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.
Tannic acid - tan-bark liquid, diluted as before described.
June 22d. The tannic acid bed produced the greatest quantity. The spring water specimens exceeded the others in average size.
July 5th. The tannic acid examples, again surpassed the others in quantity, the poudrette assuming the second position. Two gentlemen and a lady made trial of the berries of this variety, and pronounced in favor of those nourished by tannic acid.
Specimens of the above named varieties of fruit have been sent to Mr. Downing - the labels intentionally omitted - with a desire that he would arbitrate on their respective claims, to which he kindly assented.
[We find on referring to our notes, made with Dr. Hull's numbered samples of Burr's New Pine and Rival Hudson before us, the following: No. 1, highest and best flavor; No. 2, good but inferior; No. 3, less good - somewhat watery. These now prove to have been fed as follows: No. 1, tannic acid; 2, citric acid; 3, malic acid.
In the other samples we found the sample " No. 1" (which now proves to have been stimulated by the tan liquor) uniformly the best. The others were variable, No. 3, (spring water,) haying the least flavor, and in the case of Columbus - a scarlet strawberry of not much flavor - the first was rendered somewhat bitter, which is now explained by the over-watering' Ed].
The experiments being completed, the organic analysis may now be opportunely recalled. Citric and malic acids and mucus sugar are presented as the main constituents; and to supply the requirements of the strawberry, according to the rule of Prof. Emmons, these three of the organic substances liberally contributed, should be all sufficient to mature the finest form of fruit. Still, Prof. Mapes has presented the tannic acid as another constituent. In order to test this predicate, and the comparative powers of the citric and malic acids, I made the preceding experiments with scrupulous attention.