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Group Title: Bulletin / University of Florida. Agricultural Experiment Station ;, no. 69
Title: Cultivation of citrus groves
CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00027286/00001
 Material Information
Title: Cultivation of citrus groves
Series Title: Bulletin / University of Florida. Agricultural Experiment Station ;, no. 69
Physical Description: 28 p. : ill. ; 22 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Hume, H. Harold
Hume, H. Harold (Hardrada Harold), 1875-1965
Publisher: Florida Agricultural Experiment Station,
Publication Date: 1904.
 Subjects
Subject: Fruit-culture -- Florida.
 Notes
General Note: Cover title.
Funding: Bulletin (University of Florida. Agricultural Experiment Station) ;
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Bibliographic ID: UF00027286
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 000921032
notis - AEN1472
oclc - 18156549

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FLORIDA

AGRICULTURAL EXPERIMENT STATION




Cultivation of Citrus Groves,


CULTIVATIING r, T craut raeE WIr AN AcME OULTIVATOR


"There is more difference of opinion regarding cultivation than perhaps any
other on, point in orange growing."-Manville.

By H. HAROLD HUME,


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.


Jacksonville, Fla.,
INDUSTRIAL RECORD PUB. CO.
1904.


JANUARY, 1904.


BULLETIN NO. 69.













BOARD OF TRUSTEES.


GEO. W. WILSON, President ...................... Jacksonville.
C. A. CARSON, Vice-President ..................... Kissimmee.
F. L. STRINGER, Secretary ...................... Brooksville.
F. E. HARRIS, ....................................... Ocala.
E. D. BEGGS, .............................. ....... Pensacola.
J. R. PARROTT .................................. Jacksonville.
F. M. SImoNTON ................................. .Tampa.



STATION STAFF.

T. H. TALIAFERRO, C. E., Ph. D. .................... Director.
H. K. MILLER, M. S. ................ Vice-Director and Chemist.
H. A. GOSSARD, M. S. .......................... Entomologist.
H. H. HUME, B. Agr., M. S. .......Botanist and Horticulturist.
CHAS. F. DAWSON, M. D., D. V. S................ Veterinarian.
*C. M. CONNER, B. S. ......................... Agriculturist.
A. W. BLAIR, M. A. ........................Assistant Chemist.
R. H. LICHTENTHALER, B. S................. Assistant Chemist.
F. C. REIMER, B. S. ................. Assistant Horticulturist.
W. P. JERNIGAN .................... Auditor and Bookkeeper.
A. L. CLAYTON ................... Stenographer and Librarian.
JOHN H. JEFFRIES ........ Gardener, Horticultural Department.
W. E. WORTHINGTON .......... Assistant in Field Experiments.
*Superintendent of Farmers' Institutes.














CONTENTS,



Introduction .......................... ............... 5
Soils ..................... ..... ...................... 5
Clean Culture or No Culture? ......................... 7
Benefits of Cultivation ............. ... ........... 10
Humus and Its Value .................... ........... 13
Depth of Cultivation ...............................:. 15
Spring Cultivation ................................... 16
Summer Cultivation .................................. 17
Winter Cultivation ................................... 17
Cultivation in Relation to Die-Back ...................... 18
Cultivation of Dry Soils ................................ 18
Implements ................... ...................... 19
Methods of Successful Growers .......................... 19
Citrus Grower's Calendar ............................. 26
ILLUSTRATIONS.

Cultivating Citrus Trees with an Acme Cultivator ..Frontispiece.
Poor and Good Spring Cultivation of Citrus Groves
on High Ground ............................ Plate I.














Cultivation of Citrus Groves.


Introduction.

The object of growing and cultivating the various kinds of
citrus trees is the production of fruit of good quality and plenty of
it, but while it is true that this is the 'desired end, it is equally true
that the means by which this desideratum may be secured, are not
the same in all cases.
As a matter of fact, there is probably no practice connected
with the growing of citrus fruits regarding which there is more
difference of opinion than there is upon the question of the best
methods of grove cultivation. The soils of our State are so ex-
tremely varied, both in the amount of fertility and in the amount
of moisture which they contain, that it is not to be wondered at,
that such is the case. To anyone who understands the nature and
character of our soils, it must be patent that in a large measure,
the system of cultivation adopted must correspond to the kind
of soil. But after all, it will generally be found that underlying
each system there is some one, broad, general principle.

Soils.

While it is not the object of this section to discuss the kinds
and relative merits of the soils upon which citrus fruits may be
grown, still it is necessary, for the better understanding of the
subject, to define and briefly describe those generally in use.
The soils of our State are commonly grouped according to
elevation and the growth which they support or have supported










BULLETIN NO. 69.


