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Peach
Peach

Fig. 1660

Peach

Cyclopedia of American Horticulture by L. H. Bailey, 1901

Editor’s Note: It is strongly suggested that the reader research modern organic remedies as alternatives to the listed afflictions of the Peach tree. SFJ

The Peach is essentially a luxury. Its cultivation is attended with much risk. The areas in which it can be grown with success are scattered, particularly in the northern states. The Peach is tender to frost, and the liability of the buds and blossoms to injury constitute the greatest risk in the growing of the fruit. Strangely enough these risks of frost are greater in the South than in the North, because the buds are likely to be swollen by the “warm spells” of the southern winter, and to be killed by sudden freezes. In the northeastern states the Peach areas are determined chiefly by mildness of winter temperature. They lie near large bodies of water, in which places the temperature is considerably ameliorated. In close proximity to the seacoast the winds are usually too strong to allow of the growing of Peaches, but some distance inland and on the margins of the Great Lakes and other interior bodies of water, the fruit may be grown without difficulty. While Peaches are grown over a very large range of country in the United States, still the great commercial regions are relatively few. One of these regions lies in proximity to the southernmost members of the Great Lakes, particularly along the southeastern part of Lake Ontario in New York and Canada, along the southern shore of Lake Erie and on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan. In this latter belt, known as the Michigan “fruit belt,” the Peach reaches its highest northern limit in the eastern states, being grown with profit as far north as Grand Traverse, on the 44th parallel. Another large area begins near Long Island Sound, in Connecticut, and follows the seaboard as far south as the southern part of the Chesapeake peninsula and extending approximately one hundred miles inland. In the southern Atlantic states there is another commercial Peach area, comprising the upper lands of Georgia, Alabama and adjacent states. Farther south than this, where the soil does not freeze to the depth of the roots, the root-knot disease, caused by a nematode worm, is so serious as often to interfere with the raising of the crop. In this southern part, also, the old-time varieties of Peaches do not thrive to perfection, but some of the Chinese types are now giving good satisfaction. Another large Peach-growing area lies in southern Illinois, extending westward across Missouri and into Kansas. Eastern Texas has also developed a large commercial peach-growing business. Part of western Colorado is now becoming known as a peach country. Nearly the whole of California, except the mountains, is admirably adapted to the Peach, and the fruit is grown there on a large basis. There are isolated places all over the United States in which Peach growing is profitable, but the above outline designates the areas of largest commercial importance at the present time.

Peach

Fig. 1661

In regions that are too cold for the normal development of the Peach, the tree may be grown with some satisfaction by laying it down in winter. For this purpose the tree is usually trained with a thin or rather flat top so that it will lie upon the ground when the tree is bent over. When the tree is to be laid down, earth is dug away from the roots on one side, the ball of earth which holds the roots is loosened somewhat, and the tree is bent over until it reaches nearly or quite the level of the ground. It may remain in this position without covering, being protected by its proximity to the earth and by the snow which drifts into the top; or sometimes the tree is covered with litter or even with earth — if with litter, care must be taken that mice do not nest therein and gnaw the trees.

Peach

Fig. 1662

Although the Peach has many forms, it is all one species, Prunus Persica. See Prunus. It is probably native to China, but it has been in cultivation from the earliest times, and it came into Europe by way of Persia, whence the name Persica, and also Peach. From this Persian-European source have come the common Peaches of the United States. These Peaches do not thrive well in the extreme south, however. In more recent years introductions have been made directly from China, and these types, of which the Honey (Fig. 1661) is the chief example, thrive well in the far south. Still another type of Peach, which is hardy and productive in the South, is the Indian type sometimes called the “native peach.” This is probably derived from the Peaches which the early Spaniards brought into North America. It has run wild over a wide range of country in the South. As early as 1812 the botanist Nuttall found Peaches growing wild as far west as Arkansas. Still another type of Peach is the Peen-to, or the flat Peach of China. This is adapted only to the extreme southern part of the country, thriving well in the northern part of the citrous belt. It is much too early-blooming for even the middle south. It is a very early Peach, much flattened endwise so that it has the shape of a very flat apple. (Fig. 1660.) It has been described as a distinct species, Prunus platycarpa, but there is every reason to believe that it is only a modified form of the ordinary Peach species. Price (Bulletin 39, Texas Experiment Station) divides all Peaches which are known in North America into five general groups: (1) The Peen-to or flat Peach race, comprising the variety known as the Peen-to (Fig. 1660), and also the Angel and Waldo; (2) the South China race, with oval, long-pointed fruit with deep suture near the base, represented by the Honey (Fig. 1661); (3) the Spanish or Indian race, with very late, yellow, firm, often streaked fruit, represented by various southern varieties, as the Cabler (Fig. 1662), Columbia, Galveston, Lulu, Texas and Victoria; (4) the North China race, with large, mostly cling or semi-cling fruit and very large, flat leaves, represented by the Chinese Cling, Elberta (Fig. 1663), Mamie Ross, Smock and Thurber; (5) the Persian race, including the common varieties of the mid- country and the North, as Crawford (Fig. 1664), Oldmixon, Salway, and the like. The varieties of Peaches are many, although less numerous than those of apples. An inventory of 73 catalogues of American nurserymen, in 1900, showed 291 varieties on the market.

