This section is from the book "Commercial Gardening Vol3", by John Weathers (the Editor). Also available from Amazon: Commercial Gardening, A Practical & Scientific Treatise For Market Gardeners.
The fruit-growing counties mentioned are insignificant when compared with the two great fruit-growing counties of Scotland - Lanarkshire and Perthshire. It will be seen from the foregoing figures that there are now 2838 ac. under fruit in Lanarkshire, 736 ac. being devoted to orchards and 2102 ac. to small fruit. Lanarkshire has been a fruit-growing county from time immemorial. The fruit lands extend 14 ml. along the Clyde valley, from Motherwell to the town of Lanark. The valley is narrow and the hills on either side rise rapidly to the ridge. The low-lying land is subject to frost; the higher lands are wind-swept. Many of the orchards are several miles from a railway station. The roads from the valley to the stations are so steep as to be wellnigh impassable. The Clyde valley, however, has its advantages. It is well wooded. The wood provides abundant shelter for the orchard trees. It is also in proximity to Glasgow, the great fruit depot of Scotland. If Lanarkshire is not now the biggest fruit-growing centre of Scotland, it is the most diversified. All kinds of fruit are grown - Apples, Pears, Cherries, Plums, and bush fruit. Raspberries were once grown extensively, but the climate or the soil, or both, seemed unsuitable for their commercial production, and this crop is now a diminishing quantity. Strawberries, on the other hand, seem to be a native of the district. It has been said that 7 tons have been taken off a single acre. The circumstances must either have been very exceptional, or the facts must have been exaggerated. There can be no doubt, however, that heavier crops are grown in the Clyde valley than in any other part of Scotland. Some years ago Tomato growing was almost a rage in Clydesdale. Tomato houses sprang up like mushrooms. Enormous profits were reported. Bad crops and bad prices have had a sobering effect, and the industry will possibly now develop more naturally.