in a virgin state. Those usually used for citrus culture fall natu-
rally into four groups, namely: high pine land, flat woods, high
hammock and low hammock. High pine land is well elevated,
usually well drained and supports a growth of long-leaf pine
(Pinus australis Michx.) with little or no undergrowth, though
sometimes a few high ground willow oaks (Quercus cinerea
Michx.) and other hard wood trees are found. Flat woods land
likewise supports a growth of long-leaf pine, but the elevation is
considerably less and the ground is quite flat and level. In the
southern parts of the State, in the vicinity of Miami and Punta
Gorda, for instance, and generally south of a line from Cape Ca-
naveral to Tampa Bay, the long-leaf pine is replaced by the Cuban
pine (Pinus Cubensis Griseb.) Frequently the flat woods land
is thickly covered with an undergrowth of saw palmetto (Serenoa
serrulata Hook.) and gallberry (Ilex glabra.) During the rainy
season, most of these soils are quite moist. They are generally
underlaid with a subsoil of clay, hard-pan or rock. The high ham-
mock lands are covered with a hard wood growth of evergreen and
deciduous trees. Among these may be mentioned holly (Ilex
opaca Ait.), hickory (Carya tomentoasa Nutt. & Carya glabra
Torr.), willow-leaved oak (Quercus Phellos L.), live oak
(Quercus virens Ait.), magnolia and cabbage palmetto (Sabal
palmetto R. & S.). The low hammock land lies at a lower level
than the high hammock, but supports in a native state, practically
the same growth. To the trees already mentioned, however, may
be added sweet gum (Liquidamber styraciflua L.) and black gum
(Nyssa sylvatica Marsh.). Some of the low hammock lands are
covered entirely with a pure growth of cabbage palmetto and live
oak.











CULTIVATION OF CITRUS GROVES.


The hammock lands generally contain larger amounts of hu-
mus and are materially richer than high pine lands. In addition
to these soils, mention may be made of the hickory, or hickory
scrub lands stretching in broken areas along the shores of the
Indian River from about Cape Canaveral northward. They are
covered for the most part with a species of hickory (Hickoria
carliaone-septentrionalis Ashe) and the soil is a pure yellow sand,
the surface soil having a fair admixture of humus. In some re-
spects, these lands correspond with the high pine lands of the
interior and appear to be well adapted to the cultivation of citrus
fruits.

Clean Culture or No Culture?

The practice of keeping the ground on which the orange grove
stands perfectly free from herbage and thoroughly cultivated
throughout the whole season, year in and year out, has been in-
dulged in by many and is still followed by some. This method
has little to recommend it. A soil so treated soon becomes de-
pleted of its natural fertility and the humus soon becomes used
up through constant cultivation and the application of various
fertilizers. No amount of fertilizer will do the work it should, if
the soil once loses its natural body and becomes deficient in
humus. In spite of every effort in the line of fertilizing, such
a soil will become poor and infertile; the trees will soon show
the effects in their unhealthy condition, and the owner will realize
:t in his diminishing returns.
If clean culture is adopted, humus must be supplied in some
way, and the plat used by a number of successful growers in
the State is to cover the ground with a liberal coating of leaves
and leaf mold from an adjoining hammock. By this means a











BULLETIN NO. 69.


mulch and the material from which humus may be formed are
provided for the soil. It is far easier to maintain the humus
content of soils than it is to replace it, after it has been once
worked out of them, a fact which it is well to bear in mind.
Humus, one of the most, if not the most important ingredient
in any fertile soil, is generally fou4id in inadequate amounts in
citrus soils, and any system of cultivation which does not tend to
increase the amount or maintain a considerable quantity of this
substance in the soil is not based upon scientific principles.
Any piece of ground denuded of its natural covering oi vege-
tation, and so exposed continually to the burning heat of our
sub-tropical sun, rapidly loses most of its fertility and becomes
dead, lifeless and useless. The soil must not be regarded only as
a place for roots to grow and live in, it must be looked upon as
nature's food-producing laboratory, in which multitudes of micro-
organisms or bacteria are busily engaged in preparing food for
the plants which grow on it. They fail utterly in the performance
of their work if their natural element, a soil rich in humus, is
by some means converted into a sandbank. This is exactly the
result of long-continued clean cultivation.
On the other hand, many growers do not cultivate the soil
at all, and on some classes of soil this method is really the best.
Only on naturally moist soils, low, damp hammocks, for instance,
should this plan be adopted. On the high pine lands, or on those
naturally deficient in moisture, it is not a safe method to follow.
Cultivation conserves soil moisture, and increases the water-hold-
ing capacity of the soil. Perhaps never before, in the history of
citrus culture in Florida was the necessity for frequent cultivation
so forcibly borne in upon the minds of all thinking growers as it
was in the spring of the year 1902, and yet if all the moisture, or









CULTIVATION OF CITRUS GROVES.


even a considerable portion of that which the soil contained at the
beginning of the season, could have been held and dealt out grad-
ually to the trees, there would have been sufficient for their needs.
Frequent, shallow cultivation would have helped materially in
this direction.
In June, 1902, two samples of soil were taken as representa-
tive of cultivated and uncultivated soil. Both were from the
horticultural grounds, one from soil planted in citrus trees, culti-
vated frequently from March until that time, the other from a
piece of ground which had received no cultivation at all during
the season, but which had lain bare and exposed to the sun.
Tlhe samples were weighed, then dryed and weighed again. The
weights and differences were as follows:
Cultivated soil-weight when collected, 247.8 grams; weight
after drying, 230.5 grams; loss of moisture in drying, 17.3 grams;
per cent moisture in sample, 17.3, divided by 24.7.8, multiplied
by 100, equals 6.97 per cent.
Uncultivated soil-weight when collected, 251.4 grams;
weight after drying, 240.9 grams; loss in drying, 10.5 grams; per
cent moisture in sample equals 10.5 divided 251.4, multiplied by
100, equals 4.17 per cent.
The cultivated soil contained 6.97 per cent moisture, while the
uncultivated soil contained 4.17 per cent moisture, a difference in
favor of the former of 2.8 per cent, or, expressed otherwise, cul-
tivation had increased the moisture content of the soil by 66.5
per cent. It is true that the water holding capacity of most Flor-
ida soils, and particularly of those rich in humus, is well up to
the average, but this does not mean that every effort should not be
made to hold and conserve the moisture for use during the spring
drouth. Lands deficient in moisture should be cultivated fre-









BULLETIN NO. 69.


quently during the first half of the year, or rather from the com-
mencement of the growing season until the rainy season begins.

