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The banner. [volume] (Abbeville, S.C.) 1844-1847, February 18, 1846, Image 1

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\ THE, BANNER.
\ LIliERTY AND MY NATIVE SOIL."
Vol. II. Abbeville C. H?, S. C, February 18, 1846. Ho. 51.
PaMished every Wednesday Moriilng, bv
ALLEN <fc KERR.
fir to iEerms.
ONE DOLLAR AND FIFTY
CENTS per annum, if paid within threes
months from the time of subscribing, of
TWO DOLLARS after that time. No j
subscription received for less than six
months; and.no paper discontinued until |
all arrearages are paid, except at the op* |
tion of the editors. Subscriptions will be !
continued, unless notice be given other- ,
wise previous to the close of the volume, j
From the Charleston Mercury.
TO THE PLANTERS & FARMERS
. OF SOUTH CAROLINA.
At the lute meeting of tlie State Agri- ,
cultural Society, the following Resolu4."
.1 i. .1 tt rni *
nuii was iiuopieu, viz. " mat me i-reaident
be requested to communicate to
the public, before the planting season,
such information as he may possesses,
or which it may be in his power to col- i
lect, in relation to the means of modify- !
ing the effects of drought on Indian 1
Corn and other provisions."
^ v It is necessary for me to premise, that j
what I shall say concerning the use of
the plough is mainly derivative. From '
several causes, the planters of the Sea
Islands are but slightly acquainted, in '
practice, with the value of that great agricultural
implement. To give the exnpripnoo
of flip, hicrhpst nuthoritins i*
I * ~- _ o t " . ' !j
therefore, on my part an imperative obii- '
gation. It is proper also I should in
this place observe that, in consequence
of assiduous endeavors to obtain facts
from supposed reliable sources, in which j
I have sianallv failed, this communiea- i
tion, which would have been made at a
much earlier period, has been delayed,
but not too late, it is hoped, to be.wholly
unprofitable.
Satisfactorily to elucidate the matter
of the Resolution, would involve a minute
examination of in:iny of the topics
connected with the science of husbandry.
As I am certain, however, it was not de- 1
signed or intended that my remarks
should take so wide n scope, 1 shall only (
briefly advert to those principles" and i
: their operation upon which some of the ;
t most valuable, results in husbandry rust.
Aii the earths have a considerable <
attraction for the fluid which the utmost- 1
pliere contains. The very best soils
possesses this po\ver in the highest degree
; hence, it may with certainty be .<
assumed, that the measure of their fer- ;
tility depends chiefly on their capacity i
to absorb moisture. In determining I
their value, however, on the head, two ; i
other properties have to be noticed,?the I
quantity of water which is essential to |
their saturation, and their power of re- i
taining it. In all these respects, clay I
and sand occupy antagonistic relations, i
The former imbibes the aqueous vapors i
like a sponge and parts with them re- :
luctantly; when dry, it constitutes a i
compact mass ; from the closen .-ss of its <
texture, the dissolvent action of the air
is excluded, by which putrefaction is re- i
tarded. The latter is friable and a sop- i
tic ; from the solidity of its particles and i
their want of coherence, wateV filters i
easily. In the adoption of expedients by
which to secure these earths a supply of j
moisture, different proce3ses, in part on
ly, it is advisable to pufsirc. From their
predominance in the State, I shall direct i
my attention prominently to claycy or j
ominous soils. What then, are the <
means which reason and experience as- ]
sure us are the best calculated to attain |
the end in view! I answer, deep plough- j
ing ; thorough pulverization of the soil; i!
abundance of manure; and the us3 of j ]
salt and retentive atmospherical absor- j
bents. .1
1. Deep ploughing. The roots of i
.plants should be allowed extend them- ]
selves in-every direction. The deeper <
they penetrate, and the widejtheir rami- I
fications, the greater will be ti? absorption
of nourishment. The iveragc i
depth of good soils is about 6 relies, j
-Every inch added increases its va?ie 8
per cent: so that the soil where the Ve.
getable layer is 12 inches thick, is woth
jhalf as much again as that in which *
:ia only 6 inches.* It is consequently'
a tVint tvtiMtuvpr frAm thi<a cimcp *
wf*".?. :
may be itaenhanced value, if not reached
' at some time in the progress of cultivationy
the.remainder is in effect a eapul
1 morluum. : By deep ploughing the ca-jppcity
of the whole soil is called forth. |
-r?WhiIe it-ehables the earth, through the
agency of-air and water, to inhale at,
-mospherical manure, by diminishing the
1 -ibice of the sun's rays it lessens materi.
