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Work for June.
Farmers, generally, have their sowing and planting done by the first of this month, unless some bad weather has hindered the work, or something else occasioned unusual delay.— Many, we doubt not, will find themselves planting in this State during the first week in June, from the fact that farming operations were hardly begun until after the tenth of April, while much of the wheat crop of 1860 was sown in March. This year most of the wheat has been sown at least three weeks later.
Those who have not finished planting will do well to make no delay in getting their seed into the ground, and especially corn, which will not be likely to ripen if planted after the first days of June, unless it be the King Philip or some other hardy kind. This we have known to ripen in Minnesota if not planted till after the first of June.
Beans are generally planted after the first of June, and seldom fail to ripen. Many farmers plant their beans too far apart, for economy in regard to land or tillage. Two and one half feet apart for the rows, is ample distance, with the hills one foot apart in the rows or sown in drills. In this way they may be easily tended with the hoise, by using a single shovel plow and a horse hoe. No work of any kind should be done about the beans when wet by dew or rain. People.may spoil their beans by ignorance of this fact or paying no regard to it.
Potatoes may be planted quite late in June, if they were not put in the ground sooner.— They will not be to apt to make a good crop as those planted four or five weeks earlier.
Carrots we generally put in the fore part of
June, on land just plowed. In field culture the rows should be far enough apart to admit the horse hoe. On smooth and well prepared land two feet apart will answer all purposes.
Beets should be planted in the same manner, and they may be planted also the fore part of this month. If planted in May, however, they will be more sure to attain a large size, which is very desirable when raised for feeding stock.
Beets, as well as carrots, will come up in half the time, or less, if the seed is soaked, which, as we stated in our hints for May, is liable to be spoiled if not properly done.— Soaking or scalding seeds is in very many cases really dangerous business. We seldom soak our seeds, except when the time of sowing is late and the ground in good condition. If the earth into which the seed is planted be dry, you are pretty sure to have it dryed up after sprouting, while if the seed is put into the ground dry, it will remain in good condition until the rain comes to moisten it.
Sorghum and Imphec, if not planted in May, should be put in without delay, as it needs all the season in which to grow in our latitude. When planted as late as June, we advise sprouting the seed well, and should the ground be dry, it must be covered quite deep with moist earth, or it will be dried up. The ground should be plowed but a few days before the seed is planted, or the weeds will give you trouble. Do not fail to keep this in mind.
Ruta Bagas should be sown by the middle of June, on land well prepared and brushed in. If possible, sow just before a rain. On new ground they may be sown broadeast, but on old land it is better to put them in drills far enough apart to admit the horse and cultivator or horse hoe. We think beets and carrots more profitable to raise on old land than the rata baga. They are also a more sure crop and easier to cultivate.
DOWH WITH THl WE1DS.
Hoeing must be commenced in earnest this month. Great care and much labor is needed to keep these pests of the farm and garden under subjection. The hoe, with the cultivator or plow must be set in motion just as soon as the things to be wed can be seen in the rows. In June we have a struggle with the weeds, and if the horse is not kept moving and the hoe continually going, the crops may be so impaired as to be hardly worth harvesting.
This month, therefore, is, with many things, the turning point. The growth of everything is very much hastened by stirring the ground early and often, even should the land be free from weeds.—Farmer and Gardener.
Dairies and Dairy-Farming.
The importance of dairy-farming, though generally considered as occuping a secondary degree, is so universally admitted, that it requires no apology for giving the subject a prominent notice.
The dairy is a branch of rural industry deserving of attention in the highest degree.— There are no other means known to us, by which so great a quantity of animal food can be derived for human support from the same space of ground. In many of the counties of this State, and in most of the middle and Northern States, the production of this kind of aliment is immense, and its entire value forms no inconsiderable proportion of the produce of the land.
There is no class of persons by which milk, in one or more of its forms, is not used.— Cheese may seem to be a mere superfluity to those who feed largely on other animal food; yet even among this class, the consumption, from its regularity, is considerable, but among the far more numerous classes, to whom cheese is a part of their customary diet, the consumption of this substance is very great. Butter is used in almost every family above the poorest, to an enormous extent. Simple milk, too, enters into the diet of every class, with this peculiarity: that it is consumed in a larger quantity in the rural districts than in towns and cities.
