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MIVII, No, 44. Whole No. 650.
J ok the Florida Agriculturist. * Home-Made Fertilizers. HOW POND OB SAW GRASS MUCK CAN BE MADE EQUAL TO COW MANURE. There is no question in the minds of Florida farmers and horticulturists of the results of cow manuring on our sandy lands, whether by the process of “cow penning” or hauling from the stable. As to the value of muck, there is doubt in the minds of many, and neither analysis nor practical results of application to land, so convincing to many, will have any effect upon them, but if absolute proof can be brought, that with proper combinations, ordinary swamp and pond muck can be made the full equivalent of good cow dung at a cost from $1.50 to $2.50 per cord, a lesson in practical farming will be brought home to tillers of the soil that should have sufficient weight to load them to put in practice methods of fertilizing in which there is a per centage of saving equivalent to the profits frequently made. To compare the value of muck with cow dung equal bulks must be taken, and they will vary by analysisbut slight ly; but most muck has not the power to generate ammonia possessed by the cow dung; those that do, heat when piled. The power to produce alkaline actions on insoluble muck is alone wanted to make muck as good as cow dung. Lime and salt to effect this result have been used, and to those near a supply of these articles and who understand their use, it is perhaps as good a method as any. But to the average farmer and horticul turist the simplest and cheapest method, is the one he is after. Mr. Andrew Ward, in the Boston Globe, says: “In the prep aration of manure price is everything. Muck may be called worth 50 cents a cord, and the labor of digging saysl; mix through the cord of muck thirty pounds of soda-asli, the cheapest alkali there is at the present time, costing from V/ 2 to 2 cents a pound, according to the quantity purchased (two pounds of soda ash are equal in alkaline strength to three pounds of potash, and costing more than one-half less), making a cord of muck equal in value to a cord of cow dung, at a cost of from $1.95 to $2.10, and most of it a farm product.” The effect of the action of the soda-ash in the muck is to destroy the vitality of maiden cane and other noxious grasses so frequently an objection to the use of saw muck on our sandy land. “Making the vegetable matter soluble, dissolving the ammonia, which is converted into a nitrate, carbonate of lime being produced, which acts as that does in spent ashes, and a soluble salt of soda, or common salt, remains in the mass, producing still DeLand, Fla., Wednesday, October *29,1890. further good effects when its alkali is let loose by the action of growing plants. Here are rounds of changes taking place, which, though the farmer may not readi ly understand, he may produce with lime and common salt.” The above writer also says that fine ground phosphate rock increases the richness of this compost. “The acids in the muck, make soluble the phosphoric acid for wherever phosphates exist with organic matter water will invariably dis solve a portion progressively with the decomposition of the organic matter by fermentation.” We have herehigh authority on a point considerably discussed, the availability of fine ground phosphate rock, if applied with muck. With thirty poundsof soda-ash costing 30 cents, to a cord of muck we have the full equivalent of cow manure. Finely ground Florida phosphates costing not to exceed $lO a ton, will greatly enrich the above compost, and the acids of the muck will make the phos phoric acid available. Cotton seed meal, rich in nitrogen, and costing but pound, completes the facilities for getting within the State, and largely on the farm, all the requisites for its successful cultivation. Geo. W. Hastings. Interlachen, Fla, For The Florida Agriculturist. Bee Keeping in Florida. With the advancing idea that this State must pay more attention to things other than orange growing, it seems to me that bee-keeping is neglected. With out claiming that keeping bees is one of the royal roads to wealth yet I have no doubt that a great many persons would be enabled to add to their incomes and comfort by keeping a few colonies of bees. The fear of stings no doubt deters a good many from having more to do w T ith the “insex” than they are obliged to, but with modern arrangements and gentle Italians there is little to fear on that ac count. A start in bee keeping may be made with a small sum of money, and if profitable the colonies can be increased quite rapidly. Stock and poultry require more or less feed; as a rule bees furnish a surplus of honey and do not require to be fed, and the labor required to care for them is not excessive. But what labor and care they need must be given at the right time for the best results. In this climate, where there is but a short time in which bees can gather no stores, the rigors of northern winters do not trouble, and losses if they are properly cared