Wisconsin State Horticultural Society / Annual report of the Wisconsin State Horticultural Society for the year 1909
Vol. XXXIX (1909)
Hatch, A. C.
horticulture in Texas and Wisconsin, pp. 51-55 PDF (1.1 MB)
52 WISCONSIN STATE HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY. Perhaps some of the strangest features of this region is its marked contrasts in climate that cannot be judged correctly from northern experiences. That drought should be the cause of ero- sions or washouts along the banks of streams, that it should be the cause of ponds of water and great ditches through the land as well, is very puzzling indeed, while another peculiarity is the fact that its frosts are all imported with north winds. It may have a year's drought or a flood along the Rio Grande that may cover 20 to 50 per cent of the country. It may have fine winter weather when tender vegetation is not killed or it may smite with a frost to destroy all garden vegetation and kill all fruit trees to the ground. While this is called a semi-arid country it may have sufficient rain to grow cotton and sugar cane. On Christmas day you may pick fine roses in great variety from the open ground, you may see climbing vines and hot house plants in the parks, lawns and gardens, yet, if you go into a florist's shop you may learn the astonishing fact that the roses and carnations he sells are grown in Chicago. You may see beautiful fields of Bermuda onions grown on irrigated and perfectly cultivated land des- troyed with an almost invisible insect foe. You may see beau- tiful fields of corn fully grown with corn retailing at 70c a bushel and yet never harvested. You may see wonderful growths on trees and plants, figs particularly bearing abundantly the first year. Laying as it does between sopthern California and Florida this country is trying to rival them both in the production of citrus and semi-tropic fruits. For its soil and climate, it will need prob- ably varieties and methods not entirely similar. In Florida, for instance, oranges are cultivated in the winter only, while Cali- fornia cultivates them in the summer only. In California the government maintains about a dozen exerimental vineyards to help solve some of the difficulties grape growers have to contend with. Perhaps one of the greatest difficulties is to secure dor- mancy during winter. When grown from cuttings upon their own roots the vines of what we know as California grapes are li- able to grow considerably during the winter months when a light freeze is apt to prove very hurtful. To secure this dormant con- dition various kinds of southern grapes are used as stocks upon which to graft rasin and other grapes. The Texans have a na- tive variety that does not grow in the winter that it is expected will accomplish this purpose. It has been found that besides this
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