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Wisconsin State Horticultural Society / Annual report of the Wisconsin State Horticultural Society for the year 1910
Volume XL, Part II (1910)

Taylor, O. M.
Small fruits--principles of management,   pp. 69-74 PDF (1.4 MB)


Page 72


72       WISCONSIN STATE I0ORTICULTURAL SOCIETY.
kind and amount already in the soil. The Geneva Experiment
Station is frequently requested to make analysis of a soil and
to forward a formula, based on the analysis, most suitable for
any one of the Small Fruits. It is possible for the chemist to
tell what is in the soil and how much, but he cannot determine
how much of this is available to the plant or how rapidly the
plant may use such food. Some soils may lack nitrogen-others
potash, or phosphoric acid, and many are deficient in humus, or
lack of fertility may be due to unfavorable soil texture or to
bad drainage, under which condition fertilizers will be of but
little use until a more favorable environment has been secured.
One method of determining the kind and amount to use is by
trial, leaving check rows for comparison. If the soil responds
to phosphoric acid, applications of fertilizers rich in this form
of plant food should be made, and so with potash or nitrogen.
Possibly a combination of two foods may meet the needs of the
soil or perhaps a complete fertilizer may be found most suitable.
These fertilizing mater:als should be applied in such a way as
to make comparisons with each other and with checks, to which
nothing has been applied. It is more difficult to use cover
crops among small fruits than with tree fruits, yet they may at
times be used to advantage, and when combined with the use
of stable manure may do much to keep up the supply of humus.
Distance of Planting. In general the plants should not be
crowded. There should be ample room for each plant to secure
its share of food and moisture from the soil, and air and sun-
light should not be shut out from the growth above ground.
The distance apart of rows and of plants depends on the system
of cultivation, character of growth and richness of the soil.
Red raspberries may be set closer than black raspberries, six
or seven feet by two feet, and blackberries still further apart.
Currants and gooseberries 41/2 to 6 feet apart, and strawberries
the closest of any of the small fruits.
Pruning. The operations of pruning are not so difficult as
with tree fruits-yet some attention must be given to this sub-
ject. The old canes of raspberries and blackberries are of no
further use after the fruit has been harvested. They frequently
harbor insects and diseases as well as crowding and shading the
new growth. For these reasons the practice is followed among
many growers of cutting out and burning the old wood as soon
as the fruit has been harvested. The pruning of currants and
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