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that they usually grow faster than the
But if cut in August, wheat. If weeding be deferred till the
Die they must. seed is matured, it gets scattered in the process, and as there is everything to as. Now it is quite true that the earlier cutsists its germination, we eradicate one tings have the effect described in this plant and substitute thousands. The care poetical receipt. The nettles reappear, ful farmer must be ever watchful not to though in a weak and attenuated form. neglect a single root; and as the habits of After the August cutting it is equally trne weeds are so various, and as each has its that they are seen no more ; but it is solely season, so also the times and methods of because the heads would shortly have died their destruction must be varied accord of themselves. Though they make no fresh ingly. It is still, however, too much shoots during the brief remainder of the the custom to perform all operations ac- season, the roots retain their vitality, and cording to the maxims of a traditional the nettles will spring up as strong as ever ignorance, which are often the more en
the next year. To destroy them they during from being embodied in jingling must be cut not merely in August, but verse. Thus we have some rustic lines during all the months mentioned. Then upon the nettle, which, crude as they are, their leaves are never permitted to perfect have yet more rhyme than reason :
themselves, and the plant quickly perishes.
With many weeds the branches may
appear in vigorous growth, and be stiil If nettles be cut in April,
sending out new flowers at their ends, They appear in a little wbile;
whilst the earlier flowers bave ripened If in May,
their seeds. This will appear from a table They peep out the next day; If cut in June,
of six common weeds of this kind which They reappear very soon;
were gathered in April 1856, in a field in If in July,
the county of Gloucester, which had been They'll hardly die;
partly horse-hoed :
3 = 450
250 X 3 750
Stellaria media. 500 x 10 = 5,000
150 x 50 7,500
150 300 1.200 1,375
Here the very process of hoeing would agriculturist is a conservator instead of an be apt to scatter these 6,025 seeds under exterminator of weeds. Professor Buckthe best possible circumstances to ensure man in his Prize Essay mentions three their growth. Yet the farmer would com other methods by which the farmer bemonly think such a hoeing abundantly comes his own weed-grower, and that early, and would certainly not dream that very often on an enlarged scale :- 1st, the 6,025 seeds were the offspring of six from the neglect of waysides and waste plants alone. If the hoeing was deferred, places; 2nd, from permitting weeds to be or was not done at all, these six plants thrown on the manure-heap; and 3rd, might produce the enormous sum of 21,950 from sowing weed-seeds with the seeds for seeds, which in the next season would be the crop. That waysides and waste places sufficient to take complete possession of are so many nurseries of weeds, all may the soil. In weeding, as in other things, observe who will only take the trouble to delays are dangerous.
examine the parts of a farm which lie This is not the only way in which the nearest to them. Thus a coltsfoot bank by the roadside will soon cause this pest | repeated, that all weeds should be burned; to show itself in the neighbouring fields. their ashes make the best of manure; and tail Dandelions and thistles spread principally and seed refuse should be crushed before it is in the direction of the prevailing wind,
used. and as they have downy seeds they take a wider range than those of other kinds ; In the summer of 1858 we observed in but it is surprising the distances that even a blank spot, twelve yards long and three ordinary seeds may be carried. The pre- wide, where the turt had been removed judicial effects of a neglected road are for a former manure-heap, thirty species now so well recognised by all good farmers of the commoner weeds, not one of which that they willingly undergo the expense was to be found in the surrounding turf. of keeping it clean; and, as Professor Amongst them were goosefoot, knotBuckman suggests, it would be a boon to grasses, dock, sow-thistles, poppies, thistles, agriculture if road-surveyors were com- and many of the smaller weeds, each of pelled to perform the same duty in the which would doubtless have been found roads under their charge. The worst of spread over the field to which the manure the matter is, that one careless cultivator was applied. We once saw a field of turwho neglects banks, ditches, and waste. nips which were perfectly white with the corners, keeps up a supply of seeds which flowers of the stinking-chamomile, though are disseminated over the adjoining lands. not a specimen of it was to be seen in the The occupiers are put to a serious and con- neighbouring lands. The flowers were so tinnons expense in consequence. If it was regularly disposed that there could be no only from justice to good tenants, land- doubt but that the intruder had been lords should exclude every weed-grower brought in with the manure, and spread from a district. He is not only a bad along with it over the ground. When it farmer, but a bad neighbour also. is remembered that a single plant may
