The average farmer is not, and unless the women folks take hold and save the crop it will eventually mean more or less of a weedy failure.—Wisconsin Farmer.
The Pea Moth
The growing of peas for canning purposes and also for seed has been an important industry for Wisconsin for many years. The peas in certain sections of Wisconsin have for a number of years, especially more recently, been troubled with a worm which feeds within the pod on the ripening seed. This worm is the caterpillar of a moth, a dark-colored species about a quarter of an inch long; which has along the fore margins of the front wings 12 or 14 oblique black and white dashes; there are also a few rather inconspicuous dashes near the apex of the fore wings.
The larva or worm spends the winter in a cocoon in the soil. It is made up of small soil particles and neatly lined with silk. In the spring the pupa is formed, the perfect moth emerging the early part of July. Toward evening the females deposit their eggs on the pods, leaves or stems nearby. These hatch in six to nine days, the young larvae crawling to suitable places on the pods and eating their way in. The worms feed on the peas making irregular holes on most of the peas in each pod infested. Older infested pods when opened contain more or less coarse-grained excrement webbed together with most of the peas. The feeding period lasts from 14 to 25 or 30 days, thus many of the larvae do not emerge until after harvesting. As soon as they become full-grown the larvae eat their way out through small circular holes in the sides of the pods and then make their way into the soil or other suitable place where they remain until the following July.
Since hatching begins about the middle of July varieties grown that mature before that time would escape infestation. Control measures are more difficult when the peas are grown for seed. Deep plowing after harvesting may help some, but as has already been shown a large number of the larvae do not emerge from the pods until after the peas are harvested.
Spraying is not practicable under the present system of cultivation unless the damage caused by the worms would exceed that caused by applying the spray. The vines also could not very well be used as forage in case of spray adhering to the foliage.
C. L. Fluke.
It is not worth while to force asparagus, but rhubarb, dug late, may be forced in the cellar with fine results.
Dahlias, cannas, gladioli, etc., should be dug and stored after the foliage has been killed by frost. The first part of October is usually the time.
Peonies should be divided and reset during September or October.
Watermelons buried deep in wheat or oats will sometimes keep until Thanksgiving or even Christmas.
Many perennials and shrubs may be divided this fall or early next spring, and reset to good advantage.
Do not forget to lift some of the geraniums, salvia, asters, or other plants in the yard or garden. They will bloom in the window this winter.
Common Scale Insects Attacking Fruit Trees in Wisconsin
Numerous inquiries continue to come in regarding scales attacking fruit trees; the majority of them concerning the oyster shell scale, the orehardist mistaking this for the pernicious San Jose Seale. A careful study of the following comparisons and figures will easily identify the three most important scales attacking the fruit trees in Wisconsin.
Fig. 1.—San Jose Scale, Enlarged.
This is the most dreaded of all the scale insects. It spreads very quickly and will kill trees outright unless checked in time. The scales are quite small and inconspicuous, being about the size of an ordinary pinhead. The mature female scales are circular in outline and dark grayish in color. The most conspicuous part is a central elevated portion which is surrounded by a depressed ring which is again surrounded by a yellowish elevated ring. The insect passes the winter as partly grown scales on the bark of the branches or the limbs of the trees.
The oyster shell scale has a wider distribution in Wisconsin’s orchards than any other scale; its ravages, however, are not so severe but many orchards are so retarded in their development by the insect that the trees are of little or no value to the farmer. The scales are shaped like tiny oyster shells, are brownish in color, and about one tenth to one eighth of an inch long. The winter is passed as eggs, which remain under the old female scales until late
Fig. 3.—Cottony Maple Scale Showing Egg Masses on Maple.
This insect has a large list of host plants and frequently attacks our common fruit trees and small fruits. Young scales which are thin and flattened may be found on the under side of the smaller branches during the winter. In the spring they soon become full grown and egg laying then begins. The eggs are laid in a large white cottony mass of waxen threads which are secreted by the body of the mother scale. The secretion of this flocculent mass causes the raising of the posterior end of the scale to an angle of about 45 degrees. (See picture).
The control for the San Jose Scale and the Oyster Shell Scale is the same. It consists in a thorough application of lime sulphur used at the rate of one gallon of the liquid to twelve gallons of water and should be applied while the trees are dormant in the fall or spring. If the farmer feels as if he will be too busy in the spring then it should be done this fall after the leaves fall.
The cottony maple scale is more difficult to control. Its parasites usually keep it in check. Kerosene emulsion is effective against the overwintering stage while many of the young lice may be killed in summer by spraying with a strong solution of tobacco extract. A stiff stream of water will dislodge many of the scales with their egg masses.
Chas. L. Fluke.
