Gardening Articles


Plums have many enemies but fortunately they can all be effectively checked. First is the curculio, to be treated as described above. For leaf-blight--spotting and dropping off of the leaves about midsummer--spray with Bordeaux within a week or so after the falling of the

blossoms. This treatment will also help to prevent fruit-rot. In addition to the spraying, however, thin out the fruit so that it does not hang thickly enough for the plums to come in contact with each other. In a well kept and well sprayed orchard black-knot is not at all likely to appear. It is very manifest wherever it starts, causing ugly, black, distorted knarls, at first on the smaller limbs. Remove and burn immediately, and keep a sharp watch for more. As this disease is supposed to be carried by the wind, see to it that no careless neighbor is supplying you with the germs. As will have been seen from the above, spraying poisons are of two kinds: those that work by contact, which must be used for most sucking insects, and germs and fungous diseases; and those that poison internally, used for leaf-eating insects. Of the former sort, Bordeaux mixture is the standard, although within the last few years it has been to a considerable extent replaced by lime-sulphur mixtures, which are described below. Bordeaux is made in various forms. That usually used is the 5-5-50, or 5 lbs. copper sulphate, 5 lbs. unslaked lime, 50 gals. water. To save the trouble of making up the mixture each time it is needed make a stock solution as follows: dissolve the copper sulphate in water at the rate of 1 lb. to 1 gal. This should be done the day before, or at least several hours before, the Bordeaux is wanted for use. Suspend the sulphate crystals in a cloth or old bag just below the surface of the water. Then slake the lime in a tub or tight box, adding the water a little at a time, until the whole attains the consistency of thick milk. When necessary, add water to this mixture if it is kept too long; never let it dry out. When ready to spray, pour the stock copper sulphate solution into the tank in the proportion of 5 gals. to every 50 of spray required. Add water to amount required. Then add stock lime solution, first diluting about one-half with water and straining. The amount of lime stock solution to be used is determined as follows: at the druggist's get an ounce of yellow prussiate of potash dissolved in a pint of water, with a quill in the cork of the bottle so that it may be dropped out. (It is poison.) When adding the stock lime solution as directed above, continue until the prussiate testing solution when dropped into the Bordeaux mixture will no longer turn brown; then add a little more lime to be on the safe side. All this sounds like a formidable task, but it is quite simple when you really get at it. Remember that all you need is a few pounds each of quicklime and copper sulphate, an ounce of prussiate of potash and a couple of old kegs or large pails, in which to keep the stock solutions, Lime-sulphur mixtures can be bought, or mixed by the home orchardist. They have the advantages over Bordeaux that they do not discolor the foliage or affect the appearance of the fruit. Use according to directions, usually about 1 part to 30 of water. These may be used at the same times and for the same purposes as Bordeaux. Lime-sulphur wash is used largely in commercial orcharding, but it is a nasty mess to prepare and must be used in late fall or winter. For the home orchard one of the miscible oils now advertised will be found more satisfactory. While they cost more, there is no time or expense for preparation, as they mix with cold water and are immediately ready for use. They are easier to apply, more comfortable to handle, and will not so quickly rot out pumps and spraying apparatus. Like the sulphur wash, use only during late fall and winter. Kerosene emulsion is made by dissolving Ivory, soft, whale-oil, or tar soap in hot water and adding (away from the stove, please!) kerosene (or crude oil); 1/2 lb. soap, 1 gal. water, 2 gals, kerosene. Immediately place in a pail and churn or pump until a thick, lathery cream results. This is the stock solution: for use, dilute with five to fifteen times as much water, according to purpose applied for--on dormant fruit trees, 5 to 7 times; on foliage, 10 or even 15. Of the poisons for eating-insects, arsenate of lead is the best for use in the fruit orchard, because it will not burn the foliage as Paris green is apt to do, and because it stays on longer. It can be used in Bordeaux and lime-sulphur mixtures, thus killing two bugs with one spray. It comes usually in the form of a paste--though there is now a brand in powder form (which I have not yet tried). This should be worked up with the fingers (it is not poison to touch) or a small wooden paddle, until thoroughly mixed, in a small quantity of water and then strained into the sprayer. Use, of the paste forms, from one- fourth to one lb. in 20 gals, clear water. Paris green is the old standard. With a modern duster it may be blown on pure without burning, if carefully done. Applied thus it should be put on during a still morning, before the dew goes. It is safer to use as a spray, first making a paste with a small quantity of