APRIL 1, 1911
B. E. McLIN
COMMISSIONER OF AGRICULTURE
Part I-Articles on Soils and the Growing of Various
Crops in Florida.
Part 2--Crop Acreages and Conditions.
Part 3--Fertilizers, Feed Stuffs and Foods and Drugs.
Entered .Jnuary 31,1903, at Tallahassee Florida. as second-class matter
under Act of Congress of June, 1900.
THESE BULLETINS ARE ISSUED FREE TO THOSE REQUESTING THEM
T. J. APPLEYA ,RD. State Printer
COUNTY MAP OF STATE OF FLORIDA
ARTICLES ON SOILS AND THE GROWING OF
VARIOUS CROPS IN FLORIDA.
GENERAL CLASSIFICATION OF
This article is necessarily general in scope and is in-
tended to supply information on this important subject
in a brief way to those seeking such information before
coming to this State to make new homes. With no funds
for immigration purposes, we are limited to small space
in the Bulletin to supply that which every proposed im-
migrant wants and should have, and which we cannot
give in any other way.
The average soil of Florida is sandy, mixed with more
or less clay, lime and organic matter. The greater por-
tion of the lands may be designated as pine lands, be-
cause of the pine timber which predominates. There are
lands on which the timber is a mixture of pine, white
oak, red oak, water oak, live oak, gum, bay, hickory, mag-
nolia, cabbage palmetto, etc.; these lands are termed
mixed hammock lands.
The general classification of soils is in the following
order: First, second and third rate pine lands, and high
hammock, low hammock and swampy lands.
The pine lands cover much the larger portion of the
State, and the soil is apparently all sand, but such is not
the case; over a greater portion of the State this sand is
thoroughly mixed with small particles of shells, which
contain carbonate of lime, other minerals and decom-
posed, finely granulated vegetable matter. It is true that
Florida has her proportion of poor lands, just as have
all other States and countries, but compared with some
other States the ratio is very small. With the exception
of a very small area of supposedly irreclaimable swamp
lands, there is scarcely an acre in the entire State which
cannot be made, under the wonderful influence of her
tropical climate, to pay tribute to man's energy. Lands
which, in a more northerly climate, would be utterly
worthless, will, in Florida, for the reasons above stated,
yield valuable productions.
FIRST-CLASs PINE LANDS.
First-class pine land in Florida is wholly unlike any-
thing found in any other State. Its surface is usually
covered for several inches deep with a dark vegetable
mould, beneath which to the depth of several feet is a
chocolate-colored sandy loam, mixed for the most part
with limestone pebbles and resting upon a substratum of
marl, clay or limestone rock. The fertility and dura-
bility of this character of land may be estimated from
the well-known fact that in the older settled districts
this kind of soil has been cultivated for as many as
twenty years successfully in corn or cotton without a
pound of any sort of fertilizer, and are still as produc-
tive as ever; practically, then, these lands are inde
structible. It is on this class of lands that both truck
and fruit growing is most successful, and which produces
the finest quality of Sea Island cotton. It is also tine
farming land and yields good crops under ordinary meth-
ods of cultivation. By the growing of leguminous plants
these soils and all other pine lands can be continually
kept in a high state of fertility.
SECOND-CLASS PINE LANDS.
The second-class pine lands, which make up the largest
portion of lands, are practically all productive. They are
not hilly, but for the most part undulating in their sur-
face. In some places, however, these elevations amount
to hills. Some of these hills in Hernando County are
regarded among the highest points in the State. Under-
lying the surface of clay, marl, lime rock and sand. These
lands, from their accessibility and productiveness, the
facility of fertilizing with cattle penning and the im-
pression of their greater healthfulness than hammock
lands, have induced their enclosure and tillage, when
the richer hammock lands were near by, but more diffi-
cult to prepare for cultivation.
Some of these lands have no regular compact clay under
them, or, at least, not in reach of plant roots. This fact
is taken frequently as an evidence against them, since the
popular prejudice is decidedly in favor of a clay subsoil,
This objection, if it really be one, is taken for more than
it is worth, for clay proper, or aluminum, as the chem-
ists call it, is not food for plants. Its uses to the plant
are purely mechanical. It serves as a reservoir for the
storage of moisture in times of drought, as well as to
hold firmly the roots of the growing trunk, but not to
feed the hungry or thirsty plant. Sometimes it has been
found in small quantities in the ash of woods, but this
is because the rootlets take up more or less of whatever
salts are in solution about them, and clay has been taken
up in this way, just as poisons may be taken up; for
trees are sometimes killed by pouring poisonous liquids
about their roots, but clay never makes any part of the
organism of plants, nor is it numbered among the ele-
ments which contribute to their growth.
Also a well-established fact as to the value of a clay
subsoil is, thlt without its presence the applied fertiliz-
ers will leach through and be lost. The fertilizers used
are generally lighter than the soils to which they are
applied, or than the water coming down from the clouds.
As the rains fall some of these fertilizers are carried
down, after a time of drought; as the soil fills they are
borne upward again by the waters to the surface, and
both as they go down and come up, whether they be liquid
or gaseous, the humus of soils has a strong absorbing
affinity for them and readily appropriates and retains
them for the uses of the plant when the superabundance
of water has passed away. But if the soil is not filled to
the surface, so as to bring back directly any fertilizer in
solution that was carried down, it is safer there in the
subsoil than on the steep hillsides of clay, where what is
applied is frequently carried away by Ihe floods, together
with Ihe soil, to the vales below. Whereas, what has
gone down in the porous soil is brought back by the
capillary attraction of the surface soil in time of
drought to the reach of the growing crop. One of the
uses of drought is that it thus brings up from the subsoil,
with ihe assistance of shallow cultivation, any mineral
fool Ihat may be there to where it will be in reach of the
IBu light, sandy soils, though they may produce freely
at list, soon give way, and this fact, for frequently it is
a act, is regarded as conclusive as against loose and
porous subsoils, whereas it only proves that these light
soils were not sulliciently supplied with humus and the
limiled supply soon exhausted. Such lands can easily be
esltored to heir original fertility by the use of legu-
minous plants, rotation of crops and careful cultivation;
in faci, by such means they can be vastly improved over
Iheir original condition.
TiiIRD-CLASS PINE LANDS.
Even the lands of the "third rate," or most inferior
class, are by no means worthless under the climate of
Florida. This class of lands may be divided into two
orders; the one comprising high, rolling, sandy districts,
which are sparsely covered with a stunted growth of
''lack jack" and pine, and, near the lower east coast,
scrub hickory and gualberry shrubs. It is also on much
similar soils along the east coast that the finest pine-
apples are produced; the other embracing low, flat
swampy regions, which are frequently studded with "bay
ganls," and are occasionally inundated, but which are
covered with luxuriant vegetation, and very generally
with considerable quantities of valuable timber. The for-
mer of these, it is now ascertained, is also well adapted
to the growth of Sisal Hemp, which is a valuable tropical
production. This plant (the Agave Sisalana), and the
Agave Mexicana, also known as Maguey, the Pulque
Plant, the Century Plant, etc.. have both been intro-
duced into Florida, and they have both grown in great
perfection on the poorest lands of the country. As these
plants derive their chief support from the atmosphere,
they will, like the common air plant, preserve their vitality
for many months when left out of the ground.
The second order of the third-rate pine lands are not
entirely worthless, as these lands afford fine cattle ranges
and in some localities large tracts of timber adapted to
the manufacture of naval stores and milling purposes.
Just here we feel that it is not out of place to say a few
words concerning the topography and influence of these
lands on the health of the inhabitants thereon. A general.
feature in the topography of Florida, which no other
country in the United States possesses, and which affords
great security to the health of its inhabitants, is that the
pine lands which form the basis of the country, and which
are almost universally healthy, are nearly everywhere
studded, at intervals of a few miles, with hammock lands
of the richest quality. These hammocks are not, as is
generally supposed, low, wet lands; they never require
ditching or draining, they vary in extent from a few acres
to many thousand acres; hence, the inhabitants have it
everywhere in their power, when desired, to select resi-
dences in the pine lands, at such convenient distances
from the hammocks as will enable them to cultivate the
latter without endangering their health, if it should so
happen that the hammock lands appeared to be less
healthy than the pine lands.
Experience in Florida has satisfactorily shown that
residences only half a mile distant from cultivated ham-
mocks are entirely exempt from malarial disease, and
those who cultivate these hammocks and retire at night
to pine land residences maintain perfect health. Indeed,
it is found that residences in the hammocks themselves
are generally perfectly healthy after they have been one
or two years cleared. Newly cleared lands are sometimes
attended with the development of more or less malaria,
a fact that, under similar conditions, is no more peculiar
to Florida than any other State. In Florida the diseases
'which result from these clearings ire generally of the
mildest type of billions fever.
The topographical feature here no ed, namely ; a general
interspersion of rich lhammocks, surrounded by high, dry,
rolling, hicalhli pine woods. is a ii dvait alge which no
other Statp- in tin' Union enjoys; and Florida forms, in
this respect, a striking contrast viih some other South-
ern Sltles whose sugar and :(t,(on lands are generally
surrounded by vast :alluvial regions subject to frequent
inundations, so that ii is impossible to obtain, within
many miles of them, a healthy residence.
At first thought it woli;d seem improbable to many
people that the malarial diseases of Florida (abounding
in these rich hammock lands and exposed to a tropical
ann), should so generally bie of a much milder form than
those which prevail in more northern latitudes. But
such, however, is the fact. It is suggested, in explana-
tion of Ihis fact, that the IuxIrviant vegetation which, in
the Southern and Middle Stales, passes through all the
stages of decomposition, is, in Florida, generally dried up
before it reaches the stage of decomposition, and that,
consequently, the quality of malaria generated is much
less than in climates more favorable to decomposition.
This view is strengthened by the fact that the soil of
Florida is, almost everywhere, of so lporons and absorbent
a character that moisture is seldom long retained on its
surface, that its atmosphere is in constant motion, and
that there is more clear sunshine than in the more north-
ern States. It is further suggested that the uniform
prevalence of sea breezes, and the constant motion of the
atmosphere in the Peninsula, tends so much to diffuse and
attenuate whatever malaria is generated that it will
generally produce only the mildest form of malarial dis-
eases, such as intermittent fever.
The lands which in Florida are universally denomi-
nated "rich lands" are. first, the "swamp lands;"
second, the "low hammock lands;" third, the "high
hammocks." and fourth, the I;. -I rate pine, oak and hick-
The swimp lainds are. unquiestion1bly, the iosi- dura-
ble rich lands in Ile State. They are the most recently
formed lands, and are s!iil annnually receiving additions
to their surface. They are intrinsically Ihle most valu-
able lands, because they are as fertile as the ha'mmrock
ar.d more durable. They are alluvial in character and
occupy n:l-atur depressions, or basins, which have gradu-
ally filled up by deposits of vegetable debris, etc., washed
_n from the adjacent and higher lands. Drainage is in
dispensable to all of them in their preparation for suc-
cessful cultivation. Properly prepared, however, their
inexhaustible fertility sustains a succession of ihe most
exhausting crops with astonishing vigor. These lands
have been known to produce as much as 600 gallons of
syrup, or about 5,000 pounds of sugar, per acre, without
fertilizer. We mention sugar cane in this connection as
showing the fertility of the soil. because it is known to
le one of the most exhausting crops: It is not, however,
quite fair to make this the measure of fertility of similar
lands situated in different climates and countries, for
we find on the richest lands in the State of Louisiana, the
product of sugar is little more than about half what it is
But this great disparity in the product of these coun-
tries is counted for, not by any inferiority in the lands
of Louisiana or Texas, but by the fact that the early
visitations of frosts in both these States render it neces-
sary to cut the cane in October, which is long before it
has reached maturity, while in Florida it is permitted to
stand, without fear of frost, till the last of November or
December, or till such time as it is fully matured. It is
well known that it "tassels" in South Florida, and it
never does so in either Louisiana or Texas. When cane
"tassels," it is evidence of its having reached full ma-
turity. In consequence of the considerable outlay of
capital required in the preparation of this description of
land for cultivation, and from the facility formerly ex-
isting for obtaining hammock land, which requires no
ditching or draining, swamp land has been but little
sought after by persons engaged in planting in Florida
until in recent years; now, however, there is a great and
ever-increasing demand for these lands by individuals
and incorporated companies, thus suddenly recognizing
their immense productive value.
The greater part of what are known as swamp lands
proper are mostly located in East and South Florida,
although there are numerous and quite extensive bodies
in North, Middle and West Florida.
While the soils of this region differ little in their gen-
eral characteristics, from the swamp lands above consid-
ered, still, owing to their prominence as such and as the
greatest reclamation undertaking in recent times, also
their unique geographical position, we submit a brief de-
scription under their own heading. These lands are being
rapidly and successfully drained by the State. as well as
by private and corporate owners.
"The Everglades of Florida cover an area of about
4,000 square miles, embracing more than half of the
portion of the State south of Lake Okeechobee. The
subsoil of this vast region is a coraline limestone. *
Upon this surface lies an immense accumulation of sand,
alluvial deposits and decayed vegetable matter, forming
a mass of sand and mud from two feet to ten feet or
more in depth, that overspreads all but a few points of
the first strata."
"UIpo tlie mud rests a sheet of water, the depth vary-
ing with the conformation of the bottom, but seldom at
dry seasons greater than three feet. The whole is filled
with rank growth of coarse grass, eight or ten feet high,
having a serrated edge like a saw, from which it obtains
its name of 'Saw Grass.' "
In many portions of the Everglades the saw grass is so
thick as to be almost impenetrable, but it is intersected
by numerous and tortuous channels that form a kind of
labyrinth, where outlets present themselves in every
direction, however, terminating at long or short dis-
tamnes in apparently impenetrable barriers of grass. The
surface of water is quickly affected by rain, the alternate
rising and falling during the wet seasons being rapid.
The difference of level between highest and lowest stages
of wa\er is from two to three feet. The general surface
of the Everglades was thus subject to great changes prior
to the inauguration of the system of drainage now so
successfully under way. Small keys, or, in reality, ham-
mocks. are here and there met with, which are dry at all
seasons; upon them the soil is very rich. There are many
such. Undoubtedly 1hey were often made the site of In-
Laige areas, covering many square miles, which but a
few years ago were marshes covered with saw grass and
rushes, are now o!j n meadows, dry all seasons, excepting
the rainy months. .iir..11 ii; pasture for many thousand
heads of cattle. The fall or rapids at the heads of all
streams running from the Glades have receded towards
the center of the Glades and Lake Okeechobee several
The Florida Everglades at present may be described as
a wet prairie, being a strip of land about one hundred
and fifty miles long by fifty-five miles wide, and lying
between the pine and swamp lands which have grown
over two reefs of rock running parallel with each other
from North to South. No rivers penetrate into the Glades
beyond ihese rock reefs on either sife and the land is very
level, being composed chiefly of muck and sand lying in a
basin with a rock bottom. The annual rainfall over this
territory averages nearly sirty inches. It has for this
reason, and because this rainfall has no other outlet over
these reefs, been and is too wet for cultivation. The
muck which overlies the sand and rock varies from about
two feet on the edge of the Glades to a depth of twenty
feet in the middle, and would average over the whole
territory a deplh of betw een six and eight feet. The land
is free from trees and Sinmps and almost free from
bushes; the item of clea-ing being of no consideration
whatever, simply requiring mowing down the grass and
burning it, whei Ihe soil is ready to be tilled, as soon
as the excess water is run off by the drainage canals.
The soil, as compared with other portions of the coun-
try, taking into consideration its natural richness, loca-
tion and climate, is more valuable for agricultural pur-
poses than any that is known, being particularly adapted
to the growth of cane, cotton, Irish potatoes, celery, toma-
toes, cabbage, turnips, beets, onions and, in fact, any crop
will grow well on these lands except such as require a
The composition of the soil being almost entirely de-
composed vegetable matter, is rich in nitrogen, but lack-
ing to a great extent in the mineral constituents neces-
sary to make a perfect soil; consequently, phosphoric
acid and potash will have to be supplied in varying quan-
tities for a majority of crops, in some of these muck soils,
especially where rock or clay is absent or too far below
the surface to exert any appreciable influence. With
these additions, when necessary, however, these soils will,
without doubt, be the most productive in this country,
and the equal of any in the world. Without the addition
of the chemical fertilizers mentioned, these soils will not
equal in productiveness the first grade of swamp lands.
Low hammocks, which are practically swamp lands, are
not inferior to swamp lands proper, in fertility, but are
considered not quite so desirable. They are mostly level,
or ne. rly so, and have a soil of greater tenacity than that
of the high hammocks. Some ditching is necessary in
imany of them. The soil in them is always deep. These
lands are also extremely well adapted to the growth of
cane, corn and, in fact, all vegetable crops, nor are these
soils as subject to the effects of prolonged drought as
higher lands. There is not nearly so large a proportion
of low hammock as there is of swamp lands.
High hammocks are the lands in greatest favor in Flor-
ida. These differ from low hamocks in occupying
higher ground and in generally presenting an undulating
surface. They are formed of .a fine vegetable mould,
mixed with a sandy loam, in many places several feet
deep, and resting in most cases on a substratum of clay,
marl or limestone. It will be readily understood by any-
one at all acquainted with agriculture that such a soil,
in such a climate as Florida, must be extremely pro-
ductive. The soil scarcely ever suffers from too much
wet, nor does drought affect it in the same degree as
other lands, owing to its clay subsoil. High hammock
lands produce with but little labor of cultivation all the
crops of the country in an eminent degree. Such lands
have no tendency to break up in heavy masses, nor are
they infested with weeds.
To sum up its advantages, it requires no other prepara-
tion than clearing and plowing to fit it at once for the
greatest possible production of any kind of crop adapted
to the climate. In unfavorable seasons it is much more
certain to produce a good crop than any other kind of
land, from the fact that it is less affected by exclusively
dry or wet weather. It can be cultivated with much less
labor than any other lands, being remarkably melow,
and its vicinity is generally high and healthy. These
reasons are sufficient to entitle it to the estimation in
which it is held over all other lands.
