This section is from "The Horticulturist, And Journal Of Rural Art And Rural Taste", by P. Barry, A. J. Downing, J. Jay Smith, Peter B. Mead, F. W. Woodward, Henry T. Williams. Also available from Amazon: Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste.
AN unusual number of new seedling varieties have been heralded forth this spring. Most of them seem to have come from the West, near Chicago. Two extraordinary varieties have attracted notice, being crosses between the Wilson and Russell's Prolific, and described as real acquisitions. Near this city, there have been shown some very fine new seedlings, but each lacking in some one or more particulars. But few of the varieties that attracted attention last year, seem to have been able to stand the test of criticisms this year, and have absented themselves from the exhibition boards. The Champion, a very fine new seedling, originated by Robert Turnbull, of New Rocbelle, N. Y., was much the finest shown near the city. It was of extraordinary size, beauty of form, color and productiveness, but not considered of & quality, equal to a severe test running over a series of years. The New Jersey is one out of a very fine collection of about ten seedlings originated by E. W. Durand, Irvington, N. J. It is a fine flavored fruit; very dark red, more so than the Wilson, reasonably firm, and received a number of good prises. The Mrs, Grant is a new seedling possessing a very high flavor, perhaps too pungent and spicy to suit some tastes; originated from the Lenuig'a white, but not equal to it.
The Late Prolific, originated by Mr. Durand, exhibited last year, maintains its promise well, and bids fair to continue a good variety and popular with amateurs for several years, until something new and better takes its place.
We observe that nearly every new seedling never appears to as good advantage the second year as the first. And we must add, by way of caution to our readers, a hint, which might be considered almost a safe rule, "that new varieties of berries do best in the locality where they orignate, and are rarely as succesfull beyond it." Occasionally a particular variety leaps its local bounds and achieves a national reputation. On this point we commend the Unas. Downing, which is now consid-15 ered one of our best family fruits, and included in every collection. The Strawberry Exhibitions in New York, yearly, of B. k. Bliss k Son, and in New Jersey, of the New Jersey State Agricultural society, as also the test grounds of Reisig and Hex-amer, at Newcastle, N. Y., serve to keep us well informed of all new varieties and the yearly success of the old ones in this vicinity.
The strawberry season among growers for the New York market has been, this year, unexpectedly profitable to all Southern shippers from Delaware, Maryland and Virginia. The amount of fruit brought from the line of the Delaware Railroad this year is estimated, from railroad reports, at 3,000,000 quarts. Add to this fully 1,500,000 from Virginia, and about 2,000,000 quarts raised in New Jersey and neighborhood of New York, and we have not far from 6,500,000 quarts of strawberries raised for market this spring, near this city. Uniform prices have been obtained by the Delaware and Virginia growers, ranging from 20 to 50 cents per quart. The profits to the Virginia grower will average $500 per acre; to the Delaware grower, $200 to $300. Most of the berries in New Jersey were a failure, owing to late frosts, and those that came from the Hudson River and Connecticut realized 12 to 20 cents per quart. The success of this year is doubtless exceptional. The shipping season was excellent - absolutely no rains - and the short crops of middle and lower Jersey, has given a buoyant tendency to Southern fruit, such as it has never experienced for five years past.
As Delaware growers are all enlarging their beds and engaging in the business more largely than ever, we fear that they too may overdo the business just as their New Jersey neighbors have done, and create a glut among their own fruits. If our fruit-growers and railroad companies will strive to keep up admirable shipping and freighting facilities, an immense quantity of fruit can be safely disposed of in the market. Most of the growers have suffered once or twice every week from the late arrival of trains. The market system is now so systematically arranged in this city, that unless fruit is promptly on hand between 4 and 5 A. M. the groceryman goes home without purchasing any, and when the train arrives at 6 A. m. the commission-man is overwhelmed with fruit, but his purchasers are gone, and his only resort is to the peddlers, who are ready to buy at a sacrifice. An hour's difference in the arrival of a fruit train is sufficient to cause a decline in price of five to ten cents per quart upon all the fruit it carries. Upon one train which was carried over the Delaware Railroad this spring there were stored 256,000 quarts. This train arrived late ; part of the fruit could not be sold, and that which could be sold had to go at a sacrifice of five cents per quart.
