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)
THE WISCONSIN HORTICULTURIST. How To PRXVRNT FALL GROWTH:-How are we to pre- vent the fall growth ! Having maintained the steady growth until the wood and bud ripening process should begin (about August 1), we sow and cultivate in about four bushels of oats per acre. These promptly germinate and appropriate the plant food and moisture, cutting short the supply of the bushes and their growth will be materially checked and, as the ground is kept cool by the shade, the late growth is quite sure to be avoided, but the value of the oats is not ended here by any means. They remain green until quite heavy freezing, and then stay as a mulch, protecting the roots from evil effects of freezing and thawing, preventing soil washing during the winter. In the spring they are decayed so as to be easily cultivated into the soil, adding very largely to the surface humus, which separates the soil grains so capillary action is sluggish and a crust will not form so readily and thus the frequency of cultivation be greatly reduced. It is especially important that the suckers which come up shall be treat- ed as weeds and that the bushes be confined to the orig- inal plant, so that the entire surface soil shall be stirred by the cultivator. This narrow row not only aids in conserv- ing moisture, but it facilitates picking the fruit, as it is on the outside largely. It is difficult to induce the boys and girls to thrust their arms to the center of a wide, thorny blackberry row, and so much of the fruit is lost. Overbearing and pollen exhaustion are also among the factors which soon destroy the life of the blackberry. Ju- dicious pruning is the remedy. Let the bushes bear all they can bring to perfection, but not more. They never fail to set several times as much fruit as they can mature. A patch treated as indicated will carry through more buds than under less intensive culture, and so need not be pruned quite so close, but it is always better to overdo pruning than to leave too many buds. R. M. KELLOGG, in Western Fruit Grower. 23
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