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posed chiefly of organic matter, we could gradually improve them, but this would be expensive. The cheaper way to fill them with organic matter would be to grow crops upon them to turn in as a green manuring. Clover would hardly do to begin with, because that requires a little stronger soil, and grows best in a strong loam; but if we should turn in, say a heavy crop of lupines, to be followed by a crop of buckwheat, also to be turned under, we might then get a growth of rye, with which clover possibly might do well. We might reasonably expect to be able to get one crop of clover fit to cut, when the second crop, with all its mass of roots, might be turned under, and then the land ought to be well prepared for corn. Wherever you can grow clover you may feel certain of soon being able to get almost any grain-crop. The soil would now be in the way of improving. A dressing of peat muck would help it still more, make it more retentive of moisture and of manures, and by a judicious and frequent green manuring, the whole character of the land would be changed, and a fairly productive loam would be the result. After the first step had been taken by turning in a heavy leguminous crop like the lupine, possibly clover might grow well; and if so, it could be used as a green manuring to better advantage, because the seed is so inexpensive. But any crop that will produce a large mass of vegetable growth would answer the purpose. The leading idea would be to turn under some crop as a green manuring as often as practicable; and if peat muck or mud were accessible without too much labor and cost, an application of that would hasten the change and get the land more rapidly into a condition to bear good grass.
The great leading specialty of New England farming is the dairy, and it probably always will be. That requires constant attention to the cultivation of the grasses and the supplies of winter feed for stock. Our great effort, therefore, ought to be in this direction; and though light lands are not especially suited to the production of grass, we can do very much more with them than we have hitherto done, and with such soils green manuring offers the most direct method of improvement, and the means of keeping up our supplies of winter forage.
No homestead in the country is complete without a sufficient number of vines to supply the family with an abundance of grapes. The grape is one of the most healthful of fruits as well as one of the most palatable, and has been recognized as such from the earliest times. Every family that has so much as a garden spot ought to raise this fruit.
There are many varieties of grapes, differing in quality, in thriftiness, and in the period of maturity; but if we attempt to cultivate too many, the result will be less satisfactory than if we confine our attention to a few. With us the Concord must take the lead, whether it be as a market crop or for home consumption. There are other varieties that are better, and some that are earlier, but there is no vine that combines so many-good qualities, and that can be so generally depended upon. A few of the recent seedlings may turn out to be superior and finally take the lead of the Concord; but few people can afford to experiment with them, and it is better for the most of us to wait till the relative merits and their reputation are settled by longer trial. Many of our grapes are unprofitable for one reason or another. The Isabella, for example, requires a longer season than ours; the Hartford Prolific drops from the bunches at the slightest touch; the Delaware is too small; while the Diana and some others are only half hardy at the best, and require to be laid down and partially covered in winter. We need an earlier and a higher quality of grape than the Concord, but, for the present, that combines so many good qualities as to take the lead for ordinary culture.
Grape-vines may be pruned at any season of the year. It is now pretty well settled that the bleeding which usually follows a spring pruning is not injurious to the vine, as was once supposed, but still it is just as well to avoid it; and so, all things considered, late fall-pruning is to be preferred. There is an advantage, too, in having a regular time for all the operations of the farm, and November is as good as any. Prune, therefore, late in the fall, after the leaves have died or fallen, when the vine can be shaped to suit the eye better than at other seasons. But they can be pruned any time in winter, even when the wood is frozen, without injury to the vine; and if, for any reason, they have
been neglected in November, we need not hesitate to do it later, and up to the time when they have begun to leaf out in the spring. Vines from layers are better than those from root cuttings, since they make a stronger system of roots the first year. If the roots are more than eight or ten inches long, cut them off to that length in transplanting. They will then start new roots and grow stronger. As a general rule it is not wise to use much organic or stimulating manures. They force the growth too rapidly, and the new wood will not be quite so likely to mature. If the new wood is not well ripened it will be likely to winter-kill.
THE market gardeners around Boston and most of the large centres of population, depend largely upon hot-beds for starting early vegetables for market and for family use. There seems to be no reason why every farmer should not do the same. They are started and operated at a season of comparative leisure, and so cost but little, cither of time or money; while a supply of vegetables, both early and late, does much to keep down the expenses of the table and to promote the health of the family.
The first steps in the preparation of a hot-bed are taken in the fall, by selecting a suitable loam and throwing it into a heap for use in winter or carly spring. The construction of a proper frame is usually deferred till the leisure time of winter. To make a frame, two-inch stuff is taken and spiked to cornerposts or joists, making the back side twice as high as the front so as to give the proper inclination to the sashes. The frame may be four or five feet wide and nine or twelve feet long, according to the object in view. For a family supply merely, the smaller size will be sufficient. If the back and front are fastened by screws and iron bolts, the frame can be readily taken to pieces and laid away when not in use, and so made to last a long time.
A bed of nine feet long will require three sashes. A piece of wood three inches wide and two inches thick should be set in where the sashes meet, extending from the front to the back, for them to run upon, and the piece may extend back a foot or two beyond the body of the frame. A south or a southeast exposure is best. Dig down a foot, making the hole six inches larger every way than the frame. Drive down joists at the corners, and nail to their outsides two-inch plank, letting the top come up about to the top of the ground, the size of this structure corresponding to that of the frame, so that the latter I will sit firmly upon it.
