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non-deteriorating trees. Too much care cannot be exercised in this matter if our standards are to be maintained.
Grafting.—The cheapness and greater convenience of budding the orange has rendered grafting obselete. A nurseryman of my acquaintance claims that he can bring the orange to fruit much earlier by grafting than by budding, and has experiments under way to prove his assertion. . It is possible that the next step in scientific culture may be in this direction, but I deem it hardly probably. In Florida grafting is a popular method of eonverting the wild (Bigarade) orange to the commercial fruit. Grafting would be of
equal advantage with us in treating old trees, in which it is difficult to make buds live.
f'ark Of The Bii>i)KD Stock.—The care of budded nursery stool;, as regards cultivation, irrigation, staking up, pruning and keeping free from insects, should be as painstaking as that enjoined for young seedlings. When the buds are one year old and the stocks two or three (according to the age at budding), the trees are sufficiently advanced to betaken up and transferred to the orchard. Of this transplanting I shall say something in a subsequentchapter.
A WORD TO THE WISE.
The man who contemplates planting an orange orchard — especially the man of limited means—ought to stop and think twice. He should consider that it is a great undertaking to raise orange trees; and he should also bear in mind that, during the long period in which they are attaining maturity, his family and himself must have a living. If, after weighing the matter carefully, he comes to the conclusion that he is possessed of the requisite courage, perseverence, energy and thrift for the undertaking, with a natural taste for it which will make his labors and trials endurable; and if he thinks he can see his way clear to keep the pot boiling through several non - producing years, why, let him go ahead, and God speed him! He is embarking in a good enterprise, and one that will surely bring its reward if intelligently carried through.
Too many men undertake the growing of an orange grove without fully comprehending the magnitude of the task. When it is past the time for them to retire without sacrifice, they find out that it was a fancy, not a well-settled purpose, that first possessed them, and the labors in
volved are too onerous to be borne;, or, their means having run out, they get into debt, mortgage the farm, and then, perhaps, as the trees are just about to bear, the result of all their labors and sacrifices is swept away! I do not propose to read anybody a lecture. Neither do I wish to discourage any who have reasonable chances of success from entering the field of orange growing; but, if a candid word of mine may set some over-sanguine man to thinking, and avert from him the heartburnings incident to the course above outlined, that word shall not pass unspoken. If, my reader, you have thoughts of growing an orange orchard, and aftor looking the difficulties squarely in the face, you conclude that you can overcome them; and if you would, to that end, be advised concerning approved theories and established methods, follow mo through the succeeding chapters and I will lay them before you. Kemember that in our age no man can afford to ignore the experience of others; and he who informs, himself most thoroughly is the one who encounters least mishaps and firally commands success.
LOCATING AN OKANGE ORCHARD.
Having determined to grow oranges, one should address himself to the task of obtaining the best of everything required;—the best location and soil; the best water right; the best trees of the best varieties; and then he should plant them and care for them in the best manner, and he may count with certainty on the best results. If he is to go through the labor and trials of growing an orchard, he may as well raise fine fruit as poor; it is not a whit harder. And besides, when it comes to returns there may be all the difference •between the two that there is between profit and loss.
Best Location.—In Parti of this work, under the heading "A Glance at Our Orange Growing Country" and subsequent chapters, I have discussed the question of localities suited to citrus culture quite fully, with reference especially to this connection. It is sufficient to reiterate here that all authorities agree in recommending the high mesa lands and the interior valleys, where conditions of soil, climate and water supply are suitable.
Soil.—The soil should be loose, well drained and warm;—no standing water 'within twenty feet of the surface—and if there be a hard-pan at all, it should be deep. The orange flourishes best in a sandy or gravelly loam. Quite a variety of soils exists, all of which seem to fill the requirements of the orange in nearly -equal degree. I note the following:
Disintegrated granite with vegetable deposit.
Sandy clay (chocolate colored). 'Clayish sand (brown).
Sandy clay (reddish brown; colored by ferric acid, and known as "red land").
The best results cannot be accomplished in ground that bakes and packs hard under the action of water and sun, even though such ground be rich in all the chemical elements required in tree growth. Hence, adobe and stiff clay soils are to be ^avoided. Standing water near the surface . is detrimental because it keeps the ground «old. A shallow hard-pan is a disadvan
tage because it arrests the growth of the tap root and stunts the tree.
Exposure.—On rolling or elevated lands a southern, southeastern or southwestern exposure is desirable. The orange luxuriates in warmth, and the more the tree and the ground in which it stands are exposed to the direct rays of the sun the better.
Water.—Be sure to get a good water supply and have It convenient for application. But, withal, use it sparingly at first. Your supply will stand you in good stead in a dry season and after your trees come into bearing, when they must have irrigation to yield paying crops. This subject will be more fully discussed in the chapter on Irrigation to follow.
