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Title: Agriculture for Beginners - Revised Edition
Author: Burkett, Charles William, 1873-1962, Stevens, Frank Lincoln, 1871-1934, Hill, Daniel Harvey, 1859-1924
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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  COPYRIGHT, 1903, 1904, 1914, BY

  The Athenæum Press



Since its first publication "Agriculture for Beginners" has found a
welcome in thousands of schools and homes. Naturally many suggestions as
to changes, additions, and other improvements have reached its authors.
Naturally, too, the authors have busied themselves in devising methods
to add to the effectiveness of the book. Some additions have been made
almost every year since the book was published. To embody all these
changes and helpful suggestions into a strictly unified volume; to add
some further topics and sections; to bring all farm practices up to the
ideals of to-day; to include the most recent teaching of scientific
investigators--these were the objects sought in the thorough revision
which has just been given the book. The authors hope and think that the
remaking of the book has added to its usefulness and attractiveness.

They believe now, as they believed before, that there is no line of
separation between the science of agriculture and the practical art of
agriculture. They are assured by the success of this book that
agriculture is eminently a teachable subject. They see no difference
between teaching the child the fundamental principles of farming and
teaching the same child the fundamental truths of arithmetic, geography,
or grammar. They hold that a youth should be trained for the farm just
as carefully as he is trained for any other occupation, and that it is
unreasonable to expect him to succeed without training.

If they are right in these views, the training must begin in the public
schools. This is true for two reasons:

1. It is universally admitted that aptitudes are developed, tastes
acquired, and life habits formed during the years that a child is in the
public school. Hence, during these important years every child intended
for the farm should be taught to know and love nature, should be led to
form habits of observation, and should be required to begin a study of
those great laws upon which agriculture is based. A training like this
goes far toward making his life-work profitable and delightful.

2. Most boys and girls reared on a farm get no educational training
except that given in the public schools. If, then, the truths that
unlock the doors of nature are not taught in the public schools, nature
and nature's laws will always be hid in night to a majority of our
bread-winners. They must still in ignorance and hopeless drudgery tear
their bread from a reluctant soil.

The authors return hearty thanks to Professor Thomas F. Hunt, University
of California; Professor Augustine D. Selby, Ohio Experiment Station;
Professor W. F. Massey, horticulturist and agricultural writer; and
Professor Franklin Sherman, Jr., State Entomologist of North Carolina,
for aid in proofreading and in the preparation of some of the material.



  SECTION                                                  PAGE

  I. ORIGIN OF THE SOIL                                       1

  II. TILLAGE OF THE SOIL                                     6

  III. THE MOISTURE OF THE SOIL                               9

  IV. HOW THE WATER RISES IN THE SOIL                        13

  V. DRAINING THE SOIL                                       14

  VI. IMPROVING THE SOIL                                     17

  VII. MANURING THE SOIL                                     21


  VIII. ROOTS                                                25

  IX. HOW THE PLANT FEEDS FROM THE SOIL                      29

  X. ROOT-TUBERCLES                                          30

  XI. THE ROTATION OF CROPS                                  33


  XII. HOW THE PLANT FEEDS FROM THE AIR                      39

  XIII. THE SAP CURRENT                                      40

  XIV. THE FLOWER AND THE SEED                               42

  XV. POLLINATION                                            46


  XVII. PROPAGATION BY BUDS                                  51

  XVIII. PLANT SEEDING                                       59

  XIX. SELECTING SEED CORN                                   66

  XX. WEEDS                                                  69

  XXI. SEED PURITY AND VITALITY                              72


  XXII. GRAFTING                                             78

  XXIII. BUDDING                                             81

  XXIV. PLANTING AND PRUNING                                 83


  XXV. MARKET-GARDENING                                      89

  XXVI. FLOWER-GARDENING                                    108



  XXVIII. YEAST AND BACTERIA                                127

  XXIX. PREVENTION OF PLANT DISEASE                         129

  XXX. SOME SPECIAL PLANT DISEASES                          130


  XXXI. INSECTS IN GENERAL                                  144

  XXXII. ORCHARD INSECTS                                    152

  XXXIII. GARDEN AND FIELD INSECTS                          165

  XXXIV. THE COTTON-BOLL WEEVIL                             173


  XXXV. COTTON                                              180

  XXXVI. TOBACCO                                            189

  XXXVII. WHEAT                                             192

  XXXVIII. CORN                                             197

  XXXIX. PEANUTS                                            202

  XL. SWEET POTATOES                                        204

  XLI. WHITE, OR IRISH, POTATOES                            206

  XLII. OATS                                                209

  XLIII. RYE                                                213

  XLIV. BARLEY                                              215

  XLV. SUGAR PLANTS                                         217

  XLVI. HEMP AND FLAX                                       226

  XLVII. BUCKWHEAT                                          229

  XLVIII. RICE                                              231

  XLIX. THE TIMBER CROP                                     232

  L. THE FARM GARDEN                                        235


  LI. GRASSES                                               238

  LII. LEGUMES                                              244


  LIII. HORSES                                              262

  LIV. CATTLE                                               270

  LV. SHEEP                                                 276

  LVI. SWINE                                                279

  LVII. FARM POULTRY                                        282

  LVIII. BEE CULTURE                                        286

  LIX. WHY WE FEED ANIMALS                                  290


  LX. THE DAIRY COW                                         293

  LXI. MILK, CREAM, CHURNING, AND BUTTER                    297

  LXII. HOW MILK SOURS                                      302

  LXIII. THE BABCOCK MILK-TESTER                            304


  LXIV. GROWING FEED STUFFS ON THE FARM                     309

  LXV. FARM TOOLS AND MACHINES                              313

  LXVI. LIMING THE LAND                                     315

  LXVII. BIRDS                                              318

  LXVIII. FARMING ON DRY LAND                               323

  LXIX. IRRIGATION                                          326

  LXX. LIFE IN THE COUNTRY                                  330

  APPENDIX                                                           339

  GLOSSARY                                                           342

  INDEX                                                              351


Teachers sometimes shrink from undertaking the teaching of a simple
textbook on agriculture because they are not familiar with all the
processes of farming. By the same reasoning they might hesitate to teach
arithmetic because they do not know calculus or to teach a primary
history of the United States because they are not versed in all history.
The art of farming is based on the sciences dealing with the growth of
plants and animals. This book presents in a simple way these fundamental
scientific truths and suggests some practices drawn from them. Hence,
even though many teachers may not have plowed or sowed or harvested,
such teachers need not be embarrassed in mastering and heartily
instructing a class in nature's primary laws.

If teachers realize how much the efficiency, comfort, and happiness of
their pupils will be increased throughout their lives from being taught
to coöperate with nature and to take advantage of her wonderful laws,
they will eagerly begin this study. They will find also that their
pupils will be actively interested in these studies bearing on their
daily lives, and this interest will be carried over to other subjects.
Whenever you can, take the pupils into the field, the garden, the
orchard, and the dairy. Teach them to make experiments and to learn by
the use of their own eyes and brains. They will, if properly led,
astonish you by their efforts and growth.

You will find in the practical exercises many suggestions as to
experiments that you can make with your class or with individual
members. Do not neglect this first-hand teaching. It will be a delight
to your pupils. In many cases it will be best to finish the experiments
or observational work first, and later turn to the text to amplify the
pupil's knowledge.

Although the book is arranged in logical order, the teacher ought to
feel free to teach any topic in the season best suited to its study.
Omit any chapter or section that does not bear on your crops or does not
deal with conditions in your state.

The United States government and the different state experiment stations
publish hundreds of bulletins on agricultural subjects. These are sent
without cost, on application. It will be very helpful to get such of
these bulletins as bear on the different sections of the book. These
will be valuable additions to your school library. The authors would
like to give a list of these bulletins bearing on each chapter, but it
would soon be out of date, for the bulletins get out of print and are
supplanted by newer ones. However, the United States Department of
Agriculture prints a monthly list of its publications, and each state
experiment station keeps a list of its bulletins. A note to the
Secretary of Agriculture, Washington, D.C., or to your own state
experiment station will promptly bring you these lists, and from them
you can select what you need for your school.





The word _soil_ occurs many times in this little book. In agriculture
this word is used to describe the thin layer of surface earth that, like
some great blanket, is tucked around the wrinkled and age-beaten form of
our globe. The harder and colder earth under this surface layer is
called the _subsoil_. It should be noted, however, that in waterless and
sun-dried regions there seems little difference between the soil and the

Plants, insects, birds, beasts, men,--all alike are fed on what grows in
this thin layer of soil. If some wild flood in sudden wrath could sweep
into the ocean this earth-wrapping soil, food would soon become as
scarce as it was in Samaria when mothers ate their sons. The face of the
earth as we now see it, daintily robed in grass, or uplifting waving
acres of corn, or even naked, water-scarred, and disfigured by man's
neglect, is very different from what it was in its earliest days. How
was it then? How was the soil formed?

Learned men think that at first the surface of the earth was solid rock.
How was this rock changed into workable soil? Occasionally a curious boy
picks up a rotten stone, squeezes it, and finds his hands filled with
dirt, or soil. Now, just as the boy crumbled with his fingers this
single stone, the great forces of nature with boundless patience
crumbled, or, as it is called, disintegrated, the early rock mass. The
simple but giant-strong agents that beat the rocks into powder with a
clublike force a millionfold more powerful than the club force of
Hercules were chiefly (1) heat and cold; (2) water, frost, and ice; (3)
a very low form of vegetable life; and (4) tiny animals--if such minute
bodies can be called animals. In some cases these forces acted singly;
in others, all acted together to rend and crumble the unbroken stretch
of rock. Let us glance at some of the methods used by these skilled

Heat and cold are working partners. You already know that most hot
bodies shrink, or contract, on cooling. The early rocks were hot. As the
outside shell of rock cooled from exposure to air and moisture it
contracted. This shrinkage of the rigid rim of course broke many of the
rocks, and here and there left cracks, or fissures. In these fissures
water collected and froze. As freezing water expands with irresistible
power, the expansion still further broke the rocks to pieces. The
smaller pieces again, in the same way, were acted on by frost and ice
and again crumbled. This process is still a means of soil-formation.

Running water was another giant soil-former. If you would understand its
action, observe some usually sparkling stream just after a washing rain.
The clear waters are discolored by mud washed in from the surrounding
hills. As though disliking their muddy burden, the waters strive to
throw it off. Here, as low banks offer chance, they run out into
shallows and drop some of it. Here, as they pass a quiet pool, they
deposit more. At last they reach the still water at the mouth of the
stream, and there they leave behind the last of their mud load, and
often form of it little three-sided islands called _deltas_. In the same
way mighty rivers like the Amazon, the Mississippi, and the Hudson, when
they are swollen by rain, bear great quantities of soil in their sweep
to the seas. Some of the soil they scatter over the lowlands as they
whirl seaward; the rest they deposit in deltas at their mouths. It is
estimated that the Mississippi carries to the ocean each year enough
soil to cover a square mile of surface to a depth of two hundred and
sixty-eight feet.


The early brooks and rivers, instead of bearing mud, ran oceanward
either bearing ground stone that they themselves had worn from the rocks
by ceaseless fretting, or bearing stones that other forces had already
dislodged. The large pieces were whirled from side to side and beaten
against one another or against bedrock until they were ground into
smaller and smaller pieces. The rivers distributed this rock soil just
as the later rivers distribute muddy soil. For ages the moving waters
ground against the rocks. Vast were the waters; vast the number of
years; vast the results.

Glaciers were another soil-producing agent. Glaciers are streams "frozen
and moving slowly but irresistibly onwards, down well-defined valleys,
grinding and pulverizing the rock masses detached by the force and
weight of their attack." Where and how were these glaciers formed?

Once a great part of upper North America was a vast sheet of ice.
Whatever moisture fell from the sky fell as snow. No one knows what made
this long winter of snow, but we do know that snows piled on snows until
mountains of white were built up. The lower snow was by the pressure of
that above it packed into ice masses. By and by some change of climate
caused the masses of ice to break up somewhat and to move south and
west. These moving masses, carrying rock and frozen earth, ground them
to powder. King thus describes the stately movement of these snow
mountains: "Beneath the bottom of this slowly moving sheet of ice, which
with more or less difficulty kept itself conformable with the face of
the land over which it was riding, the sharper outstanding points were
cut away and the deeper river cañons filled in. Desolate and rugged
rocky wastes were thrown down and spread over with rich soil."

The joint action of air, moisture, and frost was still another agent of
soil-making. This action is called _weathering_. Whenever you have
noticed the outside stones of a spring-house, you have noticed that tiny
bits are crumbling from the face of the stones, and adding little by
little to the soil. This is a slow way of making additions to the soil.
It is estimated that it would take 728,000 years to wear away limestone
rock to a depth of thirty-nine inches. But when you recall the
countless years through which the weather has striven against the rocks,
you can readily understand that its never-wearying activity has added
immensely to the soil.

In the rock soil formed in these various ways, and indeed on the rocks
themselves, tiny plants that live on food taken from the air began to
grow. They grew just as you now see mosses and lichens grow on the
surface of rocks. The decay of these plants added some fertility to the
newly formed soil. The life and death of each succeeding generation of
these lowly plants added to the soil matter accumulating on the rocks.
Slowly but unceasingly the soil increased in depth until higher
vegetable forms could flourish and add their dead bodies to it. This
vegetable addition to the soil is generally known as _humus_.


In due course of time low forms of animal life came to live on these
plants, and in turn by their work and their death to aid in making a
soil fit for the plowman.

Thus with a deliberation that fills man with awe, the powerful forces of
nature splintered the rocks, crumbled them, filled them with plant food,
and turned their flinty grains into a soft, snug home for vegetable


A good many years ago a man by the name of Jethro Tull lived in England.
He was a farmer and a most successful man in every way. He first taught
the English people and the world the value of thorough tillage of the
soil. Before and during his time farmers did not till the soil very
intelligently. They simply prepared the seed-bed in a careless manner,
as a great many farmers do to-day, and when the crops were gathered the
yields were not large.

Jethro Tull centered attention on the important fact that careful and
thorough tillage increases the available plant food in the soil. He did
not know why his crops were better when the ground was frequently and
thoroughly tilled, but he knew that such tillage did increase his yield.
He explained the fact by saying, "Tillage is manure." We have since
learned the reason for the truth that Tull taught, and, while his
explanation was incorrect, the practice that he was following was
excellent. The stirring of the soil enables the air to circulate through
it freely, and permits a breaking down of the compounds that contain the
elements necessary to plant growth.

You have seen how the air helps to crumble the stone and brick in old
buildings. It does the same with soil if permitted to circulate freely
through it. The agent of the air that chiefly performs this work is
called carbonic acid gas, and this gas is one of the greatest helpers
the farmer has in carrying on his work. We must not forget that in soil
preparation the air is just as important as any of the tools and
implements used in cultivation.


If the soil is fertile and if deep plowing has always been done, good
crops will result, other conditions being favorable. If, however, the
tillage is poor, scanty harvests will always result. For most soils a
two-horse plow is necessary to break up and pulverize the land.

A shallow soil can always be improved by properly deepening it. The
principle of greatest importance in soil-preparation is the gradual
deepening of the soil in order that plant-roots may have more
comfortable homes. If the farmer has been accustomed to plow but four
inches deep, he should adjust the plow so as to turn five inches at the
next plowing, then six, and so on until the seed-bed is nine or ten
inches deep. This gradual deepening will not injure the soil but will
put it quickly in good condition. If to good tillage rotation of crops
be added, the soil will become more fertile with each succeeding year.


The plow, harrow, and roller are all necessary to good tillage and to a
proper preparation of the seed-bed. The soil must be made compact and
clods of all sizes must be crushed. Then the air circulates freely, and
paying crops are the rule and not the exception.

Tillage does these things: it increases the plant-food supply, destroys
weeds, and influences the moisture content of the soil.


     1. What tools are used in tillage?

     2. How should a poor and shallow soil be treated?

     3. Why should a poor and shallow soil be well compacted before
     sowing the crop?

     4. Explain the value of a circulation of air in the soil.

     5. What causes iron to rust?

     6. Why is a two-horse turning-plow better than a one-horse plow?

     7. Where will clods do the least harm--on top of the soil or below
     the surface?

     8. Do plant roots penetrate clods?

     9. Are earthworms a benefit or an injury to the soil?

     10. Name three things that tillage does.


Did any one ever explain to you how important water is to the soil, or
tell you why it is so important? Often, as you know, crops entirely fail
because there is not enough water in the soil for the plants to drink.
How necessary is it, then, that the soil be kept in the best possible
condition to catch and hold enough water to carry the plant through dry,
hot spells! Perhaps you are ready to ask, "How does the mouthless plant
drink its stored-up water?"

The plant gets all its water through its roots. You have seen the tiny
threadlike roots of a plant spreading all about in fine soil; they are
down in the ground taking up plant food and water for the stalk and
leaves above. The water, carrying plant food with it, rises in a simple
but peculiar way through the roots and stems.

The plants use the food for building new tissue, that is, for growth.
The water passes out through the leaves into the air. When the summers
are dry and hot and there is but little water in the soil, the leaves
shrink up. This is simply a method they have of keeping the water from
passing too rapidly off into the air. I am sure you have seen the corn
blades all shriveled on very hot days. This shrinkage is nature's way of
diminishing the current of water that is steadily passing through the

A thrifty farmer will try to keep his soil in such good condition that
it will have a supply of water in it for growing crops when dry and hot
weather comes. He can do this by deep plowing, by subsoiling, by adding
any kind of decaying vegetable matter to the soil, and by growing crops
that can be tilled frequently.

The soil is a great storehouse for moisture. After the clouds have
emptied their waters into this storehouse, the water of the soil comes
to the surface, where it is evaporated into the air. The water comes to
the surface in just the same way that oil rises in a lamp-wick. This
rising of the water is called _capillarity_.


It is necessary to understand what is meant by this big word. If into a
pan of water you dip a glass tube, the water inside the tube rises above
the level of the water in the pan. The smaller the tube the higher will
the water rise. The greater rise inside is perhaps due to the fact that
the glass attracts the particles of water more than the particles of
water attract one another. Now apply this principle to the soil.

[Illustration: FIG. 6. THE RIGHT WAY TO PLOW]

The soil particles have small spaces between them, and the spaces act
just as the tube does. When the water at the surface is carried away by
drying winds and warmth, the water deeper in the soil rises through
the soil spaces. In this way water is brought from its soil storehouse
as plants need it.


Of course when the underground water reaches the surface it evaporates.
If we want to keep it for our crops, we must prepare a trap to hold it.
Nature has shown us how this can be done. Pick up a plank as it lies on
the ground. Under the plank the soil is wet, while the soil not covered
by the plank is dry. Why? Capillarity brought the water to the surface,
and the plank, by keeping away wind and warmth, acted as a trap to hold
the moisture. Now of course a farmer cannot set a trap of planks over
his fields, but he can make a trap of dry earth, and that will do just
as well.

When a crop like corn or cotton or potatoes is cultivated, the fine,
loose dirt stirred by the cultivating-plow will make a mulch that serves
to keep water in the soil in the same way that the plank kept moisture
under it. The mulch also helps to absorb the rains and prevents the
water from running off the surface. Frequent cultivation, then, is one
of the best possible ways of saving moisture. Hence the farmer who most
frequently stirs his soil in the growing season, and especially in
seasons of drought, reaps, other things being equal, a more abundant
harvest than if tillage were neglected.


     1. Why is the soil wet under a board or under straw?

     2. Will a soil that is fine and compact produce better crops than
     one that is loose and cloddy? Why?

     3. Since the water which a plant uses comes through the roots, can
     the morning dew afford any assistance?

     4. Why are weeds objectionable in a growing crop?

     5. Why does the farmer cultivate growing corn and cotton?



When the hot, dry days of summer come, the soil depends upon the
subsoil, or undersoil, for the moisture that it must furnish its growing
plants. The water was stored in the soil during the fall, winter, and
spring months when there was plenty of rain. If you dig down into the
soil when everything is dry and hot, you will soon reach a cool, moist
undersoil. The moisture increases as you dig deeper into the soil.

Now the roots of plants go down into the soil for this moisture, because
they need the water to carry the plant food up into the stems and

You can see how the water rises in the soil by performing a simple


     Take a lamp-chimney and fill it with fine, dry dirt. The dirt from
     a road or a field will do. Tie over the smaller end of the
     lamp-chimney a piece of cloth or a pocket handkerchief, and place
     this end in a shallow pan of water. If the soil in the lamp-chimney
     is clay and well packed, the water will quickly rise to the top.

     By filling three or four lamp-chimneys with as many different
     soils, the pupil will see that the water rises more slowly in some
     than in others.

     Now take the water pan away, and the water in the lamp-chimneys
     will gradually evaporate. Study for a few days the effect of
     evaporation on the several soils.


A wise man was once asked, "What is the most valuable improvement ever
made in agriculture?" He answered, "Drainage." Often soils unfit for
crop-production because they contain too much water are by drainage
rendered the most valuable of farming lands.

Drainage benefits land in the following ways:

1. It deepens the subsoil by removing unnecessary water from the spaces
between the soil particles. This admits air. Then the oxygen which is in
the air, by aiding decay, prepares plant food for vegetation.

2. It makes the surface soil, or topsoil, deeper. It stands to reason
that the deeper the soil the more plant food becomes available for plant

3. It improves the texture of the soil. Wet soil is sticky. Drainage
makes this sticky soil crumble and fall apart.

4. It prevents washing.

5. It increases the porosity of soils and permits roots to go deeper
into the soil for food and moisture.

6. It increases the warmth of the soil.

7. It permits earlier working in spring and after rains.

[Illustration: FIG. 9. LAYING A TILE DRAIN]

8. It favors the growth of germs which change the unavailable nitrogen
of the soil into nitrates; that is, into the form of nitrogen most
useful to plants.

9. It enables plants to resist drought better because the roots go into
the ground deeper early in the season.

A soil that is hard and wet will not grow good crops. The
nitrogen-gathering crops will store the greatest quantity of nitrogen in
the soil when the soil is open to the free circulation of the air.
These valuable crops cannot do this when the soil is wet and cold.

Sandy soils with sandy subsoils do not often need drainage; such soils
are naturally drained. With clay soils it is different. It is very
important to remove the stagnant water in them and to let the air in.

When land has been properly drained the other steps in improvement are
easily taken. After soil has been dried and mellowed by proper drainage,
then commercial fertilizers, barnyard manure, cowpeas, and clover can
most readily do their great work of improving the texture of the soil
and of making it fitter for plant growth.

[Illustration: FIG. 10. A TILE IN POSITION]

=Tile Drains.= Tile drains are the best and cheapest that can be used.
It would not be too strong to say that draining by tiles is the most
perfect drainage. Thousands of practical tests in this country have
proved the superiority of tile draining for the following reasons:

1. Good tile drains properly laid last for years and do not fill up.

2. They furnish the cheapest possible means of removing too much water
from the soil.

3. They are out of reach of all cultivating tools.

4. Surface water in filtering through the tiles leaves its nutritious
elements for plant growth.


     =To show the Effect of Drainage.= Take two tomato cans and fill
     both with the same kind of soil. Punch several holes in the bottom
     of one to drain the soil above and to admit air circulation. Leave
     the other unpunctured. Plant seeds of any kind in both cans and
     keep in a warm place. Add every third day equal quantities of
     water. Let seeds grow in both cans and observe the difference in
     growth for two or three weeks.

     =To show the Effect of Air in Soils.= Take two tomato cans; fill
     one with soil that is loose and warm, and the other with wet clay
     or muck from a swampy field. Plant a few seeds of the same kind in
     each and observe how much better the dry, warm, open soil is for
     growing farm crops.


We hear a great deal about the exhaustion or wearing out of the soil.
Many uncomfortable people are always declaring that our lands will no
longer produce profitable crops, and hence that farming will no longer

Now it is true, unfortunately, that much land has been robbed of its
fertility, and, because this is true, we should be most deeply
interested in everything that leads to the improvement of our soils.

When our country was first discovered and trees were growing everywhere,
we had virgin soils, or new soils that were rich and productive because
they were filled with vegetable matter and plant food. There are not
many virgin soils now because the trees have been cut from the best
lands, and these lands have been farmed so carelessly that the vegetable
matter and available plant food have been largely used up. Now that
fresh land is scarce it is very necessary to restore fertility to these
exhausted lands. What are some of the ways in which this can be done?

[Illustration: FIG. 11. CLOVER IS A SOIL-IMPROVER]

There are several things to be done in trying to reclaim worn-out land.
One of the first of these is to till the land well. Many of you may have
heard the story of the dying father who called his sons about him and
whispered feebly, "There is great treasure hidden in the garden." The
sons could hardly wait to bury their dead father before, thud, thud,
thud, their picks were going in the garden. Day after day they dug; they
dug deep; they dug wide. Not a foot of the crop-worn garden escaped the
probing of the pick as the sons feverishly searched for the expected
treasure. But no treasure was found. Their work seemed entirely useless.

Second crop of cowpeas on old, abandoned land]

"Let us not lose every whit of our labor; let us plant this pick-scarred
garden," said the eldest. So the garden was planted. In the fall the
hitherto neglected garden yielded a harvest so bountiful, so unexpected,
that the meaning of their father's words dawned upon them. "Truly," they
said, "a treasure was hidden there. Let us seek it in all our fields."

The story applies as well to-day as it did when it was first told.
Thorough culture of the soil, frequent and intelligent tillage--these
are the foundations of soil-restoration.

Along with good tillage must go crop-rotation and good drainage. A
supply of organic matter will prevent heavy rains from washing the soil
and carrying away plant food. Drainage will aid good tillage in allowing
air to circulate between the soil particles and in arranging plant food
so that plants can use it.

But we must add humus, or vegetable matter, to the soil. You remember
that the virgin soils contained a great deal of vegetable matter and
plant food, but by the continuous growing of crops like wheat, corn, and
cotton, and by constant shallow tillage, both humus and plant food have
been used up. Consequently much of our cultivated soil to-day is hard
and dead.

There are three ways of adding humus and plant food to this lifeless
land: the first way is to apply barnyard manure (to adopt this method
means that livestock raising must be a part of all farming); the second
way is to adopt rotation of crops, and frequently to plow under crops
like clover and cowpeas; the third way is to apply commercial

To summarize: if we want to make our soil better year by year, we must
cultivate well, drain well, and in the most economical way add humus and
plant food.


     Select a small area of ground at your home and divide it into four
     sections, as shown in the following sketch:

     On Section _A_ apply barnyard manure; on Section _B_ apply
     commercial fertilizers; on Section _C_ apply nothing, but till
     well; on Section _D_ apply nothing, and till very poorly.

     _A_, _B_, and _C_ should all be thoroughly plowed and harrowed.
     Then add barnyard manure to _A_, commercial fertilizers to _B_, and
     harrow _A_, _B_, and _C_ at least four times until the soil is
     mellow and fine. _D_ will most likely be cloddy, like many fields
     that we often see. Now plant on each plat some crop like cotton,
     corn, or wheat. When the plats are ready to harvest, measure the
     yield of each and determine whether the increased yield of the best
     plats has paid for the outlay for tillage and manure. The pupil
     will be much interested in the results obtained from the first

     [Illustration: FIG. 13]

     Now follow a system of crop-rotation on the plats. Clover can
     follow corn or cotton or wheat; and cowpeas, wheat. Then determine
     the yield of each plat for the second crop. By following these
     plats for several years, and increasing the number, the pupils will
     learn many things of greatest value.


In the early days of our history, when the soil was new and rich, we
were not compelled to use large amounts of manures and fertilizers. Yet
our histories speak of an Indian named Squanto who came into one of the
New England colonies and showed the first settlers how, by putting a
fish in each hill of corn, they could obtain larger yields.

If people in those days, with new and fertile soils, could use manures
profitably, how much more ought we to use them in our time, when soils
have lost their virgin fertility, and when the plant food in the soil
has been exhausted by years and years of cropping!

To sell year after year all the produce grown on land is a sure way to
ruin it. If, for example, the richest land is planted every year in
corn, and no stable or farmyard manure or other fertilizer returned to
the soil, the land so treated will of course soon become too poor to
grow any crop. If, on the other hand, clover or alfalfa or corn or
cotton-seed meal is fed to stock, and the manure from the stock returned
to the soil, the land will be kept rich. Hence those farmers who do not
sell such raw products as cotton, corn, wheat, oats, and clover, but who
market articles made from these raw products, find it easier to keep
their land fertile. For illustration: if instead of selling hay, farmers
feed it to sheep and sell meat and wool; if instead of selling cotton
seed, they feed its meal to cows, and sell milk and butter; if instead
of selling stover, they feed it to beef cattle, they get a good price
for products and in addition have all the manure needed to keep their
land productive and increase its value each year.

1, clay subsoil; 2, same, with fertilizer; 3, same, with humus]

If we wish to keep up the fertility of our lands we should not allow
anything to be lost from our farms. All the manures, straw, roots,
stubble, healthy vines--in fact everything decomposable--should be
plowed under or used as a top-dressing. Especial care should be taken in
storing manure. It should be watchfully protected from sun and rain. If
a farmer has no shed under which to keep his manure, he should scatter
it on his fields as fast as it is made.

In left top pot, no plant food; in left bottom pot, plant food scanty;
in both right pots, all elements of plant food present]

He should understand also that liquid manure is of more value than
solid, because that important plant food, nitrogen, is found almost
wholly in the liquid portion. Some of the phosphoric acid and
considerable amounts of the potash are also found in the liquid manure.
Hence economy requires that none of this escape either by leakage or by
fermentation. Sometimes one can detect the smell of ammonia in the
stable. This ammonia is formed by the decomposition of the liquid
manure, and its loss should be checked by sprinkling some floats, acid
phosphate, or muck over the stable floor.

Many farmers find it desirable to buy fertilizers to use with the manure
made on the farm. In this case it is helpful to understand the
composition, source, and availability of the various substances
composing commercial fertilizers. The three most valuable things in
commercial fertilizers are nitrogen, potash, and phosphoric acid.

The nitrogen is obtained from (1) nitrate of soda mined in Chile, (2)
ammonium sulphate, a by-product of the gas works, (3) dried blood and
other by-products of the slaughter-houses, and (4) cotton-seed meal.
Nitrate of soda is soluble in water and may therefore be washed away
before being used by plants. For this reason it should be applied in
small quantities and at intervals of a few weeks.

Potash is obtained in Germany, where it is found in several forms. It is
put on the market as muriate of potash, sulphate of potash, kainite,
which contains salt as an impurity, and in other impure forms. Potash is
found also in _unleached_ wood ashes.

Phosphoric acid is found in various rocks of Tennessee, Florida, and
South Carolina, and also to a large extent in bones. The rocks or bones
are usually treated with sulphuric acid. This treatment changes the
phosphoric acid into a form ready for plant use.

These three kinds of plant food are ordinarily all that we need to
supply. In some cases, however, lime has to be added. Besides being a
plant food itself, lime helps most soils by improving the structure of
the grains; by sweetening the soil, thereby aiding the little living
germs called _bacteria_; by hastening the decay of organic matter; and
by setting free the potash that is locked up in the soil.




[Illustration: FIG. 16. ROOT-HAIRS ON A RADISH]

You have perhaps observed the regularity of arrangement in the twigs and
branches of trees. Now pull up the roots of a plant, as, for example,
sheep sorrel, Jimson weed, or some other plant. Note the branching of
the roots. In these there is no such regularity as is seen in the twig.
Trace the rootlets to their finest tips. How small, slender, and
delicate they are! Still we do not see the finest of them, for in taking
the plant from the ground we tore the most delicate away. In order to
see the real construction of a root we must grow one so that we may
examine it uninjured. To do this, sprout some oats in a germinator or in
any box in which one glass side has been arranged and allow the oats to
grow till they are two or more inches high. Now examine the roots and
you will see very fine hairs, similar to those shown in the accompanying
figure, forming a fuzz over the surface of the roots near the tips. This
fuzz is made of small hairs standing so close together that there are
often as many as 38,200 on a single square inch. Fig. 17 shows how a
root looks when it has been cut crosswise into what is known as a cross
section. The figure is much increased in size. You can see how the
root-hairs extend from the root in every direction. Fig. 18 shows a
single root-hair very greatly enlarged, with particles of sand sticking
to it.

[Illustration: FIG. 17. A SLICE OF A ROOT
Highly magnified]

These hairs are the feeding-organs of the roots, and they are formed
only near the tips of the finest roots. You see that the large, coarse
roots that you are familiar with have nothing to do with _absorbing_
plant food from the soil. They serve merely to _conduct_ the sap and
nourishment from the root-hairs to the tree.

When you apply manure or other fertilizer to a tree, remember that it is
far better to supply the fertilizer to the roots that are at some
distance from the trunk, for such roots are the real feeders. The plant
food in the manure soaks into the soil and immediately reaches the
root-hairs. You can understand this better by studying the distribution
of the roots of an orchard tree, shown in Fig. 19. There you can see
that the fine tips are found at a long distance from the main trunk.


You can now readily see why it is that plants usually wilt when they are
transplanted. The fine, delicate root-hairs are then broken off, and the
plant can but poorly keep up its food and water supply until new hairs
have been formed. While these are forming, water has been evaporating
from the leaves, and consequently the plant does not get enough moisture
and therefore droops.


Would you not conclude that it is very poor farming to till deeply any
crop after the roots have extended between the rows far enough to be cut
by the plow or cultivator? In cultivating between corn rows, for
example, if you find that you are disturbing fine roots, you may be sure
that you are breaking off millions of root-hairs from each plant and
hence are doing harm rather than good. Fig. 20 shows how the roots from
one corn row intertangle with those of another. You see at a glance how
many of these roots would be destroyed by deep cultivation. Stirring
the upper inch of soil when the plants are well grown is sufficient
tillage and does no injury to the roots.


A deep soil is much better than a shallow soil, as its depth makes it
just so much easier for the roots to seek deep food. Fig. 21 illustrates
well how far down into the soil the alfalfa roots go.

[Illustration: FIG. 21 ALFALFA ROOT]


     Dig up the roots of several cultivated plants and weeds and compare
     them. Do you find some that are fine or fibrous? some fleshy like
     the carrot? The dandelion is a good example of a tap-root.
     Tap-roots are deep feeders. Examine very carefully the roots of a
     medium-sized corn plant. Sift the dirt away gently so as to loosen
     as few roots as possible. How do the roots compare in area with the
     part above the ground? Try to trace a single root of the corn plant
     from the stalk to its very tip. How long are the roots of mature
     plants? Are they deep or shallow feeders? Germinate some oats or
     beans in a glass-sided box, as suggested, and observe the


Plants receive their nourishment from two sources--from the air and from
the soil. The soil food, or mineral food, dissolved in water, must reach
the plant through the root-hairs with which all plants are provided in
great numbers. Each of these hairs may be compared to a finger reaching
among the particles of earth for food and water. If we examine the
root-hairs ever so closely, we find no holes, or openings, in them. It
is evident, then, that no solid particles can enter the root-hairs, but
that all food must pass into the root in solution.

An experiment just here will help us to understand how a root feeds.



     Secure a narrow glass tube like the one in Fig. 22. If you cannot
     get a tube, a narrow, straight lamp-chimney will, with a little
     care, do nearly as well. From a bladder made soft by soaking, cut a
     piece large enough to cover the end of the tube or chimney and to
     hang over a little all around. Make the piece of bladder secure to
     the end of the tube by wrapping tightly with a waxed thread, as at
     B. Partly fill the tube with molasses (or it may be easier in case
     you use a narrow tube to fill it before attaching the bladder). Put
     the tube into a jar or bottle of water so placed that the level of
     the molasses inside and the water outside will be the same. Fasten
     the tube in this position and observe it frequently for three or
     four hours. At the end of the time you should find that the
     molasses in the tube has risen above the level of the liquid
     outside. It may even overflow at the top. If you use the
     lamp-chimney the rise will not be so clearly seen, since a greater
     volume is required to fill the space in the chimney. This increase
     in the contents of the tube is due to the entrance of water from
     the outside. The water has passed through the thin bladder, or
     membrane, and has come to occupy space in the tube. There is also a
     passage the other way, but the molasses can pass through the
     bladder membrane so slowly that the passage is scarcely noticeable.
     There are no holes, or openings, in the membrane, but still there
     is a free passage of liquids in both directions, although the more
     heavily laden solution must move more slowly.

A root-hair acts in much the same way as the tube in our experiment,
with the exception that it is so made as to allow certain substances to
pass in only one direction, that is, toward the inside. The outside of
the root-hair is bathed in solutions rich in nourishment. The
nourishment passes from the outside to the inside through the delicate
membrane of the root-hair. Thus does food enter the plant-root. From the
root-hairs, foods are carried to the inside of the root.

From this you can see how important it is for a plant to have fine,
loose soil for its root-hairs; also how necessary is the water in the
soil, since the food can be used only when it is dissolved in water.

This passage of liquids from one side of a membrane to another is called
_osmosis_. It has many uses in the plant kingdom. We say a root takes
nourishment by osmosis.


Tubercle is a big word, but you ought to know how to pronounce it and
what is meant by root-tubercles. We are going to tell you what a
root-tubercle is and something about its importance to agriculture. When
you have learned this, we are sure you will want to examine some plants
for yourself in order that you may see just what tubercles look like on
a real root.

Root-tubercles do not form on all kinds of plants that farmers grow.
They are formed only on those kinds that botanists call _legumes_. The
clovers, cowpeas, vetches, soy beans, and alfalfa are all legumes. The
tubercles are little knotty, wart-like growths on the roots of the
plants just named. These tubercles are caused by tiny forms of life
called, as you perhaps already know, bacteria, or _germs_.

The specimen at the right was grown in soil inoculated with soil from an
old clover field. The one at the left was grown in soil not inoculated]

Instead of living in nests in trees like birds or in the ground like
moles and worms, these tiny germs, less than one twenty-five thousandth
of an inch long, make their homes on the roots of legumes. Nestling
snugly together, they live, grow, and multiply in their sunless homes.
Through their activity the soil is enriched by the addition of much
nitrogen from the air. They are the good fairies of the farmer, and no
magician's wand ever blessed a land so much as these invisible folk
bless the land that they live in.

Just as bees gather honey from the flowers and carry it to the hives,
where they prepare it for their own future use and for the use of
others, so do these root-tubercles gather nitrogen from the air and fix
it in their root homes, where it can be used by other crops.


In the earlier pages of this book you were told something about the food
of plants. One of the main elements of plant food, perhaps you remember,
is nitrogen. Just as soon as the roots of the leguminous plants begin to
push down into the soil, the bacteria, or germs that make the tubercles,
begin to build their homes on the roots, and in so doing they add
nitrogen to the soil. You now see the importance of growing such crops
as peas and clover on your land, for by their tubercles you can
constantly add plant food to the soil. Now this much-needed nitrogen is
the most costly part of the fertilizers that farmers buy every year. If
every farmer, then, would grow these tubercle-bearing crops, he would
rapidly add to the richness of his land and at the same time escape the
necessity of buying so much expensive fertilizer.


     Take a spade or shovel and dig carefully around the roots of a
     cowpea and a clover plant; loosen the earth thoroughly and then
     pull the plants up, being careful not to break off any of the
     roots. Now wash the roots, and after they become dry count the
     nodules, or tubercles, on them. Observe the difference in size. How
     are they arranged? Do all leguminous plants have equal numbers of
     nodules? How do these nodules help the farmer?


Doubtless you know what is meant by rotation, for your teacher has
explained to you already how the earth rotates, or turns, on its axis
and revolves around the sun. When we speak of crop-rotation we mean not
only that the same crop should not be planted on the same land for two
successive years but that crops should follow one another in a regular

Many farmers do not follow a system of farming that involves a change of
crops. In some parts of the country the same fields are planted to corn
or wheat or cotton year after year. This is not a good practice and
sooner or later will wear out the soil completely, because the
soil-elements that furnish the food of that constant crop are soon
exhausted and good crop-production is no longer possible.

Why is crop-rotation so necessary? There are different kinds of plant
food in the soil. If any one of these is used up, the soil of course
loses its power to feed plants properly. Now each crop uses more of some
of the different kinds of foods than others do, just as you like some
kinds of food better than others. But the crop cannot, as you can, learn
to use the kinds of food it does not like; it must use the kind that
nature fitted it to use. Not only do different crops feed upon different
soil foods, but they use different quantities of these foods.

Now if a farmer plant the same crop in the same field each year, that
crop soon uses up all of the available plant food that it likes. Hence
the soil can no longer properly nourish the crop that has been year by
year robbing it. If that crop is to be successfully grown again on the
land, the exhausted element must be restored.

[Illustration: FIG. 25. GRASS FOLLOWING CORN]

This can be done in two ways: first, by finding out what element has
here been exhausted, and then restoring this element by means either of
commercial fertilizers or manure; second, by planting on the land crops
that feed on different food and that will allow or assist kind Mother
Nature "to repair her waste places." An illustration may help you to
remember this fact. Nitrogen is, as already explained, one of the
commonest plant foods. It may almost be called plant bread. The wheat
crop uses up a good deal of nitrogen. Suppose a field were planted in
wheat year after year. Most of the available nitrogen would be taken out
of the soil after a while, and a new wheat crop, if planted on the
field, would not get enough of its proper food to yield a paying
harvest. This same land, however, that could not grow wheat could
produce other crops that do not require so much nitrogen. For example,
it could grow cowpeas. Cowpeas, aided by their root-tubercles, are able
to gather from the air a great part of the nitrogen needed for their
growth. Thus a good crop of peas can be obtained even if there is little
available nitrogen in the soil. On the other hand wheat and corn and
cotton cannot use the free nitrogen of the air, and they suffer if there
is an insufficient quantity present in the soil; hence the necessity of
growing legumes to supply what is lacking.

[Illustration: FIG. 26. COWPEAS AND CORN--AUGUST]

Let us now see how easily plant food may be saved by the rotation of

If you sow wheat in the autumn it is ready to be harvested in time for
planting cowpeas. Plow or disk the wheat stubble, and sow the same field
to cowpeas. If the wheat crop has exhausted the greater part of the
nitrogen of the soil, it makes no difference to the cowpea; for the
cowpea will get its nitrogen from the air and not only provide for its
own growth but will leave quantities of nitrogen in the queer nodules of
its roots for the crops coming after it in the rotation.

[Illustration: FIG. 27. COWPEAS AND CORN--OCTOBER]

If corn be planted, there should be a rotation in just the same way. The
corn plant, a summer grower, of course uses a certain portion of the
plant food stored in the soil. In order that the crop following the corn
may feed on what the corn did not use, this crop should be one that
requires a somewhat different food. Moreover, it should be one that fits
in well with corn so as to make a winter crop. We find just such a
plant in clover or wheat. Like the cowpea, all the varieties of clover
have on their roots tubercles that add the important element, nitrogen,
to the soil.

From these facts is it not clear that if you wish to improve your land
quickly and keep it always fruitful you must practice crop-rotation?


Here are two systems of crop-rotation as practiced at one or more
agricultural experiment stations. Each furnishes an ideal plan for
keeping up land.

  Summer    | Winter   || Summer    | Winter   || Summer    | Winter
  Corn      | Crimson  || Cotton    | Wheat    || Cowpeas   | Rye for
            | clover   ||           |          ||           | pasture


  Summer    | Winter   || Summer    | Winter   || Summer    | Winter
  Corn      | Wheat    ||  Clover   |  Clover  || Grass     | Grass for
            |          || and grass | and grass||           |pasture or
            |          ||           |          ||           | meadow

In these rotations the cowpeas and clovers are nitrogen-gathering crops.
They not only furnish hay but they enrich the soil. The wheat, corn, and
cotton are money crops, but in addition they are cultivated crops; hence
they improve the physical condition of the soil and give opportunity to
kill weeds. The grasses and clovers are of course used for pasturage and
hay. This is only a suggested rotation. Work out one that will meet your
home need.


     Let the pupils each present a system of rotation that includes the
     crops raised at home. The system presented should as nearly as
     possible meet the following requirements:

     1. Legumes for gathering nitrogen.
     2. Money crops for cash income.
     3. Cultivated crops for tillage and weed-destruction.
     4. Food crops for feeding live stock.




If you partly burn a match you will see that it becomes black. This
black substance into which the match changes is called _carbon_. Examine
a fresh stick of charcoal, which is, as you no doubt know, burnt wood.
You see in the charcoal every fiber that you saw in the wood itself.
This means that every part of the plant contains carbon. How important,
then, is this substance to the plant!

