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Growing the Potato by Aid of Irrigation
—Planting, Cultivating, Harvesting—
Varieties— The Sweet Potato, Its Yield,
Quality, etc.-Judge J. H. Stout on the
J. M. Stout is a well known experi
menter in agricultural and horticultural
lines. He brought from California con
siderable knowledge of farming by irri
gation and has practised it here for many
years, giving especial attention to market
gardening. The Interviewer tackled him
upon the subject of potato growing the
other day. This is an important topic
•ml in due time the exporience of others
will bo solicited, for ideas and methods
differ. The b33t is what wj are working
for. An 1 right here let it ba said that
one idea of these interviews is to call out
the practice of other* than the interview
ed, to provoke discussion. It a reader
has or thinks he has a better way of do
injj things than that given by those
with whom we talk, he is the man The
Ranch desires to hear from, in a brief and
pointed manner. But to business.
Mr. Stout what is the first step toward
a gooJ potato crop? To get the land in
good condition of conr.se. I suppose
you are asking about potato growing
bere where the soil and climate are so
perfectly adapted to the crop. As soon
in spring as it will do to go to work, turn
on the water and get the soil well moist
ened. Following a season like this a
heavy watering will not be necessary.
I presuppose the land in good condition
last fall. When the soil is right put in
the plow and plant as yon plow. Do not
let the land bake. Drop potatoes in every
third or fourth furrow.
Do you plant whole potatoes ? No sir.
I prefer cutting to a single eye and plac
ing 6 to 8 inches apart according to vari
ety. Early Rose 6 inches, Burbank 8
How deep do you cover the seed? I
prefer 4 to 5 inches. Harrow after the
planting and follow with a smoother, or
light roller. This leaves the surface in
fine condition for the after cultivation.
Lay off a ditch between the rows for irri
gating. This may be done after the
potato plants appear above the surface.
When do you first turn on the water?
Watch for indications of getting too dry-
When that stage is reached turn on the
water and let it run for 24 hours, then
stop the flow, and when the land has
dried out enough to permit run through
with a small shovel plow. This done the
ditches must be re-opened to be in readi
ness for the next watering. The next
time water is needed let it remain about
same time as before and follow with a
small diamond plow, throwing the dirt
toward the potatoes. A third watering
t»nd cultivating will be needed. Do not
neglect the cultivation whether there be
weeds or not. The soil needs the stirring.
The last time will probably be along about
the first of August. Treated in this way
one will be sure of a good crop of pota
toes in this part of the country.
The crop will be uniform in size will
it? It will. But if you keep ou water
ing late in the season you will start new
settings and the result will be plenty of
small potatoes and some lar^e ones at
By your way of planting, the single
eye system, how much seed will be re
quired? I think about 12 bushel per
What is your favorite variety? For
market the Burbank leads. The Peerless
will yield a bigger crop but it is less in
What is your manner of harvesting?
I use a plow rigged after a manner of my
own. A simple device but difficult to
describe so you will understand it with
out seeini: it. Do not let the potatoes
have the sun. As soon as dry put in
sacks or in piles and cover with vines or
other material. To keep for winter use,
or through winter, place in pits, but do
not cover too dpeply at first. Provide for
ventilation at top of pit. If stored in
cellar keep from light and air.
Are potatoes troubled with any kind
of disease here? Not in the least. We
have no blight, rot or scab. This is the
ideal potato countr/.
Thank you Mr. Stout, but as we are on
the potato subject, I would like to aek you
TIIE SWEET POTATO.
You have <*rown them I believe? Yes,
1 think I was the first to introduce their
cultivation here. I remember the exper
iment well, for the first bushel cost me
$85. You see I ordered them from the
east by express. They came by way of
Portland and got frosted and soon decay
ed on arrival. So 1 was obliged to dupli
cate the order and the potatoes and
charges amounted to $42.50 each time.
I started the plants myself.
How do you prepare the ground for
setting the plants? The same as for the
ordinary spuds except to throw it into
ridges. Set the plants 12 inches apart on
top of ridge—ridges 4 feet apart. Irrigate
by running water freely between the
rows. Fill to top of ridges, tut off and
let >vater soak in. As soon as dry enough
run through with plow to break up the
Can you grow the crop anywhere here?
No. Choose the sandiest land. Set the
plants as soon as danger from frosts is
Do they yield well? Yes pretty well,
but not so large crops as in California,
say 5 or 6 tons per acre. But the quality is
How about the market? We can suc
cessfully compete with California in the
Sound markets. Some people have failed
with the sweet potato here, but I think
because they did not understand the
work. There is money in them, however,
if properly handled throughout. They
keep fairly well if not watered too often.
What variety do you recommend as
best? I prefer the early South Carolina.
Perhaps the yello.v Nunsemond yields
more but the quality is not quite so good.
The S. C. is sure to make a fair crop of
excellent potatoes. The Bermuda Ido
not remember to have tried.
ONE WAY TO POLE AND TRAIN HOPS.
J. E. Shannon, who lias a 15 l£-acre
hop yard down the river a few miles, will
adopt this method of poling and training.
The poles will be 10 feet long, set one foot
in the ground, 14 feet apart. This gives
a pole to each alternate bill. A No. 12
wire will be stretched along the top of
the poles east and west being fastened to
each pole by a staple. About 18 inches
below the wire twine will be dra vn the
same way and carried diagonally to the
top of each pole making a net work all
over the field. From the wire immediate
ly over the unpoled liiils a string will be
suspended and fastened at the lower end
to a wire stake having loop at the upper
end, the other end being inserted in the
ground at the hop hill. This method is
calculated to enable the vine to climb to
the string and wire and to exercise its
own sweet will as to whether to go hori
zontally along the string or wire or up
the cross twine from pole to pole.
Mr. Shannon believes that he has hit
upon a plun that will give him the great
est possible amount of hops. The cost of
wiring and twining the 1 o * ._. acres in this
way, including labor, will be about $175.
Another hop grower suggests that there
is really little need of the wirepe^s; in
fact that no pegs are required. Just place
the end of the twine a few inches under
the soil and tramp down hard ; the string
will break before it will pull out, while
the wire pegs are easily displaced.
Boards do not m»ke the best of tloora for
cow ahfds, poultry houses and the like.
Cement is coming largely into use for the
purpose. This way of making such a floor
is recommended by one who has tried it:
Excavate about 20 inches; place large stones
at the bottom and chink in with smaller
ones; pound together, leaving as little space
between as possible; mix one part best ce
ment with two parts sharp sand; water to
make thin enough to pour over and through
the Btone3. A thicker coat should cover
the stones for two inches deep, providing a
sloping drain to carry off the wafer after
flushing. Cement Hoorß for poultiy, etc.,
must be littered, of course; otherwise in
high latitudes they will be cold for the in
A man is a good deal lice a chameleon,
after all. he turns yellow with jealousy,
green with envy, blue witli despondency,
gray with age, red with anger, white with
fear, and black with despair.