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.
After reading Mr. Ludlow's account of his experiment, I concluded to try it myself this spring, and am happy to be able to say, that at present there is every prospect of its most perfect success.
I regretted that Mr. Ludlow was not more particular in reference to the quantity of sulphur used, in proportion to the whitewash. I shall therefore give you an account of my experiment, which was as follows:
Immediately after the fall of the blossom, (May 18,) say when the fruit was about as large as an ordinary pea, I observed very many of the plums were already stung by the curculio; I therefore immediately procured a pailfull of whitewash, (cold,) mixed much thicker than is ordinarily used for white washing, and added a half pound of flour of sulphur, (and in this proportion throughout the experiment.) I then used a common tin garden pump for throwing the whitewash on to the trees, the nozzle of which was fully three-eighths of an inch in diameter, and in consequence a great deal of material was wasted in the application; this I repeated twice afterwards, at intervals of three or four days each. Hereafter I shall procure a rose to fit the pump, similar to a watering pot rose, by which I shall be able to cover the trees more perfectly, and at the same time prevent the lime disfiguring other plants in the vicinity.
About this time last year, there was not a single plum left on either of my trees - now, they are quite as full as I could wish.
A number of my plums, this year, have become semi-transparent, and fallen from the trees from time to time, although not stung. Is this caused by an excess of lime? But among all that have fallen that I have examined, I have found but on* that had a worm in it; the wounds caused by the sting of the curculio have healed over smoothly, and do not penetrate more than a sixteenth of an inch.
Should this meet the eye of Mr. Ludlow, I would be glad to hear from him in reference to his experiments this year, and particularly as to whether his fruit turned yellow and withered on the tree.
Some persons may be deterred from trying the lime and sulphur, on account of the unsightly appearance of the trees; to such I would suggest that a little green coloring matter might probably be added, without destroying the value of the compound.
I would also state in this connection, that myself and others have covered portions of our trees with musquito netting, to keep the rascals out; in most instances the fruit is badly bitten and destroyed, in others, where the netting was so close as to exclude him altogether, the fruit is not stung, but so little is left upon the tree as to render the experi-riment worthless. Yours respectfully, Wm. Stokes.
West Philadelphia, July 8,1852.