Fall Practices Against Insect Pests
After the crops are harvested and disposed of they are out of the way of attacks from field insects. Next year, however, more crops are to be grown on the same or nearby land. Every insect pest which passes safely through the winter will be ready to multiply and attack these crops. The thing for the grower to do then is to take such steps as he can this fall to prevent successful overwintering of pests.
Destroy crop remnants and refuse. Immature insects continue to feed and develop on crop remnants and in refuse until they reach such a stage in which they can overwinter safely, and then may .find shelter under such material. Where possible this should be destroyed or plowed under as soon as the crops are harvested. Many insects pass the winter inside of infested stalks and stems. These should be burned. Many full grown insects must feed for a time before going into winter quarters. If they are deprived of food a great many will not live through the winter. Cucumbers or green melons left in the field after the frost has killed the vines should be heavily poisoned to kill rhe cucumber beetles which may feed on them. In the case of some pests all but a few plants of a erop may be destroyed, then the pests will gather on the remaining plants and may easily be killed.
Fall plowing and cultivating, where practical, is an aid in reducing next year's insect pests. Forms in the ground are crushed or exposed to the weather. Plants which give food and shelter are destroyed. Special attention should be given to land that has been badly infested this past season.
L. G. Gentner.
The Strawberry Crown Miner
In some of the older strawberry beds, during the latter part of August and September, the grower may find a good part of the leaves of plants turning brown and dying and in many cases the entire plant killed. This type of injury may be due to the strawberry crown miner, a slender reddish-pink larva less than a half inch in length when full grown.
The whitish eggs are laid on the plant by small grayish moths. From these eggs the larvae hatch and burrow in the crown and sometimes down into the root. An infested plant when closely examined may show a small heap of reddish-brown excrement and borings which the larva has pushed out of its burrow. If such plants are cut into, one may find an irregular blackish brown burrow in the crown or root, and usually the pinkish larva itself.
Little has been done by way of control, however, it has been suggested that badly infested fields should be plowed under as this pest does not attack young beds and causes greatest injury to old fields.
L. G. Gentner. '
There is a good market for plum pits this year. Nurserymen want them to plant for budding and grafting next year.
A drain tile set over each plant is a good method of blanching celery. Celery for winter storage should not be blanched before putting in the cellar.
Plant tulips in the garden or border the last of September or early October. Tulips, narcissus, daffodils and hyacinths planted now in pots or boxes and put in a cool place will give good flowers next spring.
Commercial Fruit Growing in Wisoonsin.
A. A. Ashbahr.
After having spent practically all of my life in the Pacific Coast states, where the commercial apple and pear industry has undoubtedly reached the highest stage of perfection in this country, and after visiting several middle-western states, and spending more than two months in the field for this Society in its Orchard Survey of Wisconsin, together with prior study and observation of the fruit industry of this state, it is my belief that fruit can be grown just as successfully here as in any other state. True it is that some sections in Wisconsin are unsuited to fruit growing, and that some sections are better than others, but so it is in the other states. The fruit industry of every state lies in a few concentrated districts. But the fact remains that there are thousands of acres of land in Wisconsin upon which commercial apples can be grown just as economically, and with the same color, size and quality, as those of the other states. A comparison with what has been, and is being done in properly managed Wisconsin orchards, with what has oeen accomplished in neighboring affli distant states, is sufficient evidence of this fact.
Now the question arises: why has Wisconsin then not ranked as one of the leading apple states! The answer is at least twofold. First, the great possibilities in dairying and kindred industries have claimed the attention of most of the people. Second, the apple business has not, in the past, been conducted as a specialized and separate kind of fanning as in some other states, but more as a side-line. I do not mean to suggest that the entire farm should be devoted to fru'it growing without any diversity, but I do mean to say that unless the orchard is the principal commercial business of the farm, it cannot be successfully conducted today, in competition with specialized apple farming. This is the key that will throw open the doors of commercial apple growing in Wisconsin to complete development. This has already been realized and is being acted upon as is evinced by the many large commercial apple orchards that have been set out in recent years. The apple industry in this state is undergoing a complete change or metamorphosis, as it were. Wisconsin farm orchards have produced millions of barrels of apples in the past and great credit is due the pioneers and producers of these But like many other institutions of long standing, the farm orchard is fast giving way to the larger, specialized, and scientifically managed commercial orchard. I visited farm after farm this summer where the owner had either abandoned his orchard, or had grubbed it out, or was contemplating doing so. I asked the reason for such action, and the answer was, “it doesn’t pay.” Investigation disclosed the faet that these orchards were unprofitable for various obvious reasons, chief among which were, that the trees are becoming too old for profitable production; that the trees have been planted se close together that pruning, spraying, and sometimes picking, is impossible, or at least ineffective, while the fruit remains small and uneolored; insects and diseases have materially increased and most farmers have not found time to investigate and study this increase, and the new pests, and the methods of applying modern combative measures; nearly every orchard contained a large number of varieties undesirable on the market, and therefore not salable at any profit; then, too, the many varieties made it impossible for the grower to ship in desirable car load lots so as to reduce freight rates and attract buyers; again the growers generally considered the orchard work of secondary importance, and when spraying or pruning or picking should be done, plowing, haying or harvest was on, and the orchard was neglected with an unprofitable crop as a result; there must also be mentioned the loss thru consignment and unscrupulous buyers and commission men, altho reciprocally there are many unscrupulous packing farmers who thus boomerang themselves. The whole thing in a nut-shell is, that the farm orchard is being crowded out by the competition of the larger commercial orchard-ist, and to stem the present tide of elimination the farm orchard-ists will be obliged to adopt the methods of the larger growers, if that be possible.
