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.
Mr. Prince moved to strike Early Scarlet from list for general cultivation. Mr. Lyons: Best in Michigan. Mr. Hooker: About the best in Western New York. Mr. Bateham: One of the best in Ohio.
Mr. Edwards, of Bureau county, grows 100 bushels of strawberries per acre, cultivated as cheaply as an acre of corn. Dr. Pennington, of Rock river, grew in 1855 $6,000 worth of apples in an orchard of ten acres, the trees from eight to fifteen years old. - Allen's Lena ( Ill.) Catalogue.
On the back border of the lean-to orchard house - for, unless the front is partially of glass, the front border is too much shaded - spaces will be found for strawberries in pots, and they give much pleasure and satisfaction; their fruit will ripen about ten days before those from plants in the open air, and to a certainty will not be spoiled by rain or vermin. Whoever has tasted fruit of the "British Queen" grown under glass without being forced, will, I am sure, have a lively recollection of their being much higher flavored than those generally gathered from strawberry beds.
Nothing in our orchard-house culture is so simple as the management of potted strawberries, and nothing will be so certain of agreeable results.
About the middle of July take 6-inch pots, place two or three large pieces of broken pots at the bottom, so as to lie hollow; then mix your compost, which should be two-thirds loam - if rather stiff the better - and one-third rotten manure. You are so far prepared for operating; but you still lack an implement, and what a strange one in the hands of a gardener 1 for it is ' neither more nor less than a pestle, - a wooden pestle, fashioned out of any stout stake, and perfectly rounded at bottom: now then, take a handful of mould - nothing like the hand in potting - put it into your pot, and give it a good pounding, and so keep on with a handful, and a pounding, till your pot is full, quite level with the brim, for the earth will afterwards sink enough to retain water. You will thus, if you have done well, make your earth level with the brim, and as hard as a barn floor. Take the pots to your strawberry beds, - and mind, there are but few strawberries known at present to be worth forcing or growing in pots in the orchard house, - Keen's Seedling and the Seedling Eliza for early sorts, and the British Queen and Carolina Superba* for a main crop, will suffice, - and place on the centre of each pot a runner which has commenced to make roots, or if no roots are apparent it will do as well, and on the runner place a small stone, to keep it from being blown off by the wind: make no hollow place: do nothing but place it on the hard surface, as I have directed.
If the weather be dry, water daily; and if the runner, as is often the case, pushes forth another runner, pinch it off. In two or three weeks the roots will have penetrated to the bottom of the pot; the plant may remain attached to its parent till the middle of September, and then all the pots may be removed to their winter quarters, - some sunny place: they should be placed on rough cinders, and then plunged in sawdust or rotten tan. In February, they may be removed to the orchard house or forcing-house, as required; no shifting is requisite, and a plentiful crop will be the result.
Strawberry plants, treated in this manner, attain much strength and luxuriance in the autumn; their fruit-buds will be finely developed, and they will be all that the gardener can wish them to he. This very simple mode of treating strawberries for culture under glass is not new; it was pointed out to me by a market-gardener some years ago. I have practised it ever since, and am more than ever pleased with it. In growing: strawberries in pots, it is the usual practice .to place them on shelves close to the glass. In the orchard house at Hyde Hall, I have seen, annually, remarkably fine crops; the pots are placed among the peach-trees, on the back border, six feet from the glass.
The following extract from the "Gardener's Chronicle" of June 7, 1856, seems to give a very nice mode of cultivating strawberries in pots: -
"In the garden of the Horticultural Society, in the year 1855, Mr. Gordon caused runners to be taken up from the ordinary plants in the open borders in the first week in August, and potted in 2 1/2-inch pots (small 60s); the soil used was a mixture of rotten cow-dung and loam (quarter dung, three-quarters loam). When potted, they were placed in a close frame until established, and when the roots had tilled the little pots, which was in about four or five weeks, the plants were shifted in the same kind of soil as before, into 4-inch fruiting pots (48s). They were afterwards transferred to a fully exposed situation in the open air, where they remained until the first week in December, at which time they were removed to a border in an unheated orchard house, where they were kept rather dry during winter. On the 14th of March the pots were removed to the front shelf in a curvilinear vinery, kept at a temperature of 40° until the middle of April, when the temperature was raised to 55°. The plants were watered twice, when the fruit was fairly set, at an interval of three days, with a weak liquid manure, made with half-rotted cow-dung and water, allowed to stand a few days before using.
The result was an abundant crop of excellent fruit".