>aliy its exhalations. iShauid the substratum,
which perhaps in every- in*
[y stance contains-the principles of fertility,
- ihe kroken^Still, as ia general proposition,
jfc .; the, meet signal benefits, prospectively,
; ja^ljf, may cor>fidentfy be
k ; expected to^nure from the operation.
. Deep' ploughing ensures the greatest,
*Thaer. r.
produce from the smallest given quantity
of land. If by the use of one-half of
the soil ten bushels of corn per acre be
obtained, it is reasonable to infer, all
other circumstances being equal, that
Wfete the whole in tilth, twenty, bushels
would be harvested: indeed a muc^r
larger quantity ought to be the result,
for the deeper the soil the greater will be
the number of stalks, and the larger and
more numerous the ears. The Maize,
says Taylor, u is a little tree." and possessing
roots correspondent to its size, pe
netrates a depth almost - incredible?9
feet, it is known, have been reached. It
follows that, where, from the vigor of
the pittfit or the fertility of the land, the
roots meet with no obstruction, the.consequences
of drought will be sensibly
Jiminished if not entirely prevented. It
is believed that the rolling of the leaves
:)f corn is attributable solely to the absence
of moisture. This is an error.
Scanty manuring or shallow tillage is
as often the true cause.
To render deep ploughing* effectual,
it should take place in autumn. The expansive
power of frost, and the minifying
influence of air and rain, and the
action of these in breaking the continuity
of fibrous matter, arc strong reasons
in favor of the practice. Whether it
should be done once in two or three
years only, which, I believe, is the opinion
of the most successful farmers of
Great Britain, or annually, as is coirjmon
in parts of our country, is certainly
as \et an undetermined point.
2. Pulverization. The soil must not
anly be made easily accessible to the descent
and spread of the. roots, but there
should be such a disintegration of its
parts, as to allow the free trarismis>ion
of air. However rich in ingredients,
JlfThrrl nr> nillrimonf In
- ~ ..w^ ?v - VIUUU".
until subjected lo the combined action of
heat, air, and moisture?the great agents
of decomposition. Unless freely supplied
with oxigen, the remains of animals
and vegetables do not decay, but
ihey undergo putrefaction.! u The frequent
renewal of air by ploughing and
the preparation of the soil, change the
putrefaction of the organic constituents
into a pure process of oxidation; and
from the moment at which all the organic
matter existing in a soil enters into
a state of oxidation or decay, its fertility
is enhanced." In a well compounded
soil, water is presented to the roots by
capillary attraction. As this increases
in proportion to the smalluess of the particles
of earth, the advantage of- their
complete pulveriz ition is plain. It is
equally true, that as food for plants must
exist in solution, it is requisite to admit*
water to the roots by artificially reducing
the compactness of the soil by tillage.
FrOm frequent working, therefore, the
most favorable results may be anticipated
; indeed, it has been well observed,
that a good stirring of the ground in
rlry weather is equal to a shower of rain ;
for however strange it may seem, while
it promotes moisture, desication is prevented.
To aid in the increase and preservation
of atmospherical vapor, the
ridge system is especially recommended.
The breaking up of the old furrows
deeply, and making the new ridges on
them, by which the two interchange
pl.ices, provide a quantity of finely divided
earth .much greater than what is obtained
in the ordinary mode, While
the coming up of the corn is therby facilitated,
and the thrifty condition of. the
young plants secured, the depth at which
the seeds of grass and weeds arc depositgd,
prevents their germentation, except
in small numbers; hence labor and
time in the culture of the cron are snvod
In relation to.maize, the author of " Arafpr"
sums up the advantages of high
^ges and deep furrows in substance as
f<Hh\vs:?The roots are never cut .in
on^irection^ and this great depth of
tilth!
tys early obtained, by superseding
the oc^jon for deep ploughing in the
latter pdtad of its growth, saves thein in
the otherVphe preservation of the roots,
and their oVper pasture, enable the corn
much longejv, resist dry weather. Litter
thrown inWthe deep furrow upon
which the list J^made, is a reaervoif of
manure, far remtLd frorn evaporation ;
within reach of "Voots, which will follQw
it alaju* the fuVw, an(j calculated
. thdjilapU wfiu in need of rain.