Benefits of Cultivation.

Because of their loose, open nature, it is not so difficult to
keep our fruit lands in good condition, as it is in some parts of
the country. Neither the same amount of time, nor the same
amount of labor is necessary to keep our citrus groves in good
tilth as is required by fruit plantations in most of the fruit-grow-
ing districts of America. Perhaps herein lies the reason why some
have neglected cultivation altogether on lands which would be
benefited by it, while others have, in many cases, carried the
practice too far. But if our soils are in apparently good con-
dition and roots can easily penetrate them in all directions, then
in what way does cultivation benefit the trees, and why is the
operation necessary?
Cultivation is beneficial in the following ways: It increases
the water-holding capacity of the soil and conserves moisture, both
by allowing rain to sink more fieely into'it and by checking evap-
oration. It pulverizes the soil and allows the air to penetrate,
thus supplying oxygen to the roots. In cultivated soils, decom-
position and nitrification go on more readily and if the materials
are present from which nitrogen can be formed, its formation
takes place more rapidly than if the soil be left uncultivated.
"lost of the moisture in tillable soil is held as a minute film
surrounding the soil particles. It necessarily follows that the more
numerous the soil particles in a given space, i. e., the smaller they
are, the greater will be the water-holding capacity of the soil,
because the total surface area of all the particles increases as they
are reduced in size. And it is true, within certain limits, that the










CULTIVATION OF CITRUS GROVES.


water-holding capacity nf a soil increases as the size of the par-
ticles 'diminishes. If, however, the particles become too small, they
may become too closely packed, and thus this object of cultiva-
tion will be defeated. This condition is not likely to occur in
Florida soils as a result of cultivation. The size of the particles
can be reduced by cultivation by breaking up masses which may
have become more or less cemented together, and the water-holding
capacity thereby increased.
The opening and loosening of the soil permits the rain to
penetrate. If the surface of the ground becomes hard and com-
pact, the water will run over the surface or collect in'puddles and
disappear by evaporation. In either case the loss will be great.
But if the soil is well stirred and loose, the water will enter.
Once it is safely beneath the surface, it is necessary to keep it
there; it has gained entrance by a passage through which it should
not be allowed to .escape. The water will again make its way to
the surface by capillary attraction, passing upward through the
minute spaces between the particles of soil. If these minute tubes
or passages, extend right to the surface, the water rises to the top,
comes out, and is carried away by evaporation. Frequent, shal-
low cultivation will prevent this escape of water, by breaking the
capillary tubes. The top inch or two of earth is stirred, it parts
with its moisture and becomes quite dry. Then it acts as a dust
blanket and the great amount of moisture below is not allowed to
reach the surface to be carried away by the moving air above.
Thus the moisture is conserved and held for the use of the trees
During our rainy season it is not necessary to conserve the mois-
ture, Iut often in' April, May and June, and sometimes even later,
week after week goes by without a shower. This is the time when
water is needed, the time for which preparation should be made










BULLETIN NO. 69.


before it comes. The horse and cultivator are often a most excel-
lent substitute for an irrigation plant.
We know that a hard, compact soil into which air does not
enter, is no fit place for the roots of plants to grow and live in.
The roots absorb water and food in solution, only through their
newer parts, and new roots must be formed constantly to carry
on this work. For the formation of roots, oxygen is necessary,
and if the air cannot enter, oxygen cannot be supplied, and the
roots suffer in consequence. The soil should be kept loose and
friable during the period of greatest growth that the roots may
be freely supplied with air.
If, in addition to this, the rootlets can reach and penetrate
every portion of the soil, growing here and there at will, they then
have every opportunity to come in contact with and absorb the
plant food in the soil. While it is true that food materials in so-
lution, may move towards the roots, still in general, the roots must
search out and procure the plant food. How can they do this im-
portant work if the soil is hard, compact and impenetrable?
The food materials in any soil are found either in chemical
substances, present in the soil, or in organic combinations. If fer-
tilizers are applied or added to the soil, they too fall into, either
one or the other of these classes. Most of these materials do not
immediately yield up the plant food which they contain, but' they
must be acted upon by certain agents before their store of food
becomes available, i. e., so that the roots can absorb and the plants
use it. A large part, or practically all, of the plant food in or-
ganic substances is liberated through the agency of microscopic
plants called bacteria. That these may thrive and multiply, plenty
of air should be admitted to the soil, and the soil should at the
same time be warm and moist. Cultivation goes a long way to-










CULTIVATION OF CITRUS GROVES.


ward making the conditions ideal for the growth and development
of soil bacteria. The other class of agents is those which act chem-
ically. To this group belong the acids and other substances which
are capable of breaking up the food-containing materials in the
soil. Some of these disintegrators are present in the air, and are
carried to the soil in the rain. Here again, cultivation helps by
admitting the air to the soil and allowing the rain to penetrate.

