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 Front Matter

Title: Notes on experiments with the pineapple
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00027219/00001
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Title: Notes on experiments with the pineapple
Series Title: Notes on experiments with the pineapple
Physical Description: Book
Creator: Washburn, L. C.
Publisher: University of Florida Agricultural Experiment Station
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Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Page 65
    Front Matter
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
Full Text
. . . . . . . *. '".;*

Szovemtler, i 894.






The Bulletins of this Station will be sent free to any address in Florida
upon application to the Director of the Experiment
Station, Lake City, Fla.


N -,


Oxiiiettri No. 2-7




HON. WALTER GWYNN, President . . . . Sanford
HON. W. D. CHIPLEY, Vice-President . . .. Pensacola
L' HON. F. E. HARRIS, Ch'n Executive Committee ... Ocala
S HON. A. B. HAGAN, Secretary . . . ... .Lake City
HON. S. SrRINOER .. . . . ... Brooksville
HON. S. J. TURNBLL . . . . . . Monticello
HON. C. F. A. BIELBY . . . . . . DeLand


CLUTE, M. S., LL. D . . . .. . . Director
P. H. ROLFS, M. S . . . .Horticulturist and Biologist
A.A. PERSONS, M. S. . . . . . .Chemist
C.A. FINLEY. . . . . . Director's Secretary
A..L. QUAINTANCE, M. S . . . Assistant in Biology
H. K. MILLER, M. 8 ....... .. .Assistant in Chemistry
JOaN F. MITCHELL . . ... .Foreman of Lake City Farm
J. T. STUBBS . . .. Supt. Sub-Station, DeFuniak Springs
W. A. MA RS . . . . Supt. Sub-Station, Fort Myers

j .....___. :*. .. Y


Introduction . . . . . . . . .
Soil . . . . . . . . .. .
Climate . . . . . . . . . .
Setting Out Plants . . . . . . . .
Fertilizers . . . . .. . ....
Cultivation . . . . . . . . . .
Some Troubles . . . . . . . .
Fire . . . . . . . . . .
Long Leaf . . . . . . . ..
Sand . . . . . . . . . .
Red Spider . . . . . . . . .
Experiments . . . . . . . . .
Varieties . . . . . . . . .
Conclusions . . . . . . ... .

. -. l. -



72 *,tl
73 *i



1. .pLZ


UI... rr. NIIDLIlrW~I~W


-- i-



methods which others ay hold or follow. When the exper-

imenter has begn able to carry on but a few experiments, for
only a few years, and under local conditions which may not.
prevail elsewhere, his conclusions will not always be found to
correspond with conclusions which may, be reached by him,
or others, after wider experience.
Able men differ in regard to many things They differ in
regard to the cultivation of pineapples. Some successful
growers pursue methods as to planting, fertilizing, and appli-
cations of remedies,which differ from those pursued by Dr.
Washburn. As to which methods are best, further aishd wider
experience must decide. Dr. Washburn can only state wnat
he has done, and the results attained, hoping thus to give a
contribution of some value in the final determination of the
questions involved.
Some delay in printing this bulletin enables me to say
that the experience at Fort Myers, in the disastrous winter ,..
through which we have just passed, has been most encourag-
ing. The young pines, whichhad been set in the open group nd
only a few weeks, or three or four months, were not seriously
injured. The pines a year or more old were injured about 33
per cend., the plants being so frozen as to soften and deca
The other two-thirds of the old pines are looking well,
are now blooming, and promise a good crop in-'95. Young
pines in an ordinary pineapple shed, made of three-incha
strips, came through in very fine condition.
The combined effects of the freeze of December, '94, and
of that of February, '95, did not seriously injure citrus fruits.
The trees did not lose their leaves; many of them are now in
bloom, and others will bloom soon; all promise a large croP,
the present year. Much fine fruit has been shipped from
there since December. At the Orlando fair, March 19-22, :
L' *

there since December. At the Orlando fair, March 19-22,. :i l


all visitors had i chance to see the large display of citrus
fruits and of vegetables made by Lee county, in charge of a
gentleman from Fort Myers. Many of the guavas are sprout-
, ing from branches four to six feet from the ground; the
Avocado pears (alligator pears) are sprouting from heights of
.. ten, fifteen, and even twenty feet; the mangoes are growing
luxuriantly, and will give a crop in '96; and the cocoanuta
are growing and blooming.
Lake Cityi March 30, 1895.