Winds.—Do not locate where your orchard will be exposed to severe winds. Quite a large proportion of fruit is lost every year by being whipped against thorns and branches, and the trees themselves are sometimes half stripped of leaves. If you have reason to apprehend an occasional wind storm, plant a double row of eucalyptus, pepper or cypress trees about the orchard for a wind-break. Cypress or pepper are preferable, because they do not exhaust the soil to such a distance as the eucalyptus. Some foothill localities excellently suited for orange growing in every other respect, are unavailable because they chance to align some mountain gorge and are swept by the daily currents of air from inland to ocean, and vice versa. Beware of such places.
Avoiding Frosts.—If you follow the advice given in these articles and locate your orchard on the foothills or iu the high interior valleys, you will be in little danger from frost. Inasmuch as cold air is denser and heavier than warm, the cold weather most prevails in low places. It is the good fortune of our country to have its cold spells of short duration, and consequently the natural basins are never quite filled up, and the isothermal line of damaging frosts does not rise over the higher altitudes.
Look Out For Rocks.—If you select land on the mesas, especially in granito formation, beware of rocks. These mesas are built up by the wash from the mountains, and many places that look comparatively smooth are only filled-up beds of former ravines; just below the surface they are chock full of bowlders. If you see only a few of these fellows cropping out here and there, regard them as a just <;ause of suspicion and make a thorough
investigation. As the surface is usually covered with a thick growth of chapparal you may not see half the rocks that are really above ground. A little neglect in this important part of the investigation may cost you several hundreds of dollars and many a weary day's labor. Take warning from a man who has been through the mill.
CLEARING AND PREPARING LAND.
Clearing.—Mesa lands, by reason of their usually thick growth of chapparal and occasional timber, are more difficult to clear than lands in the valley. The usual method is to grub out by the root everything in the form of tree or shrub. In the case of heavy oak and sycamore timber a considerable excavation is made, uncovering the hole and reaching the main tap root of the tree. This root is cut at the depth of two to four feet from the surface of the ground, and when the main laterals are also severed the tree topples over. Thus the stump is wrenched from the earth, and disposed of much more readily and cheaply than by any of the old methods of burning, blowing up or twisting out with horse-power.
Implements. — The implements requisite for clearing are the mattock, or grubhoe, axe, shovel, and crow-bar. When timber is to be cut up the cross-cut saw comes into play also. With ordinary greasewood and sage roots the mattock is sufficient. Sumacs, alders and thorns require more digging and chopping.
The Easiest Method.—It is possible sometimes when the chapparal is not very heavy and that all sage, or sage with a sprinkling of greasewood, to substitute horse-power for manual labor, with a great saving in time and expense. In such cases a heavy timber or a railroad rail is dragged broadside over the ground, a horse being hitched at each end. This operation may be repeated in an opposite direction, and the result is that substan
tially all of the brittle stalks are broken off close to the ground. A horse-rake is of service in raking the brush into windrows, after which it is stacked and burned. The roots, which still remain in the ground, are thrown out by a heavy breaking-up plow, drawn by four horses, and it is necessary to send men over the ground to collect them into heaps for burning or hauling off. This wholesale method of clearing chapparal land is rarely feasible.
The Slow Am Sure Way.—The majority of men who open up small foothills farms find there is nothing for it but to grub out the brush "by main force and awkwardness."
Fuel.—Although the clearing involves a deal of labor, and that of the hardest kind, there is a compensation in the firewood secured. All of the roots named, with the single exception of the sage, are serviceable for fuel. Prom thirty acres of chapparal which I cleared in opening up my place I obtained wood enough to last my family four years, and sold upwards of a hundred dollars' worth besides. The idea of digging firewood out of the ground is novel to most people, but when fuel is as scarce and dear as in California, it will not do to despise the lowly origin and uncomely appearance of our greasewood and sumac roots. When dry, they make a quick, hot fire, and are especially desirable for cooking purposes. *Oak timber should be worked into stovewood when green (the only time, in fact, that it can be split,) and if marketed the returns are sufficient to pay quite handsomely above the cost of clearing.
"cactus Land.—I have said that the mesas are more difficult to clear than the valleys; but I should except those lowland localities which are covered with cactus. This pestiferous growth, known by the Mexican name 'Tune, is a succession of green, pulpy leaves, one growing atop of the other, and all covered with little bunches of thorns like cambric needles. The best way to get them off the ground is to tie a long rope around a clump and drag it away with horses. Taken in detail, it is chopped in pieces with an axe and handled with a pitchfork. The 'tunes are too green to burn, and must be hauled to some out-of-the-way place. In time a part will dry up or decay, and a part will take root and grow again if not chopped up a second time. Cactus land has the reputation of being strong, and it is generally mellow and well suited to trees and vines.
