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The Florida Agriculturist.
A JOURNAL DEYOTED TO STATE INTERESTS. Voi. 1 Contents of this Number. Page 235—Orange Culture; Evideuees of Progress in Daytona. Page 226—The Boys and the Apples; The “ Universal Provider.”; A Bustle about a dog; Recipes ; Consumption Cured. Page 227—Onr Lands; Advertisements. Page 228—Work for December; State Frir; A Handsome Present; A New Florida Paper; State Frir Premiums; Looals. Page 229—Advertisements, Page23o—Malaga Raisins; Mandarin or Tangierine f; White Tobacco. Page 231 —Advertisements. Page 232—Advertisements. ORANGE CULTURE • !On the "Low Lands. Editor Florida Agricidturist : While so much is being said and written, of the adaptability of the high hammocks and pine lands to or ange culture, the numerous good qualities of our low lands fail to be appreciated. The exclusive preffer ence should by no means be given to the latter, still at a time of general discouragement occasioned by the re cent rains and high water, it may not be inopportune to consid er some of their advantages. In using the term low land reffereuce is not made to swamps or lands subject to overflow, nor to the low “ flat woods ” pine lauds, which by com i mon consent are admitted to be. worthless for this purpose. In the Weekly Sun and Press, of July 25th, replying to a letter of en quiry from Japan, the Agricultural editor says: “ Our soils are generally light or sandy, but some very fine and pro ductive groves may be found not on ly on rich, dry shell-hammock, but upon well drained low hammocks. The latter make the strongest and most enduring lands, when properly prepared, the, expense of ditch ing, grubbing, etc., is always very heavy.” The low lands present some decided advantages over other soils, which have been too generally ig nored. Writers upon the subject usually represent the high lands only, as worthy of orange culture. Not withstanding this disparagement, some of the finest groves iuthe State are upon the low hammock lands. There are several groves in this vi cinity which have done well for years upon that class of low land known as * “ craw-fish hammock,” i. e. so low that the craw fish peforate the soil, throwing up little mounds of earth over the surface of the ground. These groves are well and the healthy condition of the trees is no doubt attributable to the atten tion given to this matter, so necessa ry on the low lands. Although thorough drainage,either natural or artificial, is a necessary prerequisitcho j success in agricultural pursuits of any kind, its importance does not seem to be appreciated by many orange growers- Orange trees will not thrive in a soil which is sat urated with water. On the low lands it is of vital importance, and it would greatly improve a large portion of the orange growing lands of the State. The advantages of drainage arc by no means confined to carry ing off excessive rain fall and surplus j water. The soil is rendered porous,, allowing the air to have access to the roots, which is essential to the health of the tree. It facilitates the circu lation of gasses escaping from de composing organic matter in the soil,; these acting chemically upon insolu ble substances render them fit for plant food. The rains penetrate the soil easily and supply those indispen sable elements of vegetable life, and ammonia and carbonic acid, p which are important constituents oi rain water. Fertilizers deposited on the surface are carried down by the de scending rains, and returned by the ascending capillary water from be low bringing them into coustant con tact with the feeding surfaces of the roots. A greater depth is thus ob tained for the roots, and the trees are less liable to injury from excessive rain or drought. Where there is not sufficient fall for underdrainage, sur face drains or ditches answer the pur pose admirably. Owing to the sandy nature of our soil deep ditches cave badly. Shallow ditches answer the purpose much better if the distance between them is not too great. From twenty-five to fifty feet is not too near upon a majority of our low lands. Trees whose roots are imbed ded in a soil soaked with sour, stag naut water cannot be healthy. It is wonderful that the orange tree stands as much abuse in this direction as it does. Whatever may be the specific nature of “ die-back,” whether fun goid or ptberwise. thene cannot be a doubt that one of the most prolific causes of the disease in the State is the lack of proper drainage. The expense of clearing the low lands, either in developing wild groves or in preparing to set out new need not be so great as is represented. This class of land seldom contains scrub palmetto, myrtle, etc., which render the work of grubbing so heavy on some lands. In the wild groves where cultivation must be done with the hoe, the land need not be grubbed. Even in a soil which is being prepared for setting out trees j and which is to be plowed, the usual thorough and expensive mode can be dispensed with. A few roots which are most in the way of cultivation can be removed. The remainder will rot by the time the soil is in suitable condition for trees,-and will a< ld greatly to the