The fact has long been established and ought to be of common knowledge, that Wisconsin can grow, whether in home farm or larger orchard, apples as good as those produced anywhere. But in order to fully develop this possibility and successfully meet competition from the outside world, we must develop more farms with orcharding as the specialty; we must plant more large acreages containing only a few varieties that the consumer demands; we must adopt the modern methods of planting and pruning and more intimately and scientifically study insects and diseases and the application of sprays and other remedial measures ; and we must learn the most economical means of production.
With fruit land twice as high, on the average, and with a freight rate to Chicago nearly equal to the cost of production, the far-western states have a gigantic handicap in competition with Wisconsin. Yet their apples are sold in great quantities all thru the middle-west, including Wisconsin, say nothing of the large sales on the Atlantic Coast and in foreign countries. How do they do it? Well, after producing a spotless, fully developed, and well colored apple by means of painstaking culture, their fruit industry first begins. In other words they have mastered the art and science of production, and raise only a few varieties that the consumer demands, or can be taught to like and buy. Next comes the marketing, in which the great cardinal principle, by which the gap between production and successful marketing is spanned, is “an honest and reliable pack”—not for one year but for years to come. The apples are usually packed in two grades of standard pack, and whether put up by individual or by association, the doctrine, “it is more profitable to cheat yourself than the buyer,” is slavishly followed —and they win in the long run. When such fruit is sold it advertises itself and sells again, and this reliability of uniformness and genuineness creates a wide demand, which, accelerated by association advertising and salesmanship, brings success to the apple grower of the far-west.
There is no mysterious secret in the apple industry of the Pacific Coast. It is simply a case of scientific production, honest common-sense packing, and efficient advertising and selling, all of which any community can learn and do.
There is no doubt in my mind that if Wisconsin growers study and adopt these principles and methods, they can, especially with the great initial advantage of low-priced land and proximity to market, do even more in the apple industry than has been accomplished by the Pacific States. But unless these methods of production and marketing are more universally employed, the far-west will continue to predominate in the apple markets.
If you would shoot as far as your neighbor, adopt _A_similar gun, or at least one of equal strength.
My Neighbor’s Garden
My neighbor is an enthusiastic gardener. An acquaintance declares that he is “garden minded.” In the late winter as I see hint casually upon the street car I notice that he is absorbed in catalogs, the covers of which are ornamented with pictures of vegetables and flowers of impossible size, color and perfection. Later I see him bringing home misshapen packages which give forth a seedy rattle upon being jostled, or some garden appliance readily distinguishable through its scanty brown paper wrapping.
He has a business which takes him up town daily, and in which he is popularly supposed to be diligent, but when it comes to real diligence, the early-in-the-morning-and-late-at-night kind, his diligence in business is a very faint and desultory sort of diligence. I am half inclined to believe that he only regards his business as means of getting the where-with-all with which to get seeds, bulbs, plants and manure for his garden. If I am ever so unfortunate as to have to get up with the sun in order to make a train or for some other unavoidable necessity, I see him in his garden, clad in most disreputable old garments, digging away most persistently or pushing one of those toy cultivators with a big wheel in front, along his rows of plants with a spasmodic one-foot-back-and-two-feet-ahead sort of movement. In the twilight of summer evenings I see him bending over some plant or flower petting or doctoring it with one hand, waving the other frantically about his head to keep off the mosquitoes.