Some of the counties in Middle Florida, Gadsden, Leon,
Madison and Jefferson, and Jackson, Holmes and Wash-
ington Counties, in West Florida, have large areas of fine
high hammock land, underlaid with a stiff clay. These
are the best lands of the State for the growth of short-
staple cotton and are, indeed, the cream of the State for
general farming purposes. They are of the earliest form-
ation of the Florida lands. As before stated, areas of
these lands in varying extent are found in every section
of the State, in almost every county.
Some of the largest bodies of rich hammock land in
East Florida are to be found in Levy, Alachua, Columbia,
Marion, Hernando, Citrus, Pasco and Sumter Counties.
There are in Levy county alone not less than one hun-
dred thousand acres of the very best description of lands
adapted to sugar cane culture, and there is but a small
proportion of any of the counties, here mentioned, that
will not produce remunerative crops of short-staple and
Sea Island cotton without the aid of manure.
The first rate pine, oak and hickory lands are found
in pretty extensive bodies in many parts of the State.
From the fact that these lands can be cleared at much
less expense than the swamp and hammock lands, they
have generally been preferred by the small farmers and
have proved remarkably productive.
I'ltA IIE LANDS.
There are, besides the lands already noticed, extensive
tracts of prairie lands, which approximate in character,
texture of the soil, and period and mode of formation, to
the swamp lands, differing only in being practically desti-
tute of timber. Some of these lands are, however, ex-
tremely poor and non-productive, owing mostly to a sub-
strata of hardpan, clay, which is impervious to moisture
and impenetrable alike to the roots of fruit trees or
plants. When the hardpan comes as near to the surface
as, say, seven or eight feet, the growing of citrus fruit
trees is not advisable. When it comes no nearer than,
say, four feet, and surface drainage is good, vegetable
growing can be made successful with proper cultivation
and fIrtilization. The most of these lands afford excellent
pastures during lihe grealer part of the year. In fact,
it is ihis class of lands that make up the great cattle
ranges of the State, on which hundreds of thousands of
cattle thrive the year around. These lands are found in
tracts of varying extent in every section of the State, but
in Southern Florida, in Southern Hillsborough County;
in Manatee, in the great Myaka River prairie region, in
southern Polk County, and in DeSoto, Osceola, Brevard
and Lee Counties, which include the Alifia, Kissimmee
and Caloosahatchie River valleys, is found the greatest
grazing region east of the Mississippi River. The cli-
mate is perfect, never cold enough to kill the grasses,
which grow as green in January as in June, and where
water is in bountiful supply at all seasons of the year.
EASE OF CULTIVATION.
Perhaps the most attractive feature peculiar to the
soils of Florida is the ease with which they can be culti-
vated as compared with stiff, heavy soils of other States,
while quite as fertile. Another is that the greater part
of the farm labor and tillage can be, and much of it is,
performed during those months of the year when the
ground further north is frozen. Still another peculiarity
is, lhat fertilizers can be applied to greater advantage,
because the fertilizing material will remain in the soil
until the stimulating chemical ingredients are assimi-
lated and absorbed into the earth and are not carried
away by washing rains, as they are in broken or moun-
tainous countries, and also because the porosity of the
soil enables the atmosphere, through oxidization, more
readily to aid the 'frtilizers in the work of decomposing
the minerals of the soil, thus setting free the food ele-
ments they contain for the use of the growing crops.
TIHE CITRUS GROVE, ITS LOCATION
BY P. H. ROLFS, M. S.
Director Florida Agricultural Experiment Station, and
State Superintendcnt of Farmers' Institutes,
University of Florida, Gainesville.
CHOOSING A LOCATION.
The character of Florida soils is variable to a consider-
able extent. Even in the same vicinity various kinds of
soils may occur. These vary from a clay to loamy, sandy,
and marly soils. Some of them, also, are muck soils.
Clay Soil is one of the best for citrus-growing when it
is found in a warm region. Less fertilizer is required
and the trees are productive, bearing an unusually fine
quality of fruit if the soil is properly handled.
Loaming Soil.-This is the character of the soil that is
most largely employed for citrus-growing and with best
results Elsewhere this soil might be referred to as sandy
loam. It contains a considerable admixture of clay and
organic matter, with a large body of sand.
Sandy Soil, or sandy land as it is often called, is usually
free from a perceptible admixture of either vegetable
matter or clay. For the most part it tends to be lacking
in water and fertilizer-holding power. When it is almost
pure sand it appears white, and is usually considered an
Marly Soils occur in some sections. After a consider-
able amount of humus has been worked into the stiff
marl, they make good soils for citrus trees. In their
original state, the marly soils are apt to produce an in-
different growth in the young trees, usually causing them
to suffer more or less from dieback. scale insects, and
other such disorders. This condition, however, passes off
as the soil becomes more thoroughly tilled and has more
vegetable matter incorporated in it.
Muckl Soils are not the ideal soils upon which to plant
citrus trees, since they are inclined to be sour, to produce
an exuberant growth, and for a number of years to give
rough and imperfect fruit. After muck lands have been
cultivated for a number of years and brought into a
thorough state of tilth, they produce excellent crops of
citrus fruits, unless the mucks remain raw in form and
contain a considerable amount of humic acid.
THE NATURAL GROWTH AS AN INDEX.
Tlamnoclc.-It is in our native hammocks that the wild
citrus groves occur. In some regions thousands of trees
have been transplanted from these old native groves to
higher lands. In other places the hammocks were cleaned
up, leaving the orange seedlings standing, to be budded
over to the better varieties. These wild trees were always
found to be the sour orange. At the present time the
hammock lands are regarded as the ideal ones for citrus
culture. The great cost necessary to clear these up thor-
oughly has in many cases deterred people from making
use of them.
Rolling Pine.-The higher pine lands, more or less roll-
ing, upon which long-leaf pine trees are growing, give us
some of the best citrus lands we have in the State. These
lands are easily cleared, and quickly brought into service
for setting out to citrus trees. They are usually suffi-
ciently drained naturally to permit the citrus groves to
grow off promptly and produce a lot of fine fruit. They
are less desirable than the hammocks, on account of re-
quiring a larger amount of fertilizer to bring the trees
into bearing. After years of cropping, however, they will
require little or no more fertilizer than the adjacent
Cabbage Palmetto Haninock.-These hammocks differ
from the hammocks proper in that they are usually more
or less covered with water for a part of the year. The
cabbage palmetto is the predominating tree. Wherever
the land is high enough above the adjacent water, these
lands may be drainedd and brought into service for citrus
culture. When properly handled, they make among our
best citrus groves.
Shlcl H1 anaock.-These difier from the other forms of
hammock in Itant the soil is composed, to a greater or less
degree, of shell. The trees usually grow off promptly
and make a good showing, but sooner or later are apt to
be :I!...- '.! severely with dieback; and while in many
cases most excellent fruit is raised on shell hammocks
they require a special and careful treatment. This char-
acter of land may safely be used by those who are expert
in handling citrus trees.
Drained Lands.-Lake beds and other lands, sometimes
called prairie, that are high enough to permit of thorough
drainage, have been used to a considerable extent for
planting to citrus. In these lands it is purely a question
as to whether they are sufficiently high to permit of thor-
ough drainage during the rainy portion of the year.
Pine Land, 1ith Oak Undcrgrowzth.-Some of the pine
land, frequently called second-grade pine land, especially
that which has a considerable undergrowth of scrub oaka,
must be looked upon with some suspicion. Where clay is
found within two or three feet from the surface, this char-
acter of soil can be safely employed for locating a citrus
grove, but where the sand is very deep it will be prefer-
able to choose a location elsewhere.
Flath'oods.-This character of land is usually level and
more or less covered with water during the rainy season.
As a rule, a hardpan occurs from a few inches to a few
feet below the surface. This prevents rapid and thorough
drainage. Saw palmettoes are usually absent or scattered
on this character of land. The predominating under-
growth is gallberry. By hardpan, we should understand
a more or less impervious stratum occurring in the soil
at a depth of a few inches or a few feet. It obstructs the
passage of water downward, and also obstructs the down-
ward progress of the roots, causing the soil to become
water-logged during the rainy period, and probably very
dry during a period of drought. This hardpan may be
made up of various matters, either calcareous, siliceous
or ferruginous. The cementing material usually breaks
up and lets the sand fall apart when exposed to the air.
If the hardpan is of a ferruginous nature, it is more or
less poisonous to citrus trees. Various methods have been
adopted for bringing into cultivation land that has a
hardpan under it. Sometimes this hardpan has been
broken through by means of plowing. In such cases the
hardpan was near the surface and in a thin layer. In
other cases, the surface soil has been mounded up so as to
put the trees on ridges. In a few cases the hardpan has
been broken by discharging dynamite under the trees.
Iron salts as they normally occur in the soil have a
yellowish or reddish color. Where these colors occur, the
darker colored iron hardpans are not likely to be present,
consequently it is sometimes concluded that a reddish or
yellow soil indicates one especially favorable for agricul-
tural purposes. These flatwoods lands, when thoroughly
and deeply drained and the hardpan broken, make a fair
place for producing citrus fruit.
Sprucc-Pine Land.-The spruce-pine land, as well as
the scrub-oak land, should not be employed for citrus-
growing at the present time. Splendid citrus orchards
occur on lands of this kind, but they have been brought
out by experts and at the cost of much more than would
have been necessary on lands better adapted for citrus-
growing. In addition to this, these lands produce trees
that are subject to many disorders.
SITE OF THE GROVE.
Immediately upon deciding that one wishes to plant a
grove, he should select the best site that can be procured.
A great many questions arise in determining where a
grove shall be located. A few of these are discussed
Distance From Transportation Line.-The ultimate
('li. I being the selling of fruit at a remunerative figure,
it becomes necessary to locate a grove within a reasonable
distance of some line of railroad or water transportation.
The distance which it will be profitable to transport fruit
by wagon will depend largely upon the condition of the
Another determining factor in the matter is the cost
of the land. A grove of moderate-sized trees, heavily
loaded, should produce a thousand boxes of oranges to
the acre. Allowing fifty boxes to a load, this would re-
quire twenty trips to the transportation station. If a
grove were located three miles away from the station, it
would probably take oe n man with a two-horse team six
days to haul this fruit. If located one-half that distance,
it would require only three or four days. Allowing about
i4 a day for this work, the hauling of the fruit from the
moi c distant grove would increase the cost about -8 per
acre. which amount must lie charged as an annual tax.
From this the intending purchaser can readily calculate
how nm ie more lie can aTfford lo pay proportionately for
laiin in close proximity to the railroad station.
Front Prolcction.-There are no parts of Florida that
are enirely lfee from occasional frosts, a(nd in some parls
of tle State freezing weather may lie expected to occur
during every winter. There are a few isolated places,
however, that are so favorably located that freezing
weather is of rare occurrence.
Inder ordinary circumstances, a drop in temperature
to 28 degrees and a continuation of this for several hours
will not freeze citrus fruit. If, however, the drop goes
lower, say to about 26 or 25 degrees, serious damage is
apt to result, especially if it is long continued. A drop in
temperature of 21 degrees is not likely to prove seriously
damaging to trees unless it is of continued duration.
Trees in a thoroughly dormant condition will pass through
a temperature of 18 degrees without the loss of much
wood, but, as a rule, a considerable amount of foilage is
lost at that temperature. This, however, varies with
different varieties and with the conditions of the tree
and the duration of the cold. Even if it does go to freez-
ing, a sudden drop in the temperature and a continuation
of it for a number of days proves rather disadvantageous
to the health of the citrus grove. It is, therefore, very
desirable to have some form of protection against cold.
later Protection.-Water protection proves to be one
of lie best shelters against occasional cold days in winter.
It has been found that regions located in large bodies of
water, or with a northern, eastern and western protection
of water. are much less subject to drops in temperature
than those that are exposed. Quite a number of such
places may be found as far north as 29 degrees 45 minutes
of latitude. Even north of this region some fine groves
occur that have been protected by artificial means. Far-
ther soiuh, at about the 2Sth parallel of latitude, a num-
ber of locations have been found where water has pro-
tected the trees, and in some cases even the fruit, against
the most severe cold that we have had.
Hanmmock Protclhion.-Quite a number of citrus grow-
ers in the State have found that hammock protection is
quite as feasible as water protection. By locating in a
large hanmmock and securing the surrounding lands, citrus
growers have cut out small tracts in the hammock varying
from five to ten acres in extent and planted these in citrus
trees, leaving these small groves entirely surrounded by
hammock trees. To make such a plan practicable, it is
necessary to own the surrounding hammock; otherwise,
one would have no control over the hammock trees which
he wishes to use as protection against cold.
SHELTER FROMI SEA WINDS.
Around the coast of Florida the bleak sea winds are
damaging to citrus trees and citrus fruits. The direct
influence of the sea breezes is to cause the atmosphere and
soil to become dry. This stunts the grove and in some
cases makes it absolutely impossible for the trees to
attain a size that will enable them to bear a profitable
crop. in some cases, where groves have been planted in
such exposed places, it has become necessary to erect an
artificial windbreak. This being built ten or twelve feet
high, affords the first row protection against the sea
breezes. Each row then successively forms a protection
for the succeeding row.
In addition to the direct influence of the sea winds, we
also have the indirect effect in causing the fruit to become
torn, scratched, bruised, or otherwise mutilated, and unfit
for market purposes. The foilage, and especially the
rapidly growing young shoots, are likely to be seriously
damaged by mechanical injury from the sea winds. Where
it becomes desirable to plant a grove within the influence
of the sea winds, it is very important that a strip of ham-
mock should be left as a wind protection. If this is not
available, a protecting row of trees should be planted.
The native bay tree resists the influence of the sea winds
well, but probably a much better tree for the purpose is
PREPARltNG THE LAND.
Clearing the Ficld.-In preparing for a citrus orchard,
it is important that all native trees, stumps and other
material should be removed from the soil. A few cab-
bage palmettoes may be left for nurse trees for some time,
but there should not be a large number, certainly not
more than one hundred to one hundred and fifty to the
acre, and, of course, all of those occurring in the rows
where trees should stand ought to be removed. Liveoaks
and especially pines are found to be very injurious to the
growth of citrus trees.
It is not impossible for a person to make a good grove
in a field that is full of stumps and debris. The chances,
however, are much against his making a success. He
would be the exception to the rule if he did so.
Breaking and Plowicir.-After the field has been thor-
oughly grubbed and freed from all obstructions in sight,
the next important step is to plow the land thoroughly.
During this operation a large amount of roots and under-
ground trash will be turned up. This should be removed
and burned. Weeds, grass and stuff that will decay rap-
idly can be left on the ground and be plowed under to
good advantage. It is important to have a 'arge plow
and sullicient horse power to do the work thoroughly. A
fourteen or sixteen-inch plow, or, better still, a thirty-
inch disc plow, will be found useful.
Previous Cropping.-Most people who are intending to
put out a citrus grove become impatient for a crop and,
consequently, are too much in a hurry to plant trees. The
severe change that has taken place on the land by the
removal of the forest and the burning of the stumps has
set up a disturbance in the soil. The land, therefore, is
in most cases unfit to receive anything but the most
vigorous plants. If the field is prepared in time to be
planted to a crop of vegetables, this is highly advisable.
These vegetables will be less affected by the adverse con-
ditions than are the citrus trees, and even if they should
be adversely affected it would mean only the loss of one
crop and would not be communicated to the succeeding
years. If the season is not a proper one for planting out
vegetables, the field may be planted to some farm crop,
especially a cover crop, such as velvet beans, cowpeas or
beggarweed. If a good crop of velvet beans has been
grown upon the soil, we are pretty certain to have it in
first-class condition for setting out to citrus trees. In addi-
tion to putting the soil in good condition, the velvet
beans will add a large amount of ammonia to the soil,
requiring 'ess of this element in the fertilizer to be ap-
plied to the trees when set out.
Catch Crops..-Duriug the succeeding year vegetables
and farm crops may be profitably planted between the
rows of citrus trees. One should, however, not lose sight
of the fact that the citrus orchard is the main project
under consideration, and that these catch crops must be
removed or entirely destroyed if they in any way inter-
fere with the health and growth of the citrus trees. After
the vegetable crop has been removed from the citrus grove
the middles may be planted to velvet beans, cowpeas or
beggarweed. These plants will continue to add ammonia
to the soil, prevent leaching by heavy rains and finally
return to the soil a large amount of humus, which is very
much needed to produce growth and health in citrus trees.
It is, however, entirely possible to get so much organic
ammonia in the soil as to cause dieback in the small trees.
When this occurs, the planter loses from one to two years'
time in the growth of his trees.
Perfect Drainage Nccessary.-One of our foremost
agriculturalists in the State has said that there is not an
acre of land in the State of Florida that does not need
draining; that even the steep clay hillsides would be im-
proved by being underlaid with tile drains. Our general
experience has been that when people speak of land as
being perfectly drained they mean that it is perfectly
drained during the dry part of the year, and forget alto-
gether about the rainy part of the year, which is the
critical season. A grove site should be so perfectly
drained, naturally and artificially, as to never allow the
soil water to stand above two feet from the surface at
any time. Several instances are known where groves
located on the top of a hill, seventy-five feet above a lake,
had standing water in the soil during the rainy season.
Such trees as are within the influence of this water neces-
sarily becomes weakened by the exclusion of oxygen and
interference with the bacterial life in the soil. For the
orange grove as a whole, surface drainage appears to be
the cheapest and most profitable. Tile drains are likely
to become clogged by citrus roots, and much damage may
result before the grower recognizes the defect,
Irrigabi'on.-Wihile much good can be done by conserv-
ing the moisture in the soil, occasional years occur, how-
ever, when the drought becomes so severe that if one had
an irrigating plant the advantages derived from it would
be sufficient to pay for the whole outfit; and during
about three years out of five a sufficient number of
droughts occur to make a good irrigating plant very de-
sirable. The type of plant to use depends very much
upon one's own inclinations and the amount of money he
has to spend. Furrow irrigation, as practiced in Cali-
fornia, is entirely practicable and has been used to some
extent in Florida. This is the cheapest method, and the
one which will doubtless be generally adopted.