richness of tiie land. One of the most flourishing young groves on the Sfc -Johns liiver, was cleared without the destruction of a single tree'or the removal of a root. The former Were cut, piled and al lowed to decay, the 1-tter rotted in the ground. In three years the tim ber was almost gone,. and the roots had entirely disappeared; thus an in valuable fertilizer was saved, and the work of clearing materially lessened. Care should be taken that the rotten wood does not come in contact with the trees, as it breeds wood lice which are liabteTo 'girdle th e 'tr'tfe*. A greater portion of the wild groves in the State, are upon the low lands ; this led, no doubt, to their first, being utilized for orange grow ing. Grafting on the wild trees af fords the quickest njode of securing fruit, and many of the old groves are of this character. The fact that the wild trees are indigenous to this soil, should demonstrate its adaptability to orange culture. While these wild DeLand, Florida, Wednesday, November 27,1878. groves yield quick returns,,their de velopment is expensive. The and itch ing and other preliminary- work is not greater than in preparing land of the same kind for setting otit a grove.* or for general culture. The great labor and cost is the subsequent cuk ti vation, which has to be done ly with the hoe, owing to the irregu larity of the trees and to the fact that their roots are established nearer the suiface. On this damp, rich soil, the grass grows luxuriantly, arid the hoes must be kept constantly going during the summer months until the trees are large enough to shade the ground. This can be avoided by resetting the trees. When this is to be done the tree should be root pruned months, a year is better, before • the trees are removed: the old roots have been long established an<L are desti tute of fibrous, or feeding roots, up on which success in the operation largely depends. It is whether anything is gain#! by n?ov ing such large trees, shock which they receive is and it will take them some timjpto recover from it. If trees are to Jbri sot out, itl is better to select < their growth willnot be retarded by the operation; they will yidp returns al most or quite as soon, atj|rtheir con stitutional vigor and Length of life will be much greater^tban,older trees. In setting out anew gfqvo ou low \ laud draining cau be acijdrjnUSihed by ‘seuing'.the trees <jti rAlgeiyTOi i/wli up with a plo w with a deep water fur row between each row. Trees should never be set on land until it has been cleared one or two years and is sweet and mellow. Nothing is gained by hurrying trees into new, sour laud It would be better if the land could be cultivated in some other crop be fore trees are set upon it. Sour stock budded are the only kind of trees that do well on low land. It is their natural soil and they flourish finely. Sweet seedlings will not suc ceed and it is useless to attempt to make a seedling grow ou low land. It being necessary to bud the trees a uniform good quality of fruit can easily be secured. Trees set in rows can be cultivated with a- cultivator or horse lioe. Plowing orange trees, even on the high lands, is of .question able advantage, .excepting while the trees are young and Where the plow does not approach near the roots. On the low lands plowing and all deep culture should be avoided; as the orange roots are naturally, and on the low lands neeessariliy, near the surface of the ground. . Thorough and constant culture, so • under all circumstances, is especially necessary here. The rich soil pro duces a luxuriant growth of grass which should be kept under and the ground rendered loose and friable by constant stirring.' The land be ing low the trees suffer more quickly when the soil about them becomes hard, or they are choked with grass. One of the great advantages of the low land soils is their natural richness, on account of which they do not need fertilizing. The trees grow faster and more thrifty than on the high lands, and are consequently less liable to injury by the scale, insect, and seldom have “die-back” with proper drainage and cultivation. Dur ing excessively dry seasons, when the leaves of the trees ou the high lands, especially the pine lands, are liable to curl from drought, trees on the low lands are not affected; nor are the latter more easily injured by excessive rainfall when thoroughly drained. Asa general rule the fruit is large, clean, and juicy, and does not suffer either in appearance or quality from long continued drought as it does on the high lands. The fruit is seldom covered with thejrust that so often effects the fruit on the high lauds. It nas been affirmed that trees on these lands are comparitively short lived. Some of the groves are still in good condition on this soil which were in bearing when killed to the ground by the]great frost of 1835. Owing to the expeuse_of clearing the low lands settlers are often urged to locate ou the high pine lands, where a start can be made more easily and with less outlay. The expense need not be as great, as is represented if properly managed. Eight or ten years must elapse on the pine land before the trees begin to bear. Ou the low lands