B Eastwood.

A complete manual for the cultivation of the cranberry. With a description of the best varieties online

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$1581 00

I learn from the first Annual Eeport of the Secretary
^>f the Board of Agriculture, that the cost of preparing


land and setting vines is $1,50 to $1,87J per rod,
which is very extravagant, compared with the manner
I have pursued:

The cost of building my dam by contract . $20 00
Ox labor, furnished by myself, estimated . 5 00

Setting vines on about an acre . . . 25 00

-$50 00

The cost of stopping and letting off water, and

taking care of the same since 1846, yearly,

$10,00 $90 00

Beckoning the cranberries, for the past six years, at
six hundred bushels, and the cost of picking and
marketing the same at 75 cents per bushel 450 00

$540 00

Net profit on $50, expended nine years . . $1041 20

Yearly income on $50 ...... 115 67

Respectfully yours,

North Reading, Sept. 25, 1855. ADDISON FLINT.

[NOTE. Since the above statement was made, the
Secretary has learned from Mr. Flint that he had just
fifty barrels of cranberries as his crop of 1855, which
he sold for thirteen dollars a barrel, delivered at the depot
two miles from his house, making the pretty sum of
six hundred and fifty dollars as the product of two acres
of what was quite recently an almost worthless bog
meadow. Mr. Flint also states, that in looking about
he notices a good many tracts of land apparently as
good for the cranberry crop as his, and that some of the
pieces might much more readily be flowed and re
claimed than his own.]



GENTLEMEN: The piece of cranberry meadow to
which I invite your attention, contains about three-
quarters of an acre. The mud and peat is deep, and
the plat rests on a light layer of sand, and under that,
as near as I could ascertain, at one point a clayey
gravel. There were four or more kinds of grass upon
this piece which had been cut off yearly ever since
my rememberance.

The first of these grasses is called carex filiformis
a kind of sedge-grass, which passes by the name oi
water-grass grew upon the greater portion of this
piece. Another kind is the carex stricta, a kind of
sedge-grass called hassock-grass, and also a narrow-
leaved sword-grass. The third kind, carex lociistris, a
kind of sedge-grass with broad leaf, and is called broad-
leaved sword-grass. The fourth kind is scripus erio-
phorum, the true name being wool-grass, called the
broad-leaved sword-grass and also broad-grass. These
grasses I shall allude to in my experience which will
be annexed to this statement.

In the autumn of the year 1838, I think, with a
cast-iron shovel ground sharp and put in good cutting
order, I removed squares or sods of the turf from the
ground, one side of these squares nearly correspond


ing in length to the width of the shovel, the depth of
the hole being from four to five inches. I then from
beds of vines cut sods of vines corresponding in size
and in depth to that which I had removed, which I
placed in the holes already made, and with the feet
trod or pressed them firmly into the hole, that they
might not be disturbed by the action of the ice or
water, during the winter or spring. The distance of
these sods, or hills, one from another, was from three
and a half to four feet. As some of these vines which
I transplanted had grown from fifteen to eighteen
inches in length and lay nearly level with the ground,
care was taken to raise the vines and place the shovel
under so as not to cut off the vines, and also to get a
sod of the proper size, otherwise the vines would be
cut off and greatly injured. As far as I have seen,
vines which are of much length, and which lay under
water during the winter and spring, will, if let alone,
naturally lean to the north-east, (for the same reason
that fruit trees lean that way), and as I rake my vines
all one way, that is, I draw the rake from the south-
west to the north-east, so I placed those sods of vines
which did not stand erect so that they would lean to
the north-east.

Every year since the year 1840, these vines were
eaten up as regularly as the year came round by a
worm, called in this vicinity the cranberry worm.


This worm may be the same, or at least a species of
the same worm, which operated the last of June on
the apple tree ; its appearance to the eye is the same,
its operations the same, and it has the same faculty of
jerking itself back as the apple-tree worm. Some sea-
sons they seemed to threaten total annihilation, the
vines presenting to the eye the same appearance that
an orchard does when its foliage has been eaten by the
canker worm. To destroy this worm, the vines were
kept under water from spring until the first of July,
1852. This * destroyed all the worms I believe, as I
.have not seen one since. When the water was taken
off the vines grew vigorously, forming the blossom bud
? or the present year, and the result is as handsome
i lot of berries as ever was seen.

Nearly every year I have cut the grass near the first
of July, thereby giving the plants the air, sun, and

One side of this piece borders upon a small brook,
which, previous to my cultivating the vine, in a dry
time would become dry. In this brook I formed a
dam in two places ; these dams, most of the time in
a season like this, keep the meadow wet, and the water
is forced back among the vines, the object of which is
to protect them from frosts, which usually occur in
all the summer months in low lands.

In addition to the above statement, I would like to


give my experience in the cultivation of the cranberry;
I would do it with the hope that by my efforts and
experience, whether successful or otherwise, the culti-
vators of this fruit may be encouraged and emboldened
to persevere in the cultivation of this delicious fruit,
which promises the cultivator so great a reward.

