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The Florida agriculturist. [volume] (DeLand, Fla.) 1878-1911, November 27, 1878, Image 1

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The Florida Agriculturist.
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;
Page 229—Advertisements,
Page23o—Malaga Raisins; Mandarin or
Tangierine f; White Tobacco.
Page 231 —Advertisements.
Page 232—Advertisements.
• !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

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