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Agriculture of North-Carolina, Part II: Containing a Statement
of the Principles of the Science upon which the Practices of Agriculture, as an Art, Are Founded:

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Emmons, Ebenezer, 1799-1863


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(title page) Agriculture of North-Carolina, Part II: Containing a Statement of the Principles of the Science upon which the Practices of Agriculture, as an Art, are Founded.
(spine) North Carolina Geologial Survey. Agriculture. 2.
Ebenezer Emmons
viii, [9]-112 p.
Raleigh
W. W. Holden, Printer to the State
1860
Call number C551 N87e 1860.1 (North Carolina Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)


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AGRICULTURE
OF
NORTH-CAROLINA,
PART II:

CONTAINING A STATEMENT OF THE PRINCIPLES OF THE
SCIENCE UPON WHICH THE PRACTICES OF
AGRICULTURE, AS AN ART, ARE
FOUNDED.

BY

EBENEZER EMMONS,
STATE GEOLOGIST.

RALEIGH:
W. W. HOLDEN, PRINTER TO THE STATE.
1860.


Page iii

To His Excellency, JOHN W. ELLIS,
Governor of North-Carolina:

        SIR: Although your station in life withheld your hands from the active and laborious duties of husbandry, yet, in the discharge of your former official duties, you were furnished with constant opportunities to acquire exact information of the state and condition of Agriculture throughout the State. It is no doubt for this reason that you have so frequently expressed the strong interest for the improvements in this department of labor, and the more general diffusion of information upon those subjects which are intimately related to it.

        By your permission and advice I have been led to undertake the preparation of several works upon the Agriculture of the State. The first is designed to be preparatory to those which will follow, and although the subject matters are by no means easily treated, yet I am encouraged to hope I shall so far succeed as to present them in a form and in a language which can be understood by the common reader.

I am, sir,
Your obedient servant,

EBENEZER EMMONS,
State Geologist.

RALEIGH, March 1, 1860.


Page v

PREFACE.

        THE principles of Agriculture set forth in the following pages are designed for the use of Planters and Farmers of this State. The subjects involving the principles herein detailed, are not so fully treated of as in other works of a higher aim, and which profess to be scientific; but we hope that they belong to a class which may be regarded as the leading principles of Agriculture; and therefore, may secure the attention of those for whom they are designed.

        In consequence of the fixed prejudices to change modes of culture, and the strong tendency to unbelief of promised advantages when modifications of a system of husbandry are proposed, it has happened that professional men have taken the lead and advanced forward, when the regular bred farmer has stood still. The lawyer, the physician, and merchant, men of capital, who have been disposed to retire from their professions have been generally more ready to follow new modes of culture, and to engage in somewhat more expensive experiments than the farmer. It is true, their example has not been followed immediately, and indeed, they have not always succeeded; but their results have often been so striking, as to arrest attention, and it has worked in some way or other to the advantage of agriculture; sometimes by exciting the pride or vanity of the regular bred farmer, who feels that he ought not to be outdone or outshone in crops or cattle; and has therefore, been led to attempt on his part to outdo a competitor, who has placed himself irregularly in the ranks of laboring men. By way of illustration, we may mention LIVINGSTON, who introduced plaster, by which the agriculture of New York was revolutionized. LIEBIG, a chemist, first prepared and recommended the use of the superphosphate of lime, which had a decided influence upon the progress of agriculture. The introduction of fertilizers of this class could not fail to suggest many others, and hence, a multitude of mineral substances have been tried with varied success.

        The faithful reader of the following pages may probably observe that certain facts and principles are repeated in different parts of


Page vi

the work; if so, it will be found that they stand in different relations, and hence, are possessed of a greater value; we are not always losers by repetitions, when we can present them under a new phase. We have prepared this work, because we considered it necessary to carry out the objects of the survey. It is intended to prepare the way for other works which require a knowledge of the facts and principles contained in this. Agriculture is commanding more attention than formerly. Products, which ten years ago were unprofitable, have become profitable, because of the greater facilities and a diminished expense in reaching the markets of the world. Every mile of railroad helps the farmer, as his products are heavy, and are often both heavy and bulky. He requires, therefore, more than any other citizen, public facilities. As the world now moves, time is doubly important, and to attempt to reach a distant market with flour, corn or cotton, with the old six horse or mule team, would be utterly ruinous. It was impossible to revive agriculture under the old dynasty, inaction; but the advantages of public improvements are now so strongly felt that very few remain to oppose them; the great care which now devolves upon this generation of active and influential men, is to direct them judiciously.


Page vii

TABLE OF CONTENTS.


Page 9

SURVEY OF NORTH-CAROLINA.
PART II.
AGRICULTURE.