It is more than twenty years since I entered upon
the cultivation of the vine with high hopes, believing
that the cranberry was a hard thing to exterminate,
that it would destroy grass in all situations and in all
soils, and cause even hassocks to disappear. But after
a trial and many years of observation, I find the cran->
berry a hard plant to destroy, except with the plough,
and that it will not root out and destroy all grasses in
all situations and soils. I find that in some soils the
vine will not drive out certain kinds of grasses, when
in other soils it may succeed. Take for instance that
kind of sedge-grass which we call hassock-grass, this
upon banks of streams, and in our swails where it is
more or less irrigated, roots with such strong hold and
throws up the blades of grass so thickly that there is
no room for the vine in a soil less rich, and the vine
will in all probability succeed.

Take, for instance, the osmunda spectabilis, called in
this vicinity buckthorn, and is known to botanists by
the name of flowering fern. This grows in the form
of a tree, its slender stem supporting a large top with


a large leaf, overshadowing all around, and shutting
out the sun, light and air so much that the vine can-
not grow. On one occasion I set out vines among the
flowering fern and in about three or four years the
sods of vines could not be found. Close by the side of
this was a large bed of vines, covering nearly a quarter
of an acre of ground, (except four or five little places of
a few yards in each), which was flowering fern or buck-
thorn. In order that the ground might be compara-
tively covered with vines, I cut up and carted this
buckthorn to the upland, and set sods of vines in its
place, expecting that they would some day take the
place of the buckthorn. In this I have not been dis
appointed, for these plats are loaded with the largest
fruit ; so thickly do the berries lay this day, that in
rtome places they would, if collected and laid upon a
level place, completely cover the ground. But this
quarter of an acre of vines in a few years was gone,
except a few stray runners ; the flowering fern had
taken their place, and the plats I set out are only left to
tell where the original bed of vines stood. Now I do
not suppose that in every situation and kind of soil
that this fern would supplant the place of the vine
although in this case it did. I have several small plats
of ground besides, one containing some fifty square
rods, the turf containing the roots of the buckthorn.
I cut in strips about fifteen inches wide, and set it up
edge-wise to dry. These were burnt when dry and the


ashes carried to the compost heap, as they are not
needed on this soil.

These plats were set with sods, with most excellent
success one-half rod gave me this season one bushel
of berries, which is at the rate of at least three hun-
dred and twenty busliels to the acre. These experi-
ments show clearly that the plant cannot be set in this
grass with any prospect of success. There is another
kind of grass called polly pod, also, small brake, Dry-
opteris ihelypleris, which, as far as I have seen where it
covers the ground, casts so much shade that the
vine cannot succeed in it. It is more easily pulled up
than the buckthorn 5 and when dried and burned,
vines may be set with good results.

There is another kind called by some the broad-
leaved sword-grass, and by others broad-grass, and by
botanists wool-grass, scirpus eriophorum. It grows in
round plats or clumps, varying in diameter from three
to twelve feet. In the piece I presented to you for
examination there are several plats of this grass,
which show that the vine cannot take root in it.

Upon this same piece of ground is another kind of
grass covering some two rods called carex lacustris, a
coarse kind of sedge-grass; its general appearance
does not differ from wool-grass, the blades of which
are no? so thickly set in the soil as the wool-grass, yet
sufficiently so as that the vine succeeds with dif-


The other kind of grass in this piece is called carex
filiformis, a kind of sedge-grass, and water-grass. This
grows in wet places, throwing a less number of blades
which cast less shade, and when mown there is less
stubble than any other kind of grass I have noticed.
On the whole, the vines have flourished quite as well
in this as in any other grass, although my success
has been equally good on one piece of hassock and

On another plat which was covered with hassocks I
set sods between them which have nearly disappeared,
the hassocks standing alone in their glory. I would
recommend that all hassocks be removed before setting
out vines. And also, let no man set out rose-bushes
with his vines.

I would suggest that when the thermometer, the
direction of the wind, &c., denote a frost, if there be a
stream of water which the cultivator can command,
that a dam be built and so constructed that the water
may be thrown back during a cold spell, and when it
is past let the water run again. If a stream of water
of sufficient size does not flow -reservoirs of water
may in places be laid up for use in a frosty time.

As far as my observation extends, there are but few
soils in which the cranberry will not flourish. When
they will not, the character of the soil may be changed
by carting on gravel, loam or sand, at any time in
winter; if necessary, spread it upon the ice from one


to thi 6 inches in depth ; the vines will find their way
through and grow with new life and vigor.

I have in two instances made trial of burning the
vines because they were old and did not seem to bear
fruit. These pieces contained together some ten to
fifteen rods.

I can see no good reason for burning vines except to
destroy the cranberry worm when it cannot be done
by flowing in summer. If burning is resorted to,
great care must be taken not to burn in too dry a time.
If there be but few vines and other matter to burn, it
would be necessary to select a time more dry than if
there were a great body of vines as they would burn
almost any time when once on fire.

Meadows for cranberries must not be drained.

Above is my statement, and also my experience, and
I rest my claim for the premium on three reasons.

1. The successful experiment in transplanting.

2. In establishing the principle that flowing until
the first of July will effectually destroy the cranberry
worm, so destructive to the vine.

And lastly, yet by no means the least, my experi-
ence and observation of more than twenty years in the
cultivation of the vine in the different grasses, which
may, by being given to the public, save those who cul-
tivate this fruit, much precious tune as well as larga
sums of money. AUGUSTUS EL. LELAND.

Sherhorn, September 13, 1853.





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MAR 1 1S92







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Online LibraryB EastwoodA complete manual for the cultivation of the cranberry. With a description of the best varieties → online text (page 6 of 6)