Object.-Too many grove owners look upon cultivation
in the light taken by a certain colored boy, who, when
asked what he was cultivating for, replied: "Seventy-five
cents a day." During a money stringency the first thing
the grove owner does in many cases is to cut down the
amount of cultivation. We cultivate an orange grove to
admit air into the soil, as a first requisite, to keel) up the
bacterial life; and, secondly, to conserve the moisture
Gcr,i Action.-Plants in general take up the ammonia
in the soil in the form of nitrates. These nitrates, to a
large extent, are formed from broken-down vegetable
matter. They are prepared by the organisms constantly
present in the soil. Nearly all of our fertilizers applied
to the trees must go through this breaking down process.
Possibly the only exception to this is when we use nitrate
of soda and nitrate of potash. To secure the best results
the nitrifying bacterial must be present in the soil in suffi-
cient quantity. The temperature of the soil must range
somewhere between 40 and 130 degrees F., the most favor-
able soil temperature being about 98 to 99 degrees. A
reasonable amount of moisture is necessary, and there
must be a free circulation of air. The nitrates are most
rapidly formed in the soil near the surface, especially in
the first six inches. The depth at which the largest
amount of nitrates are formed varies with the condition
of the soil. From this it will be seen that nitrates are
forming rather rapidly in our soils during almost the
Conserving Moisture.-Another important reason for
cultivating is to conserve the moisture of the soil. To
make the fertilizer applied available to the plant, it be-
comes necessary for these substances to be placed in solu-
tion. In the absence of moisture in the soil the fertilizer
applied to the grove will be as useless as if left in the
bag. On the other hand, if too large an amount of mois-
ture be present, the plants are unable to get a sufficient
amount of the chemical elements in the water that is
being absorbed. Conservation of moisture by cultivation
is best accomplished by using some light implement that
will work rapidly over the soil, breaking the crust or
stirring the already loose surface soil, forming what is
usually spoken of as the soil mulch. The appended table
shows the effect o(, cultivation and non-cultivation on
lands that would it considered fairly good citrus lands.
During the year when these tests were being made there
was a very great deficiency in the rainfall; in fact during
the four months following the first of January, there was
only one rainfall that amounted to enough to wet the soil:
MOISTURE IN CULTIVATED AND UNCULTIVATED LAND.
April 18, 1908.
First foot .........
Second foot .......
Third foot .......
Fourth foot ......
age. per acre.
April 24. 1908.
age. per acre.
First foot .........
Second Foot .......
Third foot ........
Fourth foot ........
.... 423. .... 412.2
Cultivated land, average ............ 418.0 tons
Uncultivated land, average ........242.8 tons.
Diff. in favor of cultivated land 175.2 tons of water,
or 11/3 in. of rain.
The above table shows that an amount of moisture
equal to one and one-half inches of rainfall may be con-
served by plowing and cultivating.
Increasing Humus Content.-The humus is the dark-
colored material which occurs in practically all soils to a
greater or less extent. Sandy soils almost devoid of
humus are very white. When a large amount of humus
is added to such a soil, it takes on a dark color. Our
pure muck or peat beds may be said to be pure beds of
humus, though the decaying vegetable matter at this
period of its transition is not usually spoken of as humus,
but rather as peat. In the next stage of its decay it
takes on more of an earthy character, and is then spoken
of as humus. All forms of animal and vegetable matter
take this form before changing into distinctly inorganic
substance. Large roots, roots of crops, stalks of crops,
and similar growth, are useful in increasing the humus
of the soil. The most useful of our humus-supplying
plants are the legumes. Foremost among these is the
velvet bean. Cowpeas and beggarweed are also excellent
for citrus groves.
Eltins in the soil improves its mechanical condition
by making a compact soil looser and more permeable to
the roots of the plants. It gives the lkachy soil a water-
holding capacity and, therefore, a capacity for holding
plant-food, especially such as has been supplied in the
form of fertilizers. It furnishes a convenient location
and food for the useful micro organism which prepare
the fertilizers for the citrus trees. In addition to the
above advantages an increase in the humus content of the
soil increases the soil warmth.
From what has been said in the foregoing paragraph,
it should not be considered that humus is an unmixed
blessing. Too large a supply of humus in a grove will
cause dieback, and in a fruiting grove it is likely to pro-
duce what the orange growers properly know as anmio-
niatcd fruits, as well as dieback. Consequently, the citrus
fruit grower must not attempt to push his trees too rap-
idly, and must also be careful to have his soil thoroughly
drained (drainage for the rainy season), in order that the
life processes in the soil may go on in a normal way.
KINDS OF CULTURE.
There is probably no other subject in citrus-growing
that formerly elicited so much heated discussion as did
the question of the time and kind of cultivation. Usually
the debaters ignored entirely the kind of soil, the char-
acter of their land, and the length of time during which
they had practiced their particular hobbies. We, there-
fore, find that the sects were divided into practically three
schools: The perfectly clean culture men, who considered
it a disgrace to have a sprig of grass visible in their
groves; the school who argued that since our wild trees
never were cultivated in the native state, therefore the
grove Irees should not be cultivated; later, a third school
sprang up that considered it entirely proper to cultivate
during the drier part of the year, but ceased cultivation
altogether during the rainy part of the year. It speaks
well for the hardihood of the orange tree to be able to
endure and produce a paying crop under all of these con-
ditions of cultivation. Some of the school of clean cultur-
ists conserved the moisture of the soil by using a liberal
organic mulch. Some, in fact, went so far as to spend
much time and money in cutting shrubbery from the ham-
mock or piney woods and applying this under the trees
as a mulching, to add humus to the soil and to conserve
Later, and from necessity, a number of orange growers
have had to take care of orange groves that became com-
pletely sodded with Bermuda grass. We might call these
the Bermuda sod groves.
Spring Cultivation.-In sections of Florida where it
becomes necessary to bank trees to protect them against
the danger of winter freezing, cultivation should not be
begun until all danger of frost or freezing is past. Re-
move the heating apparatus or piles of wood that may
have been placed in the grove to protect it against freez-
ing, then pull down the banks and begin to cultivate.
Groves that have been well tilled the year before will
be found in excellent shape for using small tools, such as
the Acme harrow, Planet Jr., etc. In groves where con-
siderable vegetable matter is left over from the previous
year, it may be necessary to use a cutaway harrow to
break this up. The first cultivation in the spring may be
somewhat deep, since it is not likely that new feeding
roots have been formed near the surface. If, however,
the cultivation is not started until feeding roots have
formed, it is best to avoid deep cultivation. Deep culti-
ovation at this time of the year, as at any other time, is a
relative rather than an absolute term.
After the first cultivation, nothing more than a mere
stirring of the first inch or two of soil should be given.
This conserves the moisture so much needed at this time
of the year. Our driest portion of the year is likely to
occur during March, April and May. The more fre-
quently we cultivate, ihe more of the soil moisture is
conserved. Ordinarily, it is not profitable to cultivate
more frequently lhan once a week. If our soil is in the
best possible condition, a weeder may be used. It may be
necessary to ioad the weeder with a small piece of cord-
wood. With such an implement, a man and a horse can
cultivate a ten-acre grove in a day.
Catch Crops.-Where some form of crop is being grown
betwe-i the rows of trees, it is necessary to give this crop
the best of attention and an abundance of fertilizer to
kecpj ii from drawing heavily on lhe young grove. It is a
good practice to keep at least six feet away from the reach
of the branches. Trees that are over five years old are
likely io have roots extending as far as midway between
the rows; consequently, cultivation of the catch crop
should be gauged according to the needs of the citrus
Sunmcer Cultivation.-Some line groves and much ex-
cellent fruit have been produced by a continuous sunmer
cultivation; otlier groves have been seriously injured and
the crops of fruit have been ruined by such work. The
question depends more upon what the character of the
land is than upon any dogmatic method of procedure.
Ordinarily, it is safe to discontinue cultivation as soon
as abundant rains occur, and to allow grass and weeds to
grow at their will. If the grass and weeds become too
tal! and appear to be a detriment to the grove, a mower
may be used to cut them down. During the summer
season these will rot and return 10 the soil as humans. If
the gr,' v does not need mowing, the gr:Ps and weeds may
be allowed to grow, and at the close of the rainy season
the grass may be made into hay and removed from the
field. Where the soil is deficient in humus, it will prob-
ably pay better to mow the grass and weeds and allow
them to rot to humus in the grove.
Velvet beans. cowpeas and Leggarwced may also be
planted in groves if lhe soil is not too rich in organic
amimonia. These leugumes abstract nitrogen from the
alimaos~phcre and rcemin it to Che soil in the organic form.
There are instances where this has been carried on to the
extent of producing dieback in 1he grove. Where there
is the probability of getting too much organic nitrogen in
Ihe soil, lhe legume may be made into hay. If these
legumes are used in lhie grove, they should be mown in
the beginning of lie dry season so as to reduce lhe number
of plant bugs to a minimum, since frequently these suck-
ing insects cause a loss of fruit when the legumes are per-
nilted to remain late in the fall.
Fall Cultivation.-Whether we should cultivate in the
fall or not will depend largely on local conditions. If we
are having a severe drought it may be advisable to use a
cutaway harrow, or an implement of this kind, to break
up the surface soil so as to conserve the moisture. If the
moisture is not needed, it is usually preferable to allow
the soil to remain undisturbed.
lWidicr Cultivation.-In the early winter, before there
is any danger from frost, it is frequently necessary for us
to cultivate to prevent rapid evaporation of the moisture.
We can also at that time incorporate more or less of the
cover crop that grew during the summer season. Care
must, however, be taken not to carry this cultivation to
the extent of stimulating the trees into late growth;
otherwise, we are apt to get our trees severely injured by
an early freeze. If however, the work is carried on in
such a way as to conserve the moisture and yet not stim-
ulate the grove into growth, much good can be done by
early winter cultivation
Cultivation and Dieback.-Dieback is a disease to which
practically all of our citrus trees are subject, and one
thal causes much annoyance and frequently considerable
loss. The observant grove owner, however, will recognize
the preliminary symptoms of the disease and guard
against it. The disease seems to be due to unfavorable
soil conditions, brought on by too rapid a development
of ammonia in the soil. It may also occur as a result of
a number of other conditions.
Depth to Cultiactc.-The depth to which a grove may
be cultivated safely depends more on the character of the
soil than on any other condition. In sections where there
is a deep clay soil, the roots of the trees penetrate well
into the ground. In thin, sandy soil, the roots are apt to
keep close to the surface. This is also the case in our low
The depth to which we should cultivate, then, will de-
pend largely on the character of the soil on which the
grove has been planted. In general, we should never plow
or cultivate so deeply as to disturb any considerable
number of the fibrous rools, and certainly not to the ex-
tent of breaking large roots.
IBy observing the depth of the roots in the soil, we will
be able to gauge, in a measure, the depth to which we can
cultivale. This, we will find, varies, however, in the same
grove in dil'erent years. Consequently, very much de-
pends on the judgment of the man who is doing the cul-i-
valion, or having it done.
Implemets.-Under ordinary circumstances, the heavy
two-horse plow has no place in a grove in good health. A
light one-horse plow may be used to some extent. This
tool, however, is a poor implement, since it wastes so
much time for the grove owner. One of the best simple
ments for deep cultivating is the cutaway harrow or disc
harrow. For a small grove, the one-horse harrow will be
found preferable. For an extensive grove this is too slow,
and we need a two or three-horse cutaway or disc harrow.
The spading harrow will also be found useful under cer-
tain circumstances. The Acme harrow is also an excellent
implement to use when the vegetable matter has been
worked into the soil. It does poor work, however, when
a considerable amount of vegetable matter is present on
the surface. The Planet, Jr., cultivator or Sweep culti-
vator is also excellent for shallow cultivation. When the
orchard has been put into a .good state of tilth, and our
only .,i, t is to conserve Ihe moisture, the weeder is one
of the best and most serviceable implements. The ordi-
nary spring-loolhed cultivators are not good implements,
since they pull up too many of the roots they happen to
come in contact with.
BUILDING UP A NEGLECTED GROVE.
The best way to build up a neglected grove is to let the
oiher fellow do it. 1Buy ing a neglected grove is like buy-
ing an old, neglected horse. Under certain circumstances
it may be done with profit, but under ordinary circum-
stances it is cheaper and much more satisfactory to start
a new grove.
It happens frequently, however, that one has an old
grove, or that part of his property happens to be an old,
neglected grove. In such cases, we wish to know what is
best to do.
Pruning.-The first step in such conditions is to go
into the grove with a good sharp saw, pruning shears and
other implements for butchering trees. The pruning
should be done thoroughly and severely. Take out first
all dead wood; then take out all of the weakened wood;
finally, shape the tree up so as to make it more or less
symmetrical. Do not leave any long, spreading branches,
even if they appear to be perfectly healthy. Head them
back, so as to make a good, compact tree. When an old,
neglected orchard has been properly treated, it is usually
a sad-looking sight.
Fcrbilizers.-Give the entire grove a liberal allowance
of a fertilizer such as is used ordinarily for producing
growth. A good formula for this purpose will contain
about 4 per cent. ammonia, 6 per cent. phosphoric acid,
and 8 per cent. potash. As a source of ammonia, nitrate
of soda may be employed; as a source of potash, use a
high-grade sulphale of potash, or low-grade sulphate of
potiashl; and as a source of phosphoric acid, the acid
phosphlmte. The amount to be applied per tree should be
very liberal. More people err in applying too little than
in applying too much. Spread the fertilizer evenly broad-
cast over the entire grove, at least over the portion of the
grove where tIrees occur.
Plowing.-Ordinarily, such a grove should be plowed
very deep, even to the point of breaking and cutting large
roots. Care must, of course, be taken not to plow so
deeply as to destroy a large percentage of the roots of the
trees. This will vary according to the character of the
soil on which the grove happens to be located. Ordi-
narily, the plow may be made to go five or six inches deep,
plowing much deeper in the middles and shallower near
the trunks of the trees. After the grove has been plowed
in one direction, then cross-plow it. In this way the fer-
tilizer is pretty thoroughly incorporated with the soil
and brought where the roots can get it almost imme-
diately. After this thorough and deep plowing has been
completed, cultivation with an ordinary implement should
By such drastic treatment, the weaker trees are likely
to be killed out entirely. The sooner these are killed out
the more profitable it will be for the owner. He can then
replace them with vigorous young trees. The old trees
that have vitality enough to stand such vigorous treat-
ment are pretty sure to respond promptly.
PECAN CULTURE IN FLORIDA.
Much the greater part of this article is taken frum the
Florida Experiment Station Bulletin No. 85, by Prof. H.
Harold Hume, and also from the written opinions of
other well-informed and expert growers of the Pe1can.
BOTANY OF THE PECAN.
The pecan tree is indigenous in the United States in
the rich, alluvial bottoms of the Mississippi, and also
thought to be in some of the rich bottom lands of north-
east Texas. Its northern limit is supposed to be about
Davenport, Iowa. In the Mississippi valley proper it ex-
tends within a few miles of the Gulf Coast, further west
it extends into Mexico.
The area in which it may be grown is said to embrace
within its four extremities the cities of Davenport, Iowa,
Chattanooga, Tenn., Laredo, Tex., the region of the head-
waters of the Colorado River in Texas, and even at the
present day as far west as Arizona. It extends furthest
from the center of the area along the streams and rivers.
It is at present grown in all of the Southern States in
greater or less degree. From the foregoing it will be seen
that the pecan tree is a native in parts of the following
states, viz.: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, Tennessee,
Kentucky, Alabama, Louisiana, Arkansas, New Mexico,
and Oklahoma. Outside of this area it has been planted
in a large number of States. Its cultivated area corre
sponds rather closely with that of the cotton plant, though
its extension beyond this area is constantly increasing.
The pecan belongs to the family Juglandaccae (Walnut
family), its near relatives being the other species of hick-
ory, the walnut and butternut. For many years the sci-
entific name commonly applied to it was Carya Olivae
forms Nutt, but in deference to the rules of priority
this name has largely given place to the name HIicoria
pecan (Marsh) Britton. This name Hicoria pecan is pe-
culiarly significant, since it is truly American, being de-
rived from powcohicora and pecan, two words used by the
Indians for hickory nuts.
It is a large, stately tree, 75 to 170 feet in height, with
wide spreading branches and symmetrical lop. The bark
is rough, broken and grayish-black in color. The bark of
the young twigs is quite smooth, liberally dotted with
lenticles, and during their early life, together with the
leaves and flowers of the tree, they are covered with a
liberal coating of rather rust-colored hair. The leaves
are oval, compound, composed of from seven to fifteen
falcate, oblong-lanceolate, sharp-pointed serrated leailets,
green and quite bright above, lighter colored below, and
when mature, nearly or quite smooth. The flowers are of
two kinds-pistillate and staminate. The former are
produced upon the young shoots, while the latter come
from buds upon twigs one year old. The staminate cat-
kins are usually produced in two groups of three each,
from a single bud, and have very short stalks. The
stamens are three to five in number in each flower, and
borne beneath a three-parted bract. The pistillate flow-
ers have a four-valved involucre (known in the mature
form as the husk) and a two-parted stigma. The nuts
are quite variable in size, shape, color and quality. Some
are long and pointed, others are nearly spherical. In
Texas the spherical, or nearly spherical, nuts appear to
be more common than elsewhere. Selected nuts of some
varieties will weigh an ounce or more each, while of many
other kinds it takes a hundred, more or less, to make a
As a general rule the husks of most varieties open at
maturity. In some, however, they remain closed, or
nearly so. These latter varieties are objectionable on ac-
count of the increased difficulty of gathering the crop.
'ollcnation.-The pecan is well-pollenated. In con-
sequence, there is a great waste of pollen, to compensate
for which it is produced in large quantities. Wet, windy
weather, at the time the trees are in bloom, frequently
interferes with pollenation to such an extent that the crop
is reduced very considerably.
With some species of hickory, notably IT. miinima and
H. glabra, cross-pollenation and consequent cross-fertili-
zation with the pecan have resulted in several well-marked
hybrids. None of these found thus far, with perhaps one
or two exceptions, have been worthy of propagation.
RANGE OF CULTURE IN FLORIDA.
The pecan may be, and practically is, grown in all sec-
tions of the State wherever the soil conditions are found
to be satisfactory. Its culture, however, should not be
attempted in the southern portion of the State much, if
any, below 2S degrees latitude; success would, at best, be
questionable; it might succeed in the elevated portions of
Polk and IIillsborough Counties, but it is uncertain.