You will be surprised to know that the total amount of carbon in plants
comes from the air. All the carbon that a plant gets is taken in by the
leaves of the plant; not a particle is gathered by the roots. A large
tree, weighing perhaps 11,000 pounds, requires in its growth carbon from
16,000,000 cubic yards of air.

Perhaps, after these statements, you may think there is danger that the
carbon of the air may sometime become exhausted. The air of the whole
world contains about 1,760,000,000,000 pounds of carbon. Moreover, this
is continually being added to by our fires and by the breath of animals.
When wood or coal is used for fuel the carbon of the burning substance
is returned to the air in the form of gas. Some large factories burn
great quantities of coal and thus turn much carbon back to the air. A
single factory in Germany is estimated to give back to the air daily
about 5,280,000 pounds of carbon. You see, then, that carbon is
constantly being put back into the air to replace that which is used by
growing plants.

The carbon of the air can be used by none but green plants, and by them
only in the sunlight. We may compare the green coloring matter of the
leaf to a machine, and the sunlight to the power, or energy, which keeps
the machine in motion. By means, then, of sunlight and the green
coloring matter of the leaves, the plant secures carbon. The carbon
passes into the plant and is there made into two foods very necessary to
the plant; namely, starch and sugar.

Sometimes the plant uses the starch and sugar immediately. At other
times it stores both away, as it does in the Irish and the sweet potato
and in beets, cabbage, peas, and beans. These plants are used as food by
man because they contain so much nourishment; that is, starch and sugar
which were stored away by the plant for its own future use.


     Examine some charcoal. Can you see the rings of growth? Slightly
     char paper, cloth, meat, sugar, starch, etc. What does the turning
     black prove? What per cent of these substances do you think is pure


The root-hairs take nourishment from the soil. The leaves manufacture
starch and sugar. These manufactured foods must be carried to all parts
of the plant. There are two currents to carry them. One passes from the
roots through the young wood to the leaves, and one, a downward current,
passes through the bark, carrying needed food to the roots (see Fig.

If you should injure the roots, the water supply to the leaves would be
cut off and the leaves would immediately wither. On the other hand, if
you remove the bark, that is, girdle the tree, you in no way interfere
with the water supply and the leaves do not wither. Girdling does,
however, interfere with the downward food current through the bark.


If the tree be girdled the roots sooner or later suffer from lack of
food supply from the leaves. Owing to this food stoppage the roots will
cease to grow and will soon be unable to take in sufficient water, and
then the leaves will begin to droop. This, however, may not happen until
several months after the girdling. Sometimes a partly girdled branch
grows much in thickness just above the girdle, as is shown in Fig. 29.
This extra growth seems to be due to a stoppage of the rich supply of
food which was on its way to the roots through the bark. It could go no
farther and was therefore used by the tree to make an unnatural growth
at this point. You will now understand how and why trees die when they
are girdled to clear new ground.


It is, then, the general law of sap-movement that the upward current
from the roots passes through the woody portion of the trunk, and that
the current bearing the food made by the leaves passes downward through
the bark.


     Let the teacher see that these and all other experiments are
     performed by the pupils. Do not allow them to guess, but make them

     Girdle valueless trees or saplings of several kinds, cutting the
     bark away in a complete circle around the tree. Do not cut into the
     wood. How long before the tree shows signs of injury? Girdle a
     single small limb on a tree. What happens? Explain.


Some people think that the flowers by the wayside are for the purpose of
beautifying the world and increasing man's enjoyment. Do you think this
is true? Undoubtedly a flower is beautiful, and to be beautiful is one
of the uses of many flowers; but it is not the chief use of a flower.

You know that when peach or apple blossoms are nipped by the spring
frost the fruit crop is in danger. The fruit of the plant bears the
seed, and the flower produces the fruit. That is its chief duty.

[Illustration: FIG. 30. PARTS OF THE PISTIL]

Do you know any plant that produces seed without flowers? Some one
answers, "The corn, the elm, and the maple all produce seed, but have no
flower." No, that is not correct. If you look closely you will find in
the spring very small flowers on the elm and on the maple, while the ear
and the tassel are really the blossoms of the corn plant. Every plant
that produces seed has flowers, although they may sometimes seem very
curious flowers.

[Illustration: FIG. 31. A BUTTERCUP]

Let us see what a flower really is. Take, for example, a buttercup,
cotton, tobacco, or plum blossom (see Figs. 31 and 32). You will find on
the outside a row of green leaves inclosing the flower when it is still
a bud. These leaves are the _sepals_. Next on the inside is a row of
colored leaves, or _petals_. Arranged inside of the petals are some
threadlike parts, each with a knob on the end. These are the _stamens_.
Examine one stamen closely (Fig. 33). On the knob at its tip you should
find, if the flower is fully open, some fine grains, or powder. In the
lily this powder is so abundant that in smelling the flower you often
brush a quantity of it off on your nose. This substance is called
_pollen_, and the knob on the end of the stamen, on which the pollen is
borne, is the _anther_.

[Illustration: FIG. 32. A PLUM BLOSSOM]

The pollen is of very great importance to the flower. Without it there
could be no seeds. The stamens as pollen-bearers, then, are very
important. But there is another part to each flower that is of equal
value. This part you will find in the center of the flower, inside the
circle of stamens. It is called the _pistil_ (Fig. 32). The swollen tip
of the pistil is the _stigma_. The swollen base of the pistil forms the
_ovary_. If you carefully cut open this ovary you will find in it
very small immature seeds.

[Illustration: FIG. 33. STAMENS
_a_, anther; _f_, filament]

Some plants bear all these parts in the same flower; that is, each
blossom has stamens, pistil, petals, and sepals. The pear blossom and
the tomato blossom represent such flowers. Other plants bear their
stamens and pistils in separate blossoms. Stamens and pistils may even
occur in separate plants, and some blossoms have no sepals or petals at
all. Look at the corn plant. Here the tassel is a cluster of many
flowers, each of which bears only stamens. The ear is likewise a cluster
of many flowers, each of which bears only a pistil. The dust that you
see falling from the tassel is the pollen, and the long silky threads of
the ear are the stigmas.

[Illustration: FIG. 34. A TOMATO BLOSSOM]

Now no plant can bear seeds unless the pollen of the stamen falls on the
stigma. Corn cannot therefore form seed unless the dust of the tassel
falls upon the silk. Did you ever notice how poorly the cob is filled on
a single cornstalk standing alone in a field? Do you see why? It is
because when a plant stands alone the wind blows the pollen away from
the tassel, and little or none is received on the stigmas below.

[Illustration: FIG. 35. CUCUMBER BLOSSOMS]

In the corn plant the stamens and pistils are separate; that is, they do
not occur on the same flower, although they are on the same plant. This
is also true of the cucumber (see Fig. 35). In many plants, however,
such as the hemp, hop, sassafras, willow, and others, the staminate
parts are on one plant and the pistillate parts are on another. This is
also true in several other cultivated plants. For example, in some
strawberries the stamens are absent or useless; that is, they bear no
good pollen. In such cases the grower must see to it that near by are
strawberry plants that bear stamens, in order that those plants which do
not bear pollen may become _pollinated_; that is, may have pollen
carried to them. After the stigma has been supplied with pollen, a
single pollen grain sends a threadlike sprout down through the stigma
into the ovary. This process, if successfully completed, is called


     Examine several flowers and identify the parts named in the last
     section. Try in the proper season to find the pollen on the maple,
     willow, alder, and pine, and on wheat, cotton, and the

     How fast does the ovary of the apple blossom enlarge? Measure one
     and watch it closely from day to day. Can you find any plants that
     have their stamens and ovaries on separate individuals?


Nature has several interesting ways of bringing about pollination. In
the corn, willow, and pine the pollen is picked up by the wind and
carried away. Much of it is lost, but some reaches the stigmas, or
receptive parts, of other corn, willow, or pine flowers. This is a very
wasteful method, and all plants using it must provide much pollen.

Many plants employ a much better method. They have learned how to make
insects bear their pollen. In plants of this type the parts of the
blossom are so shaped and so placed as to deposit pollen from the stamen
on the insect and to receive pollen from the insect on the stigmas.

When you see the clumsy bumblebee clambering over and pushing his way
into a clover blossom, you may be sure that he is getting well dusted
with pollen and that the next blossom which he visits will secure a full
share on its stigmas.

When flowers fit themselves to be pollinated by insects they can no
longer use the wind and are helpless if insects do not visit them. They
therefore cunningly plan two ways to invite the visits of insects.
First, they provide a sweet nectar as a repast for the insect visitor.
The nectar is a sugary solution found in the bottom of the flower and is
used by the visitor as food or to make honey. Second, flowers advertise
to let each insect know that they have something for it. The advertising
is done either by showy colors or by perfume. Insects have wonderful
powers of smell. When you see showy flowers or smell fragrant ones, you
will know that such flowers are advertising the presence either of
nectar or of pollen (to make beebread) and that such flowers depend on
insects for pollination.

[Illustration: FIG. 36. BEES CARRYING POLLEN]

A season of heavy, cold rains during blossoming-time may often injure
the fruit crop by preventing insects from carrying pollen from flower to
flower. You now also understand why plants often fail to produce seeds
indoors. Since they are shut in, they cannot receive proper insect
visits. Plants such as tomatoes or other garden fruits dependent upon
insect pollination must, if raised in the greenhouse where insects
cannot visit them, be pollinated by hand.


     Exclude insect visitors from some flower or flower cluster, for
     example, clover, by covering with a paper bag, and see whether the
     flower can produce seeds that are capable of growing. Compare as to
     number and vitality the seeds of such a flower with those of an
     uncovered flower. Observe insects closely. Do you ever find pollen
     on them? What kinds of insects visit the clover? the cowpea? the
     sourwood? the flax? Is wheat pollinated by insects or by the wind
     or by some other means? Do bees fly in rainy weather? How will a
     long rainy season at blossoming-time affect the apple crop? Why?
     Should bees be kept in an orchard? Why?


In our study of flowers and their pollination we have seen that the seed
is usually the descendant of two parents, or at least of two organs--one
the ovary, producing the seed; the other the pollen, which is necessary
to fertilize the ovary.

It happens that sometimes the pollen of one blossom fertilizes the ovary
of its own flower, but more often the pollen from one plant fertilizes
the ovary of another plant. This latter method is called
_cross-pollination_. As a rule cross-pollination makes seed that will
produce a better plant than simple pollination would. Cross-pollination
by hand is often used by plant-breeders when, for purposes of
seed-selection, a specially strong plant is desired. The steps in hand
pollination are as follows: (1) remove the anthers before they open, to
prevent them from pollinating the stigma (the steps in this process are
illustrated in Figs. 37, 38-39); (2) cover the flower thus treated with
a paper bag to prevent stray pollen from getting on it (see Fig. 40);
(3) when the ovary is sufficiently developed, carry pollen to the stigma
by hand from the anthers of another plant which you have selected to
furnish it, and rebag to keep out any stray pollen which might
accidentally get in; (4) collect the seeds when they are mature and
label them properly.

Hand pollination has this advantage--you know both parents of your seed.
If pollination occur naturally you know the maternal but have no means
of judging the paternal parent. You can readily see, therefore, how hand
pollination enables you to secure seed derived from two well-behaved

Sometimes we can breed one kind of plant on another. The result of such
cross-breeding is known as a _hybrid_. In the animal kingdom the mule is
a common example of this cross-breeding. Plant hybrids were formerly
called mules also, but this suggestive term is almost out of use.

[Illustration: FIG. 37
The bud on right at top is in proper condition for removal of anthers;
the anthers have been removed from the buds below]

It is only when plants of two distinct kinds are crossed that the result
is called a hybrid; for example, a blackjack oak on a white oak, an
apple on a pear. If the parent plants are closely related, for example,
two kinds of apples, the resulting plant is known simply as a _cross_.

Hybrids and crosses are valuable in that they usually differ from both
parents and yet combine some qualities of each.

First, bud; second, anthers unremoved; third, anthers removed]

First, bud; second, anthers unremoved; third, anthers removed]

[Illustration: FIG. 40.
First, blossom bagged to keep out stray pollen; second, fruit bagged for

They often leave off some of the qualities of the parent
plants and at other times have such qualities more markedly than did
their parents. Thus they often produce an interesting new kind of plant.
Sometimes we are able by hybridization to combine in one plant the good
qualities of two other plants and thus make a great advance in
agriculture. The new forms brought about by hybridization may be fixed,
or made permanent, by such selection as is mentioned in Section XVIII.
Hybridization is of great aid in originating new plants.

It often happens that a plant will be more fruitful when pollinated by
one variety than by some other variety. This is well illustrated in Fig.
41. A fruit-grower or farmer should know much about these subjects
before selecting varieties for his orchard, vineyard, etc.


     With the help of your teacher try to cross some plants. Such an
     experiment will take time, but will be most interesting. You must
     remember that many crosses must be attempted in order to gain
     success with even a few.


It is the business of the farmer to make plants grow, or, as it is
generally called, to propagate plants. This he does in one of two ways:
by buds (that is, by small pieces cut from parent plants), or by seeds.
The chief aim in both methods should be to secure in the most convenient
manner the best-paying plants.

Many plants are most easily and quickly propagated by buds; for example,
the grape, red raspberry, fig, and many others that we cultivate for the
flower only, such as the carnation, geranium, rose, and begonia.

[Illustration: FIG. 41.
Brighton pollinated by 1, Salem; 2, Creveling; 3, Lindley; 4, Brighton;
5, Self-pollinated; 6, Nectar; 7, Jefferson; 8, Niagara]

In growing plants from cuttings, a piece is taken from the kind of plant
that one wishes to grow. The greatest care must be exercised in order to
get a healthy cutting. If we take a cutting from a poor plant, what can
we expect but to grow a poor plant like the one from which our cutting
was taken? On the other hand, if a fine, strong, vigorous, fruitful
plant be selected, we shall expect to grow just such a fine, healthy,
fruitful plant.

We expect the cutting to make exactly the same variety of plant as the
parent stock. We must therefore decide on the variety of berry, grape,
fig, carnation, or rose that we wish to propagate, and then look for the
strongest and most promising plants of this variety within our reach.
The utmost care will not produce a fine plant if we start from poor

[Illustration: FIG. 42. GERANIUM CUTTING
Dotted line shows depth to which cutting should be planted]

What qualities are most desirable in a plant from which cuttings are to
be taken? First, it should be productive, hardy, and suited to your
climate and your needs; second, it should be healthy. Do not take
cuttings from a diseased plant, since the cutting may carry the

Cuttings may be taken from various parts of the plant, sometimes even
from parts of the leaf, as in the begonia (Fig. 46). More often,
however, they are drawn from parts of the stem (Figs. 43-45). As to the
age of the twig from which the cutting is to be taken, Professor Bailey
says: "For most plants the proper age or maturity of wood for the making
of cuttings may be determined by giving the twig a quick bend; if it
snaps and hangs by the bark, it is in proper condition. If it bends
without breaking, it is too young and soft or too old. If it splinters,
it is too old and woody." Some plants, as the geranium (Fig. 42),
succeed best if the cuttings from which they are grown are taken from
soft, young parts of the plant; others, for example, the grape or rose,
do better when the cutting is made from more mature wood.

[Illustration: FIG. 43 GRAPE CUTTING
Showing depth to which cutting should be planted]

[Illustration: FIG. 44. CARNATION CUTTING]

Cuttings may vary in size and may include one or more buds. After a
hardy, vigorous cutting is made, insert it about one half or one third
of its length in soil. A soil free from organic matter is much the best,
since in such soil the cuttings are much less liable to disease. A fine,
clean sand is commonly used by professional gardeners. When cuttings
have rooted well--this may require a month or more--they may be
transplanted to larger pots.

Sometimes, instead of cutting off a piece and rooting it, portions of
branches are made to root before they are separated from the parent
plant. This method is often followed, and is known as _layering_. It is
a simple process. Just bend the tip of a bough down and bury it in the
earth (see Fig. 47). The black raspberry forms layers naturally, but
gardeners often aid it by burying the over-hanging tips in the earth, so
that more tips may easily take root. Strawberries develop runners that
root themselves in a similar fashion.

Grafts and buds are really cuttings which, instead of being buried in
sand to produce roots of their own, are set on the roots of other

[Illustration: FIG. 45. ROSE CUTTING]

Grafting and budding are practiced when these methods are more
convenient than cuttings or when the gardener thinks there is danger of
failure to get plants to take root as cuttings. Neither grafting nor
budding is, however, necessary for the raspberry or the grape, for these
propagate most readily from cuttings.

It is often the case that a budded or grafted plant is more fruitful
than a plant on its own roots. In cases of this kind, of course, grafts
or buds are used.

The white, or Irish, potato is usually propagated from pieces of the
potato itself. Each piece used for planting bears one eye or more. The
potato itself is really an underground stem and the eyes are buds. This
method of propagation is therefore really a peculiar kind of cutting.

Since the eye is a bud and our potato plant for next year is to develop
from this bud, it is of much importance, as we have seen, to know
exactly what _kind_ of plant our potato comes from. If the potato is
taken from a small plant that had but a few poor potatoes in the hill,
we may expect the bud to produce a similar plant and a correspondingly
poor crop. We must see to it, then, that our seed potatoes are drawn
from vines that were good producers, because new potato plants are like
the plants from which they were grown. Of course when our potatoes are
in the bin we cannot tell from what kind of plants they came. We must
therefore _select our seed potatoes in the field_. Seed potatoes should
always be selected from those hills that produce most bountifully. Be
assured that the increased yield will richly repay this care in
selecting. It matters not so much whether the seed potato be large or
small; it must, however, come from a hill bearing a large yield of fine

[Illustration: FIG. 46. BEGONIA-LEAF CUTTING]

Sweet-potato plants are produced from shoots, or growing buds, taken
from the potato itself, so that in their case too the piece that we use
in propagating is a part of the original plant, and will therefore be
like it under similar conditions. Just as with the Irish potato, it is
important to know how good a yielder you are planting. You should watch
during harvest and select for propagation for the next year only such
plants as yield best.

We should exercise fully as much care in selecting proper individuals
from which to make a cutting or a layer as we do in selecting a proper
animal to breed from. Just as we select the finest Jersey in the herd
for breeding purposes, so we should choose first the variety of plant we
desire and then the finest individual plant of that variety.

If the variety of the potato that we desire to raise be Early Rose, it
is not enough to select _any_ Early Rose plants, but the very best Early
Rose plants, to furnish our seed.

[Illustration: FIG. 47. LAYERING]

It is not enough to select large, fine potatoes for cuttings. A large
potato may not produce a bountifully yielding plant. _It will produce a
plant like the one that produced it._ It may be that this one large
potato was the only one produced by the original plant. If so, the plant
that grows from it will tend to be similarly unproductive. Thus you see
the importance of _selecting in the field a plant that has exactly the
qualities desired in the new plant_.

One of the main reasons why gardeners raise plants from buds instead of
from seeds is that the seed of many plants will not produce plants like
the parent. This failure to "come true," as it is called, is sometimes
of value, for it occasionally leads to improvement. For example, suppose
that a thousand apple or other fruit or flower seeds from plants usually
propagated by cuttings be planted; it may be that one out of a thousand
or a million will be a very valuable plant. If a valuable plant be so
produced, it should be most carefully guarded, multiplied by cuttings or
grafts, and introduced far and wide. It is in this way that new
varieties of fruits and flowers are produced from time to time.

Sometimes, too, a single bud on a tree will differ from the other buds
and will produce a branch different from the other branches. This is
known as _bud variation_. When there is thus developed a branch which
happens to be of a superior kind, it should be propagated by cuttings
just as you would propagate it if it had originated from a seed.

[Illustration: FIG. 48. CURRANT CUTTING]

Mr. Gideon of Minnesota planted many apple seeds, and from them all
raised one tree that was very fruitful, finely flavored, and able to
withstand the cold Minnesota winter. This tree he multiplied by grafts
and named the Wealthy apple. It is said that in giving this one apple to
the world he benefited mankind to the value of more than one million
dollars. It will be well to watch for any valuable bud or seed variant
and never let a promising one be lost. Plants grown in this way from
seeds are usually spoken of as seedlings.



The following list gives the names and methods by which our common
garden fruits and flowers are propagated:

  _Figs_: use cuttings 8 to 10 inches long or layer.
  _Grapes_: use long cuttings, layer, or graft upon old vines.

  _Apples_: graft upon seedlings, usually crab seedlings one
  year old.

  _Pears_: bud upon pear seedlings.

  _Cherries_: bud upon cherry stock.

  _Plums_: bud upon peach stock.

  _Peaches_: bud upon peach or plum seedlings.

  _Quinces_: use cuttings or layer.

  _Blackberries_: propagate by suckers; cut from parent stem.

  _Black raspberries_: layer; remove old stem.

  _Red raspberries_: propagate by root-cuttings or suckers.

  _Strawberries_: propagate by runners.

  _Currants_ and _gooseberries_: use long cuttings (these plants
  grow well only in cool climates; if attempted in warm
  climates, set in cold exposure).

  _Carnations_, _geraniums_, _roses_, _begonias_, etc.: propagate by
  cuttings rooted in sand and then transplanted to small pots.


     Propagate fruits (grape, fig, strawberry) of various kinds; also
     ornamental plants. How long does it take them to root? Geraniums
     rooted in the spring will bloom in the fall. Do you know any one
     who selects seed potatoes properly? Make a careful selection of
     seed at the next harvest-time.


In propagating by seed, as in reproducing by buds, we select a portion
of the parent plant--for a seed is surely a part of the parent
plant--and place it in the ground. There is, however, one great
difference between a seed and a bud. The bud is really a piece of the
parent plant, but a piece of _one_ plant only, while a seed comes from
the parts of two plants.

You will understand this fully if you read carefully Sections XIV-XVI.
Since the seed is made of two plants, the plant that springs from a seed
is much more likely to differ from its mother plant, that is, from the
plant that produces the seed, than is a plant produced merely by buds.
In some cases plants "come true to seed" very accurately. In others they
vary greatly. For example, when we plant the seed of wheat, turnips,
rye, onions, tomatoes, tobacco, or cotton, we get plants that are in
most respects like the parent plant. On the other hand the seed of a
Crawford peach or a Baldwin apple or a Bartlett pear will not produce
plants like its parent, but will rather resemble its wild forefathers.
These seedlings, thus taking after their ancestors, are always far
inferior to our present cultivated forms. In such cases seeding is not
practicable, and we must resort to bud propagation of one sort or

While in a few plants like those just mentioned the seed does not "come
true," most plants, for example, cotton, tobacco, and others, do "come
true." When we plant King cotton we may expect to raise King cotton.
There will be, however, as every one knows, some or even considerable
variation in the field. Some plants, even in exactly the same soil, will
be better than the average, and some will be poorer. Now we see this
variation in the plants of our field, and we believe that the plant will
be in the main like its parent. What should we learn from this? Surely
that if we wish to produce sturdy, healthy, productive plants we must go
into our fields and _pick out just such plants to secure seed from as we
wish to produce another year_. If we wait until the seed is separated
from the plant that produced it before we select our cotton seed, we
shall be planting seed from poor as well as from good plants, and must
be content with a crop of just such stock as we have planted. By
selecting seed from the most productive plants _in the field_ and by
repeating the selection each year, you can continually improve the breed
of the plant you are raising. In selecting seed for cotton you may
follow the plan suggested below for wheat.


The difference that you see between the wild and the cultivated
chrysanthemums and between the samples of asparagus shown in Figs. 49
and 50 was brought about by just such continuous seed-selection from the
kind of plant wanted.


By the careful selection of seed from the longest flax plants the
increase in length shown in the accompanying figure was gained. The
selection of seed from those plants bearing the most seed, regardless of
the height of the plant, has produced flax like that to the right in the
illustration. These two kinds of flax are from the same parent stock,
but slight differences have been emphasized by continued seed-selection,
until we now have really two varieties of flax, one a heavy seed-bearer,
the other producing a long fiber.

You can in a similar way improve your cotton or any other seed crop.
Sugar beets have been made by seed-selection to produce about double the
percentage of sugar that they did a few years ago. Preparing and
tilling land costs too much in money and work to allow the land to be
planted with poor seed. When you are trying by seed-selection to
increase the yield of cotton, there are two principles that should be
borne in mind: first, seed should be chosen only from plants that bear
many well-filled bolls of long-staple cotton; second, seed should be
taken from no plant that does not by its healthy condition show
hardihood in resisting disease and drouth.

The plan of choosing seeds from selected plants may be applied to wheat;
but it would of course be too time-consuming to select enough single
wheat plants to furnish all of the seed wheat for the next year. In this
case adopt the following plan: In Fig. 52 let _A_ represent the total
size of your wheat field and let _B_ represent a plat large enough to
furnish seed for the whole field. At harvest-time go into section _A_
and select the best plants you can find. Pick the heads of these and
thresh them by hand. The seed so obtained must be carefully saved for
your next sowing.

[Illustration: FIG. 52.]

In the fall sow these selected seeds in area _B_. This area should
produce the best wheat. At the next harvest cull not from the whole
field but from the finest plants of plat _B_, and again save these as
seed for plat _B_. Use the unculled seed from plat _B_ to sow your crop.
By following this plan continuously you will every year have seed from
several generations of choice plants, and each year you will improve
your seed.

It is of course advisable to move your seed plat _B_ every year or two.
For the new plat select land that has recently been planted in legumes.
Always give this plat unwearying care.

In the selection of plants from which to get seed, you must know what
kind of plants are really the best seed plants. First, _you must not
regard single heads or grains, but must select seed from the most
perfect plant_, looking at the plant as a whole and not at any single
part of it. A first consideration is yield. Select the plants that yield
best and are at the same time resistant to drouth, resistant to rust and
to winter, early to ripen, plump of grain, and nonshattering. What a
fine thing it would be to find even one plant free from rust in the
midst of a rusted field! It would mean a _rust-resistant plant_. Its
offspring also would probably be rust-resistant. If you should ever find
such a plant, be sure to save its seed and plant it in a plat by itself.
The next year again save seed from those plants least rusted. Possibly
you can develop a rust-proof race of wheat! Keep your eyes open.

In England the average yield of wheat is thirty bushels an acre, in the
United States it is less than fifteen bushels! In some states the yield
is even less than nine bushels an acre. Let us select our seed with
care, as the English people do, and then we can increase our yield. By
careful seed-selection a plant-breeder in Minnesota increased the yield
of his wheat by one fourth. Think what it would mean if twenty-five per
cent were added to the world's supply of wheat at comparatively no cost;
that is, at the mere cost of careful seed-selection. This would mean an
addition to the world's income of about $500,000,000 each year. The
United States would get about one fifth of this profit.

It often happens that a single plant in a crop of corn, cotton, or wheat
will be far superior to all others in the field. Such a plant deserves
special care. Do not use it merely as a seed plant, but carefully plant
its seeds apart and tend carefully. The following season select the best
of its offspring as favorites again. Repeat this selection and culture
for several years until you fix the variety. This is the way new
varieties are originated from plants propagated by seed.

In 1862 Mr. Abraham Fultz of Pennsylvania, while passing through a field
of bearded wheat, found three heads of beardless, or bald, wheat. These
he sowed by themselves that year, and as they turned out specially
productive he continued to sow this new variety. Soon he had enough seed
to distribute over the country. It became known as the Fultz wheat and
is to-day one of the best varieties in the United States and in a number
of foreign countries. Think how many bushels of wheat have been added to
the world's annual supply by a few moments of intelligent observation
and action on the part of this one man! He saw his opportunity and used
it. How many similar opportunities do you think are lost? How much does
your state or country lose thereby?


     Select one hundred seeds from a good, and one hundred from a poor,
     plant of the same variety. Sow them in two plats far enough apart
     to avoid cross-pollination, yet try to have soil conditions about
     the same. Give each the same care and compare the yield. Try this
     with corn, cotton, and wheat. Select seeds from the best plant in
     your good plat and from the poorest in your poor plat and repeat
     the experiment. This will require but a few feet of ground, and the
     good plat will pay for itself in yield, while the poor plat will
     more than pay in the lesson that it will teach you.

     Write to the Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C., and to
     your state experiment station for bulletins concerning
     seed-selection and methods of plant-improvement.


If a farmer would raise good crops he must, as already stated, select
good seed. Many of the farmer's disappointments in the quantity and
quality of his crops--disappointments often thought to come from other
causes--are the result of planting poor seed. Seeds not fully ripened,
if they grow at all, produce imperfect plants. Good seed, therefore, is
the first thing necessary for a good crop. The seed of perfect plants
only should be saved.

By wise and persistent selection, made in the field before the crop is
fully matured, corn can be improved in size and made to mature earlier.
Gather ears only from the most productive plants and save only the
largest and best kernels.

[Illustration: FIG. 53. THE KIND OF EAR TO SELECT]

You have no doubt seen the common American blackbirds that usually
migrate and feed in such large numbers. They all look alike in every
way. Now, has it ever occurred to you to ask why all blackbirds are
black? The blackbirds are black simply because their parents are black.

Now in the same way that the young blackbirds resemble their parents,
corn will resemble its parent stock. How many ears of corn do you find
on a stalk? One, two, sometimes three or four. You find two ears of corn
on a stalk because it is the nature of that particular stalk to produce
two ears. In the same way the nature of some stalks is to produce but
one ear, while it is the nature of others sometimes to produce two or

This resemblance of offspring to parent is known to scientists as
heredity, or as "like producing like."

Some Southern corn-breeders take advantage of this law to improve their
corn crop. If a stalk can be made to produce two ears of corn just as
large as the single ear that most stalks bear, we shall get twice as
much corn from a field in which the "two-eared" variety is planted. In
the North and West the best varieties of corn have been selected to make
but one ear to the stalk. It is generally believed that this is the best
practice for the shorter growing seasons of the colder states.


These facts ought to be very helpful to us next year when our fathers
are planting corn. We should get them to plant seed secured only from
stalks that produced the most corn, whether the stalk had two or more
ears or only one. If we follow this plan year by year, each acre of land
will be made to produce more kernels and hence a larger crop of corn,
and yet no more work will be required to raise the crop.

In addition to enlarging the yield of corn, you can, by proper selection
of the best and most productive plants in the field, grow a new variety
of seed corn. To do this you need only take the largest and best
kernels from stalks bearing two ears; plant these, and at the next
harvest again save the best kernels from stalks bearing the best ears.
If you keep up this practice with great care for several years, you will
get a vigorous, fruitful variety that will command a high price for


     Boone County white corn on left, and original type, from which it
     was developed by selection, on right]

     Every school boy and girl can make this experiment at leisure. From
     your own field get two ears of corn, one from a stalk bearing only
     one ear and the other from a stalk bearing two well-grown ears.
     Plant the grains from one ear in one plat, and the grains from the
     other in a plat of equal size. Use for both the same soil and the
     same fertilizer. Cultivate both plats in the same way. When the
     crop is ready to harvest, husk the corn, count the ears, and weigh
     the corn. Then write a short essay on your work and on the results
     and get your teacher to correct the story for your home paper.


Have you ever noticed that some weeds are killed by one particular
method, but that this same method may entirely fail to kill other kinds
of weeds? If we wish to free our fields of weeds with the greatest ease,
we must know the nature of each kind of weed and then attack it in the
way in which we can most readily destroy it.

[Illustration: FIG. 56. PIGWEED]

The ordinary pigweed (Fig. 56) differs from many other weeds in that it
lives for only one year. When winter comes, it must die. Each plant,
however, bears a great number of seeds. If we can prevent the plant from
bearing seed in its first year, there will not be many seeds to come up
the next season. In fact, only those seeds that were too deeply buried
in the soil to come up the previous spring will be left, and of these
two-year-old seeds many will not germinate. During the next season some
old seeds will produce plants, but the number will be very much
diminished. If care be exercised to prevent the pigweed from seeding
again, and the same watchfulness be continued for a few seasons, this
weed will be almost entirely driven from our fields.

A plant like the pigweed, which lives only one year, is called an
_annual_ and is one of the easiest weeds to destroy. Mustard, plantain,
chess, dodder, cockle, crab grass, and Jimson weed are a few of our most
disagreeable annual weeds.

The best time to kill any weed is when it is very small; therefore the
ground in early spring should be constantly stirred in order to kill the
young weeds before they grow to be strong and hardy.

[Illustration: FIG. 57. WILD CARROT]

The wild carrot differs from an annual in this way: it lives throughout
one whole year without producing seeds. During its first year it
accumulates a quantity of nourishment in the root, then rests in the
winter. Throughout the following summer it uses this nourishment rapidly
to produce its flowers and seeds. Then the plant dies. Plants that live
through two seasons in this way are called _biennials_. Weeds of this
kind may be destroyed by _cutting the roots below the leaves_ with a
grubbing-hoe or spud. A spud may be described as a chisel on a long
handle (see Fig. 58). If biennials are not cut low enough they will
branch out anew and make many seeds. Among the most common biennials are
the thistle, moth mullein, wild carrot, wild parsnip, and burdock.

[Illustration: FIG. 58. A SPUD]

[Illustration: FIG. 59. HOUND'S TONGUE]

A third group of weeds consists of those that live for more than two
years. These weeds are usually most difficult to kill. They propagate by
means of running rootstocks as well as by seeds. Plants that live more
than two seasons are known as _perennials_ and include, for example,
many grasses, dock, Canada thistle, poison ivy, passion flower, horse
nettle, etc. There are many methods of destroying perennial weeds. They
may be dug entirely out and removed. Sometimes in small areas they may
be killed by crude sulphuric acid or may be starved by covering them
with boards or a straw stack or in some other convenient way. A method
that is very effective is to smother the weeds by a dense growth of
some other plant, for example, cowpeas or buckwheat. Cowpeas are to be
preferred, since they also enrich the soil by the nitrogen that the
root-tubercles gather.

[Illustration: FIG. 60. CANADA THISTLE]

Weeds do injury in numerous ways; they shade the crop, steal its
nourishment, and waste its moisture. Perhaps their only service is to
make lazy people till their crops.


     You should learn to know by name the twenty worst weeds of your
     vicinity and to recognize their seeds. If there are any weeds you
     are not able to recognize, send a sample of each to your state
     experiment station. Make a collection, properly labeled, of weeds
     and weed seeds for your school.


Seeds produce plants. The difference between a large and a small yield
may depend upon the kind of plants we raise, and the kind of plant in
turn is dependent upon the seeds that we sow.

Two things are important in the selection of seeds--purity and vitality.
Seeds should be _pure_; that is, when sown they should produce no other
plant than the one that we wish to raise. They should be able to grow.
The ability of a seed to grow is termed its _vitality_. Good seed should
be nearly or quite pure and should possess high vitality. The vitality
of seeds is expressed as a per cent; for example, if 97 seeds out of 100
germinate, or sprout, the vitality is said to be 97. The older the seed
the less is its vitality, except in a few rare instances in which seeds
cannot germinate under two or three years.

Cucumber seeds may show 90 per cent vitality when they are one year old,
75 per cent when two years old, and 70 per cent when three years
old--the per cent of vitality diminishing with increase of years. The
average length of life of the seeds of cultivated plants is short: for
example, the tomato lives four years; corn, two years; the onion, two
years; the radish, five years. The cucumber seed may retain life after
ten years; but the seeds of this plant too lose their vitality with an
increase in years.

It is important when buying seeds to test them for purity and vitality.
Dealers who are not honest often sell old seeds, although they know that
seeds decrease in value with age. Sometimes, however, to cloak
dishonesty they mix some new seeds with the old, or bleach old and
yellow seeds in order to make them resemble fresh ones.

It is important, therefore, that all seeds bought of dealers should be
thoroughly examined and tested; for if they do not grow, we not only pay
for that which is useless but we are also in great danger of producing
so few plants in our fields that we shall not get full use of the land,
and thus we may suffer a more serious loss than merely paying for a few
dead seeds. It will therefore be both interesting and profitable to
learn how to test the vitality of seeds.

To test vitality plant one hundred seeds in a pot of earth or in damp
sand, or place them between moist pieces of flannel, and take care to
keep them moist and warm. Count those that germinate and thus determine
the percentage of vitality. Germinating between flannel is much quicker
than planting in earth. Care should be used to keep mice away from
germinating seeds. (See Fig. 61.)

[Illustration: FIG. 61. A SEED-GERMINATOR
Consisting of two soup plates, some sand, and a piece of cloth]

Sometimes the appearance of a package will show whether the seed has
been kept in stock a long time. It is, however, much more difficult to
find out whether the seeds are pure. You can of course easily
distinguish seeds that differ much from those you wish to plant, but
often certain weed seeds are so nearly like certain crop seeds as not to
be easily recognized by the eye. Thus the dodder or "love vine," which
so often ruins the clover crop, has seeds closely resembling clover
seeds. The chess, or cheat, has seeds so nearly like oats that only a
close observer can tell them apart. However, if you watch the seeds that
you buy, and study the appearance of crop seeds, you may become expert
in recognizing those that have no place in your planting.

One case is reported in which a seed-dealer intentionally allowed an
impurity of 30 per cent to remain in the crop seeds, and this impurity
was mainly of weed seeds. There were 450,000 of one kind and 288,000 of
another in each pound of seed. Think of planting weeds at that rate!
Sometimes three fourths of the seeds you buy are weed seeds.

In purchasing seeds the only safe plan is to buy of dealers whose
reputation can be relied upon.

It not seldom happens that seeds, like corn, are stored in open cribs or
barns before the moisture is entirely dried out of the seeds. Such seeds
are liable to be frozen during a severe winter, and of course if this
happens they will not sprout the following spring. The only way to tell
whether such seeds have been killed is to test samples of them for
vitality. Testing is easy; replanting is costly and often results in a
short crop.

[Illustration: FIG. 62. IMPURITIES IN SEEDS
Tube 1 represents one pound of redtop grass as bought; Tube 2, amount of
pure redtop grass seeds in Tube 1; Tube 3, amount of chaff and dirt in
Tube 1; Tube 4, amount of weed seeds in Tube 1; Tube 5, amount of total
waste in Tube 1; Tube 6, amount of pure germinable seeds in Tube 1]


     Examine seeds both for vitality and purity. Write for farmers'
     bulletins on both these subjects. What would be the loss to a
     farmer who planted a ten-acre clover field with seeds that were 80
     per cent bad? Can you recognize the seeds of the principal
     cultivated plants? Germinate some beet seeds. What per cent comes
     up? Can you explain? Collect for your school as many kinds of wild
     and cultivated seeds as you can.



Let each pupil grow an apple tree this year and attempt to make it the
best in his neighborhood. In your attempt suppose you try the following
plan. In the fall take the seed of an apple--a crab-apple is good--and
keep it in a cool place during the winter. The simplest way to do this
is to bury it in damp sand. In the spring plant it in a rich, loose

Great care must be taken of the young shoot as soon as it appears above
the ground. You want to make it grow as tall and as straight as possible
during this first year of its life, hence you should give it rich soil
and protect it from animals. Before the ground freezes in the fall take
up the young tree with the soil that was around it and keep it all
winter in a cool, damp place.

Now when spring comes it will not do to set out the carefully tended
tree, for an apple tree from seed will not be a tree like its parent,
but will tend to resemble a more distant ancestor. The distant ancestor
that the young apple tree is most likely to take after is the wild
apple, which is small, sour, and otherwise far inferior to the fruit we
wish to grow. It makes little difference, therefore, what kind of apple
seed we plant, since in any event we cannot be sure that the tree grown
from it will bear fruit worth having unless we force it to do so.

[Illustration: FIG. 63. A YOUNG FRUIT-GROWER]


By a process known as _grafting_ you can force your tree to produce
whatever variety of apple you desire. Many people raise fruit trees
directly from seed without grafting. Thus they often produce really
worthless trees. By grafting they would make sure not only of having
good trees rather than poor ones but also of having the particular kind
of fruit that they wish. Hence you must now graft your tree.

First you must decide what variety of apple you want to grow on the
tree. The Magnum Bonum is a great favorite as a fall apple. The Winesap
is a good winter apple, while the Red Astrachan is a profitable early
apple, especially in the lowland of the coast region. The Northern Spy,
Æsop, and Spitzenburg are also admirable kinds. Possibly some other
apple that you know may suit your taste and needs better than any of
these varieties.

If you have decided to raise an Æsop or a Magnum Bonum or a Winesap, you
must now cut a twig from the tree of your choice and graft it upon the
little tree that you have raised. Choose a twig that is about the
thickness of the young tree at the point where you wish to graft. Be
careful to take the shoot from a vigorous, healthy part of the tree.

[Illustration: FIG. 64. TONGUE GRAFTING]

There are many ways in which you may join the chosen shoot or twig upon
the young tree, but perhaps the best one for you to use is known as
_tongue grafting_. This is illustrated in Fig. 64. The upper part, _b_,
which is the shoot or twig that you cut from the tree, is known as the
_scion_; the lower part, _a_, which is the original tree, is called the

Cut the scion and stock as shown in Fig. 64. Join the cut end of the
scion to the cut end of the stock. When you join them, notice that under
the bark of each there is a thin layer of soft, juicy tissue. This is
called the _cambium_. To make a successful graft the cambium in the
scion must exactly join the cambium in the stock. Be careful, then, to
see that cambium meets cambium. You now see why grafting can be more
successfully done if you select a scion and stock of nearly the same

[Illustration: FIG. 65. A COMPLETED GRAFT
Showing scion and stock from which it was made]

After fitting the parts closely together, bind them with cotton yarn
(see Fig. 65) that has been coated with grafting wax. This wax is made
of equal parts of tallow, beeswax, and linseed oil. Smear the wax
thoroughly over the whole joint, and make sure that the joint is
completely air-tight.

[Illustration: FIG. 66.
To make a root graft, cut along the slanting line]

The best time to make this graft is when scion and stock are dormant,
that is, when they are not in leaf. During the winter, say in February,
is the best time to graft the tree. Set the grafted tree away again in
damp sand until spring, then plant it in loose, rich soil.

Since all parts growing above the graft will be of the same kind as the
scion, while all branches below it will be like the stock, it is well to
graft low on the stock or even upon the root itself. The slanting double
line in Fig. 66 shows the proper place to cut off for such grafting.

[Illustration: FIG. 67. A COMPLETED ROOT GRAFT]

If you like you may sometime make the interesting and valuable
experiment of grafting scions from various kinds of apple trees on the
branches of one stock. In this way you can secure a tree bearing a
number of kinds of fruit. You may thus raise the Bonum, Red Astrachan,
Winesap, and as many other varieties of apples as you wish, upon one
tree. For this experiment, however, you will find it better to resort to
_cleft grafting_, which is illustrated in Fig. 68.

[Illustration: FIG. 68. CLEFT GRAFTING]

Luther Burbank, the originator of the Burbank potato, in attempting to
find a variety of apple suited to the climate of California, grafted
more than five hundred kinds of apple scions on one tree, so that he
might watch them side by side and find out which kind was best suited to
that state.


If, instead of an apple tree, you were raising a plum or a peach tree, a
form of propagation known as _budding_ would be better than grafting.
Occasionally budding is also employed for apples, pears, cherries,
oranges, and lemons. Budding is done in the following manner. A single
bud is cut from the scion and is then inserted under the bark of a
one-year-old peach seedling, so that the cambium of the bud and stock
may grow together.

[Illustration: FIG. 69. HOW TO CUT A BUD FROM A SCION]

[Illustration: FIG. 70. THE STEPS IN BUDDING]

Cut scions of the kind of fruit tree you desire from a one-year-old twig
of the same variety. Wrap them in a clean, moist cloth until you are
ready to use them. Just before using cut the bud from the scion, as
shown in Fig. 69. This bud is now ready to be inserted on the north side
of the stock, just two or three inches above the ground. The north side
is selected to avoid the sun. Now, as shown at _a_ in Fig. 70, make a
cross and an up-and-down incision, or cut, on the stock; pull the bark
back carefully, as shown in _B_; insert the bud _C_, as shown in _D_;
then fold the bark back and wrap with yarn or raffia, as shown in _E_.
As soon as the bud and branches have united, remove the wrapping to
prevent its cutting the bark and cut the tree back close to the bud, as
in Fig. 71, so as to force nourishment into the inserted bud.

[Illustration: FIG. 71.
Sloping line shows where to cut tree]

Budding is done in the field without disturbing the tree as it stands in
the ground. The best time to do budding is during the summer or fall
months, when the bark is loose enough to allow the buds to be easily

Trees may be budded or grafted on one another only when they are nearly
related. Thus the apple, crab-apple, hawthorn, and quince are all
related closely enough to graft or bud on one another; the pear grows on
some hawthorns, but not well on an apple; some chestnuts will unite with
some kinds of oaks.