The dead .:earth brol|^t lip by the
: * About 12 ihches. \ ;
i^Liebig, V .
plough from the deep furrow is deposited
on eaeh side of it, without hurting the
crop on the ridge ; further, by one deep
pjwughing, received by the corn, after it
Jr planted, being bestowed upon it whilst
pt is young, and its roots short, and being
run nearly a foot from it, the roots
of the corn in this way escape injury,
and the effects of drought on the plant
being thus lessened, its product is increased.
It would appear from this condensed
exposition of his views that, in the opinion
of Taylor, one ploughing only, and
that a deep and early one the growing
crop requires. 'l'o clean and pulverize
the soil, the harrow, skimmer, or cultivator,
alone should be used. Each might
advantageously be resorted to in any
stage of its growth, but in a parched
condition of the earth, their reviviscent
tendency would then clearly demand it.
With regard to sweet potatoes, the
plough may most profitably be employed
at any time. When the
shoots begin to wither, break up
the space between the hills or
ridges by running four furrows. The
newly turned earth will be found wet
in the morning, while before no moisture
had been apparent. ,_Ina few-days,
the leaves from being brown or yellow
will assume a greenish hue, and new
shoots may be expected to follow.
3. Manure. The fertility of the soil
is the first object to be attained by ihu
farmer. For their dividing propeiiie*. j
all fossil manure are highly esteemed.
Deep ploughing and lime, unaided by
organic matter, it is well attested, have
renovated lands, that in the judiromesU
of the former proprietors, were not
worth the labor of cultivation. In reference
to the special matter under consid?*s\!.t?en
a judicious admixture of soils
is of'primary importance. ClavaDolied
to :j-A it in retaining manure,
and icciiviug the vaporized water of
the Atmosphere. 1 o allow the fibres of
plants to shoot freely, clay, sand and
lime, acting mechanically by their mixture,
arc mutual manures to each other.
Burnt clay may beneficially bo substituted
I'oi sund.
It has already been observed, that
pulverized earth, lias a strong attraction
(br atmospheric vapor and that this increases
in proportion to the minuteness
into which the particles are divided;
but as the power of the most fertile soils,
in this respect, is inferior to that of even
the worst ordinary manure, it is evident,
that i: for the mere purpose of withstanding
long-continued dry weather, those
plants whose roots have immediate access
to organic manures, will bo much
better enabled to* absorb the neoessary
supplies of atmospheric moisture, than
those merely vegetating in the unmanured
soilhence, whenever fertilizers
ai'fi eiTinlilVPfl in nntir?inntir?n of /liv-?ii<rlit
r...j ? ?r~
or to mitigate its evils, in either case,
the good to flow from their application
to corn, will depend in a high degree
upon their abundance, and the materials
that compose them. The richer the in-.
gredients and larger the .quantity the
more decided will be the benefit. Suppose
in a propitious season, one acre,
judiciously manured, to yield 50 bushels,
and 5 acces, of the same natural
strength, unassisted by art, 10 bushels
per acre; experiments and practice
prove that in a drought, the former will
produce, generally not five-fold, but seven
or eight times as much as the latter.
I may indeed assert, that the difference
in product will be commensurate with
the heat and dryness of the weather.
Whether manures should lie burried
deep or shallow, or lie on the surface,
and whether they should be spread in a
rotted or unrotted stale, are questions
which the occasion docs not require me
to investigate. The tendency of decomposing
animal and vegetable matter is
to rise in the atmosphere ; of fossil manures
to sink.- As il is known that
coarse litter is betfer adapted to corn
than any other crop; if employed when
putrefaction has commenced, immediately
before the period of committing the
seed to the ground, or in the fall, in the
shape of long muck, to allow the frosts,
rain and wind of wmter,to prepare it
for the putrefaclivd" process, every portion
of the decaying and fermenting fertilizer
will be gradually absorbed by
the .roots and leaves of, the plants. All
the farts that have come to my knowledge
sua tainconclusively the principles
and reasoning J have advanced. I re
; y
J'. * ' '?>
" ' ' " '.- "y
peat that very rich ground rarely suffers
materially for the want of water, especially
if it has been properly divided
and loosened by artificial means. If.