The statement is frequently made, and quite generally
believed, that the pecan will succeed wherever the larger
species of hickory are found in the State. This is largely
true, as the pecan belongs to the same family and genus
of trees, but it should not be relied on implicitly. In no
case must soil conditions be overlooked or disregarded.
The pecan may be propagated from seed or by budding
Formerly they were grown almost entirely from seed
and seedling trees were planted. But now seedlings have
given place to budded and grafted trees. Why so? It
was nnlounced as a fact, not so nlmlny years ago, and
there are some who may still maintain it, that 50 per
cent., or some other per cent., of pecans would corne true
to seed. But it must be stated as a fact that neither 50,
nor any other per cent., will come true to seed. We have
yet to find a single instance where the nut of a seedling
tree was identical with that borne by its parent plant.
Occasionally they are better, but the rule is that they
generally are vastly inferior to the fruit produced by thl
paint plant. Hence, if an orchard of trees of the same
halbit o' growth, prolificness, regularity in barifig, uni-
form thiroughouit, trees which will produce a crop of nuts
uniform in size, he, color and quality, is dcsirel, do
not plant seedling Irees. Scores of these seedling treeR
produce nuts but little larger than chinquapins, and it is
a fact which cannot be gainsaid that the seedling pecan,
up to the time of fruiting, is an unknown quantity, after
which it is too frequently a disappointment.
But seeds have their place. From them are grown the
stocks upon which to work desirable varieties. From
seeds may be originated new and desirable varieties, for
it sometimes happens that the seedling is better than the
parent. Seedling trees may be grown and set out in
orchard form, to be top-worked afterward. This plan
has something to recommend it. It is less expensive, pro-
vided time is not an object, for it takes a longer time to
get bearing trees by this plan, and it is open to the fur-
ther objection hat it is more dillicult to secure uniform-
ity in size and shape of the trees than it is by setting out
budded or grafted trees at first. The objection in the way
of expense, if that be an objection, is best overcome by
planting nuts in nursery rows, grafting the trees there,
and then se ting them in the field. \B no means should
the nuts be planted where the trees are to remain. It is
too difficult to give them the necessary care. Besides,
they are likely to be destroyed by squirrels or other ani-
mals, or the seedlings injured through carelessness in cul-
R,. 1. I.'/,. and Planting iutts.-Nuts to be used in
growing stocks should be fully matured before gathering.
Some care should be taken in their selection. They should
be of good size for the variety, and should be gathered
only from healthy, vigorous trees. Frequently the only
object held in view is to get as many nuts as possible in
a pound, withont regard to the tree on which heyv grew.
We believe that this is in a large degree responsible for
the unsatisfactory growth made by many grafted trees.
Those nuts which mature first are best for planting.
The nuts may be planted in Florida as soon as they are
taken from (the trees, placing them in drills three and a
half feet apart and covering them two and a half or three
inches deep. in many cases it may be necessary and more
convenient to stratify the nuts in damp sand in boxes,
first an inch layer of sand, then a layer of nuts, until the
boxes are tilled. These boxes should be placed' in a cool,
shady place, under a building, in a cellar, or buried in the
earth. It is a good plan to cover them with wire net to
prevent mice, rats or squirrels from attacking them. In
early spring the boxes should be emptied out and the nuts
planted as directed above.
The seed-bed should be thoroughly prepared, plowed
deeply or subsoilcd, well supplied with organic matter,
either from stable manure or from beggarweed. velvet
beans, cowpeas, or some other leguminous crop on the
soil, and turned under.
During the growing season the seed-bed should be kept
well cultivated and free from weeds and grass. A fer-
tilizer rich in nitrogen should be used. Its composition
will have to be governed very largely by the character of
the soil and the care and cultivation given it previously;
but for good nursery soils a fertilizer analyzing three per
cent. nitrogen will give good results. In a favorable
season the tops of the young trees will be a foot or some-
what more in height, with a tap-root two feet and a half
or so in length. The following spring and summer many
of the young trees can be worked by grafting or budding.
Propagating Tools.-The tools necessary for propagat-
ing pecans-nursery work and top-working-are a com-
mon budding knife, a budding tool, a grafting iron, a
grafting mallet and a fine-toothed saw.
The budding knife should have a thin blade of good
steel, capable of retaining a keen, sharp edge. The whet-
stone must be used frequently to keep the blade sharp to
insure the making of smooth, clean cuts.
At least three budding tools have been invented. These
are known as White's, Galbreath's and Nelson's budding
tools, respectively. The principle in each one is that two
sharp cutting blades are fixed parallel to each other to
insure uniformity in cutting annular and veneer-shield
or patch buds. White's budding implement is especially
recommended for use in top-working. The holes along the
sides are used as a gauge for measuring the stock and bud
stick. In the writer's opinion, the one best adapted for
veneer-shield budding, but the blades are just a little too
close together. A very satisfactory knife for this work
may be made from two ordinary budding knives and a
piece of wood tlhre-quarters of an inch square and four
inches long. To opposite sides of this the blades can be
firmly attached with rivets and by binding with fine wire
The grafting iron is indispensable in cleft-grafting.
These can be purchased at small cost, or a blacksmith
can make an excellent one from an old flat file. Three
or four inches of the file should be flatened and sharp-
ened for a blade. In the remainder drill two holes and
attach two pieces of wood to form a handle.
A small-sized carpenter's mallet answers nicely for a
grafting mallet, or a very good one can be made from a
piece of tough wood or a piece of an old wagon spoke.
A leather thong should be attached to the handle, through
which the wrist can be slipped to carry it when top-
The best saw for use in top-working is a carpenter's
back-saw. This has a stiff blade, fine teeth, and leaves a
smooth, clean cut.
Waxes, Cloth and Twine.-Good grafting-wax may be
made according to either of the following formulas:
1. Resin 6( pounds, beeswax 2 pounds, linseed oil 1 pint.
2. Resin 4 pounds, beeswax 2 pounds, tallow 1 pound.
Melt the ingredients in an iron kettle over a slow fire,
stirring slowly to insure thorough mixing. When melted,
pour out into a bucket of cold water. Grease the hands,
remove the wax from the water as soon as it can be han-
dled and pull until it is light-yellow in color. Wax not
needed for immediate use may be rolled up in balls,
wrapped in oiled, stiff brown paper, and put away for
Waxed cloth can be prepared by melting the wax in a
kettle and dropping into it sheets or wide strips of old
calico or cotton cloth. As soon as saturated with the
wax, remove them from the kettle and stretch on a board.
For use tear into strips, one-quarter or one-half of an inch
Waxed twine is prepared by dropping balls of No. 18
knitting cotton into the melted wax and stirring them
about for four or five minutes, or until the wax has
Selecting Cions and Buds.-Cions and bud sticks
should be taken from healthy, vigorous trees. Select the
cions from well-matured wood of one year's growth,
though a piece of two-year-old wood at the base will not
matter. The wood is angular, small and the internodes
long, and the pith large in proportion to the diameter.
Either terminal portions of twigs may be used or por-
tions back of the tip, but the buds should always be well
developed, full and plump. For this reason grafts should
not be cut from wood far back from the tip of the branch.
As stated already, twigs of the previous season's growth
are generally used, provided the growth is not too large.
Grafts are generally cut about five or six inches long and
should be from one-quarter to three-eights of an inch in
It is best that the grafts be cut while still in a dormant
state, and inserted in the stock just before growth starts.
The cions may be kept for a considerable length of time
by planiug them loosely packed, in damp moss or sawdust,
in a box. The box should be covered over with earth and
the cions kept sufficiently moist to prevent drying out.
The difference in the condition of tie stock anld cion, it
should be understood, is not absolutely necessary, ais ~od
results are frequently obtained without these procuntions,
but ini gr;ft ig te pea in a -i t', ri. in dornmancy is ex-
tremely desirable, and it is an important factor in secur-
ing good results.
For bud-sticks, well-developed one-year-old branches,
one-half to seCVc, ;I b i of an inch in diameter, and on
which the buds are well formed, or older wood, with
plump, full buds, are selected. Such sticks frequently
show three buds at a node, and if some misfortune should
overtake one or two of these, there is still a chance of suc-
cess, though the upper one, being the strongest, is gener-
ally the one which starts, provided it is uninjured and the
bud takes. The degree of maturity of the bud is impor-
tant, and care should be exercised that only those which
are plump, full and well-developed, are used. It is easy to
distinguish between desirable and undesirable buds.
GRAFTING AND GRAFTING METHODS.
Top-working by grafting, or the grafting of nursery
stock above ground, should be done in spring just ibfore
growth starts. The preference is for the latter part of
the season, provided there is not too much work to be
done, as the cions have less time to dry out before the
process of uniting with the stock begins. The work of
whip grafting nursery stock under ground just at lhe
crown roots of the seedlings can be started in the latter
part ,f December and continued until February. For this
work the earth is thrown back from the seedlings, leaving
them standing in a narrow trench. After the cions are
inserted. the ground is placed back about them, covering
them up, leaving only the top bud exposed. The seedling
trees cannot be dug up and bench-grafted satisfactorily
in winter, as is the practice with apples, pears and other
fruits. It can be done, but the percentage of unions se-
cured is too small to make it an economical method to
follow. The only satisfactory plan is to graft the seed-
lings in the nursery row, as described above.
Two methods of grafting are used, cleft-grafting for
top-working and whip-grafting for working both nursery
seedlings and old trees.
Cleft-Girafiing.-Having selected the place on the
branch or trunk at which the cion or cions are to be
inserted, the part should be sawed off with a smooth,
clean cut. 'the end of ilih stub can then be cut squarely
off at the point desired.
The trunk or branch is then split with the grafting
iron. The cleft should be carefully made. and should be
about one and a half inches in length. In preparing the
cion, a sloping cut is made at the lower end about one
and a half inches long, cutting into the pith from a point
one-half way up the cut, down to the lower end. On the
opposite side, the second cut should not touch the pith,
but should be made through the wood throughout. The
cion should le left wider on the ouler side than on the
inner to make a tight fit when inserted. Start the cuts
on each side of and just at a bud.
Having made the cleft, open it with the wedge end of
the grafting iron and place the cion in position in the
cleft stock. Thc camilubim layers should be in contact and
the cion should be shoved well down until the whole of
the wedge is within the stock. In large stocks two cions
may be inserted, the weaker of which should be removed
if both live. Large stocks will exert sufficient pressure
against the cions to render tieing unnecessary, but if the
stocks are small the union should be firmly tied with
waxed twine or cloth, and in any case the ends of the cut
stock and the union should be covered smoothly with
grn 'tin g-wax. Should there he danger of the stock exert-
ing too much pressure (as in the cnse of large stocks), the
cleft should be made well out to 0one shce of the center.
W1hip-Grnafliany.-Stocks, wheOlihe seedling trees or
lranclhs in the tops of old trees, should be less than
an inch in diameter, one-half or five-eights inch being
a nice size.
A sloping cut, an inch or an inch and a half long, is
made at the end of the cion, a corresponding cut is made
on the sock, a small tongue of woodl is raised on each by
making a cut with a knife-blade parallel to the grain of
the wood. The tongue is raised a little on both stock and
cion and the two are then shoved together, with the cam-
bium layers on one or both sides in contact. They must
then be firmly bound together with twine or cloth, the
whole of the cut surfaces being covered over to the ex-
clusion of water, air and the germs of decay.
The cion and stock are preferably chosen of nearly the
same size, but a cion somewhat smaller than the stock may
be used. in which case the cambium layers along one side
of the surfaces in contact must be placed opposite, as a]-
ready indicated. In working nursery seedlings by whip-
g'afting, the cions should be inserted so that the point of
union will be under the surface of the ground. The earth
should be placed back around the union as soon as the
work is completed. This plan of propagation will not give
satisfactory results except on well-drained lands.
BUDDING AND METHODS.
Budding is preferred to grafting by some propagators,
as they are able to secure a larger percentage of unions
than by grafting. Much, however, depends upon the
locality, soil and drainage. By either method from fifty
to seventy-five per cent. of successful unions must be con-
sidered satisfactory. The amateur may well be satisfied
with 10 per cent.
The season for budding is when the bark will slip well
during the months of July and August. The season is,
however, often extended into September. Many of the
buds inserted late in the season remain dormant until
the following spring.
During the season, from the first of July until Sep-
tember, the atmosphere is moist, the buds are in good
condition, the sap flows freely, and better results are
secured than at any other time. The buds" couimonly used
are those which have been formed just previously, They
should be carefully selected and only those fully matured
should be used. Oliver (Bulletin 30, Bureau of Plant In-
dustry, U. S. I). A.) recommends the use of dormant buds
of last season, but the method has not met with favor
because of the large amount of wood which must be
sacrificed to secure a few buds.
Annular Budding.-By this method branches or seed-
ling trees three-quarters of an inch or less in diameter
may be worked. It is preferable that the stock and bud
stick be of the same size, though the stock may be some-
what smaller. From the stock remove a ring of bark an
inch or so in length. On the bud-stick select a good bud
and remove it by taking out a ring of bark the same in
size as the one removed from the stock. Place this ring
in the place on the stock prepared for it and bandage
securely in place, using a piece of waxed cloth, The
wrapper should be brought around the stock, so as to
cover the cut ends. The bud may be covered over or left
In ten days or two weeks remove the bandage, and
examiine the bud. A plump, full bud at this time is an
indication that union has taken place.
lcnccr-Shicld or Patch-Budding.-If this method is
used, it is not essential that the stock and cion be of the
same size, and so far as size alone goes almost any stock
may be used. A rectangular or triangular piece of bark
is removed from the side of the stock. From the bud
stick cut a similar piece of bark with a bud in its center.
Place the bud in place on the stock and wrap as in annu-
lar budding. If the stock is considerably larger than the
bud-stick, the piece of bark with bud attached will have
to be flattened out somewhat before inserting.
Lopping.-Frequently buds, particularly those inserted
late in the season, act as dormant buds and do not begin
growth until the following spring. The top of stocks
lbudd('d during June, July and August should be lopped
up to September first. It is always well to start the budw
out before gr o'ih ceases for the season, but stocks bulded
after the first of September should not be lopped until the
following spring, just before growth begins.
One method of lopping is to cut the stock back to within
five or six inches of the buds, at first. Later, after the
bud has grown to some size, it should be cut right back
to tlie bud and painted over to prevent rotting. Lopping
may also be performed by cutting the stock half off two
or three inches above the bud and bending it over. After
growth starts in the bud, it should be removed entirely,
thus throwing the full flow of sap into the bud.
The best soil for the pecan industry is a well-drained,
loamy soil, with a clay or sandy-clay sub-soil. The land
should be put in good condition before the trees or nuts
are planted in it. Crops of beggarweed, velvet beans
plowed under, or a good dressing of well-rotted stable
manure will go a long way toward putting the ground
in good shape. The ground should be plowed deeply and
put in the very best tilth.
Throughout the growing season the ground should be
cultivated frequently. Shallow cultivation to conserve
moistin" and destroy weeds is all that is necessary. It
is net possible to grow good trees without thorough, fre-
quen t c'!tivation.
Fertilizers containing considerable nitrogen should be
used at the rate of about 300 pounds per acre. One
analyzing 3 per cent. phosphoric acid, 3 per cent. potash
and 6 per cent. nitrogen is about right for nurseries on
most Florida soils.
As soon as a block of trees is removed, it is an excellent
plan to sow the ground in one of the leguminous crops
mentioned above, io help it to recutperate. Tihe frequent
culivalions, so necessary for the growth of hlie Irees, wear
out the humus in the soil. The legumes will replace this
if grown, and plowed buck into lie s.oii, al' r they are
dead and dry.
Toi-NVoRKING PECAN TREES.
l;y far the greater number of seedling trees in the State
have not fulfilled the expectations of their planters. The
trees are not prolific, or the fruit which they bear is small
and inferior. Such trees, if in good health and vigor, may
be top-worked to advantage. Seedlings may be planted
with the expectation of top-working them, but this is not
If the trunks are small, an inch or an inch and a half in
diameter, the whole top may be removed at once. If the
trees are of medium size the main branches may be worked
close to the trunk; and if large, grafts may be inserted
farther up from the trunk. Buds may be inserted in vig-
orous branches. The growth of such branches may be in-
duced by cutting back the original branch of the tree in
late winter. Lateral buds will then be forced into growth
and by midsummer the branches formed from them will
be large enough to bud. The attempt should not be made
to bitd or fgraft over the whole top of a large tree in one
season. Only a few branches should be worked each year,
and in the course of two, three or four years, depending
upon the size of the tree, the old top can be entirely re-
moved and replaced by a new one of a good variety.
Both cleft and whip grafts may be used, but the latter
can, of course, only be used on small stocks. The objee.
tion to working very large branches is that they do not
heal readily; two and a half inches is about the maximum
in size. Large wounds should be painted over with while
lead paint to prevent decay.
For several months after the new top has commenced
to grow the cions or buds have but a slight hold upon the
stock, and as the growth is usually very vigorous and the
leaf surface great, considerable damage is frequently done
by strong winds, or by wind and rain together. To pre-
vent this, the voung shoots may be tied together or fast-
ened to other portions of the stock. If this be done, care
should be taken that the twine used does not do injury
by cutting into the wood. To obviate this, a piece of
burlap should be placed around the branch beneath the
twine, and the twine should be removed as soon as it has
served its purpose. In some cases the top may be sup-
ported by lashing a pole against the side of the trunk and
fastening the grafts to the upper part of this, or a pole
may be driven into the ground at some distance from the
trunk, fastened against a branch or stub of a branch above
and used in the same way. After the top has grown suffi-
ciently to take care of itself, these posts can, of course, be
removed. Sometimes, after the top has made considerable
growth, and particularly if large branches are allowed to
develop opposite each other, they are split apart and the
whole top ruined. If this undesirable conformation exists
it is best to take steps to prevent splitting. A bolt having
a stout washer against the head should be placed through
two branches, a second washer placed on and the nit
screwed up. The bolt will, in the course of a few years,
be entirely covered. By this means the tree trunks are
held firmly together. This same plan may be used to save
branches which have partially split apart. Sometimes a
branch may be inarched from one large branch to another
to serve as a living brace.