Professor Buckman says that a neglected produce 40,650 seeds, we can have no dif: manure-heap often produces enongh weed. ticulty in conceiving bow an entire field seeds to stock y farm. In an article in may be thickly sown from a single manureMorton's "Cyclopedia of Agriculture' we heap. have these just observations on the sub- The third source of weeds is that they ject :
are sown with the seed for the crop. It
has been demonstrated that almost every It is too much the custom to conceive that
common article of sale is sophisticated by weeds, even in seed, may safely be added to
dishonest dealers. It was not, therefore, swell the manure-lieap, and hence they are frequently carried thereto in order that they may
to be supposed that agricultural seeds Now, although they ren!ly do decay in would escape. The unsuspicious farmer this situation to a greater or less extent, yet it long went on buying them with scarce a shoull be borne in mind that, even under the question as to their purity, not withstanding most favourable circumstances, much must that weeds were constantly seen to spring escape decomposition; and though the herbage up in tields where they had been previousmuy vleray, yet in most instances the seed is so ly unknown. He is somewhat warier pow, curiouely and beautifully contriver, with its but both rogues and dupes are likely to firm envelopes
, as to enable it to resist accilents exist as long as weeds themselves. All has not noticed on old dungheaps an enormous that is required for the detection of the amount of r:unk vegetation ? Here the seeds have frand is a pair of sharp eyes, and the ocVegetated, because they were near the surface, casional aid of a lens, conjoined with some and were consequently exposed to the influence little patience to separate the trash wbich of the atmosphere; we turn it over and expose is often mixed with the seeds. A Leeds a fresh surfic, and this also becomes covered with weeds: we spread it on the land and the buyer of cloth is never without his pocketsame kind is propagated. Indeel all the crops inicroscope for the examination of the to which we put manures are the foulest, and
wares in which he deals; and though an the inference, therefore, is plain that the manure old-fashioned farmer would stare at the heap is a fertile source of weed propagation The notion of looking at a sample of seeds with seeds got, mixed with litter and rouse matter of what he calls a inultiplying-glass,' he may all kinds, but more especially with farmyard become reconciled to the test when he sweepings. The refuse of winnowing, for ex- reads in such lists as that which follows ample, is given to the fowls, under the mistaken what noxious stuff' he buys in the place of ident that they will dig-st all the seeds, and lestroy them; those that they do not eat or digest grass and clover, and observes how the are carried off to the dung-heap. It is, there original imposition inflicts upon him in fore, no wonder that weeding is ever doing, and its consequences an ever-multiplying inyet lias erer to be done. It cannot be too often jury :
TABLE OF WEED-SEEDS TO THE BUSHEL OF THE FOLLOWING CROP-SEEDS.
It is no wonder that we should be told, in they were.' Even if the seeds first sown a paper read before the Croydon Farmers' do not, from some accidental cause, inClub, in 1847, by Mr. Wood, that ‘Weeds crease and multiply, the original growth are increasing rather than diminishing, and will often be sufficient to stock the land. that thistles are much more numerous than Take this table for an example :
This is more than enough in most cases to is not very bright ;' but the answer, “I crop the entire ground; for a single indi- don't ask a heavy price, silences critividual of some of the weeds which are cism; and for the sake of saving a few commonly met with in clovers would, if pence per bushel in the first outlay, the left alone, occupy several square feet of buyer becomes a perpetual cultivator of soil.
weeds. Having paid for his enemies, and It must be admitted that such small carefully rown them, he imagines on their plants as clovers are very difficult to keep coming up that they are natural to the free from weeds, and the process entails soil. considerable expense. But instead of the The more deliberate adulterations are care being proportioned to the need for it, endless. We have found as many as it more frequently happens that a particu- 1,920,000 seeds of the beavy and easilylarly dirty patch of mixed clovers and grown narrow-leaved plantain in a bushel grasses will be put up for seed. Though of red-clover; and 23,040 seeds of the so mongrel a growth would make bad hay, false-barnet (Poterium sanguisorba) in a it may yield a heavier weight of seed than single bushel of saint foin. The false bur. when pure. It is true that when offered net grows so much faster than the saintfor sale, the remark may be made that .it | foin that it completely smothers it when in such enormous proportions. But perhaps aggravated degree. Afterwards some of the the most gigantic fraud committed upon linseed was threshed at the farm buildings, and the farmer is one in which he is himself in various ways its weeds got to a manure-leap, the agent.
