This section is from the book "The Standard Cyclopedia Of Horticulture Vol2", by L. H. Bailey. See also: Western Garden Book: More than 8,000 Plants - The Right Plants for Your Climate - Tips from Western Garden Experts.
Every fruit-grower, gardener, florist or other horticultural worker may encounter special problems upon which he needs individual advice. The horticultural department in any of our leading colleges of agriculture is called upon to answer thousands of letters of inquiry every year. Each of these inquiries is referred to the mem-ber of the horticultural staff best qualified to handle it. Many of these inquiries entail special letters. Some of them may be more fully answered by sending circulars or bulletins.
Departments of horticulture disseminate much information through bulletins, circulars of information and press notices. These bulletins are the published results of the investigation of special problems by the members of the horticultural staff. Circulars of information are more popular treatises of horticultural subjects of interest in the state, and pertaining to which the department has gathered information of interest. Press notices are usually timely topics or seasonal advice furnished the press of the state to publish at the opportune time for their readers. If an insect or disease appears suddenly and promises to become widespread, due to unusual conditions, it often may be checked by prompt action. Unusual weather conditions may sometimes call for unusual methods of management of plants or of crops.
The publication may take the form of an organized reading-course effort without assuming to construct and conduct correspondence courses.
Hundreds of lectures on horticultural topics are given by members of the horticultural staff, at schools, teachers' meetings, civic improvement societies, commercial club meetings, nurserymen's conventions, canners' associations, fruitgrowers' organizations, florists' clubs, and other gatherings. In this way something of the work of the Department may be carried to every organized body in the state which is interested in a phase of horticulture.
That the department of horticulture may be of special service to a horticultural center, or special horticultural industry, a careful survey of the hort i-cultural conditions as they exist may be desirable. Such a survey may determine what varieties are proving most profitable, which of the prevailing methods of management are yielding the most satisfactory results, what are the difficult problems that need investigation and what are the reasons for successes or failures. The average result may throw much light upon what is already proving best in the neighborhood. A question that is vexing the average grower may have been answered by the work of the best growers, whose results show the answer to the question. As an example of the plan and possibilities of such surveys may be mentioned the orchard survey of some of the leading apple-growing counties of New "York. A measure of the commercial value of spraying is secured by statistical results from sprayed and unsprayed orchards. The commercial value of orchard tillage as compared with orchards growing in sod is shown by the returns from each class of orchard.
The best methods of greenhouse construction and management for particular crops may be determined and explained in the same way.