He is proud of his garden, his flowers,—I think his real passion is for flowers—and his vegetables. He fairly beams when any passerby stops and speaks in praise of his garden or anything in it. He will stop, hoe or trowel in hand, and talk by the half-hour with anyone who will talk plants or garden with him, but if you talk business he keeps right on with his hoeing or transplanting. If anyone expresses an interest in any plant, flower or vegetable, he has hard work to get away without a plant, a cutting, a boquet or a basket of vegetables, which my neighbor fairly forces upon him. If I wanted to touch him for a loan I should not tell him how fiercely my creditors were pressing me, or that my wife was ill and my children shoeless or otherwise lacking in necessaries, but should ingratiate myself by praising his cabbages, his egg plant or his dahlias.
Just now he is getting his garden ready for the winter. It is really surprising how many things he finds to do. This morning I saw a big load of sand dumped at the curb near his garden, and he was making neat little mounds among his flowers, and spreading it over the ground in his flower garden, and among his vegetables. I joked him about a gardener’s needing ‘ ‘ sand, ’ ’ and was surprised to learn how useful it is. The neat mounds were to protect early bulbous plants from belated freezes in the spring. The sand scattered over the soil is to be dug in during cultivation so as to lighten the soil, to prevent it from baking, to make it easier to work, and so that water and air may penetrate to the roots of the plants. My neighbor tells me that hard coal ashes may also be used eiher sifted or unsifted, but that, if unsifted, the clinkers are a nuisance in cultivating. He tells me also that all bulbs, lillies especially, should have at least an inch of sand under them and should be covered with sand to keep decaying vegetable matter and soil fungi away from them, and to permit of drainage so that they shall not rot. He finds it indispensable in rooting slips and cuttings. They will root better in damp sand than in any other material. He says he uses it for packing his winter vegetables and his dahlia and canna roots and they come through the winter without withering. This year he will try packing his geranium
plants in it and see if they will come through alive. I noticed that he dumped a whole wheelbarrow full in one of his cold frames, and learned that he makes his cold frame soil one-fourth sand, one-fourth leaf-mold.
I was interested in his cold-frames of which he has several. One of them he fertilizes heavily with sheep manure or bonemeal, and leaves empty, but covered with glass so that it shall thaw out early in the spring for his first planting of lettuce and radishes. In others he plants his tenderer perennials with ample space between them so that he can take them up in the spring without too greatly disturbing the roots. He says that such plants as English daisies and Canterbury bells come through beautifully, increasing in size, and I remember his showing me last spring a fine row of English daisies all in blossom which he had just taken out of a cold frame where they had lived snugly under glass all winter and had grown .finely in the spring before the outside soil had thawed, lie tells me that plants thus protected can be transplanted to their places outside when the weather becomes warmer without ever knowing that they have been disturbed.
The other day I noticed that he was going around putting tags on a row of fall asters which he called Michaelmas daisies and which were growing in a corner of the garden where he had raised them from seed. I asked him whether they were cost marks or price tags, and he then showed names and colors written upon them and explained that he would transplant the asters after they had been killed by the frost and his/ other plants when his annuals were out of the way, and that he would transplant only the best ones and in transplanting would put them where the colors would not “quarrel’’ with those of their neighbors. I noticed other tags on the dead stalks of other plants.
I noticed labeled stakes everywhere among his flowers and when I joked him mildly about it he told me that some of his plants were sleepy-heads and didn’t get up early in the spring and that if he didn’t mark their sleeping places in the fall he was likely to take their heads off in the spring when he was cultivating the others which got up in good time.
Head lettuce does best in cool weather. It must be well spaced so as to give each head a chance to grow to full size.
INSECTICIDES NEED THOROUGH AND CONTINUOUS AGITATION
Photograph taken Immediately after shaking. Note that the materials have already begun to settle.
Suspensibility of Insecticides and the Value of Agitation
(The following should be read in connection with Prof. H. F. Wilson's article, The Practical Efficiency of Our Common Insecticides in the August number of Wisconsin Horticulture. This section was omitted on account of lack of room for the illustrations.)
Each one of the insecticides here discussed has its own degree of suspensibility and this is an important factor in the application of the spray material. The rapidity with which any material settles is extremely important because one of the greatest difficulties met with by the average farmer in spraying is the settling of the poison in the tank. To show the rate of settling we have made three photographs which are here included.
Photograph #1 was taken immediately after shaking all of the insecticides. It should be noticed
INSECTICIDES NEED THOROUGH AND CONTINUOUS AGITATION Photograph taken two minutes after shaking. Note rapidity of settling of Paris Green and Basic Lead Arsenate.
that settling began immediately. Photograph 32 was taken 3 minutes later and shows not only the necessity of agitation in the spray tank but the comparative rapidity with which each one of these materials settle. Basie lead arsenate settles much more rapidly than any of the
QUICK SETTLING MATERIALS ARE ALSO MOST COMPACT
Not only do these materials settle quickly but it is difficult to stir them up again if they are allowed to settle while spraying.