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.
The difficulty of growing and fruiting peach-trees in many locations makes every item of information toward overcoming it valuable. In a late number of the Country Gentleman, A Babcock gives an account of a seedling peach orchard as follows:
"Near Wales Center, Erie Co., N. Y., 50 miles south of Lake Ontario, and 25 miles east of Lake Erie, on a ridge of tolerably good land, is a peach orchard of 200 seedling trees, 24 years old, now in good bearing condition. This orchard had its origin from seed brought from the vicinity of Sturgeon Lake, in Canada, about 116 miles north of Lake Ontario. These trees are a freestone, red rareripe variety, with a red cheek, and most of them sweet and well flavored, though they vary some in color, flavor, size, and time of ripening. They differ from the old red rareripe in several points: they are better flavored, more dwarfish in growth, being very daw growers, stone eery small, blossom large, good bearers - generally bear heavy crops every other year. They bore large crops in 1858, 1860, 1862, 1865, and 1867. The intermediate crops between those years did not amount to much. If the fruit had been thinned out about half while small, probably these trees would have borne crops annually. These trees have never lost a crop by spring frost, though in the spring of 1865 the mercury sank to 28° while they were in full bloom.
"As near as I can learn, they have not received any extra care in culture or skillful treatment in pruning. They branch out about two feet high, their trunks now averaging about four inches through - their most notable peculiarities being slow growers, of dwarfish habit, having large blossoms and small stones. The owner of this orchard has three or four generations of this Canada seedling now in bearing, and several farmers in that locality have fine young bearing orchards, and all seem to have the same characteristics of slow growth, hardiness, etc.
" Our common sorts of budded trees and seedlings seem to have utterly failed there for ten years past, in fruitfulness and longevity, when planted side by side with this Canada seedling, and this test, it is claimed, has been thoroughly made, showing conclusively the superiority of the latter. * * * The theory of the people who have this Canada peach is this: they say it is from the north, where the summers are short, and the roots, tops, buds, and fruit all ripen early".
To this he adds, " I believe that peaches can yet be grown all through eastern New York and New England, at a moderate outlay of labor, by adopting a plan something like this: get young seedling trees, or seeds from good flavored natural fruit from the north, say Canada or Grand Traverse Co., Mich. After one season's growth in nursery rows, take them up, and cut back to a stump within three to six inches of the collar; plant them in sheltered places, with woods, hills, ridges, or buildings on the north and west sides of orchards; keep them headed eery low, like currant bushes, by cutting back annually or semiannually, so that the trees will not be more than six feet high when six years old. Avoid tilling late, say after July 15, and mound them up with earth with plow and shovel, to protect the lower part of the branches from cold, and to keep out the borer".
The Best Early Beet we have ever grown is the Bassano. In good ground it grows quick, cooks tender, and is just sweet enough to be delicious.