Humus and its Value,

Humus is a product of the decay of organic substances. When
these undergo decomposition in the soil, humus is the intermediate
product formed, that is, just before the resolution of the organic
material into its component chemical parts. It is probably not
too much to say that humus is the most important substance found
in any fertile soil, and its presence may generally be taken as the
index of fertility. The truth of this statement may be realized
more fully, when we remember the fact that all barren soils are
lacking in this substance and the chief difference between a barren
and a fertile soil is usually a difference in humus content, not in
the mineral ingredients.
The changes which are constantly taking place in soil may be
grouped as physical, chemical and biological. The first relates to
the movement of water, the size of the particles and the mechanical
changes such as those produced by the displacement of the soil par-
ticles by animals or the roots of plants. The second includes all
changes wrought by the action of acids or other disintegrators
of a chemical nature, while the third in its use here refers to the
changes brought about by soil bacteria. All three of these changes
whether chemical, physical or biological, are intimately associated
with the presence of humus.










BULLETIN NO. 69.


In regard to the first it may be premised that soils rich in
humus are not solid and compact, but loose, open and better aer-
ated than those lacking humus and that the water-holding capacity
is materially increased by a fair admixture of humus. Now, if the
ability of a soil to retain moisture is increased by the presence of
humus, it follows that all plant food in solution will be held as
well, and this is an important feature.
Humus contains from three to twelve per cent of nitrogen and
this in itself is a fact worth bearing in mind, but it has been as-
certained besides that soils rich in humus are usually well supplied
with phosphoric acid and potash.
Reference has already been made to the bacteria which play
an important part in the formation of plant food and which are
so intimately associated with the work of providing nitrogen for
the use of the trees. It may be said that but little nitrogen from
those materials in which it is usually found in or supplied to the
soil would be available for the trees were it not for their presence,
and the bacterial content of the soil, other conditions having been
met, is dependent entirely upon the presence of humus.
Hence, it will be seen that humus is a very valuable soil com-
ponent, and is intimately associated with the life activities of a
fertile soil. Growers of citrus fruits in Florida use commercial
fertilizers in large quantities. Many of the substances applied
must undergo certain changes before they can become available.
This change from an unavailable to an available state is dependent
either upon the action of soil bacteria or chemical agents. Humus
forms the media in which the bacteria work and furthermore it
holds the plant food when in solution until the roots have a chance
to use it. The best and fullest effects cannot be secured from ap-
plications of fertilizers to citrus trees unless the soil be plentifully
supplied with humus.










CULTIVATION OF CITRUS GROVES.


Depth of Cultivation.

It is always preferable to prepare the ground well before
the trees are planted. The earth should be well stirred and free
from roots and stumps. During the first years of the life of the
young grove the ground may be plowed, if deemed advisable, pro-
vided always that the plow is not run deep, close up to the trees.
The tree rows should be cultivated comparatively shallow. This
treatment will have a tendency to send the roots deeper into the
soil as they spread out from the trees. If plowing is resorted to,
the depth should be varied from year to year, so that the soil may
not become hard and compact, at a certain fixed depth, as is likely
to be the case if the plow is always run at the same distance from
the surface.
When the trees have attained considerable size and the roots
have occupied the whole space between the tree rows the plowing
should be very shallow or should be abandoned entirely, the plow
giving place to the cultivator. The method followed in the old
groves around Lake Orange was to give three or four hoeings dur-
ing the year, all the cultivation the trees received and the results
were highly satisfactory. The plow as an implement for contin-
uous cultivation should not be used. If used at all, plowing should
be done only during the dormant period, early in the spring or
late in the autumn. Its use after this time should not be resorted
to. Large numbers of roots are broken or torn by the plow as a
result of which new ones are formed rapidly, food is absorbed in
great quantities and a die-back condition only too frequently re-
sults.
In most eases the fibrous feeding roots in old groves iorm a
solid mass and these extend quite close to the surface. In such









BULLETIN NO. 69.


cases cultivation should be shallow, but if a proper system of cul-
tivation has been carried on from the first, the roots will not be
too close the surface. This mat of roots is usually disturbed to
some extent, but considering the fact that commercial fertilizers
are used extensively, it is not good policy to cultivate deeply and
break them up too -much. Shallow cultivation should be the rule,
a rule to which there may, of course, be some exceptions.

Spring Cultivation.

As soon as the danger of frosts is past, the banks should be
removed from the trees. The wood left over from the winter's pro-
tection work should either be piled in the tree squares or removed
entirely from the grove and placed against the fence. The former
practice is preferable as it reduces the amount of labor required
in keeping the wood on hand. No detrimental effects come from
allowing the wood to remain in the grove as the soil beneath the
piles is kept moist and in good condition.
If the grove was cultivated in the fall and put in good shape,
but little requires to be done in commencing operations in the
spring. If the soil is inclined to become packed, it would prob-
ably be preferable to give the first cultivation with a cut-away
harrow, following this up with an Acme or Planet Jr. cultivator.
On lighter soils or on those which are in good tilth, the cutaway
harrow may be omitted. During the Spring, the grove should be
cultivated frequently. The dryest weather of the year in Florida
comes during the months of March, April and May, and during
this time the soil should be cultivated at intervals of not more than
ten days. If showers fall, it is by all means advisable to cultivate
after each one, as soon as the ground can be worked.










