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)
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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