trees grow faster and come into bearing in a much shorter time. One advantage of the latter over the former is that other crops can be profitably raised to defer cur rent expenses while the orange is coming on. There is considerable anxiety among orange growers as to what will be the effect of the recent high w?ter upon tho,se \o,w land grov^g which have been submerged. In 1871 the water rose from similar causes to about the same height as it has risen this year. Many groves were overflowed, but, although the water rose a month earlier than this year while the sun still shone with Summer heat, and remained upon the ground six weeks, the trees sustained but little permanent injury. Some trees turned yellow, and others drop ped their fruit, and in certain locali ties the crop for the ensuing season was somewhat injured; so far as the writer has been able to ascertain, few of the bearing trees were killed, and in most instances they speedily re_ covered from the effects of the water, i In Louisiana when a crevasse occurs j in the Spring, which event is by no .means rare, the orange groves on the .low lands are often inundated for several weeks, yet the. trees do not seem to suffer materially. It would be hardly advisable to plant anew grpve , upon land llabje to overflow. Those i who have groves upon these lands, | however, should not be too easily ; discouraged; it will pay better in the end to persevere, eveu under disad vantages, than to give up what has already been done and start anew. The effects of the recent high water will only be temporary, and it may not occur again for a life time, Some seasons the entire peach and apple crop of the northern states is destroy ed by an unforseen cause, yet the peach and apple growers neither leave in disgust nor quit the business. Even orange culture is not- exemjit £-om drawbacks; they arc incident to all pursuits in life, and should be met with patieuce and perseverance, in I the hope of better success in the fu | ture. Arthur 11. M.vxvii.lk., •' Lake (teorso Fla., Oct. 30th. 1878. 1 Ao RIO run: IST 82 per annum. Evidence of Progress in Daytona. Editor Florida Agriculturist : We do not pretend to be the most enterprising people in the world, nor even in the State or County, and should never think of competing with our wide awake neighbors of DeLand in way of improvements or setting of trees or any other ot the numerous distinguishing characteris tics upon which the thriving and bustling communities in the western portion of the County pride them selves, for though we are not alto gether stagnant or entirely mossed over with age or laziness, or a pleth ora of wealth or luxuries, yet we are a conservative and slow moving peo ple—adopting new fashions and new ideas deliberately and after due con sideration, first being sure we are right and then going ahead—it it does not require too much exertion. Ko, we are free to say that we are not like the grasshopper, who jumps first and afterwards looks to see where he is going to light. We are not of those who marry in haste to repent at leisure. Therefore when I tell you that we have just sent oft' orders for considerably over two hundred fruit trees and vines of va rieties not heretoiore introduced here to any extent, you may be sure it has been done after a thorough canvass of all the pros and cons—an accurate balancing of the probabilities—a care \ ful review ot the reports of efforts f -in other parts .oJt tlm.fitaifi, .ftftii wifh a perfectly clear idea of the experi mental, and, if you please, hazardous, character of the investment. The principal trees ordered are the Apple j Pear, Peach and Plum, with Mul berry and Quince, and a few varieties of choice Grapes. The success in the cultivation of a variety oi the best pears in eastern Texas gives us reason to feel pretty secure on pears in spite ot the prevailing impression that we are too near the coast, for our coast, tempestuous as it often is, is a “ sweet vale ol’ Avoca com pared with that ot Texas, and, con trasted with hers, our northers are balmy zephyrs. Apples have been successfully grown in most counties of the State and we propose to ascer tain il Volusia is to be an exception. The Chickasaw Plums we have ordered are upon their native heath, being improved varieties of the wild ehickasaw, and as for peaches, some have been grown here this year that were said to be excellent, by resi dents who claim to have eaten poaches in New Jersey and Ohio and therefore ought to know what good ones are. We have not yet accepted the ipse dixit of those who insist that good peaches can be grown only upon Florida seedlings, but on the contrary we have no fear of Georgia seedlings budded with the best northern varieties already acclimated. Ido not know whether those who put their faith exclusively in Florida seedlings run entirely to natural fruit, or whether they bud in from northern varieties. But my ex perience with natural fruit does not encourage me in spending much time upon it, and I prefer budding as the only’ means of getting the va rieties that have an established repu tation. The chances of getting from seedlings better fruit than is now Continued on piipre -23:2. No. 29