CULTIVATION OF CITRUS GROVES.


Summer Cultivation.

At the beginning of the rainy season in most parts of Florida
it is advisable that cultivation be discontinued, and in no case
should it be prolonged much past the first or the middle of August.
If beggarweed has been planted as a cover crop and cultivation
has been discontinued after the middle of July, it will add greatly
to the convenience of fall cultivation to have the beggarweed cut
once or twice during the summer. If allowed to grow without in-
terruption throughout the whole season the crop becomes so large
and strong that it is very difficult to incorporate it with the soil
in autumn. Two cuttings can be made, one about the middle of
July and the other about the first of September, after which time
the plants will sprout ana in most cases sufficient seed wiL be
matured to re-seed the ground. The cuttings can be removed for
hay if so desired, but if the soil is rather poor or lacking in humus,
this should not be done, but the crop should be allowed to remain
and dry on th. surface.

Winter Cultivation,

Before the frost period the grove should be cleaned Up. It
has been observed that the presence of grass or weeds in the grove
increases the danger from frost injury very materially and for
this reason the cover crop should be incorporated with the sur-
face soil not later than the middle of November in the Northern
districts, while in the Southern, where damage from frosts does not
occur, it may be allowed to remain on the surface of the ground
until later. If a heavy cover crop has been grown, it is rather
difficult to turn it under. A corn-stalk smasher frequently proves
very useful in breaking up the dry stems. If this is followed by









BULLETIN NO. 69.


a cutaway hairow, or in some cases a very shallow plowing may be
given, it will put the grove in condition for the winter months.
During the winter no cultivation should be given but the grove
should be allowed to remain untouched until the opening of
spring.

Cultivation in Relation to DieBack,

When citrus trees become affected with die-lack, it is usually
aLvisable to discontinue cultivation until such time as the trees
are brought out of the condition. Cultivation seems to favor the
development of the disease, a disorder which is almost certainly
due to the presc2nce of an enzyme in the soil. The fertilizers ap-
plied should be pure chemicals and no organic source of nitrogen
should be used. Hygienic treatment along these lines will usually
bring about a change in the condition of the trees. For further
discussion of the disease, see pages 160 and 161 of Bulletin 53,
Florida Experim'nt S' tion.

Cultivation of Wet Soils.

The treatment of the moist soils of the State must be rad-
ically different from that given the dry soils. Even in the spring
months, many soils in which citrus trees grow in the State are
so charged with moisture that it is by all means advisable to get
rid of some of it. The practice followed by some of the most
successful growers on those soils is to allow the native plants and
herbage to grow up and develop throughout the whole season.
These pump the moisture from the soil and assist materially in
getting rid of the surplus. From time to time during the
spring and summer months, the cover of native herbage should
be cut down and allowed to die and decay on the surface.










CULTIVATION OF CITRUS GROVES.


Implements,

One of the best implements for shallow cultivation is the
Acme harrow. It is excellent for breaking up small lumps and
keeps the surface of the ground in good tilth, at the same time pro-
viding a dust blanket on the surface. The new Acme cultivator,
with a long rod at the center which allows the two sections to be
pushed apart, makes it one of the best implements for grove cul-
tivation. The earth can be cultivated right up to the tree trunks
without the horses interfering with the branches of the trees.
The Planet Jr. implements are very good for grove cultiva-
tion. Among these, the No. 41 Orchard and Universal Cultivator
is a very serviceable implement.
Many different kinds of cultivators are manufactured and in
use. Of the small ones mention may be made of one manufactured
by Mr. T. K. Godbey, of Waldo, Fla.
For early spring cultivation, the cutaway harrow frequently
proves very useful, but it should never be used without being fol-
lowed up with a. cultivator or harrow. Eor shallow cultivation
a-d preserving a dust mulch, some of the weeders should be pro-
vided. These are large and light and permit of very rapid work.
For disposing of a heavy cover crop, a corn stalk smasher fre-
quently proves very useful.
To the implements referred to above, a good plow or two
should be added. These implements are about all that are neces-
sary for the cultivation of a citrus grove in the State of Florida.

Methods of Successful Growers,

The following list of questions was submitted to a number of
successful growers operating on different classes of soils in var-










BULLETIN NO. 69.


ious parts of the State, in order to obtain definite information con-
cerning their methods:
First. Kind of soil and subsoil, distance above water level,
high or low hammock, high pine land or flat woods ? Well drained,
wet or dry? Second. When do you commence cultivation in the
spring? Third. Do you cultivate during the blooming period?
Fourth. When do you cease cultivation? Fifth. What imple-
ments do you use ? Sixth. How often do you cultivate ? Seventh.
Is a cover crop grown? If so, what plant? If you do not allow
a cover crop to grow, how do you supply humus? Eighth. What
fall and winter treatment do you give? Ninth. How often do
you fertilize and at what time ?
The answers to these questions are given below over the signa-
tures of the growers. The methods may be taken as being among
the most progressive and up-to-date now followed 'in the State.
It is well to note that all these growers adopt some plan to main-
tain the humus content of the soll, most of them by growing a
cover crop.
1. Sandy loam on clay subsoil, about eighteen inches to clay.
Distance to ordinary water level, about sixteen feet. Pine land
about half way between high pine and flat woods. Fairly well
drained naturally, but supplemented by a system of open ditches.
2. About April 1st to 15th. Should often commence earlier than
we do except for being rushed with nursery work. 3. Yes, if
we can get at it in time. 4. When rainy season has fairly set in,
in midsummer July 1st to August 1st. 5. Clark Cutaway Har-
row for first one or two cultivations; then theAcme Orchard Har-
row. 6. About every ten days or if extremely dry, once a week.
Yes, beggar weed. We believe beggar weed to be the best
h-imus producing plant for Florida orchards. 8. Beggar weed










