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Agricultural Miscellanies

Agricultural Miscellanies image
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The nature of the soil has much to do with the leugth and number of roots In light, poor soil, I fiud roots of June grass four feet below the surface. Peo pie are apt to under-estimate thelength amouut, and importance of the fine grasses, wheat, oats, etc. A young wheat plant when pulled up only show a sinall part of its roots. They often go down four or six feet, or inore. The roots of a two-year-old peaeh tree in light soil were fouud seven feet fou inches long. In dry, light soil, this sea son we pulled up ono parsnep three feet and a half long. Of uourse smalle roots went down still farther. The noted buffalo grass on the dry western prairies is described in the agricultura reporta at Washington as having ver; short roots; but Mr. Felker, oue of ou colored graduates, found, where a wel was beiug dug, that the roots went down seven feet. The roots grow best where tbe best food is to be found. The; gruw in greater or less quantity in eve ry direction. If a root uieets with gooc food, it flourishes and sends out numer ous branches Boots do not "search' for food, as vegetable physiologists now understand Many of the smalle roots of trees die eveiy autumn when the leaves die, and other grow it spring. Near a cherry-tree in my yard was a rustió basket, without bottom, fillec with rich soil. On reinoving the baske and earth which had been there severa years, cherry roots were found in larg ncmbers in this rich soil. lioots in such soil will grow up just as well a down. GRArEVINES. Our vines of 25 or more varieties ar on a gravelly terrace facing the south We bury the vines in the soil evory autumn a few inches deep, and leave them till about the first of May. Tony are sure to keep nicely. CHERRIES. Our climate is too severefor the swee cherries, yet we have spared a few b; keeping them in grass where they grow slowly. They are close together; so we bent over and tibd branches of two dif ierent trees, making them niingle vvitl each other. In this way, bees wero secn to visit blossoms in succession which were ou different trees. Ver; likely some of these flowers were crossed Mosquito netting was tied over the fruit to keep the birds off. Seeds were saved. Prof. Kirtland of Cleveland, Ohio, originated many fine sorts in this way. We want something inoro hardy with good quality and yield. FEACn TREES. In the autumn of 1874 we had two young peach trees, with a shock of corn fodder about each. In the spring of 1875 they were found to be completelv dead. The mercury had been down to 3.'5U below zero : besides, we had many severe winds with uiercury frequently at 24 or more below zero. Two other trees were coveied with hay, and a barrel set over each. One of them showed some lite t'or a while, but both have died. Four others were bent down and buried ia sandy soil. They were taken up by inistake early in April, and looked green and promising. A severe cold snap followed and all died. Perhaps they would have all died at any rate, but I think they should be lelt until about the lOth of May or later befcre uncovering. CLOSETS. Several closets at the Agricultura! college are built on ground slightly sloijing, with the back side toward the foot of the slope. No pits or holes are dug. Along the back side are doors turned down horizontally and hung on hinges by the upper edge. The doors usually hang down to the ground, but may be easily raised to remove night soil when necessary. A small room in the same building is filled, in dry time, with dry muck, loam, or dust trom the Clay is better than sand. Every day, or every other day, or twice a day, a euiall quantity is shuvelled into each closet. (Jopperas-water, lime, piaster, or other deoderizers, are also used in addition to dry earth. Everv few weeks, or even once or twico a year for a small fainüy, the night soil is cartcd away to the compost heap. If cared for as above there is almost no unpleasant odor; nor is it more disagreeable to cart away than so ruuch manure from a barnyard. The advantages of somo such mode are : The closüts may Be cheaply made and kept nearly free from unpleasant odor ; they may consequently be placed much nearer the house, or even connected with it ; ihere is no pestilental filth filtering nto adjacent wells, or otherwisecausing 'mysterieus epidemics" in the family ; ;he compost heap is iucreastd in valuo. Something like this or better than this, nust some day become the universal custoin in all the best private housus, schools, railway depots and hotels. Slops from the kitchen can be run upon a heap of dirt which may be onally shovelled over and changedafter t has absorbed a good deal of filth. It 9 theu well wortU removing to use as a fertilizer. It is better tban running underground into a pit where the odors enerally find some way of escape, oi'ton nto tbe kitcheu, on account of souie de:ect or stoppage of the pipes. The use of dry earth is vastly better ;han to wash the filth into a sewer, thence into a river to contaminate the ir and water. A little niouse, a dead 'rog, or squirrel, or a few dead worms, will spoil the water of a well so everyone will smell it and refuae to drink it. ïhe same subjects are completely deodorized by a sniall shovelful of dry earth. W. J. Beal, Prof. Botany and Horticulture. Lausing, Juut; 25, 1875.


Old News
Michigan Argus