[Illustration: FIG. 72.
Lines show where to trim]

By using any of these methods you can succeed in getting with certainty
the kind of tree that you desire.



The apple tree that you grafted should be set out in the spring. Dig a
hole three or four feet in diameter where you wish the tree to grow.
Place the tree in the hole and be very careful to preserve all the fine
roots. Spread the roots out fully, water them, and pack fine, rich soil
firmly about them. Place stakes about the young tree to protect it from
injury. If the spot selected is in a windy location, incline the tree
slightly toward the prevailing wind.

[Illustration: FIG. 73.
Present shape comes from pruning]

[Illustration: FIG. 74.
Correct shape]

You must prune the tree as it grows. The object of pruning is to give
the tree proper shape and to promote fruit-bearing. If the bud at the
end of the main shoot grows, you will have a tall, cone-shaped tree. If,
however, the end of the young tree be cut or "headed back" to the lines
shown in Fig. 72, the buds below this point will be forced to grow and
make a tree like that shown in Fig. 73. The proper height of heading for
different fruits varies. For the apple tree a height of two or three
feet is best.

Cutting an end bud of a shoot or branch always sends the nourishment and
growth into the side buds. Trimming or pinching off the side buds throws
the growth into the end bud. You can therefore cause your tree to take
almost any shape you desire. The difference between the trees shown in
Figs. 73 and 74 is entirely the result of pruning. Fig. 74 illustrates
in general a correctly shaped tree. It is evenly balanced, admits light
freely, and yet has enough foliage to prevent sun-scald. Figs. 75 and 76
show the effect of wisely thinning the branches.

[Illustration: FIG. 75.

[Illustration: FIG. 76.
Properly thinned]

The best time to prune is either in the winter or before the buds start
in the spring. Winter pruning tends to favor wood-production, while
summer pruning lessens wood-production and induces fruitage.

Each particular kind of fruit requires special pruning; for example, the
peach should be made to assume the shape illustrated in Fig. 77. This is
done by successive trimmings, following the plan illustrated in Figs.
71, 78, 79. You will gain several advantages from these trimmings.
First, nourishment will be forced into the peach bud that you set on
your stock. This will secure a vigorous growth of the scion. By a second
trimming take off the "heel" (Fig. 78, _h_) close to the tree, and thus
prevent decay at this point. One year after budding you should reduce
the tree to a "whip," as in Fig. 79, by trimming at the dotted line in
Fig. 78. This establishes the "head" of the tree, which in the case of
the peach should be very low,--about sixteen inches from the ground,--in
order that a low foliage may lessen the danger of sun-scald to the main


[Illustration: FIG. 78. TWO-YEAR-OLD TREE
Cut off heel, _h_]

In pruning never leave a stump such as is shown in Fig. 78, _h_. Such a
stump, having no source of nourishment, will heal very slowly and with
great danger of decay. If this heel is cleanly cut on the line _ch_
(Fig. 78), the wound will heal rapidly and with little danger of decay.
Leaving such a stump endangers the soundness of the whole tree. Fig. 80
shows the results of good and poor pruning on a large tree. When large
limbs are removed it is best to paint the cut surface. The paint will
ward off fungous disease and thus keep the tree from rotting where it
was cut.

Pruning that leaves large limbs branching, as in Fig. 74, _a_, is not to
be recommended, since the limbs when loaded with fruit or when beaten by
heavy winds are liable to break. Decay is apt to set in at the point of
breakage. The entrance of decay-fungi through some such wound or through
a tiny crevice at such a crotch is the beginning of the end of many a
fruitful tree.


Sometimes a tree will go too much to wood and too little to fruit. This
often happens in rich soil and may be remedied by another kind of
pruning known as _root-pruning_. This consists in cutting off a few of
the roots in order to limit the food supply of the plant. You ought to
learn more about root-pruning, however, before you attempt it.

[Illustration: FIG. 80.
Refuses to Heal--Heals promptly]

How is a peach tree made? First, the blossom appears. Then pollination
and fertilization occur. The fruit ripens. The pit, or seed, is saved.
In the spring of the next year the seed is planted. The young tree,
known as the stock, comes up quickly. In August of that year a bud of
the variety which is wanted is inserted in the little stock, near the
ground. One year later, in the spring, the stock is cut off just above
the bud. The bud throws out a shoot, which grows to a height of about
six feet, and in the fall this little peach tree is sold as a
one-year-old tree. However, as is seen, the root is two years old.

[Illustration: FIG. 81. READY TO BEAR]

How is an apple tree made? The seeds are saved in the fall of one year
and planted the following year. The seedlings of the apple do not grow
so rapidly as those of the peach. At the end of the year they are taken
up and sorted, and in the following spring they are planted. In July or
August they are budded. In the spring of the next year the stock is cut
off above the bud, and the bud-shoot grows three or four feet. One year
later the shoot branches and the top begins to form; and in the fall of
the following year the tree may be sold as a two-year-old, although most
persons prefer to buy it a year later as a three-year-old. In some parts
of the country, particularly in the West, the little seedling is grafted
in the second winter, in a grafting room, and the young grafts are set
in the nursery row in the spring to complete their growth.

The planting in the orchard of the young peach and the young apple tree
is done in practically the same way. After the hole for the tree has
been dug and after proper soil has been provided, the roots should be
spread and the soil carefully packed around them.


     Do you know any trees in your neighborhood that bear both wild and
     budded or grafted fruit? What are the chief varieties of apples
     grown in your neighborhood? grapes? currants? plums? cherries?
     figs? What is a good apple tree worth? Is there any land near by
     that could support a tree and is not now doing so? Examine several
     orchards and see whether the trees have the proper shape. Do you
     see any evidence of poor pruning? Do you find any heels? Can you
     see any place where heels have resulted in rotten or hollow trees?
     How could you have prevented this? Has the removal of branches ever
     resulted in serious decay? How is this to be prevented?

     If your home is not well stocked with all the principal kinds of
     fruit, do you not want to propagate and attend to some of each
     kind? You will be surprised to find how quickly trees will bear and
     how soon you will be eating fruit from your own planting. Growing
     your own trees will make you feel proud of your skill.




The word _horticulture_ is one of those broad words under which much is
grouped. It includes the cultivation of orchard fruits, such as apples
and plums; of small fruits, such as strawberries and raspberries; of
garden vegetables for the table; of flowers of all sorts, including
shrubbery and ornamental trees and their arrangement into beautiful
landscape effects around our homes. Horticulture then is a name for an
art that is both far-reaching and important.

The word _gardening_ is generally given to that part of horticulture
which has for its chief aim the raising of vegetables for our tables.

Flower-gardening, or the cultivation of plants valued for their bloom in
making ornamental beds and borders and furnishing flowers for the
decoration of the home, is generally called _floriculture_.
Landscape-gardening is the art of so arranging flower-beds, grass,
shrubbery, and trees as to produce pleasing effects in the grounds
surrounding our homes and in great public parks and pleasure grounds.

Landscape-gardening, like architecture, has developed intoll as the
artist makes them on canvas, but uses natural objects in his pictures
instead of paint and canvas.

=Market-Gardening.= Formerly market-gardening was done on small tracts
of land in the immediate vicinity of large cities, where supplies of
stable manure could be used from the city stables. But with the great
increase in the population of the cities, these small areas could no
longer supply the demand, and the introduction of commercial fertilizers
and the building of railroads enabled gardeners at great distances from
city markets to grow and ship their products. Hence the markets, even in
winter, are now supplied with fresh vegetables from regions where there
is no frost. Then, as spring opens, fruits and vegetables are shipped
from more temperate regions. Later vegetables and fruits come from the
sections nearer the great cities. This gradual nearing of the supply
fields continues until the gardens near the cities can furnish what is


The market-gardeners around the great Northern cities, finding that
winter products were coming from the South and from warmer regions,
began to build hothouses and by means of steam and hot-water pipes to
make warm climates in these glass houses. Many acres of land in the
colder sections of the country are covered with heated glass houses, and
in them during the winter are produced fine crops of tomatoes, lettuce,
radishes, cauliflowers, eggplants, and other vegetables. The degree of
perfection which these attain in spite of having such artificial
culture, and their freshness as compared to the products brought from a
great distance, have made winter gardening under glass a very profitable
business. But it is a business that calls for the highest skill and the
closest attention.


No garden, even for home use, is complete without some glass sashes, and
the garden will be all the more successful if there is a small heated
greenhouse for starting plants that are afterwards to be set in the

=Hotbeds.= If there is no greenhouse, a hotbed is an important help in
the garden. The bed is made by digging a pit two feet deep, seven feet
wide, and as long as necessary.

The material for the hotbed is fresh horse manure mixed with leaves.
This is thrown into a heap to heat. As soon as steam is seen coming from
the heap the manure is turned over and piled again so that the outer
part is thrown inside. When the whole is uniformly heated and has been
turned two or three times, it is packed firmly into the pit already dug.

A frame six feet wide, twelve inches high on the north side and eight
inches on the south side and as long as the bed is to be, is now made of
plank. This is set upon the heated manure, thus leaving six inches on
each side outside the frame. More manure is then banked all around it,
and three or four inches of fine light and rich soil are placed inside
the frame.

[Illustration: FIG. 84. THE GLADIOLUS]

The frame is then covered with hotbed sashes six feet long and three
feet wide. These slide up and down on strips of wood let into the sides
of the frame. A thermometer is stuck into the soil and closely watched,
for there will be too much heat at first for sowing seed. When the heat
in the early morning is about 85°, seeds may be sowed. The hotbed is
used for starting tomato plants, eggplants, cabbage plants, and other
vegetables that cannot stand exposure. It should be made about eight or
ten weeks before the tender plants can be set out in the locality. In
the South and Southwest it should be started earlier than in the North.
For growing the best tomato plants, and for such hardy plants as lettuce
and cabbage, it will be better to have cold-frames in addition to the
hotbed; these need not be more than two or three sashes.

=Cold-Frames.= A cold-frame is like the frame used for a hotbed, but it
is placed on well-manured soil in a sheltered spot. It is covered with
the same kind of sashes and is used for hardening the plants sowed in
the hotbed. The frame must be well banked with earth on the outside, and
the glass must be covered on cold nights with straw, mats, or old
carpets to keep out frost.


=Care of Hotbed and Cold-Frame.= If the sun be allowed to shine brightly
on the glass of a cold-frame or hotbed, it will soon raise the
temperature in the hotbed to a point that will destroy the plants. It is
necessary, then, to pay close attention to the bed and, when the sun
shines, to slip the sashes down or raise them and place a block under
the upper end to allow the steam to pass off. The cold-frame also must
be aired when the sun shines, and the sashes must be gradually slipped
down in mild weather. Finally, they may be removed entirely on sunshiny
days, so as to accustom the plants to the open air, but they must be
replaced at night. For a while before setting the plants in the open
gardens, leave the sashes off night and day.


While the hotbed may be used for starting plants, it is much better and
more convenient to have a little greenhouse with fire heat for this
purpose. A little house with but four sashes on each side will be enough
to start a great many plants, and will also give room for some flowers
in pots. With such a house a student can learn to manage a more
extensive structure if he gives close attention to airing, watering, and
keeping out insects.

=Sowing.= The time for sowing the different kinds of seeds is an
important matter. Seeds vary greatly in their requirements. All need
three conditions--a proper degree of heat, moisture, and air. Some
seeds, like English peas, parsnips, beets, and radishes, will germinate
and grow when the soil is still cool in the early spring, and peas will
stand quite a frost after they are up. Therefore we plant English peas
as early as the ground can be worked.

But if we should plant seeds like corn, string (or snap) beans,
squashes, and other tender plants before the ground is warm enough, they
would decay.

Seeds cannot germinate in soil that is perfectly dry, for there must be
moisture to swell them and to start growth. The oxygen of the air is
also necessary, and if seeds are buried so deeply that the air cannot
reach them, they will not grow, even if they are warm and moist.


The depth of planting must vary with the character and size of the seed.
English peas may be covered six inches deep and will be all the better
for such covering, but if corn be covered so deep, it hardly gets above
the ground. In planting small seeds like those of the radish, cabbage,
turnip, lettuce, etc., a good rule is to cover them three times the
thickness of the seed.

In sowing seeds when the ground is rather dry, it is a good plan, after
covering them, to tramp on the row so as to press the soil closely to
the seeds and to help it to retain moisture for germination, but do not
pack the soil if it is damp.

In spring never dig or plow the garden while it is still wet, but always
wait until the soil is dry enough to crumble freely.

=What Crops to grow.= The crops to be raised will of course depend upon
each gardener's climate, surroundings, and markets. Sometimes it may pay
a grower, if his soil and climate are particularly suited to one crop,
to expend most of his time and energy on this crop; for example, in some
sections of New York, on potatoes; in parts of Michigan, on celery; in
Georgia, on watermelons; in western North Carolina, on cabbage. If
circumstances allow this sort of gardening, it has many advantages, for
of course it is much easier to acquire skill in growing one crop than in
growing many.

[Illustration: FIG. 88. A LARGE YIELD OF CABBAGES]

On the other hand, it often happens that a gardener's situation requires
him to grow most of the crops known to gardening. Each gardener then
must be guided in his selection of crops by his surroundings.

=Care of Crops.= The gardener who wishes to attain the greatest success
in his art must do four things:

First, he must make his land rich and keep it rich. Much of his success
depends on getting his crops on the market ahead of other growers. To do
this, his crops must grow rapidly, and crops grow rapidly only in rich
soil. Then, too, land conveniently situated for market-gardening is
nearly always costly. Hence the successful market-gardener must plan to
secure the largest possible yield from as small an area as is
practicable. The largest yield can of course be secured from the richest

Second, the gardener must cultivate his rich land most carefully and
economically. He crowds his land with products that must grow apace.
Therefore he, least of all growers, can afford to have any of his soil
go to feed weeds, to have his land wash, or to have his growing crops
suffer for lack of timely and wise cultivation. To cultivate his land
economically the gardener must use the best tools and machines and the
best methods of soil management.

Third, to get the best results he must grow perfect vegetables. To do
this, he must add to good tillage a knowledge of the common plant
diseases and of the ways of insects and bacterial pests; he must know
how and when to spray, how and when to treat his seed, how and when to
poison, how and when to trap his insect foes and to destroy their

Fourth, not only must the gardener grow perfect vegetables, but he must
put them on the market in perfect condition and in attractive shape. Who
cares to buy wilted, bruised, spoiling vegetables? Gathering, bundling,
crating, and shipping are all to be watched carefully. Baskets should be
neat and attractive, crates clean and snug, barrels well packed and well
headed. Careful attention to all these details brings a rich return.

Among the gardener's important crops are the following:

=Asparagus.= This is a hardy plant. Its seed may be sowed either early
in the spring or late in the fall. The seeds should be planted in rows.
If the plants are well cultivated during the spring and summer, they
will make vigorous roots for transplanting in the autumn.

In the fall prepare a piece of land by breaking it unusually deep and by
manuring it heavily. After the land is thoroughly prepared, make in it
furrows for the asparagus roots. These furrows should be six inches deep
and three feet apart. Then remove the roots from the rows in which they
have been growing during the summer, and set them two feet apart in the
prepared furrows. Cover carefully at once.

[Illustration: FIG. 89. A CRATE OF ASPARAGUS]

In the following spring the young shoots must be well cultivated. In
order to economize space, beets or lettuce may be grown between the
asparagus rows during this first season. With the coming of cold weather
the asparagus must again be freely manured and all dead tops cut off.
Some plants will be ready for market the second spring. If the bed is
kept free from weeds and well manured, it will increase in
productiveness from year to year.

=Beans.= The most generally planted beans are those known as string, or
snap, beans. Of the many varieties, all are sensitive to cold and hence
must not be planted until frost is over.

Another widely grown kind of bean is the lima, or butter, bean. There
are two varieties of the lima bean. One is large and generally grows on
poles. This kind does best in the Northern states. The other is a small
bean and may be grown without poles. This kind is best suited to the
warmer climates of the Southern states.

=Cabbage.= In comparatively warm climates the first crop of cabbage is
generally grown in the following way. The seeds are sowed in beds in
September, and the plants grown from this sowing are in November
transplanted to ground laid off in sharp ridges. The young plants are
set on the south side of the ridges in order that they may be somewhat
protected from the cold of winter. As spring comes on, the ridge is
partly cut down at each working until the field is leveled, and
thereafter the cultivation should be level.


Early cabbages need heavy applications of manure. In the spring, nitrate
of soda applied in the rows is very helpful.

Seeds for the crop following this early crop should be sowed in March.
Of course these seeds should be of a later variety than the first used.
The young plants should be transplanted as soon as they are large
enough. Early cabbages are set in rows three feet apart, the plants
eighteen inches apart in the row. As the later varieties grow larger
than the earlier ones, the plants should be set two feet apart in the

In growing late fall and winter cabbage the time of sowing varies with
the climate. For the Northern and middle states, seeding should be done
during the last of March and in April. South of a line passing west from
Virginia it is hard to carry cabbages through the heat of summer and get
them to head in the fall. However, if the seeds are sowed about the
first of August in rich and moist soil and the plants set in the same
sort of soil in September, large heads can be secured for the December


=Celery.= In the extreme northern part of our country, celery seeds are
often sowed in a greenhouse or hotbed. This is done in order to secure
plants early enough for summer blanching. This plan, however, suits only
very cool climates.

In the middle states the seeds are usually sowed in a well-prepared bed
about April. The young plants are moved to other beds as soon as they
need room. Generally they are transplanted in July to rows prepared for
them. These should be four feet apart, and the plants should be set six
inches apart in the row. The celery bed should be carefully cultivated
during the summer. In the fall, hill the stalks up enough to keep them
erect. After the growing season is over dig them and set them in
trenches. The trenches should be as deep as the celery is tall, and
after the celery is put in them they should be covered with boards and

In the more southern states, celery is usually grown in beds. The beds
are generally made six feet wide, and rows a foot apart are run
crosswise. The plants are set six inches apart, in September, and the
whole bed is earthed up as the season advances. Finally, when winter
comes the beds are covered with leaves or straw to prevent the plants
from freezing. The celery is dug and bunched for market at any time
during the winter.

By means of cold-frames a profitable crop of spring celery may be
raised. Have the plants ready to go into the cold-frames late in October
or early in November. The soil in the frame should be made very deep.
The plants should make only a moderately rapid growth during the winter.
In the early spring they will grow rapidly and so crowd one another as
to blanch well. As celery grown in this way comes on the market at a
time when no other celery can be had, it commands a good price.

In climates as warm as that of Florida, beds of celery can be raised in
this way without the protection of cold-frames. A slight freeze does not
hurt celery, but a long-continued freezing spell will destroy it.

Some kinds of celery seem to turn white naturally. These are called
self-blanching kinds. Other kinds need to be banked with earth in order
to make the stalks whiten. This kind usually gives the best and crispest

=Cucumbers and Cantaloupes.= Although cucumbers and cantaloupes are very
different plants, they are grown in precisely the same way. Some
gardeners plant them in hills. However, this is perhaps not the best
plan. It is better to lay the land off in furrows six feet apart. After
filling these with well-rotted stable manure, throw soil over them. Then
make the top flat and plant the seeds. After the plants are up thin them
out, leaving them a foot or more apart in the rows. Cultivate regularly
and carefully until the vines cover the entire ground.

It is a good plan to sow cowpeas at the last working of cantaloupes, in
order to furnish some shade for the melons. As both cucumbers and
cantaloupes are easily hurt by cold, they should not be planted until
the soil is warm and all danger of frost is past.

Cucumbers are always cut while they are green. They should never be
pulled from the vine, but should always be cut with a piece of the stem
attached. Cantaloupes should be gathered before they turn yellow and
should be ripened in the house.

All magnified]

In some sections of the country the little striped cucumber-beetle
attacks the melons and cucumbers as soon as they come up. These beetles
are very active, and if their attacks are not prevented they will
destroy the tender plants. Bone dust and tobacco dust applied just as
the plants appear above the ground will prevent these attacks. This
treatment not only keeps off the beetle, but also helps the growth of
the plants.

=Eggplants.= Eggplants are so tender that they cannot be transplanted
like tomatoes to cold-frames and gradually hardened to stand the cold
spring air. These plants, started in a warm place, must be kept there
until the soil to which they are to be transplanted is well warmed by
the advance of spring. After the warm weather has fully set in,
transplant them to rich soil, setting them three feet apart each way.
This plant needs much manure. If large, perfect fruit is expected, the
ground can hardly be made too rich.

Eggplants are subject to the same bacterial blight that is so
destructive to tomatoes. The only way to prevent this disease is to
plant in ground not lately used for tomatoes or potatoes.

[Illustration: FIG. 93. AN ONION HARVEST]

=Onions.= The method of growing onions varies with the use to which it
is intended to put them. To make the early sorts, which are eaten green
in the spring, little onions called _sets_ are planted. These are grown
from seeds sowed late in the spring. The seeds are sowed thickly in rows
in rather poor land. The object of selecting poor land is that the
growth of the sets may be slow. When the sets have reached the size of
small marbles, they are ready for the fall planting.

In the South the sets may be planted in September. Plant them in rows in
rich and well-fertilized soil. They will be ready for market in March
or April. In the more northerly states the sets are to be planted as
early as possible in the spring.

To grow ripe onions the seeds must be sowed as early in the spring as
the ground can be worked. The plants are thinned to a stand of three
inches in the rows. As they grow, the soil is drawn away from them so
that the onions sit on top of the soil with only their roots in the


As soon as the tops ripen pull the onions and let them lie in the sun
until the tops are dry. Then put them under shelter. As onions keep best
with their tops attached, do not remove these until it is time for

=Peas.= The English pea is about the first vegetable of the season to be
planted. It may be planted as soon as the ground is in workable
condition. Peas are planted in rows, and it is a good plan to stretch
wire netting for them to climb on. However, where peas are extensively
cultivated they are allowed to fall on the ground.

There are many sorts of peas, differing both in quality and in time of
production. The first to be planted are the extra-early varieties. These
are not so fine as the later, wrinkled sorts, but the seeds are less apt
to rot in cold ground. Following these, some of the fine, wrinkled sorts
are to be planted in regular succession. Peas do not need much manure
and do best in a light, warm soil.

=Tomatoes.= There is no vegetable grown that is more widely used than
the tomato. Whether fresh or canned it is a staple article of food that
can be served in many ways.

By careful selection and breeding, the fruit of the tomato has in recent
years been much improved. There are now many varieties that produce
perfectly smooth and solid fruit, and the grower can hardly go amiss in
his selection of seeds if he bears his climate and his particular needs
in mind.

Early tomatoes are started in the greenhouse or in the hotbed about ten
weeks before the time for setting the plants in the open ground. They
are transplanted to cold-frames as soon as they are large enough to
handle. This is done to harden the plants and to give them room to grow
strong before the final transplanting.

In kitchen gardens tomatoes are planted in rows four feet apart with the
plants two feet apart in the rows. They are generally trained to stakes
with but one stalk to a stake. When there is plenty of space, however,
the plants are allowed to grow at will and to tumble on the ground. In
this way they bear large crops. During the winter the markets are
supplied with tomatoes either from tropical sections or from hothouses.
As those grown in the hothouses are superior in flavor to those shipped
from Florida and from the West Indies, and as they command good prices,
great quantities are grown in this way.

In the South the bacterial blight which attacks the plants of this
family is a serious drawback to tomato culture. The only way to escape
this disease is to avoid planting tomatoes on land in which eggplants,
tomatoes, or potatoes have been blighted. Lime spread around the plants
seems to prevent the blight for one season on some soils.

At the approach of frost in the fall, green tomatoes can easily be
preserved by wrapping them in paper. Gather them carefully and wrap each
separately. Pack them in boxes and store in a cellar that is close
enough to prevent the freezing of the fruit. A few days before the
tomatoes are wanted for the table unpack as many as are needed, remove
the paper, and allow them to ripen in a warm room.

Tomatoes require a rich soil. Scattering a small quantity of nitrate of
soda around their roots promotes rapid growth.

=Watermelons.= As watermelons need more room than can usually be spared
in a garden, they are commonly grown as a field crop.

A very light, sandy soil suits watermelons best. They can be grown on
very poor soil if a good supply of compost be placed in each hill. The
land for the melons should be laid off in about ten-foot checks; that
is, the furrows should cross one another at right angles about every ten
feet. A wide hole should be dug where the furrows cross, and into this
composted manure should be put.

The best manure for watermelons is a compost of stable manure and
wood-mold from the forest. Pile the manure and wood-mold in alternate
layers for some time before the planting season. During the winter cut
through the pile several times until the two are thoroughly mixed and
finely pulverized. Be sure to keep the compost heap under shelter.
Compost will lose in value if it is exposed to rains.

At planting-time, put two or three shovelfuls of this compost into each
of the prepared holes, and over the top of the manure scatter a handful
of any high-grade complete fertilizer. Then cover fertilizer and manure
with soil, and plant the seeds in this soil. In cultivating, plow both
ways of the checked rows and throw the earth toward the plants.

Some growers pinch off the vines when they have grown about three feet
long. This is done to make them branch more freely, but the pinching is
not necessary.

A serious disease, the watermelon wilt, is rapidly spreading through
melon-growing sections. This disease is caused by germs in the soil, and
the germs are hard to kill. If the wilt should appear in your
neighborhood, do not allow any stable manure to be used on your melon
land, for the germs are easily scattered by means of stable manure. The
germs also cling to the seeds of diseased melons, and these seeds bear
the disease to other fields. If you treat melon seeds as you are
directed on page 135 to treat oat seeds, the germs on the seeds will be
destroyed. By crossing the watermelon on the citron melon, a watermelon
that is resistant to wilt has recently been developed and successfully
grown in soils in which wilt is present. The new melon, inferior in
flavor at first, is being improved from season to season and bids fair
to rival other melons in flavor.

[Illustration: FIG. 95. DEWBERRIES]


The comforts and joys of life depend largely upon small things. Of these
small things perhaps none holds a position of greater importance in
country life than the adornment of the home, indoors and outdoors, with
flowers tastefully arranged. Their selection and planting furnish
pleasant recreation; their care is a pleasing employment; and each
little plant, as it sprouts and grows and develops, may become as much a
pet as creatures of the sister animal kingdom. A beautiful, well-kept
yard adds greatly to the pleasure and attractiveness of a country home.
If a beautiful yard and home give joy to the mere passer-by, how much
more must their beauty appeal to the owners. The decorating of the home
shows ambition, pride, and energy--important elements in a successful


Plant trees and shrubs in your yard and border your masses of shrubbery
with flower-beds. Do not disfigure a lawn by placing a bed of flowers in
it. Use the flowers rather to decorate the shrubbery, and for borders
along walks, and in the corners near steps, or against foundations.

If you wish to raise flowers for the sake of flowers, not as
decorations, make the flower-beds in the back yard or at the side of the


Plants may be grown from seeds or from bulbs or from cuttings. The
rooting of cuttings is an interesting task to all who are fond of
flowers. Those who have no greenhouse and who wish to root cuttings of
geraniums, roses, and other plants may do so in the following way. Take
a shallow pan, an old-fashioned milk pan for instance, fill it nearly
full of clean sand, and then wet the sand thoroughly. Stick the cuttings
thickly into this wet sand, set the pan in a warm, sunny window, and
keep the sand in the same water-soaked condition. Most cuttings will
root well in a few weeks and may then be set into small flower-pots.
Cuttings of tea roses should have two or three joints and be taken from
a stem that has just made a flower. Allow one of the rose leaves to
remain at the top of the cutting. Stick this cutting into the sand and
it will root in about four weeks. Cuttings of Cape jasmine may be rooted
in the same way. Some geraniums, the rose geranium for example, may be
grown from cuttings of the roots.

[Illustration: FIG. 98. REPOTTING]

Bulbs are simply the lower ends of the leaves of a plant wrapped tightly
around one another and inclosing the bud that makes the future
flower-stalk. The hyacinth, the narcissus, and the common garden onion
are examples of bulbous plants. The flat part at the bottom of the bulb
is the stem of the plant reduced to a flat disk, and between each two
adjacent leaves on this flat stem there is a bud, just as above-ground
there is a bud at the base of a leaf. These buds on the stem of the bulb
rarely grow, however, unless forced to do so artificially. The number
of bulbs may be greatly increased by making these buds grow and form
other bulbs. In increasing hyacinths the matured bulbs are dug in the
spring, and the under part of the flat stem is carefully scraped away to
expose the base of the buds. The bulbs are then put in heaps and covered
with sand. In a few weeks each bud has formed a little bulb. The
gardener plants the whole together to grow one season, after which the
little bulbs are separated and grown into full-sized bulbs for sale.
Other bulbs, like the narcissus or the daffodil, form new bulbs that
separate without being scraped.

[Illustration: FIG. 99. A CLEMATIS]

There are some other plants which have underground parts that are
commonly called bulbs but which are not bulbs at all; for example, the
gladiolus and the caladium, or elephant's ear. Their underground parts
are bulblike in shape, but are really solid flattened stems with eyes
like the underground stem of the Irish potato. These parts are called
_corms_. They may be cut into pieces like the potato and each part will

The dahlia makes a mass of roots that look greatly like sweet potatoes,
but there are no eyes on them as there are on the sweet potato. The only
eyes are on the base of the stem to which they are joined. They may be
sprouted like sweet potatoes and then soft cuttings made of the green
shoots, after which they may be rooted in the greenhouse and later
planted in pots.

There are many perennial plants that will bloom the first season when
grown from the seed, though such seedlings are seldom so good as the
plants from which they came. They are generally used to originate new
varieties. Seeds of the dahlia, for instance, can be sowed in a box in a
warm room in early March, potted as soon as the plants are large enough
to handle, and finally planted in the garden when the weather is warm.
They will bloom nearly as soon as plants grown by dividing the roots or
from cuttings.


In growing annual plants from seed, there is little difficulty if the
grower has a greenhouse or a hotbed with a glass sash. Even without
these the plants may be grown in shallow boxes in a warm room. The best
boxes are about four inches deep with bottoms made of slats nailed a
quarter of an inch apart to give proper drainage. Some moss is laid over
the bottom to prevent the soil from sifting through. The boxes should
then be filled with light, rich soil. Fine black forest mold, thoroughly
mixed with one fourth its bulk of well-rotted manure, makes the best
soil for filling the seed-boxes. If this soil be placed in an oven and
heated very hot, the heat will destroy many weeds that would otherwise
give trouble. After the soil is put in the boxes it should be well
packed by pressing it with a flat wooden block. Sow the seeds in
straight rows, and at the ends of the rows put little wooden labels with
the names of the flowers on them.

[Illustration: FIG. 101. THE CARNATION (ELDORADO)]

Seeds sowed in the same box should be of the same general size in order
that they may be properly covered, for seeds need to be covered
according to their size. After sowing the seed, sift the fine soil over
the surface of the box. The best soil for covering small seeds is made
by rubbing dry moss and leaf-mold through a sieve together. This makes a
light cover that will not bake and will retain moisture. After covering
the seeds, press the soil firm and smooth with a wooden block. Now
sprinkle the covering soil lightly with a watering-pot until it is
fairly moistened. Lay some panes of glass over the box to retain the
moisture, and avoid further watering until moisture becomes absolutely
necessary. Too much watering makes the soil too compact and rots the

As soon as the seedlings have made a second pair of leaves, take them up
with the point of a knife and transplant them into other boxes filled in
the same way. They should be set two inches apart so as to give them
room to grow strong. They may be transplanted from the boxes to the
flower-garden by taking an old knife-blade and cutting the earth into
squares, and then lifting the entire square with the plant and setting
it where it is wanted.

There are many flower-seeds which are so small that they must not be
covered at all. In this class we find begonias, petunias, and Chinese
primroses. To sow these prepare boxes as for the other seeds, and press
the earth smooth. Then scatter some fine, dry moss thinly over the
surface of the soil. Sprinkle this with water until it is well
moistened, and at once scatter the seeds thinly over the surface and
cover the boxes with panes of glass until the seeds germinate.
Transplant as soon as the young plants can be lifted out separately on
the blade of a penknife.

[Illustration: FIG. 102. THE POET'S NARCISSUS]

Many kinds of flower-seeds may be sowed directly in the open ground
where they are to remain. The sweet pea is one of the most popular
flowers grown in this way. The seeds should be sowed rather thickly in
rows and covered fully four inches deep. The sowing should be varied in
time according to the climate. From North Carolina southward, sweet peas
may be sowed in the fall or in January, as they are very hardy and
should be forced to bloom before the weather becomes hot. Late spring
sowing will not give fine flowers in the South. From North Carolina
northward the seeds should be sowed just as early in the spring as the
ground can be easily worked. When the plants appear, stakes should be
set along the rows and a strip of woven-wire fence stretched for the
plants to climb on. Morning-glory seeds are also sowed where they are to
grow. The seeds of the moonflower are large and hard and will fail to
grow unless they are slightly cut. To start their growth make a slight
cut just through the hard outer coat of the seed so as to expose the
white inside. In this way they will grow very readily. The seeds of the
canna, or Indian-shot plant, are treated in a similar way to start them

[Illustration: FIG. 103. A CYCLAMEN]

[Illustration: FIG. 104. A MODERN SWEET PEA]

The canna makes large fleshy roots which in the North are taken up,
covered with damp moss, and stored under the benches of the greenhouse
or in a cellar. If allowed to get too dry, they will wither. From
central North Carolina south it is best to cover them up thickly with
dead leaves and let them stay in the ground where they grew. In the
early spring take them up and divide for replanting.

[Illustration: FIG. 105. DAHLIAS]

Perennial plants, such as our flowering shrubs, are grown from cuttings
of the ripe wood after the leaves have fallen in autumn. From North
Carolina southward these cuttings should be set in rows in the fall.
Cuttings ten inches long are set so that the tops are just even with the
ground. A light cover of pine leaves will prevent damage from frost.
Farther north the cuttings should be tied in bundles and well buried in
the ground with earth heaped over them. In the spring set them in rows
for rooting. In the South all the hardy hybrid perpetual roses can be
grown in this way, and in any section the cuttings of most of the
spring-flowering shrubs will grow in the same manner. The Japanese
quince, which makes such a show of its scarlet flowers in early spring,
can be best grown from three-inch cuttings made of the roots and planted
in rows in the fall.


Many of our ornamental evergreen trees, such as the arbor vitæ, can be
grown in the spring from seeds sowed in a frame. Cotton cloth should be
stretched over the trees while they are young, to prevent the sun from
scorching them. When a year old they may be set in nursery rows to
develop until they are large enough to plant. Arbor vitæ may also be
grown from cuttings made by setting young tips in boxes of sand in the
fall and keeping them warm and moist through the winter. Most of them
will be rooted by spring.

The kinds of flowers that you can grow are almost countless. You can
hardly make a mistake in selecting, as all are interesting. Start this
year with a few and gradually increase the number under your care year
by year, and aim always to make your plants the choicest of their kind.

Of annuals there are over four hundred kinds cultivated. You may select
from the following list: phlox, petunias, China asters, California
poppies, sweet peas, pinks, double and single sunflowers, hibiscus,
candytuft, balsams, morning-glories, stocks, nasturtiums, verbenas,

[Illustration: FIG. 107. A WINDOW BOX]

Of perennials select bleeding-hearts, pinks, bluebells, hollyhocks,
perennial phlox, perennial hibiscus, wild asters, and goldenrods. From
bulbs choose crocus, tulip, daffodil, narcissus, lily of the valley, and

Some climbers are cobæa, honeysuckle, Virginia creeper, English ivy,
Boston ivy, cypress vine, hyacinth bean, climbing nasturtiums, and

To make your plants do best, cultivate them carefully. Allow no weeds to
grow among them and do not let the surface of the soil dry into a hard
crust. Beware, however, of stirring the soil too deep. Loosening the
soil about the roots interrupts the feeding of the plant and does harm.
Climbing plants may be trained to advantage on low woven-wire fences.
These are especially serviceable for sweet peas and climbing
nasturtiums. Do not let the plants go to seed, since seeding is a heavy
drain on nourishment. Moreover, the plant has served its end when it
seeds and is ready then to stop blossoming. You should therefore pick
off the old flowers to prevent their developing seeds. This will cause
many plants which would otherwise soon stop blossoming to continue
bearing flowers for a longer period.

[Illustration: FIG. 108. A WINDOW-GARDEN]

=Window-Gardening.= Growing plants indoors in the window possesses many
of the attractions of outdoor flower-gardening, and is a means of
beautifying the room at very small expense. Especially do window-gardens
give delight during the barren winter time. They are a source of culture
and pleasure to thousands who cannot afford extended and expensive

The window-garden may vary in size from an eggshell holding a minute
plant to boxes filling all the available space about the window. The
soil may be in pots for individual plants or groups of plants or in
boxes for collections of plants. You may raise your flowers inside of
the window on shelves or stands, or you may have a set of shelves built
outside of the window and inclosed in glazed sashes. The illustration on
page 119 gives an idea of such an external window-garden.


The soil must be rich and loose. The best contains some undecayed
organic matter such as leaf-mold or partly decayed sods and some sand.
Raise your plants from bulbs, cuttings, or seed, just as in outdoor
gardens. Some plants do better in cool rooms, others in a warmer


If the temperature ranges from 35° to 70°, averaging about 55°, azaleas,
daisies, carnations, candytuft, alyssum, dusty miller, chrysanthemums,
cinerarias, camellias, daphnes, geraniums, petunias, violets, primroses,
and verbenas make especially good growths.


If the temperature is from 50° to 90°, averaging 70°, try abutilon,
begonia, bouvardia, caladium, canna, Cape jasmine, coleus, fuchsia,
gloxinia, heliotrope, lantana, lobelia, roses, and smilax.

If your box or window is shaded a good part of the time, raise begonias,
camellias, ferns, and Asparagus Sprengeri.


When the soil is dry, water it; then apply no more water until it again
becomes dry. Beware of too much water. The plants should be washed
occasionally with soapsuds and then rinsed. If red spiders are present,
sponge them off with water as hot as can be borne comfortably by the
hand. Newspapers afford a good means of keeping off the cold.




Plants have diseases just as animals do; not the same diseases, to be
sure, but just as serious for the plant. Some of them are so dangerous
that they kill the plant; others partly or wholly destroy its usefulness
or its beauty. Some diseases are found oftenest on very young plants,
others prey on the middle-aged tree, while still others attack merely
the fruit. Whenever a farmer or fruit-grower has disease on his plants,
he is sure to lose much profit.

You have all seen rotten fruit. This is diseased fruit. Fruit rot is a
plant disease. It costs farmers millions of dollars annually. A
fruit-grower recently lost sixty carloads of peaches in a single year
through rot which could have been largely prevented if he had known how.

Many of the yellowish or discolored spots on leaves are the result of
disease, as is also the smut of wheat, corn, and oats, the blight of the
pear, and the wilt of cotton. Many of these diseases are contagious, or,
as we often hear said of measles, "catching." This is true, among
others, of the apple and peach rots. A healthy apple can catch this
disease from a sick apple. You often see evidence of this in the apple
bin. So, too, many of the diseases found in the field or garden are

Sometimes when the skin of a rotten apple has been broken you will find
in the broken place a blue mold. It was this that caused the apple to
decay. This mold is a living plant; very small, certainly, but
nevertheless a plant. Let us learn a little about molds, in order that
we may better understand our apple and potato rots, as well as other
plant diseases.

If you cut a lemon and let it stand for a day or two, there will
probably appear a blue mold like that you have seen on the surface of
canned fruit. Bread also sometimes has this blue mold; at other times
bread has a black mold, and yet again a pink or a yellow mold.

These and all other molds are tiny living plants. Instead of seeds they
produce many very small bodies that serve the purpose of seeds and
reproduce the mold. These are called _spores_. Fig. 112 shows how they
are borne on the parent plant.

The single stalk on the left shows how spores are borne]

It is also of great importance to decide whether by keeping the spores
away we may prevent mold. Possibly this experiment will help us. Moisten
a piece of bread, then dip a match or a pin into the blue mold on a
lemon, and draw the match across the moist bread. You will thus plant
the spores in a row, though they are so small that perhaps you may not
see any of them. Place the bread in a damp place for a few days and
watch it. Does the mold grow where you planted it? Does it grow
elsewhere? This experiment should prove to you that molds are living
things and can be planted. If you find spots elsewhere, you must bear in
mind that these spores are very small and light and that some of them
were probably blown about when you made your sowing. When you touch the
moldy portion of a dry lemon, you see a cloud of dust rise. This dust is
made of millions of spores.

[Illustration: FIG. 113. MAGNIFIED ROSE MILDEW]

If you plant many other kinds of mold you will find that the molds come
true to the kind that is planted; that like produces like even among

[Illustration: FIG. 114. A MILDEWED ROSE]

You can prove, also, that the mold is caused only by other mold. To do
this, put some wet bread in a wide-mouthed bottle and plug the mouth of
the bottle with cotton. Kill all the spores that may be in this bottle
by steaming it an hour in a cooking-steamer. This bread will not mold
until you allow live mold from the outside to enter. If, however, at any
time you open the bottle and allow spores to enter, or if you plant
spores therein, and if there be moisture enough, mold will immediately
set in.

Showing how spores are borne]

The little plants which make up these molds are called _fungi_. Some
fungi, such as the toadstools, puffballs, and devil's snuff-box, are
quite large; others, namely the molds, are very small; and others are
even smaller than the molds. Fungi never have the green color of
ordinary plants, always reproduce by spores, and feed on living matter
or matter that was once alive. Puffballs, for example, are found on
rotting wood or dead twigs or roots. Some fungi grow on living plants,
and these produce plant disease by taking their nourishment from the
plant on which they grow; the latter plant is called the _host_.

The same blue mold that grows on bread often attacks apples that have
been slightly bruised; it cannot pierce healthy apple skin. You can
plant the mold in the bruised apple just as you did on bread and watch
its rapid spread through the apple. You learn from this the need of
preventing bruised or decayed apples from coming in contact with healthy

[Illustration: FIG. 116. SPORES OF THE PEAR SCAB
The spores are borne on stalks]

Just as the fungus studied above lives in the apple or bread, so other
varieties live on leaves, bark, etc. Fig. 113 represents the surface of
a mildewed rose leaf greatly magnified. This mildew is a fungus. You can
see its creeping stems, its upright stalk, and numerous spores ready to
fall off and spread the disease with the first breath of wind. You must
remember that this figure is greatly magnified, and that the whole
portion shown in the figure is only about one tenth of an inch across.
Fig. 114 shows the general appearance of a twig affected by this

Mildew on the rose or on any other plant may be killed by spraying the
leaves with a solution of liver of sulphur; to make this solution, use
one ounce of the liver of sulphur to two gallons of water.

The fungus that causes the pear-leaf spots has its spores in little pits
(Fig. 115). The spores of some fungi also grow on stalks, as shown in
Fig. 116. This figure represents an enlarged view of the pear scab,
which causes so much destruction.

You see, then, that fungi are living plants that grow at the expense of
other plants and cause disease. Now if you can cover the leaf with a
poison that will kill the spore when it comes, you can prevent the
disease. One such poison is the Bordeaux (_bôr-do_') mixture, which
has proved of great value to farmers.

Since the fungus in most cases lives within the leaves, the poison on
the outside does no good after the fungus is established. The treatment
can be used only to _prevent_ attack, not to cure, except in the case of
a few mildews that live on the outside of the leaf, as does the rose


     Why do things mold more readily in damp places? Do you now
     understand why fruit is heated before it is canned? Try to grow
     several kinds of mold. Do you know any fungi which may be eaten?

     Transfer disease from a rotten apple to a healthy one and note the
     rapidity of decay. How many really healthy leaves can you find on a
     strawberry plant? Do you find any spots with reddish borders and
     white centers? Do you know that this is a serious disease of the
     strawberry? What damage does fruit mold do to peaches, plums, or

     Write to your experiment station for bulletins on plant diseases
     and methods for making and using spraying mixtures.


Can you imagine a plant so small that it would take one hundred plants
lying side by side to equal the thickness of a sheet of writing-paper?
There are plants that are so small. Moreover, these same plants are of
the utmost importance to man. Some of them do him great injury, while
others aid him very much.