Peach

Fig. 1663

Peach

Fig. 1664

The Peach is a showy tree when in bloom. There are double-flowered varieties (Fig. 1665), which are as handsome as the dwarf flowering almond, and they are more showy because of the greater size of the tree. These double-flowered varieties have never become popular, however, owing to risks of winter injury and spring frosts, depredation of borers, and the short season in which they remain in bloom. The flowers of the Peach are naturally variable in both size and color. Peach-growers are aware that there are small-flowered and large-flowered varieties. The character of the flower is as characteristic of the variety as size or color of fruit is. Fig. 1666 shows two extremes. The Crawfords are small-flowered; the Alexander and Amsden are large flowered.

Peach

Fig. 1665 & Fig. 1666

Propagation

The Peach is always propagated by means of seeds. The first year the seedlings are budded to the desired variety. The seed is planted on the first opening of spring in rows far enough apart to allow of horse tillage, and the seeds are dropped every 6 to 8 inches in the row. These seeds should have been kept moist during the winter. Usually they are piled out of doors, being mixed with sand or gravel, and allowed to freeze. The shells are then soft when planting time arrives and many of the pits will be split. Then it will not be necessary to crack the pits. In the northern states the trees will be ready for budding in August and early September. The buds are set close to the surface of the ground, and they do not start until the following spring. The year succeeding the budding, the bud should make a tree 3 to 6 feet in height, and at the end of that season it is ready for sale; that is, the tree is sold when it is one season from the bud. In the southern states, Peach seedlings may be large enough to bud in June or early July of the year in which the seeds are sown. The buds will then grow that season, and the trees be ready for sale that fall. That is, the whole process is completed within the space of one season. These “June-budded trees” are popular in the South, but they have never become thoroughly established in popular favor in the North. They are very likely to be injured by the first winter, since the trees are not so well matured, as a rule, as the one-year-old trees grown in the North. If, however, they withstand the first winter, they should make as good trees as others.

Peach

Fig. 1667

Soil and Planting

The Peach will thrive on most any soil, providing the climate and site are congenial. The best Peach land, however, is that which is light and sandy. On such lands the Peach develops its highest color and its richest flavor, although on heavier lands it may be more juicy. The soil in the great Peach section of Michigan and the North Atlantic region is light and loose. On heavy lands the Peach is likely to grow too late in the fall and to make too much wood. The fruit is usually somewhat lower in color and tends to be later in ripening. The low color may be corrected, however, by planting the trees far apart, and by pruning to open tops to admit the sun.

Peach

Fig. 1668

Since the Peach blooms very early and the flowers are liable to be killed by late spring frosts, it is important that the site on which the orchard is planted should either be relatively free from late spring frosts or such as to retard the bloom. In proximity to large bodies of water, late spring frosts are less likely to occur, and the tree blooms relatively late because the water equalizes the climate and adjacent areas do not warm up so quickly in the spring. This is particularly true along such large bodies of water as the Great Lakes. In interior places it is well to choose a northern slope or other backward site, on which place the trees are retarded in bloom. In warm exposures in cities Peaches are very likely to be caught by late spring frosts because they bloom too early. It is usually better in such cases to plant the trees on the north side of a building.

