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Underdraining image
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Thu opening of ditches for uudcrdruiuing is generally mach) unnecessarily formidable. With tho mistaken idea that tho work may bo cheapcncd by tlio use of the plow, two or threu furruws are thrown ' out, loa ving the edges of the batik broken and irregular, and opening an unnecessary width of ditch. To remody the defeets of this work involves considerable hand labor ; and in any case, the cost of digging by hand to any depth which plowing is possible is trifling. It is only when we come to the hard subsoil, where the piek must bo used, that tho work becomes expensive ; and I know of no auceessful uso of the plow for this part of the work. Another loading error in eonnection with underdraining is that of inaking the opening much wider than is needed. . It is quite common toopen a width of twenty-four inches Ht the surface and of uiteen inches at tho bottoni. In firm ground, both of these diinênsions may be narrowed by twelve inches, taving about t wo-thirda of the labor. It is rarely necessary to dig drains more than four feet deep, or, in digging theni, for tho man to stand at any tune much more than threo foet below tho the surfaco of tho ground. Tho tools required for the work, aside from tho cominos spade and piek, are two long narrow ditchïng spades, with sharp steel edges, ono narrower than tho other, and a long handled scoop, about 4 inchos wido, tho point of which is turned tpward tho operator liko the edge of a common hoo. This scoop is froiu 15 to 18 inches long, perfectly straight, and roundod nearly to a half C3rlinder. It also has a sharp edge mado with steel. In commencing tho work, stretch a line along oue sido of the proposed ditch for a guide, and cut tho sod along this line with a common spade. Then cut the other side by the eye, about twelve inches distant. Throw out tho sod, laying it all at one side, and a foot or two back from the bank, so that it may reinain uncoverod until needed in finishing the work. - Continue this for a distance of somo rods. Next, dig out to a depth of two feet or so, making the ditch at this point only about the width of tho edgo of the spade. If the ground is hard, tho latfer part of this work may bo moro easily dono with the ditching spade, wbich, froin its weight and strengtb, and its sharp edge, inay be made to penetrato moro easily. By this time, it may bo necessary to uso tho piek; and from this point, the loosened soil, left in the bottoin of the ditch by the piek or by the ditching spade, is most easily removed with the scoop - in operating which the workman stands with his face down hill, drawing tho scoop toward him into tho looso dirt. In this way anothor foot may bo gained (three feet or a little more from tho surface) and tho ditch narrowed to about four or five inches. A considerable length ruay be finished at this depth, which is the lowest, to which the drainer's foot over goes. He has, of course, on account of tho narrowness of the ditch, to stand with ono foot before the other, but can at any time ehange his position by placing his hands on the bank and raising himeelf a little to chango his feet. Tho last cutting is loosened by the narrow spade, whioh is very sharp and heavy, and the earth is taken out with a scoop, which ia itself sufficiently stout and heavy to chop off any inequalities at the bottom, The final depth having been reached for a distance ot' threo or four feet, this is made perfectly smooth by tho oppration of the scoop, which, being straight, needs only to be workod smoothly along tho bottom, renioving any remaining inequalitics. In this way, a much truer grade may be made than by standing at the bottom of the ditch and working forward with a coniinon spade, as is the usual pvactice. After a little experience an ordinary workman will, with this scoop, make a truer bottom than is possiblo by any other process yet known ; and a true bottom is the great secret of successful underdraining. His last part of the work, being dono below tho depth at which tho workman stands, must be comploted only a few feet at a time, that tho work may always be within his reach. Tb.e day's digging being completed, the finishing touch is given to the floor by working the scoop (which has a long handle) trom the top of the ground. We aro now i-eady to lay the If they are three inches or more in diameter, they need no collars. If less than this, unless a narrower scoop than abovc descnbed has been used, theso will be essential, and for 1 1-2 or 1 1-4 inch tiles they aro always to be recommended. The tiles aro laid froin the top of the bank by an instrument called a " tilclayer," which is simply a stout wooden handle about five foet long, with an iron rod a foot long projecting at right angles from its lower end. The tiles laying in line along the bank, this iron rod is inserted into one of them, holding it firuily enough tor it to be lowored to its place in the ditch, one after another being let down and placed in position to form an accurate joint. This is the process where no collars are used. "When they are used, a coliar is placed at each tile, half its length projecting oven the end. The rod of the tile-layer is inserted at the end J bearing the collar and very little care is nceded to insert the otber end into the collar already laid, and to lowor the tile into its place without displaeing the collar which is to receiye the next tile. The last work of the day is to insert a lock of hay or grase loosely into the upper end of the drain, and to cover the


Old News
Michigan Argus