No other branch of rural industry produces so large a quantity of animal food, from the same space of ground as the dairy. Surely, since the demand for dairy produce exceeds so
considerably the supply, it consequently must be of the highest importance to increase that supply by every means that can be adopted, which would not injure or materially interfere with other interests of great importance.— This country, or rather, particular sections of it, has long been noted for the produce of the dairy—both cheese and butter—in which few sections have been able to rival us. The process of making these articles, it is true, in other States or sections, differs somewhat from that generally adopted among our own dairy farmers; but this is not always sufficient to account for the difference in quality which exists, since it is not an unusual thing to find dairies in different parts of the country conducted upon precisely the same plan which furnish products of very different qualities. When such is the case, this difference must be in consequence of one or the other of the two following reasons: either there must be a difference in the breed of cows employed in the dairies, or else the quality of food upon which the cows subsist must be materially different. It behooves, therefore, persons interested in dairying, who perfectly understand the modes adopted in those districts where the produce of the dairy farms are held in the best repute, to apply themselves diligently in the discovery of the cause why their dairy productions are considered inferior to the products of others probably at no great distance from them. We do not presume to say that the defect could be easily or in all cases remedied at all; because, where it was ascertained to proceed from a difference in the herbage upon which the milch cows pastured during the summer, it might be found impracticable to assimilate the herbage of the one to that of the other; or least this could not be effected permanently, nor at all, unless at a very great expense. But where the inferiority was ascertained to proceed from a difference in the kind of stock, where the dairy is the first consideration with the farmer, this defect should speedily be remedied.
Something depends, no doubt, upon the climate, since extremes of heat or cold are known to be prejudicial to the dairy; although in the warmer latitudes, cheese, and sometimes even butter, is made, neither of them would be considered fit for human food in the more refined and more famed countries for dairy purposes. Something also depends upon the manner in which the dairy house and cheese-room are constructed; and probably less attention is bestowed upon this point among our dairy farmers than it deserves, or which it obtains in most other countries where the management of milk is carefully attended to.
The great point in making good butter, and that which will keep, is the freeing it from all butter milk; and if everything else is well done if this point is overlooked, good butter is impossible for any length of time. The mixture of milk in any degree with the butter is sure to produce frowiness of an unpleasant taste to the butter; and the entire freedom from this constitutes the grand secret of making good butter. There are many who think washing butter with water incompatible with retaining the rich flavor; but if the water is cold and pure, it is scarcely possible anthing should be washed away—the buttermilk which destroys the flavor of all butter, and that which in all markets commands the highest price— viz., Dutch butter—is invariably made in this way; and where the example has been followed by others, it has rarely failed of success. If any, however, doubt the propriety of washing butter, they may use any method they please, provided that the milk is separated perfectly. Entirely free from the substance that causes it to assume the putrid, frowy taste of bad butter, it may be kept with almost as much ease as lard. Solidity in packing, clean, sweet vessels, and a low temperature, will ensure its keeping for any reasonable time. Let no one expect good butter, however, as long as coarse, impure salt is used, or a particle of the buttermilk is allowed to remain in it.—Oenesee Farmer.
Use the Straw for Manure.
Mr. Editor:—Taking an interest in our Wis. Farmer, I wish to scratch a little more of my experience. I believe if all were interested as they should be, we might give and receive much information that would be a great benefit to us. When I first came to this country, it was the practice of the farmers to burn their straw piles. I questioned the propriety of such a course, but was told that the straw was of no value for manure; and I have found by trial, that owing to the dryness of soil and climate, it is not as beneficial for sowed crops as in the eastern States. By trial, I have found that for corn it is the very thing.
I gave all my straw, and in the spring I draw out my straw and dung, on land laid out for corn, and cover the whole ground, then plow deep, and cover the straw as well as I can, and, without disturbing the ground with drag, I put on my roll and press down the soil upon the dung, which leaves it in a good shape for marking, then mark both ways and plant; if well tended, it will insure a good crop. I have never failed of a heavy crop in this way. I tried a piece last year, in this way, on a piece of ground where the stone quarry gravel was Bo thick that it was very difficult to keep the
plow in the ground. I had five acres, and the result was 400 bushels ears of good corn. For two or three years this ground had been nearly worthless. After corn I raised a heavy crop of barley, the soil still remaining in good condition for wheat. I move my corn field every year, thus securing a rotation of crops, and in this way my farm is kept in good condition till I come around to where I commenced. If I wish to seed to clover and timothy, the barley crop is the one with which to seed; the grass seed should be sowed on and dragged in with the barley, which gives it deep root and does not kill with the drouth.
The secret of this kind of manuring is, that in cultivating the ground there is a nitre created which the straw absorbs, forming a very rich mould, there is no danger of the corn suffering with drouth. I heartily wish the ruinous practice of burning straw could be discontinued and thereby save many regrets in future when we shall surely be convinced of our error. R. Macomrer.
La I'hairii, Wis.
Action of Manures.
