The New Jersey Station (N. J. Sta. Bul. 115) reports the following interesting results: "For beans, in terms of good-sized pods, the average yield of the nine non-irrigated belts was 17 pounds and 1 ounce, while the yield from the irrigated belt was 45 pounds, or nearly three times as many, besides being much larger sized and of finer color and quality.
"For peppers the average yield upon the 11 nonirri-gated belts was 717 fruits, while the number upon the irrigated belt reached 1,277. This does not show the whole difference, for by measure an unirrigated belt gave 6« peach basketfuls, with a total weight of 80 pounds, and the irrigated belt 11¬ baskets, weighing 147 pounds. The difference is still more than these figures show, for the irrigated ground gave much better looking peppers in plumpness and color than the nonirrigated land, with the quality far superior. The fruit from the irrigated plants would sell at the highest price, when those from the nonirrigated plants might go at a low figure.
"The increase of 4¾ baskets of peppers, to say nothing concerning the great superiority of the whole crop over that of the nonirrigated belts, cost for the water 24¬ cents (24.46), which in round numbers is 5 cents (5.14) a basket.
"The total weight of celery was 465« pounds, 329« pounds being produced in the irrigated and 136 pounds in the nonirrigated rows. In round numbers this is two and one-half (2.40, to be exact) times as much celery upon the irrigated as upon the nonirrigated land. However, these figures do not indicate the full difference of market value, for the irrigated celery was of good size and quality, readily salable at a fair price, while the non-irrigated rows yielded a crop that was worth less than the cost of production. After the plants were prepared for market by removing the worthless outside leaves and the roots, it was shown that the loss from the irrigated was 28.57 per cent, while from the nonirrigated it was 40 per cent, which is a much greater loss for the smaller plants than for the larger.
"The difference between the marketable products of the two rows is in round numbers three to one; but when the selling price is considered, the difference is not far from eight to one in favor of irrigation."
The late W. W. Rawson, a highly successful and extensive market gardener of Boston, practiced irrigation many years ago, and was an earnest advocate of artificial watering. He said ("Success in Market Gardening," Raw-son, p. 27): "We cannot believe there is even an acre of growing crop which, in a dry time, would not be benefited by such a watering to an amount much more than the cost; though many people shrink from the expense involved, and are skeptical about getting full return from the outlay." Again, he says in the same connection (ibid., p. 27): "It has oftentimes occurred that such a watering, once or oftener applied, has saved a crop that, without it, would have been a complete failure. For my part, I would as soon think of being without a steam pump as the farmer who cuts hay would of being without a mowing machine. There is very seldom a season so wet that the steam pump will not be required 2 or 3 weeks, and in most seasons it will be in use 8 to 10 weeks. When the weather is very dry, and all the crops need abundant watering, the pump should be kept running night and day, by employing two sets of men. . . . I would rather have a piece of 10 acres well fitted up for irrigation than one of 20 without irrigation; and I venture the assertion that I could raise more vegetables or receive more money for my crops, in a period of 10 years from the 10 acres irrigated than from the 20 acres nonirrigated." Mr. Rawson once sold $3,500 worth of cauliflower from 6 acres of irrigated land, and he believed that not over $1,000 would have been realized without irrigation. The prospective irrigator should bear in mind that prices average higher in seasons of drouth.
The Furrow Method Of Irrigation is in most general use in the vegetable-growing section of the West and has been used to some extent in the East. The main argument in its favor is that with suitable contour of the land very little expense is involved in the making of ditches or furrows. On the other hand, the system has several disadvantages: (1) Considerable attention is required to operate this system. (2) It is not easily used on land of uneven contour. (3) It is not successful on very open, porous soils nor upon impervious soils. (4) It fails to secure an even distribution of water. (5) It may cause serious baking of the areas occupied by furrows.
Rubber hose is often used in making applications of water. At Boston it is a very common method. Three acres may be watered in a day by using a large, open hose, which, with sufficient pressure or pump capacity, will throw 100 gallons a minute. Although this method has been used with great success, it is open to severe criticism. Too much expense is involved in keeping constant attendants, and even distribution is impossible; the water is also applied too rapidly for most soil types; and heavy soils would tend to bake and become too solid were this method followed.
Subirrigation has been investigated at a number of the experiment stations, but has not become generally popular among market gardeners. The details of installment may vary greatly. The pipes are usually ordinary drain tile, which range in size from 2« to 4 inches. They may be only a few inches under the surface or 2 or 3 feet, depending upon climate and soil conditions and crops grown. Eight to 12 inches are proper distances for most garden soils, and the lines should be 10 to 15 feet apart. The tile are placed end to end as close together as possible and the end of the line farthest from the water main closed. A ¾ inch stream of water should cause water to flow to the end of a 200-foot line of tile.