Peach trees are always set when not more than one year from the bud. The distance apart varies with different soils, different parts of the country and with different growers. The standard and maximum distance is twenty feet apart each way. If trees are planted at this distance, they may be tilled with ease, and heading-in may not be necessary. Many growers, however, plant closer than this with excellent results. By giving extra good tillage and fertilizing they force trees to bear young, and by the time the trees begin to crowd the orchard has paid for itself, and some of the trees may be removed. Whilst this practice may be advised in special cases, the case depending on the energy and ability of the owner, it is not to be advised for general purposes.

Peach

Fig. 1669

Tilling and Fertilizing

Having selected his land, the Peach-grower must look with the greatest care to the cultivation and fertilizing of the orchard. Peach orchards should not be cropped after the third year; and if they are planted on sandy lands, and particularly if set less than 20 feet apart, they should not be cropped from the time they are set. Very frequent stirring of the surface soil from May until August, and thereafter, perhaps, a green crop which shall be plowed under the next spring, is the best general plan of tillage. Never seed down a Peach orchard nor sow it to grain. If there is any fruit that should never be neglected, it is the Peach; and this is why careless men do not succeed with it, and why so many of the orchards produce only debts and discouragement. But it is easy to produce an overgrowth on strong lands. The trees grow to a great size during the first few years, their tops are full of heavy leaves and the foliage holds very late in the fall. These trees generally bear tardily and in some cases they are not productive. They run to wood. The winds tear them to pieces. The trouble lies first in the land: it is too strong for the Peach. The second trouble may be the too free use of barn manures or other nitrogenous fertilizers, or too late tillage in the fall. The keynote to the proper fertilizing of Peach orchards is liberal use of potash and phosphoric acid and sparing use of nitrogen. Ashes, muriate of potash, bone fertilizers — these are some of the best fertilizers for Peach trees. Tillage, with green manure crops at the end of the season, can be relied upon to furnish the nitrogen in most instances; and it is even possible to plow under too much vetch or crimson clover in the course of years. Peaches which overgrow are likely to suffer in winter.

Peach

Fig. 1670

Pruning Peach Trees

The methods of pruning Peach trees are the occasion of much discussion amongst pomologists. The differences of opinion turn chiefly about three practices — short trunks with rapidly ascending branches; high trunks with more horizontal branches; and shortening-in or heading-back the annual growth. Each of these three methods has ardent advocates and opponents. It is probable that each system has distinct merits for particular cases. The nature and fertility of the soil are often the dominating factors in these opposing methods. A system of pruning which fits the slow growth and hard wood of sandy soils may not be adapted to the rapid growth and heavier tops of trees on strong soils. Fig. 1667 shows what is believed to be, in general, the best method of pruning Peach trees on sandy or what may be called Peach soils. It is the natural method. The tree is allowed to spread its top at will, with no heading-in. The foliage is comparatively light and does not place great weight upon the branches, and the trees, on such lands, do not grow quickly to such great size as on heavy lands. This method of allowing a tree to make its natural top is the common one in the Chesapeake peninsula (Fig. 1668) and in the Michigan Peach belt (Fig. 1669). It will be observed, also, that the pictures show trees with short trunks and forking branches. It is a prevalent opinion that such trees are more likely to split with loads of fruit than those which have more horizontal branches, but this is an error. Of course, much care should be exercised to see that the branches do not start off from the trunk at exactly the same height, thus making a true fork or Y. With this precaution, the crotchy trees are no more likely to split than the other, while they allow of a much better form of top, unless the tree is to be headed-in. The horizontal branches of the high-topped trees often appear to carry a load of fruit with less ease than the more upright branches of the other style of training. This danger of breaking is greatly lessened if the fruit is properly thinned. The low trunk permits a more open top, and this seems to be an advantage. One is often surprised at the thinness of top in the best Peach orchards of Michigan and Delaware. In such tops, the Peach should color better, and it is reasonable to expect less trouble from fungi.

