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.
A. P., (Baltimore.) If your ground is free from frost, dig in a heavy dressing of the fresh stable manure - the more litter the better - all the gasses will be taken up by the soil, which will also be made much lighter by it. An Enquirer , (Cleveland, O.) Coal ashes arc very valuable on heavy soils, aiding mechanically, making them lighter. They are also good manure for some things, viz: Indian corn, cherry trees, and grapevines, and should manure for your fruit garden than the pure lime - because they contain potash also.
A. W. (Galesburg, 111.) In heavy soils, coal ashes is valuable for all fruit trees. It is specially adapted to the Cherry. In light soils, we would use it chiefly for the Cherry and Peach. Sawdust half-decayed, has some little value as manure, but its value would be much increased by mixing it with barn-yard manure, and fermenting all together. B. Pell. Your lawn, which has run down, would be more benefitted by covering it immediately with half-rotten stable manure, allowing it to lie evenly spread all over it for three weeks, and then raking off all but the finer parts, than by any other top dressing whatever. Guano is an excellent top dressing for a lawn if applied in the autumn, but if applied in the spring, though it benefits the grass greatly at first, it often causes it to burn up more rapidly in midsummer. If your lawn lies low, or has dampness enough in the soil to prevent the latter, then, of course, this does not apply.
And now, in conclusion, a few words about manure. A liberal supply of it is, for all kinds of small fruits, not only a blessing, but a necessity. Animal manures range in value as follows: Cow, hog, sheep, horse's manure, and all should be well decomposed; ashes as an additional top-dressing in the fall or early spring, is very beneficial. Blood and horn shavings are the best for raspberries; salt scattered annually at the rate of one or two bushels per acre, over strawberry beds, will interfere materially with the grub worm, and assist the soil in retaining moisture; night dirt and hen manure should be applied sparingly, either in a liquid state during the fruiting season, or as a top-dressing after the frost has left the ground. Concentrated fertilizers, phosphates, guano, etc., applied as a liquid during the fruiting season, will materially increase the crop. I would, however, not advise their use, except where animal manures are given to the same land. They stimulate the soil to great exertions; and will naturally impoverish it, if the deficiency is not made up in some other way.