The total loss to the growers by the late arrival of that train, one hour, was between $10,000 and $20,000. Had it been one hour earlier, it would have been entirely saved. We mention this single instance to show the extreme risks of marketing perishable fruit, and the necessity of reform in freight trains.
In the old standard varieties of strawberries to be recommended, either for market or family use, we find a more than usual adherence to the Wilson. Growers have at last become satisfied that it is time and money thrown away to try to displace it. The market buyer prefers it to anything else, except fancy Triomphe and Jucunda, and the universal cry now is nothing but Wilson. The Barnes Mammoth has received a fair trial this year, and the verdict is, "the Wilson in preference." The Barnes is a large, handsome, firm berry, but loses its shining bright color when it arrives in market, and besides yielding only two-thirds the quantity of the Wilson, does not seem to bring an extra price.
The Romeyne Seedling is universally conceded to be nothing but the Triompho de Gand.
Same as Agriculturist; we cannot observe any difference this year.
More magnificent than ever; must be grown on very heavy land, cool, and be mulched, and it will produce the finest flavored berries that ever glad-doned the sight of an amateur.
Has now been well tried near the city and met with uniform favor; is a very fine, large fruit, of agreeable taste and very productive; seems to do well on any soil.
One of our standard sorts, valuable for every family garden; will do well on light land as well as heavy, but needs manure for producing the big berries.
Is rising in public estimation ; more calls for it than usual have been noticed this year; universally productive; good flavor, pistillate; needs another variety close by to fertilize it.
President Wilder, equal in flavor to all that has been said of it ; not productive here; but does better the second year than the first in new beds.
The Queen of all strawberries; its spicy, delicious flavor is unequalled among all fruits we have ever seen.
Handsome, showy, soft, productive; good only for near market.
The most profitable strawberry ever grown. - Rarely ever sells for less than 50 cents per quart; needs heavy shaly clay; will carry 500 miles uninjured ; about as productive as the Triomphe de Gand.
Very vigorous, productive, and a good, sure family variety.
One of our favorite varieties; early, good bearer, excellent flavor, large size, moderately firm; best of the very early kinds.
A new foreign variety; small fruit ; poor grower.
Very poor flavor; berries small; pointed ; only few to the plant.
Small; sour; very productive.
Capital for plowing under as a green manure.
Very productive; medium sized fruit; as vigorous as the Green Prolific.
Very productive, but fruit stalks are not firm, and fruit lies on the ground.
Very remarkable healthy foliage; large berry; fair flavor; not firm enough for market.
Excellent flavor, but small berry; not a good grower.
Better flavor than the Beauty ; hardy; prolific; berry like the Lady Finger.
Excellent, productive, good flavor; but the fruit hangs too low on the ground.
Too small; does not amount to much.
Very early ; even ahead of the Downer's Prolific; not very productive ; berries medium sice.
In Raspberries there is little new or noticeable. The Black Caps have succeeded indifferently in New York this season. It seems impossible to introduce them. It is a pity, as they are among the most useful and enjoyable of all the small fruits.
The Westchester Black Cap is but one or two days ahead of the Doolittle, and no more productive, but is of much better flavor.
The Mammoth Cluster is universally acknowledged to be the most productive and profitable of all the Black Caps.
The Davidson Thornless is the earliest; sweet and productive.
The Seneca- large, late, sweet; best family variety.
Bed Raspberries, owing to the difficulty of growing them successfully on warm, early soils, are raised principally along the Hudson River, where they are very abundant and profitable.
Blackberries attract little attention; only one variety now takes the lead - the Wilson Early. While any of this is in market it is impossible to sell any other variety. The Dorchester, when grown on light land, is too small and unprofitable for a market variety, yet it is much the best flavored. When will purchasers be willing to consider flavor equivalent to size and showiness ?
Very productive ; berries large, juicy, delicious; loses its color in marketing ; is the least attractive and most unprofitable of all as a market fruit; excellent for family, but cannot be recommended for profit for this market.
Next to Wilson in profit; sells well, and is as remunerative as ever. When well ripened is delicious, but too often is picked before ripe. Is one of the kind. that is not ripe when it begins to turn black. Its reputation in the market is so fixed that it cannot be displaced yet, unless the Wilson is more generally grown.