Peach

Fig. 1671

Yet there is much to be said for the high-topped trees. They are more easy to till and it is quite as easy to pick their fruit; and there is less tendency to make long and sprawling branches as a result of careless pruning. On rich lands, it is perhaps the better method. And here is the chief reason for heading-back in the North — the necessity of checking the growth and keeping the tree within bounds when it is growing in a strong soil. Whether one shall head-in his trees or not, therefore, must depend on circumstances. In sandy Peach lands it is generally unnecessary, but it may be a good practice when trees make an over-exuberant growth. This heading-in is usually done in the winter, from a third to half the annual growth being removed.

Peach

Fig. 1672

Heading-in the branches always tends to make a thick-topped tree. The best growers usually give much attention to cutting out the small unprofitable wood from the center of the tree (compare Figs. 1670, 1671). This labor may be greatly increased if heading-in is practiced. If not persistently thinned of the inner growths, headed-in trees tend to produce fruits of lighter color and of later ripening. Many orchards have suffered from twig-blight in these central shoots.

Peach

Fig. 1673

The pruning may be made a thinning process. The fruit of the Peach is borne on the wood of the previous year. The Peach makes true flower-buds — those containing no leaves. Two flower-buds are borne together on either side of a slender leaf-bud. These buds show plainly as early as August, and usually still earlier. At that time they may be distinguished by the triple leaves growing at certain nodes, as in Fig. 1672. When the leaves have fallen, the twin fruit-buds, with the leaf-bud made between, present the appearance shown in Fig. 1673. Not always do the two buds develop: one of them may be aborted or injured so that a single flower-bud and a leaf-bud stand together. These flower-buds are borne on both the strong terminal shoots and on the weak growths in the interior of the tree top. The fruits in the interior of the top are for the most part poor; therefore it is good practice to remove the weak shoots on the inside of the top, thereby thinning the fruit and allowing the energy of the tree to go to the development of the fruit nearer the outside. Any system of pruning, therefore, which removes the annual growth thins the fruit. Heading-back the tree also may be a thinning process. The fruit-buds are borne some distance below the tips of the shoots, however, and unless the heading-in process is somewhat severe, there is little result in thinning the fruit.

Thinning the Fruit

There is very general neglect in thinning the fruit. It should be a rule that no two Peaches should stand closer on the same branch than five or six inches. No work of the orchard pays better than this thinning, either in the price which the remaining produce brings in the market or in the vital energy which is saved to the tree. Peach trees that are regularly thinned should bear every year, barring injuries from winter or spring frosts. Growers seem to forget that this fruit must all be picked sooner or later, and that the work is more easily done in June or July than in September. The thinning should be delayed until the fruit is the size of the end of one’s thumb, for by this time the “June drop” has occurred, and the Peaches can be readily seen and handled. The fruit from well-thinned trees usually sells for twice as much as that from overloaded trees, and the vigor of the trees is conserved at the same time; and the grower has the satisfaction of selling a superior product. There are two rules for the workman to observe in the thinning of fruit: (1) removal of injured or inferior fruits; (2) allow no two fruits to stand closer together than the distance which has been decided on-say about six inches for Peaches.

Marketing

If growers are negligent in thinning the fruit, they are too often positively careless in marketing it. Even in years of low prices, honestly and tastefully packed fruit brings good prices. The handsome boxes of California Peaches, containing 60 wrapped fruits, will sell readily for $2 to $4, whilst home-grown fruit sells for 25 to 75 cents a half bushel; and yet the latter may be the better by the time it reaches the consumer.

There are several faults with common methods of handling Peaches. The packages are too large. The fruit is not graded and selected; in fact, it is not well grown. There are often no wooden covers on the baskets, and, as a consequence, that part of the package which should look the best is usually the most jammed and crushed. In observing the markets, one finds that quite half the packages are not full when they reach the salesman. The Peach is a dessert fruit and should command a fancy price. Therefore, it should be packed in dainty baskets, and the packages should be sold with the fruit. Peaches in bushel baskets is a contradiction of ideals: the bushel package is for apples, potatoes, and turnips.

Peach

Fig. 1674

In New Jersey and Michigan the staple Peach package has been the tall, wide-topped basket. Of late years, however, different forms of the Climax basket (Fig. 1674) have come to be popular, and in some parts of the country they are used exclusively. The fruit always should be packed after it is picked, the best grade being carefully placed in the packages by hand.

