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Agricultural Notes

The Florida Review

1911

FROST.—Knowledge is a most excellent thing under all circumstances, but certainly there is no place in the world where scientific agriculture is more important than right here in Florida. As illustrating how the gardener and orchadist may make use of scientific apparatus, there is now on the market a self registering thermometer with electrical attachment, by means of which a bell can be rung by his bedside so as to awaken him when the temperature in the free air sinks below say 40 degrees. Of course, you understand that when the temperature of the free air is 40 to 42, there may be a light frost on your plants, which indicates that the leaves of the plants are such good radiators of heat that their temperature has fallen to 32. In Southern Florida, where nothing more severe than a light frost is experienced; when the bell rings all that is necessary is to arise and light your smudge boxes or small smudge fires which you have in readiness, or start your pump and set sprayers going, and your crop is saved. In the northern part of the state, where greater cold is sometimes experienced, it is advisable to be prepared with oil-pots, coal baskets or wood fires., which not only make a smudge but also furnish heat.

FERTILIZING.—An acquaintance in Miami, who has a grove of fine Indian mangoes, was telling me of a mistake he made through lack of knowledge. He was told by the party he bought his trees of that they would not fruit until the sixth year, and so he fertilized right along for growth of limb, and was surprised to find them in blossom in the fifth year. They fruited poorly and dropped off badly. The explanation arrived at was that owing to his overhead irrigation system his trees had been forced along faster than in any previous experience where this was lacking. I was greatly surprised at the great limb growth since I saw the grove last winter. Had he fertilized for fruit her would undoubtedly have had a large crop. With a sandy soil one must fertilize for what one expects to get.

ORANGES.—I went through orange groves where the wind had blown off hundreds of boxes. I went through abandoned groves, that is groves where the frost had so nipped the fruit that it was not considered worth while to pick them. The owners seemed to take their loss with stoic indifference, under the impression that they must accept what fate handed them. Bu success can often be pulled out of failure by mixing brains into the situation. For illustration, I refer the reader to an article in the October Outlook on "Golden New England," showing what can be done with abandoned farms. I examined the fruit carefully in one grove, on a good many trees. Scattered through the grove the fruit seemed to be untouched, some only in part, others the stem end was injured, making them unmarketable. But could not such fruit, as well as wind falls, be made into marmalade, syrup for soda fountains, jelly, unfermented juice, or even the peel dried? Perhaps the reply is that there is no market for marmalade. Then create one, but donít ask 25 cents for four tablespoonfuls, as at present; the price is too high judged by the amount of fruit going to waste.

CORRESPONDENCE COURSES.—Any owner of land in Florida can secure for a nominal fee from the University of Florida fourteen correspondent courses in agriculture, especially prepared for those wishing instructions in farming. By writing to oneís representative U. S. Bulletins on a large variety of agricultural subjects may be obtained.

Source:
Excerpt from L. C. P. "Agricultural Notes" The Florida Review, Vol. V, No. 4. April, 1911, pp. 340–341.

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