The bed itself is made about the middle of March. Coarse fresh horsemanure from the stable is used for heating material. It is to be shaken up well and thoroughly mixed, then put evenly into the bed and beaten down with the fork, but not trodden upon. Raise it up two feet, the back part a little higher than the front, making the whole about six inches higher than it is intended to have it stand, to allow for settling.
Alternate layers of tan-bark and manure, or a mixture of leaves and manure, are sometimes used to get a steady and continuous heat. After the bed is formed as indicated above, the sashes are put in, when the heat will begin to rise in two or three days. The sash can then be slightly raised to let any steam pass off, and soon after the loam can be spread over the manure lightly to the depth of six or seven inches. The bed will be ready to receive the seed a day or two after the loam is put on, and this is sown in drills crosswise. If the manure ferments so rapidly as to give out too much heat and steam and to endanger the roots of plants, it is safer to sow the seed in small flower-pots set into the soil up to the rims, and these can be raised and lowered again when the heat moderates. A large stick, thrust down into the bed in several places and withdrawn, has the effect to lessen the heat. Constant watchfulness is needed to secure sufficient ventilation, to prevent overheating and a feeble growth, and the frames should be opened for the purpose whenever it is safe to do it, but the external air is to be let in cautiously, when the air is not too cold. Cucumbers and similar plants are sometimes sown upon pieces of inverted sod in the bed, and they can be removed to the garden without injury as soon as the season admits of it. In the same way cabbages, cauliflowers, tomatoes, melons, celery, lettuce, potatoes, peppers, and many other plants can be started in the hot-bed to be transplanted as soon as the spring is sufficiently advanced. Though some experience may be required to insure complete success, the
TO FIND THE CAPACITY OF BINS, BOXES, ETC. Multiply together the length, breadth, and height of the bin or box expressed in inches or feet; the product will be the capacity expressed in cubic inches or feet. To get the capacity in bushels, divide the whole number of cubic inches in the box by 2150. For gallons, divide the whole number of cubic inches by 231. For coal, divide the whole number of cubic feet by 32 for hard, or 35 for soft coal; the quotient will be the capacity of the bin in tons.
A standard bushel contains 2150.42 cubic inches.
A gallon (wine measure) contains 231 cubic inches.
A ton of coal (anthracite, or hard) occupies about 32 cubic feet.
Standard Weight of a Bushel of Various Grains, etc., in the New
The tides given in the Calendar pages are for the port of Boston.
The following table contains the approximate difference between the time of High Water at Boston and several other places. The reader is warned that this table will not always give the exact time of the tide, as the difference varies from day to day. It is hoped, however, it will be near enough to be useful.
The difference, if preceded by +, is to be added to, or if preceded by -, subtracted from, the time as given in the Calendar pages.
h. m. 1
CARRIAGE FARES IN BOSTON.
For one adult, from one place to another within the city proper, (except as hereinafter provided), or from one place to another in East Boston, or from one place to another in South Boston, or from one place to another in Roxbury, 50 cents. Each additional adult, 50 cents.
For one adult, from any place in the city proper, south of Dover Street and west of Berkeley Street, to any place north of State, Court, and Cambridge Streets, or from any place north of State, Court, and Cambridge Streets, to any place south of Dover Street and West of Berkeley Street, One Dollar. For two or more passengers, 50 cents each.
Children under four years, with an adult, no charge.
Children between four and twelve years old, with an adult, half price.
From twelve at night to six in the morning, the fare is 50 cents above the preceding rates for each passenger.
Notice that in the lower part the curve is neither a circular noman eliptical curve. It is the distinctive curve of the dvať.
orrected Sept., 1879, at the P. O., Boston, from the latest information furnished by
LETTERS AND POSTAL CARDS IN THE TE- All domestic mail matter (except newspapers, magazines, and cals sent to actual subscribers from a known office of publication prepaid by postage stamps.
itters.Under this head is classed matter which is in writing, matter containing writing in the nature of personal correspond matter which is sealed against inspection. For each half ounce, of thereof, no limit to the weight
op or Local Letters.(To be sent within the delivery of where deposited.) At offices where free delivery by carrier is est for each half ounce or fraction
At other offices, for each half ounce or fraction
gistered Letters. The fee for registered letters, (in addition t
NEWSPAPERS, MAGAZINES, BOOKS, & wspapers, Magazines, &c. (Regular subscribers.) -All news ubscribers only, one copy to each actual subscriber within the coup hey are printed and published, wholly or in part, except those deli etter-carrier offices,
Newspapers and periodical publications mailed from a know publication or news agency, addressed to regular subscribers or new ssued four times a year, or more frequently, for each pound, or Care en katter, in all cases, to be weighed in bulk at office of mailing. weight.
hes wodicals not exceeding 2 oz. in weight, and newspapers with lingu, to regular subscribers, deposited in carrier offices, for re, each one.
'Periodicals, for regular subscribers, over 2 ounces in weight, In carrier offices for delivery there, each one
oks. For each two ounces, or fraction, not to exceed four pounds i
rchandise. Samples of metals, ores, minerals, merchandise
For over $15, and not exceeding $30
reign Letters should indicate on the outside the route by whic o be sent, as the difference by various routes is great. The rate gi 1⁄2 ounce or under. A star (*) against the rate denotes that prep ptional, except for registered letters; where there is no star, th