therefore, the withering power of drought
should at any time show itself on poor
land, let the farmer instantly apply putrescent
manure on the surface of the
ridge. To the spreading of compost
without burying it over the cereals during
their vegetation, the English attribute
an almost magical influence. They
assert that "the nlants m:iv nlmnst
I ---?J
be seen to renovate and regain their ver
dure." It is evident, says Timer, that
not only actual advantages, but also security
against evil is to be derived from
the possession of an active manure of
this nature, and without any sensible
diminution of "its value. Though the
quantity may be small, yet the beneficial
results, first indicated in the change
of color in the leaves, will soon appear.
In the instance of a planter of this place,
whose crop was in a perilous condition
from the excessive dryness of the summer
of '44, one cart load only to the
acre of stable manure, partially decomposed,
was instrumental in producing a
fi:ie yield, while froin the remainder of
tile field the harvest was very meagre.
When the application was made, the
corn had begun to tassel; the sialics
were small and the leaves yellow and
curled. Although the former never increased
in^izi*, the latter soon exhibited
a healthy green. This favorable indication
took place before the first shower
of rain, which was slight, and occurred
about a fornight after the tri-sl of the experiment.
The secret of my friend's
success is traceable to the fact that, as
all fertilizers have a strong attraction
for atmospherical moisture, he used the
one, which of all others, in that respect,
guano excepted, possesses the greatest
A prominent error in southern husbandry
is over-planting. Manuring
consequently as a system is not practised.
This alone is sufficient to account
for the smallness of the aggregate
Do o
crop for the extent of ground annually
in tilth. Reformation on this head is
therefore loudly demanded. But until
this ensue, what is to he done? In
what way may the injurious operation
of drought bo modified, as well by the
ignorant as the skilful, the poor and the
rich 1
4. Salt, In small quantities salt is a
septic; in large quantities it resists putrefaction.
Though not strictly germane
to the subject entrusted to my
charge, I hope I shall be excused lor
here stating the estimation in which
this substance is held by many observant
agriculturists. It destroys, they
maintain, noxious weeds and vermin ;
gives luxuriance and verdure to grns?
lands ; prevents the scab in (Irish) potatoes
; sweetens grass, and hastens the
maturity of crops. Wheat or barley following
turnips on land that had been
previously salted, the ensuing crop, it is
well authenticated, escaped the mildew.
For a top dressing for grass land, six
bushels per acre are recommended ; for
cleaning the ground preparatory to the
pumng in 01 me grain, sixteen ousnejs,
it is said, may be employed upon fallows.
An ounce of salt to a gallon of water
benefits vegetables; a larger quantity
gives a brown color, and is therefore injurious.
As it is a stimulant, salt should
be mixed with compost, mud, or loamy
earth. Its great capacity for inhaling
atmospherical moisture renders it peculiarly
valuable in dry and hot weather.
For Cotton I have used it successfully ai
the rate of five pecks to the acre. Beyond
that, its effects were adverse to the
growth and production of the plants.
Manure designed for corn, should receive,
several weeks before it is put on
the land, as much salt as will furnish to
every acre not exceeding one and a half
bushels. If, however, none of the measures
noticed in this communication
have been adopted by the farmer, and
his crop be suffering from the abscence
of ruin; let him sprinkle on the ridge of
each plant or hill as much \vell pulverized
salt as he can conveniently take up
!,? 41 U f/t.n finx.ni>,-.
Willi lilts UlUlliU U11U IUU lUlU-lllJ^Uid.
In a short time, the result, from my own
experience and that of some of my colaborers,
Vviil be tho same as though the
ground bad been recently moistened
with a .moderate shower. How long
the benefit will* continue I am unprepared
*o st a te? for jffter every experiment
. / V' - 'V v . / ; .