\ \2-

On my own gro
ment Station at For
(Ananassa sativa) for
some experiments to
tivation and fertilize

P. .

The land planted was the common pine and saw palmetto
land, or "flat-woods land," of South Florida, of rather poor
quality" having a large portion of silica and humus at the sur-
face, and underlaid at the depth of one to two feet with a stiff
hard-pan, which effectually prevents leaching. The land had
been cleared of pine trees and palmetto about two years
before, arid had been under cultivation for that length of time.
It lies a few rods from the water on the south bank of the
Caloosahatchie Bay, a mile and a quarter east of Fort Myers
The climate is, apparently, well adapted to this fruit.
The temperature rarely rises above 90 degrees in the summer,
or falls below 40 degrees in the winter, but occasionally there
is a frost. It will be seen that, in the winter of 1893-94, we
had frost sufficient to injure pineapples that were mulched,
though pines not mulched, on beds adjoining, were uninjured.
SThroughout the summer season,the raius are frequent and
copious; but in the winter the rains are much less frequent,
though we have always had enough to keep the pines in a
thrifty condition.
When I began cultivating pines nine years ago, I care-
Sfully followed the advice, given by some able growers, to pull
the leaves off from near the bottom of the suckers and slips,
and to cut off the lower end or hard part, before planting.
S But.I soon became convinced that the plants needed to be
firmly set in the ground, so I adopted the method of not trim-
ming them at all, but opened the ground wide, and planted



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a~r ~l~.*Mf-i~Y-..~ 1~.-_.lli*-r I I ~



iund and on the grounds of the Experi-
t Myers, Fla., I have grown the pineapple
nine years. In January, 1891, I began
Test the value of varieties, and the cul-
tion best suited to this fruit.


- .' '1

I 72

the slips about three inches deep, and the suckers about six
S inches deep, covering over the lower leaves and tramping the
Ssoil firmly upon them. I found that plants so treated grew off
mbre rapidly, and made stronger stalks and larger fruit than
did those plants which were trimmed.
The pineapple is a surface feeder, sending out lateral
roots from the spaces just above the lower leaves of the slips
or suckers, hence when those leaves are spread out and covered
S firmly, they become a support to the young plant and no
-, impediment to the starting or the growing of the roots. This
S,; method saves quite an amount of labor and expense.
The pineapple is a voracious feeder. It requires heavy
fertilizing. Nitrogen, phosphoric acid and potash are all
required in generous amounts. Perhaps the following manures
^.. are the best sources from which to obtain these requirements:
S Poultry manure, stable manure, guano, blood and bone, bone
S meal, cottonseed meal, acid phosphate, sulphate of potash, and
', well-rotted muck. If compost is used, it should be well-rotted
S and ready for assimilation. Compost, undergoing fermenta-
tion, will destroy the feeder roots. Pine lands, containing
'.r much silica and vegetable mould, are the best for this fruit,
especially if there is a good foundation to prevent leaching
S away of fertilizers and moisture.
,' Clean cultivating is best, with a scuffle hoe, being careful
S not to cut the feeder roots, which are found one to two inches
below the surface. Mulching is a disadvantage, for while the -
mulched plants are green and thrifty, they are too susceptible
.'( to frost. 'If planted in well pulverized rich soil, 18 by 18
inches, the plants will protect each other, and prevent the
fruit from falling over to get sun-burned.
When planted close together, the leaves stand more erect.,
Sand become a partial shade for the fruit during a part of the
F/.- day, which is an advantage. If set close together, they only
S.require cultivating the first year, as the plants monopolize the
ground and keep other vegetation down when one year old.
S I find, too, that pines are just as large from plants set 18
inches by '18 inches as from plants set four feet each way.
I would plant closer rather than farther apart. With the pine-