You will see their importance when you are told that certain of them in
their habits of life cause great change in the substances in which they
live. For example, when living in a sugary substance they change the
sugar into a gas and an alcohol. Do you remember the bright bubbles of
gas you have seen rising in sweet cider or in wine as it soured? These
bubbles are caused by one of these small plants--the yeast plant. As the
yeast plant grows in the sweet fruit juice, alcohol is made and a gas is
given off at the same time, and this gas makes the bubbles.

[Illustration: FIG. 117. YEAST PLANTS
_A_, a single plant; _B_, group of two budding cells; _C_, group of
several cells]

Later, other kinds of plants equally small will grow and change the
alcohol into an acid which you will recognize as vinegar by its sour
taste and peculiar odor. Thus vinegar is made by the action of two
different kinds of little living plants in the cider. That these are
living beings you can prove by heating the cider and keeping it tightly
sealed so that nothing can enter it. You will find that because the
living germs have been killed by the heat, the cider will not ferment or
sour as it did before. The germs could of course be killed by poisons,
but then the cider would be unfit for use. It is this same little yeast
plant that causes bread to rise.

When you see any decaying matter you may know that in it minute plants
much like the yeast plant are at work. Since decay is due to them, we
take advantage of the fact that they cannot grow in strong brine or
smoke; and we prepare meat for keeping by salting it or by smoking it or
by both of these methods.

You see that some of the yeast plants and _bacteria_, as many of these
forms are called, are very friendly to us, while others do us great

Some bacteria grow within the bodies of men and other animals or in
plants. When they do so they may produce disease. Typhoid fever,
diphtheria, consumption, and many other serious diseases are caused by
bacteria. Fig. 118, _e_, shows the bacterium that causes typhoid fever.
In the picture, of course, it is very greatly magnified. In reality
these bacteria are so small that about twenty-five thousand of them side
by side would extend only one inch. These small beings produce their
great effects by very rapid multiplication and by giving off powerful

[Illustration: FIG. 118. FORMS OF BACTERIA
_a_, grippe; _b_, bubonic plague; _c_, diphtheria; _d_, tuberculosis;
_e_, typhoid fever]

Bacteria are so small that they are readily borne on the dust particles
of the air and are often taken into the body through the breath and also
through water or milk. You can therefore see how careful you should be
to prevent germs from getting into the air or into water or milk when
there is disease about your home. You should heed carefully all
instructions of your physician on this point, so that you may not spread


In the last two sections you have learned something of the nature of
those fungi and bacteria that cause disease in animals and plants. Now
let us see how we can use this knowledge to lessen the diseases of our
crops. Farmers lose through plant diseases much that could be saved by
proper precaution.

First, you must remember that every diseased fruit, twig, or leaf bears
millions of spores. These must be destroyed by burning. They must not be
allowed to lie about and spread the disease in the spring. See that
decayed fruit in the bin or on the trees is destroyed in the same
manner. Never throw decayed fruit into the garden or orchard, as it may
cause disease the following year.

Second, you can often kill spores on seeds before they are planted and
thus prevent the development of the fungus (see pp. 134-137).

Third, often the foliage of the plant can be sprayed with a poison that
will prevent the germination of the spores (see pp. 138-140).

Fourth, some varieties of plants resist disease much more stoutly than
others. We may often select the resistant form to great advantage (see
Fig. 119).

Fifth, after big limbs are pruned off, decay often sets in at the wound.
This decay may be prevented by coating the cut surface with paint, tar,
or some other substance that will not allow spores to enter the wound or
to germinate there.

Sixth, it frequently happens that the spore or fungus remains in the
soil. This is true in the cotton wilt, and the remedy is so to rotate
crops that the diseased land is not used again for this crop until the
spores or fungi have died.


=Fire-Blight of the Pear and Apple.= You have perhaps heard your father
speak of the "fire-blight" of pear and apple trees. This is one of the
most injurious and most widely known of fruit diseases. Do you want to
know the cause of this disease and how to prevent it?

First, how will you recognize this disease? If the diseased bough at
which you are looking has true fire-blight, you will see a blackened
twig with withered, blackened leaves. During winter the leaves do not
fall from blighted twigs as they do from healthy ones. The leaves wither
because of the diseased twig, not because they are themselves diseased.
Only rarely does the blight really enter the leaf. Sometimes a sharp
line separates the blighted from the healthy part of the twig.

This disease is caused by bacteria, of which you have read in another
section. The fire-blight bacteria grow in the juicy part of the stem,
between the wood and the bark. This tender, fresh layer (as explained on
page 79) is called the _cambium_, and is the part that breaks away and
allows you to slip the bark off when you make your bark whistle in the
spring. The growth of new wood takes place in the cambium, and this part
of the twig is therefore full of nourishment. If this nourishment is
stolen the plant of course soon suffers.

The bacteria causing fire-blight are readily carried from flower to
flower and from twig to twig by insects; therefore to keep these and
other bacteria away from your trees you must see to it that all the
trees in the neighborhood of your orchard are kept free from mischievous
enemies. If harmful bacteria exist in near-by trees, insects will carry
them to your orchard. You must therefore watch all the relatives of the
pear; namely, the apple, hawthorn, crab, quince, and mountain ash, for
any of these trees may harbor the germs.

All the other plants in this field died. This one row lived because it
could resist the cotton wilt]

When any tree shows blight, every diseased twig on it must be cut off
and burned in order to kill the germs, and you must cut low enough on
the twig to get all the bacteria. It is best to cut a foot below the
blackened portion. If by chance your knife should cut into wood
containing the living germs, and then you should cut into healthy wood
with the same knife, you yourself would spread the disease. It is
therefore best after each cutting to dip your knife into a solution of
carbolic acid. This will kill all bacteria clinging to the knife-blade.
The surest time to do complete trimming is after the leaves fall in the
autumn, as diseased twigs are most easily recognized at that time, but
the orchard should be carefully watched in the spring also. If a large
limb shows the blight, it is perhaps best to cut the tree entirely down.
There is little hope for such a tree.

A large pear-grower once said that no man with a sharp knife need fear
the fire-blight. Yet our country loses greatly by this disease each

[Illustration: FIG. 120. FIRE-BLIGHT BACTERIA

It may be added that winter pruning tends to make the tree form much new
wood and thus favors the disease. Rich soil and fertilizers make it much
easier in a similar way for the tree to become a prey to blight.


     Ask your teacher to show you a case of fire-blight on a pear or
     apple tree. Can you distinguish between healthy and diseased wood?
     Cut the twig open lengthwise and see how deep into the wood and how
     far down the stem the disease extends. Can you tell surely from the
     outside how far the twig is diseased? Can you find any twig that
     does not show a distinct line of separation between diseased and
     healthy wood? If so, the bacteria are still living in the cambium.
     Cut out a small bit of the diseased portion and insert it under the
     bark of a healthy, juicy twig within a few inches of its tip and
     watch it from day to day. Does the tree catch the disease? This
     experiment may prove to you how easily the disease spreads. If you
     should see any drops like dew hanging from diseased twigs, touch a
     little of this moisture to a healthy flower and watch for results.

     Cut and burn all diseased twigs that you can find. Estimate the
     damage done by fire-blight.

     Farmers' bulletins on orchard enemies are published by the
     Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C., and can be had by
     writing for them. They will help your father much in treating

=Oat Smuts.= Let us go out into a near-by oat field and look for all the
blackened heads of grain that we can find. How many are there? To count
accurately let us select an area one foot square. We must look
carefully, for many of these blackened heads are so low that we shall
not see them at the first glance. You will be surprised to find as many
as thirty or forty heads in every hundred so blackened. These blackened
heads are due to a plant disease called _smut_.

[Illustration: FIG. 121. LOOSE SMUT OF OATS
The glumes at _a_ more nearly destroyed than the glumes at _b_]

When threshing-time comes you will notice a great quantity of black dust
coming from the grain as it passes through the machine. The air is full
of it. This black dust consists of the spores of a tiny fungous plant.
The fungous smut plant grows upon the oat plant, ripens its spores in
the head, and is ready to be thoroughly scattered among the grains of
the oats as they come from the threshing-machine.

These spores cling to the grain and at the next planting are ready to
attack the sprouting plantlet. A curious thing about the smut is that it
can gain a foothold only on very young oat plants; that is, on plants
about an inch long or of the age shown in Fig. 121.

When grain covered with smut spores is planted, the spores develop with
the sprouting seeds and are ready to attack the young plant as it breaks
through the seed-coat. You see, then, how important it is to have seed
grain free from smut. A substance has been found that will, without
injuring the seeds, kill all the smut spores clinging to the grain. This
substance is called _formalin_. Enough seed to plant a whole acre can be
treated with formalin at a cost of only a few cents. Such treatment
insures a full crop and clean seed for future planting. Try it if you
have any smut.


Fig. 122 illustrates what may be gained by using seeds treated to
prevent smut. The annual loss to the farmers of the United States from
smut on oats amounts to several millions of dollars. All that is needed
to prevent this loss is a little care in the treatment of seed and a
proper rotation of crops.


     Count the smutted heads on a patch three feet square and estimate
     the percentage of smut in all the wheat and oat fields near your
     home. On which is it most abundant? Do you know of any fields that
     have been treated for smut? If so, look for smut in these fields.
     Ask how they were treated. Do you know of any one who uses
     bluestone for wheat smut? Can oats be treated with bluestone?

     At planting time get an ounce of formalin at your drug store or
     from the state experiment station. Mix this with three gallons of
     water. This amount will treat three bushels of seeds. Spread the
     seeds thinly on the barn floor and sprinkle them with the mixture,
     being careful that all the seeds are thoroughly moistened. Cover
     closely with blankets for a few hours and plant very soon after
     treatment. Try this and estimate the per cent of smut at next
     harvest-time. Write to your experiment station for a bulletin on
     smut treatment.

[Illustration: FIG. 123. A SCABBY SEED POTATO]

[Illustration: FIG. 124. A HEALTHY SEED POTATO]

=Potato Scab.= The scab of the white, or Irish, potato is one of the
commonest and at the same time most easily prevented of plant diseases.
Yet this disease diminishes the profits of the potato-grower very
materially. Fig. 123 shows a very scabby potato, while Fig. 124
represents a healthy one. This scab is caused by a fungous growth on the
surface of the potato. Of course it lessens the selling-price of the
potatoes. If seed potatoes be treated to a bath of formalin just before
they are planted, the formalin will kill the fungi on the potatoes and
greatly diminish the amount of scab at the next harvest. Therefore
before they are planted, seed potatoes should be soaked in a weak
solution of formalin for about two hours. One-half pint of formalin to
fifteen gallons of water makes a proper solution.

[Illustration: FIG. 125
From a scabby potato, like the one in Fig. 123, this yield was obtained]

[Illustration: FIG. 126
From a healthy potato, like the one in Fig. 124, this yield was obtained]

[Illustration: FIG. 127. EFFECT OF SPRAYING
Sprayed potatoes on left; unsprayed on right]

One pint of formalin, or enough for thirty gallons of water, will cost
but thirty-five cents. Since this solution can be used repeatedly, it
will do for many bushels of seed potatoes.

=Late Potato Blight.= The blight is another serious disease of the
potato. This is quite a different disease from the scab and so requires
different treatment. The blight is caused by another fungus, which
attacks the foliage of the potato plant. When the blight seriously
attacks a crop, it generally destroys the crop completely. In the year
1845 a potato famine extending over all the United States and Europe was
caused by this disease.

The one at the top was sprayed; the one at the bottom was unsprayed]

Spraying is the remedy for potato blight. Fig. 128 shows the effect of
spraying upon the yield. In this case the sprayed field yielded three
hundred and twenty-four bushels an acre, while the unsprayed yielded
only one hundred bushels to an acre. Fig. 127 shows the result of three
applications of the spraying mixture on the diseased field. Figs. 129
and 130 show how the spraying is done.

[Illustration: FIG. 129. SPRAYING MACHINE]

[Illustration: FIG. 130. SPRAYING MACHINE]


     Watch the potatoes at the next harvest and estimate the number that
     is damaged by scab. You will remember that formalin is the
     substance used to prevent grain smuts. Write to your state
     experiment station for a bulletin telling how to use formalin, as
     well as for information regarding other potato diseases. Give the
     treatment a fair trial in a portion of your field this year and
     watch carefully for results. Make an estimate of the cost of
     treatment and of the profits. How does the scab injure the value of
     the potato? The late blight can often be recognized by its odor.
     Did you ever smell it as you passed an affected field?

[Illustration: FIG. 131. CLUB ROOT]

=Club Root.= Club root is a disease of the cabbage, turnip, cauliflower,
etc. Its general effect is shown in the illustration (Fig. 131).
Sometimes this disease does great damage. It can be prevented by using
from eighty to ninety bushels of lime to an acre.

=Black Knot.= Black knot is a serious disease of the plum and of the
cherry tree. It attacks the branches of the tree; it is well
illustrated in Fig. 132. Since it is a contagious disease, great care
should be exercised to destroy all diseased branches of either wild or
cultivated plums or cherries. In many states its destruction is enforced
by law. All black knot should be cut out and burned some time before
February of each year. This will cost little and save much.

[Illustration: FIG. 132. BLACK KNOT]

=Peach Leaf Curl.= Peach leaf curl does damage amounting to about
$3,000,000 yearly in the United States. It can be almost entirely
prevented by spraying the tree with Bordeaux mixture or lime-sulphur
wash before the buds open in the spring. It is not safe to use strong
Bordeaux mixture on peach trees when they are in leaf.

[Illustration: FIG. 133. MOLDY PEACHES]

=Cotton Wilt.= Cotton wilt when it once establishes itself in the soil
completely destroys the crop. The fungus remains in the soil, and no
amount of spraying will kill it. The only known remedy is to cultivate a
resistant variety of cotton or to rotate the crop.

[Illustration: FIG. 134. PEACH MUMMIES]

=Fruit Mold.= Fruit mold, or brown rot, often attacks the unripe fruit
on the tree, and turns it soft and brown and finally fuzzy with a coat
of mildew. Fig. 133 shows some peaches thus attacked. Often the fruits
do not fall from the trees but shrivel up and become "mummies" (Fig.
134). This rot is one of the most serious diseases of plums and peaches.
It probably diminishes the value of the peach harvest from 50 to 75 per
cent. Spraying according to the directions in the Appendix will kill the

Note the difference in foliage and fruit on the sprayed and unsprayed
halves of the tree, and the difference in yield shown below]




The farmer who has fought "bugs" on crop after crop needs no argument to
convince him that insects are serious enemies to agriculture. Yet even
he may be surprised to learn that the damage done by them, as estimated
by good authority, amounts to millions and millions of dollars yearly in
the United States and Canada.

[Illustration: FIG. 136. ANTS]

Every one thinks he knows what an insect is. If, however, we are willing
in this matter to make our notion agree with that of the people who have
studied insects most and know them best, we must include among the true
insects only such air-breathing animals as have six legs, no more, and
have the body divided into three parts--head, thorax, and abdomen. These
parts are clearly shown in Fig. 136, which represents the ant, a true
insect. All insects do not show the divisions of the body so clearly as
this figure shows them, but on careful examination you can usually make
them out. The head bears one pair of feelers, and these in many insects
serve also as organs of smell and sometimes of hearing. Less prominent
feelers are to be found in the region of the mouth. These serve as
organs of taste.

[Illustration: FIG. 137. PARTS OF AN INSECT]

[Illustration: FIG. 138. COMPOUND EYE OF DRAGON FLY]

The eyes of insects are especially noticeable. Close examination shows
them to be made up of a thousand or more simple eyes. Such an eye is
called a _compound eye_. An enlarged view of one of these is shown in
Fig. 138.

Attached to the thorax are the legs and also the wings, if the insect
has wings. The rear portion is the abdomen, and this, like the other
parts, is composed of parts known as segments. The insect breathes
through openings in the abdomen and thorax called _spiracles_ (see Fig.

An examination of spiders, mites, and ticks shows eight legs; therefore
these do not belong to the true insects, nor do the thousand-legged
worms and their relatives.

[Illustration: FIG. 139. THE HOUSE FLY
_a_, egg; _b_, larva, or maggot; _c_, pupa; _d_, adult male. (All

The chief classes of insects are as follows: the flies, with two wings
only; the bees, wasps, and ants, with four delicate wings; the beetles,
with four wings--two hard, horny ones covering the two more delicate
ones. When the beetle is at rest its two hard wings meet in a straight
line down the back. This peculiarity distinguishes it from the true bug,
which has four wings. The two outer wings are partly horny, and in
folding lap over each other. Butterflies and moths are much alike in
appearance but differ in habit. The butterfly works by day and the moth
by night. Note the knob on the end of the butterfly's feeler (Fig. 143).
The moth has no such knob.

It is important to know how insects take their food, for by knowing this
we are often able to destroy insect pests. Some are provided with mouth
parts for chewing their food; others have a long tube with which they
pierce plants or animals and, like the mosquito, suck their food from
the inside. Insects of this latter class cannot of course be harmed by
poison on the surface of the leaves on which they feed.

[Illustration: FIG. 140. A TYPICAL BUG
_a_, adult; _b_, side view of sucking mouth-part Both _a_ and _b_ are
much enlarged]

[Illustration: Fig. 141. BEETLE
_a_, larva; _b_, pupa; _c_, adult; _d_, burrow]

Many insects change their form from youth to old age so much that you
can scarcely recognize them as the same creatures. First comes the egg.
The egg hatches into a worm-like animal known as a grub, maggot, or
caterpillar, or, as scientists call it, a _larva_. This creature feeds
and grows until finally it settles down and spins a home of silk, called
a _cocoon_ (Fig. 145). If we open the cocoon we shall find that the
animal is now covered with a hard outside skeleton, that it cannot move
freely, and that it cannot eat at all. The animal in this state is known
as the _pupa_ (Figs. 145 and 146). Sometimes, however, the pupa is not
covered by a cocoon, sometimes it is soft, and sometimes it has some
power of motion (Fig. 141). After a rest in the pupa stage the animal
comes out a mature insect (Figs. 142 and 143).

From this you can see that it is especially important to know all you
can about the life of injurious insects, since it is often easier to
kill these pests at one stage of their life than at another. Often it is
better to aim at destroying the seemingly harmless beetle or butterfly
than to try to destroy the larvæ that hatch from its eggs, although, as
you must remember, it is generally the larvæ that do the most harm.
Larvæ grow very rapidly; therefore the food supply must be great to meet
the needs of the insect.

[Illustration: FIG. 142. MOTH AND COCOON]

Some insects, the grasshopper for example, do not completely change
their form. Fig. 147 represents some young grasshoppers, which very
closely resemble their parents.

[Illustration: FIG. 143. BUTTERFLY]


[Illustration: FIG. 145. MOTH PUPA IN COCOON]

Insects lay many eggs and reproduce with remarkable rapidity. Their
number therefore makes them a foe to be much dreaded. The queen honeybee
often lays as many as 4000 eggs in twenty-four hours. A single house fly
lays between 100 and 150 eggs in one day. The mosquito lays eggs in
quantities of from 200 to 400. The white ant often lays 80,000 in a day,
and so continues for two years, probably laying no less than 40,000,000
eggs. In one summer the bluebottle fly could have 500,000,000
descendants if they all lived. The plant louse, at the end of the fifth
brood, has laid in a single year enough eggs to produce 300,000,000
young. Of course every one knows that, owing to enemies and diseases
(for the insects have enemies which prey on them just as they prey on
plants) comparatively few of the insects hatched from these eggs live
till they are grown.

[Illustration: FIG. 146. A BUTTERFLY PUPA
Note outline of the butterfly]

The number of insects which are hurtful to crops, gardens, flowers, and
forests seems to be increasing each season. Therefore farm boys and
girls should learn to recognize these harmful insects and to know how
they live and how they may be destroyed. Those who know the forms and
habits of these enemies of plants and trees are far better prepared to
fight them than are those who strike in the dark. Moreover such
knowledge is always a source of interest and pleasure. If you begin to
study insects, you will soon find your love for the study growing.



     Collect cocoons and pupæ of insects and hatch them in a
     breeding-cage similar to the one illustrated in Fig. 149. Make
     several cages of this kind. Collect larvæ of several kinds; supply
     them with food from plants upon which you found them. Find out the
     time it takes them to change into another stage. Write a
     description of this process.

     The plant louse could produce in its twelfth brood
     10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 offspring. Each louse is about one
     tenth of an inch long. If all should live and be arranged in single
     file, how many miles long would such a procession be?

[Illustration: FIG. 148. PLANT LICE]

Flower-pot, lamp-chimney, and cloth]


=The San Jose Scale.= The San Jose scale is one of the most dreaded
enemies of fruit trees. It is in fact an outlaw in many states. It is an
unlawful act to sell fruit trees affected by it. Fig. 150 shows a view
of a branch nearly covered with this pest. Although this scale is a very
minute animal, yet so rapidly does it multiply that it is very
dangerous to the tree. Never allow new trees to be brought into your
orchard until you feel certain that they are free from the San Jose
scale. If, however, it should in any way gain access to your orchard,
you can prevent its spreading by thorough spraying with what is known as
the lime-sulphur mixture. This mixture has long been used on the Pacific
coast as a remedy for various scale insects. When it was first tried in
other parts of the United States the results were not satisfactory and
its use was abandoned. However, later experiments with it have proved
that the mixture is thoroughly effective in killing this scale and that
it is perfectly harmless to the trees. Until the lime-sulphur mixture
proved to be successful the San Jose scale was a most dreaded nursery
and orchard foe. It was even thought necessary to destroy infected
trees. The lime-sulphur mixture and some other sulphur washes not only
kill the San Jose scale but are also useful in reducing fungous injury.

[Illustration: FIG. 150 SAN JOSE SCALE]

[Illustration: FIG. 151. SINGLE SAN JOSE SCALE

There are several ways of making the lime-sulphur mixture. It is
generally best to buy a prepared mixture from some trustworthy dealer.
If you find the scale on your trees, write to your state experiment
station for directions for combating it.

[Illustration: FIG. 152. THE CODLING MOTH
_a_, burrow of worm in apple; _b_, place where worm enters; _c_, place
where worm leaves; _e_, the larva; _d_, the pupa; _i_, the cocoon; _f_
and _g_, moths; _h_, magnified head of larva]

=The Codling Moth.= The codling moth attacks the apple and often causes
a loss of from twenty-five to seventy-five per cent of the crop. In the
state of New York this insect is causing an annual loss of about three
million dollars. The effect it has on the fruit is most clearly seen in
Fig. 152. The moth lays its egg upon the young leaves just after the
falling of the blossom. She flies on from apple to apple, depositing an
egg each time until from fifty to seventy-five eggs are deposited. The
larva, or "worm," soon hatches and eats its way into the apple. Many
affected apples ripen too soon and drop as "windfalls." Others remain on
the tree and become the common wormy apples so familiar to growers. The
larva that emerges from the windfalls moves generally to a tree, crawls
up the trunk, and spins its cocoon under a ridge in the bark. From the
cocoon the moth comes ready to start a new generation. The last
generation of the larvæ spends the winter in the cocoon.

The picture in the corner at the top shows the right time to spray for
codling moth]

_Treatment._ Destroy orchard trash which may serve as a winter home.
Scrape all loose bark from the tree. Spray the tree with arsenate of
lead as soon as the flowers fall. A former method of fighting this pest
was as follows: bands of burlap four inches wide tied around the tree
furnished a hiding-place for larvæ that came from windfalls or crawled
from wormy apples on the tree. The larvæ caught under the bands were
killed every five or six days. We know now, however, that a thorough
spraying just after the blossoms fall kills the worms and renders the
bands unnecessary. Furthermore, spraying prevents wormy apples, while
banding does not. Follow the first spraying by a second two weeks later.

It is best to use lime-sulphur mixture or the Bordeaux mixture with
arsenate of lead for a spray. Thus one spraying serves against both
fungi and insects.

[Illustration: FIG. 154. PLUM CURCULIO
Larva, pupa, adult, and mark on the fruit. (Enlarged)]

=The Plum Curculio.= The plum curculio, sometimes called the plum
weevil, is a little creature about one fifth of an inch long. In spite
of its small size the curculio does, if neglected, great damage to our
fruit crop. It injures peaches, plums, and cherries by stinging the
fruit as soon as it is formed. The word "stinging" when applied to
insects--- and this case is no exception--means piercing the object
with the egg-layer (ovipositor) and depositing the egg. Some insects
occasionally use the ovipositor merely for defense. The curculio has an
especially interesting method of laying her egg. First she digs a hole,
in which she places the egg and pushes it well down. Then with her snout
she makes a crescent-shaped cut in the skin of the plum, around the egg.
This mark is shown in Fig. 154. As this peculiar cut is followed by a
flow of gum, you will always be able to recognize the work of the
curculio. Having finished with one plum, this industrious worker makes
her way to other plums until her eggs are all laid. The maggotlike larva
soon hatches, burrows through the fruit, and causes it to drop before
ripening. The larva then enters the ground to a depth of several inches.
There it becomes a pupa, and later, as a mature beetle, emerges and
winters in cracks and crevices.


_Treatment._ Burn orchard trash which may serve as winter quarters.
Spraying with arsenate of lead, using two pounds of the mixture to fifty
gallons of water, is the only successful treatment for the curculio. For
plums and peaches, spray first when the fruit is free from the calyx
caps, or dried flower-buds. Repeat the spraying two weeks later. For
late peaches spray a third time two weeks after the second spraying.
This poisonous spray will kill the beetles while they are feeding or
cutting holes in which to lay their eggs.

[Illustration: FIG. 156. THE CANKERWORM]

Fowls in the orchard do good by capturing the larvæ before they can
burrow, while hogs will destroy the fallen fruit before the larvæ can

=The Grape Phylloxera.= The grape phylloxera is a serious pest. You have
no doubt seen its galls upon the grape leaf. These galls are caused by a
small louse, the phylloxera. Each gall contains a female, which soon
fills the gall with eggs. These hatch into more females, which emerge
and form new galls, and so the phylloxera spreads (see Fig. 155).

_Treatment._ The Clinton grape is most liable to injury from this pest.
Hence it is better to grow other more resistant kinds. Sometimes the
lice attack the roots of the grape vines. In many sections where
irrigation is practiced the grape rows are flooded when the lice are
thickest. The water drowns the lice and does no harm to the vines.

=The Cankerworm.= The cankerworm is the larva of a moth. Because of its
peculiar mode of crawling, by looping its body, it is often called the
looping worm or measuring worm (Fig. 157, _c_). These worms are such
greedy eaters that in a short time they can so cut the leaves of an
orchard as to give it a scorched appearance. Such an attack practically
destroys the crop and does lasting injury to the tree. The worms are
green or brown and are striped lengthwise. If the tree is jarred, the
worm has a peculiar habit of dropping toward the ground on a silken
thread of its own making (Fig. 156).

[Illustration: FIG. 157. THE SPRING CANKERWORM
_a_, egg mass; _b_, egg, magnified; _c_, larva; _d_, female moth; _e_,
male moth]

In early summer the larvæ burrow within the earth and pupate there;
later they emerge as adults (Fig. 157, _d_ and _e_). You observe the
peculiar difference between the wingless female, _d_, and the winged
male, _e_. It is the habit of this wingless female to crawl up the trunk
of some near-by tree in order to deposit her eggs upon the twigs. These
eggs (shown at _a_ and _b_) hatch into the greedy larvæ that do so much
damage to our orchards.

Nearly all the common birds feed freely upon the cankerworm, and benefit
the orchard in so doing. The chickadee is perhaps the most useful. A
recent writer is very positive that each chickadee will devour on an
average thirty female cankerworm moths a day; and that if the average
number of eggs laid by each female is one hundred and eighty-five, one
chickadee would thus destroy in one day five thousand five hundred and
fifty eggs, and, in the twenty-five days in which the cankerworm moths
crawl up the tree, would rid the orchard of one hundred and thirty-eight
thousand seven hundred and fifty. These birds also eat immense numbers
of cankerworm eggs before they hatch into worms.


_Treatment._ The inability of the female to fly gives us an easy way to
prevent the larval offspring from getting to the foliage of our trees,
for we know that the only highway open to her or her larvæ leads up the
trunk. We must obstruct this highway so that no crawling creature may
pass. This is readily done by smoothing the bark and fitting close to it
a band of paper, and making sure that it is tight enough to prevent
anything from crawling underneath. Then smear over the paper something
so sticky that any moth or larva that attempts to pass will be
entangled. Printer's ink will do very well, or you can buy either
dendrolene or tanglefoot.

_a_, eggs; _b_, cocoon; _c_, caterpillar]

Encourage the chickadee and all other birds, except the English sparrow,
to stay in your orchard. This is easily done by feeding and protecting
them in their times of need.

=The Apple-Tree Tent Caterpillar.= The apple-tree tent caterpillar is a
larva so well known that you only need to be told how to guard against
it. The mother of this caterpillar is a reddish moth. This insect passes
the winter in the egg state securely fastened on the twigs as shown in
Fig. 159, _a_.

_Treatment._ There are three principal methods, (1) Destroy the eggs.
The egg masses are readily seen in winter and may easily be collected
and burned by boys. The chickadee eats great quantities of these eggs.
(2) With torches burn the nests at dusk when all the worms are within.
You must be very careful in burning or you will harm the young branches
with their tender bark. (3) Encourage the residence of birds. Urge your
neighbors to make war on the larvæ, too, since the pest spreads rapidly
from farm to farm. Regularly sprayed orchards are rarely troubled by
this pest.

_a_, the girdler; _b_, the egg-hole; _c_, the groove cut by girdler;
_e_, the egg]

=The Twig Girdler.= The twig girdler lays her eggs in the twigs of pear,
pecan, apple, and other trees. It is necessary that the larvæ develop in
dead wood. This the mother provides by girdling the twig so deeply that
it will die and fall to the ground.

_Treatment._ Since the larvæ spend the winter in the dead twigs, burn
these twigs in autumn or early spring and thus destroy the pest.

=The Peach-Tree Borer.= In Fig. 161 you see the effect of the peach-tree
borer's activity. These borers often girdle and thereby kill a tree.
Fig. 162 shows the adult state of the insect. The eggs are laid on peach
or plum trees near the ground. As soon as the larva emerges, it bores
into the bark and remains there for months, passing through the pupa
stage before it comes out to lay eggs for another generation.


_Treatment._ If there are only a few trees in the orchard, digging the
worms out with a knife is the best way of destroying them. You can know
of the borer's presence by the exuding gum often seen on the tree-trunk.
If you pile earth around the roots early in the spring and remove it in
the late fall, the winter freezing and thawing will kill many of the


     How many apples per hundred do you find injured by the codling
     moth? Collect some cocoons from a pear or an apple tree in winter,
     place in a breeding-cage, and watch for the moths that come out. Do
     you ever see the woodpecker hunting for these same cocoons? Can you
     find cocoons that have been emptied by this bird? Estimate how many
     he considers a day's ration. How many apples does he thus save?

     [Illustration: FIG. 162. PEACH-TREE BORERS, MALE AND FEMALE
     Female with broad yellow band across abdomen]

     Watch the curculio lay her eggs in the plums, peaches, or cherries.
     What per cent of fruit is thus injured? Estimate the damage. Let
     the school offer a prize for the greatest number of
     tent-caterpillar eggs. Watch such trees as the apple, the wild and
     the cultivated cherry, the oak, and many others.

     Make a collection of insects injurious to orchard fruits, showing
     in each case the whole life history of the insect, that is, eggs,
     larva, pupa, and the mature insects.

1, bugs on plant; 2, eggs; 3, young bug; 4 and 5, older bugs; 6,
long-winged bug; 7 and 8, short-winged bug]


=The Cabbage Worm.= The cabbage worm of the early spring garden is a
familiar object, but you may not know that the innocent-looking little
white butterflies hovering about the cabbage patch are laying eggs which
are soon to hatch and make the dreaded cabbage worms. In Fig. 164 _a_
and _b_ show the common cabbage butterfly, _c_ shows several examples of
the caterpillar, and _d_ shows the pupa case. In the pupa stage the
insects pass the winter among the remains of old plants or in near-by
fences or in weeds or bushes. Cleaning up and burning all trash will
destroy many pupæ and thus prevent many cabbage worms. In Fig. 164 _e_
and _f_ show the moth and zebra caterpillar; _g_ represents a moth which
is the parent of the small green worm shown at _h_. This worm is a
common foe of the cabbage plant.

[Illustration: FIG. 163. THE DREADED CHINCH BUG]

_Treatment._ Birds aid in the destruction of this pest. Paris green
mixed with air-slaked lime will also kill many larvæ. After the cabbage
has headed, it is very difficult to destroy the worm, but pyrethrum
insect powder used freely is helpful.

=The Chinch Bug.= The chinch bug, attacking as it does such important
crops as wheat, corn, and grasses, is a well-known pest. It probably
causes more money loss than any other garden or field enemy. In Orange
county, North Carolina, farmers were once obliged to suspend
wheat-growing for two years on account of the chinch bug. In one year in
the state of Illinois this bug caused a loss of four million dollars.


_Treatment._ Unfortunately we cannot prevent all of the damage done by
chinch bugs, but we can diminish it somewhat by good clean agriculture.
Destroy the winter homes of the insect by burning dry grass, leaves, and
rubbish in fields and fence rows. Although the insect has wings, it
seldom or never uses them, usually traveling on foot; therefore a deep
furrow around the field to be protected will hinder or stop the progress
of an invasion. The bugs fall into the bottom of the furrow, and may
there be killed by dragging a log up and down the furrow. Write to the
Division of Entomology, Washington, for bulletins on the chinch bug.
Other methods of prevention are to be found in these bulletins.

[Illustration: FIG. 165. A PLANT LOUSE COLONY]

=The Plant Louse.= The plant louse is very small, but it multiplies with
very great rapidity. During the summer the young are born alive, and it
is only toward fall that eggs are laid. The individuals that hatch from
eggs are generally wingless females, and their young, born alive, are
both winged and wingless. The winged forms fly to other plants and start
new colonies. Plant lice mature in from eight to fourteen days.

The plant louse gives off a sweetish fluid of which some ants are very
fond. You may often see the ants stroking these lice to induce them to
give off a freer flow of the "honey dew." This is really a method of
milking. However friendly and useful these "cows" may be to the ant,
they are enemies to man in destroying so many of his plants.

_Treatment._ These are sucking insects. Poisons therefore do not avail.
They may be killed by spraying with kerosene emulsion or a strong soap
solution or with tobacco water. Lice on cabbages are easily killed by a
mixture of one pound of lye soap in four gallons of warm water.

[Illustration: FIG. 166. A CHEAP SPRAYING OUTFIT]

=The Squash Bug.= The squash bug does its greatest damage to young
plants. To such its attack is often fatal. On larger plants single
leaves may die. This insect is a serious enemy to a crop and is
particularly difficult to get rid of, since it belongs to the class of
sucking insects, not to the biting insects. For this reason poisons are

[Illustration: FIG. 167. A SQUASH BUG]

_Treatment._ About the only practicable remedy is to pick these insects
by hand. We can, however, protect our young plants by small nettings and
thus tide them over the most dangerous period of their lives. These bugs
greatly prefer the squash as food. You can therefore diminish their
attack on your melons, cucumbers, etc. by planting among the melons an
occasional squash plant as a "trap plant." Hand picking will be easier
on a few trap plants than over the whole field. A small board or large
leaf laid beside the young plant often furnishes night shelter for the
bugs. The bugs collected under the board may easily be killed every

=The Flea-Beetle.= The flea-beetle inflicts much damage on the potato,
tomato, eggplant, and other garden plants. The accompanying figure shows
the common striped flea-beetle which lives on the tomato. The larva of
this beetle lives inside of the leaves, mining its way through the leaf
in a real tunnel. Any substance disagreeable to the beetle, such as
plaster, soot, ashes, or tobacco, will repel its attacks on the garden

[Illustration: FIG. 168. FLEA-BEETLE AND LARVA
_a_, larva; _b_, adult. Lines on sides show real length of insects]

=The Weevil.= The weevil is commonly found among seeds. Its attacks are
serious, but the insect may easily be destroyed.

_Treatment._ Put the infected seeds in an air-tight box or bin, placing
on the top of the pile a dish containing carbon disulphide, a
tablespoonful to a bushel of seeds. The fumes of this substance are
heavy and will pass through the mass of seeds below and kill all the
weevils and other animals there. The bin should be closely covered with
canvas or heavy cloth to prevent the fumes from being carried away by
the air. Let the seeds remain thus from two to five days. Repeat the
treatment if any weevils are found alive. Fumigate when the temperature
is 70° Fahrenheit or above. In cold weather or in a loose bin the
treatment is not successful. _Caution:_ Do not approach the bin with a
light, since the fumes of the chemical used are highly inflammable.

=The Hessian Fly.= The Hessian fly does more damage to the wheat crop
than all other insects combined, and probably ranks next to the chinch
bug as the second worst insect enemy of the farmer. It was probably
introduced into this country by the Hessian troops in the War of the

[Illustration: FIG. 169. THE HESSIAN FLY]

In autumn the insect lays its eggs in the leaves of the wheat. These
hatch into the larvæ, which move down into the crown of the plant, where
they pass the winter. There they cause on the plant a slight gall
formation, which injures or kills the plant. In the spring adult flies
emerge and lay eggs. The larvæ that hatch feed in the lower joints of
the growing wheat and prevent its proper growth. These larvæ pupate and
remain as pupæ in the wheat stubble during the summer. The fall brood of
flies appears shortly before the first heavy frost.

_Treatment._ Burn all stubble and trash during July and August. If the
fly is very bad, it is well to leave the stubble unusually high to
insure a rapid spread of the fire. Burn refuse from the
threshing-machine, since this often harbors many larvæ or pupæ. Follow
the burning by deep plowing, because the burning cannot reach the
insects that are in the base of the plants. Delay the fall planting
until time for heavy frosts.

=The Potato Beetle; Tobacco Worm.= The potato beetle, tobacco worm,
etc., are too well known to need description. Suffice it to say that no
good farmer will neglect to protect his crop from any pest that
threatens it.

The increase, owing to various causes, of insects, of fungi, of
bacterial diseases, makes a study of these pests, of their origin, and
of their prevention a necessary part of a successful farmer's training.
Tillage alone will no longer render orchard, vineyard, and garden
fruitful. Protection from every form of plant enemies must be added to

[Illustration: FIG. 170. SPRAYING THE ORCHARD
One way of increasing the yield of fruit]

In dealing with plants, as with human beings, the great object should be
not the cure but the prevention of disease. If disease can be prevented,
it is far too costly to wait for it to develop and then to attempt its
cure. Men of science are studying the new forms of diseases and new
insects as fast as they appear. These men are finding ways of fighting
old and new enemies. Young people who expect to farm should early learn
to follow their advice.


     How does the squash bug resemble the plant louse? Is this a true
     bug? Gather some eggs and watch the development of the insects in a
     breeding-cage. Estimate the damage done to some crops by the
     flea-beetle. What is the best method of prevention?

     [Illustration: FIG. 171. AN APPLE TREE SHOWING PROPER CARE]

     Do you know the large moth that is the mother of the tobacco worm?
     You may often see her visiting the blossoms of the Jimson weed.
     Some tobacco-growers cultivate a few of these weeds in a tobacco
     field. In the blossom they place a little cobalt or "fly-stone" and
     sirup. When the tobacco-worm moth visits this flower and sips the
     poisoned nectar, she will of course lay no more troublesome eggs.


So far as known, the cotton-boll weevil, an insect which is a native of
the tropics, crossed the Rio Grande River into Texas in 1891 and 1892.
It settled in the cotton fields around Brownsville. Since then it has
widened its destructive area until now it has invaded the whole
territory shown by the map on page 177.


This weevil is a small gray or reddish-brown snout-beetle hardly over a
quarter of an inch in length. In proportion to its length it has a long
beak. It belongs to a family of beetles which breed in pods, in seeds,
and in stalks of plants. It is a greedy eater, but feeds only on the
cotton plant.

The grown weevils try to outlive the cold of winter by hiding snugly
away under grass clumps, cotton-stalks, rubbish, or under the bark of
trees. Sometimes they go down into holes in the ground. A comfortable
shelter is often found in the forests near the cotton fields, especially
in the moss on the trees. The weevils can stand a good deal of cold, but
fortunately many are killed by winter weather. Moreover birds destroy
many; hence by spring the last year's crop is very greatly diminished.

In the spring, generally about the time cotton begins to form "squares,"
the weevils shake off their long winter sleep and enter the cotton
fields with appetites as sharp as razors. Then shortly the females begin
to lay eggs. At first these eggs are laid only in the squares, and
generally only one to the square. The young grub hatches from these eggs
in two or three days. The newly hatched grub eats the inside of the
square, and the square soon falls to the ground. Entire fields may at
times be seen without a single square on the plants. Of course no fruit
can be formed without squares.


Greatly enlarged]

In from one to two weeks the grub or larva becomes fully grown and,
without changing its home, is transformed into the pupa state. Then in
about a week more the pupæ come out as adult weevils and attack the
bolls. They puncture them with their snouts and lay their eggs in the
bolls. The young grubs, this time hatching out in the boll, remain there
until grown, when they emerge through holes that they make. These holes
allow dampness to enter and destroy the bolls. This life-round continues
until cold weather drives the insects to their winter quarters. By that
time they have increased so rapidly that there is often one for every
boll in the field.


This weevil is proving very hard to destroy. At present there seem but
few ways to fight it. One is to grow cotton that will mature too early
for the weevils to do it much harm. A second is to kill as many weevils
as possible by burning the homes that shelter them in winter.

Greatly enlarged]


The places best adapted for a winter home for the weevil are trash
piles, rubbish, driftwood, rotten wood, weeds, moss on trees, etc. A
further help, therefore, in destroying the weevil is to cut down and
burn all cotton-stalks as soon as the cotton is harvested.



This destroys countless numbers of larvæ and pupæ in the bolls and
greatly reduces the number of weevils. In addition, all cornstalks, all
trash, all large clumps of grass in neighboring fields, should be
burned, so as to destroy these winter homes of the weevil. Also avoid
planting cotton near trees. The bark, moss, and fallen leaves of the
tree furnish a winter shelter for the weevils.


A third help in destroying the weevil is to rotate crops. If cotton does
not follow cotton, the weevil has nothing on which to feed the second


In adopting the first method mentioned the cotton growers have found
that by the careful selection of seed, by early planting, by a free use
of fertilizers containing phosphoric acid, and by frequent plowing, they
can mature a crop about thirty days earlier than they usually do. In
this way a good crop can be harvested before the weevils are ready to be
most destructive.



Every crop of the farm has been changed and improved in many ways since
its forefathers were wild plants. Those plants that best serve the needs
of the farmer and of farm animals have undergone the most changes and
have received also the greatest care and attention in their production
and improvement.

While we have many different kinds of farm crops, the cultivated soil of
the world is occupied by a very few. In our country the crop that is
most valuable and that occupies the greatest land area is generally
known as the _grass crop_. Included in the general term "grass crop" are
the grasses and clovers that are used for pasturage as well as for hay.
Next to grass in value come the great cereal, corn, and the most
important fiber crop, cotton, closely followed by the great bread crop,
wheat. Oats rank fifth in value, potatoes sixth, and tobacco seventh.
(These figures are for 1913.)

Success in growing any crop is largely due to the suitableness of soil
and climate to that crop. When the planter selects both the most
suitable soil and the most suitable climate for each crop, he gets not
only the most bountiful yield from the crop but, in addition, he gets
the most desirable quality of product. A little careful observation and
study soon teach what kinds of soil produce crops of the highest
excellence. This learned, the planter is able to grow in each field the
several crops best adapted to that special type of soil. Thus we have
tobacco soils, trucking soils, wheat and corn soils. Dairying can be
most profitably followed in sections where crops like cowpeas, clover,
alfalfa, and corn are peculiarly at home. No one should try to grow a
new crop in his section until he has found out whether the crop which he
wants to grow is adapted to his soil and his climate.

[Illustration: FIG. 182. ALFALFA IN THE STACK
This is the second cutting of the season]

The figures below give the average amount of money made annually an acre
on our chief crops:

Flowers and plants, $1911; nursery products, $261; onions, $140; sugar
cane, $55; small fruits, $110; hops, $175; vegetables, $78; tobacco,
$80; sweet potatoes, $55; hemp, $53; potatoes, $78; sugar beets, $54;
sorghum cane, $22; cotton, $22; orchard fruits, $110; peanuts, $21;
flax-seed, $14; cereals, $14; hay and forage, $11; castor beans, $6
(United States Census Report).


