This section of the book is from the Guide To Hardy Fruits And Ornamentals book, by Thomas Joseph Dwyer, published in 1903.
This is a very valuable fruit and profitable when well grown and cared for. It is of late years being planted quite extensively. The Quince succeeds on most any kind of land, over a wide territory, and under varied climatic conditions. It does best, however, on good, rich, heavy soil underlaid with clay. On land of this character the trees seem to live longer and endure careless or indifferent cultivation and in fact, we have seen them produce good crops from year to year under these unfavorable conditions on land of this kind. There is always a good demand for Quinces; we have never yet seen the time when a good fair fruit could not be disposed of at a paying price. The Quince is used almost exclusively for canning by itself, and often to good advantage mixed with other fruits to add to their flavor and lusciousness. When used for this purpose one quart of Quinces to five of the other fruit is about the proper proportions. The Quince comes into bearing three to four years after being planted and thereafter fruits annually. Prepare the ground the same as for the other fruits as directed in the beginning of this work. For orchard planting set the trees fifteen feet apart each way. You can for several years grow low growing vegetables or some of the small fruits with them, preferably the Strawberry or Currant, or both, by planting the Strawberry between the rows of trees and the Currants between the trees in the row. When this system is adopted we can cultivate only one way. We have grown these small fruits in a Quince orchard for a number of years and found them a desirable and profitable combination. The Quince is a favorite tree for the Borer to attack, and they should be examined two or three times each year for this villainous, destructive pest. The trees rarely attain a height of over ten to twelve feet, and on account of its semi-dwarf habit is a convenient and useful tree to plant in odd corners of the garden or near the edge of the road or walk. The trees are not as productive of large wood growth as the other tree fruits, their tendency being to grow stocky, thus making a quantity of small wood over the entire tree. This is conducive to a close, dense tree in the center and, of course, for best results this superfluous wood must be removed each year, the purpose being to keep the tree open in the center. Occasionally, and without any apparent cause, individual branches will die off; these should be removed promptly. Sometimes blight will attack the end of the growing branches in the Summer. Cut this back, down below the live wood as soon as it shows itself and burn it. When the trees are over bearing thin off the fruit same as you would for Pears or Peaches, leaving the samples five to six inches apart. When planting your trees prune back severely and start the head close to the ground; a clean trunk of eighteen inches is all sufficient below the first branches. Spray with the Bordeaux Mixture same as for Plums and Cherries. Fertilize and keep your trees in vigorous growing condition with top dressings of well rotted stable manure, unleached wood ashes, nitrate of soda, pure ground bone, or some good make of commercial fertilizer. Whatever you use should be at once incorporated with the soil to obtain full benefit. When your soil needs humus and nitrogen seed down in July or August with Red or Crimson Clover as previously recommended and explained under the heading, "The Use of Clover."
The varieties hereafter named are all good and trustworthy:
* Bourgeat Quince
-- This is the most remarkable of all Quinces. There is no other variety which grows so vigorously, and there is no other variety of fruit which will keep so long in perfect condition. The Bourgeat Quince bears at an early age, producing large crops of exceedingly large and handsome fruit, of a rich golden color. While it ripens soon after the Orange, it keeps till past midwinter when desired, or it is ready to use at once on maturity. This is a remarkable characteristic, since ordinary Quinces are of a perishable nature. The crop can be held in the hands of the grower or in the bands of the purchaser until the market suits his fancy. Three bushels of fruit have been gathered from a ten-year-old tree. A lady writes, that she finds it superior to all others for cooking quickly, like apples. It has received first premium at the Massachusetts Horticultural Society and other societies. Season for fruit October until December.
-- Fruit averages larger than Orange, more oval in shape, quality equally fine, and a longer keeper, a splendid Quince. Season for ripening October and November.
* Meech's Prolific
-- A vigorous grower, and immensely productive, frequently bearing fruit when but two years planted, increasing in quantity yearly to such an extent as to require vigorous thinning to prevent injury to the tree from over-bearing. The fruit is large, lively orange color, of great beauty and delightful fragrance. Its cooking qualities are unsurpassed. Ripens, October and November.
-- Large, roundish, bright golden yellow, cooks tender and is of very excellent flavor. This is perhaps the earliest good Quince we have, and is valuable on this account as well as for its annual bearing and productive fruit. Ripens early in October.
* Rea's Mammoth
-- A superb fruit, much larger than Orange, but of the same form and color. Tree healthy, very thrifty grower, productive. Season for fruit, October and early November.