Default

Default

Default

Default

This article displays in one automatically-generated column. View the full page to see article in its original form.

A CANTERBURY ORCHARD. SOME INTERESTING OBSERVATIONS AND EXPERIMENTS.

Mr W. E. Barker, of Waikonini, Peel Forest. tiho commenced fruit-growing in 1883, has now an orchard nine acres in extent, in which 3000 trees are planted. Of these 600 are plum trees, of 22 ordinary and six Japanese varieties ; 100 pear trees of 12 varieties ; 30 quiuces, and the balance consists of apples. Fifty-three varieties of apples were planted, but only 30 are now in cultivation, most of the others being grafted over. The crop from the orchard this season, notwithstanding tbe drought, will amount to close upon 20 tons. The orchard is picturesquely situated on the sunny downs, near Peel Forest, and the land, which was originally ambush swamp, has been well drained, and is admirably suited to the growing of fruit trees. THE SELECTION OF TREES. In selecting fruit trees- Mr Barker's plan lias been this : that whenever he found a certain variety of apple, plum, &c, did well ia his orchard, he generally went in for about 100 trees of that variety, for he found that he could get a good market for a large line of one kind of fruit. His land is beit suited for growing plums, particularly Washington, Brady's greengage and the large greengage, Coe's golden drop, bine diamond, and Orleans. He finds, however, that a variety which will do

well in one part of the colony will not thrive in another, and he suggests that the Government should publish a catalogue showing the kinds of fruit mosst suitable for different parts of the colony. The apples most in favour with Mr Barker are the sturroer pippin, yeoman, London pippin, and Peck's pleasant. Dann's Maria, an apple which has been raised at Rangiora, is said to be one of the be3t for cider, but does not keep well in store, as the skin becomes spottsd with a disease which spoils the look and affects the sale. Mr Barker does not kaow how pear trees will do on his land, as they are only beginniug to crop ; but if they do well he considers them one of the moßt profitable kinds of fruit he can grow. ' FRUIT AND I>IGS. Mr Barker runs fruit and pigs together, and finds it pajs him well to do it. Ths plum orchard is divided from the apple orchard by a barbed wire fence, and during the winter months, when tho leaves are off the trees, the pigs are first lurned into the plum and theu into the apple orchard. As soon as the leaves on the trees become tempting the pigs are turned into a spare piece cf bush land, where Ihey root among the fern and have abundance of food in the form of waste fruit. The two orchards, having been well rooted up, aro sown down in clover. In another orchard, where the trees are all young, the system adopted is to cut the grass and nee if? as a. mulch for the trees, and in the winter time to Btock the orchard with sheep, feeding them on turnips, and thus manuring the soil. He finds that sheep do not eat the baik of the fruit trees after the fall of the leaves. THE FRUIT HOUSE. Mr Barber found by experience that in order to keep fruit not only fresh air was required to carry off noxious gases, but darkness was indispensubln to retard the ripening of. the fruit. The fruit house was therefore built of battens, lined with old carpeting, and roofed with American tarred felt as being cooler and just as cheap as iron. The fruit store measures about 7fc or Bft in height. The length is 32Ft, and the width just sufficient to allow bins on either side and a 3ft 6in passage way between. The bins, which lie one on top of the other from floor to ceiling, measure each lft in depth, 4ft 9in in length, and go back to the wall, about 2ft Bin. Bach bin will hold about 11 cases of fruit. The bins are all constructed of slip panel?, or false bottoms resting on skids, to prevent one bin resting its- weight upon the fruit of the bin below, and the bins may all be tskftn to pieces and put together at very short notice. Each bin has a wooden fUp on the front to hold the fruit in, and »ll along the passage, on either side hooks are placed. When fruit is> l-f quired from a particular bin an apron is extended across the passage on the hooks in front of the bin ; the flap is removed, and the fruit rolls out on to the apron, and may be examined at pleasure or removed to be packed and sent away. Mr Barker fiuds that he scarcely has any lo^s in apples stored in this I way, and he can keep them sound right into the I summer, but since duty has been put on Tasmanian fruit he has had very little need to shore his apples, as they sell well enough fresh. Mr Barker has also a very methodical system of labelling his bins, so that he knows exactly what fruit ho has stored, when it was picked, and how long each particular variety will keep. A free passage for air is provided batween the bins and the floor, in order to get rid of carbonic acid gas, which, being the heavier, falls to the bottom. FRUIT-GROWING A PROFITABLE INDUSTRY. Dunedin, Mr Barker finds, is his bess fruit • market ; from there he receives as many orders as he can supply, and he has not done business With Christchurch for fcur or five years. The railway freight is now very reasonable, being only 6d per cwt to Chris' church or Duuediu, 3d per cwt to intermediate centres, and empty cases are returned free. !V{r Barker complains a good deal, however, of careless handling of the cases of fruit by the railway officials, which results in considerable damage and loss. He finds f ruit-growiDg pays very well, but considers it a hardship that fruit-buyers will not allow for cases. This was a most important thing when looked at in the right light, and he held that the Government should make it compul> sory that some allowance shcaild be made on fruit cases. It was a great chance of getting fruit-growera old cases returned to them in place of their own, and this was a very dangerous system to adopt, as there was no knowing what disease might be brought into one's orchard by old ca3fs, and by that means spread all over the country. If only 3d per case was allowed to fruit-growers there would then be no temptation to have cases returned, and the buyers would still be able to make a profit out of the sale of cases for kindling wood. ORCHARD PESTS AND SPECIFICS. Mr Barker has brought a cultivated mind and observant nature to bear upon his work in the orchard, aud he has made a considerable study of the pests and diseases with which the orchardist has to contend. He uses every cace to keep his orchard clean, and is very particular about his fruit cases. Last year they cost him £25, but he considered it money well spent, as he is strongly against using old case?, which may introduce some pest or disease to the orchard. He haß tau3 been able to keep out the codlin moth. For dressing trees Mr Barker finds the Government recipe— a combination of lime, salt, sulphur, and water — a great success for winter application. The proportions are — quicklime 401b, sulphur 201b, salt 151b, and water 60gals ; and ths method of mixing the ingredients is as follows :— First boil 201b of lime and 201b of sulphur in 20gals I of water until both lime and sulphur aro dissolved. This will require about an hour's boiling, and when sufficiently done the mixture will be of in amber colour. The remainder of the lime should be slaked in a barrel with hot water, adding the salt and stirring briskly. The two lots are then mixed together with enough water to make up the 60gals, and tho mixture strained and applied hot. This wash cannot be too highly recommended for winter use on all deciduous fruit trees. It cleans the trees from the growth of moss and lichen, and is an effectual and cheap application for the mussel- j shell scale. In practice Mr Barker reduces the recipe to 101b of lime, 51b of sulphur, 3£lb of salt, and 15ga!s of water, and straining the mixture into a water barrow, syringes the tret s as soon a3 the leaves are off. Little's sheep dip in the proportion of one in seven he applies to the trees by hand in summer at any odd times where he notice? tho scales seem to have congregated in masses. By syringing three times with bluestone and lime Mr Barker was able to save the foliage of some trees which had been attacked with the animal disease known as Phytopus peri, or pearmite. which without the aid of a microscope is difficult to distinguish j from the fungus known as Entomosporium j maculatum, a psar cracker and leaf blight The j bluestone and lime mixture is also a certain cure for apple scab if syringing is done at the proper time. One of the most difficult diseases to understand is the silver blight, and after examining it under a micro3cops Mr Barker has come to the conclusion that it is a root disease. Under the microscope it seems as if the plant •was languishing from a lack of chlorophyl in the cellular tissue?, but he suspects it to be ol fungoid origin, attacking fcka soota. bec&wiQ ia

