To eight gallons of water add one pound of soft soap, two pounds of common sulphur, and half an ounce of black pepper.
To four gallons of water add one pound of soft soap, two pounds of common sulphur, two ounces of tobacco, and one ounce of black pepper.
To four gallons of water add half a pound of soft soap, one pound of sulphur, and a quarter of an ounce of black pepper.
All these ingredients must be boiled together for twenty minutes at least, and when in a lukewarm state, applied to the bark of the trees with a suitable brush.*
* For the destruction of the Aphis which frequently attacks the Apple, as well as other fruit trees, while young, an application of diluted whale-oil soap to the leaves and branches has been found very efficacious.
The most destructive enemy to our fruit is the Curculio; this insect passes the winter in the earth in a chrysalis state, and if suffered to remain unmolested by the gardener, will be ready to commence its attacks at about the time the blossoms appear on our fruit trees. The eggs are deposited in the Apple, Pear, and also all stone fruit, at a very early stage of their growth; these eggs soon hatch, and small maggots are produced, which exist in the fruit, causing it to drop off prematurely, with the little enemy within. If this fruit be gathered up, or immediately devoured by hogs, geese, or other animals, a check may be put to their ravages in succeeding years; but if suffered to remain on the ground, they will supply food to myriads of their destructive race, which may not be so easily extirpated.
The canker-worm is another enemy to our fruits, for the destruction of which many experiments have been tried. Some apply bandages round the body of the tree, smeared over with tar or ointment, to annoy or entrap the females in their ascent to the tree; but as these tormentors are frequently on the move from November to the end of June, this must be a very tedious as well as uncertain process. As this insect is supposed to exist within four feet of the trunk of the tree, and not more than three or four inches from the surface of the earth, good culture, and a moderate use of lime, ashes, or any other pernicious ingredient, is the most likely way to destroy them.
The bark-louse is another pernicious insect; they resemble blisters, and are so near the colour of the bark as to be imperceptible; they often prove fatal to the Apple tree, by preventing the circulation of the sap. These insects may be conquered by washing the trees with soapsuds, tobacco water, lime water, or brine, or a wash may be made of soapy water, salt, and lime, thickened to the consistency of cream or paint, with sifted sand or clay, which may be applied with a brush to the trunk and limbs of the trees; this should be done at the latter end of May, or early in June, and the cracks in the bark should be completely covered.
The Apple-tree borer is said to deposit its eggs beneath the surface of the soil, and the worms are often to be found in the spring of the year, by digging round the tree, and clearing away the earth to the roots, and may be taken out with a knife or gouge, and destroyed. After the worms are removed the wounds should be covered over with grafting clay and wood ashes mixed, and the earth then returned to the roots of the tree. Some use bricklayers' mortar early in the spring, around the base of the tree, so as to cover the part where the deposit is made, and prevent their attacks.
Although our limits will not admit of a farther description of the various sorts of insects which injure our gardens, and frequently destroy the fruit of our labour, I cannot forbear directing the attention of our citizens to the importance of saving all kinds of ashes. If all agriculturists and horticulturists were to offer an inducement to the inhabitants of large cities, to save their ashes in a dry state, they would be supplied not only with a valuable manure, but an antidote for many kinds of insects; and our citizens would be at less risk from fire, by having a brick vault on their premises for safely keeping them. In England, a private dwelling is not considered complete without an ash-vault; and a good farmer would dispense with his barn, rather than be destitute of an ash-house. I have known farmers to supply the cottagers with as much peat as they could burn, on condition of their saving them the ashes; and there are some that will keep men under pay throughout the year, burning peat for the same purpose; and any thing that has passed the fire is so valuable, that a chimney-sweep will frequently clean chimneys for the sake of the soot, which is conveyed miles into the country, and sold at a price sufficient to reward the collectors, besides paying all expenses; even the house-keepers' ashes in cities is a marketable article at all times, bringing from ten to twenty-five cents per bushel, when kept dry and clean, and a guinea a load was formerly the common price in the villages of Berkshire and Hampshire.