Although cotton was cultivated on the Eastern continent before America
was discovered, this crop owes its present kingly place in the business
world to the zeal and intelligence of its American growers. So great an
influence does it wield in modern industrial life that it is often
called King Cotton. Thousands upon thousands of people scan the
newspapers each day to see what price its staple is bringing. From its
bounty a vast army of toilers, who plant its seed, who pick its bolls,
who gin its staple, who spin and weave its lint, who grind its seed, who
refine its oil, draw daily bread. Does not its proper production deserve
the best thought that can be given it?

In the cotton belt almost any well-drained soil will produce cotton. The
following kinds of soil are admirably suited to this plant: red and gray
loams with good clay subsoil; sandy soils over clay and sandstone and
limestone; rich, well-drained bottom-lands. The safest soils are medium
loams. Cotton land must always be well drained.

Cotton was originally a tropical plant, but, strange to say, it seems to
thrive best in temperate zones. The cotton plant does best, according to
Newman, in climates which have (1) six months of freedom from frost; (2)
a moderate, well-distributed rainfall during the plant's growing period;
and (3) abundant sunshine and little rain during the plant's maturing


In America the Southern states from Virginia to Texas have these
climatic qualities, and it is in these states that the cotton industry
has been developed until it is one of the giant industries of the world.
This development has been very rapid. As late as 1736 the cotton plant
was grown as an ornamental flowering plant in many front yards; in
1911, 16,250,276 bales of cotton were grown in the South. In recent
years the soil and climate of lower California and parts of Arizona and
New Mexico have been found well adapted to cotton.


There are a great many varieties of cotton. Two types are mainly grown
by the practical American farmer. These are the short-stapled, upland
variety most commonly grown in all the Southern states, and the
beautiful, long-stapled, black-seeded sea-island type that grows upon
the islands and a portion of the mainland of Georgia, South Carolina,
and Florida. The air of the coast seems necessary for the production of
this latter variety. The seeds of the sea-island cotton are small,
smooth, and black. They are so smooth and stick so loosely to the lint
that they are separated from it by roller-gins instead of by saw-gins.
When these seeds are planted away from the soil and air of their ocean
home, the plant does not thrive.

Many attempts have been made and are still being made to increase the
length of the staple of the upland types. The methods used are as
follows: selection of seed having a long fiber; special cultivation and
fertilization; crossing the short-stapled cotton on the long-stapled
cotton. This last process, as already explained, is called
_hybridizing_. Many of these attempts have succeeded, and there are now
a large number of varieties which excel the older varieties in
profitable yield. The new varieties are each year being more widely
grown. Every farmer should study the new types and select the one that
will best suit his land. The new types have been developed under the
best tillage. Therefore if a farmer would keep the new type as good as
it was when he began to grow it, he must give it the same good tillage,
and practice seed-selection.

[Illustration: FIG. 185. COTTON READY FOR PICKING]

The cotton plant is nourished by a tap-root that will seek food as
deeply as loose earth will permit the root to penetrate; hence, in
preparing land for this crop the first plowing should be done at least
with a two-horse plow and should be deep and thorough. This deep plowing
not only allows the tap-root to penetrate, but it also admits a
circulation of air.

On some cotton farms it is the practice to break the land in winter or
early spring and then let it lie naked until planting-time. This is not
a good practice. The winter rains wash more plant food out of
unprotected soil than a single crop would use. It would be better, in
the late summer or fall, to plant crimson clover or some other
protective and enriching crop on land that is to be planted in cotton in
the spring. This crop, in addition to keeping the land from being
injuriously washed, would greatly help the coming cotton crop by leaving
the soil full of vegetable matter.

In preparing for cotton-planting, first disk the land thoroughly, then
break with a heavy plow and harrow until a fine and mellow seed-bed is
formed. Do not spare the harrow at this time. It destroys many a weed
that, if allowed to grow, would have to be cut by costly hoeing.
Thorough work before planting saves much expensive work in the later
days of the crop. Moreover, no man can afford to allow his plant food
and moisture to go to nourish weeds, even for a short time.

The rows should be from three to four feet apart. The width depends upon
the richness of the soil. On rich land the rows should be at least four
feet apart. This width allows the luxuriant plant to branch and fruit
well. On poorer lands the distance of the rows should not be so great.
The distribution of the seed in the row is of course most cheaply done
by the planter. As a rule it is best not to ridge the land for the seed.
Flat culture saves moisture and often prevents damage to the roots. In
some sections, however, where the land is flat and full of water,
ridging seems necessary if the land cannot be drained.

[Illustration: FIG. 186. PICKING COTTON]

The cheapest way of cultivating a crop is to prevent grass and weeds
from rooting, not to wait to destroy them after they are well rooted. To
do this, it is well to run the two-horse smoothing-harrow over the
land, across the rows, a few days after the young plants are up. Repeat
the harrowing in six or eight days. In addition to destroying the young
grass and weeds, this harrowing also removes many of the young cotton
plants and thereby saves much hoeing at "chopping-out" time. When the
plants are about two inches high they are "chopped out" to secure an
evenly distributed stand. It has been the custom to leave two stalks to
a hill, but many growers are now leaving only one.

The number of times the crop has to be worked depends on the soil and
the season. If the soil is dry and porous, cultivate as often as
possible, especially after each rain. Never allow a crust to form after
a rain; the roots of plants must have air. Cultivation after each rain
forms a dry mulch on the top of the soil and thus prevents rapid
evaporation of moisture.

If the fiber (the lint) only is removed from the land on which cotton is
grown, cotton is the least exhaustive of the great crops grown in the
United States. According to some recent experiments an average crop of
cotton removes in the lint only 2.75 pounds of nitrogen, phosphoric
acid, potash, lime, and magnesia per acre, while a crop of ten bushels
of wheat per acre removes 32.36 pounds of the same elements of plant
food. Inasmuch as this crop takes so little plant food from the soil,
the cotton-farmer has no excuse for allowing his land to decrease in
productiveness. Two things will keep his land in bounteous harvest
condition: first, let him return the seeds in some form to the land, or,
what is better, feed the ground seeds to cattle, make a profit from the
cattle, and return manure to the land in place of the seeds; second, at
the last working, let him sow some crop like crimson clover or rye in
the cotton rows to protect the soil during the winter and to leave humus
in the ground for the spring.

The stable manure, if that is used, should be broadcasted over the
fields at the rate of six to ten tons an acre. If commercial fertilizers
are used, it may be best to make two applications. To give the young
plants a good start, apply a portion of the fertilizer in the drill just
before planting. Then when the first blooms appear, put the remainder of
the fertilizer in drills near the plants but not too close. Many good
cotton-growers, however, apply all the fertilizer at one time.


_Relation of Stock to the Cotton Crop_. On many farms much of the money
for which the cotton is sold in the fall has to go to pay for the
commercial fertilizer used in growing the crop. Should not this fact
suggest efforts to raise just as good crops without having to buy so
much fertilizer? Is there any way by which this can be done? The
following suggestions may be helpful. Raise enough stock to use all the
cotton seed grown on the farm. To go with the food made from the cotton
seed, grow on the farm pea-vine hay, clover, alfalfa, and other such
nitrogen-gathering crops. This can be done at small cost. What will be
the result?

First, to say nothing of the money made from the cattle, the large
quantity of stable manure saved will largely reduce the amount of
commercial fertilizer needed. The cotton-farmer cannot afford to neglect
cattle-raising. The cattle sections of the country are likely to make
the greatest progress in agriculture, because they have manure always on

[Illustration: FIG. 188. MODERN COTTON BALES]

Second, the nitrogen-gathering crops, while helping to feed the stock,
also reduce the fertilizer bills by supplying one of the costly elements
of the fertilizer. The ordinary cotton fertilizer consists principally
of nitrogen, of potash, and of phosphoric acid. Of these three, by far
the most costly is nitrogen. Now peas, beans, clover, and peanuts will
leave enough nitrogen in the soil for cotton, so that if they are
raised, it is necessary to buy only phosphoric acid and sometimes


The tobacco plant connects Indian agriculture with our own. It has
always been a source of great profit to our people. In the early
colonial days tobacco was almost the only money crop. Many rich men came
to America in those days merely to raise tobacco.

Although tobacco will grow in almost any climate, the leaves, which, as
most of you know, are the salable part of the plant, get their desirable
or undesirable qualities very largely from the soil and from the climate
in which they grow.

The soil in which tobacco thrives best is one which has the following
qualities: dryness, warmth, richness, depth, and sandiness.

Commercial fertilizers also are almost a necessity; for, as tobacco land
is limited in area, the same land must be often planted in tobacco.
Hence even a fresh, rich soil that did not at first require fertilizing
soon becomes exhausted, and, after the land has been robbed of its plant
food by crop after crop of tobacco, frequent application of fertilizers
and other manures becomes necessary. However, even tobacco growers
should rotate their crops as much as possible.

[Illustration: FIG. 189. A LEAF OF TOBACCO]

Deep plowing--from nine to thirteen inches--is also a necessity in
preparing the land, for tobacco roots go deep into the soil. After this
deep plowing, harrow until the soil is thoroughly pulverized and is as
fine and mellow as that of the flower-garden.

Unlike most other farm crops the tobacco plant must be started first in
a seed-bed. To prepare a tobacco bed the almost universal custom has
been to proceed as follows. Carefully select a protected spot. Over this
spot pile brushwood and then burn it. The soil will be left dry, and all
the weed seeds will be killed. The bed is then carefully raked and
smoothed and planted. Some farmers are now preparing their beds without
burning. A tablespoonful of seed will sow a patch twenty-five feet
square. A cheap cloth cover is put over the bed. If the seeds come up
well, a patch of this size ought to furnish transplants for five or six
acres. In sowing, it is not wise to cover the seed deeply. A light
raking in or an even rolling of the ground is all that is needed.


The time required for sprouting is from two to three weeks. The plants
ought to be ready for transplanting in from four to six weeks. Weeds
and grass should of course be kept out of the seed-bed.

The plants, when ready, are transplanted in very much the same way as
cabbages and tomatoes. The transplanting was formerly done by hand, but
an effective machine is now widely used. The rows should be from three
to three and a half feet apart, and the plants in the rows about two or
three feet apart. If the plants are set so that the plow and cultivator
can be run with the rows and also across the rows, they can be more
economically worked. Tobacco, like corn, requires shallow cultivation.
Of course the plants should be worked often enough to give clean culture
and to provide a soil mulch for saving moisture.

[Illustration: FIG. 191. TOPPING TOBACCO]

In tobacco culture it is necessary to pinch off the "buttons" and to cut
off the tops of the main stalk, else much nourishment that should go to
the leaves will be given to the seeds. The suckers must also be cut off
for the same reason.

The proper time for harvesting is not easily fixed; one becomes skillful
in this work only through experience in the field. Briefly, we may say
that tobacco is ready to be cut when the leaves on being held up to the
sun show a light or golden color, when they are sticky to the touch, and
when they break easily on being bent. Plants that are overripe are
inferior to those that are cut early.

The operations included in cutting, housing, drying, shipping, sweating,
and packing require skill and practice.


Wheat has been cultivated from earliest times. It was a chief crop in
Egypt and Palestine, and still holds its importance in the temperate
portions of Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, and America.

[Illustration: FIG. 192. A HAND]

[Illustration: FIG. 193. WHEAT HEADS]

This crop ranks third in value in the United States. It grows in cool,
in temperate, and in warm climates, and in many kinds of soil. It does
best in clay loam, and worst in sandy soils. Clogged and water-soaked
land will not grow wheat with profit to the farmer; for this reason,
where good wheat-production is desired the soil must be well drained
and in good physical condition--that is, the soil must be open, crumbly,
and mellow.

Clay soils that are hard and lifeless can be made valuable for
wheat-production by covering the surface with manure, by good tillage,
and by a thorough system of crop-rotation. Cowpeas and other legumes
make a most valuable crop to precede wheat, for in growing they add
atmospheric nitrogen to the soil, and their roots loosen the root-bed,
thereby admitting a free circulation of air and adding humus to the
soil. Moreover, the legumes leave the soil with its grains fairly close
packed, and this is a help in wheat growing.

One may secure a good seed-bed after cotton and corn as well as after
cowpeas and other legumes. They are summer-cultivated crops, and the
clean culture that has been given them renders the surface soil mellow
and the undersoil firm and compact. They are not so good, however, as
cowpeas, since they add no atmospheric nitrogen to the soil, as all
leguminous crops do.


From one to two inches is the most satisfactory depth for planting
wheat. The largest number of seeds comes up when planted at this depth.
A mellow soil is very helpful to good coming up and provides a most
comfortable home for the roots of the plant. A compact soil below makes
a moist undersoil; and this is desirable, for the soil water is needed
to dissolve plant food and to carry it up through the plant, where it is
used in building tissue.

There are a great many varieties of wheat: some are bearded, others are
smooth; some are winter and others are spring varieties. The
smooth-headed varieties are most agreeable to handle during harvest and
at threshing-time. Some of the bearded varieties, however, do so well in
some soils and climates that it is desirable to continue growing them,
though they are less agreeable to handle. No matter what variety you are
accustomed to raise, it may be improved by careful seed-selection.

[Illustration: FIG. 195. SELECTING WHEAT SEED]

The seed-drill is the best implement for planting wheat. It distributes
the grains evenly over the whole field and leaves the mellow soil in a
condition to catch what snow may fall and secure what protection it

The yield of the lower field, forty-five bushels per acre, is due to
intelligent farming]

In many parts of the country, because not enough live stock is raised,
there is often too little manure to apply to the wheat land. Where this
is the case commercial fertilizers must be used. Since soils differ
greatly, it is impossible to suggest a fertilizer adapted to all soils.
The elements usually lacking in wheat soils are nitrogen, phosphoric
acid, and potash. The land may be lacking in one of these plant foods or
in all; in either case a maximum crop cannot possibly be raised. The
section on manuring the soil will be helpful to the wheat-grower.

[Illustration: FIG. 197. A BOUNTIFUL CROP OF WHEAT]

It should be remembered always in buying fertilizers for wheat that
whenever wheat follows cowpeas or clover or other legumes there is
seldom need of using nitrogen in the fertilizer; the tubercles on the
pea or clover roots will furnish that. Hence, as a rule, only potash and
phosphoric acid will have to be purchased as plant food.

The farmer is assisted always by a study of his crop and by a knowledge
of how it grows. If he find the straw inferior and short, it means that
the soil is deficient in nitrogen; but on the other hand, if the straw
be luxuriant and the heads small and poorly filled, he may be sure that
his soil contains too little phosphoric acid and potash.


     Let the pupils secure several heads of wheat and thresh each
     separately by hand. The grains should then be counted and their
     plumpness and size observed. The practical importance of this is
     obvious, for the larger the heads and the greater the number of
     grains, the larger the yield per acre. Let them plant some of the
     large and some of the small grains. A single test of this kind will
     show the importance of careful seed-selection.

[Illustration: FIG. 198 A WIDELY GROWN CROP]


When the white man came to this country he found the Indians using corn;
for this reason, in addition to its name _maize_, it is called _Indian
corn_. Before that time the civilized world did not know that there was
such a crop. The increase in the yield and the extension of the acres
planted in this strictly American crop have kept pace with the rapid
and wonderful growth of our country. Corn is king of the cereals and the
most important crop of American agriculture. It grows in almost every
section of America. There is hardly any limit to the uses to which its
grain and its stalks are now put. Animals of many kinds are fed on
rations into which it enters. Its grains in some form furnish food to
more people than does any other crop except possibly rice. Its stalk and
its cob are manufactured into many different and useful articles.

A soil rich in either decaying animal or vegetable matter, loose, warm,
and moist but not wet, will produce a better crop of corn than any
other. Corn soil should always be well tilled and cultivated.

The proper time to begin the cultivation of corn is before it is
planted. Plow well. A shallow, worn-out soil should not be used for
corn, but for cowpeas or rye. After thorough plowing, the harrow--either
the disk or spring-tooth--should be used to destroy all clods and leave
the surface mellow and fine. The best results will be obtained by
turning under a clover sod that has been manured from the savings of the

When manure is not available, commercial fertilizers will often prove
profitable on poor lands. Careful trials will best determine how much
fertilizer to an acre is necessary, and what kinds are to be used. A
little study and experimenting on the farmer's part will soon enable him
to find out both the kind and the amount of fertilizer that is best
suited to his land.

The seed for this crop should be selected according to the plan
suggested in Section XIX.


The most economical method of planting is by means of the horse planter,
which, according to its adjustment, plants regularly in hills or in
drills. A few days after planting, the cornfield should be harrowed with
a fine-tooth harrow to loosen the top soil and to kill the grass and the
weed seeds that are germinating at the surface. When the corn plants
are from a half inch to an inch high, the harrow may again be used. A
little work before the weeds sprout will save many days of labor during
the rest of the season, and increase the yield.


Corn is a crop that needs constant cultivation, and during the growing
season the soil should be stirred at least four times. This cultivation
is for three reasons:

1. To destroy weeds that would take plant food and water.

2. To provide a mulch of dry soil so as to prevent the evaporation of
moisture. The action of this mulch has already been explained.

3. Because "tillage is manure." Constant stirring of the soil allows the
air to circulate in it, provides a more effective mulch, and helps to
change unavailable plant food into the form that plants use.

Deep culture of corn is not advisable. The roots in their early stages
of growth are shallow feeders and spread widely only a few inches below
the surface. The cultivation that destroys or disturbs the roots injures
the plants and lessens the yield. We cultivate because of the three
reasons given above, and not to stir the soil about the roots or to
loosen it there.

[Illustration: FIG. 201.]

In many parts of the country the cornstalks are left standing in the
fields or are burned. This is a great mistake, for the stalks are worth
a good deal for feeding horses, cattle, and sheep. These stalks may
always be saved by the use of the husker and shredder. Corn after being
matured and cut can be put in shocks and left thus until dry enough to
run through the husker and shredder. This machine separates the corn
from the stalk and husks it. At the same time it shreds tops, leaves,
and butts into a food that is both nutritious and palatable to stock.
For the amount that animals will eat, almost as much feeding value is
obtained from corn stover treated in this way as from timothy hay. The
practice of not using the stalks is wasteful and is fast being
abandoned. The only reason that so much good food is being left to decay
in the field is because so many people have not fully learned the
feeding value of the stover.


     To show the effect of cultivation on the yield of corn, let the
     pupils lay off five plats in some convenient field. Each plat need
     consist of only two rows about twenty feet long. Treat each plat as

     Plat 1. No cultivation: let weeds grow.

     Plat 2. Mulch with straw.

     Plat 3. Shallow cultivation: not deeper than two inches and at
     least five times during the growing season.

     Plat 4. Deep cultivation: at least four inches deep, so as to
     injure and tear out some of the roots (this is a common method).

     Plat 5. Root-pruning: ten inches from the stalk and six inches
     deep, prune the roots with a long knife. Cultivate five times
     during the season.

     Observe plats during the summer, and at husking-time note results.


This plant is rich in names, being known locally as "ground pea,"
"goober," "earthnut," and "pindar," as well as generally by the name of
"peanut." The peanut is a true legume, and, like other legumes, bears
nitrogen-gathering tubercles upon its roots. The fruit is not a real nut
but rather a kind of pea or bean, and develops from the blossom. After
the fall of the blossom the "spike," or flower-stalk, pushes its way
into the ground, where the nut develops. If unable to penetrate the soil
the nut dies.

In the United States, North and South Carolina, Virginia, and Tennessee
have the most favorable climates for peanut culture. Suitable climate
and soil, however, may be found from New Jersey to the Mississippi
valley. A high, porous, sandy loam is the most suitable. Stiffer soils,
which may in some cases yield larger crops than the loams, are yet not
so profitable, for stiff soils injure the color of the nut. Lime is a
necessity and must be supplied if the soil is deficient. Phosphoric acid
and potash are needed.

Greater care than is usually bestowed should be given to the selection
of the peanut seed. In addition to following the principles given in
Section XVIII, all musty, defective seeds must be avoided and all
frosted kernels must be rejected. Before it dries, the peanut seed is
easily injured by frost. The slightest frost on the vines, either before
or after the plants are dug, does much harm to the tender seed.

[Illustration: FIG. 202. A PEANUT PLANT]

In growing peanuts, thorough preparation of the soil is much better than
later cultivation. Destroy the crop of young weeds, but do not disturb
the peanut crop by late cultivation. Harvest before frost, and shock
high to keep the vines from the ground.

The average yield of peanuts in the United States is twenty-two bushels
an acre. In Tennessee the yield is twenty-nine bushels an acre, and in
North Carolina and Virginia it reaches thirty bushels an acre.


The roots of sweet potatoes are put on the market in various forms.
Aside from the form in which they are ordinarily sold, some potatoes are
dried and then ground into flour, some are canned, some are used to make
starch, some furnish a kind of sugar called glucose, and some are even
used to make alcohol.

The fact that there are over eighty varieties of potatoes shows the
popularity of the plant. Now it is evident that all of these varieties
cannot be equally desirable. Hence the wise grower will select his
varieties with prudent forethought. He should study his market, his
soil, and his seed (see Section XVIII).

[Illustration: FIG. 203. SWEET POTATOES]

Four months of mild weather, months free from frost and cold winds, are
necessary for the growing of sweet potatoes. In a mild climate almost
any loose, well-drained soil will produce them. A light, sandy loam,
however, gives a cleaner potato and one, therefore, that sells better.

The sweet potato draws potash, nitrogen, and phosphoric acid from the
soil, but in applying these as fertilizers the grower must study and
know his own soil. If he does not he may waste both money and plant food
by the addition of elements already present in sufficient quantity in
the soil. The only way to come to reliable conclusions as to the needs
of the soil is to try two or three different kinds of fertilizers on
plats of the same soil, during the same season, and notice the resulting
crop of potatoes.

Sweet potatoes will do well after almost any of the usual field crops.
This caution, however, should be borne in mind. Potatoes should not
follow a sod. This is because sods are often thick with cutworms, one of
the serious enemies of the potato.

It is needless to say that the ground must be kept clean by thorough
cultivation until the vines take full possession of the field.

In harvesting, extreme care should be used to avoid cutting and bruising
the potato, since bruises are as dangerous to a sweet potato as to an
apple, and render decay almost a certainty. Lay aside all bruised
potatoes for immediate use.

For shipment the potatoes should be graded and packed with care. An
extra outlay of fifty cents a barrel often brings a return of a dollar a
barrel in the market. One fact often neglected by Southern growers who
raise potatoes for a Northern market is that the Northern markets demand
a potato that will cook dry and mealy, and that they will not accept the
juicy, sugary potato so popular in the South.

The storage of sweet potatoes presents difficulties owing to their great
tendency to decay under the influence of the ever-present fungi and
bacteria. This tendency can be met by preventing bruises and by keeping
the bin free from rotting potatoes. The potatoes should be cleaned, and
after the moisture has been dried off they should be stored in a dry,
warm place.

The sweet-potato vine makes a fair quality of hay and with proper
precaution may be used for ensilage. Small, defective, unsalable
potatoes are rich in sugar and starch and are therefore good stock food.
Since they contain so much water they must be used only as an aid to
other diet.


Maize, or Indian corn, and potatoes are the two greatest gifts in the
way of food that America has bestowed on the other nations. Since their
adoption in the sixteenth century as a new food from recently discovered
America, white potatoes have become one of the world's most important


No grower will harvest large crops of potatoes unless he chooses soil
that suits the plant, selects his seed carefully, cultivates thoroughly,
feeds his land sufficiently, and sprays regularly.

The soil should be free from potato scab. This disease remains in land
for several years. Hence if land is known to have any form of scab in
it, do not plant potatoes in such land. Select for this crop a deep and
moderately light, sandy loam which has an open subsoil and which is rich
in humus. The soil must be light enough for the potatoes, or tubers, to
enlarge easily and dry enough to prevent rot or blight or other
diseases. Potato soil should be so close-grained that it will hold
moisture during a dry spell and yet so well-drained that the tubers will
not be hurt by too much moisture in wet weather.

If the land selected for potatoes is lacking in humus, fine compost or
well-rotted manure will greatly increase the yield. However, it should
be remembered that green manure makes a good home for the growth of scab
germs. Hence it is safest to apply this sort of manure in the fall, or,
better still, use a heavy dressing of manure on the crop which the
potatoes are to follow. Leguminous crops supply both humus and nitrogen
and, at the same time, improve the subsoil. Therefore such crops are
excellent to go immediately before potatoes. If land is well supplied
with humus, commercial fertilizers are perhaps safer than manure, for
when these fertilizers are used the amount of plant food is more easily
regulated. Select a fertilizer that is rich in potash. For gardens
unleached wood ashes make a valuable fertilizer because they supply
potash. Early potatoes need more fertilization than do late ones. While
potatoes do best on rich land, they should not be overfed, for a too
heavy growth of foliage is likely to cause blight.

Be careful to select seed from sound potatoes which are entirely free
from scab. Get the kinds that thrive best in the section in which they
are to be planted and which suit best the markets in which they are to
be sold. Seed potatoes should be kept in a cool place so that they will
not sprout before planting-time. As a rule consumers prefer a smooth,
regularly shaped, shallow-eyed white or flesh-colored potato which is
mealy when cooked. Therefore, select seed tubers with these qualities.
It seems proved that when whole potatoes are used for seed the yield is
larger than when sliced potatoes are planted. It is of course too
costly to plant whole potatoes, but it is a good practice to cause the
plants to thrive by planting large seed pieces.

[Illustration: FIG. 205. GATHERING POTATOES]

Like other crops, potatoes need a thoroughly prepared seed-bed and
intelligent cultivation. Break the land deep. Then go over it with an
ordinary harrow until all clods are broken and the soil is fine and well
closed. The rows should be at least three feet from one another and the
seeds placed from twelve to eighteen inches apart in the row, and
covered to a depth of three or four inches. A late crop should be
planted deeper than an early one. Before the plants come up it is well
to go over the field once or twice with a harrow so as to kill all
weeds. Do not fail to save moisture by frequent cultivation. After the
plants start to grow, all cultivation should be shallow, for the roots
feed near the surface and should not be broken. Cultivate as often as
needed to keep down weeds and grass and to keep the ground fine.

Allow potatoes to dry thoroughly before they are stored, but never allow
them to remain long in the sunshine. Never dig them in damp weather, for
the moisture clinging to them will cause them to rot. After the tubers
are dry, store them in barrels or bins in a dry, cool, and dark place.
Never allow them to freeze.

Among the common diseases and insect pests that attack the leaves and
stems of potato vines are early blight, late blight, brown rot, the
flea-beetle, and the potato beetle, or potato bug. Spraying with
Bordeaux mixture to which a small portion of Paris green has been added
will control both the diseases and the pests. The spraying should begin
when the plants are five or six inches high and should not cease until
the foliage begins to die.

Scab is a disease of the tubers. It may be prevented (1) by using seed
potatoes that are free from scab; (2) by planting land in which there is
no scab; and (3) by soaking the seed in formalin (see page 135).


The oat plant belongs to the grass family. It is a hardy plant and,
under good conditions, a vigorous grower. It stands cold and wet better
than any other cereal except possibly rye. Oats like a cool, moist
climate. In warm climates, oats do best when they are sowed in the fall.
In cooler sections, spring seeding is more generally practiced.

There are a great many varieties of oats. No one variety is best adapted
to all sections, but many varieties make fine crops in many sections.
Any variety is desirable which has these qualities: power to resist
disease and insect enemies, heavy grains, thin hulls, good color, and
suitability to local surroundings.

As oats and rye make a better yield on poor land than any other cereals,
some farmers usually plant these crops on their poorest lands. However,
no land is too good to be used for so valuable a crop as oats. Oats
require a great deal of moisture; hence light, sandy soils are not so
well adapted to this crop as are the sandy loams and fine clay loams
with their closer and heavier texture.

If oats are to be planted in the spring, the ground should be broken in
the fall, winter, or early spring so that no delay may occur at
seeding-time. But to have a thoroughly settled, compact seed-bed the
breaking of the land should be done at least a month before the seeding,
and it will help greatly to run over the land with a disk harrow
immediately after the breaking.

[Illustration: FIG. 206. OATS
Common oats at left; side oats at right]

Oats may be planted by scattering them broadcast or by means of a drill.
The drill is better, because the grains are more uniformly distributed
and the depth of planting is better regulated. The seeds should be
covered from one and a half to two inches deep. In a very dry season
three inches may not be too deep. The amount of seed needed to the acre
varies considerably, but generally the seeding is from two to three
bushels an acre. On poor lands two bushels will be a fair average
seeding; on good lands as much as three bushels should be used.

[Illustration: FIG. 207. HARVESTING OATS]

This crop fits in well, over wide areas, with various rotations. As the
purpose of all rotation is to keep the soil productive, oats should
alternate every few years with one of the nitrogen-gathering crops. In
the South, cowpeas, soy beans, clovers, and vetches may be used in this
rotation. In the North and West the clovers mixed with timothy hay make
a useful combination for this purpose.

Spring-sowed oats, since they have a short growing season, need their
nitrogenous plant food in a form which can be quickly used. To supply
this nitrogen a top-dressing of nitrate of soda or sulphate of lime is
helpful. The plant can gather its food quickly from either of these
two. As fall-sowed oats have of course a longer growing season, the
nitrogen can be supplied by well-rotted manure, blood, tankage, or
fish-scrap. Use barnyard manure carefully. Do not apply too much just
before seeding, and use only thoroughly rotted manure. It is always
desirable to have a bountiful supply of humus in land on which oats are
to be planted.

The time of harvesting will vary with the use which is to be made of the
oats. If the crop is to be threshed, the harvesting should be done when
the kernels have passed out of the milk into the hard dough state. The
lower leaves of the stalks will at this time have turned yellow, and the
kernels will be plump and full. Do not, however, wait too long, for if
you do the grain will shatter and the straw lose in feeding value.

On the other hand, if the oats are to be cut for hay it is best to cut
them while the grains are still in the milk stage. At this stage the
leaves are still green and the plants are rich in protein.

Oats should be cured quickly. It is very important that threshed oats
should be dry before they are stored. Should they on being stored still
contain moisture, they will be likely to heat and to discolor. Any
discoloring will reduce their value. Nor should oats ever be allowed to
remain long in the fields, no matter how well they may seem to be
shocked. The dew and the rain will injure their value by discoloring
them more or less.

Oats are muscle-builders rather than fat-formers. Hence they are a
valuable ration for work animals, dairy cows, and breeding-stock.


Rye has the power of gathering its food from a wider area than most
other plants. Of course, then, it is a fine crop for poor land, and
farmers often plant it only on worn land. However, it is too good a
cereal to be treated in so ungenerous a fashion. As a cover-crop for
poor land it adds much humus to the soil and makes capital grazing.

[Illustration: FIG. 208. RYE READY FOR CUTTING]

There are two types of rye--the winter and the spring. The winter type
is chiefly grown in this country. Rye seeds should be bought as near
home as possible, for this plant thrives best when the new crop grows
under the same conditions as the seed crop.

Rye will grow on almost any soil that is drained. Soils that are too
sandy for wheat will generally yield good crops of rye. Clay soils,
however, are not adapted to the plant nor to the grazing for which the
plant is generally sowed. For winter rye the land should be broken from
four to six inches. Harrows should follow the plows until the land is
well pulverized. In some cold prairie lands, however, rye is put in with
a grain-drill before a plow removes the stubble from the land. The
purpose of planting in this way is to let the stubble protect the young
plants from cold, driving winds.

Rye should go into the ground earlier than wheat. In cold, bleak
climates, as well as on poor land, the seeding should be early. The
young plant needs to get rooted and topped before cold weather sets in.
The only danger in very early planting is that leaf-rust sometimes
attacks the forward crop. Of course the earlier the rye is ready for
fall and winter pasturage, the better. If a drill is used for planting,
a seeding of from three to four pecks to the acre should give a good
stand. In case the seeds are to be sowed broadcast, a bushel or a bushel
and a half for every acre is needed. The seed should be covered as wheat
seed is and the ground rolled.

Rye is generally used as a grazing or as a soiling crop. Therefore its
value will depend largely on its vigorous growth in stems and leaves. To
get this growth, liberal amounts of nitrogenous fertilizer will have to
be applied unless the land is very rich. Put barnyard manure on the land
just after the first breaking and disk the manure into the soil. Acid
phosphate and kainite added to the manure may pay handsomely. A spring
top-dressing of nitrate of soda is usually helpful.

Rye has a stiff straw and does not fall, or "lodge," so badly as some of
the other cereals. As soon as rye that is meant for threshing is cut, it
should be put up in shocks until it is thoroughly dry. Begin the cutting
when the kernels are in a tough dough state. The grain should never
stand long in the shocks.


Barley is one of the oldest crops known to man. The old historian Pliny
says that barley was the first food of mankind. Modern man however
prefers wheat and corn and potatoes to barley, and as a food this
ancient crop is in America turned over to the lower animals. Brewers use
barley extensively in making malt liquors. Barley grows in nearly all
sections of our country, but a few states--namely, Minnesota,
California, Wisconsin, Iowa, and North and South Dakota--are seeding
large areas to this crop.

For malting purposes the barley raised on rather light, friable, porous
soil is best. Soils of this kind are likely to produce a medium yield of
bright grain. Fertile loamy and clay soils make generally a heavier
yield of barley, but the grain is dark and fit only to be fed to stock.
Barley is a shallow feeder, and can reach only such plant food as is
found in the top soil, so its food should always be put within reach by
a thorough breaking, harrowing, and mellowing of the soil, and by
fertilizing if the soil is poor. Barley has been successfully raised
both by irrigation and by dry-farming methods. It requires a
better-prepared soil than the other grain crops; it makes fine yields
when it follows some crop that has received a heavy dressing of manure.
Capital yields are produced after alfalfa or after root crops. This crop
usually matures within a hundred days from its seeding.

[Illustration: FIG. 209. BARLEY]

When the crop is to be sold to the brewers, a grain rich in starch
should be secured. Barley intended for malting should be fertilized to
this end. Many experiments have shown that a fertilizer which contains
much potash will produce starchy barley. If the barley be intended for
stock, you should breed so as to get protein in the grain and in the
stalk. Hence barley which is to be fed should be fertilized with
mixtures containing nitrogen and phosphoric acid. Young barley plants
are more likely to be hurt by cold than either wheat or oats. Hence
barley ought not to be seeded until all danger from frost is over. The
seeds should be covered deeper than the seeds of wheat or of oats. Four
inches is perhaps an average depth for covering. But the covering will
vary with the time of planting, with the kind of ground, with the
climate, and with the nature of the season. Fewer seeds will be needed
if the barley is planted by means of a drill.

Like other cereals, barley should not be grown continuously on the same
land. It should take its place in a well-planned rotation. It may
profitably follow potatoes or other hoed crops, but it should not come
first after wheat, oats, or rye.

Barley should be harvested as soon as most of its kernels have reached
the hard dough state. It is more likely to shatter its grain than are
other cereals, and it should therefore be handled with care. It must
also be watched to prevent its sprouting in the shocks. Be sure to put
few bundles in the shock and to cap the shock securely enough to keep
out dew and rain. If possible the barley should be threshed directly
from the shock, as much handling will occasion a serious loss from


In the United States there are three sources from which sugar is
obtained; namely, the sugar-maple, the sugar-beet, and the sugar-cane.
In the early days of our country considerable quantities of maple sirup
and maple sugar were made. This was the first source of sugar. Then
sugar-cane began to be grown. Later the sugar-beet was introduced.

=Maple Products.= In many states sirup and sugar are still made from
maple sap. In the spring when the sap is flowing freely maple trees are
tapped and spouts are inserted. Through these spouts the sap flows into
vessels set to catch it. The sap is boiled in evaporating-pans, and made
into either sirup or sugar. Four gallons of sap yield about one pound of
sugar. A single tree yields from two to six pounds of sugar in a season.
The sap cannot be kept long after it is collected. Practice and skill
are needed to produce an attractive and palatable grade of sirup or of

=Sugar-Beets.= The sugar-beet is a comparatively new root crop in
America. The amount of sugar that can be obtained from beets varies from
twelve to twenty per cent. The richness in sugar depends somewhat on the
variety grown and on the soil and the climate.

So far most of our sugar-beet seeds have been brought over from Europe.
Some of our planters are now, however, gaining the skill and the
knowledge needed to grow these seeds. It is of course important to grow
seeds that will produce beets containing much sugar.

[Illustration: FIG. 210. CATCHING MAPLE SAP]

These beets do well in a great variety of soils if the land is rich,
well prepared, and well drained, and has a porous subsoil.

Beets cannot grow to a large size in hard land. Hence deep plowing is
very necessary for this crop. The soil should be loose enough for the
whole body of the beet to remain underground. Some growers prefer spring
plowing and some fall plowing, but all agree that the land should not be
turned less than eight or ten inches. The subsoil, however, should not
be turned up too much at the first deep plowing.

Too much care cannot be taken to make the seed-bed firm and mellow and
to have it free from clods. If the soil is dry at planting-time and
there is likelihood of high winds, the seed-bed may be rolled with
profit. Experienced growers use from ten to twelve pounds of seeds to an
acre. It is better to use too many rather than too few seeds, for it is
easy to thin out the plants, but rather difficult to transplant them.
The seeds are usually drilled in rows about twenty inches apart. Of
course, if the soil is rather warm and moist at planting-time, fewer
seeds will be needed than when germination is likely to be slow.

[Illustration: FIG. 211. SUGAR-BEET]

A good rotation should always be planned for this beet. A very
successful one is as follows: for the first year, corn heavily
fertilized with stable manure; for the second year, sugar-beets; for the
third year, oats or barley; for the fourth year, clover; then go back
again to corn. In addition to keeping the soil fertile, there are two
gains from this rotation: first, the clean cultivation of the corn crop
just ahead of the beets destroys many of the weed seeds; second, the
beets must be protected from too much nitrogen in the soil, for an
excess of nitrogen makes a beet too large to be rich in sugar. The
manure, heavily applied to the corn, will leave enough nitrogen and
other plant food in the soil to make a good crop of beets and avoid any
danger of an excess.

When the outside leaves of the beet take on a yellow tinge and drop to
the ground, the beets are ripe. The mature beets are richer in sugar
than the immature, therefore they should not be harvested too soon. They
may remain in the ground without injury for some time after they are
ripe. Cold weather does not injure the roots unless it is accompanied by
freezing and thawing.


The beets are harvested by sugar-beet pullers or by hand. If the roots
are to be gathered by hand they are usually loosened by plowing on each
side of them. If the roots are stored they should be put in long, narrow
piles and covered with straw and earth to protect them from frost. A
ventilator placed at the top of the pile will enable the heat and
moisture to escape. If the beets get too warm they will ferment and some
of their sugar will be lost.

=Sugar-Cane.= Sugar-cane is grown along the Gulf of Mexico and the South
Atlantic coast. In Mississippi, in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South
Carolina, northern Louisiana, and in northern Texas it is generally made
into sirup. In southern Louisiana and southern Texas the cane is usually
crushed for sugar or for molasses.

[Illustration: FIG. 213. STALK OF SUGAR-CANE
_A-B_, joints of cane showing roots; _B-C_, stem; _C-D_, leaves]

The sugar-cane is a huge grass. The stalk, which is round, is from one
to two inches in thickness.

The stalks vary in color. Some are white, some yellow, some green, some
red, some purple, and some black, while others are a mixture of two or
three of these colors. As shown in Fig. 214 the stalk has joints at
distances of from two to six inches. These joints are called nodes, and
the sections between the nodes are known as internodes. The internodes
ripen from the roots upward, and as each ripens it casts its leaves. The
stalk, when ready for harvesting, has only a few leaves on the top.

[Illustration: Fig. 214. STICK OF SUGAR-CANE
_A_, buds, or eyes; _C_, nodes; _D_, internodes; _X_, semi-transparent
dots in rows]

Under each leaf and on alternate sides of the cane a bud, or "eye,"
forms. From this eye the cane is usually propagated; for, while in
tropical countries the cane forms seeds, yet these seeds are rarely
fertile. When the cane is ripe it is stripped of leaves, topped, and cut
at the ground with a knife. The sugar is contained in solution in the
pith of the cane.

Cane requires an enormous amount of water for its best growth, and where
the rainfall is not great enough, the plants are irrigated. It requires
from seventy-five to one hundred gallons of water to make a pound of
sugar. Cane does best where there is a rainfall of two inches a week. At
the same time a well-drained soil is necessary to make vigorous canes.

The soils suited to this plant are those which contain large amounts of
fertilizing material and which can hold much water. In southern
Louisiana alluvial loams and loamy clay soils are cultivated. In
Georgia, Alabama, and Florida light, sandy soils, when properly
fertilized and worked, make good crops.

[Illustration: FIG. 215. PLANTING SUGAR-CANE]

[Illustration: FIG. 216. LOADING SUGAR-CANE]

Cane is usually planted in rows from five to six feet apart. A trench is
opened in the center of the row with a plow and in this open furrow is
placed a continuous line of stalks which are carefully covered with
plow, cultivator, or hoe. From one to three continuous lines of stalks
are placed in the furrow. From two to six tons of seed cane are needed
for an acre. In favorable weather the cane soon sprouts and cultivation
begins. Cane should be cultivated at short intervals until the plants
are large enough to shade the soil. In Louisiana one planting of cane
usually gives two crops. The first is called plant cane; the second is
known as first-year stubble, or ratoon. Sometimes second-year stubble is


In Louisiana large quantities of tankage, cotton-seed meal, and acid
phosphate are used to fertilize cane-fields. Each country has its own
time for planting and harvesting. In Louisiana, for example, canes are
planted from October to April. In the United States cane is harvested
each year because of frost, but in tropical countries the stalks are
permitted to grow from fifteen to twenty-four months.

On many farms a small mill, the rollers of which are turned by horses,
is used for crushing the juice out of the cane. The juice is then
evaporated in a kettle or pan. This equipment is very cheap and can
easily be operated by a small family. While these mills rarely extract
more than one half of the juice in the cane, the sirup made by them is
very palatable and usually commands a good price. Costly machinery which
saves most of the juice is used in the large commercial sugar houses.


In the early ages of the world, mankind is supposed to have worn very
little or no clothing. Then leaves and the inner bark of trees were
fashioned into a protection from the weather. These flimsy garments were
later replaced by skins and furs. As man advanced in knowledge, he
learned how to twist wool and hairs into threads and to weave these into
durable garments. Still later, perhaps, he discovered that some plants
conceal under their outer bark soft, tough fibers that can be changed
into excellent cloth. Flax and hemp were doubtless among the first
plants to furnish this fiber.

=Flax.= Among the fiber crops of the world, flax ranks next to cotton.
It is the material from which is woven the linen for sheets, towels,
tablecloths, shirts, collars, dresses, and a host of other articles.
Fortunately for man, flax will thrive in many countries and in many
climates. The fiber from which these useful articles are made, unlike
cotton fiber, does not come from the fruit, but from the stem. It is the
soft, silky lining of the bark which lies between the woody outside and
the pith cells of the stem.

The Old World engages largely in flax culture and flax manufacture, but
in our country flax is grown principally for its seed. From the seeds we
make linseed oil, linseed-oil cake, and linseed meal.

Flax grows best on deep, loamy soils, but also makes a profitable growth
on clay soils. With sufficient fertilizing material it can be grown on
sandy lands. Nitrogen is especially needed by this plant and should be
liberally supplied. To meet this demand for nitrogen, it pays to plant a
leguminous crop immediately before flax.

[Illustration: FIG. 218. FLAX]

After a mellow seed-bed has been made ready and after the weather is
fairly warm, sow, if a seed crop is desired, at the rate of from two to
three pecks an acre. A good seed crop will not be harvested if the
plants are too thick. On the other hand, if a fiber crop is to be
raised, it is desirable to plant more thickly, so that the stalks may
not branch, but run up into a single stem. From a bushel to two bushels
of seed is in this case used to an acre. Flax requires care and work
from start to finish.

When the seeds are full and plump the flax is ready for harvesting. In
America a binder is generally used for cutting the stalks. Our average
yield of flax is from eight to fifteen bushels an acre.

=Hemp.= Like flax, hemp adapts itself wonderfully to many countries and
many climates. However, in America most of our hemp is grown in

[Illustration: FIG. 219. CUTTING HEMP]

Hemp needs soil rich enough to give the young plants a very rapid growth
in their early days so that they may form long fibers. To give this crop
abundant nitrogen without great cost, it should be grown in a rotation
which includes one of the legumes. Rich, well-drained bottom-lands
produce the largest yields of hemp, but uplands which have been heavily
manured make profitable yields.