D. M. Sargent, Esq., of Warner, N. H., in communications to the New Hampshire Journal of Agriculture, has broached a few new ideas in regard to the action of manures. He assumes that plants derive more food from the atmosphere than from the soil, and that manures act as much out of the soil as they do in—that there is more food for plants in whatever we feed to our animals before it is eaten than there is in the excrements made from it. He also believes that light is absorbed in plants, thereby giving them color, and that caloric is also absorbed and retained by them thereby enabling them to give it out when burnt.
Without vouching for his correctness in all the positions taken, we will give one or two experiments he relates in reference to the absorption of ammonia by the leaves of plants:
"Ammonia, I think, beyond a doubt, is absorbed from the atmosphere by the leaves. Fill a flower pot with sand and plant a seed corn if you please, it will germinate and grow very slow, look yellow and stunted, perhaps die in a little time if nothing is done for it. But take a phial of spirits of ammonia, insert it in the sand with the mouth up and the cork loose enough for a small portion to escape, and the plant will soon turn dark green—that peculiar green that farmers like so well to see. Hide the light and it will soon turn yellow, and finally, nearly white. Exclude the air, and admit the light, it cannot grow.
"Take a wet spot of earth, so wet that corn will hardly germinate, prepare it as you would to plant corn, drop in nothing but gypsum, and that in only part of the holes so prepared, cover them all up, and smooth with the hoe as you would in planting corn, and after a time I can tell every spot where the gypsum is buried, and can tell if it wer6 dropped in a bunch, or scattered, by the fact that something white will collect on the surface, corresponding with the plaster below. But if you put in corn, the white powder will not be there; it will be absorbed by the growing plant. What this white substance is, I do not pretend to know, but I think, beyond the possibility of a doubt, that it is extracted from the atmosphere. Now the question arises what part of the plant absorbs this white substance; is it the roots or leaves? I believe it to be the growing blade, predisposed thereto by the action of the escaping ammonia from the earth or the manure applied, and here comes in the effect of light, mixing, and perfectly combining with the ammoniaeal, and other gasses afloat in the air, and absorbed by the leaves, and with those drawn from the soil by the roots forms those healthy green juices which give color to the plant, and which are absolutely necessary for a full development of the plant.
"I have come to the conclusion that light is matter; therefore has a body. It is absolutely impossible to grow plants without it, but if it does not combine with, and form a part of the plant, we could grow them without it.
"Again, light is absorbed by everything with which it comes in contact; if it is not so, what becomes of it when the sun is gone? Therefore it is absorbed by plants, and as it has a body it must increase their volume.
"Again, ammonia in its relative state, predisposes plants to absorb light, heat, air, and all other gasses that are necessary for their perfect development, while it adds to the bulk of the plant, by its own matter; therefore manures that contain it should be so applied as to have the most direct influence upon the plant out of the ground, while the juices will descend and act upon the soils and roots. But if we bury the manure so deep that nothing can escape to act upon the plant out of the soil, our crops must be small and our manure wasted, and our labor profitless."
Hating.—It oannot be expected that all farmers practice alike. Some cut their grass very early—others very late. Some are in favor of thorough drying and letting it have the benefit of the sun to sweeten it.
Some men pack their hay in air tight barns, and in the Spring complain that their cattle cough, and are threatened with fevers. The idea of keeping clover grass in the shade to be cured is still advocated by many, though we
see no reason why clover should be kept from the sun, while other hay is admitted to be sweetened by it.
Clover should be quickly dried, because it does not shed rain well when cocked up in the field. When cut in due season and well cured, cattle will eat the stems as well as the leaves. When a few leaves drop off in drying their loss is trifling compared with the loss of the stems for want of proper care.
If it is past the middle of July, the grass does not need so much drying as it did on the first, yet a portion of two days is necessary to fit it for the mow, even where the barn boards are so far apart that you can see through the crevices.
Ploughing among Corn, ftc.
Some farmers have boys who may, as well as not, ride and guide the horse among the rows. But when no boys are about it is quite an object to have a horse so taught that he will go between the rows without a leader or a rider. It often saves the labor of one man to lead.
Some farmers make it a practice to put on long reins and manage the horse as they do in a chaise. But this is not equal to a handy horse without long reins—for on coming around at the end of the rows the horse will blunder on to the corn, potatoes, and beans, oftener than he will when let alone and being governed by the voice of the ploughman.
A horse is not to be taught at once how to go by the sound of his master's voice. Repeated teachings are as necessary for him as for boys who ride him.
A great majority of our farm horses may be taught to follow the rows without a driver in case the master has a little patience, and does not, at first, require too much.
All horses should be made to know the meaning of the word "whoa" before they are offered for sale. In carriages and chaises the reins often fail. The hostler may be careless in putting on the harness. Then how important it is to be able to stop the animal by the use of a single word!
