Australia. Dept. of Agriculture New South Wales.

The agricultural gazette of New South Wales online

. (page 27 of 118)
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TegeUble. It need not be planted until towards the spring, but if the
gEoond is dug up roughly and manured some time ahead, it will become
Bore fit for the planta than if prepared immediately before planting. As
the a^Mm^us is a permanent crop, and will last for many years, it would
be sdfisable to take some trouble in digging and manuring the ground ;
SDii although its thick fleshy roots are to a great ext^it surface feeders,
and do not descend Yerj deep in search of food, the ground had better
be dug 2 feet or at least 18 inches deep, and if the soil is poor, manure may
be mixed in at the same time. Coarse bone meal or broken up bones
wonld be useful in addition to farm-yard manure. There is no necessity to
put on a heavy dressing of manure, and if the soil is in " good heart" it may
not require any. To provide sufficient asparagus for a fair sized family, very
fittJe space would be required, say about 16 feet long by 6 feet in width, or
eren less, but this must be left to individual judgment and convenience for
eren a dozen well cared, for plants will yield a considerable return. A few
plants may perhaps be l^ed at first, and if the vegetable is appreciated and
succeeds satisfactorily more can be planted afterwards.

Besnt, Broad, — This vegetable may be sown largely from time to time
dating the month. It will attain the greatest perfection on rather stifE soil,
bnt a fair crop can be obtained from almost any soil if it be well manured.
Sulphate of ammonia is not a desirable manure to apply. Sow the seed in
rows about 3 to 4 feet apart, the seed about 4 inches apart in the rows, and
about an inch and a half deep. Johnson's wonderful and broad Windsor
aieboth excellent varieties. The dwarf fan bean is a good variety very
snitahle for small gardens. The rows of this should be about I foot apart.

BeoM, M*ench or Kidney. — ^Will only succeed in the warmest parts of the
Colony where frosts cannot attack them.

■Bic^, JSed and Silver, — ^Thin out well the plants which are coming up, and
^p the rows free from weeds. It is not advisable to sow any more seed at

Borecole or Kale,— A very small quantity of seed may be sown. This is
a v^table hardly worth the growing, for good cabbages are infinitely

Bnusels Sprouts, — ^Which is a sort of cabbage, is one of the best if not the
h^ of that class. li will succeed well in cool cUmates, and may be treated
^ erery respect as the ordinary cabbage. A little seed may be sown, and if
tty young plants are obtainable they should be planted out about 2 feet
*part each way.

OMage.—^o^f seed as largely as may be thought necessary, plant out also
anj young cabbages that may be availidble. They should not be pulled out

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Practical Vegetable Orowing.

of the seed bed, but taken up carefully without breaking more roots than
can be avoided. The earlj Jersey Wakefield and early dwarf York are
both good small yarieties. The sugar-loaf is also a good kind. Everj
garden should have a few plants of the red cabbage, which comes in very
useful for pickling. If not required for that purpose, it may be eaten in the
ordinary way. It should be noted that cabbages are greedy feeders, and
need rich soil and abundance of manure.

Cauliflower. — Sow a little seed, and plant out from the seed bed any strong
plants that are large enough to handle. This vegetable should be grown
largely, for it is well liked by almost everyone. The ground needs to be
well manured like cabbage.

Carrot, — Seed may be sown largely. Make the rows about 1 foot apart*
and take care not to bury the seed more than half an inch deep. Be careful
to weed frequently, for the seed takes a considerable time to come up, and
when it does, the plants are very fine and tender and easily destroyed by
weeds. Manure had better not be applied, unless it is old and very rotten,
as it induces the carrots to become forked and quite spoiled in appearance.
Early Shorthorn and Improved Intermediate are good varieties to sow at the
present time.

Celery. — Plant out a few seedlings into very well manured ground, if any
are available.

Endive. — If plants are available they may be planted out largely. It is a
most useful substitute for lettuce when that cannot be grown. A little seed
may be sown.

Leek. — Seed may be sown largely, and any plants from previous sowings
that are large enough, say about 6 inches in height, may be planted out.
The soil should be heavjly manured.

Lettuce. — Sow seed largely, and plant out any young lettuces that are
suitable and of sufficient size to handle. The roots should not be broken,
if possible, when raising the plants from the seed-bed.