Necessarily, a considerable number of wounds are mllde
in top-working. Branches are removed entirely, others
are cut back to within a foot or so of the trunk and
grafted. Often these fail to unite. Such stubs should not
be left. If branches are formed on them they should be
cut back to the point where these buds start; if no
branches come out from them they should be cut back
to the trunk or large branch on which they are borne.
If left, they prevent the healing of the wound, rot back,
and the rot is carried into and down the trunk of the
tree, resulting in a hollow and weakening the trunk.
SSwooth cls should be nlade, and thcse should be covered
with white lead paint to prevent decay. A little lamp-
black may be added, if desired, to make the paint nearly
the color of pecan bark.
SOILS AND THEIR PREPARATION.
The peculiar conditions of soil and moisture surround-
ing the pecan in its native home might be regarded as an
indication that it cannot be grown except on deep, rich
soil, in proximity to rivers, ponds or streams. Such, how-
ever, would be a wrong inference, for it succeeds admir-
ably and bears good crops on a wide range of soils. Ience
we find it today in localities far removed from the regions
to which it is indigenous and thriving under conditions
differing greatly from those obtaining in its native home.
In Florida, trees may be found growing on soils ranging
from the black hammock to the less fertile high pine lands.
On hammock soils, however, the trees are often inclined to
develop wood at the expense of fruit, while on less fertile
soils the trees make less wood and bear more fruit pro-
portionately. Pecans thrive well on flat woods; the
grove of Dr. J. B. Curtis, Orange Ieights, Fla., is planted
on this type of land. Moisture in sufficient quantity must
be present, but it will not do to plant the pecan on land
that is continually wet and boggy. The presence of a
hard, impenetrable sub-soil doubtless has a great influence
upon the welfare of the tree, and it would be better to
select other ground, or when this is impossible, to blast
out the hardpan. A quicksand sub-soil is equally objec-
tionable. If close to the surface, it should not be used.
The roots cannot penetrate it. All things considered, the
best soil is probably one which has previously supported
a growth of holly, willow-leaved oak, dog-wood, hickory
and those other trees usually found associated with them.
A sandy loam, with a clay or sandy-clay sub-soil, is diffi-
cult to surpass.
A land intended for young trees should be well pre-
pared. This preparation will depend largely upon the
care and treatment which the soil has received pre-
viously. Land on which the forest still stands should
preferably be thoroughly cleared and put in cultivation
for a year or two before planting. Leguminous crops are
excellent to precede the selling of the trees. Plow the
ground thoroughly, break deeply, harrow it level, and
it is ready for the trees.
]1; ,,;, Trccs.-Florida has suffered as much from
fraudulent pecan tree agents as any other State. Seed-
ling trees have been "doctored" and sold to planners,
and varieties have been sold which were untrue to name.
Unfortunately, too few people are acquainted with the
characteristics of a budded or grafted tree.
Those who are thoroughly acquainted with the wood,
twigs and branches of pecan trees are able to tell the
different varieties at a glance. The color of the bark,
the shape, size and arrangement of the lenticles, the size
and shape of the buds are always characteristic, and by
these marks varieties can be distinguished. Every planter
should acquaint himself with the wood characters ics of
the varieties. But, after all, the safest, by far the safest,
plan is to deal directly with honest nurserymen, men of
unquestionable integrity, men who give their business
careful thought and attention.
The best trees for general planting are well-grown one-
year-old trees, from three to five feet high.
Too often but slight attention is given to the planting
of the trees. There is too frequently a disposition on the
part of the person setting trees of any ki.id to do the
work as rapidly as possible, without consideration for the
future welfare of the plants. Few realize that 1;ire spent
in careful, intelligent preparation of the soil and in set-
ting the trees is time well spent and well paid; for in the
after-development of trunk and branch. Boetler a month
spent in preparing the future home of fle young tree
than years of its life spent in an unequal struggle for
existence. More than that, the tree may die outright and
a year must elapse before it can lie replaced It is
generally stated that the pecan is a slow grower, anld yet
trees from twelve to fourteen yean1s old wiili sometimes
measure from tlhirty-five to fifty-seven inches in circium-
ference at the base, while under less favoraldle circum-
stances others will st std ill for a period of six or seven
years, or nntil they have accumulated sullicient energy to
overcome the untoward conditions of their environment.
Disftanics.-Thle distance apart at which 1Ihe tree
should he set will depend in a measure upon lie character
of the soil. If rich and moist, lihe trees should be set far-
ther apart than on higher, drier soils. Forty feet is gen-
erally believed to be about righli for most Fi;rida lands.
Two methods of setting may be followed, rectanllla nr and
hexagonal. The number of trees which may be set per
acre by the rectangular system are as follows:
40x40 .............................. 27 trees
40x45 .............................. 24 trees
40x50 .............................. 21 trees
40x00 .............................. 18 trees
45x45 .............................. 21 trees
50x50 .............................. 17 trees
50x60 .............................. 14 trees
50x75 .............................. 11 trees
60xGO .............................. 12 trees
GOx75 .............................. 9 trees
70x70 .............................. 8 trees
70x75 .............................. 8 trees
75x75 .............................. 7 trees
To find the number of trees for any distance not given
in the love table, multiply the distances together and
divide 4:,5f;0, the number of square feet in an acre, by
the product. The result will give tle number of trees.
By the hexagonal system, about fifteen per cent. more
trees may be set per acre than by the rectangular system
If' a double planting is contemplated, as pecans and
peaches, the rectangular system should be usedi, and one
or more peaches set out in each rectangle formed by the
Staking the Ground.-If a good plowman can be e-
cured, the rows can be run off with a plow, running b1ot
lengthwise and crosswise of the field. )rdinarily, how
ever, a true corner maiy be established with a carpenter's
square, lie field staked out around the outside. For the
rectangular system, the stakes can hlen ie set up in th,;
center of the fieid by measuring or 1y sighting, io by
boiri. Ordinary building laths make good slakes.
To slake oil the ground by lhe hexagonal method, com
menace on one side of the field and plant stakes at the d,
sired distance apart where the Irees are to stand. ['&sini
two chains or two pieces of wire with hiring at lie e;all'
(their length being the same as tle tree distance), (he posi-
tion for the second row of trees may be easily ascertained.
Drop the rings over two a11 ijni, r stakes and stretch t hem
out until they form an equilateral triangle with the base
line. Plant a stake at the apex to indicate where the tree
is to stand. Set up all the stakes for this second row in
the same manner, then use it as a base line and so o-1
across tie field.
Planting.-IIaving set a stake where each tree is to
stand, the planting board should then be brought into use.
This is simply a light board, five or six inches wide and
six feet long, with a notch cut in the center of one side
and an inch hole bored in each end. In digging the holes
for hie trees this board is laid down on the ground with
the notch against the tree slake. Two small wooden stakes
are then shoved into the ground through the holes in the
ends and hle board and tree stake both taken away.
in preparing the tree for planting, all broken or
bruised roots should be cut off immediately behind the
injuries. This is usually done bel'ore packing for ship-
ment if trees are purchased from a nurseryman, but pos-
sibly may be neglected or the ends of roots become rubbed
or jagged in transit. The cuts should be made with a
sharp knife from the underside of the roots and outward,
leaving a smooth, sloping cut. To trim the roots to the
best advantage, they should be held upside down while
In setting out a pecan tree, a hole 24 inches in diameter
and 30 inches deep is usually large enough, although
wider holes may be dug with advantage, thereby enabling
more pulverized and richer soil to be put around the
roots, which is beneficial to the new feeding roots as they
form. When setting out the trees, carefully till in among
the roots with pulverized top soil or woods earth. Well-
rotted manure or not exceeding one and one-half pounds
of commercial fertilizer may be put in the outer sides of
hole, as far as practicable beyond outer ends of lateral
roots, while hole is being filled, but by no menas to come
in contact with the roots or trunk of tree. No fertilizer
should be put at bottom of hole. Work and firrmy press
the dirt among the roots, laying each root in a natural
position. No holes or cavities in the soil should be left,
and soil must be in close contact wiflt all roots, especially
the tlp-root. The bottom of the hole should le firm, to
avoid further settling of the tree. The tree should lie set
at suhch a depi that after a copious watering and the
permanent settling of the earth it will be, perhaps, a
little deeper than it stood in the nursery row. It is very
important that no part of the crown or root be left un-
covered when planted or afterward, and if at any time
it is found that the earth has settled and left any
brownish-red part of the crown or root exposed, it must
again be covered with soil.
The point where the root and crown leave off and the
trunk begins is a very vital portion of the newly-set tree
and must always be underground. Trees should be care-
fully examined after the first heavy rain after planting,
and earth thrown to tree if soil has settled. It is better
to plant them an inch or two deeper than they stood in
the nursery row than to run the risk of having the crown
of root exposed. If tap-roots are inconveniently long,
say over thirty inches, they must be cut off by a sloping
cut with a shailp knife. In the larger size trees it is bet-
ter to sink a hole deep enough to receive the root without
cutting shorter than is done before packing. The foolish
theory about a pecan tree not bearing if its tap-root has
been cut has been so thoroughly disproved that it is not
worth discussion. If the tap-root is cut when the tree is
dug, as is often necessary, the cut quickly heals and a
new tap-root (sometimes several) will form. After plant-
ing is completed, loose soil should be lightly thrown
around the tree to lessen evaporation, or it may be
mulched with leaves, straw, etc., in lawns and other
places where no crops are to be planted. The mulching
of newly set trees is highly recommended. The ground
is thereby kept moist, a slow decaying supply of natural
plant food is provided, and grass and weeds are not so
troublesome, thus avoiding the necessity of so frequently
stirring the soil immediately around the trees. The
ground around fruit or nut trees should never be allowed
to bake or crust, and it is the more important with newly
set trees, particularly the first season.
Never allow the roots of a pecan tree to become dried
out. It is best that the necessary root pruning be done in
the shed and the trees carried to the field wrapped in a
damp blanket, from which they are removed one by one as
required for planting. The tops should be pruned back
slightly to restore the balance between the rools and the
tops, which has been disturbed in the process of trans
The best time to plant pecan trees is somewhere be-
tween the first of December or the latter part of Novem-
ber and the first of February. Preference must be given
to the earlier part of this period, as the ground will have
a chance to become firmly packed and the root wounds
will have partially calloused over before the growing
season begins. Besides, the early spring season in Florida
is usually dry and recently planted trees do not stand
nearly so good a show as those planted in December and
Because the pecan grows as a forest tree in some parts
of the country many people suppose that it can be left
without care and cultivation, left as any other tree in the
fields and woods is left to shift for itself. But if fruit
is required from the tree, no matter whleher planted in
the garden or the orchard, it should be given good care.
Too many of our practices are based upon ideas taken
from the native trees of the woods and fields. But all
these trees do from year to year is bear a few fruits,
many of which are imperfect, in the attempt to reproduce
themselves. If that is all that is desired of the pecan tree
well and good; a system of neglect will secure the result
and the insects and fungi will be the chief beneficiaries
of the practice.
One lesson can be learned from the woods. The ideal
soil conditions for the pecan grove is that found in the
forest. The soil there is filled with vegetable matter and
humus; it holds water and plant food. The aim in the
cultivation of the trees should be to provide and main-
tain a soil as nearly ideal as that.
Whether anyone would have the temerity to advocate
the cultivation of a pecan orchard along the lines applied
to peach orchards and citrus groves is seriously doubted.
A pecan plantation will begin to bear in from six to eight
years after planting and should produce a very fair crop
at ten years, after which it rapidly increases in produc-
tivity. But during the period when the trees are growing
and no fruit is being produced, cultivation must be given.
This is best done by planting the land between the tree
rows in cot on, peanuts or other field crops, in vegetables,
cowpens, beggarweed or velvet beans. The last mentioned
crops may be used in making hay. These are the ideal
crops for the pecan orchard. It would be best to follow
a systevnalic rotation of these crops. As, for instance,
first yeC- peanuts, second year cotton, or first year crab-
grass and beggarweed, second year cotton, and third year
velvet beans or cowpeas.
The area grown in these crops should by no means
equal the total area of the field. The tree rows for a
width of four or five feet on each side should not be
planted in crops during the first year. This strip should,
however, be cultivated during the first part of the season
and "bout the beginning of the rainy season sowed to
beggarweed. The cultivated area will necessarily become
more restricted each year, and eventually the ground will
have to be given up to the trees.
Then the plan frequently advised is to put the land in
grass and use it for a pasture. But grass is generally
an important item in the cultivation of neglected pecan
orchards. It is synonymous with n ilcct and bad treat-
ment. It interferes with the growth, development and
fruiting of the trees, and this plan is no longer advised
Instead, it is preferable to cultivate the trees in spring,
continuing the cultivation well up to the rainy season.
Later, in August, a crop of crabgrass and beggarweed
may be removed for hay. By autumn a considerable
additional growth will be formed to cover the ground in
winter and turned back into the soil to restore and main-
tain the necessary humus content of the soil.
On nearly all Florida soils pecan trees are benefited by
the application of fertilizers in some form or other. Large
quantities of food materials are taken from the soil in the
growth of the trees and the development of the crop.
The greatest demand made on the :oil by the tree is
for nitrogen, and this can be met by applying stable
manure, or by growing leguminous crops and turning
them under, as already directed. In the fertilizing of the
pecan this is by all means the best policy. The potash
in the form of sulphate or muriate of potash and the phos
phoric acid in the form of acid phosphate can be supplied
Formulas.-The requirements of the trees will differ at
different stages of their growth. The needs of the young
trees differ from those of fruiting ones. For young trees,
nitrogen in considerable amounts is required, while for
bearing trees more potash and phosphoric acid and less
nitrogen, relatively, are required. If complete fertiliz-
ers are used, those given the young trees should analyze
about live per cent. phhosphoric acid. six per cent. potash
and four per cent. nitrogen; while one containing six per-
cent. phosphoric acid, eight per cent. potash and four per
cent. nitrogen is about right for bearing trees.
If we assume that acid phosphate analyzes 14 per cent.
phosphoric acid, high-grade sulphate of potash 50 per
cent. potash, cotton seed meal G.5 per cent. nitrogen, and
dried blood 14 per cent. nitrogen, the following amounts
of these materials, which may be mixed at home, will give
approximately the above analysis:
FoE YOUNG TREES-
Acid Phosphate (14 per cent. goods) ...... 700 pounds
H. G. Sulphate Potash ................... 225 pounds
Cotton Seed Meal .....................1,150 pounds
If dried blood is used in place of cotton seed meal, one-
half of the amount, or 575 pounds, will give as much, or
slightly more nitrogen, than the 1,150 pounds of cotton
FoR OLD TREES-
Acid Phosphate (14 per cent.) ........... 850 pounds
H. G. Sulphate Potash ................... 300 pounds
Dried Blood ........................... 250 pounds
Cotton Seed Meal ....................... 600 pounds
Applying the Fertilizer.-The whole of the fertilizer
may be applied in spring, just before the growth starts.
On the whole, this is one of the best times to apply it. In
some cases it may be advisable to apply only half the
material at that time, leaving the other half for applica-
tion about the first of June. So far as the nitrogen part
of the fertilizer is concerned, this would be good practice,
but the potash and phosphoric acid may as well be applied
at the beginning of the season's growth.
In applying the fertilizer to young trees, it should be
put on in a circular band about the tree (closer or farther
away, depending on the size of the tree), and spreading
it around on a strii four or five feet wide. As the trees
increase in size, tl(h fertilizer should be applied over a
larger area until, in the case of old trees, the whole sur-
face should receive an application.
For such pruning as is necessary for pecan trees, a few
tools should be provided. These will consist of a pair of
good pruning shears, German solid steel pruning shears
being the best, a pair of Walter's tree prunes for cutting
back long branches, and a good pruning saw. One of the
best pruning saws is what is known as a Climax pruning
saw, or a Pacific Coast pruning saw is equally as good.
It is not advisable to prune the trees during the time
when growth has just started in spring, and the sap is
in active motion. At this time it will be well-nigh im-
possible to properly protect the wounds. The necessary
coat of paint will not stick to the wound when wet with
sap from the tree.
While pruning may be done during the sumer months,
when the tree is in full leaf, all things considered, the
best time to prune is in early spring before growth starts.
There is usually less to be done on the farm at this season
and more time is available for the work. Wounds made
at this time usually heal quite rapidly.
In cutting all branches the saw should be held parallel
to the part which is to remain, and the branch should be
cut off smoothly close up to the trunk.
As soon as the branch is removed the wound should be
painted to protect it from decay. For a protective cover-
ing, nothing is better than white lead paint. A small
amount of coloring matter may be added to it, if desired.
As a general rule, the pecan requires comparatively
little pruning. At the lime of planting, the young trees
should be cut back some distance, particularly if they are
very tall. It is well to have the main branches from
within four or five feet of the ground. After this about
all the pruning necessary is to remove dead or injured
branches and cut back those which have a tendency to
run up beyond their neighbors. For this work, as well
as in procuring grafts or bud-wood from the top of the
tree, the tree-pruner comes into good service.
Top-worked trees frequently require considerable prun-
ing to get them started so that they will develop into
HARVESTING AND MARKETING.
The pecan crop is not so difficult to harvest and prepare
for market as a crop of oranges or peaches, for instance,
and yet some care must be taken to put the nuts on the
market in inviting shape.
Fi(ld Equipmecnt.-The equipment necessary for har-
vesting consists of an extension ladder, a step-ladder, a
number of bamboo fishing-poles and picking sacks. The
best kind of step-ladder is one having three legs instead
of four. Picking sacks should be made from ordinary hemp
or jute sacks. The sack should be spread open with a
piece of stick, sharp-pointed at both ends, placed in one
side of the moulh, thus making the opening triangular.
Place a pecan nut in the lower corner of the sack, tie one
end of a piece of stout twine about it as it lies in the
corner and then tie the other end of the twine to the
center of the mount of the stick opposite the stick. The
twine should be short enough to draw the bottom and
top of the sack close together, leaving an opening through
which the arm may be thrust and the sack slung over the
'icking.-As soon as the greater percentage of the
burrs have opened, the crop should be galiered. It will
not do to wait until all have opened, neither is it advis-
able to pick the trees over a number of times. Pick them
cle-n at one picking. The burrs of those nuts which are
fully matured will open, the burrs of immature ones may
noT. The latter should be discarded.