Insect

The two most serious insect enemies of the Peach are the borer and curculio. The borer usually works in the crown of the tree near the surface of the ground. The borer itself is the larva of a wasp-like moth. It is an annual insect, completing its life-cycle within a twelvemonth. The eggs are laid in summer. By October, in most parts of the country, the larva is large enough to be detected. In September or October, therefore, it is well to grub the trees. The earth is removed from the crown with a hoe or strong iron trowel, and whenever a hole is discovered in the bark or gum is exuding, the bark is cut away with a knife until the grub is discovered. Not all the grubs can be detected at any one grubbing. It is well to go over the trees again the following May or June, to catch the large grubs before they pupate. The grubbing of trees may seem like a laborious operation, but it is not expensive if done frequently and thoroughly. It does not compare with pruning in cost or labor. It is the only sure and satisfactory way to avoid injury by borers.

The curculio attacks the fruit. Soon after the blossoms fall the small weevil or beetle, which resembles a pea-bug, lays its eggs in the fruit; and from these eggs a grub soon hatches, and the Peach becomes wormy. The eggs are laid during a considerable period — from two to four weeks — depending on the location and the season. The insect is more or less dormant in the cool of the morning and will drop when the tree is jarred, and this allows the peach-grower a chance of catching it. A large sheet, covering the spread of the top, is laid under the tree and the tree is jarred quickly two or three times, when the curculio falls, and it is then picked from the sheet. There are various apparatus for catching the curculio, all working on the above principle. One of the best of these is a 2-wheeled rig, something like a wheelbarrow, which carries a large canvas or muslin hopper. There is an opening in the hopper opposite the operator, to allow the hopper to be wheeled under the tree so that the trunk may stand near the middle of the machine. When the machine is in place, the operator gives the tree two or three quick thumps, and the insects drop. Usually, there is a tin or zinc receptacle at the apex of the hopper into which insects may be shaken. This bugging operation is begun early in the morning, usually by five o’clock. The first exploration with the bugging-machine is made within a week after the blossoms fall. If insects are found the operation is continued. If the insects are very abundant the bugging will need to be done every morning; but if they are not abundant it may be necessary to go over the plantation only two or three times a week. The bugging is continued as long as the insects are found in sufficient quantity to do much damage. Two or three weeks will usually cover the egg-laying season; but sometimes the catching must be continued even longer than this. This bugging is a laborious operation, but it is the only sure method of combating the curculio. The work can be made much more easy and expeditious if the ground is hard and firm, to allow the machines to be wheeled readily. It is well, therefore, to till the orchard as early as possible, and if the ground is very soft to go over it with a slicker or other compacting implement just before the bugging operation begins. After the curculio catching is done, one may begin the thinning of the fruit. All Peaches which give evidence of having been attacked by the curculio are then picked; this is an important means of keeping the pest in check.

Diseases

The Peach is subject to many insidious and inexplicable diseases. Of these the worst is yellows. The yellows is a distinct disease. It is not a condition. It attacks Peach trees of all ages and in all conditions of vigor, seeming to have a preference for those that are thrifty. It is incurable, and its termination is always fatal. It is communicable from tree to tree. The means of communication is unknown, but it is not spread through the soil, it probably does not originate in the roots, it is evidently not conveyed from flower to flower, and it is probably not transferred by means of pruning tools. It may be disseminated by buds, even by those from branches that do not yet show signs of the disease. The one unmistakable symptom of yellows is the red-spotted character of the fruit. The flesh is commonly marked by red lines or splashes beneath the spots. These Peaches generally ripen prematurely, and in the second year they are usually smaller and often more fuzzy than the normal fruit. The second symptom to appear — or the first in trees not in fruit — is the “tip” growth (Fig. 1675). This is a short growth starting from the upper or terminal buds, usually late in the season, and is characterized by narrow stiff yellowish small leaves which stand at nearly right angles to the shoot. Sometimes these tips appear late in autumn, after the leaves have fallen, or in spring before normal growth begins. They are often first seen upon the ends of watersprouts. This “tip” growth is sometimes little pronounced, and then only a practiced eye will detect it. The third mark of the disease is the pushing out of slender stiff-leaved yellowish shoots from the body of the tree or the sides of the large limbs (Fig. 1676). In pronounced cases, or when the tree is about to die, these shoots may branch into close bunchy tufts. These symptoms are frequently wholly absent in this state throughout the entire course of the disease.