which was traced to a field of beans. The black Every one knows the common charlock, kerlock, or kedlock of our arable boundary line circumscribing the growth of the
mustard occupied a large strip in the middle, the fields. It is a species of mustard—the Si- weed. This is now the general charlock of the napis arvensis of the botanist--and is of- farm, it having nearly expelled the common ten so abundant as to render the fields a Sinapis arvensis-à circumstance which we complete blaze of yellow. Its seeds are think partly accounted for by the greater fecunjust the size of those of the turnip; for dity of the former, for the Sinapis arrensis bas both belong to closely allied species, and it only 4000 seeds to a plant, and the Sinapis nigra is difficult to distinguish one from the bas 8000. The manner in which weeds are other. The charlock-seeds are separated increase of exotic species froin the use of fo
spread over some farms may be observed in the from the corn in the process of winnowing; reign seeds, a circumstance which accounts for and as there is a ready market for this re- the additions to our English flora within the fuse, at from 28. 6d. to 3s. the bushel, the last few years. However, these, as being wholly farmer is only too glad to sell it. A por- foreigners, seldom muke rapid progress.' tion of it is crushed and mixed with rape or linseed. The hot and stimulating mus
Not content with home-grown adultetard is a poison to the bullocks which are rations, a still further supply is imported fed upon the mixture. It produces inflam- from abroad. The following extract from mation of the bowels, and many a fine head the letter of a French dealer in London, of cattle has been killed from its use. Se addressed to the well-known seed estaveral samples of both linseed and rape-cake, blishment of the Messrs. Sutton, of Readwhich had been attended by these fatal reing, will show how systematically this sults, were subjected to the examination of fraudulent trade is carried on:Professor Voelcker of the Royal Agricultural Society, and in all of them the mus
'I have sold this day some India rape-seed tard was detected by its
for mising with turnip-seed, and enclose a sam
pungency. transaction in this form is clearly not to ple. If you will have some at 568. per quarter,
in the docks, you can have it, if unsold, to your the advantage of the farmer. But the
I have some East India radish-seed at greater part of this charlock is used for 98. per bushel. If you want some for mixing, I the adulteration of turnip-seed. It is pre- shall be very happy to serve you.' viously subjected to a high temperature, which destroys its vitality, and prevents India rape-seed at the price of turnip-seed the suspicion which might arise if it came leaves a tolerable margin for profit; and up in the rows when drilled. Still detec- East India radish-seed to be re-sold at the tion is easy; for if turnip-seed be bruised garden price of 2d. the ounce is certainly and mixed in water, the charlock will soon a temptation to the dishonest dealer. The betray itself by emitting the pungent odour remedy is with the farmer. He should of mustard. In both instances the farmer neither sell weed-seed nor buy it. There has his weed returned upon his hands, in is little doubt that seeds can be got absothe one case at the expense of his fatten- lutely free from weeds if he will pay such ing bullock, and in the other he buys back a price as will remunerate the seed growwhat he sold for a trifle at the rate of from er, and it is with seed adulterations as 9d. to 18. per lb. As it does not germi- with all other kinds of sophistications, that nate when it is sown, an extravagant ex- the balance is ever against the purchaser. penditure of seed becomes permanently Trivial as the subject will appear to some, necessary, to allow for the chance of much it is not only a question of private profit of it never coming up at all. Where the but of national importance. If all the seeds are not killed the case is worse. An weeds which occupy the place of plants instance of this is given in the Agricultu- that serve for the sustenance of man were ral Gazette' for Nov. 7, 1857, and many in a single parish collected together, we could add others from their own experi- should be astonished to perceive how great
was the loss of food to the community at
large. What the weed eats is so much Some few years since we commenced the taken from human subsistence, and the growth of flax. Our first crop introduced to the field a large growth of Sinapis nigra, or black
aggregate amount which is thus consumed mustard, a plant to which the field was before a
is enormous. With the general improvestranger. The seed of this flax was afterwards ment of agriculture farmers have become sown in another part of the farm, thus introduc- far more alive to the importance of keeping the black mustard in a new place in an ing their land clean and preventing as
much as possible the growth of weeds, in- | their produce than wall-trained fruit-trees, stead of leaving them to overshadow the and owing to the greater simplicity of the proper crop till they threaten to drive it pruning, an amateur who possesses Mr. from the field. But much still remains to Rivers's guide may boldly undertake the be done before docks and thistles will be management himself, or may depute it to replaced by a proportionate quantity of any gardener of ordinary intelligence. To bread and beef and beer, to the mutual be sure, during the great spring frost of advantage of the individual farmer and this year the orchard-houses did not althe population who enjoy abundance, or ways save the apricots, peaches, and pears pine in scarcity, according to the increase from destruction, though where the prewhich the earth is made to yield.
