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Vol. XXVI, No 44. Whole No. 1345.
Keeping- Irish Potatoes. The potato crop is becoming one of considerable importance in the South, and becoming more so each year. It is easy to learn to grow them almost anywhere. The cultivation is simple and inexpensive. They grow quickly and yield well, even when poorly work ed. But there is no crop that pays better for good culture. It has been thought that we could not keep good seed in the South. And that if kept, Southern-grown seed were not as good as Northern and particu larly Eastern seed. This is all a mis take. Southern are not only as good, but in some respects, better than any other potato seed. This, we have proven by many years’ trial. But we are constantly met with the inquiry, “How can we keep our Irish potatoes?” The potato grows in the ground in the dark. Its nature, therefore, re quires two tilings: Keep cool and keep in the dark. These two things accomplished and you are safe. How shall we do these?" If you have a cel lar that is well ventilated you keep them there. If you have no cellar, and your house is elevated a few feet, you can easily cut off a place so that it will be dark and not too warm. If this does not suit you, you can build a small room, at any convenient spot. Or you can keep them in hills just as sweet potatoes are banked, only you must not cover them so warmly. The Irish potato is very hard to freeze before the sap begins to fer ment prepartory to sprouting. After that fermentation begins, they will freeze easily. How .to Prevent This. —Now' light and heat cause this fermentation. Hence w'e must keep them in the dark and keep them cool. When you dig be careful not to bruise them any more than you can help. Then place them away and about two weeks afterwmrd go over them carefully and take out every one that is beginning to decay. In all warm weather see that they are not kept too close. If the weather should be very se vere, like that of last February, shut up close and cover with anything con venient. For convenience it is well to have shelves or floors about two feet above each other, and place the potatoes about one foot deep on each floor. The first or spring crop is one more difficult to keep than the second or fall crop. Hence it is w’ell to let these remain in the ground until they are thoroughly mature. The very best seed are obtained from tiie second crop. And as w'e can grow this with more certainty than any where else, so we can grow the very best Irish potato seed. Practical Lesson.—The lesson we should get from these facts is this: We should grow our own potato seed; and further than this, we should be sellers of Irish potatoes for planting, instead of buyers. Each year we pay out immense sums of money for Irish potatoes to plant. We should stop this leak. We should reverse this pro cess and receive large sums of money for our superior Southern-raised sec ond crop seed. We do not think of buying sweet po tatoes for spring planting or bedding, but they are much more difficult to keep than Irish potatoes. This is one of the erroneous practices of the past that should be corrected at once. Let every farmer and trucker save his own seed potatoes.—Southern Cultiva tor. The Melon Worm. Year in and year out, the loss occa sioned by the melon borer in the Southern States, is probably greater than that caused by the pickle worm. The larvae of these two species are very much alike in appearance, and their work has, in many cases, doubtless been confused. In Florida the two species have been frequently observed in the same field of canteloupes, and this, doubtless, frequently occurs throughout the range of the melon worm. When the fruit of cucurbits is attacked, there is but little if any dif ference in the work of the two species, but larvae of the first brood of melon worms usually attack the foliage, par ticularly of the canteloupe. The larvae of the pickle worm, so far as I have ob served, rarely, if ever, feed on cucurbit leaves, but feed on the fruit, blossoms and stems. It is important to note this difference in the habits of these two species, as it becomes quite practicable to destroy the first brood of melon worms by poisoning the foliage. History and Distribution. —This in sect was described by Linneus in his System Naturae, published in 1707, and was at that time placed in the genus Plialaena. In later writings it has been variously referred to the genera l’yra lis, Pliakellura, Eudioptis, and more recently to Margaronia. In its- distri bution this species is more tropical than the pickle worm. Complaint of is ravages is mainly from the Gulf States, although the insect has been re ported from Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, New York and Canada. Mr. Chitten den states that the larva has never DeLand, Fla., Wednesday, November 15, 1899. been found in the District of Columbia, and he is of the opinion that there is some doubt of the permanency of the species in that latitude. In the West Indies, the insect has been reported from Cuba and Jamaica. Habits and Life History.