CULTIVATION OF CITRUS GROVES.


is either mowed late in the fall, or cut up with a cotton stalk cut-
ter; then plowed under. Trees are banked about eighteen
inches high with earth. 9. We fertilize at time of cultivation,
about April 1st, and again about July lIt, just befo-i ceasing
cultivation.-G. L. Tabor, Glen St. Mary, Fla.
1. Top soil fairly rich, sand and humus for five inches or
a little more, yellow sand below. Distance above water level,
eleven feet. Gray hammock and high pine land, naturally well
drained. 2. As soon as wood can be removed safely and the
banks taken down. 3. Would if it were not for wood and holes
made by banking trees. 4. When summer rains commence,
about June 1st, also fertilize at last working. 5. Half shovel
plow first year or two and after that the cutaway, Alliance and
Spring tooth harrows. 6. As often as I can through the
drouths of late March, April and early May. Sometimes oats
and rye in early winter, beggarweed and grass in summer and
fall. Haul in leaves whenever opportunity offers. 8. 'Bank
trees; fertilize in November and work it in lightly with Clark's
Cutaway harrow. 9. Answered abov.--W. S. Hart, Hawk's
Park, Fla.
1. Scrub hammock, verging on gray hammock. Fifty-six feet
above water level. Dry, very much so. 2. After bloom is set.
3. No. Cultivate from March every two weeks until July or
rainy season-then once a month until October. 5. Scratch har-
row and flat sweeps. 6. Answered under No. 4. 7. No. Supply
humus from hammock rakings. 8. From October till March
none, except scratch harrow the middle of January when I ferti-
lize. 9. Twice a year, middle of January and end of June.
1. Our grove is situated on low cabbage palmetto hammock
land, from two to ten feet above high tide, underlayed with a









BULLETIN NO. 69.


clay subsoil in spots and in other parts with a thin flat rock, about
eighteen inches from the surface. Part of the land is under-
drained, the remainder is well drained with open ditches. Young
portion has been raised on ridges; these ridges are made accord-
ing to the dip of the land which affords surface drainage between
them.
If I could do as I wished we would fertilize and cultivate the
groves the last of October, and not later than the 15th of Novem-
ber, hoeing all trash from around the trees. Then let the trees
remain dormant as long as they would, not stirring the soil until
the bloom had come and fruit set the size of a buckshot. Com-
mence work with a disc harrow, on wheels, (which allows any
depth desired). I should alternate this with the acme harrow
until the rain season sets in (usually the 15th of June), when all
cultivation should cease until October. If grass or weeds grow
luxuriantly I would mow them about two feet high, the first I
let remain as it is cut by the machine. This soon disappears in
the stubble the next time I use the cutting for mulching the trees.
The material rots and gives humus, as does the stubble plowed
under in October. On account of our vegetables, we do our work
when we can spare the time from the vegetable crop. I would
prefer to fertilize three times, in March, June and October. The
groves are seeded to crabgrass, weeds and beggarweed. One
forty-acre block is almost solid Bermuda grass. This we do not
plow, as it is impossible to work it shallow. These trees are hoed
and mulched as much as possible and they are doing fairly well.
-F. D. Waite, Palmetto, Fla.
1. High and low hammock. High scrub, hickory, with pine
trees. 2. February 15th to March 15th, owing to season. Cul-
tivation very slight. 3. No, not at the beginning, but sometimes










CULTIVATION OF CITRUS GROVES.


bloom is still on when we cultivate. 4. When rainy season comes
on. 5. Mowing machine, disc harrow; hoe around the trees. 6.
Weather conditions determine, but as little as possible. 7. No,
don't believe in cover crops. Use mulching around trees as
source of humus. 8. Mow closely, and mulch trees, no cultiva-
tion. 9. Twice a year, Lhree times in some seasons. November,
February or March and in June, July or even August, owing to
weather conditions.
On high hammock and scrub pine land some cultivation with
disc harrow is all right, but on low hammock almost no cultivation
should be the rule, say one, or not more than two chop hoeings in
the year and trees mulched. The minimum of cultivation in
the orange grove to keep the trees healthy and growing enough to
make some new wood at right seasons, but no more is the ideal
method. We must look at our trees, and remembering the ferti-
lizers applied, determine as to the amount of cultivation.-E. P.
Porcher, Cocoa, Fla.
1. I have grown my grove upon high pine land, which from
my observations has proved the most successful for cultivation of
citrus fruits in South Florida. 2. Commence cultivating in
spring as soon as danger of frost ceases. 3. I have cultivated
during the blooming period and have never seen any ill effect.
4. Stop cultivating at the beginning of the rainy season. 5. I
use Planet Junior orchard wheel cultivator for breaking up and
Acme harrow for smoothing down and keeping the surface stirred.
6. I plow my groves in fall turning toward the trees, and again
about the beginning of the rainy season, throwing into beds be-
tween the rows. During the spring months, I keep the surface
well worked and endeavor to stir the land after each rain. I have
my trees hoed around once or twice during the year. 7. I grow