The ground for hemp is prepared as for other grain crops. The seed is
generally broadcasted for a fiber crop and then harrowed in. No
cultivation is required after seeding.

If hemp is grown for seed, it is best to plant with a drill so that the
crop may be cultivated. The stalks after being cut are put in shocks
until they are dry. Then the seeds are threshed. Large amounts of hemp
seed are sold for caged birds and for poultry; it is also used for


Buckwheat shares with rye and cowpeas the power to make a fairly good
crop on poor land. At the same time, of course, a full crop can be
expected only from fertile land.

The three varieties most grown in America are the common gray, the
silver-hull, and the Japanese. The seeds of the common gray are larger
than the silver-hull, but not so large as the Japanese. The seeds from
the gray variety are generally regarded as inferior to the other two.
This crop is grown to best advantage in climates where the nights are
cool and moist. It matures more quickly than any other grain crop and is
remarkably free from disease. The yield varies from ten to forty bushels
an acre. Buckwheat does not seem to draw plant food heavily from the
soil and can be grown on the same land from year to year.

In fertilizing buckwheat land, green manures and rich nitrogenous
fertilizers should be avoided. These cause such a luxuriant growth that
the stalks lodge badly.

The time of seeding will have to be settled by the height of the land
and by the climate. In northern climates and in high altitudes the
seeding is generally done in May or June. In southern climates and in
low altitudes the planting may wait until July or August. The plant
usually matures in about seventy days. It cannot stand warm weather at
blooming-time, and must always be planted so that it may escape warm
weather in its blooming period and cold weather in its maturing season.
The seeds are commonly broadcasted at an average rate of four pecks to
the acre. If the land is loose and pulverized, it should be rolled.

[Illustration: FIG. 220. BUCKWHEAT IN SHOCK]

Buckwheat ripens unevenly and will continue to bloom until frost.
Harvesting usually begins just after the first crop of seeds have
matured. To keep the grains from shattering, the harvesting is best done
during damp or cloudy days or early in the morning while the dew is
still on the grain. The grain should be threshed as soon as it is dry
enough to go through the thresher.

Buckwheat is grown largely for table use. The grain is crushed into a
dark flour that makes most palatable breakfast cakes. The grain,
especially when mixed with corn, is becoming popular for poultry food.
The middlings, which are rich in fats and protein, are prized for dairy


The United States produces only about one half of the rice that it
consumes. There is no satisfactory reason for our not raising more of
this staple crop, for five great states along the Gulf of Mexico are
well adapted to its culture.

[Illustration: FIG. 221. THRESHING RICE]

There are two distinct kinds of rice, upland rice and lowland rice.
Upland rice demands in general the same methods of culture that are
required by other cereals, for example, oats or wheat. The growing of
lowland rice is considerably more difficult and includes the necessity
of flooding the fields with water at proper times.

A stiff, half-clay soil with some loam is best suited to this crop. The
soil should have a clay subsoil to retain water and to give stiffness
enough to allow the use of harvesting-machinery. Some good rice soils
are so stiff that they must be flooded to soften them enough to admit of
plowing. Plow deeply to give the roots ample feeding-space. Good
tillage, which is too often neglected, is valuable.

Careful seed-selection is perhaps even more needed for rice than for any
other crop. Consumers want kernels of the same size. Be sure that your
seed is free from red rice and other weeds. Drilling is much better
than broadcasting, as it secures a more even distribution of the seed.

The notion generally prevails that flooding returns to the soil the
needed fertility. This may be true if the flooding-water deposits much
silt, but if the water be clear it is untrue, and fertilizers or
leguminous crops are needed to keep up fertility. Cowpeas replace the
lost soil-elements and keep down weeds, grasses, and red rice.

Red rice is a weed close kin to rice, but the seed of one will not
produce the other. Do not allow it to get mixed and sowed with your rice
seed or to go to seed in your field.


Forest trees are not usually regarded as a crop, but they are certainly
one of the most important crops. We should accustom ourselves to look on
our trees as needing and as deserving the same care and thought that we
give to our other field crops. The total number of acres given to the
growth of forest trees is still enormous, but we should each year add to
this acreage.

Unfortunately very few forests are so managed as to add yearly to their
value and to preserve a model stand of trees. Axmen generally fell the
great trees without thought of the young trees that should at once begin
to fill the places left vacant by the fallen giants. Owners rarely study
their woodlands to be sure that the trees are thick enough, or to find
out whether the saplings are ruinously crowding one another. Disease is
often allowed to slip in unchecked. Old trees stand long after they have
outlived their usefulness.

The farm wood-lot, too, is often neglected. As forests are being swept
away, fuel is of course becoming scarcer and more costly. Every farmer
ought to plant trees enough on his waste land to make sure of a constant
supply of fuel. The land saved for the wood-lot should be selected from
land unfit for cultivation. Steep hillsides, rocky slopes, ravines,
banks of streams--these can, without much expense or labor, be set in
trees and insure a never-ending fuel supply.

[Illustration: FIG. 222. WOOD LOT
Before proper treatment]

The most common enemies of the forest crop are:

First, forest fires. The waste from forest fires in the United States is
most startling. Many of these fires are the result of carelessness or
ignorance. Most of the states have made or are now making laws to
prevent and to control such fires.

Second, fungous diseases. The timber loss from these diseases is
exceedingly great.

Third, insects of many kinds prey on the trees. Some strip all the
leaves from the branches. Others bore into the roots, trunk, or
branches. Some lead to a slow death; others are more quickly fatal.

Fourth, improper grazing. Turning animals into young woods may lead to
serious loss. The animals frequently ruin young trees by eating all the
foliage. Hogs often unearth and consume most of the seeds needed for a
good growth.

[Illustration: FIG. 223. WOOD LOT
After proper treatment]

The handling of forests is a business just as the growing of corn is a
business. In old forests, dead and dying trees should be cut. Trees that
occupy space and yet have little commercial value should give way to
more valuable trees. A quick-growing tree, if it is equally desirable,
should be preferred to a slow grower. An even distribution of the trees
should be secured.

In all there are about five hundred species of trees which are natives
of the United States. Probably not over seventy of these are desirable
for forests. In selecting trees to plant or to allow to grow from their
own seeding, pick those that make a quick growth, that have a steady
market value, and that suit the soil, the place of growth, and the


Every farmer needs a garden in which to grow not only vegetables but
small fruits for the home table.

The garden should always be within convenient distance of the farmhouse.
If possible, the spot selected should have a soil of mixed loam and
clay. Every foot of soil in the garden should be made rich and mellow by
manure and cultivation. The worst soils for the home garden are light,
sandy soils, or stiff, clayey soils; but any soil, by judicious and
intelligent culture, can be made suitable.

In laying out the garden we should bear in mind that hand labor is the
most expensive kind of labor. Hence we should not, as is commonly done,
lay off the garden spot in the form of a square, but we should mark off
for our purpose a long, narrow piece of land, so that the cultivating
tools may all be conveniently drawn by a horse or a mule. The use of the
plow and the horse cultivator enables the cultivation of the garden to
be done quickly, easily, and cheaply.

Each vegetable or fruit should be planted in rows, and not in little
patches. Beginning with one side of the garden the following plan of
arrangement is simple and complete: two rows to corn for table use; two
to cabbages, beets, radishes, and eggplants; two to onions, peas, and
beans; two to oyster-plants, okra, parsley, and turnips; two to
tomatoes; then four on the other side can be used for strawberries,
blackberries, raspberries, currants, and gooseberries.


The garden, when so arranged, can be tilled in the spring and tended
throughout the growing season with little labor and little loss of time.
In return for this odd-hour work, the farmer's family will have
throughout the year an abundance of fresh, palatable, and health-giving
vegetables and small fruits.

The keynote of successful gardening is to stir the soil. Stir it often
with four objects in view:

  1. To destroy weeds.

  2. To let air enter the soil.

  3. To enrich the soil by the action of the air.

  4. To retain the moisture by preventing its evaporation.


  cabbage           beets              radishes
  cabbage           beets              eggplants

  onions            peas             beans
  onions            peas             beans

  oyster-plants   okra        parsley        parsnips
  oyster-plants   okra        parsley        parsnips


  strawberries    currants    raspberries    blackberries
  strawberries    currants    raspberries    blackberries
  strawberries    currants    raspberries    blackberries
  strawberries    currants    raspberries    blackberries

[Illustration: FIG. 225. HOW TO LAY OUT THE GARDEN[1]]

This illustration shows that practically every garden vegetable and all
the small fruits can be included in the farm garden, and all the work be
done by horse-drawn tools.

[Footnote 1: The number of rows and arrangement of the vegetables in the
outline above are merely suggestive. They should be changed to meet the
needs and the tastes of each particular family.]




Under usual conditions no farmer expects to grow live stock successfully
and economically without setting apart a large part of his land for the
growth of mowing and pasture crops. Therefore to the grower of stock the
management of grass crops is all-important.

In planting either for a meadow or for a pasture, the farmer should mix
different varieties of grass seeds. Nature mixes them when she plants,
and Nature is always a trustworthy teacher.

In planting for a pasture the aim should be to sow such seeds as will
give green grass from early spring to latest fall. In seeding for a
meadow such varieties should be sowed together as ripen about the same

Even in those sections of the country where it grows sparingly and where
it is easily crowded out, clover should be mixed with all grasses sowed,
for it leaves in the soil a wealth of plant food for the grasses coming
after it to feed on. Nearly every part of our country has some clover
that experience shows to be exactly suited to its soil and climate.
Study these clovers carefully and mix them with your grass seed.

The reason for mixing clover and grass is at once seen. The true
grasses, so far as science now shows, get all their nitrogen from the
soil; hence they more or less exhaust the soil. But, as several times
explained in this book, the clovers are legumes, and all legumes are
able by means of the bacteria that live on their roots to use the free
nitrogen of the air. Hence without cost to the farmer these clovers help
the soil to feed their neighbors, the true grasses. For this reason some
light perennial legume should always be added to grass seed.


It is not possible for grasses to do well in a soil that is full of
weeds. For this reason it is always best to sow grass in fields from
which cultivated crops have just been taken. Soil which is to have grass
sowed in it should have its particles pressed together. The small grass
seeds cannot take root and grow well in land that has just been plowed
and which, consequently, has its particles loose and comparatively far
apart. On the other hand, land from which a crop of corn or cotton has
just been harvested is in a compact condition. The soil particles are
pressed well together. Such land when mellowed by harrowing makes a
splendid bed for grass seeds. A firm soil draws moisture up to the
seeds, while a mellow soil acts as a blanket to keep moisture from
wasting into the air, and at the same time allows the heated air to
circulate in the soil.

In case land has to be plowed for grass-seeding, the plowing should be
done as far as possible in advance of the seeding. Then the plowed land
should be harrowed several times to get the land in a soft, mellow

If the seed-bed be carefully prepared, little work on the ground is
necessary after the seeds are sowed. One light harrowing is sufficient
to cover the broadcast seeds. This harrowing should always be done as
soon as the seeds are scattered, for if there be moisture in the soil
the tiny seeds will soon sprout, and if the harrowing be done after
germination is somewhat advanced, the tender grass plants will be

There are many kinds of pasture and meadow grasses. In New England,
timothy, red clover, and redtop are generally used for the mowing crop.
For permanent pasture, in addition to those mentioned, there should be
added white clover and either Kentucky or Canadian blue grass. In the
Southern states a good meadow or pasture can be made of orchard grass,
red clover, and redtop. For a permanent pasture in the South, Japan
clover, Bermuda, and such other local grasses as have been found to
adapt themselves readily to the climate should be added. In the Middle
States temporary meadows and pastures are generally made of timothy and
red clover, while for permanent pastures white clover and blue grass
thrive well. In the more western states the grasses previously suggested
are readily at home. Alfalfa is proving its adaptability to nearly all
sections and climates, and is in many respects the most promising grass
crop of America.

[Illustration: FIG. 227. BERMUDA]

It hardly ever pays to pasture meadows, except slightly, the first
season, and then only when the soil is dry. It is also poor policy to
pasture any kind of grass land early in the spring when the soil is wet,
because the tramping of animals crushes and destroys the crowns of the
plants. After the first year the sward becomes thicker and tougher, and
the grass is not at all injured if it is grazed wisely.

[Illustration: FIG. 228. ALFALFA THE WONDERFUL
The first crop of the season is being cut and stored for winter]

The state of maturity at which grass should be harvested to make hay of
the best quality varies somewhat with the different grasses and with the
use which is to be made of the hay. Generally speaking, it is a good
rule to cut grass for hay just as it is beginning to bloom or just after
the bloom has fallen. All grasses become less palatable to stock as they
mature and form seed. If grass be allowed to go to seed, most of the
nutrition in the stalk is used to form the seed.

[Illustration: FIG. 229. HARVESTING ALFALFA]

Hence a good deal of food is lost by waiting to cut hay until the seeds
are formed.

Pasture lands and meadow lands are often greatly improved by replowing
and harrowing in order to break up the turf that forms and to admit air
more freely into the soil. The plant-roots that are destroyed by the
plowing or harrowing make quickly available plant food by their decay,
and the physical improvement of the soil leads to a thicker and better
stand. In the older sections of the country commercial fertilizer can be
used to advantage in producing hay and pasturage. If, however, clover
has just been grown on grass land or if it is growing well with the
grass, there is no need to add nitrogen. If the grass seems to lack
sufficient nourishment, add phosphoric acid and potash. However, grass
not grown in company with clover often needs dried blood, nitrate of
soda, or some other nitrogen-supplying agent. Of course it is understood
that no better fertilizer can be applied to grass than barnyard manure.


Often land which was once thought excellent is left to grow up in weeds.
The owner says that the land is worn out, and that it will not pay to
plant it. What does "worn out" mean? Simply that constant cropping has
used up the plant food in the land. Therefore, plants on worn-out land
are too nearly starved to yield bountifully. Such wearing out is so
easily prevented that no owner ought ever to allow his land to become
poverty-stricken. But in case this misfortune has happened, how can the
land be again made fertile?

On page 24 you learned that phosphoric acid, potash, and nitrogen are
the foods most needed by plants. "Worn out," then, to put it in
another way, usually means that a soil has been robbed of one of these
plant necessities, or of two or of all three. To make the land once more
fruitful it is necessary to restore the missing food or foods. How can
this be done? Two of these plant foods, namely, phosphoric acid and
potash, are minerals. If either of these is lacking, it can be supplied
only by putting on the land some fertilizer containing the missing food.
Fortunately, however, nitrogen, the most costly of the plant foods, can
be readily and cheaply returned to poor land.


As explained on page 32 the leguminous crops have the power of drawing
nitrogen from the air and, by means of their root-tubercles, of storing
it in the soil. Hence by growing these crops on poor land the expensive
nitrogen is quickly restored to the soil, and only the two cheaper plant
foods need be bought. How important it is then to grow these leguminous
plants! Every farmer should so rotate his planting that at least once
every two or three years a crop of legumes may add to the fruitfulness
of his fields.

Moreover these crops help land in another way. They send a multitude of
roots deep into the ground. These roots loosen and pulverize the soil,
and their decay, at the end of the growing season, leaves much humus in
the soil. Land will rarely become worn out if legumes are regularly and
wisely grown.

From the fact that they do well in so many different sections and in so
many different climates, the following are the most useful legumes:
alfalfa, clovers, cowpeas, vetches, and soy beans.

=Alfalfa.= Alfalfa is primarily a hay crop. It thrives in the Far West,
in the Middle West, in the North, and in the South. In fact, it will do
well wherever the soil is rich, moist, deep, and underlaid by an open
subsoil. The vast areas given to this valuable crop are yearly
increasing in every section of the United States. Alfalfa, however,
unlike the cowpea, does not take to poor land. For its cultivation,
therefore, good fertile land that is moist but not water-soaked should
be selected.

Good farmers are partial to alfalfa for three reasons. First, it yields
a heavy crop of forage or hay. Second, being a legume, it improves the
soil. Third, one seeding lasts a long time. This length of life may,
however, be destroyed by pasturing or abusing the alfalfa.


Alfalfa is different from most plants in this respect: the soil in which
it grows must have certain kinds of bacteria in it. These cause the
growth of tubercles on the roots. These bacteria, however, are not
always present in land that has not been planted in alfalfa. Hence if
this plant is to be grown successfully these helpful bacteria must
sometimes be supplied artificially.

There are two very easy ways of supplying the germs. First, fine soil
from an alfalfa field may be scattered broadcast over the fields to be
seeded. Second, a small mass of alfalfa tubercle germs may be put into a
liquid containing proper food to make these germs multiply and grow;
then the seeds to be planted are soaked in this liquid in order that
the germs may fasten on the seeds.

Before the seeds are sowed the soil should be mellowed. Over this
well-prepared land about twenty pounds of seed to the acre should be
scattered. The seed may be scattered by hand or by a seed-sower. Cover
with a light harrow. The time of planting varies somewhat with the
climate. Except where the winters are too severe the seed may be sowed
either in the spring or in the fall. In the South sow only in the fall.


During the first season one mowing, perhaps more, is necessary to insure
a good stand and also to keep down the weeds. When the first blossoms
appear in the early summer, it is time to start the mower. After this
the alfalfa should be cut every two, three, or four weeks. The number of
times depends on the rapidity of growth.

This crop rarely makes a good yield the first year, but if a good stand
be secured, the yield steadily increases. After a good stand has been
secured, a top-dressing of either commercial fertilizer or stable manure
will be very helpful. An occasional cutting-up of the sod with a disk
harrow does much good.

=Clovers.= The different kinds of clovers will sometimes grow on hard or
poor soil, but they do far better if the soil is enriched and properly
prepared before the seed is sowed. In many parts of our country it has
been the practice for generations to sow clover seed with some of the
grain crops. Barley, wheat, oats, and rye are the crops with which
clover is usually planted, but many good farmers now prefer to sow the
seed only with other grass seed. Circumstances must largely determine
the manner of seeding.

Crimson clover, which is a winter legume, usually does best when seeded
alone, although rye or some other grain often seems helpful to it. This
kind of clover is an excellent crop with which to follow cotton or corn.
It is most conveniently sowed at the last cultivation of these crops.

Common red clover, which is the standard clover over most of the
country, is usually seeded with timothy or with orchard grass or with
some other of the grasses. In sowing both crimson and red clover, about
ten to fifteen pounds of seed for each acre are generally used.

To make good pastures, white and Japan clover are favorites. White
clover does well in most parts of America, and Japan clover is
especially valuable in warm Southern climates. Both will do well even
when the soil is partly shaded, but they do best in land fully open to
the sun.

Careful attention is required to cure clover hay well. The clover should
always be cut before it forms seed. The best time to cut is when the
plants are in full bloom.

[Illustration: FIG. 233. CRIMSON CLOVER]

Let the mower be started in the morning. Then a few hours later run over
the field with the tedder. This will loosen the hay and let in air and
sunshine. If the weather be fair let the hay lie until the next day, and
then rake it into rows for further drying. After being raked, the hay
may either be left in the rows for final curing or it may be put in
cocks. If the weather be unsettled, it is best to cock the hay. Many
farmers have cloth covers to protect the cocks and these often aid
greatly in saving the hay crop in a rainy season. In case the hay is put
in cocks, it should be opened for a final drying before it is housed.

=Cowpeas.= The cowpea is an excellent soil-enricher. It supplies more
fertilizing material to turn into the soil, in a short time and at small
cost, than any other crop. Moreover, by good tillage and by the use of a
very small amount of fertilizer, the cowpea can be grown on land too
poor to produce any other crop. Its roots go deep into the soil. Hence
they gather plant food and moisture that shallow-rooted plants fail to
reach. These qualities make it an invaluable help in bringing worn-out
lands back to fertility.

The cowpea is a warm-weather legume. In the United States it succeeds
best in the south and southwest. It has, however, in recent years been
grown as far north as Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, Michigan, and
Minnesota, but in these cold climates other legumes are more useful.
Cowpeas should never be planted until all danger of frost is past. Some
varieties make their full growth in two months; others need four months.

There are about two hundred varieties of cowpeas. These varieties differ
in form, in the size of seed and of pod, in the color of seed and of
pod, and in the time of ripening. They differ, too, in the manner of
growth. Some grow erect; others sprawl on the ground. In selecting
varieties it is well to choose those that grow straight up, those that
are hardy, those that fruit early and abundantly, and those that hold
their leaves. The variety selected for seed should also suit the land
and the climate.

The cowpea will grow in almost any soil. It thrives best and yields most
bountifully on well-drained sandy loams. The plant also does well on
clay soils. On light, sandy soils a fairly good crop may be made, but on
such soils, wilt and root-knot are dangerous foes. A warm, moist,
well-pulverized seed-bed should always be provided. Few plants equal the
cowpea in repaying careful preparation.

[Illustration: FIG. 234. COWPEAS]

If this crop is grown for hay, the method of seeding and cultivating
will differ somewhat from the method used when a seed crop is desired.
When cowpeas are planted for hay the seeds should be drilled or
broadcasted. If the seeds are small and the land somewhat rich, about
four pecks should be sowed on each acre. If the seeds are comparatively
large and the soil not so fertile, about six pecks should be sowed to
the acre. It is safer to disk in the seeds when they are sowed broadcast
than it is to rely on a harrow to cover them. In sowing merely for a
hay crop, it is a good practice to mix sorghum, corn, soy beans, or
millet with the cowpeas. The mixed hay is more easily harvested and more
easily cured than unmixed cowpea hay. Shortly after seeding, it pays to
run over the land lightly with a harrow or a weeder in order to break
any crust that may form.

Mowing should begin as soon as the stalks and the pods have finished
growing and some of the lower leaves have begun to turn yellow. An
ordinary mower is perhaps the best machine for cutting the vines. If
possible, select only a bright day for mowing and do not start the
machine until the dew on the vines is dried. Allow the vines to remain
as they fell from the mower till they are wilted; then rake them into
windrows. The vines should generally stay in the windrows for two or
three days and be turned on the last day. They should then be put in
small, airy piles or piled around a stake that has crosspieces nailed to
it. The drying vines should never be packed; air must circulate freely
if good hay is to be made. As piling the vines around stakes is somewhat
laborious, some growers watch the curing carefully and succeed in
getting the vines dry enough to haul directly from the windrows to the
barns. Never allow the vines to stay exposed to too much sunshine when
they are first cut. If the sun strikes them too strongly, the leaves
will become brittle and shatter when they are moved.

When cowpeas are grown for their pods to ripen, the seeds should be
planted in rows about a yard apart. From two to three pecks of seeds to
an acre should be sufficient. The growing plants should be cultivated
two or three times with a good cultivator. Cowpeas were formerly
gathered by hand, but such a method is of course slow and expensive.
Pickers are now commonly used.

Some farmers use the cowpea crop only as a soil-enricher. Hence they
neither gather the seeds nor cut the hay, but plow the whole crop into
the soil. There is an average of about forty-seven pounds of nitrogen in
each ton of cowpea vines. Most of this valuable nitrogen is drawn by the
plants from the air. This amount of nitrogen is equal to that contained
in 9500 pounds of stable manure. In addition each ton of cowpea vines
contains ten pounds of phosphoric acid and twenty-nine pounds of potash.

There is danger in plowing into the soil at one time any bountiful green
crop like cowpeas. As already explained on page 10, a process
called capillarity enables moisture to rise in the soil as plants need
it. Now if a heavy cowpea crop or any other similar crop be at one
plowing turned into the soil, the soil particles will be so separated as
to destroy capillarity. Too much vegetation turned under at once may
also, if the weather be warm, cause fermentation to set in and "sour the
land." Both of these troubles may be avoided by cutting up the vines
with a disk harrow or other implement before covering them.

The custom of planting cowpeas between the rows at the last working of
corn is a good one, and wherever the climate permits this custom should
be followed.

=Vetches.= The vetches have been rapidly growing in favor for some
years. Stock eat vetch hay greedily, and this hay increases the flow of
milk in dairy animals and helps to keep animals fat and sleek. Only two
species of vetch are widely grown. These are the tare, or spring vetch,
and the winter, or hairy, vetch. Spring vetch is grown in comparatively
few sections of our country. It is, however, grown widely in England and
northern continental Europe. What we say here will be confined to hairy

After a soil has been supplied with the germs needed by this plant, the
hairy vetch is productive on many different kinds of soil. The plant is
most vigorous on fertile loams. By good tillage and proper fertilization
it may be forced to grow rather bountifully on poor sandy and clay
loams. Acid or wet soils are not suited to vetch. Lands that are too
poor to produce clovers will frequently yield fair crops of vetch. If
this is borne in mind, many poor soils may be wonderfully improved by
growing on them this valuable legume.

[Illustration: FIG. 235. VETCH]

Vetch needs a fine well-compacted seed-bed, but it is often sowed with
good results on stubble lands and between cotton and corn rows, where it
is covered by a cultivator or a weeder.

The seeds of the vetch are costly and are brought chiefly from Germany,
where this crop is much prized. The pods ripen so irregularly that they
have to be picked by hand.

In northern climates early spring sowing is found most satisfactory. In
southern climates the seeding is best done in the late summer or early
fall. As the vetch vines have a tendency to trail on the ground, it is
wisest to plant with the vetch some crop like oats, barley, rye, or
wheat. These plants will support the vetch and keep its vines from being
injured by falling on the ground. Do not use rye with vetch in the
South. It ripens too early to be of much assistance. If sowed with oats
the seeding should be at the rate of about twenty or thirty pounds of
vetch and about one and a half or two bushels of oats to the acre. Vetch
is covered in the same way as wheat and rye.

Few crops enrich soil more rapidly than vetch if the whole plant is
turned in. It of course adds nitrogen to the soil and at the same time
supplies the soil with a large amount of organic matter to decay and
change to humus. As the crop grows during the winter, it makes an
excellent cover to prevent washing. Many orchard-growers of the
Northwest find vetch the best winter crop for the orchards as well as
for the fields.

=Soy, or Soja, Bean.= In China and Japan the soy bean is grown largely
as food for man. In the United States it is used as a forage plant and
as a soil-improver. It bids fair to become one of the most popular of
the legumes. Like the cowpea, this bean is at home only in a warm
climate. Some of the early-ripening varieties have, however, been
planted with fair success in cold climates.

While there are a large number of varieties of the soy bean, only about
a dozen are commonly grown. They differ mainly in the color, size, and
shape of the seeds, and in the time needed for ripening. Some of the
varieties are more hairy than others.

Soy beans may take many places in good crop-rotations, but they are
unusually valuable in short rotations with small grains. The grains can
be cut in time for the beans to follow them, and in turn the beans can
be harvested in the early fall and make way for another grain crop.

It should always be remembered that soy beans will not thrive unless the
land on which they are to grow is already supplied, or is supplied at
the time of sowing, with bean bacteria.

[Illustration: FIG. 236. CHINESE SOY BEANS]

The plant will grow on many different kinds of soil, but it needs a
richer soil than the cowpea does. As the crop can gather most of its own
nitrogen, it generally requires only the addition of phosphoric acid and
potash for its growth on poor land. When the first crop is seeded, apply
to each acre four hundred pounds of a fertilizing mixture which contains
about ten per cent of phosphoric acid, four per cent of potash, and from
one to two per cent of nitrogen.

If the crop is planted for hay or for grazing, mellow the ground well,
and then broadcast or drill in closely about one and a half bushels of
seed to each acre. Cover from one to two inches deep, but never allow a
crust to form over the seed, for the plant cannot break through a crust
well. When the beans are planted for seeds, a half bushel of seed to the
acre is usually sufficient. The plants should stand in the rows from
four to six inches apart, and the rows should be from thirty to forty
inches from one another. Never plant until the sun has thoroughly warmed
the land. The bean may be sowed, however, earlier than cowpeas. A most
convenient time is just after corn is planted. The rows should be
cultivated often enough to keep out weeds and grass and to keep a good
dust mulch, but the cultivation must be shallow.

[Illustration: FIG. 237. SOY BEANS]

As soy beans are grown for hay and also for seed, the harvesting will,
as with the other legumes, be controlled by the purpose for which the
crop was planted. In harvesting for a hay crop it is desirable to cut
the beans after the pods are well formed but before they are fully
grown. If the cutting is delayed until the pods are ripe, the fruit will
shatter badly. There is a loss, too, in the food value of the stems if
the cutting is late. The ordinary mowing-machine with a rake attached is
generally the machine used for cutting the stalks. The leaves should be
most carefully preserved, for they contain much nourishment for stock.

[Illustration: FIG. 238. SOY BEANS IN CORN]

Whenever the beans are grown for seeds, harvesting should begin when
three fourths of the leaves have fallen and most of the pods are ripe.
Do not wait, however, until the pods are so dry that they have begun to
split and drop their seeds. A slight amount of dampness on the plants
aids the cutting. The threshing may be done with a flail, with
pea-hullers, or with a grain-threshing machine.

The beans produce more seed to the acre than cowpeas do. Forty bushels
is a high yield. The average yield is between twenty and thirty bushels.

                      DESCRIPTIVE TABLE

                ADAPTATION AS
Crop            FOOD FOR ANIMALS     LIFE            REMARKS

Alfalfa         Hay                Perennial   All animals like it; hogs
                                                eat it even when it is dry.
Red clover      Hay and pasture    Perennial   Best of the clovers for hay.
Alsike clover   Hay and pasture    Perennial   Seeds itself for twenty
                                                years. This clover is a
                                                great favorite with bees.
Mammoth clover  Hay and pasture    Perennial   Best for green manure.
White clover    Pasture            Perennial   Excellent for lawns and
Japan clover    Pasture            Perennial   Excellent for forest and
                                                old soils.
Cowpea          Hay and grain      Annual      Used for hay, green
                                                manure, and pastures.
Soy bean        Hay and grain      Annual      Often put in silo with corn.
Vetches         Hay and soiling    Annual      Pasture for sheep and
                                                swine. With cereals
                                                it makes excellent hay
                                                and soiling-food.



The progress that a nation is making can with reasonable accuracy be
measured by the kind of live stock it raises. The general rule is, poor
stock, poor people. All the prosperous nations of the globe, especially
the grain-growing nations, get a large share of their wealth from
raising improved stock. The stock bred by these nations is now, however,
very different from the stock raised by the same nations years ago. As
soon as man began to progress in the art of agriculture he became
dissatisfied with inferior stock. He therefore bent his energies to
raise the standard of excellence in domestic animals.

By slow stages of animal improvement the ugly, thin-flanked wild boar of
early times has been transformed into the sleek Berkshire or the
well-rounded Poland-China. In the same manner the wild sheep of the Old
World have been developed into wool and mutton breeds of the finest
excellence. By constant care, attention, and selection the thin,
long-legged wild ox has been bred into the bounteous milk-producing
Jerseys and Holsteins or into the Shorthorn mountains of flesh. From the
small, bony, coarse, and shaggy horse of ancient times have descended
the heavy Norman, or Percheron, draft horse and the fleet Arab courser.

The matter of meat-production is one of vital importance to the human
race, for animal food must always supply a large part of man's ration.

Live stock of various kinds consume the coarser foods, like the grasses,
hays, and grains, which man cannot use. As a result of this consumption
they store in their bodies the exact substances required for building up
the tissues of man's body.

When the animal is used by man for food, one class of foods stored away
in the animal's body produces muscle; another produces fat, heat, and
energy. The food furnished by the slaughter of animals seems necessary
to the full development of man. It is true that the flesh of an animal
will not support human life so long as would the grain that the animal
ate while growing, but it is also true that animal food does not require
so much of man's force to digest it. Hence the use of meat forces a part
of man's life-struggle on the lower animal.

When men feed grain to stock, the animals receive in return power and
food in their most available forms. Men strengthen the animal that they
themselves may be strengthened. One of the great questions, then, for
the stock-grower's consideration is how to make the least amount of food
fed to animals produce the most power and flesh.


While we have a great many kinds of horses in America, horses are not
natives of this country. Just where wild horses were first tamed and
used is not certainly known. It is believed that in early ages the horse
was a much smaller animal than it now is, and that it gradually attained
its present size. Where food was abundant and nutritious and the climate
mild and healthful, the early horses developed large frames and heavy
limbs and muscles; on the other hand, where food was scarce and the
climate cold and bleak, the animals remained as dwarfed as the ponies of
the Shetland Islands.

[Illustration: FIG. 239. THE FAMILY PET]

One of the first records concerning the horse is found in Genesis xlix,
17, where Jacob speaks of "an adder that biteth the horse heels."
Pharaoh took "six hundred chosen chariots" and "with all the horses and
chariots" pursued the Israelites. The Greeks at first drove the horse
fastened to a rude chariot; later they rode on its back, learning to
manage the animal with voice or switch and without either saddle or
bridle. This thinking people soon invented the snaffle bit, and both
rode and drove with its aid. The curb bit was a Roman invention. Shoeing
was not practiced by either Greeks or Romans. Saddles and harnesses were
at first made of skins and sometimes of cloth.

Among the Tartars of middle and northern Asia and also among some other
nations, mare's milk and the flesh of the horse are used for food. Old
and otherwise worthless horses are regularly fattened for the meat
markets of France and Germany. Various uses are made of the different
parts of a horse's body. The mane and tail are used in the manufacture
of mattresses, and also furnish a haircloth for upholstering; the skin
is tanned into leather; the hoofs are used for glue, and the bones for
making fertilizer.

[Illustration: FIG. 240. PERCHERON HORSE (A DRAFT TYPE)]

Climate, food, and natural surroundings have all aided in producing
changes in the horse's form, size, and appearance. The varying
circumstances under which horses have been raised have given rise to the
different breeds. In addition, the masters' needs had much to do in
developing the type of horses wanted. Some masters desired work horses,
and kept the heavy, muscular, stout-limbed animals; others desired
riding and driving horses, so they saved for their use the light-limbed,
angular horses that had endurance and mettle. The following table gives
some of the different breeds and the places of their development:

[Illustration: FIG. 241.
Diagram shows the proper shape of the fore and hind legs of a horse.
When the straight lines divide the legs equally, the leg action is
straight and regular]

  I. _Draft, or Heavy, Breeds_

  1. Percheron, from the province of Perche, France.
  2. French Draft, developed in France.
  3. Belgian Draft, developed by Belgian farmers.
  4. Clydesdale, the draft horse of Scotland.
  5. Suffolk Punch, from the eastern part of England.
  6. English Shire, also from the eastern part of England.

  II. _Carriage, or Coach, Breeds_

  1. Cleveland Bay, developed in England.
  2. French Coach, the gentleman's horse of France.
  3. German Coach, from Germany.
  4. Oldenburg Coach, Oldenburg, Germany.
  5. Hackney, the English high-stepper.

  III. _Light, or Roadster, Breeds_

  1. American Trotter, developed in America.
  2. Thoroughbred, the English running horse.
  3. American Saddle Horse, from Kentucky and Virginia.

There is a marked difference in the form and type of these horses, and
on this difference their usefulness depends.

[Illustration: FIG. 242. WIDE HOCK
This horse stands great strains and is not fatigued easily]

[Illustration: FIG. 243. NARROW HOCK
This horse becomes exhausted very easily]

The draft breeds have short legs, and hence their bodies are
comparatively close to the ground. The depth of the body should be about
the same as the length of leg. All draft horses should have upright
shoulders, so as to provide an easy support for the collar. The hock
should be wide, so that the animal shall have great leverage of muscle
for pulling. A horse having a narrow hock is not able to draw a heavy
load and is easily exhausted and liable to curb-diseases (see Figs. 242
and 243).

[Illustration: FIG. 244. THE ROADSTER TYPE]

The legs of all kinds of horses should be straight; a line dropped from
the point of the shoulder to the ground should divide the knees, canon,
fetlock, and foot into two equal parts. When the animal is formed in
this way the feet have room to be straight and square, with just the
breadth of a hoof between them (Fig. 241).

Roadsters are lighter in bone and less heavily muscled; their legs are
longer than those of the draft horses and, as horsemen say, more
"daylight" can be seen under the body. The neck is long and thin, but
fits nicely into the shoulders. The shoulders are sloping and long and
give the roadster ability to reach well out in his stride. The head is
set gracefully on the neck and should be carried with ease and

Every man who is to deal with horses ought to become, by observation and
study, an expert judge of forms, qualities, types, defects, and

[Illustration: FIG. 245. SIDE VIEW OF LEGS
The diagram shows how the straight lines ought to cross the legs of a
properly shaped horse]

The horse's foot makes an interesting study. The horny outside protects
the foot from mud, ice, and stones. Inside the hoof are the bones and
gristle that serve as cushions to diminish the shock received while
walking or running on hard roads or streets. When shoeing the horse the
frog should not be touched with the knife. It is very seldom that any
cutting need be done. Many blacksmiths do not know this and often
greatly injure the foot.

Since the horse has but a small stomach, the food given should not be
too bulky. In proportion to the horse's size, its grain ration should be
larger than that of other animals. Draft horses and mules, however, can
be fed a more bulky ration than other horses, because they have larger
stomachs and consequently have more room to store food.

[Illustration: FIG. 246. HOW TO MEASURE A HORSE]

The horse should be groomed every day. This keeps the pores of the skin
open and the hair bright and glossy. When horses are working hard, the
harness should be removed during the noon hour. During the cool seasons
of the year, whenever a horse is wet with sweat, it should on stopping
work, or when standing for awhile, be blanketed, for the animal is as
liable as man to get cold in a draft or from moisture evaporating
rapidly from its skin.


     If the pupil will take an ordinary tape measure, he can make some
     measurements of the horse that will be very interesting as well as
     profitable. Let him measure:

     1. The height of the horse at the withers, 1 to 1.
     2. The height of the horse at croup, 2 to 2.
     3. Length of shoulder, 1 to 3.
     4. Length of back, 4.
     5. Length of head, 5.
     6. Depth of body, 6 to 6.
     7. Daylight under body, 7 to 7.
     8. Distance from point of shoulder to quarter, 3 to 3.
     9. Width of forehead.
     10. Width between hips.

     NOTE. Many interesting comparisons can be made (1) by
     measuring several horses; (2) by studying the proportion between
     parts of the same horse.


     1. How many times longer is the body than the head? Do you get the
     same result from different horses?

     2. How does the height at the withers compare with the height at
     the croup?

     3. How do these compare with the distance from quarter to shoulder?

     4. How does the length of the head compare with the thickness of
     the body and with the open space, or "daylight," under the body?


All farm animals were once called _cattle_; now this term applies only
to beef and dairy animals--neat cattle.

Our improved breeds are descended from the wild ox of Europe and Asia,
and have attained their size and usefulness by care, food, and
selection. The uses of cattle are so familiar that we need scarcely
mention them. Their flesh is a part of man's daily food; their milk,
cream, butter, and cheese are on most tables; their hides go to make
leather, and their hair for plaster; their hoofs are used for glue, and
their bones for fertilizers, ornaments, buttons, and many other

[Illustration: FIG. 247. A PRIZE-WINNER]

There are two main classes of cattle--beef breeds and dairy breeds. The
principal breeds of each class are as follows:

  I. _Beef Breeds_

  1. Aberdeen-Angus, bred in Scotland, and often called _doddies_.
  2. Galloway, from Scotland.
  3. Shorthorn, an English breed of cattle.
  4. Hereford, also an English breed.
  5. Sussex, from the county of Sussex, England.

  II. _Dairy Breeds_

  1. Jersey, from the Isle of Jersey.
  2. Guernsey, from the Isle of Guernsey.
  3. Ayrshire, from Scotland.
  4. Holstein-Frisian, from Holland and Denmark.
  5. Brown Swiss, from Switzerland.

Other breeds of cattle are Devon, Dutch Belted, Red-Polled, Kerry, and
West Highland.

In general structure there is a marked difference between the beef and
dairy breeds. This is shown in Figs. 248, 249. The beef cow is square,
full over the back and loins, and straight in the back. The hips are
covered evenly with flesh, the legs full and thick, the under line, or
stomach line, parallel to the back line, and the neck full and short.
The eye should be bright, the face short, the bones of fine texture, and
the skin soft and pliable.

[Illustration: FIG. 248. ABERDEEN-ANGUS COW (A BEEF TYPE)]

The dairy cow is widely different from the beef cow. She shows a decided
wedge shape when you look at her from front, side, or rear. The back
line is crooked, the hip bones and tail bone are prominent, the thighs
thin and poorly fleshed; there is no breadth to the back, as in the beef
cow, and little flesh covers the shoulders; the neck is long and thin.

The udder of the dairy cow is most important. It should be full but not
fleshy, be well attached behind, and extend well forward. The larger the
udder the more milk will be given.

The skin of the dairy cow, like that of the beef breeds, should be soft
and pliable and the bones fine-textured.

=The Dairy Type.= Because of lack of flesh on the back, loins, and
thighs, the cow of the dairy type is not profitably raised for beef, nor
is the beef so good as that of the beef types. This is because in the
dairy-animal food goes to produce milk rather than beef. In the same way
the beef cow gives little milk, since her food goes rather to fat than
to milk. For the same reasons that you do not expect a plow horse to win
on the race track, you do not expect a cow of the beef type to win
premiums as a milker.

[Illustration: FIG. 249. JERSEY COW (A DAIRY TYPE)]

"Scrub" cattle are not profitable. They mature slowly and consequently
consume much food before they are able to give any return for it. Even
when fattened, the fat and lean portions are not evenly distributed,
and "choice cuts" are few and small.

By far the cheapest method of securing a healthy and profitable herd of
dairy or beef cattle is to save only the calves whose sires are
pure-bred animals and whose mothers are native cows. In this way farmers
of even little means can soon build up an excellent herd.

=Improving Cattle.= The fact that it is not possible for every farmer to
possess pure-bred cattle is no reason why he should not improve the
stock he has. He can do this by using pure-bred sires that possess the
qualities most to be desired. Scrub stock can be quickly improved by the
continuous use of good sires. It is never wise to use grade, or
cross-bred, sires, since the best qualities are not fixed in them.

[Illustration: FIG. 250. HEAD OF A GALLOWAY COW]

Moreover, it is possible for every farmer to determine exactly the
producing-power of his dairy cows. When the cows are milked, the milk
should be weighed and a record kept. If this be done, it will be found
that some cows produce as much as five hundred, and some as much as ten
hundred, gallons a year, while others produce not more than two or three
hundred gallons. If a farmer kills or sells his poor cows and keeps his
best ones, he will soon have a herd of only heavy milkers. Ask your
father to try this plan. Read everything you can find about taking care
of cows and improving them, and then start a herd of your own.

=Conclusions.= (1) A cow with a tendency to get fat is not profitable
for the dairy. (2) A thin, open, angular cow will make expensive beef.
(3) "The sire is half the herd." This means that a good sire is
necessary to improve a herd of cattle. The improvement from scrubs
upward is as follows: the first generation is one-half pure; the second
is three-fourths pure; the third is seven-eighths pure; the fourth is
fifteen-sixteenths pure, etc. (4) By keeping a record of the quantity
and quality of milk each cow gives you can tell which are profitable to
raise from and which are not. (5) Good food, clean water, kindness, and
care are necessary to successful cattle-raising.

[Illustration: FIG. 251. HOLSTEIN COW]

The ownership of a well-bred animal usually arouses so much pride in the
owner that the animal receives all the care that it merits. The watchful
care given to such an animal leads to more thought of the other animals
on the farm, and often brings about the upbuilding of an entire herd.


The sheep was perhaps the first animal domesticated by man, and to-day
the domesticated sheep is found wherever man lives. It is found
domesticated or wild in almost every climate, and finds means to thrive
where other animals can scarcely live; it provides man with meat and
clothing, and is one of the most profitable and most easily cared-for of

[Illustration: FIG. 252. A YOUNG SHEPHERD]

Sheep increase so rapidly, mature at such an early age, and have flesh
so wholesome for food that nearly every farm should have its flock.
Another consideration that may be urged in favor of sheep-raising is
that sheep improve the land on which they are pastured.

Sheep are docile and easily handled, and they live on a greater
diversity of food and require less grain than any other kind of live
stock. In mixed farming there is enough food wasted on most farms to
maintain a small flock of sheep.


Sheep may be divided into three classes:

  I. _Fine-Wooled Breeds_

    1. American Merino.
    2. Delaine Merino.
    3. Rambouillets.
    4. Hampshire Down.
    5. Oxford Down.
    6. Cheviot.

