Newspaper Page Text
VOL. XXXIV No. 9.
PREVENTION OF LETTUCE ROT. The disease known as lettuce rot has occurred at various times, and with varying severity in Florida and other places. It caused very heavy losses at one time at Sanford, Lake City, Palatka and other places. It is, therefore, not unexpected. Prof. Garman, of the Kentucky experiment station, reports in bulletin No. 8 that he has had good success in controll ing this trouble, by means of sub irrigation, and also by preventing the leaves from touching the soil, as far as possible. This, of course, would be quite impracticable on a large scale. That the disease might be trans mitted by means of infected soil has been proved repeatedly. Fields infect ed one year are practically certain to show signs of the disease the next year. Fields at Sanford have been under observation for three years, where the lettuce rot was very bad in the beginning. These fields have been planted repeatedly, and last year had a very fair crop of lettuce and a very small amount of rot. The fields, however, between the two crops of lettuce, had been planted to such crops as would not harbor the disease, consequently the disease has been starved out during the summer, leaving the field in fair condition for growing lettuce the next year. If it is proposed to use the same land again for lettuce next year, it will be very desirable to grow such crops on this ground as are not at tacked by the disease, and then de stroy all diseased heads as rapidly as they appear next year. As an im mediate crop, I would suggest that the land be planted to eggplants, im mediately after the lettuce is taken off, then to cowpeas, and finally al lowed to grow up to crab grass. Or the cowpeas might be omitted, es pecially if the root knot worm is present in any considerable numbers. This you can ascertain by examin ing the roots of the lettuce plants. If nodules are present on the lettuce roots, you are pretty certain to have the soil infected with root knot worm. In that case, it would not be advis able to plant cowpeas, unless you use the variety known as Iron cowpeas, which is fairly resistant to root knot. In case the field is infected with root knot, it can be sown to crab grass, which will, in a large measure, starve out the root knot and lettuce rot. — P. H. Rolfs, in American Agricul turist. Jacksonville, Fla.,. Wednesday, February 27, 1907. S O I_L S . Their Physical Nature and Chemical Composition and Possibilities* By A* T* Cuzner, M* D* In our preceding articles we con sidered the physical properties of soils and touched lightly on their organic constituents. In order to bring his land into a proper physical condition the farmer, in some cases, will find it necessary to add clay—or muck as a substitute —sand, lime, ash, and manure proper, as his soil may indicate through chem ical knowledge or practical experi ence, or both. K -^■ ■• -i ' ,'% *B■ ,'- \‘- * . . faff By these, and similar operations, his land is so changed as to become able to nourish and ripen those par ticular plants he wishes to raise. On this practical department of the art of culture, the principles explained in our previous articles throw much light. They not only explain the rea son why certain practices always suc ceed in the hands of the intelligent farmer, but why others occasionally fail; they tell him also which prac tices of his neighbors he ought to adopt, and which of them he had bet ter modify, or wholly reject, and they direct him to such new modes of im proving his land as are most likely to add the most to its permanent value. No. 4. As before remarked, the operations of the farmer are either mechanical or chemical. When he drains, plows and subsoils he alters chiefly the phy sical character of his soil. When he adds lime, ash or manure to it he alters its chemical constitution. These two classes of operations are perfectly distinct. When a soil contains all the con stituents that the crops we desire to grow require, mere mechanical opera- A Protected Lettuce Farm in Alachua County. But where one or more of the inor ganic constituents of plants are want ing, draining may prepare the land to benefit by the abundant supply in the deep subsoil, but it will not remove its natural sterility in other direc tions. However, its improved me chanical condition better fits it for the reception of organic fertility. We will therefore consider in suc cession these two classes of prac tical operations. First, mechanical methods of im proving the soil, including draining, plowing, mixing with clay, sand, etc. Second, chemical methods, includ ing liming, and the application of mineral, animal and vegetable ma (Continued on page 5.) ROAD BUILDING AND STATE CONVICTS Editor of Agriculturist: I presume my opinion on some of the questions asked about will be slightly at variance with opinions in general. Now, the question of good roads is of great importance. The State Board of Trade said, give the far mers good roads, that they may be enabled to haul more, etc. Why should the farmer want to haul more, when a part of what he now hauls is left upon depot platforms to rot? Something must be done about trans portation from depot to market be fore the farmer can make much use of good roads to haul over. When you talk of “through lines” you are not thinking so much of the farmer as you are of the tourist. The man with the automobile is not thinking about hauling his produce to the depot, but simply of pleasure and amusement, and it seems to amuse some of them to see the far mers’ horses get scared. Now don’t infer from this that I am objecting to good roads, or to tourists. Flor ida needs them —both roads and tou rists. I can’t quite see why there should be such a mania to put the convicts to making roads. Who wants a stock ade near his dwelling, his school or his church, and what county can take care of the convicts without great expense? There can be no perma nent stockade when building roads, Established 1873.