Onion, — This is an important and useful vegetable, and opportunity should
be taken now to sow a good quantity of seed. Sandy loam is tne most
suitable soil for the plant. Well rotted manure should be applied in quantity,
the land well drained, and the surface kept somewhat raised and made clean
and fine for the seed. The beds should be narrow, so that they can be easily
weeded. It should be kept in mind that weeds have a most damaging effect
on young onion plants, and must never be allowed to grow and attain any size.
The seed should be sown in drills, which should be about 1 foot apart. Care
should be taken not to bury the seed deep— indeed it should be little more
than pressed into the soil. Sow thin, unless small onions are required.

Parselj/. — Sow a small quantity of seed in order to keep up a supply of

Parsnip. — This is a good wholesome vegetable, although not always liked.
Sow a few short rows. The ground should be dug deep, as the roots will
extend to a great depth, if the soil is free and open.

JPeas. — Take the opportunity to sow largely of this general favourite in
rows about 3 feet apart. Cover the seed with soil to a not greater depth than
8 inches. The peas should be sown in the drills about 3 inches apart. For
manure use well rotted droppings from farm animals. Lime, especially
sulphate of lime or gypsum, will be found useful. Potash and super-
phosphate of lime are good manures to use.


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Practical Vegetable Growing. 201

Badish. — Keep on sowing a very little seed from time to time, and root
out all old tough plants. TJse plenty of well rotted manure.

Spinach, — A little seed may be sown occasionally during the month. Sow
in rows about 18 inches apart, and thin out the young plants well when they
come up. Use well rotted manure freely.

ShdloU. — Plant out a few bulbs, but do not set them deep in the ground.
Thej should stand about a foot or so apart each way. Wnatever distance
vou may think best keep to it, or else everything will have a most unsatis-
fiictoiy appearance, and be awkward to work. A line should be used on
ereiy occasion.

Herbs, — Sow a little seed of any kind it may be wished to grow.

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)2 Orchard JNotes for April.

Orchard Notes for April.

IE month of April is more or less a slack time for fruit-growers in the
astal districts, as the bulk of the summer or deciduous fruits have been
sposed of, and the citrus fruits are not yet ready. There will, however,
ill be a certain amount of fruit to dispose of, such as late apples and pears,
tssion fruit, and persimmons, with a few off-crop oranges, lemons, and
orny mandarins. Though there is not much fruit to send to the market
iring the month, that is no reason why it should not be carefully and
tractively packed, so as to show to the best advantage, as it should always
I borne in mind that the better the fruit opens up when exposed for sale
e more readily it will sell, and the better price it will bring.
During the month the cultivation of the orchard should oe attended to,
id the ground kept in good tilth and free from weeds. If, during the
onth there is any spare time, it can be well utilised by doing a little neces-
ry draining, and there is nothing that will pay the orchardist better,
pecially in the Cumberland district. Drain tiles are always preferable to
\e, as they are cheaper to lay, last longer, and do more good if properly
id than any other kind of drain. There is no occasion to lay the drains

deep, as a rule drains 30 inches deep and 20 feet apart are the best. On
javy soils liming should supplement draining. All surface drains should
) attended to, and where there are underground drains the outlets should
) examined so as to see that there is a good get away for the water. In
e latter districts all late apples and pears should be gathered and stored
r winter use, taking care to handle the fruit as carefully as possible, and

store nothing but perfectly sound fruit. All bruised, blemished, or wormy
uit must be rigidly excluded, as if mixed with the sound fruit, it will not only
t itself, but in rotting will probably cause several adjacent fruit otherwise
jrf ectly sound to rot also. The fruit containing codlin moth should be care-
lly excluded from the sound fruit and destroyed, and the building used to
ore the fruit should be so arranged as to offer as little shelter as possible to
e larvae of the moth. If there is time, all fruit cases should be carefully dis-
fected, as this will destroy many forms of disease, both insect and fungus,
id if done well before they are required for citrus fruit, they are not likely

be overlooked, which will very probably be the case if left till spring.
\ie best way to disinfect the cases is to immerse them in boiling water for
)t less than five minutes, which will effectually destroy all fungus germs or
sects. A shorter immersion would not be sufficient, especially in the case
: the codlin moth, as the larvae is so well protected by its covering that it

difficult to reach. If fungus diseases of any kind or pear mite haye been
•evalent in the orchard during the season, vast numbers of the spores (seeds)
■ the fungi and large numbers of the pear mite may be easily and readily
jstroyed by gathering up and burning the fallen leaves of the diseased trees,