Peach

Fig. 1675

In its final stage, the yellows is marked by small and slender growth of all new wood, small, narrow, yellow or reddish foliage, and occasionally by a great profusion of slender and branchy growths in the center of the tree. As a rule, yellows trees die in five or six years from the first visible attack, some- times sooner. The yellow and stunted condition following neglect or the work of borers — both of the common borer and the pin-hole borer — is often mistaken for yellows. Extermination of all affected trees — root and branch — is the only method of keeping the disease at bay. This work should be done vigorously and thoroughly. The entire community should unite. Trees may be set in the places from which the diseased trees are removed, without fear of contamination. The cause of the disease is wholly unknown. Almost every ascribed cause has been disproved upon careful investigation. Even when the cause shall have been discovered, the remedy will probably remain the same — extermination. The disease has no uniform preference for varieties, soils, climate, nor methods of propagation or cultivation. No fertilization of the soil will cure the disease or check its spread. The disease sometimes attacks the almond, apricot, and Japanese plum. Yellows has been recognized for about a century. It is peculiar to North America, and is generally distributed north of the Carolinas and east of the Mississippi. For more specific information on Peach yellows, consult the writings of E. F. Smith, published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Peach

Fig. 1676

Rosette is a very serious disease of Peach trees in the southern states, characterized by dense rosettes or bunches of foliage on the young shoots. It soon proves fatal. The cause is unknown. The remedy is to exterminate the trees as soon as the disease appears.

The leaf curl has been the subject of more concern amongst Peach-growers during the past few years than any other disease, except the yellows. It has a decided preference for some varieties, particularly those with large, soft and dark-colored leaves. It is also influenced greatly by the season, although it is rarely wholly absent. A moderate attack does not perceptibly injure trees in full vigor. In many cases, however, the larger part of the leaves fall from the tree in June, and the fruit, deprived of nourishment, may also fall. Leaf curl, the curculio and lack of pollination are the chief causes of the “June drop” of Peaches. The leaves “curl,” or become puckered, early in the season, and soon die. Experiments have demonstrated that a thorough spraying with full-strength Bordeaux mixture just before the buds swell in spring is very nearly a specific. If long-continued wet weather follows, it may be advisable to spray again, when the petals have fallen, with Bordeaux mixture, consisting of 2 pounds of copper sulfate, 2 pounds of quick-lime, and 50 gallons of water. If the weather of April and early May is warm and dry, this second spraying will be unnecessary. For full account of Peach curl, see Newton B. Pierce, Bull. 20, Div. Veg. Phys. and Path., U. S. Dept. Agric., 1900 (pp.204).

“Little Peach” is a recent disease which has appeared in Michigan and western New York. It is ordinarily characterized by the Peaches remaining small and hard, the trees losing vigor and the leaves becoming small. After a time the tree dies. It seems to spread when once established in an orchard. The cause of the difficulty is quite unknown. By some it is thought to be due to a root fungus. Others have associated it with dry seasons, the lack of fertility in the soil, overbearing and other exhausting processes. It has every appearance, however, of being a distinct disease. No remedy is yet known. Growers are advised to pull out the trees and burn them as if they had yellows. Some growers think that they can overcome the disease partially or wholly be liberal applications of nitrogenous fertilizers and by extra attention to tillage. All these questions, however, yet remain to be demonstrated.