water, and then adding balance of water. Keep constantly stirred while spraying. If lime is added, weight for weight with the green, the chances of burning will be greatly reduced. For orchard work, 1 lb. to 100 gals. water is the usual strength. The accompanying table will enable the home orchardist to find quickly the trouble with, and remedy for, any of his fruit trees. The quality of fruit will depend very largely upon the care exercised in picking and storing. Picking, carelessly done, while it may not at the time show any visible bad results, will result in poor keeping and rot. If the tissue cells are broken, as many will be by rough handling, they will be ready to cause rotten spots under the first favorable conditions, and then the rot will spread. Most of the fruits of the home garden, which do not have to undergo shipping, will be of better quality where they ripen fully on the tree. Pears, however, are often ripened in the dark and after picking, especially the winter sorts. Apples and pears for winter use should be kept, if possible, in a cold, dark place, where there is no artificial heat, and where the air will be moist, but never wet, and where the thermometer will not fall below thirty-two degrees. Upon exceptionally cold nights the temperature may be kept up by using an oil stove or letting in heat from the furnace cellar, if that is adjacent. In such a place, store the fruit loosely, on ventilated shelves, not more than six or eight inches deep. If they must be kept in a heated place, pack in tight boxes or barrels, being careful to put away only perfect fruit, or pack in sand or leaves. Otherwise they will lose much in quality by shriveling, due to lack of moisture in the atmosphere. With care they may be had in prime quality until late in the following spring. FRUIT | PEST | REMEDY | TIMES TO APPLY | | | AND WHEN ------+--------------+-------------------------------+---------------- Apple | Apple-scab | Bordeaux 5-5-50, or summer | 3.--b B O--a B | | lime-sulphur spray | F--f 14 d. | | | | Apple-maggot | Pick up and destroy all | (See key below.) | or | fallen fruits | | Railroad worm| Dig out or kill with wire; | | Borer | search for in fall and spring| | | | | Codlin moth | Arsenate of lead, 4 in 100; | | | or Paris Green, 1 in 200. | 2.--a B F-f | | Burlap bands on truck |20 d. | | for traps during July | | | | | Cankerworm | Same as above | | | | | Tent- | Same as above, also wipe out | | caterpillar | out or burn nests | | | | | Blister-mite | Lime-sulphur wash; kerosene | Late fall or | | emulsion (dilute 5 times) | early spring. | | or miscible oil (1 in 10 gal.)| | | | | Bud-moth | Arsenate of lead or Paris | 2.--When leaves | | Green | appear--b B O. ------+--------------+-------------------------------+----------------- Cherry| Leaf blight | Bordeaux 5-5-50 | 4.--b B C--a | | | calyx closes--f | | | 15 d--f 15 d. | | | | Curculio | Arsenate of lead, 8 in 100. | 1.--a B F. | | Curculio catcher (see Plum) | 3 times a week | | | | Black-knot | Cut out and burn at once | | | (see Plum) | | | | | Fruit-rot | Pick before fully ripe. | | | spread out in cool airy room | ------+--------------+-------------------------------+----------------- Peach | Borer | Dig out or kill with wire | | Yellows | Pull out and burn | | | tree--replant | | | | | Curculio | Do not spray. Catch on sheets | | | (see Plum) | | | | | Brown-rot | Summer lime-sulphur; open | | | pruning; pick rotten fruit | 3.--When fruit | | | is half | | | grown--f 10 | | | d--f 10 d. | | | | Leaf-curl | Bordeaux 5-5-50; lime-sulphur | 1--b buds swell, | | wash | fall or early | | | spring. ------+--------------+-------------------------------+----------------- Pear | Blight | Cut out diseased branches; | | | clean out sores; disinfect | | | with corrosive sublimate 1 | | | in 1000; paint over | | | | | Scab | Bordeaux 5-5-50, or summer | 2.--b B O--a B | | sulphur (see Apple) | O--f 14 d. | | | | Blister-mite | | ------+--------------+-------------------------------+----------------- Plum | Leaf-blight | Bordeaux or summer sulphur | 1.--After fruits | | | set. | Fruit-rot | Same; also thin fruits so as | | Black-knot | not to touch (see Cherry) | | Curculio | also have neighboring trees | | | cleaned up | | | Jar down on sheets stretched | | | beneath trees and destroy | a B F--cool | | | mornings-3 | | | times a week. ------+--------------+-------------------------------+----------------- Any | San Jose | Lime-sulphur wash, kerosene | Late fall or | scale | emulsion, 5 times diluted; | early spring. | | miscible oil, 1 in 10 gals | | | | | Oyster-shell | Kerosene emulsion | May or June, | scale | | when young | | | whitish lice | | | appear. ------+--------------+-------------------------------+----------------- a-After. b-Before. d-Days. f-Follow up in. B-Blossoms. O-Open. F-Fall. Do not let yourself be discouraged from growing your own fruit by the necessity for taking good care of your trees. After all, you do not have to plant them every year, as you do vegetables, and they yield a splendid return on the small investment required. Do not fail to set out at least a few this year with the full assurance that your satisfaction is guaranteed by the facts in the case.


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