This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V26", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
"C. W. W.," Wilson, N. C, writes: "I send you to-day a small basket of apples and peaches. The apples are the Shockley, Romanite and Bar Seedling, three of the hardiest varieties of winter apples in this section, and the peaches are the Harris Winter, Nix Late, October Cling and Scott's October Cling. You will observe that all the fruit is ravaged by insects, and it is worthless and ripening prematurely. And this fruit is a fair sample of much the larger proportion of the fruit throughout eastern Carolina, and I have visited a number of orchards in middle and western Carolina, and found the fruit in this condition.
" Now, the people want to know what is the matter with the fruit and the trees. I tell them it is the work of the curculio - both the plum and the apple curculio. Some of my correspondents deny that there is an apple curculio. But in July last I visited the Entomological Department at Washington, D. C, and the entomologists confirmed my opinion that there is an apple curculio. You will see but little sign of the codlin moth on these apples.
"In the year 1882 I owned the orchard from which I gathered this fruit. I had been troubled by the curculio and the codlin moth, as well; but that year (1882) I used a preparation or compound I now call "Victory," on the entire orchard - apple, peach and plum. I used it broadcast under the trees just after blooms appeared, and plowed the ground and raked the surface under the trees nicely, so as to mix the compound with the soil. To my surprise I was not troubled at all by the curculio or codlin moth or borer. My fruit was abundant, perfect, no sign of codlin moth or curculio. The curculio is our greatest trouble here. I claim that my discovery is a specific remedy for this great pest. I sold this orchard to pay a debt, in 1883.
" I, however, made some use of it again this year, which confirms my faith in its efficacy. I shipped fancy peaches to A. S. Cook & Co., New York City, in July, 1882, which sold at $8 to $10 - carrier or basket crate - holding a small fraction over a bushel.
" Our people need help in this matter. Am I correct in my statements? "
[The poor fruit sent seemed to have been the point of attack of a number of species of insects, and their development was of course arrested thereby. But those who know the manner in which insects propagate, cannot admit that any specific application of a fertilizer to the roots would do anything to preserve the fruit from the ravages of insects. Fertilizers aid nutrition, and in this way assist a tree in its struggle with injury from insect attacks or the attacks of disease from any other cause, and we should attribute the advantage claimed for the fertilizer to be due to this nutritive influence. We suppose any fertilizer would have the same effect. - Ed. G. M].