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

Walsh, George E.
American seed farms,   pp. 18-20 PDF (796.2 KB)

Page 20

on their farms the next season. Everything for the seeds-
men depends upon the quality of the seeds, their vitality
and purity being of special importance. The strong com-
petition makes every seedsman do his utmost to raise the
standard of his seeds, and, as a result, we have a great im-
provement in American grown seeds. European stock, if
sold at all in competition with American seeds, must be sold
at a considerably lower rate.
The demand for better seeds and plants makes the meth-
ods of cultivation on these seed farms a study that would
be a benefit to every farmer and gardener. Formerly seed
growers simply planted their seeds, and as they came up the
poorer specimens were weeded out, and only the finest ones
were allowed to mature. But today the pedigree of every
plant on a seed farm is known way back, and the whole breed-
ing is carried on as scientifically as the breeding of regis-
tered cattle or horses. There are famous stocks to begin with,
and the dealers guarantee that all the seeds they place on the
market are descendants of not more than the fifth or sixth
generation from them. After that the seeds are considered
run out. Excellent plants for stocks are constantly searched
for. If one is discovered in the fields or trial beds it is
transferred to a greenhouse, where it is treated as tenderly
as a new-born baby. It is surrounded by everything that
will tend to make it grow and improve. It is then in-
creased by cuttings, which are planted another year where
they will not be effected by other plants. Several pounds
of seeds will be obtained from these plants, and the follow-
ing year they are sown and cultivated, and a large quantity
of the seeds are placed upon the market. To get the seeds
from a good plant, consequently, takes several seasons, and
then they run only for several years before they are re-
placed by others. The different strains are bred with great
care, and the great number of names given to them by the
seedsmen seems a little confusing to the ordinary purchasers.
-The Independent.

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