'The men should climb the trees and pick the nuts by
hand, using the bamboo poles only for those entirely out
of reach. Even llis should be done carefully, so as not
to injure the bearing wood of the trees. Care in picking
good nuts by hand will amply pay the grower, because the
beating and shaking of the trees will cause a considerable
quantity of fruit to be lost, and a few pounds saved will
repay all the time and trouble. Of course, in very high
trees there is frequently nothing to do but shake and
thrash the crop off the trees. The plan of covering the
ground beneath the trees with a large sheet would work
well and assist in reducing losses. As soon as taken from
the trees the nuts should be spread out under a shed or in
a building to dry. A very convenient plan, and one which
will save space, is to provide a sufficient number of trays,
three feet by four feet, and three inches deep, with half-
inch mesh wire bottoms, and place the nuts in these, two
or two and a half inches deep. IRacks can be provided
around the room in which to place these. In from ten
days to two weeks from the time of picking the nuts
should be cured.
Grading.-The variety should be made the basis of the
grade; that is, each variety should be picked, packed and
marketed by itself. This, besides, gives an excellent op-
portunity to compare the commercial value of different
kinds. When a grower has a large number of different
kinds of seedling nuts, and a small quantity of each, they
may be graded by passing them through screens.
Polishing.-At the present time practically all of the
common market nuts are both polished and colored. Color-
ing should not be resorted to, and in the case of good va-
rieties of nuts polishing should not be done. In the case
of small or mixed lots, however, polishing is useful in
making the nuts more uniform. It can be accomplished
by putting the nuts, with a little dry sand, in a barrel
fixed so that it can be rotated like a revolving churn and
turning over until the nuts receive the desired polish. The
better nuts, however, should be put on the market just
as they come from the trees. The markings, dots and
streaks on the outside are their trademark and should not
be interfered with.
Packagcs.-For shipping small quantities of pecans by
express, nothing is better than a box. Barrels are best for
larger shipments. For mail shipments stout pasteboard,
wooden or tin boxes or tin cans make good packages.
Frequently shipments are made in sacks, but the sack does
not afford sufficient protection to the contents and should
not be used. As a rule, the box should be made so that a
given weight will fill it, but this dilliculty may be over-
come, to a certain extent, by put ing in a pad of paper or
excelsior-paper being preferable. Fill the packages on a
solid floor, shaking them down well and putting in all
they will hold, placing the pad, if one has to be used, in
On the outside of the packages, before shipping, should
be placed the name of the grower, the variety, the number
of pounds, and the shipping directions. Small boxes to
be shipped by express for the holiday trade should be
wrapped in good quality wrapping paper before shipping.
Marlcltiig.-The best plan for marketing good pecan
nuts is to build up a private trade. As a matter of fact,
at the present time but very few of the large, full-meated
pecans find their way into the general market. They are
either taken by seedmen or consumed by private custom-
ers. In building up a private trade, advertising has its
place, of course. Advertisements inserted in a magazine
or papers, particularly in those which are published in
the -ourist towns of the State, may be found helpful.
The object and aim should be to give each private cus-
tomer a package, bright, neat, attractive and containing
the best quality of nuts. If a certain price per pound is
fixed for a given quantity, then this should not be varied
under any circumstances. Each year the same quality of
nuts should be given to each customer. It will not do to
give large ones one year and smaller ones the next; this
tends to create dissatisfaction. In some of the larger
cities there are high-class fruit dealers who handle noth-
ing but fruits, nuts, etc., of the very highest quality.
Under some circumstances it might be well to enter into
negotiations with such firms.
Although the pecan industry is not old, yet a very con-
siderable number of varieties has been brought forward.
Not all of these are or have been meritorious, and in fact
many varieties are now represented by name only. Oilier
varieties are comparatively new, and no one can speak
authoritatively of what they will do over a wide range of
territory. Still olier varieties have been propagated by
buds or grafts for a number of years, with the result that
they have been tested fairly well over the country. oinme
of the varieties so tried have proved satisfactory, others
have not. Of the older varieties, Stuart, Van Deman and
Froschelr have been found satisfactory in nearly all
cases, while 'Cenennial and Rlome have proved so un-
sal isl'ciory that they have been cut out of the lisls of
many piroaga lors. It is doubtful whether a more worth-
less nut has ever beein propagated and sold lhan that
niich-namied 'variety, lmie, C4oli mnian, Pride of lie
Coast, 'enturly, Twelntieth Century, etc. For the
Florida planters, the best advice that cnn be given is to
plant neither C(entennial no'r lonme. They either do not
bear enough fruit or tlit which ,hey do produce is in-
ferior or poorly filled out. Van l)eman. St art and
Frotslier, e n othe ir hand, have generally borne full
crops of nuts of good quality.
A satisfaelory connimerial pecan nunt must be prolific,
of good size, good quality, must not he spo)asoric in its
bearing, plump, wilh a bright, presentable exterior and
preferably a liglht-colored kernel. The nuts should, be-
sides, yield sixty per cent. or upward of kernels. All
these things in one variety make a difficult combination
to secure. Undue weight must not, however, be given to
size, for size and quality are usually antagonistic to each
other. In fact. in lpeans, as in other fruits, we must go
to the small or medium sized ones for the best q'llily.
No variety of pecan is superior to San Saba in quality, yet
it is a small nut. Other varieties which may be regarded
as standards of quality are Schley and Curtis. The
former is a medium to a large nut and medium prolific
variety, while Curtis is of medium size, precocious and
Moneymaker is reported as doing well in Louisiana,
and, being a medium sized nut, it is likely to succeed in
Florida; but the shell is rather thick. Georgia has proved
to be a prolific and precocious bearer. Nearly all of the
varieties given in the following list have been reported
upon favorably by dilierent growers.
In planting pecans, no greater mistake than that of
planting a large number of varieties can be made. At
most, the plantings should be confined to four or live
varieties. If the grower desires to experiment, and it
is a good thing to do, then a tree or two of a number of
other varieties should be included in order to test their
la'rictics Rccon neindcd.-Thle following list contains
the varieties which are worthy the attention of Florida
planters. Not all of them have been thoroughly tested as
yel, and the reason for inserting them here is to urge that
this le done not in large numbers, not in ten-acre
blocks, but in lots of two or three trees. In the mean-
time, lunil our knowledge of the varieties and their adap-
tion is increased, the safest advice that can be given the
Fl-orida planter by the writer is to confine himself to such
well known varieties as Curtis, Frotscher, Schley, Stuart,
Van Denan. This list for planting in the western part
of the State may be supplemented by Bolton, Sweetmeat,
and Georgia. Pabst and Russell are also much in favor
with a good many growers. Continued improvements in
those we have and equally as valuable additions are, of
course, to be expected and are being added from time to
While we believe pecan growing to be a fine investment,
we advise conservatism; do not plant more than can be
properly cared for; the industry has come to stay, and
with time it will grow to vast proportions. We do not
believe that any person living today will ever see the
demand wholly supplied, let alone a glutted market. The
best grade of pecans are bringing about 50 cenis per
pound. but if this price is reduced in time as low as ten
cents per pound there is more money in growing them
than there is in most of the standard crops under good
management. So we say to the young or the middle-aged
man or woman engaged in, or about to engage in, either
general or special farming, to plant pecans in proportion
to their ability to care for them properly-it will pay
SUGAR PRODUCTION IN FLORIDA.
CANE CULTURE AND SIRUP MAKING.
By R. E. Rose, State Chemist, Tallahassee, Fla.
The culture of sugar cane, and the manufacture of raw
sugar or sirup in Florida, dates from the earliest settle-
ment. The plant was introduced by the Jesuit Fathers
and largely cultivated on the East Coast, near St. Augus-
tine and New Smyrna, by the early Spanish settlers, the
canes having been introduced from the West Indies, where
it was cultivated on a commercial scale as early as 1518.
The remains of sugar factories, and evidences of sugar
culture on an immense scale, are still found at New
Smyrna in the Turnbull hammock. A drainage system
is still in use, established by sugar and indigo planters
more than two hundred years ago. There is no reason
to doubt that Florida was the first of the United States
to cultivate and manufacture sugar on a large scale.
ANCIENT MACHINERY AND METHODS EMPLOYED.
I regret to say that the same primitive methods used
in those ancient days still prevail, and that a modern,
economical sugar factory does not exist in the State to-
day. To this fact, and the lack of modern apparatus, I
attribute the present condition of the industry. No
effort has been made to improve the wasteful two-roller
horse mill, with wooden frame, and the old Jamaica
kettle set in a clay furnace, the mill extracting not ex-
ceeding 50 per cent of the juice, and frequently less,
while the kettle, juice trough and skim barrel account
for a loss of 20 per cent or more of the small quantity
secured by the mill. I am convinced, by observation of
a number of sirup plants in the State, that, on an aver-
age, not to exceed 40 per cent of the sugar content of
the cane is secured, and that 60 per cent is wasted after
producing the cane and hauling it to the mill. The meth
ods generally pursued in Florida are as primitive as those
still followed in Mexico and South America. A few
modern sirup plants have been erected, notably in Gads-
den and Jackson Counties.
MODERN APPARATUS REQUIRED.
A modern factory, with improved mills, evaporators,
filters, bagasse burners and other modern labor-saving
devices, properly constructed clarifiers, filters, etc.. will
readily secure double the quantity of sirup or sugar, of
a much better quality, from the same amount of cane,
than can possibly be accomplished by the crude and
wasteful apparatus universally employed in Florida to-
day; at far less cost.
ONLY CRUDE METHOI)S EMPLOYED.
In no other agricultural and manufacturing enterprise
has the farmer and manufacturer failed to take advan-
tage of the improvement in methods and machines. I can
only attribute this to the generally accepted belief that
cane growing and sirup making, even under the present
crude and wasteful method, is considered a most profit-
able business. I have talked with hundreds of farmers
in all parts of the State, from Pensacola to Key West,
from Jacksonville to Tampa, and have yet to meet one
who did not positively assert that he derived more cash,
with less labor per acre, from his cane patch than from
any other crop.
MAXIMUM TONNAGE PRODUCED.
The fact that we produce crops of cane of from fifteen
to thirty-five tons per acre, with an easy average of twenty
tons, cannot be gainsaid.
QUALITY OF CANE SUPERIOR.
That this cane is equal to any in sugar content, and far
superior to that grown in other States, cannot be denied.
Too many tests and analyses have been made from canes
taken from all parts of the State, and from all kinds of
land, by eminent chemists and sugar makers, who have
unqualifiedly stated that our canes are equal to any, and
superior to most, grown in America, or even in Cuba, to
permit a doubt to exist as to the peculiar advantages of
Florida's soil and climate for producing a plant of maxi-
mum tonnage and sugar content.
I1MPiROVED AlPPARATUS IN LOUISIANA.
Louisiana for years -I ui'el.:l with the horse mill and
open kettle, making brown sugar and molasses. This
had to be sent to the refinery and treated by the old "clay
process." Gradually the methods of the refiners im-
proved. clarification was perfected, filters were improved.
the juice was made chemically and mechanically clean.
the vacuum pan was evolved, which led to the "double
effect" (or vacuum evaporator), the mill was increased
from two to llhree, then five then six, and now nine roll-
ers are used. The extraction formerly thought very good
at 60 per cent has been increased to 83 per cent, leaving
practically only the dry fibre of the cane. The fuel bill,
formerly three cords of wood, or equivalent in coal, per
acre, has been eliminated, the pulp or bagasse of the cane.
in a well-balanced modern factory, furnishing all the
necessary fuel for all purposes. The evolution in the
sugar factory of Louisiana has been in keeping with the
progress along all other lines. Twenty years ago the
modern "central factory" was the exception; today it is
the rule; there are hundreds of such factories in Louisi-
ana, handling from 500 to 1.200 tons of cane per day, mak-
ing large profits, while selling granulated sugars at 44
to 5 cents per pound. These factories extract and produce
fully 100 per cent more sugar from a given amount of
cane than can possibly be secured by using the antiquated
mill and open kettle. At the same time, the quality is
such that the value of the sugar per pound is increased
from 3, to 4 or 5 cents, or from 50 to 65 per cent increase.
RAW SUGAR, OR SIRUP, COMPARED TO REFINED OR PURH
A ton of cane, producing 90 pounds of raw sugar,
worth $2.70, will, with improved apparatus of large ca-
pacity, produce 180 pounds of granulated goods, worth
not less than 4 cents per pound, or $7.20, while the cost
of producing this 180 pounds of granulated goods will be
less than to produce the 90 pounds of brown sugar.
BEET SUGAR FACTORIES EMPLOY ONLY IMPROVED
The only reason why it is possible to make beet sugar
profitably is the fact that none but the most modern ap-
paratus is used, making it possible to secure all the sugar,
at the least possible cost, from the beet, a plant well
known to be inferior to tropical cane in average sugar
content and also containing larger percentages of impuri-
ties. No beet sugar factory would attempt to make raw
sugar and sell it to the refiners at the price fixed by the
refiners. The result would be disastrous to the grower
and manufacturer of raw sugar. On the contrary, the
beet sugar factory makes none but the finest granulated
goods, goes directly into the market, and demands and
receives the market price fixed by the sugar refiner for
first-class goods. The culture of beets is one of the most
precarious and difficult crops known, requiring extraor-
dinary skill and immense labor; the crop is subject to
many disasters; in infancy it is delicate and easily de-
stroyed by adverse climatic conditions; it requires skill-
ful culture, heavy fertilizing and proper irrigation. When
ready for harvest the work must be promptly finished,
the crop stored free of frost, and carefully handled at all
times. Five acres per hand for culture is a fair task,
while a yield of ten tons, with an average of 12 per cent
sugar, is a fair average yield, or 2,400 pounds of sugar
per acre, paying the grower a maximum of $5.00 per ton
of beets, or $250.00 per annum for culture, harvest and
delivery of five acres of beets, with a total failure ex-
pected two years out of five from drought, rain or frost.
SUGAR CANE A RUGGED, ROBUST PLANT, EASILY
CULTIVATED AS INDIAN CORN.
To a Florida audience I need not say that cane is a
robust, rugged plant, as easily cultivated as corn, require
ing no thinning to a stand at enormous cost of labor, no
special care, and seldom properly fertilized; still, I have
yet to learn of a total failure of a cane crop from drought,
flood or insect pest.
ACREAGE PER MAN EMPLOYED.
Twenty acres per hand, with a yield of 20 tons of cane
per acre, is not unusual. (With the same amount of fer-
tilizing and labor as demanded by beets, one man can grow
30 acres, with an average of not less than 25 tons of cane
per acre, that will yield in a modern factory 10 per cent
of pure granulated sugar per ton of cane, or 5,000 pounds
per acre, or 125,000 pounds per hand used in culture.)
Understand that while one man can cultivate 20 acres
under ordinary conditions (and 30 if he works as hard and
constantly as the beet grower), no one man can harvest
such a crop, nor can the beet grower harvest his five acres
without help. This cane, delivered at the factory, will
furnish practically all the fuel necessary. The beet factory
must use coal. This, however, is offset by the value of the
beet pulp for feeding purposes; still, the beet factory is,
compared to the cane sugar factory of equal capacity, more
costly, while the process of manufacture is more compli-
cated and expensive. The extraction, clarifying, filtering
and purifying of 1be) juice, owing to the large amount of
impurities, is far more difficult than in handling cane juice.
Raw beet sugar is not fit for consumption by man or beast.
This fact has had much influence on the industry and
forced the employment of the best and most scientific
methods in beet sugar manufacture. Cane sugar, as we all
know, is a most palatable and nutritious food, from the
cane itself up through the various preparations of sirup,
raw sugar, molasses candy, to refiled sugar, or rock candy.
In no stage can ii be said sugar cane and its products are
not fit for food.
COST o0 CANE SUGA\, COMPARED TO BEET SUGAR.
I have frequently stated, and again assert, that first-
class granulated sugar can be made from Florida cane at
a large profit when selling the sugar at less than it costs to
produce beet sugar. That if these facts were intelligently
placed before the American farmer and capitalist, the
enormous sums now being invested in beet culture and
manufacture would be diverted to lhe sugar belt of the
South, and particularly to Florida.
It requires no experimentation, there are no facts to
demonstrate, they are here ready for investigation; the
plant, the amount it will produce per acre, its sugar con-
lent, the cost of production, in labor and time; these fac-
tors are the only ones that need to be authoritatively estab-
lished by our Agricultural Department, or by our own
people, to induce the influx of labor and capital.
While I am not an advocate of sirup making as a general
industry, knowing thal it is but a crude and wasteful
method, and at most but an expedient, still, a well-made
sirup. cleanly prepared. properly clarified and neatly
packed, is in demand at fair prices and will pay fair divi-
dends on the investment.
CENTRAL FACTORIES NEEDED.
Until our people are educated to the necessity and value
of "central factories," where the farmer may sell his cane
direct to the factory for more than he now gets for his
sirup, it will be well to encourage the sirup industry. Pro-
vided none but the best is made, top prices may be ex-
pected ; if thin, dirty, dreggy slops, packed in a sour keg or
dirty barrel, is produced, it is only fit for the pigs-and not
good for them.
WHAT GOOD SIRIP: IS.
In making sirup (good sirup), the object is to produce
a thick, clear liquid. that will not granulate or "sugar off."
It may be startling to a number of my auditors when I
assert that first-class sirup contains but comparatively
little sugar. A first-class sirup, be it made from cane,
maple sap, corn, rice, potatoes, beets, watermelons or
other vegetable substance, is but a solution of glucose, or
"invert" sugar, with no appreciable quantity of sucrose, or
sugar; hence, to make a good, thick, heavy, clear sirup, we
proceed to change our sugar to glucose, or "invert" sugar,
exactly opposite to the desire of the sugar maker. The
sugar maker seeks to prevent the "inversion" of his sugar
to glucose, and to get his sugar to the "grain" as quickly
as possible: he desires as little glucose as possible, and
separates the molasses and glucose from his crystals as
rapidly as possible.