MARCH, 1860.
E. EMMONS.

CHAPTER I.

        General remarks. Obstacles which retard the diffusion of knowledge among Farmers. Errors often due to imperfect observations. Case in point relating to acid soils. How experiments to be useful should be conducted.

        * 1. AGRICULTURE is regarded as an art and a science. As an art, its practice comprehends the preparation of the earth for the reception of seed, and the mechanical state best fitted for the perfection of a crop.

        As a science, it comprehends that kind of knowledge which relates to the structure and composition of vegetables, their adaptions to climate, soil, and the relation which any members of the kingdom hold to the forces of nature. The successful practice of the art, is more or less dependent upon agricultural science, though in the order of time, art preceded science. This fact may seem to contradict the foregoing assertion, nevertheless its truth may be made to appear from sundry considerations. In the first place, the practice of the art is founded upon the simplest observations when the soil was fresh from the hand of nature and rich in all the elements of growth, when nothing perhaps was required but to gather the fruit and watch the progress of the seasons.

        When improvement was attempted more attention was required. The grafting of one kind of fruit upon another must have demanded a knowledge of the structure and functions of bark, stem and the circulation of sap. The success would depend upon a purely scientific


Page 10

conception, which would suggest the proper artistic mode of procedure. Accident must frequently have promoted discoveries, but accident happens in vain to the man who neglects to think, and perceive the real nature of results and how they came to pass. Accident in the presence of GALVANI laid the foundation of the beautiful science of galvanism; the same accident in the presence often or a hundred other men may not have awakened a single idea beyond the naked fact.

        Accident, therefore, though it may have done much for science as well as art, yet it is only when it has occurred under the eyes of thinking men; in them alone will be awakened the germ of a practical idea.

        It is not to accident however that progress in science or the arts is expected. An unexpected result may and often occurs which is turned to account; still, it is by a train of systematized knowledge that agriculture must depend for its future progress. The more exact this knowledge becomes the more we may hope from its general diffusion.

        * 2. Governed by the foregoing views we have proposed to preface a series of agricultural papers by stating as fully as the nature of the subject demands the elements of scientific and practical agriculture. In former reports, we have not entirely neglected or overlooked this part of the subject, but to add to the value of our agricultural investigations, it seems that something more than a few isolated principles should accompany the reports. The public mind is now awakened to the importance of book knowledge as it has been called. Old prejudices and old practices are giving away, these should be replaced by something more sound or rational, or more in accordance with recently established principles. In agriculture there still remains much that is obscure or has not been satisfactorily explained. When a true reason can be given for modes of successful or unsuccessful culture, agriculture will then have attained its highest stage of perfection. But agriculture requires extensive knowledge, and it will happen when this stage has been reached, that agriculturalists will rank with the most learned of the professions. That it is progressing to such a stage we entertain no doubts; for most of the natural history sciences are constantly contributing their discoveries to this ultimate result. But for results so desirable, time is an essential element, and no one


Page 11

should expect an immediate fulfilment when so much remains to be discovered and when no doubt, a great deal has yet to be unlearnt or must still bear a doubtful import.

        * 3. One of the great obstacles in the way of a general diffusion of agricultural knowledge, especially to the farmer who makes no claim to a scientific education, is the frequent occurrence of hard names or words. A book is often thrown down in despair when so much meets the eye which is unknown. How to get around this difficulty is not yet clear; it is a difficulty which is complained of even by persons who have no just right for complaint. Even a word so common as ammonia, perplexes many, and although it is frequently translated hartshorn, yet how this pungent vaporous body can play so important a part in husbandry cannot be comprehended. There is certainly a grain or two of common sense in this; for as ammonia is usually spoken of, it would seem unfitting that it should enter the structure of vegetables as hartshorn, and that it is hartshorn itself which is so important to vegetation, whereas, it is no such thing; it is only a body which contains a needful element which it furnishes by decomposition. Its properties are due to powers conferred upon the vegetable kingdom. Knowing this body as a powerful stimulant to the sense of smell, does not impart to us a property fitting the sphere it is said to fill. It is so with many other bodies whose names often occur, as sulphuric and nitric acids. Many points relating to these powerful bodies should be more fully explained, and no doubt much of the prejudice of common minds to book knowledge arises from a misapprehension of subjects. How, for example, can a person who has been told that ammonia and nitric acid or aqua fortis are fertilizers, but would at once question the validity of the information. Something more is necessary then, than to be told that certain bodies are fertilizers; they should also know the reason why they are so, and the conditions under which they become so. To understand these points, something must be known of the powers conferred upon the vegetable kingdom, as well as upon the state and condition under which simple or compound bodies become really fertilizers at all. A systematic treatise on husbandry requires that certain elementary facts relating to the origin or source of soils and nutriment of vegetables should be at least generally stated.