—As previ ously stated, the feeding habits of this insect are very similar to those of the pickle worm, except that the foliage is frequently attacked. Larvae are prob ably more common in canteloupes than other cucurbits and it is not unusual to find six or seven larvae in one fruit. / ~An attempt was made to determine the approximate time of appearance of the insect in different parts of the State. Answers received in reply to query in the Atlanta Constitution, of .July 10, indicate that this may vary considerably, depending on the nature of the season. Rainy or damp weather smms to be more favorable to the in sect than dry. In Southern Georgia, the insect appears, in some seasons., by .Tune 15, while the present year, in the vicinity of Athens, their appear ance was noted July 17. It is prob able, that in some cases, correspond ents have confused the melon worm with the pickle worm. No specimens of the melon worm have been receiv ed this year from the State, while the pickle worm has been quite common. At the Station, of all the adults bred out from larvae collected in cucurbits, none have proved to be the melon worm. There is but little data recorded as to the life history of this insect, but it is doubtless very similar to that of its near relative. There is a succes sion of broods from the time of their appearance, until the cold weather of the fall. The winter passed in the pupa state, in hibernation, among the dead cureubit leaves, and in the trash in and around the field. One of the fortunate peculiarities of this insect, and the pickle worm, is, that they do not appear until quite late in the sea son, and seven months, at least, seem to be passed in the pupa condition. Larva. —A full-grown larva is some what smaller than a pickle worm, be ing but eight-tenths of an inch in length. In color, it is pale greenish yellow, with mouth parts black. The transverse rows of tubercles have about the same ’position as in nitidalis, but from their paler color, they are not so easily distinguished, and the setae, or hairs, arising from them are very fine, being almost invisible to the naked eye. Pupa. —This is brownish yellow in color, but darker toward the caudal end. In length, it will measure about seven-twelfths of an inch. A loose co- $2 per Annum, in Advance. coon is formed, generally in the fold of a leaf, or nearby trash. * Adult. —In this stage the insect is ex ceedingly beautiful. The wings are of a pearly irridescent whiteness, with a border of brownish black. The ante rior half of thorax above has the same color as the wing border, while the ab domen, above is white, tinged with brownish towards the caudal end; be low, body, feet and wings, except the border, pearly white. The abdomen terminates in a large movable brush of shiny, elongated scales. Preventive and Remedial Measures. — r rhe first brood of larvae, since they feed to a considerable extent on the foliage, should be destroyed by poison ing the leaves with some arsenite. Care must be taken that it is not used too strong. No injury should result if Paris green is used at the' rate of one pound ro two hundred gallons of wa ter. me nnlk of lime, made from two or three pounds of quicklime should be added, thus destroying the burning effect of the Paris green. Be on the lookout for the larvae from the middle of June, and treat them as soon as no ticed. Rotation of crops is advisable, and the dead vines and leaves should be carefully raked up and burned, thus destroying many hibernating pupae. Crops marketed before June 15th will doubtless be quite exempt from the ravages of both the melon borer and the pickle worm. —A. L. Quaintance, Bulletin 45, Ga. Ex. Station. Strawberries in Barrels. G. \Y. Newman, of Terra Ceia Bay, is trying a way to raise strawberries which he found in the - nstructor, published in Battle Creek, Mich. “Take barrels —flour barrels will do if you put iron hoops on them. The barrels should have holes in the bot tom that excess of moisture may pass through, and the bottom covered with gravel, this covered with sacking and rich earth placed thereon. When eight inches has been filled the first tier of holes in the sides is reached, and after the soil is well packed and mixed with well rotted stable manure, until even with the tops of the holes, which should be two inches from each other around the barrel. Let the soil slant down from outside to the center of the barrel, then place your plants with the top and bud protruding out of the hole, spreading the roots carefully, and cover with fine soil as you go along. Then fill in the barrel with soil and fertilizers and pack till you reach the next tier of holes. When the center is two inches above the lower row of plants place a tin, copper or tile tube in the center, and pack the soil around