1 that when this can be done it should always be attended to. No diseased

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Orchard Notes for April. 203

or rotting fruit should be allowed to lie under the trees, as it is simply
breeding disease. This is especially so in the case of the bitter rot of the
apple, where it is the chief means of spreading the disease, so that all rotting
and diseased fruits should be gathered up and destroyed by burning.

All dead, diseased, or undesirable trees that are to be removed from the
orchard can be dug up during the month, and the hole from which they have
been dug can be left open, and the adjacent ground left in a rough state, in
Older to expose as great a surface as possible, so that the ground may be
thoronghly sweetened before planting a young tree in the place of the one
remov^. The work in the orchard nursery will consist mainly in keeping
the land in good order and free from weeds, as the young trees are not likely
to make much more growth, but have only to mature their wood.

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204 Oeneral Notes.

General r(otes.

Cool Buildings.

[t 13 often remarked by new-comers to the Northern Australian colonies
that very little attention is given to the construction of buildings with a
^iew to coolness during the almost tropical heat of our summers.

In older settled countries, having a similar range of temperature to ours,
bhe buildings are of a much more solid construction, massive walls and
substantial roofings are relied upon to moderate the temperature, while the
buildings themselves are so arranged in clusters or groups as to ensure
currents of air circulating amongst them.

In Canada and the North-west States of America houses and bams, stables
md stores, are built of logs squared on two faces with the adze, and where
timber is not suflBciently plentiful to permit of this, " dug outs" are made on
bill sides, the solid earth forming the walls on three sides, and the roofs are
covered with grass sods, forming a sure protection against the summer heats
IS well as the winter cold.

In Central America as well as in Egypt and many other hot climates,
avails of dwellings are constructed of considerable thickness, built of adobe
3r unburnt bricks. Some of these are reported by recent travellers to be of
rery great age and still perfect, and it is said that the interiors of these
idobe buildings are of marvellous coolness.

One of the great diflficulties which dairying in this Colony, and eepeciallv
n the northern part of it, has to contend with is the heat and the great
trariation in the temperature from day to day and at various times of the
jame day.

A great point of excellence in both butter and cheese is uniformity of
juality and flavour, and it is extremely difiBcult to secure uniformity in a
lairy where the temperature is constantly subject to great variations. Some
3f the dairy companies have gone to great expense in order to avoid these
changes of temperature by double walls, deep verandahs, &c.

Want of capital is usually pleaded as the reason why farmers and selectors
lo not erect more substantial buildings ; but it is quite possible that if it was
aiore generally known that solid structures, cool in summer and warm in
>nnter, can be built at the same, or even at less, cost than those now
generally put up, manv of our farmers would build them in preference.

A representative of this Department calling at the farm of Mr. Thos.
Rixon, East View, Eocky Eiver, on business on a very hot day, was much
struck with the coolness of the room in which he was received, and,
remarking upon it, was told by Mr. Eixon that it was built of mud, and was
ilways cool, that he had built several such, and was about to build a similar
3ne as a dairy for E. C. Bloomfield, Esq., of Salisbury Court.

Mr. Rixon very readily entered into particulars, which we publish in the
fiope that they will prove useful to our readers ; and we shall oe glad if any
svho have had experience of such buildings will supply us with fmrther
nformation on the subject.

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General Notes. 205

Mr. Bixon said it did not require any extraordinary skill to build them ;
any man of average ability could do it. " It is quite simple. We take fine
ironstone gravel, mixed with some earth, or just as it would come from the
pit, top and all. "We mix it like mortar, and we mostly put in some short
rotten straw or chaff to make it hang together, and use a potato fork to put
it up with. You want a stone foundation and some galvanised iron to cover
it up with, and that is about all there is in it."