BULLETIN NO. 69.


beggarweed and crabgrass in my grove during the summer sea-
son. 8. After plowing in November and December, I do nothing
to my grove until the approach of spring. 9. Three to four times
during the year. First in the fall just previous to plowing, sec-
ond, in April after the spring growth begins to harden or begin
in July after the second growth has matured. Never fertilize
during the period of the unfurling of growth.-F. W. Inman,
Winter Haven, Fla.
1. Pine and willow oak with chocolate colored sand for sub-
soil. Six to twelve feet to water. Well drained. 2. In past years
have waited until the spring leaves were about grown. Have
been trying nonculture for two years, but now consider the con-
servation of our winter rains the greatest essential and shall begin
cultivation as early as danger of frost is fairly past. 3. Shall
this year. 4. June or July according to size of fruit and color
of leaf. 5. Plow, spading, cutaway and acme harrows. Planet
Junior orchard cultivator, sweep and Junior Acme, shall use the
weeder every ten days during spring drouth and especially as soon
after each rain as the top of the ground begins to dry. 7. Have
had beggarweed in my grove for twelve years, and while it has
improved the soil and saved nitrogen bills, upon the other hand,
the rapid nitrification going on among its roots during the sum-
mer months has produced die-back, resulting in pinching in the
orange trees to such an extent as to outweigh all benefit derived
from it. I now mow twice each year and carry the beggarweed
off for hay. The trees are improving in health. Except by mow-
ing, the amount of nitrogen furnished the trees by beggarweed
cannot always be governed and worst of all the nitrogen is largely
furnished during July, August and September, when most object-
ionable. 8. Plow when cold weather sets in and then try to










CULTIVATION OF CITRUS GROVES.


keep the trees as dormant as possible, but would appreciate a tree
hypnotist, who could put them soundlly to sleep until spring.
9. First about the last of January, using a high percentage of
nitrogen, second, during May, using a small percentage of nitro-
gen and third, in September or October, using little or no nitro-
gen.-C. W. Butler, St. Petersburg, Fla.
1. High, rolling, pine land, about 30 feet to water (dry)..
2. About March. 3. No. 4. September or October. 5. Hoe
for shedded trees, plow outside. 6. Three times. 7. Yes, out-
side. We grow none under the shed. Velvet bean. 8. Bank
outside trees. 9. Twice, in spring and October. Give trees in
shed three pounds twice a year.-H. B. Stephens, DeLand, Fla.
The spring of 1900 found my groves killed to the banks.
The fall of 1902 I sold 800 boxes of oranges and grapefruit from
about 300 trees, 10 to 12 feet high, spread about 10 feet; from
150 smaller trees, 65 boxes. One grove of 300 trees more exposed
lost most of its bloom by late frost.
Since our first big freeze when all the trees went, I handle
my groves in a different way from what I had up until that time.
The velvet bean was introduced and with that the change. Until
then my groves 'were worked and fertilized according to estab-
lished rules.
Last week in January, or thereabout, before the bloom and
growth starts, the plow is run, very shallow, straight along, six
feet away from the tree rows. The strip between the tree rows
is left, never being disturbed, neither by plow nor hoe. Nothing
further is done until about March 1. when all the rest of the land
and the old stubble of last year is planted .as thick as possible
with velvet beans. The vines receive one working with a plow,
no hoeing. They grow, covering everything with a dense mass of










BULLETIN NO. 69.


vines and layer of rotten leaves. An Acme cultivator is run
along the six feet of plowed ground as long as the vines will
permit. Nothing more is done, except to keep the vines from the
trees, and the trees are never plowed. When the cold kills the
vines, they are drawn into piles with the horserake, and later
they are placed around the trees and on the strip between. No
beans are picked, except enough for seed. The trees are banked
by December 1. No other fertilizer than the velvet bean has
been used now for six years or more. Date of writing all trees look
luxuriant, covered with new growth, and extra heavy bloom.
Last fruit was perfect, pronounced by Mr. Arnold, of Jackson-
ville, who bought it all on the trees, as being the best he had
ever handled. I will not claim that I shall never have to use
any other fertilizer, but thus far, there is no indication of the
need of it. Expenses per year are about $25.00, except cost of
banking and removing the same. Peach trees are planted be-
tween most of the orange trees. They receive the same treatment,
cost no extra work, and produced about three pecks to the tree
the third year after planting. Orange trees are sprayed once a
month for rust mite.-H. von Luttichau, Earleton, Fla. Dated
Feb. 16, 1903.

Citrus Growers' Calender,

It is not possible to place each of the distinct sets of opera-
tions connected with the growing of citrus fruits in a separate and
definite place in a calendar, but the following may serve as a
sort of guide.
Propagation Work.-November-December. Cut budwood for
spring work.
March-Insert first buds, unwrap and examine ten days later










CULTIVATION OF CITRUS GROVES.