Page 12

        * 4. The importance of established principles as they are considered in the present state of agricultural knowledge, induces us then to state somewhat in detail their practical bearing.

        Facts differ from principles. The latter are deductions from the former. It is often the case that what are regarded as facts are imperfect observations. Principles which may be deduced from supposed facts may be, and often are, wrong. When practice is based upon observation, it is quite necessary we should not be mistaken in our facts. We may cite one or two examples of a mistaken theory based upon imperfect observation and an ignorance of the functions which the vegetable kingdom performs. Thus the idea of an injurious acid in the soil is the basis of the application of marl and lime to correct that condition, and the inference is, that the beneficial effects of marling is due solely to the correction of acidity. The acidity itself is founded upon the growth of sheep sorrel, pine and other plants, which impart the taste of sourness to the palate. Sheep sorrel, however, grows upon poor soil--not upon an acid soil, for it often grows around lime kilns, where it is impossible that an acid should exist at all. We have seen it growing with great vigor through a stratum of air-slacked lime two inches thick, where it had been thrown from a lime kiln. We have seen sheep sorrel also covering a dry hill-side which had become poor by cultivation; whereas, it is rare to see this plant growing in moist peaty grounds, where acids from vegetable decomposition are usually expected. The fact is, in all plants which impart to the palate an acid taste, we may be assured it is not due to an acid soil, but to the action of their own peculiar organization, and this acid will be found to exist under any condition in which the plant can be grown. The soil has really no agency in its production; for sow sorrel seed in white pure sand and water, with that which is free from acidity, and the sorrel will be acid; it is characteristic of the plant, and independent of the soil in which it grows. Yet marl is useful, though our notions of its action are erroneous; still the question is highly practical; it would govern our practice in the quantity to be used; for if it is merely wanted to correct acidity, a small quantity will suffice for that. Whereas, if it is maintained that it furnished directly or indirectly food to the crop, a much greater quantity will be required.


Page 13

        * 5. Another instance of an erroneous view of the operation of lime was related a few years ago at an agricultural meeting by the President of a State Agricultural Society. He said, he had used lime on two different kinds of soil. 1st. On a sandy soil, and at a certain amount per acre. He could not discover the slightest beneficial effects. He therefore concluded lime was good for nothing for sandy soils. He then tried it upon a clay soil. This experiment too was a failure, as he could not perceive that his crop was increased in amount. His general conclusion, therefore, was that the benefits of lime had been greatly overrated.

        Now both conclusions were erroneous, because all the facts of the case had not been investigated. In the first instance the conclusion that the crop upon the sand was not improved by lime was true, but it does not follow that lime upon sandy soils is always useless, that contradicts the equally good experience of others. The fact was, the sandy soil was in a great measure destitute of organic matter, and hence the failure. We do no stop now to state the reason in greater detail; this subject will be considered fully hereafter. In the second instance, the clay soil, the conclusion that the crop did not appear to be benefitted by marl was no doubt true, but the speaker appears not to have at all apprehended the cause; it was not because it was a clay soil, but because there was already enough lime in the clay, there being not less than five per cent. We find, therefore, that the result of simple experiment, though made by the President of an Agricultural Society, may entirely mislead a community when all the associated facts are ignored. It turns out that lime is a fertilizer only upon certain conditions; those conditions must be complied with. Where it already exists in the soil to a large amount, it can only be useful in a caustic state. In this condition it affects both the chemical and mechanical condition, but is not necessary to form certain combinations by which a fertilizing substance is, as it were, generated or in part formed.

        Experiments then, to be useful, must be conducted with a knowledge of all the essential points which bear upon the results obtained. The nature of the soil must be understood--the general composition of the fertilizers employed. In other words the experimenter must know what he is about.


Page 14

CHAPTER II.

        The difficulty of classifying soils systematically. Varieties of soils. Soil elements. Derivation. Composition of rocks which furnish soils. Weight of soils. Average quantity of silex in soils. Carbonate of lime in soils. Losses which soils sustain in cultivation well established. Temperature an essential element in productive soils. Soils of the Southern States remain in situ. Organic elements of soils. Inorganic elements, etc.