It is in fact concrete building made without cement, the ironstone gravel
forming the concrete. All who have had much to do in breaking up new
land have found patches of ground which, when worked at all wet, will cake
as hard as cement in the next dry spell. That is the sort of soil to use. It
is pretty plentiful in patches in most parts of the Colony. Some volcanic
sands found in Italy have the same property, and are used in making cements
which have a good reputation.

The method of building is shortly this : the foundation is dug out to a
snfficient depth, according to the nature of the subsoil ; in some it
is needful to lay a course of rough stones (rubble). The tempered mud and
eravel is then laid about a foot in depth and not less than 15 inches in width,
boards or slabs being used to keep the sides even. This is completed round
the walls; door-sills, and frames being put in their proper positions. In wet
weather it is necessary to protect the concrete from rain, and in very hot
weather it should be shaded from the sun to prevent too rapid drying.
Where ventilation is desired it is well to make a wooden frame of the size
desired, and bed it in about a foot from the outside ground-level. The
opening thus left may be protected with wire-gauze or perforated zinc or
tin, to prevent the entrance of insects and reptiles (snakes, frogs, lizards, Ac.)

The first course having been laid, and having become sufficiently firm to
carry the next, the process is repeated, window sills and frames being built
in where required. When the walls have been completed to the desired
height, the wall-plates are put in position and the roof put on in the usual
way. Mr. Bixon has roofed his own place with straw-thatching, which in
Bome circumstances is the best possible roofing, being impervious to heat,
perfectly water-tight, and very duraole ; but it has some disadvantages. Id some
pkces, it afibrds harbour for vermin and sparrows, and where grass, cane-
trash corn-stalk, or scrub are being burned off, or bush -fires are raging it is
rather risky. Where there is a liability to these risks a galvanized-iron roof
is much safer, and not much more costly.

The great objection to iron-roofing is that the heat from it strikes down-
wards during the day, and condensed moisture drips from it at night ; but
both these faults can be obviated at a slight expense by a lining of glazed
calico or hessian, or stiff paper nailed to the under side of the rafters leaving
a clear space of some 4 inches or more between it and the iron.

This space is of course an air-space, and the air in it will be kept in motion
by the heat of the iron heating the air, which will, being lighter, find its way
up to and out at the ridge capping, and its place will be taken by cooler air
entering at the eaves, and so a constant current will be kept up. The air in
the buOding will be always cool, and there will be no condensation of moisture
to cause a drip at night.

The Willesden Paper-mills, near London, made several kinds of paper
suitable for this purpose, and the Australian Asbestos Company of Melbourne
uuike several fabrics well adapted for it, and also for roofing purposes.
Almost any storekeeper can supply, or procure, a packing-paper glazed with
bhick varnish on one side, such as is used in packing goods for shipment ;

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106 General Notes.

}ut any moderately tough paper will answer the purpose, which is simply to
naintain a moving body of air between the iron and itself. There is no strain
)n it.

The importance of cool places on a homestead can scarcely be OTer-estimated.
i cool dairy is essential to the making of good butter and cheese ; a cool place
a wanted for storing fruit, for curing bacon, and for keeping provisions, and
[or sorting, bulking, and curing tobacco-leaf. A cool dry place for the
latter purpose will make a penny per pound difference in the value of the

Mr. Bloomfield was good enough to answer our inquiry as to how the
iairy answered its purpose, and said : " The dairy built of mud for me by Mr.
Thomas Eiion is proving very satisfactory; the temperature is even, and the
iairy is 10 degrees cooler than any other building on the place. The cost is
much less than I could have got it built for of any other material."

Insects foe Identification.

A-TTENTiON is again drawn to the collection of insects, friends and foes,
being formed by this Department, and for this purpose the Entomologist
nvites communication upon insects of economic interest whose attacks affect
khe well-being of plants and fruits ; in return, early advice as to remedies
ind preventives will be forwarded.

All correspondence should be accompanied by specimens of the pests to
nrhich reference is made, and also, if possible, by material — whether fruit,
foliage, grain, or timber — illustrating the manner in which the harm is done.
Whenever possible the insects should be sent alive, securely packed in tin or
svooden boxes, in which they may be sent through the post with safety. On
ao account should cardboard boxes be used for posting specimens, as in
almost every case they arrive broken and the insects destroyed by the rough
handling of the post. The early st^es of many insects cannot be determined
lefinitely unless accompanied by the mature or perfect insects, and this is
m additional reason for sending caterpillars, grubs, &c.j aUve, and also
atccompanied by food, as in many cases they can be kept until they undergo
their transformations and arrive at maturity.