ono instance he effected a cure by exposing the roots to tl 9 air. He would not be surprised if sfter such an exposure a rapid recovery was ensured by watering with a solution of iron, sulphate of iron especially, but that was a theory he had nob had time to }>ut into practice. Probably, however, Mr Barker would find that a dressing of m'phale ot copper (bluestoae) would ba more effective than sulphate of iron. — Weekly Press.

This article text was automatically generated and may include errors. View the full page to see article in its original form.
Permanent link to this item
Bibliographic details
Word Count
1,707

A CANTERBURY ORCHARD. SOME INTERESTING OBSERVATIONS AND EXPERIMENTS. Otago Witness, Issue 2249, 8 April 1897

  1. New formats

    Papers Past now contains more than just newspapers. Use these links to navigate to other kinds of materials.

  2. Hierarchy

    These links will always show you how deep you are in the collection. Click them to get a broader view of the items you're currently viewing.

  3. Search

    Enter names, places, or other keywords that you're curious about here. We'll look for them in the fulltext of millions of articles.

  4. Search

    Browsed to an interesting page? Click here to search within the item you're currently viewing, or start a new search.

  5. Search facets

    Use these buttons to limit your searches to particular dates, titles, and more.

  6. View selection

    Switch between images of the original document and text transcriptions and outlines you can cut and paste.

  7. Tools

    Print, save, zoom in and more.

  8. Explore

    If you'd rather just browse through documents, click here to find titles and issues from particular dates and geographic regions.

  9. Need more help?

    The "Help" link will show you different tips for each page on the site, so click here often as you explore the site.

Working