While on this subject, I would urge the importance of a spring dressing of ashes. If cultivators were to prepare turfs from tanners' bark, peat-earth, coal dust mixed with clay, cow dung, etc, and get them dried in the summer season, these, by being preserved through the winter, may be burned around fruit orchards, while the trees are in blossom, and if the fires are properly managed, a smoke may be kept up by heaping on damp litter every night; this will prove pernicious to such insects as may reside in the trees, and the ashes being spread on the ground, will serve as a means of destruction to others. An orchard thus managed every year, will need no other manure. The smoking should be effected first on one side of the plantation, and afterward on the other, or heaps may be prepared in different parts of the orchard, and fire applied according as the wind may serve to carry the smoke where it is most necessary. I know a gardener in the neighbourhood of New-York, who saved his Plums and Nectarines by burning salt hay, after its having been used as a covering for his Spinach; and I have no hesitation in recommending it as an excellent remedy for securing fruit trees from insects, especially if some coarse tobacco could be procured to add to it. The damper the materials are, in moderation, the more smoke they will create; and if a little tar, pitch, sulphur, or other pernicious combustible be sprinked among them, it will be beneficial. This subject appears to me of the utmost consequence to the farmer, as well as to the community at large; I, therefore, cannot forbear offering some farther observations.
It must be acknowledged that, although this country contains an abundance of wood, coal, and peat, as well as almost every other description of fuel, yet the poor of our large cities, in general, suffer greatly from cold; and if all the tales of wo could be sounded in the ears of a sympathizing community during our severe winters, I am persuaded they would arouse them to the consideration of a remedy. It is an acknowledged fact that the poor of Europe are cheaper and better supplied with fuel than those of this country. This arises, in a great measure, from the circumstance of ashes being held in high estimation by agriculturists; they are consequently a saleable article in their large towns and cities, at a price equal, in some instances, to half the cost of a winter's fuel.
Now I would ask, how is it that ashes are not as valuable to the farmers here as they are in Europe 1 The extreme heat of the summer must certainly engender insects in equal if not greater proportions; and as respects manure, it must be scarcer in some parts of this extensive country than it is in the densely peopled countries of Europe. Perhaps some may answer, that ashes are already used by our cultivators to a considerable extent; but I would remind such, that from the circumstance of their being mixed up with other manures, and exposed to all sorts of weather, (as in our city) they lose their virtue, so that a load may not be worth more than a bushel would be, if kept dry and clean.
The farmers of Europe consider peat ashes of more value than any others, and I am persuaded that, could they be fairly tested by some of our best cultivators, great good would result to the community. If the farmers in England can afford to keep men under pay, perpetually burning peat for the sake of the ashes, it is natural to suppose that the poor of our community may be placed in easier circumstances as respects the article of fuel. Thousands of acres of land are to be found in the States of New-York and New-Jersey, and within a few miles of this city, which abound with peat earth; and the owners of such have already begun to explore their treasures of this description. Good peat is now to be had in the city at the low price of eight cents per bushel, or three dollars per chaldron. It bums well in all sorts of stoves and grates, whether made for wood or coal, and also on the hearth; and if the ashes are not used to any better purpose than other ashes have hitherto been, it is the cheapest fuel known. I am persuaded that this subject is worthy of serious consideration, and if the editors of the different papers would arouse the public attention, so as to direct some of our most active citizens to a consideration of this subject, incalculable good would result to the community at large.
If the public authorities of our cities, and all those who distribute fuel among the poor, gratis, would give them peat instead of wood, it would be much cheaper, and would answer every purpose to the consumers. Twelve bushels might be given in the first winter month to each of the applicants, instead of wood, with a strict injunction to save their ashes in a dry state, in order to their being taken in exchange for a future supply of peat. It could be easily ascertained how much ashes twelve bushels of peat would make; and if a strict attention be paid to the conditions of exchange, it would soon be discovered which of the applicants was the most entitled to the distributor's bounty. The same sheds which it would be necessary to provide for housing the peat, could be used as a deposit for the ashes. If such sheds be conveniently constructed to hold each a moderate quantity, the first which is emptied of peat may be filled with the first ashes that are returned in exchange for a future supply of fuel, and they could all be used for the same purpose as they become empty. These ashes, when fairly tested, may become a merchantable article as in Europe; and it is very probable that farmers may be induced to take them in exchange for future supplies of peat; they could, however, be conveyed into the country at a trifling expense, and would, no doubt, meet with a ready sale.