The Moeeton Bat Fig as a Foddee Plant.

(See August Gazette, 1893, page 609.)
Mb. W. Eae, of Sydney, writes : —

Be Mr. Maiden's account of the Moreton Bay fig as a fodder plant for
cattle, I beg to offer a few remarks thereon. Though, perhaps, somewhat
Limited, it is none the less thorough. I may say I first came to the conclusion
Like Mr. Maiden, from seeing them eat them when thrown in their way, and
[ thought to myself, " Well, when they are so fond of them they must be
^ood, although a bit gummy." The result of my observations was, I would
give them a trial, although warned repeatedly not to do so, as it would give
the milk a disagreeable taste, and lead to constipation in the cows. How-
ever, I thought differently, and carried on in secret for some time — about six
weeks^lurmg which time they received them almost every day. I then
said I would give them a trial, although told the same old story of tainted
milk and injured cow. You can judge of their surprise, then, when I told
them I had been using the leaves for some time, and the milk had no ill
affects or taste perceptible.

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General Notes. 207

I have been feeding all the winter regularly, with the addition only of a
little lucerne, and what grass they pick up ; but, as Mr. Maiden says, it is
not much if there are any leaves about, although I shut them out from the
leaves sometimes a few hours daily, as I thought it might act as a sort of
conrectiTe against the eating of the leaves. However, I have no cause to
regret giving them, as the increased supply of milk amply testifies to their
merits as a milk-producing fodder plant or tree.

I may say it is very direct in action — so much, that it will double the
supply in twenty-four hours, and also keep up the condition as well. As
for the milk, I confess it is tainted, but not perceptibly unless attention is
drawn to it. It seems a bit glossy to the palate, and leaves a somewhat dry
feeling in the mouth after. I may say I have tasted the pure milk from the
tree, and was much surprised to find that it was not in the least like the
gummy, sticky substance I had met with on hands and clothing. "When
taken internally it seems to lose all those properties it has when exposed
to the air. It was not in the least disagreeable, although somewhat dry to
the palate. I am inclined to think myself it is somewhat of a laxative

I may ako say the cows drank a great deal more water when eating the
leaves — so appreciable, that it might cause different results if denied them.
This only applies to the large-leaved, although they take the small as well,
but not with the same relisb, as they are not of such a succulent nature. I
Aink they ought to be more liberallv distributed over pastures and reserves
where cattle have access. There will then be no cause to complain of the
immense number of leaves which large trees shed.

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Lerfield P., A., M., and H. Society ...

; Macquarie A. and H. Society

lore A. and H. Society

ima District (Moss Vale) A., H., and I.

Society .. ..

ean District (Penrith) A., H., and I. Society

ertson Agricultural Society

[la P. and A. Association

i A., P., and H. Society

Tell P. and A. Association

on Agricultural Society

irgo A. and P. Society

iberumba P. and A. Society

I Innes P., A., and M. Association ...

den A., H., and I. Society

Ibum Agricultural Society

jong Agricultural Association

lidale (Combined Show), New England, A. and

P. Association

Royal Agricultural Society (Sydney), N.S.W.

dwood P. and A. Association

le Hill A. and H. Association

ige A. and P. Association

cna P. and A. Association

er Clarence (Maclean) Agricultural Society...

dagai P. and A. Society

^ney P. and A. Society

daroo P., A., and H. Association

loi (Xarrabri) P., A., and H. Association ...

lurst A., H., and P. Association

ence (Grafton) P. and A. Society

lington P. and A. Association

ter River (West Maitland) A. and H.


bo P., A., and H. Association...

ialda P. and A. Association

[gee Agricul tural Society

leay (Kempsey) A. and H. Association

er Hunter (Muswellbrook) A. and H.


er Manning (Wingham) A. and H. Society...

ir P. and A. Association

)es P., A., and H. Association...

bhem (Singleton) Agricultural Association

Online LibraryAustralia. Dept. of Agriculture New South WalesThe agricultural gazette of New South Wales → online text (page 27 of 118)