The ploughman should always have blinders on his horse while at the plough—whether or not he uses them in other cases. And we admit that all horses should be taught to go without blinders whenever the master chooses, in order that he may see objects more clearly, and learn that they will not hurt him.
In teaching a horse to work without a rider or a leader, it is of the utmost importance to treat him kindly. Harsh language will not answer when you give him the liberty of working without reins. After he has been led a few times across a corn-field, let him go between the rows without a leader, though a man may go a few times by his side, a little distance from him.
Should the horse miss the row speak to him plainly. Say haw or gte, as the case may require. If he does not mind, call on him to stop, and second the call by running the plough or cultivator deep into the soil.
Then go to his head, and speak as kindly as possible. Put him on the right track again— and when he deviates, as he will often do, forgive him, though he may go wrong seventy and seven times. He will at length learn to keep the track—and he will soon learn to come round at the ends of the rows without trampling down the corn and other plants. He will do less mischief than he will when he is pulled about by a rein.
What do we Drain For 1
This question will be answered very differently by different farmers. The most common idea is that the object in draining is to carry off the surplus water. This idea is good enough as far as it goes, but it is but one of the many benefits derived from draining.
If a lighted candle be held at the outlet of a good tile drain, we will find that there is a very strong draught inward and that the strength of this draught is proportionate to the length of the drain. Here then is a supply of air rushing up the drain, but what becomes of it? It passes out through the soil to the roots of the plants growing thereon. This supply of air from below causes the roots to run deep, and thus enables the plants to withstand a dry season.
It is a well-established fact that any soil is greatly benefited by water passing through it; hence the benefit of rain. On drained land, the rain-water, instead of running off and washing away the soil, sinks readily, and as it opens a passage through the soil is 'followed by the air from above.
It seems to be a fixed idea that "it will not pay" to drain land on which the water does not stand after a rain; but in England, where draining has reached a high state of perfection, it has been found that any land may be much benefited by draining. In addition to the above-mentioned benefits, the following may be enumerated:
It prevents the winter-killing of the crops, such as wheat and grass. Wheat and grass are often killed or injured during the winter by the water in the soil freezing and causing it to expand. This tears and injures the roots of the plants. Good drainage removes this water, and thus obviates the evil.
Draining is equivalent to lengthening the season, for the soil warms sooner in the spring, and does not part with its heat so soon in the autumn as undrained land. Thus, drained land can be worked without injury much sooner in the spring, and much sooner after a wet spell, than undrained land.
We know that when water evaporates, it carries off a large amount of heat. In undrained land a large proportion of the water at or near
the surface is evaporated, and robs the soil of a large amount of heat which should benefit the crop. Where the land is drained, this water, instead of being evaporated near the surface is carried down through the soil, and discharged by the drain. After a shower, the water on the surface sinks to the drains, and is soon carried off, but by its passage through the soil it opens the pores of the soil, and as soon as the water is gone, they are filled with air from the surface and from the drain. All soil contains various metallic salts which are injurious to vegetation; the air by coming in contact with these converts them into oxides, which are either beneficial to or do not affect vegetation. The air has the power of decomposing any vegetable matter it may meet with in its passage through the soil. A warm rain falling on a drained soil sinks through, and imparts its warmth to the soil.
Some would be disposed to think that it cannot be a good plan to remove the water from a soil during dry weather; but practice has proved that drained soils suffer much less from long-continued drouth than those which are not drained. This is easily accounted for: the air which passes along the drain is charged with a large amount of moistnre, which it imparts to the soil while passing through it.
Many soils contain a portion of the sulphate of iron; the air coming in contact with this compound will impart to it an additional proportion of oxygen, and thus form a peroxide of iron. The sulphate is injurious to vegetation and the peroxide healthful.
It has been found by repeated experiments, made in England, that the cost of judicious draining is repaid every three or four years. The average cost of draining English land is about $30 per acre. If this would increase the wheat crop but five bushels per acre, it would give an interest of 25 per cent, on the cost, or would repay the outlay in four years. Draining is very beneficial in the North, where the seasons are short; for a crop on drained land will ripen ten or fourteen days sooner than one on undrained land. Another benefit of draining is the improved health of the country; which is a very important consideration with, Aoricola, in Germantown Telegraph.
It is a fact too patent to require argument, though realized by few, that the gardens of most farmers are by no means what they should be. This is more particularly observed by those who make gardening an exclusive business. Too little attention is paid by the farmer to this branch of his industry. Upon how many farms of two or three hundred acres is the garden limited to half or even to a quarter of an acre; and this, how often, nothing more than a sort of home patch of the same things which are produced from the fields, with the