and rebud those which have not united. Three or four days later
lop off those which have united. Stake and top when from fifteen
to eighteen inches high.
Cultivaoion-January or February-Overhaul all cultivat-
ing implements, make such repairs as are needed and see that
everything is in working order.
March-In exposed sections remove banks about the middle
of this month and either remove wood from groves or pile it
neatly so as to permit cultivation.
March, April, May and June-Cultivate groves (except those
on moist soil) once every week or ten days if the weather be dry.
If showers are scattered through this period, cultivate immediately
after each one.
November--Cultivate lightly once so as to break down grass
and weeds. In exposed situations provide necessary wood for
firing and bank trees.
Spraying for Fungi.-For scab on Satsuma or lemons, spray
Just after the blossoms fall and the fruit is about a quarter of an
inch in diameter. Give two other applications at intervals of two
or three weeks. Use Bordeaux mixture or ammoniacal solution
of copper carbonate.
Spraying for Insects, by H. A. Gossard.
February and March-Spray with potash whale-oil soap for
young scale, red spider, rust mite, and thrips just before bloom
opens. If white fly is present, this will be the third spraying for
the winter brood.
April-Dust with sulphur and lime, using Jumbo Duster.
May-Spray with whale-oil soap-sulphur solution as soon as
white fly larvae are well hatched, killing scales, red spider and
rust mite at the same time. Spray whether white fly is present or
not.









BULLETIN NO. 69.


June-Dust with sulphur and lime.
July-If white fly is present, spray with whale-oil soap. If
only scales and rust mite are present, Hammond's Thrip Juice,
mixed with sulphur solution, can be used at the rate of one part
of Thrip Juice to one thousand parts of soda-sulphur solution.
August-Dust with sulphur and lime.
September-Dust with sulphur and lime.
October-Dust with sulphur and lime.
November or December-Spray with resin wash or whale-oil
soap for white fly and scale. Never spray same tree more than
twice with resin wash in one year.
December-Late in this month spray a second time for white
fly, using resin wash or whale oil soap.
Handling Crop-August and September-Take inventory and
order necessary box materials, hoops, wrappers, stencils and other
suppiles.
September-Overhaul packing house and see that everything
is ready for work. Repair and provide field boxes and all neces-
sary utensils. When season is closed, place everything in order
for the summer months. -1 ripe rot fungus .has been prevalent
i during the season, fumigate the packing house.
Fertitlizing.- Order all fertilizers in good season.
February-Make first application of fertilizer. In northern
citrus belt, apply in March.
June, July-Give second application, if only two are given.
September-If three applications are made, give the third
one the latter part of this month.
TI. HAROLD HUME.
















The following publications of the Florida Experiment Sta-

tion are available for free distribution, and may be secured by

addressing the director of the Experiment Station, University of

Florida, Lake City, Fla.:


Fertilizers.......................... pp. 49
Annual Report .................... 32
Leeches and Leeching ............ 17
Big H ead ........................... 19
Pineapple .......................... 14
Liver Fluke Southern Cattle
Fever............................ 15
The San Jose Scale................ 28
The Culture of Tobacco.......... 28
Cotton and Its Cultivation ........ 4
Orange Groves.................... 33
Insect Enemies ................ .. 96
Insects Injurious to Grain ........ '" 31
Pineapple .......................... 15
Tobacco in Florida................ 63
Strawberries ...... ...... ...... 48
The Fall Army Worm............. 8
The San Jose Scale............... 30
Some Strawberry Insects......... 55


A Chemical Study of Some Typi-
cal Florida Soils.......... ........pp128
Some Common Florida Scales.... 24
Baking Powders................... 15
Some Citrus Troubles............. 35
Pecan Culture...................... 31
Feeding With Florida Feed Stuffs 95
The Cottony Cushion Scale....... 48
Top-working of Pecans........... 124
P om elos........................... 43
Cauliflower... ................... 20
Velvet Beans ...................... 24
Two Peach Scales. ................ 32
Peen-to Peach Group.............. 22
Packing Citrus Fruits.............. Folio
Texas Fever and Salt Sick .......pp. 31
The Kumquats..... ............... 14
The Mandarin Orange Group ..... 32
The White Fly ........... 94
Pineapple Culture. 1. Soils...... 35


PRESS BULLETINS.


1 Directions for Preparation of Bordeaux
Mixture.
2 Lime and Its Relation to Agriculture.
3 Seed Testing.
4 The White Fly.
5 Basic Slag
6 Nursery Inspection (part 1).
7 Nursery Inspection (part 2).
8 Care of Irish Potatoes Harvested in
the Spring and Held for Fall Planting.
9 Sore Head.
10 Plants Affected by Root Knot.
11 Vinegar.
12 Seed Beds and Their Management.
13 Treatment for San Jose Scale.
14 Beef from Velvet Beans and Cassava.
15 and 16 Some Poultry Pests.
17 Preservatives in Canned Goods
18 Cantaloupe Blight.
19 Cut Worms.
20 Hog Cholera and Swine Plague.
21 Parturient Paralysis.
22 Nitrogen as a Fertilizer,


23 Protection Against Drought.
24 Orange Mites.
25 Roup.
26 Lumpy Jaw.
27 Cover Crops.
28 Moon Blindness.
29 Food Adulteration.
30 Dehorning Cattle.
3t Coffee.
32 Foot and Mouth Disease.
33 Red Soldier Bug or Cotton Stainer.
34 Ox Warbles.
35 Butter.
36 Hook Worms in .Cattle.
37 Velvet Bean.
38 Practical Results of Texas Fever Inoc-
ulations.
39 Lung Worms in Swine.
40 and 41 Glanders.
42 Food Adulterations-Spices and Con-
diments.
43 How to Feed a Horse.
44 Tree Planting
45 The Sugar-cane Borer.


















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