Fruit-rot and twig-blight, due to the fungus Monilia fructigena, is a serious disease of Peaches. The rotting of the early Peaches on the tree is too familiar to need description, but it is not generally known that this decay is not a normal process and peculiar to the variety, but is caused by a distinct fungous disorder. Very often these same trees that show the fruit-rot have the young growth blighted, as if attacked by something like pear-blight. This death of the shoots is due to the same fungus that causes the fruit to rot. The decayed Peaches sometimes dry up and hang on the tree, and become a prolific source of infection for the coming year. These mummified Peaches can be found in orchards all over the country, even, in many cases, a year following the attack. They are likely to be most abundant in the center of the top, and the fungus often kills the twigs that bear the diseased fruits. The same fungus attacks the cherry and plum. Prof. F. D. Chester, of the Delaware Experiment Station, found that the fungus sometimes destroys the flowers in spring, and this injury may pass for the effects of frost. He also found that thorough spraying with copper fungicides greatly reduced the injury. His advice for the treatment of the disease is as follows: (1) Gather and burn all mummified fruit. (2) Early in the spring, before the fruit-buds begin to swell, spray the trees with a solution containing 1 pound of copper sulfate to 25 gallons of water. (3) As soon as the fruit-buds begin to swell, spray the trees with Bordeaux mixture or copper carbonate. Follow this by another spraying before the buds open. (4) As soon as the fruit shall have reached full size, make a third application. This may be followed by two or three applications at intervals of five or seven days during the ripening period. It will probably not be often necessary to make more than one late application. Thorough thinning of the fruit is a good preventive of the spread of the rot.

Peach

Fig. 1677

There are no up-to-date American books on the Peach. Three works have been published: Fulton’s “Peach Culture,” 1870, new edition, 1889; Rutter’s “The Culture and Diseases of the Peach,” Harrisburg, Pa., 1880; Willcox’s “Peach Culture,” Bridgeton, N.J., 1886. There are several excellent experiment station bulletins on the Peach. See also, Fitz’s “Southern Apple and Peach Culturist,” and Black’s “Cultivation of the Peach and the Pear on the Delaware and Chesapeake Peninsula.”

L.H.B.

Peach

Fig. 1678

Peach

Fig. 1679

Spotlight On: Equipment & Facilities

Sleds

Sleds

by:
from issue:

The remainder of this section on Agricultural Implements is about homemade equipment for use with draft animals. These implements are all proven and serviceable. They are easily worked by a single animal weighing 1,000 pounds, and probably a good deal less. Sleds rate high on our homestead. They can be pulled over rough terrain. They do well traversing slopes. Being low to the ground, they are very easy to load up.

Blacksmith Forge Styles

Blacksmith Forge Styles

from issue:

Blacksmith Forge Styles circa 1920.

Eighteen Dollar Harrow

Eighteen Dollar Harrow

by:
from issue:

This is the story of a harrow on a budget. I saw plans on the Tillers International website for building an adjustable spike tooth harrow. I modified the plans somewhat to suit the materials I had available and built a functional farm tool for eighteen dollars. The manufactured equivalent would have cost at least $300.

Living With Horses

Living With Horses

by:
from issue:

The French breed of Ardennes is closer to what the breed has been in the past. The Ardennes has always been a stockier type of horse, rude as its environment. Today the breed has dramatically changed into a real heavy horse. If the Ardennes had an average weight between 550 and 700kg in the first part of the last century, the balance shows today 1000kg and more. Thus the difference between the Ardennes and their “big” sisters, the Brabants in Belgium, or the Trait du Nord in France, has gone.

The Farm & Bakery Wagon

The Farm & Bakery Wagon

by:
from issue:

The first step was to decide on an appropriate chassis, or “running gear.” Eventually I chose to go with the real deal, a wooden-wheeled gear with leaf springs rather than pneumatic tires. Wooden wheels last forever with care and are functional and look the part. I bought an antique delivery wagon that had been left outdoors as an ornament. I was able to reuse some of the wheels and wooden parts of the running gear.

Wheel Hoe

The Wheel Hoe: A Tool For Shallow Tillage

When we bought this little farm I soon realized I needed a wheel hoe. The size of the horse and tractor dictated space wasting wide rows in crop production and, to some degree, so does my two wheeled tractor.

Haying With Horses

Hitching Horses To A Mower

When hitching to the mower, first make sure it’s on level ground and out of gear. The cutter bar should be fastened up in the vertical or carrier position. This is for safety of all people in attendance during hitching.

Disc Harrow Requirements

Disc Harrow Requirements

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One of the most important requirements is disc blade concavity, that is, correct concavity. Further along we set forth the purposes of disc concavity. We feel it is important enough to devote the extra time and words in a discussion of the subject, because seldom is disc concavity talked about, and very few know that there is difference enough to cause good and bad work.