  II. _Medium-Wooled Breeds_

    1. Southdown.
    2. Shropshire.
    3. Horned Dorset.

  III. _Long-Wooled Breeds_

    1. Leicester.
    2. Lincoln.
    3. Cotswold.

[Illustration: FIG. 254. IN THE PASTURE]

The first group is grown principally for wool, and mutton is secondary;
in the second group, mutton comes first and wool second; in the third
group both are important considerations. Wool is nature's protection for
the sheep. Have you ever opened the fleece and observed the clean skin
in which the fibers grow? These fibers, or hairs, are so roughened that
they push all dirt away from the skin toward the outside of the fleece.

Wool is valuable in proportion to the length and evenness of the fiber
and the density of the fleece.


     1. How many pounds ought a fleece of wool to weigh?
     2. Which makes the better clothing, coarse or fine wool?
     3. Why are sheep washed before being sheared?
     4. Does cold weather trouble sheep? wet weather?


The wild boar is a native of Europe, Asia, and Africa. The wild hogs are
the parents from which all our domestic breeds have sprung. In many
parts of the world the wild boar is still found. These animals are
active and powerful, and as they grow older are fierce and dangerous. In
their wild state they seek moist, sandy, and well-wooded places, close
to streams of water. Their favorite foods are fruits, grass, and roots,
but when pressed by hunger they will eat snakes, worms, and even higher
animals, like birds, fowls, and fish.

[Illustration: FIG. 255. WHICH WILL YOU RAISE?]

Man captured some of these wild animals, fed them abundant and
nutritious food, accustomed them to domestic life, selected the best of
them to raise from, and in the course of generations developed our
present breeds of hogs. The main changes brought about in hogs were
these: the legs became shorter, the snout and neck likewise shortened,
the shoulders and hams increased their power to take on flesh, and the
frame was strengthened to carry the added burden of flesh. As the animal
grew heavier it roamed less widely, and as it grew accustomed to man its
temper became less fierce.

[Illustration: FIG. 256. A PAIR OF PORKERS]

Meat can be more cheaply obtained from hogs than from any other animal.
When a hog is properly fed and cared for it will make the farmer more
money in proportion to cost than any other animal on the farm.

The most profitable type of hog has short legs, small bones, straight
back and under line, heavy hams, small well-dished head, and heavy
shoulders. The scrub and "razorback" hogs are very unprofitable, and
require an undue amount of food to produce a pound of gain. It requires
two years to get the scrub to weigh what a well-bred pig will weigh
when nine months old. Scrub hogs can be quickly changed in form and type
by the use of a pure-bred sire.

A boy whose parents were too poor to send him to college once decided to
make his own money and get an education. He bought a sow and began to
raise pigs. He earned the food for the mother and her pigs. His hogs
increased so rapidly that he had to work hard to keep them in food. By
saving the money he received from the sale of his hogs he had enough to
keep him two years in college. Suppose you try his plan, and let the hog
show you how fast it can make money.

[Illustration: FIG. 257. A GOOD TYPE]

We have several breeds of swine. The important ones are:

  I. _Large Breeds_

    1. Chester White.
    2. Improved Yorkshire.
    3. Tamworth.

  II. _Medium Breeds_

    1. Berkshire.
    2. Poland-China.
    3. Duroc-Jersey.
    4. Cheshire.

  III. _Small Breeds_

    1. Victoria.
    2. Suffolk.
    3. Essex.
    4. Small Yorkshire.

Hogs will be most successfully raised when kept as little as possible in
pens. They like the fields and the pasture grass, the open air and the
sunshine. Almost any kind of food can be given them. Unlike other stock,
they will devour greedily and tirelessly the richest feeding-stuffs.

The most desirable hog to raise is one that will produce a more or less
even mixture of fat and lean. Where only corn is fed, the body becomes
very fat and is not so desirable for food as when middlings, tankage,
cowpeas, or soy beans are added as a part of the ration.

[Illustration: FIG. 258. DINNER IS OVER]

When hogs are kept in pens, cleanliness is most important, for only by
cleanliness can disease be avoided.


Our geese, ducks, turkeys, and domestic hens are all descendants of wild
fowls, and are more or less similar to them in appearance.

The earliest recorded uses of fowls were for food, for fighting, and for
sacrifice. To-day the domestic fowl has four well-defined
uses--egg-production, meat-production, feather-production, and

Barred Plymouth Rocks, male and female; White Wyandottes, female and

Hens of course produce most of our eggs. Some duck eggs are sold for
table use. Goose and duck body-feathers bring good prices. As
pest-destroyers turkeys and chickens are most useful. They eat large
numbers of bugs and worms that are harmful to crops. A little proper
attention would very largely increase the already handsome sum derived
from our fowls. They need dry, warm, well-lighted, and tidily kept
houses. They must have, if we want the best returns, an abundant supply
of pure water and a variety of nutritious foods. In cold, rainy, or
snowy weather they should have a sheltered yard, and in good weather
should be allowed a range wide enough to give them exercise. Their
bodies and their nests must be protected from every form of vermin.

For eggs, the Leghorn varieties are popular. Some hens of this breed
have been known to lay more than two hundred eggs in a year. Specially
cared-for flocks have averaged eleven or even twelve dozen eggs a year.
Farm flocks of ordinary breeds average less than eight dozen. Other
excellent egg breeds are the Spanish, Andalusian, and Minorca.

[Illustration: FIG. 259. COCK]

The principal so-called meat breeds are the Brahma, Cochin, and
Langshan. These are very large, but rather slow-growing fowls, and are
not noted as layers. They are far less popular in America, even as
meat-producers, than the general-purpose breeds.

The Plymouth Rock, Wyandotte, Rhode Island Red, and Orpington are the
leading general-purpose breeds. They are favorites because they are at
once good-sized, good layers, tame, and good mothers. The chicks of
these breeds are hardy and thrifty. In addition to these breeds, there
are many so-called fancy breeds that are prized for their looks rather
than for their value. Among these are the Hamburg, Polish, Sultan,
Silkie, and the many Bantam breeds.

The leading duck breeds are the Pekin, Aylesbury, Indian Runner,
Muscovy, Rouen, and Cayuga. The principal varieties of geese are the
Toulouse, Emden, Chinese, and African.

Among the best breeds of turkeys are the Bronze, White Holland,
Narragansett, Bourbon, Slate, and Buff.

Geese, ducks, and turkeys are not so generally raised as hens, but there
is a constant demand at good prices for these fowls.

[Illustration: FIG. 260. BROODER]

The varieties of the domestic hen are as follows:

  I. _Egg Breeds_

  1. Leghorn.
  2. Minorca.
  3. Spanish.
  4. Blue Andalusian.
  5. Anconas.

  II. _Meat Breeds_

  1. Brahma.
  2. Cochin.
  3. Langshan.
  4. Dorking.
  5. Cornish.

  III. _General-Purpose Breeds_

  1. Plymouth Rock.
  2. Wyandotte.
  3. Rhode Island Red.
  4. Orpington.

  IV. _Fancy Breeds_

  1. Polish.
  2. Game.
  3. Sultan.
  4. Bantam.

[Illustration: FIG. 261. BREEDING YARDS]

[Illustration: FIG. 262. INCUBATOR]

As the price of both eggs and fowls is steadily advancing, a great many
people are now raising fowls by means of an incubator for hatching, and
a brooder as a substitute for the mother hen.

The use of the incubator is extending each year and is now almost
universal where any considerable number of chicks are to be hatched.
Doubtless it will continue to be used wherever poultry-production is
engaged in on a large scale.

The brooder is employed to take care of the chickens as soon as they
leave the incubator.


Stock-raisers select breeds that are best adapted to their needs.
Plant-growers exercise great care in their choice of plants, selecting
for each planting those best suited to the conditions under which they
are to be grown. Undoubtedly a larger yield of honey could be had each
year if similar care were exercised in the selection of the breed of

[Illustration: FIG. 263. A CARNIOLAN WORKER]

To prove this, one has only to compare the yield of two different kinds.
The common East Indian honey bee rarely produces more than ten or twelve
pounds to a hive, while the Cyprian bee, which is a most industrious
worker, has a record of one thousand pounds in one season from a single
colony. This bee, besides being industrious when honey material is
plentiful, is also very persevering when such material is hard to find.
The Cyprians have two other very desirable qualities. They stand the
cold of winter well and stoutly defend their hives against robber bees
and other enemies.

The Italian is another good bee. This variety was brought into the
United States in 1860. While the yield from the Italian is somewhat less
than from the Cyprian, the Italian bees produce a whiter comb and are a
trifle more easily managed.

The common black or brown bee is found wild and domesticated throughout
the country. When honey material is abundant, these bees equal the
Italians in honey-production, but when the season is poor, they fall far
short in the amount of honey produced.

The purchase of a good Cyprian or Italian hive will richly repay the
buyer. Such a colony will cost more at the outset than an ordinary
colony, but will soon pay for its higher cost by greater production.

[Illustration: FIG. 264. A CARNIOLAN DRONE]

A beehive in the spring contains one queen, several hundred drones, and
from thirty-five to forty thousand workers. The duty of the queen is to
lay all the eggs that are to hatch the future bees. This she does with
untiring industry, often laying as many as four thousand in twenty-four

The worker bees do all the work. Some of them visit the flowers, take up
the nectar into the honey-sac, located in their abdomens, and carry it
to the hive. They also gather pollen in basketlike cavities in their
hind legs. Pollen and nectar are needed to prepare food for the young
bees. In the hive other workers create a breeze by buzzing with their
wings and produce heat by their activity--all to cause the water to
evaporate from the nectar and to convert it into honey before it is
sealed up in the comb. After a successful day's gathering you may often
hear these tireless workers buzzing till late into the night or even all
through the night.

You know that the bees get nectar from the flowers of various plants.
Some of the chief honey plants are alfalfa, buckwheat, horsemint,
sourwood, white sage, wild pennyroyal, black gum, holly, chestnut,
magnolia, and the tulip tree. The yield of honey may often be increased
by providing special pasturage for the bees. The linden tree, for
example, besides being ornamental and valuable for timber, produces a
most bee-inviting flower. Vetch, clover, and most of the legumes and
mints are valuable plants to furnish pasture for bees. Catnip may be
cultivated for the bees and sold as an herb as well.

[Illustration: FIG. 265. A CARNIOLAN QUEEN]

In spraying fruit trees to prevent disease you should always avoid
spraying when the trees are in bloom, since the poison of the spray
seriously endangers the lives of bees.

The eggs laid by the queen, if they are to produce workers, require
about twenty-one days to bring forth the perfect bee. The newly hatched
bee commences life as a nurse. When about ten days old it begins to try
its wings in short flights, and a few days later it begins active work.
The life of a worker bee in the busy season is only about six weeks. You
may distinguish young exercising bees from real workers by the fact that
they do not fly directly away on emerging from the hive, but circle
around a bit in order to make sure that they can recognize home again,
since they would receive no cordial welcome if they should attempt to
enter another hive. They hesitate upon returning from even these short
flights, to make sure that they are in front of their own door.

[Illustration: FIG. 266. GOOD FORM OF HIVE]

There are several kinds of enemies of the bee which all beekeepers
should know. One of these is the robber bee, that is, a bee from another
colony attempting to steal honey from the rightful owners, an attempt
often resulting in frightful slaughter. Much robbery can be avoided by
clean handling; that is, by leaving no honey about to cultivate a taste
for stolen sweets. The bee moth is another serious enemy. The larva of
the moth feeds on the wax. Keep the colonies of bees strong so that they
may be able to overcome this moth.

[Illustration: FIG. 267. ANTI-ROBBING ENTRANCE
_st_, stationary piece; _s_, slide; _p_, pin, or stop]

Queenless or otherwise weak colonies should be protected by a narrow
entrance that admits only one bee at a time, for such a pass may be
easily guarded. Fig. 267 shows a good anti-robbery entrance which may be
readily provided for every weak colony. Mice may be kept out by
tin-lined entrances. The widespread fear of the kingbird seems
unfounded. He rarely eats anything but drones, and few of them. This is
also true of the swallow. Toads, lizards, and spiders are, however, true
enemies of the honeybee.


     Can you recognize drones, workers, and queens? Do bees usually
     limit their visits to one kind of blossom on any one trip? What
     effect has the kind of flower on the flavor of the honey produced?
     What kinds of flowers should the beekeeper provide for his bees? Is
     the kingbird really an enemy to the bee?


In the first place, we give various kinds of feed stuffs to our animals
that they may live. The heart beats all the time, the lungs contract and
expand, digestion is taking place, the blood circulates through the
body--something must supply force for these acts or the animal dies.
This force is derived from food.

In the next place, food is required to keep the body warm. Food in this
respect is fuel, and acts in the same way that wood or coal does in the
stove. Our bodies are warm all the time, and they are kept warm by the
food we eat at mealtime.

Then, in the third place, food is required to enable the body to
enlarge--to grow. If you feed a colt just enough to keep it alive and
warm, there will be no material present to enable it to grow; hence you
must add enough food to form bone and flesh and muscle and hair and fat.

In the fourth place, we feed to produce strength for work. An animal
poorly fed cannot do so much work at the plow or on the road as one that
receives all the food needed.

Both food and the force produced by it result from the activity of
plants. By means of sunlight and moisture a sprouting seed, taking out
of the air and soil different elements, grows into a plant. Then, just
as the plant feeds on the air and soil to get its growth, so the animal
feeds on the plant, to get its growth. Hence, since our animals feed
upon plants, we must find out what is in plants in order to know what
animal food consists of.

Plants contain protein, carbohydrates, fat, mineral matter, water, and
vitamins. You have seen protein compounds like the white of an egg, lean
meat, or the gluten of wheat. The bodies of plants do not contain very
much protein. On the other hand, all plant seeds contain a good deal of
this substance. Animals make use of protein to form new blood, muscles,
and organs. Because of the quality of protein, milk is the best food for
children and young animals.

The protein in some foods is of poor quality. To insure a well-balanced
supply of protein a variety in foods is desirable. Do not rely on a
single kind of mill feed, but combine several kinds, such as cotton-seed
meal, linseed meal, wheat bran and middlings, gluten, and similar grain
by-products. Tankage for young pigs and meat scraps for chickens are
high-grade proteins and are of animal origin.

It is no less important to get the necessary vitamins--those mysterious
substances that keep the body healthy and promote growth and well-being.
Scientists claim that many diseases are food-deficiency diseases--the
body gets out of order because these peculiar vitamins are lacking in
the food. Children require about one or two quarts of milk a day, fresh
fruits, cereal breakfast foods, leafy vegetables as salads, and cooked

Farm animals require the vitamins also. The legume pasture or hay, milk,
grain concentrates when supplied in variety, pasture grass, and green
forage crops are basic foods for farm animals. Very young animals should
have milk also.

Let us next consider the carbohydrates. Sometimes the words _starchy
foods_ are used to describe the carbohydrates. You have long known
forms of these in the white material of corn and of potatoes. The
carbohydrates are formed of three elements--carbon, oxygen, and
hydrogen. The use of these carbohydrates is to furnish to animal bodies
either heat or energy or to enable them to store fat.

In the next place, let us look at the fat in plant food. This consists
of the oil stored up in the seeds and other parts of the plant. The
grains contain most of the oil. Fat is used by the animal to make heat
and energy or to be stored away in the body.

The next animal food in the plant that we are to think about is the
mineral matter. The ashes of a burnt plant furnish a common example of
this mineral matter. The animal uses this material of the plant to make
bone, teeth, and tissue.

The last thing that the plant furnishes the animal is water--just common
water. Young plants contain comparatively large quantities of water.
This is one reason why they are soft, juicy, and palatable. But, since
animals get their water chiefly in another way, the water in feed stuffs
is not important.



  1. Forms flesh, bone, blood, internal organs, hair, and milk.
  2. May be used to make fat.
  3. May be used for heat.
  4. May be used to produce energy.


  1. Furnish body heat.
  2. Furnish energy.
  3. Make fat.


  1. Furnishes body heat.
  2. Furnishes energy.
  3. Furnishes body fat.

  _Mineral Matter_

  Furnishes mineral matter for the bones in the body.


  Supplies water in the body.




Success in dairy farming depends largely upon the proper feeding of
stock. There are two questions that the dairy farmer should always ask
himself: Am I feeding as cheaply as I can? and, Am I feeding the best
rations for milk and butter production? Of course cows can be kept alive
and in fairly good milk flow on many different kinds of food, but in
feeding, as in everything else, there is an ideal to be sought.

[Illustration: FIG. 268. MILKING-TIME]

What, then, is an ideal ration for a dairy cow? Before trying to answer
this question the word _ration_ needs to be explained. By ration is
meant a sufficient quantity of food to support properly an animal for
one day. If the animal is to have a proper ration, we must bear in mind
what the animal needs in order to be best nourished. To get material for
muscle, for blood, for milk, and for some other things, the animal
needs, in the first place, food that contains protein. To keep warm and
fat, the animal must, in the second place, have food containing
carbohydrates and fats. These foods must be mixed in right proportions.

[Illustration: FIG. 269. A DAIRY]

With these facts in mind we are prepared for an answer to the question,
What is an ideal ration?

First, it is a ration that, without waste, furnishes both in weight and
bulk of dry matter a sufficient amount of digestible, nutritious food.

Second, it is a ration that is comparatively cheap.

Third, it is a ration in which the milk-forming food (protein) is
rightly proportioned to the heat-making and fat-making food
(carbohydrates and fat). Any ration in which this proportion is
neglected is badly balanced.

Now test one or two commonly used rations by these rules. Would a ration
of cotton-seed meal and cotton-seed hulls be a model ration? No. Such a
ration, since the seeds are grown at home, would be cheap enough.
However, it is badly balanced, for it is too rich in protein; hence it
is a wasteful ration. Would a ration of corn meal and corn stover be a
desirable ration? This, too, since the corn is home-grown, would be
cheap for the farmer; but, like the other, it is badly balanced, for it
contains too much carbohydrate food and is therefore a wasteful ration.

A badly balanced ration does harm in two ways: first, the milk flow of
the cow is lessened by such a ration; second, the cow does not
profitably use the food that she eats.

The following table gives an excellent dairy ration for the farmer who
has a silo. If he does not have a silo, some other food can be used in
place of the ensilage. The table also shows what each food contains. As
you grow older, it will pay you to study such tables most carefully.

                              |      DIGESTIBLE MATTER
        FEED STUFFS          | Dry  |Protein|Carbohydrates| Fat
                              |matter|       |             |
  Cowpea hay = 15 pounds[1]   | 13.50|  1.62 |        5.79 | .16
  Corn stover = 10 pounds     |  5.95|   .17 |        3.24 | .07
  Corn ensilage = 30 pounds   |  6.27|   .27 |        3.39 | .21
  Cotton-seed meal = 2 pounds |  1.83|   .74 |         .33 | .24
  Total = 57 pounds           | 27.55|  2.80 |       12.75 | .68

[Footnote 1: Alfalfa or clover hay may take the place of cowpea hay.]

=Care of the Cow.= As the cow is one of the best money-makers on the
farm, she should, for this reason, if for no other, be comfortably
housed, well fed and watered, and most kindly treated. In your thoughts
for her well-being, bear the following directions in mind:

1. If you are not following a balanced ration, feed each day several
different kinds of food. In this way you will be least likely to waste

2. Feed at regular hours. Cows, like people, thrive best when their
lives are orderly.

3. Milk at regular hours.

4. Brush the udder carefully with a moist cloth before you begin to
milk. Cleanliness in handling makes the milk keep longer.

5. Always milk in buckets or cups that have been scalded since the last
using. The hot water kills the bacteria that collect in the dents or
cracks of the utensil.

6. Never let the milk pail remain in the stable. Milk rapidly absorbs
impurities. These spoil the flavor and cause the milk to sour.

7. Never scold or strike the cow. She is a nervous animal, and rough
usage checks the milk flow.




=Milk.= Milk is, as you know, nature's first food for mammals. This is
because milk is a model food--it contains water to slake thirst, ash to
make bone, protein to make flesh and muscle, and fat and sugar to keep
the body warm and to furnish energy.

=The Different Kinds of Milk.= Whole, or unskimmed, milk, skimmed milk,
and buttermilk are too familiar to need description. When a cow is just
fresh, her milk is called _colostrum_. Colostrum is rich in the very
food that the baby calf needs. After the calf is a few days old,
colostrum changes to what is commonly known as milk.

The following table shows the composition of each of the different forms
of milk:

                      |   DIGESTIBLE MATTER IN 100 POUNDS
  COMPOSITION OF MILK |  Dry |Protein|Carbohydrates| Fat
                      |matter|       |             |
  Colostrum           | 25.4 |  17.6 |      2.7    | 3.6
  Milk (unskimmed)    | 12.8 |   3.6 |      4.9    | 3.7
  Skimmed milk        |  9.4 |   2.9 |      5.2    | 1.3
  Buttermilk          |  9.9 |   3.9 |      4.0    | 1.1

A noticeable fact in this table is that skimmed milk differs from
unskimmed mainly in the withdrawal of the fat. Hence, if calves are fed
on skimmed milk, they should have in addition some food like corn meal
to take the place of the fat withdrawn. A calf cannot thrive on skimmed
milk alone. The amount of nourishing fat that a calf gets out of enough
milk to make a pound of butter can be bought, in the form of linseed or
corn meal, for a very small amount, while the butter-fat costs, for
table use, a much larger sum. Of course, then, it is not economical to
allow calves to use unskimmed milk. Some people undervalue skimmed milk;
with the addition of some fatty food it makes an excellent ration for
calves, pigs, and fowls.

Along with its dry matter, its protein, its carbohydrates, and its fats,
milk and its products possess another most important property. This
property is hard to describe, for its elements and its powers are not
yet fully understood. We do, however, know certainly this much: milk and
the foods made from it have power to promote health and favor growth in
a more marked degree than any other foods. It is generally agreed that
this is due to the health-promoting and health-preserving substances
which are called vitamines. Men of science are working with much care to
try to add to our knowledge of these vitamines, which have so marvelous
an influence on the health of all animals. Unless food, no matter how
good otherwise, contains these vitamines, it does not nourish the body
nor preserve bodily health as it should. A complete lack of vitamines in
our food would cause death. Since, then, milk and its products--butter,
cheese, curds--are rich in vitamines, these health-giving and
health-preserving foods should form a regular part of each person's

[Illustration: FIG. 270. AIRING THE CANS]

=Cream.= Cream is simply a mixture of butter-fat and milk. The
butter-fat floats in the milk in little globe-shaped bodies, or
globules. Since these globules are lighter than milk, they rise to the
surface. Skimming the milk is a mere gathering together of these
butter-fat globules. As most of the butter-fat is contained in the
cream, pains should be taken to get all the cream from the milk at
skimming time.

After the cream has been collected, it must be allowed to "ripen" or to
"sour" in order that it may be more easily churned. Churning is only a
second step to collect in a compact shape the fat globules. It often
happens that at churning-time the cream is too warm for successful
separation of the globules. Whenever this is the case the cream must be

[Illustration: FIG. 271. A HAND SEPARATOR]

=The Churn.= Revolving churns without inside fixtures are best. Hence,
in buying, select a barrel or a square box churn. This kind of churn
"brings the butter" by the falling of the cream from side to side as the
churn is revolved. Never fill the churn more than one-third or one-half
full of cream. A small churn is always to be avoided.

=Churning.= The proper temperature for churning ranges from 58° to 62°
Fahrenheit. Test the cream when it is put into the churn. If it be too
cold, add warm water until the proper temperature is reached; if too
warm, add cold water or ice until the temperature is brought down to
62°. Do not churn too long, for this spoils butter. As soon as the
granules of butter are somewhat smaller than grains of wheat, stop the
churn. Then draw off the buttermilk and at a temperature as low as 50°
wash the butter in the churn. This washing with cold water so hardens
the granules that they do not mass too solidly and thus destroy the

=Butter.= The butter so churned is now ready to be salted. Use good fine
dairy salt. Coarse barrel salt is not fit for butter. The salt can be
added while the butter is still in the churn or after it is put upon the
butter-worker. Never work by hand. The object of working is to get the
salt evenly distributed and to drive out some of the brine. It is
usually best to work butter twice. The two workings bring about a more
even mixture of the salt with the butter and drive off more water. But
one cannot be too particular not to overwork butter. Delicate coloring,
attractive stamping with the dairy owner's special stamp, and proper
covering with paper cost little and of course add to the ready and
profitable sale of butter.

[Illustration: FIG. 272. A POWER CHURN]


_Stable and Cows_

1. Whitewash the stable once or twice each year; use land plaster, muck,
or loam daily in the manure-gutters.

2. On their way to pasture or milking-place, do not allow the cows to be
driven at a faster gait than a comfortable walk.

3. Give abundance of pure water.

4. Do not change feed suddenly.

5. Keep salt always within reach of each cow.


1. Milk with dry hands.

2. Never allow the milk to touch the milker's hands.

3. Require the milker to be clean in person and dress.

4. Milk quietly, quickly, thoroughly. Never leave a drop of milk in the
cow's udder.

5. Do not allow cats, dogs, or other animals around at milking-time.


1. Use only tin or metal cans and pails.

2. See that all utensils are thoroughly clean and free from rust.

3. Require all cans and pails to be scalded immediately after they are

4. After milking, keep the utensils inverted in pure air, and sun them,
if possible, until they are wanted for use.

5. Always sterilize the churn with steam or boiling water before and
after churning. This prevents any odors or bad flavors from affecting
the butter. All cans, pails, and bottles should also be sterilized



At the left, pure milk; at the right, milk after standing in a warm room
for a few hours in a dirty dish, showing, besides the fat-globules, many
forms of bacteria]

On another page you have been told how the yeast plant grows in cider
and causes it to sour, and how bacteria sometimes cause disease in
animals and plants. Now you must learn what these same living forms have
to do with the souring of milk, and maybe you will not forget how you
can prevent your milk from souring. In the first place, milk sours
because bacteria from the air fall into the milk, begin to grow, and
very shortly change the sugar of the milk to an acid. When this acid
becomes abundant, the milk begins to curdle. As you know, the bacteria
are in air, in water, and in barn dust; they stick on bits of hay and
stick to the cow. They are most plentiful, however, in milk that has
soured; hence, if we pour a little sour milk into a pail of fresh milk,
the fresh milk will sour very quickly, because we have, so to speak,
"seeded" or "planted" the fresh milk with the souring germs. No one, of
course, ever does this purposely in the dairy, yet people sometimes do
what amounts to the same thing--that is, put fresh milk into poorly
cleaned pails or pans, the cracks and corners of which are cozy homes
for millions of germs left from the last sour milk contained in the
vessel. It follows, then, that all utensils used in the dairy should be
thoroughly scalded so as to kill all germs present, and particular care
should be taken to clean the cracks and crevices, for in them the germs

In addition to this thorough cleansing with hot water, we should be
careful never to stir up the dust of the barn just before milking. Such
dusty work as pitching hay or stover or arranging bedding should be done
either after or long before milking-time, for more germs fall into the
milk if the air be full of dust.

To further avoid germs the milker should wear clean overalls, should
have clean hands, and, above all, should never wet his hands with milk.
This last habit, in addition to being filthy, lessens the keeping power
of the milk. The milker should also moisten the parts of the cow which
are nearest him, so that dust from the cow's sides may not fall into the
milker's pail. For greater cleanliness and safety many milkmen curry
their cows.

The first few streams from each teat should be thrown away, because the
teat at its mouth is filled with milk which, having been exposed to the
air, is full of germs, and will do much toward souring the other milk in
the pail. Barely a gill will be lost by throwing the first drawings
away, and this of the poorest milk too. The increase in the keeping
quality of the milk will much more than repay the small loss. If these
precautions are taken, the milk will keep several hours or even several
days longer than milk carelessly handled. By taking these steps to
prevent germs from falling into the milk, a can of milk was once kept
sweet for thirty-one days.

The work of the germ in the dairy is not, however, confined to souring
the milk. Certain kinds of germs give to the different sorts of cheeses
their marked flavors and to butter its flavor. If the right germ is
present, cheese or butter gets a proper flavor. Sometimes undesirable
germs gain entrance and give flavors that we do not like. Such germs
produce cheese or butter diseases. "Bitter butter" is one of these
diseases. To keep out all unpleasant meddlers, thoroughly cleanse and
scald every utensil.


     What causes milk to sour? Why do unclean utensils affect the milk?
     How should milk be cared for to prevent its souring? Prepare two
     samples, one carefully, the other carelessly. Place them side by
     side. Which keeps longer? Why?


It is not sufficient for a farmer or a dairyman to know how much milk
each of his cows yields. He should also know how rich the milk is in
butter-fat. Wide-awake makers of butter and cheese now buy milk, not by
the pound or by the gallon, but by the amount of butter-fat contained in
each pound or gallon of milk. A gallon of milk containing four and a
half per cent of fat will consequently be worth more than a gallon
containing only three per cent of fat. So it may happen that a cow
giving only two gallons of milk may pay a butter-maker more than a cow
giving three gallons of milk. Of course it is easy to weigh or measure
the quantity of milk given by a cow, and most milkers keep this record;
but until recent years there was no way to find out the amount of fat in
a cow's milk except by a slow and costly chemical test. Dairymen could
only guess at the richness of milk.

In 1890 Dr. S. M. Babcock of the Wisconsin Experiment Station invented a
wonderful little machine that quickly and cheaply measures the fat in
milk. Few machines are more useful. So desirous was Dr. Babcock of
helping the farmers that he would not add to the cost of his machine by
taking out a patent on his invention. His only reward has been the fame
won by the invention of the machine, which bears his name. This most
useful tester is now made in various sizes so that every handler of milk
may buy one suited to his needs and do his own testing at very little

The operation of the machine is very simple. Suppose that the members of
the class studying this book have been asked to take a Babcock machine
and test the milk of a small herd of cows. They can readily do so by
following these directions:

While the milk is still warm from the first cow to be tested, mix it
thoroughly by pouring it at least four times from one vessel to another.
A few ounces of this mixed milk is then taken for a sample, and
carefully marked with the name of the cow. A number is also put on the
sample, and both the cow's name and the number entered in a notebook. A
small glass instrument, called a pipette, comes with each machine. Put
one end of the pipette into the milk sample and the other end into the
mouth. Suck milk into the pipette until the milk comes up to the mark on
the side of the pipette. As soon as the mark is reached, withdraw the
pipette from the mouth and quickly press the forefinger on the mouth
end. The pressure of the finger will keep the milk from running out.
Then put the lower end of the pipette into one of the small long-necked
bottles of the machine, and, lifting the finger, allow the milk to flow
gently into the bottle. Expel all the milk by blowing through the

The next step is to add a strong, biting acid known as sulphuric acid to
the test-bottle into which you have just put the milk. A glass marked to
show just how much acid to use also comes with the machine. Fill this
glass measure to the mark. Then pour the acid carefully into the
test-bottle. Be sure not to drop any of the acid on your hands or your
clothes. As the acid is heavier than the milk, it will sink to the
bottom of the bottle. With a gentle whirling motion, shake the bottle
until the two fluids are thoroughly mixed. The mixture will turn a dark
brown and become very warm.

Now fill the other bottles in the same way with samples drawn from
different cows. Treat all the samples precisely as you did the first. Do
not forget to put on each sample the name of the cow giving the milk and
on each test-bottle a number corresponding to the name of the cow.

You are now ready to put the test-bottles in the sockets of the machine.
Arrange the bottles in the sockets so that the whirling frame of the
machine will be balanced. Fit the cover on the machine and turn the
handle slowly. Gradually gain in speed until the machine is whirled
rapidly. Continue the turning for about seven minutes at the speed
stated in the book of directions.

After this first turning is finished, pour enough hot water into each
test-bottle to cause the fat to rise to the neck of the bottle. Re-cover
the machine and turn for one minute. Again add hot water to each bottle
until all the fat rises into the neck of the bottle and again turn one

There remains now only the reading of the record. On the neck of each
bottle there are marks to measure the amount of fat. If the fat inside
the tube reaches only from the lowest mark to the second mark, then
there is only one per cent of fat in this cow's milk. This means that
the owner of the cow gets only one pound of butter-fat from each
hundred pounds of her milk. Such a cow would not be at all profitable to
a butter-seller. If the fat in another test-bottle reaches from the
lowest mark to the fourth mark, then you put in your record-book that
this cow's milk contains four per cent of butter-fat. This record shows
that the second cow's milk yields four pounds of fat to every hundred
pounds of milk. This cow is three times more valuable to a butter-maker
than the first cow. In the same way add one more per cent for each
higher mark reached by the fat. Four and one-half per cent is a good
record for a cow to make. Some cows yield as high as five or six per
cent but they do not generally keep up this record all the year.

The tester, acid, acid measure, test-bottle, and thermometer at bottom;
filling the pipette on right; adding the acid and measuring the fat at

The Babcock tester shows only the amount of pure butter-fat in the milk.
It does not tell the exact amount of finished butter which is made from
100 pounds of milk. This is because butter contains a few other things
in addition to pure butter-fat. Finished and salted butter weighs on an
average about one sixth more than the fat shown by the tester. Hence to
get the exact amount of butter in every 100 pounds of milk, you will
have to add one sixth to the record shown by the tester. Suppose, for
example, you took one sample from 600 pounds of milk and that your test
showed 4 per cent of fat in every 100 pounds of milk. Then, as you had
600 pounds of milk, you would have 24 pounds of butter-fat. This fat,
after it has been salted and after it has absorbed moisture as butter
does, will gain one sixth in weight. As one sixth of 24 is 4, this new 4
pounds must be added to the weight of the butter-fat. Hence the 600
pounds of milk would produce about 28 pounds of butter.


     1. Find the number of pounds of butter in 1200 pounds of milk that
     tests 3 per cent of butter-fat.

     2. A cow yields 4800 pounds of milk in a year. Her milk tests 4 per
     cent of butter-fat. Find the total amount of butter-fat she yields.
     Find also the total amount of butter.

     3. The milk of two cows was tested: one yielded in a year 6000
     pounds of milk that tested 3 per cent of fat; the other yielded
     5000 pounds that tested 4 per cent. Which cow yielded the more
     butter-fat? What was the money value of the butter produced by each
     if butter-fat is worth twenty-five cents a pound?




Economy in raising live stock demands the production of all "roughness"
or roughage materials on the farm. By roughness, or roughage, of course
you understand that bulky food, like hay, grass, clover, stover, etc.,
is meant. It is possible to purchase all roughage materials and yet make
a financial success of growing farm animals, but this certainly is not
the surest way to succeed. Every farm should raise all its feed stuffs.
In deciding what forage and grain crops to grow we should decide:

  1. The crops best suited to our soil and climate.
  2. The crops best suited to our line of business.
  3. The crops that will give us the most protein.
  4. The crops that produce the most.
  5. The crops that will keep our soil in the best condition.

1. _The crops best suited to our soil and climate._ Farm crops, as every
child of the farm knows, are not equally adapted to all soils and
climates. Cotton cannot be produced where the climate is cool and the
seasons short. Timothy and blue grass are most productive on cool,
limestone soils. Cowpeas demand warm, dry soils. But in spite of
climatic limitations, Nature has been generous in the wide variety of
forage she has given us.

Our aim should be to make the best use of what we have, to improve by
selection and care those kinds best adapted to our soil and climate, and
to secure, by better methods of growing and curing, the greatest yields
at the least possible cost.

2. _The crops best suited to our line of business._ A farmer necessarily
becomes more or less of a specialist; he gathers those kinds of live
stock about him which he likes best and which he finds the most
profitable. He should, on his farm, select for his main crops those that
he can grow with the greatest pleasure and with the greatest profit.


The successful railroad manager determines by practical experience what
distances his engines and crews ought to run in a day, what coal is most
economical for his engines, what schedules best suit the needs of his
road, what trains pay him best. These and a thousand and one other
matters are settled by the special needs of his road.

Ought the man who wants to make his farm pay be less prudent and less
far-sighted? Should not his past failures and his past triumphs decide
his future? If he be a dairy farmer, ought he not by practical tests to
settle for himself not only what crops are most at home on his land but
also what crops in his circumstances yield him the largest returns in
milk and butter? If swine-raising be his business, how long ought he to
guess what crop on his land yields him the greatest amount of hog food?
Should a colt be fed on one kind of forage when the land that produced
that forage would produce twice as much equally good forage of another
kind? All these questions the prudent farmer should answer promptly and
in the light of wise experiments.

3. _The crops that will give us the most protein._ It is the farmer's
business to grow all the grass and forage that his farm animals need. He
ought never to be obliged to purchase a bale of forage. Moreover, he
should grow mainly those crops that are rich in protein materials, for
example, cowpeas, alfalfa, and clover. If such crops are produced on the
farm, there will be little need of buying so much cotton-seed meal,
corn, and bran for feeding purposes.

4. _The crops that produce the most._ We often call a crop a crop
without considering how much it yields. This is a mistake. We ought to
grow, when we have choice of two crops, the one that is the best and the
most productive on the farm. Average corn, for instance, yields on an
acre at least twice the quantity of feeding-material that timothy does.

5. _The crops that will keep our soil in the best condition._ A good
farmer should always be thinking of how to improve his soil. He wants
his land to support him and to maintain his children after he is dead.

Since cowpeas, clover, and alfalfa add atmospheric nitrogen to the soil
and at the same time are the best feeding-materials, it follows that
these crops should hold an important place in every system of
crop-rotation. By proper rotating, by proper terracing, and by proper
drainage, land may be made to retain its fertility for generations.


     1. Why are cowpeas, clover, and alfalfa so important to the farmer?

     2. What is meant by the protein of a food?

     3. Why is it better to feed the farm crops to animals on the farm
     rather than to sell these crops?


The drudgery of farm life is being lessened from year to year by the
invention or improvement of farm tools and machines. Perhaps some of you
know how tiresome was the old up-and-down churn dasher that has now
generally given place to the "quick-coming" churns. The toothed,
horse-drawn cultivator has nearly displaced "the man with the hoe,"
while the scythe, slow and back-breaking, is everywhere getting out of
the way of the mowing-machine and the horserake. The old heavy,
sweat-drawing grain-cradle is slinking into the backwoods, and in its
place we have the horse-drawn or steam-drawn harvester that cuts and
binds the grain, and even threshes and measures it at one operation.
Instead of the plowman's wearily making one furrow at a time, the
gang-plows of the plains cut many furrows at one time, and instead of
walking the plowman rides. The shredder and husker turns the hitherto
useless cornstalk into food, and at the same time husks, or shucks, the

The farmer of the future must know three things well: first, what
machines he can profitably use; second, how to manage these machines;
third, how to care for these machines.



[Illustration: FIG. 278. THE HARVESTER AT WORK]

[Illustration: FIG. 279. IN NEED OF IMPROVEMENT]

The machinery that makes farming so much more economical and that makes
the farmer's life so much easier and more comfortable is too complicated
to be put into the hands of bunglers who will soon destroy it, and it is
too costly to be left in the fields or under trees to rust and rot.

If it is not convenient for every farmer to have a separate tool-house,
he should at least set apart a room in his barn, or a shed for storing
his tools and machines. As soon as a plow, harrow, cultivator--indeed
any tool or machine--has finished its share of work for the season, it
should receive whatever attention it needs to prevent rusting, and
should be carefully housed.

Such care, which is neither costly nor burdensome, will add many years
to the life of a machine.


Occasionally, when a cook puts too much vinegar in a salad, the dish
becomes so sour that it is unfit to eat. The vinegar which the cook uses
belongs to a large group of compounds known as acids. The acids are
common in nature. They have the power not only of making salads sour but
also of making land sour. Frequently land becomes so sour from acids
forming in it that it will not bear its usual crops. The acids must then
be removed or the land will become useless.

The land may be soured in several ways. Whenever a large amount of
vegetable matter decays in land, acids are formed, and at times sourness
of the soil results. Often soils sour because they are not well drained
or because, from lack of proper tillage, air cannot make its way into
the soil. Sometimes all these causes may combine to produce sourness.
Since most crops cannot thrive on very sour soil, the farmer must find
some method of making his land sweet again.

So far as we now know, liming the land is the cheapest and surest way of
overcoming the sourness. In addition to sweetening the soil by
overcoming the acids, lime aids the land in other ways: it quickens the
growth of helpful bacteria; it loosens stiff, heavy clay soils and
thereby fits them for easier tillage; it indirectly sets free the potash
and phosphoric acid so much needed by plants; and it increases the
capillarity of soils.

However, too much must not be expected of lime. Often a farmer's yield
is so increased after he has scattered lime over his fields that he
thinks that lime alone will keep his land fertile. This belief explains
the saying, "Lime enriches the father but beggars the son." The
continued use of lime without other fertilization will indeed leave poor
land for the son. Lime is just as necessary to plant growth as the
potash and nitrogen and phosphoric acid about which we hear so much, but
it cannot take the place of these plant foods. Its duty is to aid, not
to displace them.

We can tell by the taste when salads are too sour; it is more difficult
to find out whether land is sour. There are, however, some methods that
will help to determine the sourness of the soil.

In the first place, if land is unusually sour, you can determine this
fact by a simple test. Buy a pennyworth of blue litmus paper from a drug
store. Mix some of the suspected soil with a little water and bury the
litmus paper in the mixture. If the paper turns red the soil is sour.

In the second place, the leguminous crops are fond of lime. Clover and
vetch remove so much lime from the soil that they are often called lime
plants. If clover and vetch refuse to grow on land on which they
formerly flourished, it is generally, though not always, a sign that the
land needs lime.

In the third place, when water grasses and certain weeds spring up on
land, that land is usually acid, and lime will be helpful. Moreover,
fields adjoining land on which cranberries, raspberries, blackberries,
or gallberries are growing wild, may always be suspected of more or less

Four forms of lime are used on land. These, each called by different
names, are as follows:

First, quicklime, which is also called burnt lime, caustic lime,
builders' lime, rock lime, and unslaked lime.

Second, air-slaked lime, which is also known as carbonate of lime,
agricultural lime, marl, and limestone.

Third, water-slaked, or hydrated, lime.

Fourth, land plaster, or gypsum. This form of lime is known to the
chemists as sulphate of lime. Do not forget that this last form is never
to be used on sour lands. We shall therefore not consider it further.

Air-slaked lime is simply quicklime which has taken from the air a gas
called carbon dioxide. This is the same gas that you breathe out from
your lungs.

Water-slaked lime is quicklime to which water has been added. In other
words, both of these are merely weakened forms of quicklime. One hundred
pounds of quicklime is equal in richness to 132 pounds of water-slaked
lime and to 178 pounds of air-slaked lime. These figures should be
remembered by a farmer when he is buying lime. If he can buy a fair
grade of quicklime delivered at his railway station for $5.00 a ton, he
cannot afford to pay more than $3.75 a ton for water-slaked lime, nor
more than $2.75 for air-slaked lime of equal grade. Quicklime should
always be slaked before it is applied to the soil.

As a rule lime should be spread broadcast and then harrowed or disked
thoroughly into the soil. This is best done after the ground has been
plowed. For pastures or meadows air-slaked lime is used as a
top-dressing. When air-slaked lime is used it may be spread broadcast in
the spring; the other forms should be applied in the fall or in the
early winter.


What do birds do in the world? is an important question for us to think
about. First, we must gain by observation and by personal acquaintance
with the living birds a knowledge of their work and their way of doing
it. In getting this knowledge, let us also consider what we can do for
our birds to render their work as complete and effective as possible.

Think of what the birds are doing on every farm, in every garden, and
about every home in the land. Think of the millions of beautiful wings,
of the graceful and attractive figures, of the cunning nests, and of the
singing throats! Do you think that the whole service of the birds is to
be beautiful, to sing charmingly, and to rear their little ones? By no
means is this their chief service to man. Aside from these services the
greatest work of birds is to destroy insects. It is one of the wise
provisions of nature that many of the most brilliantly winged and most
enchanting songsters are our most practical friends.

Not all birds feed on insects and animals; but even those that eat but a
small amount of insect food may still destroy insects that would have
damaged fruit and crops much more than the birds themselves do.

As to their food, birds are divided into three general classes. First,
those that live wholly or almost wholly on insects. These are called
insectivorous birds. Chief among these are the warblers, cuckoos,
swallows, martins, flycatchers, nighthawks, whippoorwills, swifts, and
humming-birds. We cannot have too many of these birds. They should be
encouraged and protected. They should be supplied with shelter and

Birds of the second class feed by preference on fruits, nuts, and grain.
The bluebird, robin, wood thrush, mocking-bird, catbird, chickadee,
cedar-bird, meadow lark, oriole, jay, crow, and woodpecker belong to
this group. These birds never fail to perform a service for us by
devouring many weed seeds.

