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 experienced farmer once found, by experiment, that where he mulched his wheat land with veitch, he had an increase of crop of twelve bushels per acre; and he invariably found that land which had been sheltered during the previous winter from the action of the atmosphere, frost, cold, etc., was always more fertile than any portion of his adjoining land, even under a high state of cultivation. Our use of mulch upon small fruits, also confirms the above theory, for a good mulch invariably increases the production from fifteen to twenty-five per cent, as well as contributing very materially to the size, color and cleanliness of the fruit. We believe that mulching will always pay.
Tens of thousands of trees were lost last season, throughout the West, from inattention to mulching. Evergreens need mulching no less than fruit or other deciduous trees - in fact more, for their fine fibrous roots will ramble near the surface, however deep the tree may be set. Never stir the soil about an Evergreen, but use mulch unsparingly, to the full extent of the roots.
At the late Crystal Palace Exhibition, Mr. John Beach, of Bradford, showed two mules bred between a cock goldfinch and hen bullfinch; Mr. H. Hanby, of Hyde Park barracks, had a mule raised between a goldfinch and greenfinch; and Mr. E. T. Keys, of Woolwich, exhibited a mule between the skylark and sparrow. "There can, therefore, I think, be no doubt that very many of the beautiful and interesting birds of sunny climes would cross with the songsters of our woods and fields, and would be able to live in our gardens and pleasure-grounds. By being fed in a fixed spot they would probably not stray far off, and thus a* new charm would be added to our homes".
One of our subscribers, Mr. George Hayward, of Brooklyn, has been reading and doing to some purpose. He writes us as follows: "I have raised this year, upon nine feet square, in my lot at the back of the house, as follows: three and a quarter pecks of onions gathered for winter, besides using a good many green with lettuce; one hundred and fifty heads of good cabbage lettuce; twelve beads of cabbage, and a second crop of greens from the same; eighteen good-sized cucumbers; a good supply of turnip radishes, both spring and fall; half a bushel of strap-leaved turnips." That shows what can be done.
This is a new weekly published by T. A. Bland; $2 per year; devoted to rural affairs and home economy. It has a very pleasant, inviting appearance, and contents are well selected.
The New Lebanon proprietors of the Muscadine grape are very much dissatisfied with the opinion expressed at the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society respecting this fruit. They think the sample sent was received in bad order; it is extremely delicate, and will not bear close confinement or long keeping, and in unfavorable seasons it drops from the vine soon after it is fully ripe, and loses its delicate and delicious flavor. In good soils, when the vine is closely and properly trimmed, it will hang, they say, for weeks in good condition. It is popular in the Northern States, and they do not consider that it has had a fair trial here. Next season we shall, perhaps, have a fuller report. The demand for the vines is declared to be great. Will Messrs. Hawkins & Stewart forward a root or two hitherward for experimental purposes?