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Wisconsin State Horticultural Society / The Wisconsin horticulturist
Vol. III, No. 9 (November 1898)

Kellogg, R. M.
Blackberry crops,   pp. 21-23 PDF (727.5 KB)


Page 22


22    THE WISCONSIN HORTICULTURIST.
does not add any water to the soil, but it prevents the sup-
ply from getting away. The water draws to the surface by
capillary attraction and film movement, and cultivation, or
making the loose earth mulch, destroys these capillary pas-
sages and checks the film movement so water cannot rise
and must remain below until it is breathed away by the
plants.
Now, when the berry pickers tramp through the rows
they tread the earth down hard and thus the water rapidly
flows to the surface, where it is promptly picked up by the
sun and wind and carried off. At this season of the year a
drouth usually prevails and the berries dry up, shrinking
the number of quarts many times, to say nothing of loss of
flavor of fruit, reducing its consumption and price alike.
All this will be prevented largely by having the horse
and cultivator ready immediately after the pickers every
time the fruit is gathered. Then the last picking will be
as large and luscious as the first.
"Winter killing" are not the words to use! We should
say "summer killing," for while the actual killing is done
in winter, the cause is effected in summer and is the result
of bad cultivation. While we are conserving moisture, as
explained, to prevent the berries from drying up, we are
preparing them for winter. Everything we can possibly do
to force a vigorous growth in the early part of the season
should be done and anything which can prevent growth af-
ter the first of August should also be done.
If the ground be not cultivated frequently, early, and
is packed down by the pickers the growth is suspended in
mid-summer, the buds form as if for winter and wood ripens.
Later the fall rains come and a new growth starts and this
does not have time to ripen and so even slight freezing de-
stroys both wood and bud, whereas, if the wood had been
properly ripened it would withstand a very low temperature
-lower than we often have.                 I


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