FOR FIGHTING PLANT ENEMIES





The devices and implements used for fighting plant enemies are of two
sorts:--(1) those used to afford mechanical protection to the plants;
(2) those used to apply insecticides and fungicides. Of the first the
most useful is the covered frame. It consists usually of a wooden box,
some eighteen inches to two feet square and about eight high, covered
with glass, protecting cloth, mosquito netting or mosquito wire. The
first two coverings have, of course, the additional advantage of
retaining heat and protecting from cold, making it possible by their
use to plant earlier than is otherwise safe. They are used extensively
in getting an extra early and safe start with cucumbers, melons and the
other vine vegetables.
Simpler devices for protecting newly-set plants, such as tomatoes or
cabbage, from the cut-worm, are stiff, tin, cardboard or tar paper
collars, which are made several inches high and large enough to be put
around the stem and penetrate an inch or so into the soil.
For applying poison powders, such as dry Paris green, hellebore and
tobacco dust, the home gardener should supply himself with a powder
gun. If one must be restricted to a single implement, however, it will
be best to get one of the hand-power, compressed-air sprayers--either a
knapsack pump or a compressed-air sprayer--types of which are
illustrated. These are used for applying wet sprays, and should be
supplied with one of the several forms of mist-making nozzles, the non-
cloggable automatic type being the best. For more extensive work a
barrel pump, mounted on wheels, will be desirable, but one of the above
will do a great deal of work in little time. Extension rods for use in
spraying trees and vines may be obtained for either. For operations on
a very small scale a good hand-syringe may be used, but as a general
thing it will be best to invest a few dollars more and get a small tank
sprayer, as this throws a continuous stream or spray and holds a much
larger amount of the spraying solution. Whatever type is procured, get
a brass machine--it will out-wear three or four of those made of
cheaper metal, which succumbs very quickly to the, corroding action of
the strong poisons and chemicals used in them.
Of implements for harvesting, beside the spade, prong-hoe and spading-
fork already mentioned, very few are used in the small garden, as most
of them need not only long rows to be economically used, but horse-
power also. The onion harvester attachment for the double wheel hoe,
costing $1.00, may be used with advantage in loosening onions, beets,
turnips, etc., from the soil or for cutting spinach. Running the hand-
plow close on either side of carrots, parsnips and other deep-growing
vegetables will aid materially in getting them out. For fruit picking,
with tall trees, the wire-fingered fruit-picker, secured to the end of
a long handle, will be of great assistance, but with the modern method
of using low-headed trees it will not be needed.
Another class of garden implements are those used in pruning--but where
this is attended to properly from the start, a good sharp jack-knife
and a pair of pruning shears (the English makes are the best, as they
are in some things, when we are frank enough to confess the truth) will
easily handle all the work of the kind necessary.
Still another sort of garden device is that used for supporting the
plants; such as stakes, trellises, wires, etc. Altogether too little
attention usually is given these, as with proper care in storing over
winter they will not only last for years, but add greatly to the
convenience of cultivation and to the neat appearance of the garden.
Various contrivances are illustrated in the seed catalogues, and many
may be home-made--such as a stake-trellis for supporting beans.
As a final word to the intending purchaser of garden tools, I would
say: first thoroughly investigate the different sorts available, and
when buying, do not forget that a good tool or a well-made machine will
be giving you satisfactory use long, long after the price is forgotten,
while a poor one is a constant source of discomfort. Get good tools,
and _take_ good care of them. And let me repeat that a few dollars
a year, judiciously spent, for tools afterward well cared for, will
soon give you a very complete set, and add to your garden profit and
pleasure.





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