Time To Begin Clearing.—Some valley land requires no clearing whatever, but is ready for the breaking plow at any time when sufficiently moist. It is a good plan to begin clearing land in the latter part of summer or early fall, so that it may be ready for the plow as soon as the first winter rains soften the ground. The
time allowed for clearing may be short or long according to the acreage and the force employed, but of one thing you may be certain: it is likely to prove a harder • and longer job than you calculate. Therefore, begin early, and allow ample lee-way in your plans.
Clearing Away Rocks.—If you have been so unfortunate as to select a rocky piece of ground, there is nothing for it but to dig the rocks out and haul them away; then plow and dig and haul again, and in the course of a year or two, with semi-annual gatherings, your place may be reasonably clear. With rocky land, allow twice or thrice the time required for clearing chapparal.
Plowing.—As soon as possible after thefirst penetrating rains have fallen, start the plow, and give your land a thorough breaking up. The plow should penetrate at least twelve inches. Then, if circumstances allow, let the piece remain a. month or more to air-slack and pulverize, after which, cross-plow and harrow thoroughly. It is important that the first plowing be done early, so that the landi may be in condition to absorb the winter rains. The closer the last plowing approximates the planting, the better, as thesoil is thus left in a mellow condition to. receive the trees.
Commence Early.—The clearing and breaking disposed of, you will begin to breathe more freely, and it is then a good time to think about trees. The sooner you are in the market the better selection you will make. No harm is done by looking over the nurseries thoroughly before coming to a conclusion.
Get The Best.—I would remind you of the advice given in a former chapter, to procure only the best trees of the best varieties. By this I do not mean always the most expensive trees. A nurseryman may have six or seven year old stock,
which he recommends highly and: with apparent reason; and yet it might be » doubtful speculation for you to pay the fancy price he demands. Better buy younger trees of equal thrift andt earn the extra dollar or two per tree by growing: them yourself
The Kind To Select.—A tree which is two years old in its budded growth, and four years old in its stock, and which is healthy and vigorous, standing from five to seven feet high, may be accounted first class. If you can obtain such, take noothers. The health of a tree is best in,
dicated by the dark green of the matured foliage. If it have a yellowish cast, beware of the tree. But do not confound the sickly hue of the older leaves with the yellowish green of the new growth. The two are readily distinguishable.
A False Economy.—Do not let measures of economy induce you to buy at half the price trees that are undersized or •stunted, or diseased or infested. A young orange tree which, from any cause, has been checked in its growth, is more than half ruined, and should not be subjected to the additional shock of removal. Though cared for in the best manner, it is likely to prove a losing investment. You should consider that the first cost of trees is a mere bagatelle compared with the items of land, time, and labor devoted to them to bring them to the fruiting age, and that this greater expense must be incurred for poor trees as well as for good; nay, more, the cost of raising may be greater for the poor, and you get only scrubs at last.
The Way To Economize.—If you desire to economize in your purchases, do so by selecting younger trees, but never by dispensing with thrift. Let the tree be as healthy and sturdy and large as it ought in reason to be at the age you buy it. Yearling buds on three-year-old stocks are often set. Some prefer them to the older growth.
A Good Way To Judge.—As go©*! an
index as one can have in judging of nursery stock is to note the general character of the nurseryman's place. If it have a neat, well-kept and thrifty appearance, you may almost jump at the conclusion that his young trees are in the same favorable condition.. If, on the contrary, the place is out at the elbows, the chances are against the trees. Be on the lookout for stunted or diseased or scaly stocks, or any of the other ills that come from neglect. In cases where the cultivation of a nursery has been slighted, though the trees may not show it except in their lack or vigor, they are apt to die after transplanting.
Varieties.—Concerning the best varieties of budded trees, the reader is referred to the chapter on that subject. I would advise the selection of one or two varieties and the planting of these almost wholly. Uniformity of fruit is a desideratum when it comes to marketing. If you wish many varieties, plant only one or two trees of each, and leave the main body of the orchard in one kind.
Mark The Trees.—Having: found the trees you want, mark them with tags or strings of some peculiar kind that the nurseryman will recognize as yours. Then make a small payment to secure them beyond a peradventure, and with the receipt in your pocket go home satisfied that you have done a good day's work.
LAYING OFF THE ORCHARD.
Importance Of The Work.—The operation preliminary to planting is laying off and staking the ground. Upon the accuracy with which this is done depends the symmetry of your orchard as long as it exists. The neglect or carelessness off a few hours at this juncture may result in an "eye-sore" for half a lifetime.. Therefore, one can hardly be too painstaking.
Estanlished Methods.—Every man of common sense knows, or thinks he knows, how to measure off and mark a piece of.
ground so that his trees will come in regular rows and the rows regularly disposed. If he goes at it by "the rule of thumb," he may or may not accomplish his purpose, but, in either event, he is likely to incur needless work and bother. It is better for him to inform himself in advance of the various labor-saving devices which have resulted from the expedience of others; then adopt somemethod which seems to him most feasible,. and consistently pursue it