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Planting And Manuring

Early kinds should be planted as soon as the ground has become sufficiently dry and warm. Late market varieties should be planted about two weeks later than the early ones. Unquestionably more bushels can be obtained per acre by planting in drills than in hills, but the labor of cultivating in drills is much the greater. Prepare the ground by thorough plowing, making it decidedly mellow. Mark it out four feet apart each way, if to be planted in hills, by plowing broad, flat-bottomed furrows about three inches deep. At the crossings drop three pieces of potato, cut, as directed, in sections of two or three eyes each. Place the pieces so as to represent the points of a triangle, each piece being about a foot distant from each of the other two. If the cut side is put down, it is better; cover about two inches deep. Where land is free from stone and sod, the covering may be well and rapidly done with a light plow. Immediately after planting, sprinkle over and around each hill a large handful of unleached wood-ashes and salt, (a half-bushel of fine salt mixed with a barrel of ashes is about the right proportion.) If ashes can not be obtained, as is sometimes the case, apply instead about the same quantity of lime slacked in brine as strong as salt will make it. The potato from its peculiar organization has a hungering and thirsting after potash. Wood-ashes exactly meet its wants in this direction. Lime indirectly supplies potash by liberating what was before inert in the soil. Salt in small quantities induces vigorous, healthy growth. To obtain the best results, the ashes or lime should be covered with about half an inch of soil. This plan of manuring in the hill is recommended only in cases where the fertilizers named are in limited supply, and it is desirable to make the most of them. Maximum crops have been obtained by using the fertilizers named in the manner described; but where they can be obtained at low prices, it is certainly advisable, and requires less labor, to apply all three, ashes, lime, and salt, broadcast in bountiful quantities, and harrow it in before the ground is marked out for planting.

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