for, are few, while the hives are not so expen sive. Thus if the profits are not as great as in the North neither are the risks or expenses so great. John B. Case. i Florida. For the Florida Agriculturist. Peace River Phosphate Works. The Phosphate deposit of Peace River is certainly one of the richest in South Florida, if not the most paying in exist ence. There are two plants already in operation; one is owned and operated by the Peace River Cos., of Jacksonville, Fla., and is situated at Caldenia. The other is owned and managed by M. T. Singleton and is situated one and a half mile west of Arcadia. The phosphate strata is from twenty to fifty feet thick and is covered with from two to five feet of earth. T. S. Morehead's pioneer phosphate plant has now given place to the most extensive establishment on Peace River, the building alone costing $40,000. It is owned by Hull, Hammond & Cos., owners of the Savannah Fertilizerestablishmeutandall extensive works of the same kind in Port Royal, S. C. They own 800 acres of phosphate land in this vicinity. It lies in a basin form, which adds greatly to the value of it, makes it much easier to mine as it is necessary (in mining) to have water deep enough to float a drudge and wash the sand out of the phosphate, therefore it will be necessary to cut canals from the river to theinland mines, but the opinion of those m )st interested is that the supply from the river cannot be disposed of for years. Hull, Hammond & Cos., will be ready for operation in about two weeks. Their engine on the drudge is of sixty horse power and boiler of fifty. The machinery in the main building is run by ‘ engine and boiler of the same capacity. The entire length of the main building is 287 feet long by 50 wide. Thecapacity of mining and drying is 200 tons per day. The phosphate is removed from the mines with centrifugal pumps attached to a shaft eighteen feet long and is so ar ranged as to pump overa radiusof thirty feet. In pumping it passes through a screen and the sand washed out before the phosphate is deposited in the barge. The barge is then taken wdth a tug boat to the mill. Where the phosphate is dis charged by means of elevator into the wet bin, from there it passes through shoots into the dryer, which is an iron cylinder thirty feet long and four feet in diameter, the inside of which is made in screw form, which causes the phosphate to pass rapidly through as the cylinder makes ten revolutions a minute. In passing through the dryer it comes in direct contact with the flames and is heated red hot. It is then carried by $2 per Am, in advance. elevators to the dry bin, which has a capacity of four thousand tons. The dryer is a new] invention, which was gotten upand introduced to thepublic by It. I). Ganbj", superintendent of the Hull, Hammond & Cos., phosphate works. It is useless for me to attempt to tell of the various dispositions made of this great amount of phosphate for great as the quantity is, the demand is still greater both in the United States and Europe. In my next letter I will give a brief his tory of the discovery of phosphate in South Florida. E. 1). Weese. Arcadia, Fla. Fob Tub Florida Agriculturist. The Highest Ideal in Orange Grove Culture. To fertilize and to mulch is “the idea.” You have a heavy crop of weeds and grass on your land now, let us suppose and hope If so, put on 500 pounds of blood and bone or bone and potash or cotton seed meal, as you may think best, and then run over the weeds and grass with a two horse Acme or cutaway; this will open the earth a little so as to help the fertilizer to “take hold” as it were, and to mash down the mulching for bet ter protection. The old grass and weeds will grow no more, their roots will decay in the soil, and the tops on the soil, no evaporation or waste from winds will take place, no other crop of grass will grow and no roots will be destroyed and no cultivation will induce splitting or drop ping of fruit. In the spring run the Acme until this mulch is cut into mince and then fertilize again and mix all with cul tivator, running deep tearing out old surface feeding rootlets and inducing a new set. Wm. P. Neeld. For The Florida Agriculturist. How to Raise Tomatoes for Family Use. Excavate a trench eight inches deep and eighteen inches wide; fill up with muck that has been well aired, but is not rotted fine, well mixed w’ith ashes and well enriched with fertilizer, leaving the middle hollow. Enrich the ground for two feet each side; set the plants deep, up to the leaves, and leave them in a hole four or five inches deep to be filled up later. Wash water, slops,etc., may be thrown in the trench and will wa ter the plants without making theground bake. During the dry weather they may be watered as needed. I raised very fine, large and well flavored tomatoes by the above plan during the hot, dry weather of the past summer, equal to any I ever saw ortasted North, while others planted out in open ground were very inferior. John B. Case. Port Orange, Volusia County, Fla.