apple, as with everything else, t
the better. In cultivating, I
bending them down does no
striking a leaf sideways is likely]
stalk. In fertilizing a plat, I n
over the plants, like sowing oat
and rains dissolve and carry it
FIRE--A pineapple farm s
more than an acre, with a clear
around it, as a fire-guard, for if
a dry time, it is impossible to pi
LONG LEAF.-This is a stu
leaves; when discovered should
never fruit. Replace with new
SAND.-The sand will som
of small plants, and in hot, dry
It is sometimes taken out by a
but the best way is to pour a je
an elevation of four feet, and w
spoonful of cottonseed meal int
so the sand that again gets in
fertilizing part of the cottonseed
and the crude portion is hard
growth of the plant, with the sa
seed meal must be put in as of
three times before the plant is c
RED SPIDER.-This is a n
upon the tender part of the
more or less injury. For their
recommended by Captain Thor
Take sulphur, 18 pounds; lime
of water, forming more than 20
gallon put into a barrel of water
Sgill is pouted into the bud of er
well as insecticide. Repeat as
1. In January, 1891, one-t
with suckers and slips of R
Prickly Cayenne, two by four f


;he less injury to the foliage
step on top of the leaves, as
great amount of harm, while
y to tear it loose and injure the
lix the fertilizers well and sow
;s broadcast, and let the dew
should have each plat, of not
cultivated strip, four feet wide,
fire is started in the patch, of
ut it out.
nted plant, with long, narrow
be taken out, as they will
Letimes accumulate in the bud
weather retard their growth.
blast of air from a force-pump,
it of water into the bud from
while the plant is wet put a tea- .
o the bud; this forms a barrier,
does not burn the plant. The
Smeal is utilized by the plant,
ened and pushed out by the
nd adhering to it. The cotton-
ten as needed, generally about
>ut of the way of the sand.
microscopical insect, that feeds
leaves near the stalk, causing
destruction, I use the remedy
mas E. Richards, of Eden, Fla.
,20 pounds; boil in 20 gallons
gallons of red solution. One
r makes a solution, of which a
ach plant. This is fertilizer as
often as necessary.
wentieth of an acre was set out
:ed Spanish, Sugar Loaf and
feet apart. Sea-grass had been '

plowed under, and cow manure hoed in, a month before
, planting. The plants grew well and now produce tine, large
S fruit, but the fruit falls over badly and sunburns.
2. In February, 1892, one-twentieth of an acre was
S planted to Red Spanish, Sugar Loaf and Prickly Cayenne, set
two by four feet, in furrows twelve to fourteen inches deep;
S. fertilized with cottonseed meal, one and one-half tons per acre,
and kainit, 500 pounds per acre. In June, 1893, this plat
produced a little fruit. As a whole, this is a failure.
3. May 9 and 10, 1892, one-twentieth of an acre was
S planted with suckers of Red Spanish, Sugar Loaf and
SPrickly Cayenne, set three feet by three feet, and fertilized
with dark cottonseed meal at the rate of one and one-half tons
per acre. In 1893, this plat produced rather small fruit, but
in 1894, the fruit was large and fine. A successful plat, but
Snot planted close enough, as the pines fall over.
4. June 1 to 5, 1892, one-twentieth, of an acre was
planted with Red Spanish suckers, set eighteen inches by
eighteen inches; fertilized with compost at the rate of two tons
per acre, and top-dressed with hen-manure. In June, 1893,
'. 250 pineapples were gathered, worth five cents apiece. In
S June, 1894, 586 pines were picked. Of these, 500 were worth
S ten cents a piece in the Fort Myers market, and 86 were culls.
S The plants are very fine. The growth has been excellent.
i- Forty of these pines filled a barrel. This plat a complete suc-
S cess. The compost used was mixed after the following
S formula:
Dark Cottonseed Meal...............1,000 lbs.
Kainit................................ 500 "
I'; Acid Phosphate................ 500 "
Blood and Bone.................... 500 "
Cow Manure.......................... 2,000 "

5. Planted one-twentieth of an acre with Red Spanish
suckers, September 6, 1892; fertilized with lime, 20 barrels
per acre, and muck, 400 cart-loads per acre, and mulched
with'salt marsh grass. Planted eighteen by eighteen inches.
Plants tender and green, grew rapidly, and I expected them
to fruit in 1893. The cold weather of January, 1893, killed
most of the foliage, though pines on unmulched beds five feet
away were not injured. They did not fruit till late in!1894,
and then did not give satisfaction.