* The experiments that have been tried with strawberries for orchard houses in America, have shown the following to be the most successful: McAvoy's Superior, Albany Seedling, Goliath, and Ohio Mammoth. - The largest have been Omar Pacha. - [Ed. Hort].
The plate presented in this number represents several strawberries, a portion of which have been much talked of, and others are but just beginning to have their claims canvassed, and it will be the duty of this journal still further to discuss them. Though we cannot say all that is desirable respecting some of them now, we can vouch for their accuracy in every respect, the drawings and colored copy from which they have been produced being made by an accomplished lady, Miss Margaretta H. Morris, from nature. The same may be said respecting our previous strawberry plate, which in all particulars was accurate. These representations serve a good purpose for reference. In the index to this number may be found references to some now figured.
Fig. 1. Black Pine, properly Read's Black Pine, is declared to be very productive, often larger than the one represented, and quality excellent. Not yet sufficiently proved. Large, short conical, nearly black; seeds yellow and slightly imbedded. Flesh firm, of excellent flavor, and late in ripening. This and Read's No. 1, originated by Wm. H. Read, Canada West. "The size is an average one," says a gentleman who has cultivated it; "more prolific than Hovey's, with a retention of more vigor during the ripening season, so that it can mature its whole crop fully. In flavor I consider it inferior to Hovey's, though it is sweeter, and has a peculiar musky taste, which is agreeable to most persons. All considered, with its dark color and glossy appearance, it is a very fine sort, and well deserving of cultivation".
For handsome appearance in color and form, together with fair and uniform size, as well as being one of the most prolific of its dimensions, this will claim a place among the fine sorts, though in flavor it will not be considered "very first;" lacking a little in vigor when ripening, the last of the crop is not as full flavored as the first.
Plant strong and vigorous, fruit rather large, conical, dark color, glossy scarlet; juicy, rich, and excellent; early. Staminate. Much has been said about its success in Washington; elsewhere some doubts have been expressed. Some are trying it a second time, and we shall have further reports. With plenty of space and extra culture, it will, no doubt, yield well.
Fig. 4. Honneur De Belgic is one of the best strawberries received from Belgium, but like No. 6, requires proving. Although of fine size, and handsome appearance, it is not prolific, and is variable in flavor, some berries being very good, others rather insipid, but like many foreign varieties, might do better under high cultivation.
Fig. 5. Marilandica is the great berry we have all heard so much about, raised by the late Dr. Edmondson of Baltimore. He cultivated it well, and generally took the prizes, either with this, the Charles's Favorite, or the Haarlem Orange. We have not heard of equal success in other quarters, and our own experience is not over favorable. The flavor, when in perfection, is surpassingly good. It must be remembered that soil and location in our climate is of vast importance in selecting varieties. That Mariland-ica has done well in Baltimore none can gainsay, and that perhaps is its proper locality; it has hardly been out long enough to be fully tested elsewhere!
Fig. 6. Triomphe De Gand has been extremely fine in several places this past year. Before being generally adopted, they should be grown in a dry season, to fully verify it and the Trollopes Victoria. European kinds in many places are subject to "go blind," as it is termed, without plenty of moisture. Probably not so good for general culivation as some of our natives.
Fig. 7. Brighton Pine was raised by Mr. Scott of Brighton, Mass., who also raised Scott's Seedling. It is a very fair sort of Fruit, bears well, is good, but not among the very best, being of fair size and flavor, though not superior in either; rather prolific, with some want of vigor during ripening, so as to disturb the latter part of the crop. "Would admit it," says a valued correspondent, "in a large collection, but not in a list of ten varieties, on its first test this season".
Fig. 8. Athlete is a very large, fine berry, destined to be popular. Its history is somewhat obscure, but will be made clear soon. We found a bed of it near Germantown, Pa., much .valued by the owner. He had received it from Easton, Pa., from Mr. Seitz, who supposed it to be a seedling which came from a Mr. Watson. Its superior appearance induced us to have its portrait taken, and here our information about it ends for the present.
We requested Mr. Downer to furnish a drawing of this berry, which he says was taken after the first were picked. Our Kentucky friends have spoken loudly of this fruit in their recommendations. We can only say that, not having seen or tasted it, we are obliged to wait and see if it suits the climate of the seaboard.
Fig. 10. Rived Hudson was raised by Mr. Burr, at Columbus, about fifteen years ago, and is cultivated by many for its prolific quality, and because it is valued for preserving. Very hardy, and has already been d escribed. Pistillate.