caution was adopted of throwing a mat over the glass, or of burning a pan of charcoal, or candles, in the house, the fruit was mostly saved. On the 1st of April the thermometer at Chiswick was 13 de
grees above the freezing point, on the 18th ART. VIII.-- The Orchard House. By it had dropped to 10 degrees below. Such
Thomas Rivers, of the Nurseries, Saw- a combination of early hot weather, which bridgeworth, Ierts. Fifth Edition. brought everything unseasonably forward, London, 1858.
with subsequent severe frost, is not likely
to occur in half a century. ORCHARD-HOUSES,' says Mr. Rivers, are Sir Robert Peel had the sagacity to pernow familiar things : hundreds are rising ceive the importance of repealing the duty up all over the face of the country: no on glass. Without this happy and timely garden structures have ever so rapidly ad. change, we should have had no Crystal vanced in popularity.' Mr. Rivers, who | Palaces, no grand railway station resemoriginated this excellent method of culti- bling that at Paddington, and, what is vating fruit-trees, naturally hears much of more to our present purpose, we should the extension of bis plan, which leads him have had no cheap orchard-houses. Not to imagine that it is more widely diffused only bas the cost of the manufacture than is really the case. By far the ma- greatly diminished, so that what formerly jority of educated people do not even cost shillings may be got for pence, but know of the existence of the system, and the quality is vastly improved. The garwe believe we shall do a service in calling dener must always look back with interest their attention to it. Hitherto houses for to a measure which has been attended fruit have been a luxury confined to the with such important results to his art. rich ; and are only found in descriptions of Mr. Ellis, in his Report on the Exhibition aristocratic residences. Their enjoyment of 1851, states that during half a century predicated a first-rate' gardener, and prior to the removal of the duty, not withplenty of coals for the flues. The next standing the augmentation of the populastep is the well-stocked wall,' and from tion, there was actually a decrease in the thence we sink down into the ordinary quantity of glass manufactured. It has garden fenced with paling or hedges. The increased so much since, that our exports out-of-door wall is very uncertain, and it is in glass, which in 1847 were under always doubtful, spite of nets, bunting, 300,0001., aniounted in 1857 to 659,0001. and other protectors, whether the spring So great at the same time has been the frosts will not ruin the crop. Moreover, advance in quality for common consumpas the fruit only grows on the wood of the tion, that rolled-plate is now largely used preceding year, much skill and some fore- for hot-houses and conservatories. For sight are requisite to keep the walls cover this purpose, says M. Bontemps, in his ed with new shoots, so that they may be Report on the Paris Exhibition of 1855, it preserved for bearing blossoms in the fol. possesses the advantage of not producing lowing spring Hence the mystery of on the plants the effects of a burning. pruning, a subject which is usually treated glass, which is sometimes the case with empirically, and is understood by few. certain portions of sheet-glass. Even at Montreuil, near Paris, where The orchard-house is simply a “glassthere are miles of low peach-walls, we have roofed shed. It should have boarded sides been told that almost every separate culti- about four or five feet
igh, and upon vator has his own scheme of pruning. On these sides rests a rigid glazed roof. It is all these points orchard-houses possess a essential that the house should be kept decided advantage. They are cheaper low, “ for the nearer the glass,' says Mr. than forcing houses, are more certain in Rivers, the finer the fruit. A path runs