6. Red Spanigh slips planted October 13 and 14,
1892, on one-twentieth of an acre, fertilized heavily with com-
post mentioned above, five tons per acre,,and mulched with
salt marsh grass; set out eighteen by eighteen inches. In-
jured by cold weather in January, 1893, as was plat, No. 5.
Should have fruited in 1894,but failed owing to mulching and
probably also compost, in which there was likely too much
fermentation after the plants were set out.
7. One-twentieth of an acre, planted with Spanish slips
October 18 and 19, 1892, eighteen by eighteen inches.
Fertilized heavily with compost-mentioned above, six tons per
acre, one day before planting out. Should have fruited in
1894. Over half of the plat became ,Long Leaf, which was
probably caused by fermentation of the compost. This com-
post was taken from the bottom of the pit, and had not passed
through fermentation as much as the compost used in plates
No. 4 And 6. If the compost had remained in the ground a
month before the plants were set, the plat, doubtless, would
have been very fine. The remarkable success of plat No. 3
was because the compost was from the top of the pit and well
fermented, yet the topdressing of poultry manure was worth
still more than the compost. I do not approve of the above
formula as a compost for pineapples. It was not of my choos-
ing. I would much prefer cow-penned land, with the addi-
tion of two tons of cottonseed meal per acre, worked in two
months before planting. What would be still better is blood
and bone, two tons, and hen manure, two tons, or guano.
I would use sulphate of potash quite freely, after the plants
are one year old.
8. Planted out March 22, 1892. In 1894, about one-
fourth of the plants produced small apples, worth five cents
apiece. Sugar Loaf and Red Spanish slips were planted.
This plat was on natural land, without fertilization.
The varieties that I have tested are the Smooth and Prickly
Cayenne, the Jamaica Queen and Red or Scarlet Spanish,
often known as the Strawberry. The Sugar Loaf. is as good
as any for table use, but too tender for commercial purposes.
These varieties are all tender, juicy, aromatic and sweet, with
sufficient sub-acid. The Red.Spanish, grown in this soil and
climate, is scarcely inferior to any other variety. Dr. Hanson



has shipped them from Fort Myers to London, England, and
they went through in a fair condition.
1. My experience convinces methat large cropsof excellent
pines can be grown in this section, if good cultivation and
abundant fertilization are given. I know that pines have
been successfully grown some distance north of here. It is
altogether probable that pines can be grown with much suc-
: ess in all places in Florida in this latitude, and the great area
south of here, containing silica in the soil.
2. Pine land, saw-palmetto land and hammock land,
are all good soil for pines, if the fertilizers are suitably
applied. A large part 6f the land in Lee, Dade and Monroe
S counties, including the Keys on the Gulf and Atlantic coasts,
will grow pines successfully. In many sections of these coun-
ties, good land for pines can now be bought for $5.00 an acre,
though in more accessible locations the price is higher.
3. Pines need generous fertilization. The fertilizers applied
should include the three principal plant foods, nitrogen,
potash and phosphoric acid. These foods can be secured from
stable manure, poultry manure and well-rotted muck, and
commercial fertilizers combined in proper proportions.
4. Pines planted eighteen by eighteen inches grow well,
are easily cultivated, and yield large crops. When planted
in this way, they help to support and shade each other.
5. Mulched pines, in locations where light frosts occa-
sionally occur, are more liable to injury in winter.
6. Great care is needed in using muck and all composts
to have them thoroughly decomposed and fermented. Fer-
mentation of any kind is injurious.
7. Suckers and slips do well if not trimmed in any way.
I plant them without pulling off any leaves, and without
cutting off the lower end. I plant them with the lower leaves
spread out under ground and with the soil tramped firmly
on the leaves and around the stalk. Captain Horr, of Key
S West, owning a large pineapple farm on one of the Ten Thou-
sand Islands, tells me he has abandoned the trimming of the
plants, and would not have them trimmed, if done for
Nothing, as his experience is that they do better without it.
-; L. C. WASHBURN, M. D.,
Former Superintendent of Sub-Experiment Station.
S Fort Myers,-Florida, November, 1894.

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