Starch, glucose and sugar are all closely related, all
carbo-hydrates-the basis of fats in animals, which are
hydro-carbons. The difference between sugar and glucose
is but the addition of one molecule of water. Sugar being
"C12' H1, 01,." by adding one molecule of water ("H.O")
we have glucose-"C,,, H,,, 0,,." By the addition of water,
in the presence of heat, acids or ferments, sugar takes up a
molecule of water and becomes glucose Starch also in the
presence of an acid and heat, or a ferment, becomes glu-
Sugar does not ferment, it must become glucose, "invert"
sugar first; neither does starch ferment, it must also be
changed to glucose before it ferments. Another fact to be
remembered is that glucose, in the presence of heat and
moisture, will attack and convert sugar into glucose; by
the action of long-continued heat the whole of the sugar
will be converted or "inverted." A quantity of pure sugar,
dissolved in pure water, kept simmering on a stove for
some time, the evaporation supplied will in time become
a solution of "invert" sugar, with no sugar (sucrose) in it.
If the juice of an apple, orange or a few grapes, or other
acid fruit, is added to the vessel the "inversion" will occur
Cane juice is a solution of sugar, glucose and other solids
and gums. Ripe cane has but little glucose-frequentily
less than 1 per cent, generally 2 to 2 per cent. Unripe
cane has a much larger percentage of glucose, sometimes
as much as 50 per cent; the immature tops of cane are
always high in glucose and poor in sucrose, or sugar. Evi-
dently the starch in the cane (or what would be starch in
corn, rice or potatoes,) is first formed in the immature
part of the cane. It is by the subtle chemistry of nature
changed into sugar, a chemical feat the despair of the most
eminent scientists. To change a sugar into glucose is a
daily performance in the laboratory and factory; to re-
move the molecule of water and change glucose to sugar
has been the dream of the chemists for years; so far it has
not been accomplished.
SUGAR MAKING DISTINGUISHED FROM SIRUP MAKING.
Knowing now the materials we have to deal with, and
their behavior in the presence of acids, heat and ferments,
we can proceed to prepare the substance we require. If we
want sirup, we do not demand ripe cane, which the sugar
maker requires; a quantity of glucose in the unripe tops
will do no harm, hence we begin grinding when the canes
are ripe from one-half to two-thirds the length of the stalk
(say October 15), though ripe cane makes more sirup in
proportion than unripe cane. Unripe cane will make good
sirup, but not good sugar. Ripe cane, quickly "boiled off,"
will certainly granulate if boiled to the proper density;
unripe cane can hardly be made to granulate by the most
expert sugar makers.
RIPE CANE FOR SUGAR.
To make sugar, use ripe cane, cut off the immature tops,
leaving as little unripe cane as possible, clarify and evap-
orate rapidly, place in coolers of large area to allow quick
cooling and granulation.
UNRIPE CANE MAY BE USED FOR SIRUP.
For sirup making, use considerable unripe tops; do not
hurry the process at any point; the juice may stand in the
tank for some time (one or two hours), a little ferment
will not hurt it; clarify and skim at a moderate heat; evap-
orate slowly, and skim carefully. This slow evaporation
will insure a heavy, non-crystalable sirup.
Much of the excellence of Florida sirup depends on the
slow evaporation in deep kettles, with great heat long con-
tinued, the delay in the juice barrel between strikes, and
the large amount of ferment necessarily added to the juice
by the mill with its wooden frame and the sourness of the
various strainers and utensils used. The mill is seldom
washed off, and is never "limed" to destroy ferment.
The evaporator is never a favorite with sirup makers;
they can't boil thick before the sirup sugars. This is a fact.
If, however, larger quantities were run at a time, and the
fire kept low, equally as good sirup could be made on the
evaporator as in the kettle. For practical purposes, on a
fairly large scale (10 to 20 barrels, or 400 to 800 gallons,
per day of sirup), I should advise a separate clarifier and
a partial evaporator, and finish in a separate vessel. The
secret of good sirup is perfect clarifying and straining,
careful and continuous skimming, and plenty of time given
to the evaporation, using more or less unripe cane, with
some fermentation allowed. Boil your sirup to a uniform
density of about 33 degrees Beaume, while hot; this will
yield a sirup of about 38 degrees Beaume, when cold. These
sacchlarometers can be purchased of any instrument dealer,
or can be ordered through any druggist. They are abso-
lutely necessary for uniform work.
A pparatus.--The first prerequisite is a first-class hori-
zontal mill, well built and exceedingly strong, to extract
the juice; such a mill can only be had from manufacturers
who have had long experience in building sugar apparatus.
A first-class three-roller mill, properly set, will extract 60
per cent of the weight of cane in juice, or 70 per cent of
the total juice. The clarifiers and evaporators should, if
possible, be steani-heated, the coils made of copper, for
economical reasons. Copper conducts heat better than
iron; while iron pipes will make as good sugar, they will
require 40 per cent more fuel to do the same work; a cop-
per coil will work better with 60 pounds of steam than an
iron coil with 100 pounds.
ADVANTAGES OF STEAM APPARATUS.
The advantage of a steam train is obvious; the nanipu-
lator has absolute control of the heat and can regulate it
as circumstances demand. A fire-heated evaporator cannot
be so perfectly regulated. In either case, steam or fire-
heated evaporators, 1 strongly advocate a copper heating
surface, on account of fuel economy; the difference in cost
will be more than offset during the first season. There are
a large number of reliable manufacturers of first class
apparatus who can, and will, furnish apparatus at far less
than they can be designed and built for locally. A "home-
made" apparatus is most expensive and unsatisfactory.
Cultur.--It is useless for me to attempt to instruct
Florida farmers in cane culture. The methods are fully
understood by them. 1 can only say that a large part of the
cullire should precede the planting. The bed should be
deeply plowed and in perfect tilth before planting. J
prefer fall planting, particularly in South Florida. By
having the ground ready, the planting can be done at the
time of grinding, using the immature tops for seed. An
acre of tops should plant more than an acre of new land.
In South Florida, cane should yield at least three good
crops from one planting; frequently, with proper care, it
will last five or six years. The culture should be shallow,
at all times working a low ridge around the cane. For fer-
tilizing, nothing is better than cow-penning, which, how-
ever, should be re-inforced by 150 to 200 pounds of high
grade sulphate of potash (45 to 50 per cent of potash) and
500 to 1,000 pounds of 16 per cent acid phosphate. Cane
requires potash to mature its juices, as does all fruit or
sugar-producing plants. A general fertilizer for cane
should have about three proportions: Ammonia 3, phos-
phoric acid 6, potash 4. Cotton seed meal. acid phosphate
and kainit mixed in equal parts and applied, 1000 pounds
per acre, will give most excellent results; this will yield
the necessary fertilizing elements in about the correct pro-
At present prices, this fertilizer should not cost to ex-
ceed $25.00 per ton at seaports. One thousand pounds per
acre should insure a crop of not less than 20 tons of cane
per acre, with an average of 10 per cent sugar, or 4,000
pounds sugar per acre, or 400 to 500 gallons of first-class
sirup per acre, using a first-class apparatus and exercising
due economy. About one-half this amount can be secured
with the usual apparatus now generally employed in this
Varictics of Cane.-There are a number of different
canes, probably seventy-five or more known varieties. In
many cases the same cane is known by different local
names. There are not to exceed a dozen kinds that are
valuable in Louisiana and Florida, of which probably three
distinct kinds are worth considering. The "Crystaline,"
from which a number of different canes have originated, is
generally considered best; the "Red Bibbon" and the
"Purple" canes come next. The large white or Hawaiian
cane is largely planted in Florida; it is a favorite for chew-
ing. It is a slow grower, late in starting, and does not
The "Crystaline" is considered the best all-around cane.
It is known by many local names. It rattoons well, is early
in sprouting and ready to "lay by" by May 15; its sugar
content is high and impurities small.
The "Red Ribbon" is also an excellent cane, and inferior
to the "Crystaline" only in the fact that it does not rattoon
The "Purple," or Bourbon cane, is a hardy cane, smaller
than either of the others named; its sugar content is equal
to the "Red Ribbon" or "Crystaline"; it is well adapted to
North Florida, and is almost exclusively cultivated in
Georgia; it will stand more frost than the "Crystaline"
or "Red Ribbon."
A new seeding cane, perfected by Dr. William C Stubbs,
recently Director of the Louisiana Sugar Experiment Sta-
tion, known as "Demarrara No. 74," has been largely intro-
duced into Louisiana. It is a robust, hardy green cane,
with a much larger sugar content than the ordinary canes;
a heavy producer, with but few impurities. It has not yet
been extensively introduced into Florida. Where it has
been tried it has been found desirable, being early in ma-
turity and has a much larger sugar content-10 to 15 per
cent more than the ordinary varieties.
A variety known as the Japanese cane was introduced
from the Louisiana Sugar Experimental Station some fif-
teen years ago; it rattoons profusely and will grow on high
pine land, making heavy crops where ordinary cane would
fail to produce profitable crops; it makes first-class sirup,
but is not considered a first-class sugar-producer on ac-
count of its high percentage of glucose, and solids not
sugar. I believe it will be of great value to those situated
on high pine ridges, and as it stands frost better than ordi-
nary cane, it will be an acquisition to North Florida and
PREPARATION OF SOIL-PLANTING.
Soil for cane(or corn)should be well drained and deeply
plowed; not less than six inches-preferably eight or more
inches, depending on local conditions. This should be done
as early as practicable in the fall, not later than November
15 for spring planting; if for fall planting, in October. The
soil should be well harrowed, putting the seed-bed in first-
class tilth. The fertilizer should be spread, or scattered,
broadcast, and thoroughly harrowed in before planting.
Fall planting should be done in November; spring planting
in February or March. Rows should be opened six feet
apart, four inches deep; the seed canes laid in the furrow,
continuously, lapping each cane one or two joints, if the
seed is sound and the eyes perfect. In case of damaged
seed cane, more is required; frequently "two canes and a
lap" are needed; the object being to get one sound eye for
every six inches of row, to insure a good "stand." Cover
fall-planted cane four inches deep, in the spring, when ger-
mination has begun; remove part of the covering, to allow
the heat and air to penetrate the soil. Much cane is lost
from too deep planting. For spring planting, cover not
more than two inches deep.
Germination will frequently begin in North Florida in
February; in Middle Florida in January, when part of the
covering should be dragged off, to assist in germinating.
In tropical Florida below the 28th parallel, cane will
sprout and grow at any time, and can be planted whenever
The culture of cane is exactly similar to the culture of
corn; one of the best tools for early cultivation is the
weederr." It can be used at any time from the planting,
and run in any direction-with the rows or across them-
and can be used exclusively until the cane is two feet high,
after which a cultivator should be frequently run in the
rows. The culture should at all times be shallow, not to
disturb the root system. A turn-plow should never be used
to cultivate cane. Continue cultivating till the cane com-
pletely shades the ground. Allow no weeds to grow in the
rows, nor the middles, at any time.
Harvest begins in Louisiana October 15-though the
cane is far from mature at this date. The large areas,
however, demand early harvest. In North Florida, Novem-
ber 1 to 15; in South Florida, December 1; below the 28th
parallel, harvest may be delayed till January 1, and is fre-
quently continued till March 15. sometimes till April 1, the
climate being practically similar to Cuba, adding full
sixty days' growth and maturity to the crop.
That portion of the plant which has shed its blades or
leaves is mature: that part to which the leaves still cling,
the tops, is not fully mature. Generally two-thirds of the
stalk is matured by November 1st.
When ready for harvest, the cane should be stripped of
its leaves, to allow the sun to mature the juices-a lalh is a
good tool for this purpose. Enough cane should be stripped
at one time to supply the mill several days.
CUTTING CANE FOR SIRUP.
When cutting cane for sirup, top it high, to leave two or
three of the upper, unripe, immature joints; this immature
cane juice is largely glucose, or "invert" sugar, and tends
to prevent crystallization.
CUTTINGG CANE lFOR SUGAR-MAKING.
In cutting cane for sugar-making, top low, using only
the fully matured or ripened cane. Cut only what is neces-
sary to supply the mill each day. Only fresh-cut cane
should be used for making sugar.
A slight fermentation will not damage cane for sirup-
making. adding to the "invert" sugar (glucose) and allow-
ing the sirup to be boiled thick without danger of crystal-
A very small amount of fermentation will materially
damage cane for sugar-making, increase the "invert" sugar
-molasses, and decrease the crystals of sugar in propor-
tion to the amount of glucose present. Fermented cane
cannot be made into sugar, though with proper care it may
be worked into fair sirup.
Use none but a heavy, well-made mill, with large shafts,
requiring not less than two good animals to pull it.
A steam-power, horizontal mill should be used when
there are more than twenty acres to harvest.
The pulp (or bagasse), when passed through the mill,
should be broken into short, dry fragments, apparently free
of juice. When passing the mill as flat ribbons, unbroken
at the joints, it has not been well ground, and still has a
large percentage of juice left in it. A well-set horse mill
can be run to extract 60 per cent of the weight of the cane
in juice, leaving 25 per cent still in the cane (cane is com-
posed of 85 per cent juice and 15 per cent of dry fibre).
Seldom do horse mills extract more than 50 per cent of
juice, leaving 35 per cent in the cane. A well-designed,
powerful, six-roller steam-power mill will, when.kept prop-
erly set, extract 75 per cent, still leaving 10 per cent of
juice in the cane. Seldom do steam mills extract more than
75 per cent of the weight of cane in juice.
The most powerful steam mills--nine rollers, wjth
crusher and "saturation" between the last six rolls-aver-
age not to exceed 80 per cent of the juice, or 93 per cent of
the total sugar in the cane.
A mill extracting less than 65 per cent of the weight of
the cane in juice is not an economical apparatus. A good
steam-power mill, with six rolls, will average 75 per cent,
a gain of practically 20 per cent in sirup or sugar.
Few cane growers realize the enormous losses they sus-
tain by using inferior mills.
STRAINING AND CLARIFYING.
Between the mill and the juice tank, or barrel, a coarse
wire strainer should be placed, to remove coarse particles
of cane or leaves; under this a gunny-bag strainer; below
this a coarse muslin or cheesecloth strainer. Needless to
say, these strainers must be kept clean and frequently
changed. They should be stretched on hoops, like sieves,
and a number kept on hand for changing. From the mill
to the juice tank, near the clarifier, or evaporator, a pipe
should be run-generally below the ground, not to inter-
fere with the team. At its outlet another strainer of flan-
nel. or "filter cloth," should be placed.
Thorough straining wonderfully reduces the labor of
skimming and greatly improves the quality of the sirup or
The juice tank at the mill need not be of great capacity.
It serves only as a funnel for the pipe to the larger juice
tank near the clarifier or evaporator. This tank should hold
at least sufficient for a charge (or run) of well-strained
juice; it also acts as a settling tank and removes large
amounts of heavy impurities that settle to the bottom. It
should be cleaned at least once a day, and well washed out.
MILK OF LIME FOR CLARIFYING.
The universally used clarifying agent in all well-con-
ducted sugar or sirup factories is a mixture of freshly
burned quicklime and water. Air-slaked lime will not
answer the purpose, and should not be used. To prepare
this "milk of lime," use one pound of quicklime to one gal-
lon of water, thus having two ounces of lime to each pint
of the mixture.
Place 40 pounds of quicklime in a 40-gallon barrel;
slake it with water; when it is thoroughly slaked, add
water to make 40 gallons (if the water is at all times above
the lime it will keep indefinitely, fit for use).
Before dipping out a portion for use, stir the "milk of
lime" thoroughly to get the necessary lime suspended in
the portion to be used. It should be about like thick
For each 50 gallons of raw, strained juice, use one pint
of this "milk of lime." Take one pint of "milk of lime,"
add one gallon of water; stir it well to suspend the lime;
scalier this over the surface of the juice in the evaporator
or clarifier; distribute it well and mix it thoroughly with
Bring the juice to a boil quickly, but do not let it "boil
up;" when the "green blanket" forms and begins to
"crack," draw the fires, or turn off the steam. Remove the
blanket of green scum quickly and carefully. Don't let
the scum fall back into the juice at any time.
After cleaning carefully, renew the fires, or turn on the
steam; skim continuously and carefully, while evaporat-
ing; evaporate with moderate heat for sirup, quickly for
Normal cane juice is always slightly acid. If cane has
been cut some time, or exposed to the sun for some time,
it frequently becomes quite acid (ferments). The lime is
to neutralize this acid-coagulate the gums and albumins.
Practically all the lime is removed in the scums, or the
The amount of lime recommended-one pint of "milk of
lime," equal to two ounces for each 50 gallons of juice-is
but approximate. Very ripe cane, sweet and unfermented,
may require less; green or sour cane, more than indicated.
For sirup-mlaking, the juice should at all times have a
slightly acid reaction; for sugar-making, it should be neu-
tral-neither acid nor alkaline.
TEST FOR ACID.
A few sheets of Blue Litmus paper should be procured.
Cut this into half-inch strips, about four inches long, and
keep in a dry bottle. Before liming the juice, dip one of
these strips into the juice. The blue paper will at once be
turned pink or red, depending on the amount of acid pres-
ent. After liming, dip another strip into the limed juice.
It should show but a pale pink. If it remains blue, you
have too much lime, and raw juice should be added till you
get a faint pink color on the paper. Juice for sirup should
always be slightly acid, turning the blue paper a faint
For ..'rly'.-After thorough clarifying and skimming,
boil steadily and slowly (skimming all the time) till the
sirup makes 33 degrees.
For Sugar.-Boil off as quickly as possible, until the
saccharometer shows 36 degrees.
For uniform sirup or sugar-making, an instrument (a
hydrometer) called a "Beaume Saccharometer" is abso,
lutely necessary. These instruments cost 50 cents each,
and can be had of any instrument dealer. Any druggist
can order them.
In sirup-making, boil till a sample of the hot juice shows
33 degrees on the spindle, which will be about 38 degrees
Use a glass or tin cylinder about ten inches long for
testing; fill the cylinder full of hot juice and drop lhe
spindle in, it will float at the point of density of the sirup.
Sirup should show 33 degrees when hot; for sugar, boil to
36 degrees, hot.
The finished sirup should be bottled or canned, while
still hot, in perfectly cleaned and sterilized bottles or cans,
and sealed hot. Cans, corks, caps or covers should be
boiled or steamed to sterilize them.