% h v . y
'v* .'7' ***V"
" :'4-Ar , ^ * '
: .J&ffC"
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longer ones charged in proportion. Those
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For advertising Estrays Tolled, TWO
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( ot my o wn, rain fell from ten to fifteen
(lays. I can only assert that, in the interval,
the saited portion of the field was
in every respect much superior to the
remainder.
5. Organic absorbents. It is not
merely necessary that atmospheric gases
should be inhaled by the agents
which the vigilant care of the farmer
may have provided, but to render fris
labors and knowledge more effectual,,
they must possess the additional merit
of retaining them. The atmosphere is
the matrix of manures ; these, however,
are so subtle and evanescent, that t&ey
quickly escape, unless elaborated into
permanency by the use of vegetables in
a hardened form. The valuable properties
of organic matter in a state of putrefaction,
if buried in the earth, are absorbed
by plants, and "exactly that
portion of manure which is lost by the
custom of rotting it before it is cmoloyed,
becomes the parent of a great crop."
Xhe most common and yet the most es'
teemed retentive atmospherical absor
bent with which I am acquainted, is the
leaves of the pine.* When mixed with
farm yard or stable manure, especially
il !Vlittle salt has been added, it forms a
highly fertilizing compound. In attrac-.
ting and preserving the gases and vapor
of the atmosphere, lies, however, its
great virtue.' In a drought, if applied a
few inches thick around each hill of
corn, considerable moisture, under tho
heaps, will be seen in 21 hours, and
shortly afterwards, the field, should the
farmer's operations have been so cxle
sive, will prove the eflicacy of this r"
pie experiment. At the late session oC
the Legislature, a member of the Senate
informed mo, that the last summer
he employed pine leaves for his growing
crop of potatoes with the happiest results.
During the drought, he filled
the alleys with this material. At the
time of harvest, potatoes were found on
the earth below the trash. Though unable
to speak with precision of the difference
between this section of his field
and that on which no leaves had been
I nlnnn/1 irf.f V> rk ii/if /".T ll>?
jut luy |ilUUUUl L'l lUC UliC YVC1C5
far greater than that of the other. To
detemine a question of vegetable reproduction,
in 1841, near Brest in Frauce,
on a few rods of poor land, untitled and
which received no ulterior attention,
grains of wheat were strewed, and then
covered with wheat straw about an inch
thick. In despite of excessi ve droughts"
during the spring, prolonged and several
times repeated, while all around wag
drooping and uncertain, the protected
wheat sustained no injury. When the
plants matured, the straw was found to
be "more than 6 feet high, and in'the
ears were 50,60, and even 80 grains of
wheat of full devolopment." A satisfactory
explanation of this experiment, remarks
a French writer, is found in r
straw being a bad conductor of heat and
_ - 1 1 , .f -I r mi' i
u guuu couuucior 01 oieciricuy. i ne *
roots consequently were maintained i.n,a K
medium temperature, and-the moisj&re
of the earth, furnished by the straw,
facilitated the absorption of carbonic acia i
from the atmosphere. As. pine .leaves
contain a much greater propojtiqn of
nutritive juices, they should always fc'fe |
used, if obtainable,,in. preference to the [
straw of other trees or any crop. *; J
Having already extended this comma- I
nication to an unreasonable length, I
will merely add, that the true and permanent
interest of the agriculturist is to
be found in prepd.Mg against.the*vicis- -1,
situdes of the seasons, and not i^.Ayealc
and uncertain attempts to mitigatQ their
influence.*. Deep ploughing,loo,sening
effectually 'the texture of tlj? ^>ii, arid a
bountiful supply of appropriate alimertf,
are the surest means for the accomplishment
of that purpose. While a parsimonious
us? of manure is sure to develope
slender returns, it promotes slowly
but inevitably, the deterioration of lh&
land. It is better then, to culiiyaie^a- |
few ncrqs to the plough or labourer, furnished
abundantly with enriching maj
terials, than treble the number without
i nutriment. These truths were ^practjcally
enforced in the palmy days' pf |
Egyptian agriculture. The .Roman . !?
husbandman was. considered blessed
who owned 7 acres of ground
* " Oak leaves," says Thfusij." OPl
easily de<jomposed, and contain ap? astringent
ipaubr. v^hich is highly *4^
ous to vegetation aij long w th? iW&f to? .
j main^ nhdecompo^d.^ , j t |j
:

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