[Illustration: FIG. 280. A KINGBIRD]

The third class is known as the hard-billed birds. It includes those
birds which live principally on seeds and grain--the canary, goldfinch,
sparrow, and some others.

Birds that come early, like the bluebird, robin, and redwing, are of
special service in destroying insects before the insects lay their eggs
for the season.

The robins on the lawn search out the caterpillars and cutworms. The
chipping sparrow and the wren in the shrubbery look out for all kinds of
insects. They watch over the orchard and feed freely on the enemies of
the apple and other fruit trees. The trunks of these trees are often
attacked by borers, which gnaw holes in the bark and wood, and often
cause the death of the trees. The woodpeckers hunt for these appetizing
borers and by means of their barbed tongues bring them from their
hiding-places. On the outside of the bark of the trunk and branches the
bark lice work. These are devoured by the nuthatches, creepers, and

During the winter the bark is the hiding-place for hibernating insects,
which, like plant lice, feed in summer on the leaves. Throughout the
winter a single chickadee will destroy great numbers of the eggs of the
cankerworm moth and of the plant louse. The blackbirds, meadow larks,
crows, quail, and sparrows are the great protectors of the meadow and
field crops. These birds feed on the army worms and cutworms that do so
much injury to the young shoots; they also destroy the chinch bug and
the grasshopper, both of which feed on cultivated plants.

[Illustration: FIG. 281. A WARBLER]

A count of all the different kinds of animals shows that insects make up
nine tenths of them. Hence it is easy to see that if something did not
check their increase they would soon almost overrun the earth. Our
forests and orchards furnish homes and breeding-places for most of these
insects. Suppose the injurious insects were allowed to multiply
unchecked in the forests, their numbers would so increase that they
would invade our fields and create as much terror among the farmers as
they did in Pharaoh's Egypt. The birds are the only direct friends man
has to destroy these harmful insects. What benefactors, then, these
little feathered neighbors are!

It has been estimated that a bird will devour thirty insects daily. Even
in a widely extended forest region a very few birds to the acre, if they
kept up this rate, would daily destroy many bushels of insects that
would play havoc with the neighboring orchards and fields.

Do not imagine, however, that to destroy insects is the only use of
birds. The day is far more delightful when the birds sing, and when we
see them flit in and out, giving us a glimpse now and then of their
pretty coats and quaint ways. By giving them a home we can surround
ourselves with many birds, sweet of song and brilliant of plumage.

[Illustration: FIG. 282. THE HAIRY WOODPECKER]

If the birds felt that man were a friend and not a foe, they would often
turn to him for protection. During times of severe storm, extreme
drought, or scarcity of food, if the birds were sufficiently tamed to
come to man as their friend, as they do in rare cases now, a little food
and shelter might tide them over the hard time and their service
afterwards would repay the outlay a thousandfold. If the boys in your
families would build bird-houses about the house and barn and in shade
trees, they might save yearly a great number of birds. In building these
places of shelter and comfort, due care must be taken to keep them
clear of English sparrows and out of the reach of cats and bird-dogs.

Whatever we do to attract the birds to make homes on the premises must
be done at the right time and in the right way. Think out carefully what
materials to provide for them. Bits of string, linen, cotton, yarn, tow
and other waste material, all help to induce a pair to build in the

[Illustration: FIG. 283. PROTECTING OUR FRIENDS]

It is an interesting study--the preparation of homes for the birds.
Trees may be pruned to make inviting crotches. A tangled, overgrown
corner in the garden will invite some birds to nest.

Wrens, bluebirds, chickadees, martins, and some other varieties are all
glad to set up housekeeping in man-made houses. The proper size for a
bird-room is easily remembered. Give each room six square inches of
floor space and make it eight inches high. Old, weathered boards should
be used; or, if paint is employed, a dull color to resemble an old
tree-trunk will be most inviting. A single opening near the top should
be made two inches in diameter for the larger birds; but if the house is
to be headquarters for the wren, a one-inch opening is quite large
enough, and the small door serves all the better to keep out English

The barn attic should be turned over to the swallows. Small holes may be
cut high up in the gables and left open during the time that the
swallows remain with us. They will more than pay for shelter by the good
work they do in ridding the barn of flies, gnats, and mosquitoes.


Almost in the center of the western half of our continent there is a
vast area in which very little rain falls. This section includes nearly
three hundred million acres of land. It stretches from Canada on the
north into Texas on the south, and from the Missouri River (including
the Dakotas and western Minnesota) on the east to the Rocky Mountains on
the west. In this great area farming has to be done with little water.
This sort of farming is therefore called "dry-farming."

The soil in this section is as a rule very fertile. Therefore the
difference between farming in this dry belt and farming in most of the
other sections of our country is a difference mainly due to a lack of

As water is so scarce in this region two things are of the utmost
importance: first, to save all the rain as it falls; second, to save all
the water after it has fallen. To save the falling rain it is necessary
for the ground to be in such a condition that none of the much-needed
rain may run off. Every drop should go into the soil. Hence the farmer
should never allow his top soil to harden into a crust. Such a crust
will keep the rain from sinking into the thirsty soil. Moreover the soil
should be deeply plowed. The deeper the soil the more water it can hold.
The land should also be kept as porous as possible, for water enters a
porous soil freely. The addition of humus in the form of vegetable
manures will keep the soil in the porous condition needed. Second, after
the water has entered the soil it is important to hold it there so that
it may supply the growing crops. If the land is allowed to remain
untilled after a rain or during a hot spell, the water in it will
evaporate too rapidly and thus the soil, like a well, will go dry too
soon. To prevent this the top soil should be stirred frequently with a
disk or smoothing harrow. This stirring will form a mulch of dry soil on
the surface, and this will hold the water. Other forms of mulch have
been suggested, but the soil mulch is the only practical one. It must be
borne in mind that this surface cultivation must be regularly kept up if
the moisture is to be retained.

[Illustration: FIG. 284. THE DISK HARROW]

Some experiments in wheat-growing have shown how readily water might be
saved if plowing were done at the right time. Wheat sowed on land that
was plowed as soon as the summer crops were taken off yielded a very
much larger return than wheat sowed on land that remained untilled for
some time after the summer crops were gathered. This difference in yield
on lands of the same fertility was due to the fact that the early
plowing enabled the land to take up a sufficient quantity of moisture.

[Illustration: FIG. 285. RED KAFIR CORN IN SHOCK]

In addition to a vigilant catching and saving of water, the farmer in
these dry climates must give his land the same careful attention that
lands in other regions need. The seed-bed should be most carefully
prepared. It should be deep, porous, and excellent in tilth. During the
growing season all crops should be frequently cultivated. The harrow,
the cultivator, and the plow should be kept busy. The soil should be
kept abundantly supplied with humus.

Some crops need a little different management in dry-farming. Corn, for
example, does best when it is listed; that is, planted so that it will
come up three or four inches beneath the surface. If planted in this
way, it roots better, stands up better, and requires less work.

Just as breeders study what animals are best for their climates, so
farmers in the dry belt should study what crops are best suited to their
lands. Some crops, like the sorghums and Kafir corn, are peculiarly at
home in scantily watered lands. Others do not thrive. Experience is the
only sure guide to the proper selection.

To sum up, then, farmers can grow good crops in these lands only when
four things are done: first, the land must be thoroughly tilled so that
water can freely enter the soil; second, the land must be frequently
cultivated so that the water will be kept in the soil; third, the crops
must be properly rotated so as to use to best advantage the food and
water supply; fourth, humus must be freely supplied so as to keep the
soil in the best possible condition.


Irrigation is the name given to the plan of supplying water in large
quantities to growing crops. Since the dawn of history this practice has
been more or less followed in Asia, in Africa, and in Europe. The
Spanish settlers in the southwestern part of America were probably the
first to introduce this custom into our country. In New Mexico there is
an irrigating trench that has been in constant use for three hundred


The most common source of water for irrigating purposes is a river or a
smaller stream. Artesian wells are used in some parts of the country.
Windmills are sometimes used when only a small supply of water is
needed. Engines, hydraulic rams, and water-wheels are also employed. The
water-wheel is one of the oldest and one of the most useful methods of
raising water from streams. There are thousands of these in use in the
dry regions of the West. Small buckets are fastened to a large wheel,
which is turned by the current of a stream. As the wheel turns, the
buckets are filled, raised, and then emptied into a trough called a
flume. The water flows through the flume into the irrigating ditches,
which distribute it as it is needed in the fields. In some parts of
California and other comparatively dry sections, wells are sunk in or
near the beds of underground streams, and then the water is pumped into
ditches which convey it to the fields to be irrigated.

Engines are often used for pumping water from streams and transferring
it to ditches or canals. The canals distribute the water over the land
or over the growing crops.


None of these methods, however, can be used for watering very large
areas of land. Hence, as the value of farm lands increased other methods
were sought. Shrewd men began to turn longing eyes on the wide stretches
of barren land in the West. They knew that these waste lands, seemingly
so unfertile, would become most fruitful as soon as water was turned on
them. Could water enough be found? New plans to pen up floods of water
were prepared, and immense sums were spent in carrying out these plans.
Enormous dams of cemented stone were thrown across the gorges in the
foothills of the mountains. Behind these solid dams the water from the
rains and the melting snow of the mountains was backed for miles, and
was at once ready to change barrenness into fruitfulness. The stored
water is led by means of main canals and cross ditches wherever it is
needed, and countless acres have been brought under cultivation.

Water is generally applied either by making furrows for its passage
through the fields or by flooding the land. The latter plan is the
cheaper, but it can be used only on level lands. Where the land is
somewhat irregular a checking system, as it is called, is used to
distribute the water. It is taken from check to check until the entire
field has been irrigated.


The furrow method is usually employed for fruits and for farm and garden
crops. In many places the grass and grain crops are now supplied with
water by furrows instead of by flooding.

Irrigated lands should be carefully and thoroughly tilled. The water for
irrigation is costly, and should be made to go as far as possible. Good
tillage saves the water. Moreover, all cultivated crops like corn,
potatoes, and orchard and truck crops ought to be cultivated frequently
to save the moisture, to keep the soil in fit condition, and to aid the
bacteria in the soil. It was a wise farmer who said, "One does not need
to grow crops many years in order to learn that nothing can take the
place of stirring the soil."


_Tree fruits._ Water is conducted through very narrow furrows from three
to five feet apart, and allowed to sink about four feet deep, and to
spread under the ground. Then the supply is cut off. The object is to
wet the soil deeply, and then by tillage to hold the moisture in the

_Small fruits._ The common practice is to run water on each side of the
row until the rows are soaked.

_Potatoes._ A thorough soaking is given the land before planting-time,
and then no more than is absolutely necessary until blossoming-time.
After the blossoms appear keep the soil moist until the crop ripens.

_Garden crops._ Any method may be employed, but the vital point is to
cultivate the ground as early as it can be worked after it has been

_Meadows and alfalfa._ Flooding is the most common method in use. The
first irrigation comes early in the spring before growth has advanced
much, and the successive waterings after the harvesting of each crop.


As ours is a country in which the people rule, every boy and every girl
ought to be trained to take a wide-awake interest in public affairs.
This training cannot begin too early in life. A wise old man once said,
"In a republic you ought to begin to train a child for good citizenship
on the day of its birth."



Happy would it be for our nation if all the young people who live in the
country could begin their training in good citizenship by becoming
workers for these four things:

First, attractive country homes.

Second, attractive country schoolhouses and school grounds.

Third, good country schools.

Fourth, good roads.

If the thousands on thousands of pupils in our schools would become
active workers for these things and continue their work through life,
then, in less than half a century, life in the country would be an
unending delight.

One of the problems of our day is how to keep bright, thoughtful,
sociable, ambitious boys and girls contented on the farm. Every step
taken to make the country home more attractive, to make the school and
its grounds more enjoyable, to make the way easy to the homes of
neighbors, to school, to post-office, and to church, is a step taken
toward keeping on the farm the very boys and girls who are most apt to
succeed there.

Not every man who lives in the country can have a showy or costly home,
but as long as grass and flowers and vines and trees grow, any man who
wishes can have an attractive house. Not every woman who is to spend a
lifetime at the head of a rural home can have a luxuriously furnished
home, but any woman who is willing to take a little trouble can have a
cozy, tastefully furnished home--a home fitted with the conveniences
that diminish household drudgery. Even in this day of cheap literature,
all parents cannot fill their children's home with papers, magazines,
and books, but by means of school and Sunday-school libraries, by means
of circulating book clubs, and by a little self-denial, earnest parents
can feed hungry minds just as they feed hungry bodies.



Agricultural papers that arouse the interest and quicken the thought of
farm boys by discussing the best, easiest, and cheapest ways of farming;
journals full of dainty suggestions for household adornment and comfort;
illustrated papers and magazines that amuse and cheer every member of
the family; books that rest tired bodies and open and strengthen growing
minds--all of these are so cheap that the money reserved from the sale
of one hog will keep a family fairly supplied for a year.




If the parents, teachers, and pupils of a school join hands, an
unsightly, ill-furnished, ill-lighted, and ill-ventilated school-house
can at small cost be changed into one of comfort and beauty. In many
places pupils have persuaded their parents to form clubs to beautify the
school grounds. Each father sends a man or a man with a plow once or
twice a year to work a day on the grounds. Stumps are removed, trees
trimmed, drains put in, grass sowed, flowers, shrubbery, vines, and
trees planted, and the grounds tastefully laid off. Thus at scarcely
noticeable money cost a rough and unsightly school ground gives place to
a charming school yard. Cannot the pupils in every school in which this
book is studied get their parents to form such a club, and make their
school ground a silent teacher of neatness and beauty?


Life in the country will never be as attractive as it ought to be until
all the roads are improved. Winter-washed roads, penning young people
in their own homes for many months each year and destroying so many of
the innocent pleasures of youth, build towns and cities out of the wreck
of country homes. Can young people who love their country and their
country homes engage in a nobler crusade than a crusade for improved





  Paris green          1 lb.
  Lime or flour  4 to 16 lb.


  Paris green  1/4 to   2 lb.
  Lime         1/4 to 1/2 lb.
  Water               50 gal.



  Hard soap (in fine shavings) 1/2 lb.
  Soft water                    1 gal.
  Kerosene                      2 gal.

Dissolve soap in boiling water, add kerosene to the hot water, churn
with spraying pump for at least ten minutes, until the mixture changes
to a creamy, then to a soft, butterlike, mass. This gives three gallons
of 66-per-cent oil emulsion, which may be diluted to the strength
desired. To get 15-per-cent oil emulsion add ten and one-half gallons of



  Copper sulphate 1 lb.
  Water   18 to 25 gal.

Use only before foliage opens, to kill wintering spores.


  Copper sulphate (bluestone) 4 to 5 lb.
  Lime (good, unslaked)       5 to 6 lb.
  Water                          50 gal.

Dissolve the copper sulphate (bluestone) in twenty-five gallons of
water. Slake the lime slowly so as to get a smooth, thick cream. Never
cover the lime with too much water. After thorough slaking add
twenty-five gallons of water. When the lime and the bluestone have
dissolved, pour the two liquids into a third vessel. Be sure that each
stream mixes with the other before either enters the vessel. Strain
through a coarse cloth.

Mix fresh for each time. Use for molds and fungi generally. Apply in
fine spray with a good nozzle.


  Ordinary Bordeaux mixture 50 gal.
  Paris green        4 oz. to 2 lb.

Use for both fungi and insects on apple, potato, etc.


  Ordinary Bordeaux mixture  50 gal.
  Arsenate of lead        2 to 3 lb.

Used for fungous and insect enemies of the potato, and of the apple when
bitter rot is troublesome.


  Commercial lime-sulphur 1-1/2 gal.
  Arsenate of lead        2 to 3 lb.
  Water                      50 gal.

Use for spraying apples.


  Copper carbonate          5 oz.
  Ammonia (26° Baumé) about 3 pt.
  Water                   50 gal.

Dissolve the copper carbonate in the smallest possible amount of
ammonia. This solution may be kept in stock and diluted to the proper
strength as needed.

Use this instead of the Bordeaux mixture after the fruit has reached
half or two thirds of the mature size. It leaves no spots as does the
lime-sulphur wash or the Bordeaux mixture.



  Lime     20 lb.
  Sulphur  15 lb.
  Water   50 gal.

The lime, the sulphur, and about half of the water required are boiled
together for forty-five minutes in a kettle over a fire, or in a barrel
or other suitable tank by steam, strained, and then diluted to 50
gallons. This is the wash regularly used against the San Jose scale. It
may be substituted for Bordeaux mixture when spraying trees in the
dormant state. Commercial lime-sulphur may also be used in place of this
homemade wash. Use one gallon of the commercial lime-sulphur to nine
gallons of water in the dormant season.


The self-boiled lime-sulphur wash is a combination of lime and sulphur
boiled only by the heat of the slaking lime, and is used chiefly for
summer spraying on peaches, plums, cherries, etc. as a substitute for
the Bordeaux mixture.

  Lime         8 lb.
  Sulphur 6 to 8 lb.
  Water      50 gal.

The lime should be placed in a barrel and enough water poured on it to
start it slaking and to keep the sulphur off the bottom of the barrel.
The sulphur, which should first be worked through a sieve to break up
the lumps, may then be added, and, finally, enough water to slake the
lime into a paste. Considerable stirring is necessary to prevent caking
on the bottom. After the violent boiling which accompanies the slaking
of the lime is over, the mixture should be diluted ready for use, or at
least enough cold water added to stop the cooking. From five to fifteen
minutes are required for the process. If the hot mass is permitted to
stand undiluted as a thick paste, a liquid is produced that is injurious
to peach foliage and, in some cases, to apple foliage.

The mixture should be strained through a sieve of twenty meshes to the
inch in order to remove the coarse particles of lime, but all the
sulphur should be worked through the strainer.


To enable young readers to understand the technical words necessarily
used in the text only popular definitions are given.

=Abdomen=: the part of an insect lying behind the thorax.

=Acid=: a chemical name given to many sour substances. Vinegar and lemon
juice owe their sour taste to the acid in them.

=Adult=: a person, animal, or plant grown to full size and strength.

=Ammonia= (_ammonium_): a compound of nitrogen readily usable as a plant
food. It is one of the products of decay.

=Annual=: a plant that bears seed during the first year of its existence
and then dies.

=Anther=: the part of a stamen that bears the pollen.

=Atmospheric nitrogen=: nitrogen in the air. Great quantities of this
valuable plant food are in the air; but, strange to say, most plants
cannot use it directly from the air, but must take it in other forms, as
nitrates, etc. The legumes are an exception, as they can use atmospheric

=Available plant food=: food in such condition that plants can use it.

=Bacteria=: a name applied to a number of kinds of very small living
beings, some beneficial, some harmful, some disease-producing. They
average about one twenty-thousandth of an inch in length.

=Balanced ration=: a ration made up of the proper amounts of
carbohydrates, fats, and protein, as explained in text. Such a ration
avoids all waste of food.

=Biennial=: a plant that produces seed during the second year of its
existence and then dies.

=Blight=: a diseased condition in plants in which the whole or a part of
a plant withers or dries up.

=Bluestone=: a chemical; copper sulphate. It is used to kill fungi,

=Bordeaux Mixture=: a mixture invented in Bordeaux, France, to destroy
disease-producing fungi.

=Bud= (noun): an undeveloped branch.

=Bud= (verb): to insert a bud from the scion upon the stock to insure
better fruit.

=Bud variation=: occasionally one bud on a plant will produce a branch
differing in some ways from the rest of the branches; this is bud
variation. The shoot that is produced by bud variation is called a

=Calyx=: the outermost row of leaves in a flower.

=Cambium=: the growing layer lying between the wood and the bark.

=Canon=: the shank bone above the fetlock in the fore and hind legs of a

=Carbohydrates=: carbohydrates are foods free from nitrogen. They make
up the largest part of all vegetables. Examples are sugar, starch, and

=Carbolic acid=: a chemical often used to kill or prevent the growth of
germs, bacteria, fungi, etc.

=Carbon=: a chemical element. Charcoal is nearly pure carbon.

=Carbon disulphide=: a chemical used to kill insects.

=Carbonic acid gas=: a gas consisting of carbon and oxygen. It is
produced by breathing, and whenever carbon is burned. It is the source
of the carbon in plants.

=Cereal=: the name given to grasses that are raised for the food
contained in their seeds, such as corn, wheat, rice.

=Cobalt=: a poisonous chemical used to kill insects.

=Cocoon=: the case made by an insect to contain its larva or pupa.

=Commercial fertilizer=: an enriching plant food bought to improve soil.

=Compact=: a soil is said to be compact when the particles are closely

=Concentrated=: when applied to food the word means that it contains
much feeding value in small bulk.

=Contagious=: a disease is said to be contagious when it can be spread
or carried from one individual to another.

=Cross=: the result of breeding two varieties of plant together.

=Cross pollination=: the pollination of a flower by pollen brought from
a flower on some other plant.

=Croup=: the top of the hips.

=Culture=: the art of preparing ground for seed and raising crops by

=Curb disease=: a swelling on the back part of the hind leg of a horse
just behind the lowest part of the hock joint. It generally causes

=Curculio=: a kind of beetle or weevil.

=Dendrolene=: a patented substance used for catching cankerworms.

=Digestion=: the act by which food is prepared by the juices of the body
to be used by the blood.

=Dormant=: a word used to describe sleeping or resting bodies,--bodies
not in a state of activity.

=Drainage=: the process by which an excess of water is removed from the
land by ditches, terraces, or tiles.

=Element=: a substance that cannot be divided into simpler substances.

=Ensilage=: green foods preserved in a silo.

=Evaporate=: to pass off in vapor, as a fluid often does; to change from
a solid or liquid state into vapor, usually by heat.

=Exhaustion=: the state in which strength, power, and force have been
lost. When applied to land, the word means that land has lost its power
to produce well.

=Fermentation=: a chemical change produced by bacteria, yeast, etc. A
common example of fermentation is the change of cider into vinegar.

=Fertility=: the state of being fruitful. Land is said to be fertile
when it produces well.

=Fertilization=: the act which follows pollination and enables a flower
to produce seed.

=Fetlock=: the long-haired cushion on the back side of a horse's leg
just above the hoof.

=Fiber=: any fine, slender thread or threadlike substance, as the
rootlets of plants or the lint of cotton.

=Filter=: to purify a liquid, as water, by causing it to pass through
some substance, as paper, cloth, screens, etc.

=Formalin=: a forty per cent solution of a chemical known as
formaldehyde. Formalin is used to kill fungi, bacteria, etc.

=Formula=: a recipe for the making of a compound; for example,
fertilizer or spraying compounds.

=Fungicide=: a substance used to kill or prevent the growth of fungi;
for example, Bordeaux Mixture or copper sulphate.

=Fungous=: belonging to or caused by fungi.

=Fungus= (plural =fungi=): a low kind of plant life lacking in green
color. Molds and toadstools are examples.

=Germ=: that from which anything springs. The term is often applied to
any very small organism or living thing, particularly if it causes great
effects such as disease, fermentation, etc.

=Germinate=: to sprout. A seed germinates when it begins to grow.

=Girdle=: to make a cut or groove around a limb or tree.

=Glacier=: an immense field or stream of ice formed in the region of
constant snow and moving slowly down a slope or valley.

=Globule=: a small particle of matter shaped like a globe.

=Glucose=: a kind of sugar very common in plants. The sugar from grapes,
honey, etc. is glucose. That from the sugar cane is not.

=Gluten=: a vegetable form of protein found in cereals.

=Graft=: to place a living branch or stem on another living stem so that
it may grow there. It insures the growth of the desired kind of plant.

=Granule=: a little grain.

=Gypsum=: land plaster.

"=Head back=": to cut or prune a tree so as to form its head, that is,
the place where the main trunk first gives off its branches.

=Heredity=: the resemblance of offspring to parent.

=Hibernating=: to pass the winter in a torpid or inactive state in close

=Hock=: the joint in the hind leg of quadrupeds between the leg and the
shank. It corresponds to the ankle in man.

=Host=: the plant upon which a fungus or insect is preying.

=Humus=: the portion of the soil caused by the decay of animal or
vegetable matter.

=Hybrid=: the result of breeding two different kinds of plants together.

=Hydrogen=: a chemical element. It is present in water and in all living

=Individual=: a single person, plant, animal, or thing of any kind.

=Inoculate=: to give a disease by inserting the germ that causes it in a
healthy being.

=Insectivorous=: anything that eats insects.

=Kainit=: salts of potash used in making fertilizers.

=Kernel=: a single seed or grain, as a kernel of corn.

=Kerosene emulsion=: see Appendix.

=Larva= (plural =larvæ=): the young or immature form of an insect.

=Larval=: belonging to larva.

=Layer=: to propagate plants by a method similar to cutting, but
differing from cutting in that the young plant takes root before it is
separated from the parent plant.

=Legume=: a plant belonging to the family of the pea, clover, and bean;
that is, having a flower of similar structure.

=Lichen=: a kind of flowerless plant that grows on stones, trees,
boards, etc.

=Loam=: an earthy mixture of clay and sand with organic matter.

=Magnesia=: an earthy white substance somewhat similar to lime.

=Magnify=: to make a thing larger in fact or in appearance; to enlarge
the appearance of a thing so that the parts may be seen more easily.

=Membrane=: a thin layer or fold of animal or vegetable matter.

=Mildew=: a cobwebby growth of fungi on diseased or decaying things.

=Mold=: see mildew.

=Mulch=: a covering of straw, leaves, or like substances over the roots
of plants to protect them from heat, drought, etc., and to preserve

=Nectar=: a sweetish substance in blossoms of flowers from which bees
make honey.

=Nitrate=: a readily usable form of nitrogen. The most common nitrate is

=Nitrogen=: a chemical element, one of the most important and most
expensive plant foods. It exists in fertilizers, in ammonia, in
nitrates, and in organic matter.

=Nodule=: a little knot or bump.

=Nutrient=: any substance which nourishes or promotes growth.

=Organic matter=: substances made through the growth of plants or

=Ovary=: the particular part of the pistil that bears the immature

=Ovipositor=: the organ with which an insect deposits its eggs.

=Oxygen=: a gas present in the air and necessary to breathing.

=Particle=: any very small part of a body.

=Perennial=: living through several years. All trees are perennial.

=Petal=: a single leaf of the corolla.

=Phosphoric acid=: an important plant food occurring in bones and rock

=Pistil=: the part of the blossom that contains the immature seeds.

=Pollen=: the powdery substance borne by the stamen of the flower. It is
necessary to seed production.

=Pollination=: the act of carrying pollen from stamens to pistils. It is
usually done by the wind or by insects.

=Porosity=: the state of having small openings or passages between the
particles of matter.

=Potash=: an important part of plant foods. The chief source of potash
is kainit, muriate of potash, sulphate of potash, wood ashes, and
cotton-hull ashes.

=Propagate=: to cause plants or animals to increase in number.

=Protein=: the name of a group of substances containing nitrogen. It is
one of the most important of feeding stuffs.

=Pruning=: trimming or cutting parts that are not needed or that are

=Pulverize=: to reduce to a dustlike state.

=Pupa=: an insect in the stage of its life that comes just before the
adult condition.

=Purity= (of seed): seeds are pure when they contain only one kind of
seed and no foreign matter.

=Ration=: a fixed daily allowance of food for an animal.

=Raupenleim=: a patented sticky substance used to catch the cankerworm.

=Resistant=: a plant is resistant to disease when it can ward off
attacks of the disease; for example, some varieties of the grape are
resistant to the phylloxera.

=Rotation= (of crops): a well-arranged succession of different crops on
the same land.

=Scion=: a shoot, sprout, or branch taken to graft or bud upon another

=Seed bed=: the layer of earth in which seeds are sown.

=Seed selection=: the careful selection of seed from particular plants
with the object of keeping or increasing some desirable quality.

=Seedling=: a young plant just from the seed.

=Sepal=: one of the leaves in the calyx.

=Set=: a young plant for propagation.

=Silo=: a house or pit for packing away green food for winter use so as
to exclude air and moisture.

=Sire=: father.

=Smut=: a disease of plants, particularly of cereals, which causes the
plant or some part of it to become a powdery mass.

=Spike=: a lengthened flower cluster with stalkless flowers.

=Spiracle=: an air opening in the body of an insect.

=Spore=: a small body formed by a fungus to reproduce the fungus. It
serves the same use as seeds do for flowering plants.

=Spray=: to apply a liquid in the form of a very fine mist by the aid of
a spraying pump for the purpose of killing fungi or insects.

=Stamen=: the part of the flower that bears the pollen.

=Stamina=: endurance.

=Sterilize=: to destroy all the germs or spores in or on anything.
Sterilizing is often done by heat or chemicals.

=Stigma=: the part of the pistil that receives the pollen.

=Stock=: the stem or main part of a tree or plant. In grafting or
budding the scion is inserted upon the stock.

=Stover=: as used in this book the word means the dry stalks of corn
from which the ears have been removed.

=Subsoil=: the soil under the topsoil.

=Sulphur=: a yellowish chemical element; brimstone.

=Taproot=: the main root of a plant, which runs directly down into the
earth to a considerable depth without dividing.

=Terrace=: a ridge of earth run on a level around a slope or hillside to
keep the land from washing.

=Thorax=: the middle part of the body of an insect. The thorax lies
between the abdomen and the head.

=Thermometer=: an instrument for measuring heat.

=Tillage=: the act of preparing land for seed, and keeping the ground in
a proper state for the growth of crops.

=Transplant=: a plant grown in a bed with a view to being removed to
other soil; a technical term used by gardeners.

=Tubercle=: a small, wart-like growth on the roots of legumes.

=Udder=: the milk vessel of a cow.

=Utensil=: a vessel used for household purposes.

=Variety=: a particular kind. For example, the Winesap, Bonum, Æsop,
etc., are different varieties of apples.

=Ventilate=: to open to the free passage of air.

=Virgin soil=: a soil which has never been cultivated.

=Vitality= (of seed): vitality is the ability to grow. Seed are of good
vitality if a large per cent of them will sprout.

=Weathering=: the action of moisture, air, frost, etc. upon rocks.

=Weed=: a plant out of place. A wheat plant in a rose bed or a rose in
the wheat field would be regarded as a weed, as would any plant growing
in a place in which it is not wanted.

=Wilt= (of cotton): a disease of cotton in which the whole plant droops
or wilts.

=Withers=: the ridge between the shoulder bones of a horse, at the base
of the neck.

=Yeast=: a preparation containing the yeast plant used to make bread
rise, etc.


  Acid phosphate, 23, 214, 225

  Alfalfa, 28, 179, 187, 242, 244, 245, 246-248

  Alfalfa root, 28

  Animals, domestic, 261-292
    why we feed, 290

  Annual, 69, 112, 118, 260

  Ant, 144, 150

  Anther, 43

  Apple, 42, 59, 76, 78, 83-85, 123
    fire-blight of, 130

  Apple-tree tent caterpillar, 161, 162

  Arsenate of lead, 156, 157

  Ashes, 207

  Asparagus, 98

  Babcock milk-tester, 304

  Bacteria, 24, 127, 128, 129, 131, 133

  Balanced ration, 294-295

  Barley, 215-217

  Beans, 95, 98

  Bee, 286-290

  Beehive, anti-robbing entrance of, 289

  Beet, 95, 96
    sugar-, 218-221

  Beet sugar, 218

  Beetle, 146, 148
    cucumber, 102
    potato, 170

  Biennials, 70

  Bird homes, 322

  Birds, 318-323

  Black knot, 140

  Blackberry, 59

  Blight, 106
    eggplant, 103
    pear and apple, 130
    potato, 138, 209
    tomato, 106

  Bordeaux mixture, 127, 141, 142, 156, 209

  Borer, peach, 163, 164

  Breeding-cage, insect, 152

  Buckwheat, 229-230

  Bud variation, 58

  Budding, 55, 81-82

  Buds, 51, 59

  Bug, 147

  Bulbs, 109, 110, 111

  Burbank, Luther, 80

  Butter, 297, 300

  Butterfly, 146, 148, 149

  Cabbage, 93, 95, 96, 99

  Cabbage worm, 165, 166

  Caladium, 111

  Cambium, 79, 131

  Cankerworm, 159, 160

  Canna, 116

  Cantaloupes, 101

  Cape jasmine, 110

  Capillarity, 10

  Carbohydrates, 291, 292, 295

  Carbon, 39, 40, 291

  Carbon disulphide, 169

  Carbonic acid gas, 6, 317

  Caterpillar, 147, 149, 161

  Cattle, 270-275
    beef type of, 272
    dairy type of, 273
    improving of, 274

  Cauliflower, 91, 140

  Celery, 100, 101

  Cherries, 59, 81, 164

  Chinch bug, 165, 167

  Churn, the, 297, 299, 300

  Churning, 299

  Cleft grafting, 80

  Clover, 187, 249-251

  Club root, 140

  Cocoon, 147, 148, 150, 151

  Codling moth, 154, 156, 164

  Cold-frame, 93-97, 101

  Colostrum, 297

  Consumption, germ of, 129

  Corms, 111

  Corn, 197-202
    blossom of, 45
    freezing of seed, 75
    roots of, 27, 28
    selection of seed, 66, 67, 68

  Cotton, 180-188
    resistant variety of, 132
    Sea Island, 132, 182
    short-stapled, 182

  Cotton wilt, 142

  Cotton-boll weevil, 173

  Cotton-seed meal, 24, 225, 295

    Aberdeen Angus, 272
    Galloway, 274
    Holstein, 275
    Jersey, 273
    care of, 296
    the dairy, 293-296

  Cowpeas, 251-254

  Cream, 297, 298

  Crop-rotation, 33-37

  Crops, 178-237
    rotation of, 20, 33, 189, 211, 217, 219, 228
    value of, per acre, 179

  Cross section, 26

  Crosses, 49

  Cross-pollination, 48

  Cucumber, 73, 101

  Cucumber beetle, 102

  Curculio, plum, 156

  Currant, 59

  Cuttings, 52, 53, 54, 55, 109

  Cyclamen, 115

  Dahlia, 111, 112, 116

  Dairy rules, 301

  Dairying, 297-301

  Dendrolene, 160

  Diphtheria, germ of, 129

  Diseases of plants, 122-143

  Domestic animals, 261-292

  Drainage, benefits of, 15

  Dry farming, 323-326

  Ducks, 282

  Eggplants, 102, 103

  Ensilage, 295

  Farm crops, 178-237

  Farm garden, 235-237

  Farm tools, 313-315

  Farming on dry lands, 323-330

  Fats, 291, 292, 295

  Feed stuffs, 238-260
    digestible nutrients in, 290-292
    growing, on the farm, 309-313

  Feeding animals, 290
    reasons for, 290, 292

  Fertilization, 45

  Fertilizers, 22-24

  Field insects, 144-177

  Figs, 51, 59

  Fire-blight, 130

  Flax, 226-229

  Flea-beetle, 169, 172, 209

  Floriculture, 89, 108

  Flower, the, 42, 43

  Flower box, 112

  Flower gardening, 108-121

  Fly, 146, 150

  Formalin, 135, 136, 138

  Fowls, 282-286

  Fruit mold, 126, 142

  Fruit rot, 122

  Fruit tree, how to raise a, 76-87

  Fultz, Abraham, 65

  Fungi, 125, 126, 127

  Garden, 235-237

  Garden insects, 165-177

  Gardening, market-, 89-90

  Geese, 284

  Geranium, 52, 54, 109, 110

  Germs, 24, 127, 129, 131, 135;
    _see also_ Bacteria

  Girdler, 162

  Girdling, 41

  Glacier, 3, 4, 5

  Gladiolus, 92, 111

  Gooseberries, 59

  Grafting, 55, 78-81
    cleft, 80
    root, 79
    time for, 79
    tongue, 79, 80

  Grafting wax, 79

  Grape, 51, 53, 58, 59

  Grape cutting, 54

  Grape phylloxera, 157, 158

  Grape pollination, 52, 53

  Grasses, 238-244

  Grasshopper, 148, 151

  Greenhouse, 91-94

  Heading back, 83

  Hemp, 226-229

  Hens, 282-286

  Heredity, 67

  Hessian fly, 170

  Homes, country, 330-337

  Honey dew, 167

  Horse, 262-270
    diagrams by which to judge, 265-269
    Percheron, 264
    proportions of, 270
    roadster, 267

  Horticulture, 89-121

  Host, 126

  Hotbed, 91-97

  How to raise a fruit tree, 76-87

  Humus, 5, 20, 21, 22, 193, 207

  Husker and shredder, 201

  Hybrids, 49, 50, 51, 183

  Insects, cage for breeding, 152
    classes of, 146
    eggs of, 150
    eyes of, 145
    field, 144, 165
    garden, 144-177
    general, 144
    how they feed, 146, 147
    orchard, 144
    parts of, 145

  Irish, or white, potato, 206-209
    propagation of, 56, 57

  Irrigation, 326-330
    method of, 330

  Kafir corn, 325, 326

  Kainite, 214

  Kerosene emulsion, 168

  Land, improvement of, 17, 21, 31, 34, 244

  Landscape-gardening, 89

  Larva, 147, 148

  Layering, 55, 57

  Legumes, 31, 207, 244-260

  Lettuce, 91, 93, 95

  Life in the country, 330-337

  Lime, 140

  Lime-sulphur wash, 141, 142, 153, 154, 156

  Liming land, 315-318

  Louse, plant, 150, 151, 152, 167

  Machines, farm, 313-315

  Maize, 197

  Manures, 20, 21-24

  Maple sugar, 217

  Market-gardening, 89, 90

  Meadows, 240, 242

  Melons, 101, 106

  Mildew, 124
    how to prevent, 126

  Milk, 297
    sours, how, 302

  Milk-tester, Babcock, 304

  Mineral matter, 291, 292

  Moisture, 9

  Mold, 123, 124, 125

  Moonflower, 115

  Morning-glory, 115

  Moth, 148
    codling, 154, 156, 164
    mosquito, 150

  Mulch, 12

  Narcissus, 114

  Nectar, 46, 47

  Nitrate of soda, 24, 99, 211, 214

  Nitrogen, 15, 23, 24, 31, 32, 34, 35, 36, 37, 188, 246

  Nitrogen-gathering crops, 15, 18, 244-260

  Nodules, 36

  Oats, 209-215

  Oat smut, 134

  Onion, 103, 104

  Orchard insects, 143

  Osmosis, 30

  Ovary, 44

  Ovipositor, 157

  Paris green, 165, 209

  Parsnips, 94

  Pasture grasses, 238-244

  Peach, 42, 59, 81, 84, 85, 87, 141, 142

  Peach curl, 141, 143

  Peach mold, 142

  Peach mummies, 142

  Peach tree, how made, 86-87

  Peach-tree borer, 163, 164

  Peanuts, 202-203

  Pear, 44, 49, 59, 81, 130

  Pear fire-blight, 130

  Peas, 95, 104, 251-254

  Perennials, 71, 112, 116, 118, 260

  Petal, 43

  Phosphoric acid, 23, 24, 186, 188, 196, 216, 244, 254

  Phylloxera, 157, 158

  Pipette, 305

  Pistil, 43, 44

  Plant, the, 25, 39

  Plant disease, cause of, 122
    nature of, 122
    prevention of, 122, 129

  Plant food, 18, 19, 20, 21, 24
    from air, 39
    from soil, 29
    kinds of, 33

  Plant louse, 150, 152, 167, 168

  Plant seeding, 59, 109

  Planting a tree, 76-87

  Plant-propagation, 51-59
    by buds, 51

  Plants grown from seed, 109
    from bulbs, 109

  Plow, right way to, 11

  Plum curculio, 156, 157

  Plums, 43, 59, 81, 164

  Pollen, 43, 47, 48

  Pollination, 45-48
    by hand, 49
    cross-, 49, 50
    grape, 52, 53

  Potash, 23, 24, 186, 188, 196, 207, 216, 244, 246, 254

  Potato, sweet, 204, 205
    white, or Irish, 56, 57, 206-209

  Potato beetle, 170, 209

  Potato blight, 138, 209

  Potato scab, 136, 205, 209

  Potato seed, 56, 57

  Poultry, 282-286

  Prevention of plant diseases, 129, 130

  Propagation of plants by buds, 58
    by cuttings, 52

  Protein, 212, 291, 294, 295, 297

  Pruning, 83, 84-87
    root, 85, 86

  Pupa, 147, 150, 151

  Purity of seed, 72-75

  Pyrethrum powder, 165

  Quince, 59

  Radish, 95

  Raspberry, 59

  Ration, balanced, 294, 295

  Ratoon, 225

  Red raspberry, 59

  Rice, 231-232

  Roads, 332, 337

  Root-hairs, 24, 25, 27, 29, 32

  Root-pruning, 86

  Roots, 25, 26, 27, 28

  Root-tubercles, 30, 37

  Rose, 109, 121, 124

  Rot of fruit, 122

  Rotation of crops, 8, 20, 21, 33-37, 189, 211, 217, 219, 258

  Rye, 213-215

  San Jose scale, 152, 153

  Sap current, the, 40

  Scab, 136, 209

  Schoolhouses, 334

  Scion, 79, 81, 82

  Seed, 42

  Seed purity, 72-75

  Seed vitality, 72-75

  Seed-germination, 74

  Seed-germinator, 74

  Seeding, 60, 114

  Seed-selection, 56, 62, 64, 66
    in the field, 56, 62, 68
    of corn, 66
    of cotton, 60, 61
    of potatoes, 56, 57
    of wheat, 64, 65

  Seed-selection plat, 63, 64

  Selection of seed. _See_ Seed-selection

  Sepal, 43

  Sheep, 276-279

  Silo, 295

  Smuts, 134, 135

  Soil, 1
    bacteria in, 24
    deepening of, 8
    definition of, 1
    drainage of, 14

  Soil, how formed, 2, 3
    how water rises in, 13
    improving, 17
    manuring of, 21
    moisture of, 9
    origin of, 1
    particles of, magnified, 10
    and plant, 25
    retention of water by, 12
    tillage of, 6
    virgin, 17, 18

  Sowing seed, 94

  Soy beans, 256-260

  Spiders, red, 121

  Spiracles, 145

  Spores, 123, 124, 125, 130, 135
    prevention of, 130

  Spraying, 137, 138, 139, 155, 156, 157, 209

  Spraying outfit, 138, 155, 168, 171

  Squanto, 21

  Squash, 45, 95

  Squash bug, 168

  Stamen, 43-48

  Starch, 40

  Starchy food, 291

  Stigma, 44-45

  Stock, 79, 82

  Strawberry, 45, 55, 59, 90

  Style, 43

  Subsoil, 1

  Subsoiling, 10

  Sugar, 40

  Sugar plants, 217

  Sugar-beet, 218-221

  Sugar-cane, 221

  Sugar-maple, 217

  Sulphate of ammonia, 211

  Sun-scald, 84

  Sweet pea, 114, 115

  Sweet potato, 56, 57, 111, 204-205

  Swine, 279-282

  Tent caterpillar, 162

  Tile drain, 15, 16
    benefits of, 14

  Tillage, 6-9, 19, 28, 200

  Timber, 232-235
    enemies of, 233

  Tobacco, 189-192

  Tobacco worm, 170, 172

  Tomato, 40, 105

  Tongue grafting, 79, 80

  Tools, 313

  Topping tobacco, 191

  Trap plant, 168

  Tree, manuring of, 26

  Truck crops, 98-107

  Tubercle, 30, 32

  Tull, Jethro, 6

  Turkeys, 282

  Turnip, 95

  Twig girdler, 162

  Typhoid fever, germ of, 129

  Vetches, 255-257

  Vitality of seed, 72-75

  Vitamines, 298

  Wasp, 146

  Water, 10
    absorption of, by plants, 10
    retention of, by soil, 9
    rise of, in soil, 13
    saved by plants, 10
    saved by soils, 12

  Watermelons, 106

  Wax, 79

  Weathering, 4, 7

  Weeds, 69, 74
    annual, 69
    biennial, 70
    perennial, 71

  Weevil, 169
    cotton-boll, 173-177
    plum, 156

  Wheat, 192-197
    selection of seed, 63
    yield of, 64

  Why feed animals, 290

    cotton, 142
    watermelon, 107

  Window box, 118

  Window-garden, 119-121

  Window-gardening, 119

  Worn-out land, reclaiming of, 19, 244

  Yeast, 127, 128

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