Hay Making with a Single Horse Part 1

Hay Making with a Single Horse Part 1

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For the last ten years, I have made hay mostly with a single horse. This has not necessarily been out of choice, as at one time I had hoped to be farming on a larger scale with more horses. Anyway, it does little good to dwell on ‘what if ’. The reality is that I am able to make hay, and through making and modifying machinery, I probably have a better understanding of hay making and the mechanics of draught.

McCormick-Deering No 7 Mower Manual in English & French

McCormick-Deering No. 7 Mower Manual in English & French

Instructions for Setting Up and Operating the McCORMICK-DEERING No. 7 VERTICAL LIFT TWO-HORSE MOWERS — Instructions pour le Montage et le Fonctionnement des FAUCHEUSES A DEUX CHEVAUX McCORMICK-DEERING No. 7 À RELEVAGE VERTICAL

Champion No.4 Mower Reaper

The Champion No. 4 Combined Mower and Self-Raking Reaper

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The project for the winter of 2010 was a Champion No. 4 mower made sometime around 1878 by the Champion Machine Works of Springfield, Ohio. The machine was designed primarily as a mower yet for an additional charge a reaping attachment could be added. The mower was in remarkably good condition for its age. After cleaning dirt from gears and oiling, we put the machine on blocks and found that none of the parts were frozen and everything moved.

Work Bridle Styles

Work Bridle Styles

Here are fourteen work bridle styles taken from a 1920’s era harness catalog. Regional variants came with different names and configurations, so much so that we have elected to identify these images by letter instead of name so you may reference these pictures directly when ordering harness or talking about repairs or fit concerns with trainers or harness makers. In one region some were know as pigeon wing and others referred to them as batwing or mule bridles.

McCormick-Deering Potato Digger

McCormick-Deering Potato Digger

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McCormick Deering (eventually International Harvestor) made what many believe to be one of the outstanding potato digger models. This post features the text and illustrations from the original manufacturer’s setup and operation literature, handed to the new owners upon purchase. This implement, pulled by two horses or a small suitable tractor, dug up the taters and conveyed them up an inclined, rattling chain which shook off most of the dirt and laid the crop on top of the ground for collection

SmP Seeder-Roller

Seeder-Roller – SmP Séi-Roll 1.0 for Horse Traction

Because it is a renewable and environmentally friendly energy source, horse traction is currently undergoing a renaissance in small scale agricultural holdings, winegrowing, market gardening and forestry. Within this context, implements for animal traction with mechanical drivetrain and direct draft are gaining importance. One of the goals of Schaff mat Päerd is to support this process by the development of new equipment and related studies and publications.

Box Jaw Tongs & the Cow Poop Theory of Blacksmithing

Box Jaw Tongs & the Cow Poop Theory of Blacksmithing

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Making a pair of tongs was a milestone for a lot of blacksmiths. In times gone past a Journeyman Smith meant just that, a smith that went upon a journey to learn more skills before taking a masters test. When the smith appeared at the door of a prospective employer, he/she would be required to demonstrate their skills. A yard stick for this was to make a pair of tongs.

A Short History of the Horse-Drawn Mower

A Short History of the Horse-Drawn Mower

Book Excerpt: The enclosed gear, late model John Deere, Case, Oliver, David Bradley, and McCormick Deering International mowers I (we) are so fond of had a zenith of popular manufacture and use that lasted just short of 25 years. Millions of farmers with millions of mowers, built to have a serviceable life of 100 plus years, all pushed into the fence rows. I say, it was far too short of a period.

Cultivating Questions Cultivator Setups and Deer Fencing

Cultivating Questions: Cultivator Set-ups and Deer Fencing

We know all too well the frustration of putting your heart and soul into a crop only to have the wildlife consume it before you can get it harvested let alone to market. Our farm sits next to several thousand acres of state game lands and is the only produce operation in the area. As you can imagine, deer pressure can be intense. Neighbors have counted herds of 20 or more in our pastures.

Mowing with Scythes

Mowing with Scythes

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Scythes were used extensively in Europe and North America until the early 20th century, after which they went out of favor as farm mechanization took off. However, the scythe is gaining new interest among small farmers in the West who want to mow grass on an acre or two, and could be a useful tool for farmers in the Tropics who do not have the resources to buy expensive mowing equipment.

Small Farmer's Journal

Small Farmer's Journal
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Sisters, Oregon 97759
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