Barrels or other wooden containers cannot be success-
fully sterilized, and will certainly ferment in a short time.
Any sirup, thick or thin, sealed hot, in sterilized cans or
bottles, will not ferment until exposed to the air and be
coming infected by the germs of fermentation. No harm
less preservative (or anti-ferment) is known. Chemicals.
that will prevent fermentation will also prevent digestion
and are prohibited by good morals, as well as the purm-
food laws of the country.
A central factory for sirup or sugar, with an assured
acreage of from 200 to 500 acres, where farmers can fur
nish from 10 to 20 acres without too great a haul, should
be a most profitable investment. Such a factory should pur-
chase cane on the basis of one-half the sirup or sugar made;
the farmer purchasing necessary packages if he prefer
to take his share "in kind," rather than accept the value
of his half at the factory without packages. The amoun-
of sirup or sugar in the cane is readily determined by the
specific gravity of the juice at the mill. With a good mill
and modern apparatus, a yield of 30 gallons per ton of
average ripe cane of 8 degrees Beaume can be expected.
This sirup should be worth 30 cents per gallon at the fac-
tory, or $9.00 per ton of cane, of which the farmer should
receive $4.00; at 20 tons per acre his gross yield is $80.00;
by proper fertilizing and culture, he can increase both the
sugar content and the tonnage; 30 tons are frequently
made, while 40 to 60 tons have been produced per acre on
the rich hammock and muck lands of the State, when prop-
erly drained, fertilized and cultivated.
Packages for sirup should not exceed five gallons each,
while one-gallon cans and quart bottles, neatly labeled and
sealed hot, to insure the preservation of the aroma and
peculiar flavor of well-made cane sirup, are preferable. A
fair price for good sirup in five-gallon cans is from 40 to 60
cents per gallon, while quart bottles will sell from 60 cents
to $1.00 per gallon. Five-gallon cans will cost 25 cents de-
livered, each, or 5 cents per gallon; one-gallon cans will
cost 10 to 15 cents each, while quart bottles will cost 5
cents each. These prices, of course, can be reduced by pur-
chasing in car lots, or by purchasing the material and hav-
ing the cans made at the factory, as is done in most can-
ning establishments. The freight on ready-made cans is a
very large item of expense. An outfit for making cans is
not expensive, while the skill required is not great.
U. S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE.
This question is of such importance that the United
States Agricultural Department has recently undertaken
a series of experiments in Georgia and Florida. along the
line of sirup-making. 1 believe our State could make no
better investment than to establish a sugar experimental
station in Florida, along the lines of the Louisiana Sugar
Experimental Station, which has added enormous sums to
the profits of our Louisiana sugar planters; has educated
numbers of practical sugar growers and sugar makers.
This station would soon be a self-supporting and self-
sustaining institution, and should be run on practical, as
well as scientific, principles, and thus train our young men
to "know how," as well as to "know why," certain pro-
cesses will yield certain results.
BULLETINS AND LITERATURE.
I would suggest to all lihose interested in sugar cane,
sirup and sugar-making, to write to the Louisiana Sugar
Experimental Station, at New Orleans, for a copy of
"Sugar Cane," by Prof. William C. Stubbs, Director of the
Louisiana Sugar Experimental Station (enclosing 50 cents
for the same) ; also, to obtain from the United States Agri-
cultural Department, Farmers' Bulletins Nos. 90 and 135,
"The Manufacture of Sorghum Sirup." The apparatus and
methods therein recommended are equally applicable to
the manufacture of sirup from cane.
During recent years experiments under the direction of
the United States Agricultural Department have been
made in Florida and South Georgia in manufacturing
sirup from sugar cane. A report, covering a number of
analyses of soils, and a larger number of analyses of cane
has been published in these bulletins, Nos. 70 and 75, of
the Bureau of Chemistry of the United States Agricultural
Department. This report sustains the position assumed
by myself and others that Florida and South Georgia pro-
duce cane equal to any country in sugar content, and that
the tonnage compares favorably with more tropical terri-
AVERAGE ANALYSIS OFI FLORIDA CANE.
The average from Florida and Georgia shows:
Sucrose, or pure sugar ................. 12.08 per cent.
Glucose, or reducing sugars ............ 1.32 per cent.
Co-efficient of purity ................. .79.50 per cent.
While these general rules and directions are given,
there are many -l.iil:-" and conditions arising that re-
quire experience and skill to succeed in making a really
good quality of sirup or sugar. The art of sugar boiling
is like all other arts, and requires practice and skill to
become an adept. While it is possible to tell "why" cer-
tain results should follow certain processes, one can only
learn "how" by practice. Numerous failures may be ex-
pected. Some of the most skillful sugar boilers are un-
able to tell "why," but they do know "how" to produce
the best results. There are numbers of chemists who,
while they know "why" certain results are to be expected
from given conditions and processes, have not the skill
required to boil sirup or sugar successfully. "Sirup boil-
ing" in all sugar-making countries is a distinct art, trade
or profession; skillful sugar boilers frequently being paid
as much, or more, than either the superintendent, man-
ager, chemist or engineer of a sugar factory.
R. E. 11OSE.
Tallahassee, Fla., September, 1010.
DIr. H. W. WILEY'S CONCLUSIONS.
In conclusion, I quote from Prof. H. W. Wiley, Chief
Chemist, United States Agricultural Department:
"The problems connected with the sugar and starch
products are four or five in number.
"First of all, the soil is to be considered and, therefore,
agricultural interests should pay some attention to staple
crops-that is, crops that have a market the year around
and can be preserved and marketed at any time. Sugar
and starch are types of such crops. These substances
take absolutely nothing from the soil; they are fabricated
by Ihe plant from the atmosphere and water; hence, the.
sale of such products does not tend to impoverish the soil.
"The soils of Florida are largely of a sandy nature **
*** *** Sandy soils are not suitable for producing
wheat, for instance, but they are well adapted for pro-
ducing sugar and starch. In Florida, it is more a ques-
tion of climate than of soil, since, with a favorable cli-
ma;e, scientific agriculture will produce a crop from
almost any kind of soil.
"The second problem to be considered is that of fer-
tilizers. Perhaps there is no State more favorably situ-
ated than Florida in respect of fertilizers. You have here
inexhaustible deposits of phosphate. In the leguminous
crops which grow here-namely, peas, beans, alfalfa and
beggarweed grass-you have a most valuable means of
assimilating nitrogen from the air. In cotton seed, fish
scrap and other animal refuse, you have access to large
stores of nitrogen. Through your seaports, stores of fer-
tilizer materials, such as nitrate of soda and potash salts,
can be brought from South America and Germany. It
would be hard to find any other portion of our country
where fertilizers could be sold more cheaply than in this
"The third problem is the character of the market. This
country is the greatest sugar and starch consumer in the
world. We use more than 2,000,000 tons of sugar an-
nually. Of this quantity, before the Spanish War we
made only about 300,000 tons-about one-seventh of all.
"Since the Spanish War we have acquired Hawaii,
Porto Rico and the Philippines, all of which gives us
large additional quantities of sugar. This year we will
produce about 100,000 tons of beet sugar, so that at the
present time it may be said that we produce about one-
third of all the sugar we consume; but still there is a
vast foreign market, which we might supply with a home
"There is no danger, therefore, of overstocking our own
market with increased sugar productions, nor is there
danger of the beet sugar driving the cane sugar cut of
the market. For many purposes-as, for instance, the
manufacture of sirup-beet sugar is unsuitable, and
there will always be a demand for all the cane sugar that
can be made.
"The sugar crop of the whole world for the present
year is about 10,000,000 tons, of which nearly 7,000,000
tons are made from the sugar beet.
"The sugar beet cannot, however, be grown in Florida
profitably. Here you must depend on the sugar cane for
sugar, and upon the cassava and potato for starch. From
starch, glucose can also be made, and it seems to me
that in the near future the glucose industry will pass
from the Indian corn belt to the cassava and potato belt.
In one particular industry Florida and the southern
parts of Georgia and Alabama stand pre-eminent, and
that is in the manufacture of table sirup from sugar cane.
It is important, however, to secure uniform grades to
hold the markets of the world, and this can only be ac-
complished by mixing together the products of small
farmers, or by the establishment of central factories,
where the cane grown in the neighborhood can be manu-
factured under standard conditions.
"By the development of these great industries, sugar
and starch making, including table sirups, untold wealth
will in the near future flow into Florida.
"From by-products of the factories, immense quantities
of cattle food can be obtained, both from sugar cane and
the starch-producing plants. Thus, a dairy industry can
be established in connection with sugar and starch mak-
ing, which will add much to the wealth of the State."
FUNGICIDES, INSECTICIDES AND
Many of these mixtures can be obtained already pre-
pared from reliable dealers, which saves much time and
trouble in mixing them. The following precautions
should be taken into consideration:
1-Care should be taken to keep all substances em-
ployed in spraying where they cannot be gotten at and
used by mistake. All substances should be correctly
2-Solutions and mixtures containing copper sulphate,
corrosive sublimate and arsenate of lead should be made
in wood, glass or earthern vessels.
3-Arsenical solutions should not be applied to fruits,
etc., within two weeks of the time they are to be used as
4-Trees should not be sprayed when they are in blos-
som, as the bees, which are necessary to fertilize the
flowers, may be destroyed.
5-Florida growers interested in spraying and other
means of checking insect pests, not fully covered in this
article, should write the director of the Florida Experi-
ment Station at Gainesville, for further information.
1 1IORDEAUX MIXTURE.
4 pounds copper sulphate (blue vitrol.)
4 pounds lime unslakedd.)
25-50 gallons water.
Dissolve the copper in hot or cold water, using a wooden
or earthen vessel. Slake the lime in a tub, adding the
water cautiously and only in sufficient amount to insure
thorough slaking. Afier thorough slaking, more water
can be added and stirred in until it has the con-
sistency of thick cream. When both are cold, pour the
lime into the diluted copper solution of required strength,
straining it through a fine-mesh sieve or a gunny cloth,
and thoroughly mix. The standard mixtures are:
(a) 25 gallons (full strength solution, or 4-4 25 for-
(b) 50 gallons (half strength mixture, or 4-4-50 for-
It is then ready for use. Considerable trouble has fre-
quently been experienced in preparing the Bordeaux Mix-
ture. Care should be taken that the lime is of good
quality and well burned, and has not been air-slaked.
Where small amounts of lime are slaked, it is advisable
to use hot water. The lime should not be allowed to be-
come dry in slaking, neither should it become entirely
submerged in water. Lime slakes best when supplied
with just enough water to develop a large amount of
heat, which renders the process active. If the amount
of lime is insufficient, there is danger of burning tender
foilage. In order to obviate this, the mixture can be
tested with a knife blade or with ferro-cyanide of potas-
sium (1 oz. 1o 5 or 6 ozs. of water). If the amount of
lime is insufficient, copper will be deposited on the knife
blade, while a deep brownish-red color will be imparted
to the mixture when ferro-cyanide of potassium is added.
Lime should be added until neither reaction occurs. A
slight excess of lime, however, is desirable.
The Bordeaux Mixture is best when first prepared.
Stock solutions of lime and copper can be made and
mixed when required.
2-The following, known as the 6-4-50 formula, is in
very general use:
6 pounds copper sulphate.
4 pounds lime.
50 gallons water.
3. BORDEAUX MIXTURE Fon PEACH FOLIAGE.
The Bordeaux Mixture, as ordinarily applied, fre-
quently injures to some extent the foliage of the peach,
etc., causing a shot-hole effect on the leaves. This in-
jurious effect has been shown to be largely obviated by
the use of the following:
3 pounds copper sulphate.
6 pounds lime.
50 gallons water.
This is known as the 3-6-50 formula. Some experi-
menters have also recommended the following for peach
(a) 2-2-50 formula (Cornell Agr. Exp. Sta. Bull. 180.)
(b) 3-9-50 formula.
The latter contains three times as much lime as copper
4 BORDEAUX RESIN MIXTURE.
5 pounds resin.
1 pound potash lime.
1 pint fish oil.
5 gallons water.
To make resin solution, place resin and oil in a kettle
and heat until resin is disolved. Cool slightly and then
add lye slowly and stir. Again place the kettle over the
fire, add the required amount of waier and allow the
whole to boil until it will mix with cold water, forming
an amber-colored solution. Take 2 gallons of the resin
solution and add to it 10 gallons of water. Mix this with
40 gallons of Bordeaux Mixture.
Recommended for Asparagus Rust on account of its
adhesive properties. (N. Y. Agr. Exp. Sta. (Geneva)
5 SACCHARATE OF COPPER.
4 pounds copper sulphate.
4 pounds lime.
4 pints molasses.
25 gallons water.
"lake 4 pounds of lime and dilute the same with water.
Dissolve 4 pints of molasses in a gallon of water and mix
with the lime. Stir thoroughly, and let it stand for a few
hours. Dissolve 4 pounds of copper in 10 gallons of water
and pour it into the lime-molasses solution, while stirring
briskly. Allow the mixture to settle. Draw off the clear,
greenish solution for use. Recommended in France as a
substitute for the Bordeaux Mixture.
6 AMMONICAL COPPER CARBONATE.
5 ounces copper carbonate.
3 pints ammonia (26' Beaume.)
50 gallons water.
Dissolve the copper carbonate in ammonia. This may
be kept any length of time in a glass-stoppered bottle and
diluted to the required strength. The solution loses
strength on standing.
7 EAU CELESTE.
2 pounds copper sulphate.
1 quart ammonia.
50 gallons water.
Dissolve the copper sulphate in 6 or 8 gallons of water;
then add the ammonia and dilute to 50 or 60 gallons of
S COPPER CARBONATE MIXTURE.
1 pound copper carbonate.
40 gallons water.
Mix the copper carbonate with a small quantity of wa-
ter to make a paste; then dilute with the required amount
of water. For fruit rot of the peach, etc. (Delaware
Agr. Exp. Sta., Bull XXIX.)
9 COPPER ACETATE.
6 ounces copper acetate (Diabasic Acetate.)
50 gallons water.
First make a paste of the copper acetate by adding
water to it; then dilute to the required strength. Use
finely powdered acetate of copper, not the crystalline
form. For the same purpose, and of the same value, as
the preceding forumla.
10 COPPER SULPHATE SOLUTION.
1 pound copper sulphate.
25 gallons water.
Applied only on trees without foliage.
11 COPPER SULPHATE SOLUTION.
2-4 ounces copper sulphate.
50 gallons water.
For trees in foliage.
12 POTTASSIUM SULPHATI.
3 ounces potasium sulphate.
10 gallons water.
Valuable for gooseberry mildews, etc.
13 POTASSIUM PERMANGANATE.
1 part potassium permanganate.
2 parts soap.
100 parts water.
Recommended in France for black rot and mildew of
the grape, etc.
14 IRON SULPHATE AND SULPHUIRIC ACID.
Water (hot), 100 parts.
Iron Sulphate, as much as will dissolve.
Sulphuric Acid, 1 part.
Prepare solution just before using. Add the acid to
the crystals, and then pour on the water. Valuable for
treatment of dormant grape vines affected with anthrac-
nose, application being made with sponge or brush.
15 CORRosIVE SUBLIMATE.
(For Potato Scab.)
2 ounces corrosive sublimate.
15 gallons water.
Dissolve the corrosive sublimate in 2 gallons of hot
water; then dilute to 15 gallons, allowing the same to
stand 5 or 6 hours, during which time thoroughly agitate
the solution several times. Place the seed potatoes in a
sack and immerse in the solution for 14 hours. Corrosive
sublimate is very poisonous; consequently, care should
be taken in handling it, nor should the treated potatoes
be eaten by stock. The solution should not be made in
(For Potato Scab.)
8 ounces formalin (40% solution.)
15 gallons water.
Used for the same purpose as corrosive sublimate, but
not poisonous. Immerse the seed potatoes for two hours.
17 PARIS GREEN-DRY.
1 pound Paris Green.
20-50 pounds flour.
Mix thoroughly and apply evenly, preferably when dew
is on the plants.
18 PARIS GREEN-WET.
1 pound Paris Green.
I pound quicklime.
200 gallons water.
Slake the lime in part of the water, sprinkling in the
Paris Green gradually; then add the rest of the water.
For the peach and other tender-leaved plants, use 300
gallons of water. Keep well stirred while spraying.
19 ARSENITE OF LImB.
1 pound of white arsenic.
2 pounds of fresh burned lime.
1 gallon water.
Boil together for 45 minutes and keep in a tight vessel.
Add 1 quart of this to a barrel (50 gallons) of water.
This insecticide has been recommended by a number of
Experiment Stations, but has not yet been sufficiently
tested at the Massachusetts Station to receive an endorse-
20 ARSENATE OF LEAD.
4 ounces arsenate of soda (50% strength).
11 ounces acetate of lead.
150 gallons water.
Put the arsenate of soda in 2 quarts of water in a
wooden pail, and the acetate of lead in 4 quarts of water
in another wooden pail. When both are dissolved, mix with
the rest of the water. Warm water in the pails will hasten
the process. For the Elm-Leaf Beetle, use 25 instead of
150 gallons of water.
21 WHALE OiL SOAP.
2 pounds potash whale oil soap.
1 gallon hot water.
For winter use only.
22 KEROSENE EMULSION.
pound hard soap, shaved fine.
1 gallon water.
2 gallons kerosene.
Dissolve the soap in the water, which should be boiling;
remove from the fire and pour it into the kerosene while
hot. Churn this with a spray pump till it changes to a
creamy, then to a soft butter-like mass. Keep this as a
stock, using one part in nine of water for soft-bodied in-
sects, such as plant lice, or stronger in certain cases.
23 MECHANICAL EMULSION.
A substitute for the last. Made entirely by the pump,
which draws water and kerosene from separate tanks and
mixes them in the desired proportion by a mechanical de-
vice. Several pumps for the purpose are now on the mar-
24 RESIN-LIME MIXTURE.
5 pounds pulverized resin.
1 pound concentrated lye.
1 pint fish or other animal oil.
5 gallons water.
Place the oil, resin and 1 gallon of hot water in an iron
kettle and heat till the resin softens, then add the lye and
stir thoroughly; now add 4 gallons of hot water and boil