        * 6. Soils cannot be systematically classified. We may divide them so that, considered in the extreme, the strong lines of demarkation will appear quite distinct, as a clay soil and a sandy one, but these graduate into each other and the lines of demarkation disappear insensibly. So we find peaty soils, and in districts where chalk underlies the surface soil, we may distinguish a calcareous soil, but both kinds lose their characteristics by intermixtures of clay and sand. We may however, say with truth, of any particular locality, that it has an argilaceous, calcareous or sandy soil as the case may be. Such a statement should be made, but this does not amount to a classification. We shall not, therefore, attempt the arrangement of soils into a systematic classification; it will be sufficient to indicate in our nomenclature the predominant element, whether it is clay, sand, lime or vegetable matter. It is not, however, proper to omit the statement that sand or silex is the basis of all soils except those in which organic matter greatly preponderates, for, in clay soils silex still exceeds in quantity the clay, but still clay masks the silex, though it is less than one-half, and hence has to be treated as an argilaceous soil.

        But the real nature of soil is not fully stated, by any means when they are merely referred generally to the preponderating element, there is left out of view certain elements which, so far as fertility is concerned, are quite as important, though they exist only in minute proportions. We shall, however, take the ground that all the elements of a soil are important, and take away entirely any one of them and its fertility will be affected for certain crops at least, if not for all.

        * 7. The soil elements are only few, when compared with the number of known simple bodies; thus, while the known elements amount to about sixty-two or three, only about thirteen or fourteen


Page 15

play any considerable part for the benefit of the vegetable kingdom. The latter are embraced in the following list, viz: Oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen, sulphur, carbon, phosphorus, the base of silex, or silicon potash, soda, lime, magnesia, clay or alumine, iron and manganese. Iodine and chorine also exist in plants and soils. Potash, soda, lime, magnesia are compounds of oxygen and a metal, whose names terminate in um--as potassium, sodium, calcium, &c. The first seven which stand in the list, are unmetalic bodies, the last seven are metals. Oxygen, hydrogen and nitrogen in their free or uncombined states, are aeriform bodies; the others are solids possessing different weights. The foregoing bodies or elements exist in the rocks which compose the earth's crust, not however as simple bodies, but in combination with each other, forming what are usually known as simple minerals. Thus, quartz, mica, felspar, hornblende, talc, serpentine, carbonate of lime consist of these elements, and furnish them when they decompose or disintegrate into soil. The foregoing minerals constitute the great mass of the earth's crust. To take an example of the number of elements which a simple mineral as hornblende furnishes may be seen by the results of analysis. Thus hornblende, felspar and serpentine are composed of

        
HORNBLENDE. FELSPAR. SERPENTINE.
Silex, 45.69 66.75 43.07
Alumine, 12.18 17.50 0.25
Lime, 13.83 1.25 0.50
Potash and Soda, ..... 12.00 12.75
Magnesia, 18.79 ..... 40.37
Oxide of Iron and Manganese, 7.32 0.75 1.11

        A simple or homogeneous substance, therefore, furnishes many soil elements, and as rocks, such as granite, gneiss, mica slate, hornblende, are made up of several minerals in mixture, or are aggregates, we may see how a single rock furnishes all the essential elements of nutrition.

        The rocks which are composed usually of simple minerals, yield one or two elements in excess: silex and alumine, and hence these necessarily predominate in most soils. Almost all of these minerals furnish other bodies in minute doses, potash, and soda, together with combinations of lime and silex, potash and soda with phosphoric acid.


Page 16

The latter forms such small proportions that they were at one time set down as accidental and unessential soil elements, but now they are known to be all-important.

        * 8. The mechanical condition and weight of any soil depends upon the existence of the predominating element. Sandy soils have a loose porous texture while an argilaceous one has a close one, and may be impervious to water.

        The weight of soils is dependent of course upon composition:

        
A cubic foot of dry silicious soil weighs,* 111.3 pounds,
A sandy clay, 97.8
Calcareous sand, 113.6
Loamy clay, 88.5
Stiff clay, 80.3
Slaty marl, 112.
A soil richly charged with vegetable mould, 68.7
Common arable soil, 84.5

        * Dana's Muck Manual, p. 36.


        The average weight is about 94.58, and when charged with water will weigh 126.6 pounds.

        * 9. Soils which are formed from the debris of rocks, contain a large though variable proportion of sand and silex. Of one hundred and forty-six soils of Massachusetts, the average quantity of silex is 71.733. This is insoluble matter. The soluble and that which is fitted ultimately to enter into the composition of vegetables is about 15 per cent., of which 2.075 is a salt of lime. The midland counties of N. Carolina furnish coincident results. But the eastern counties, which have extensive tracts of swamp lands, differ considerably from the foregoing. The silex and alumine in many large tracts, amounts to less than 50 per cent., and sometimes is even less than five, on indeed must be classed as a peat unsuitable to cultivation.

        Of lime, which is so much talked about, and is truly an essential element in soil, it appears from hundreds of analyses, that it rarely exists in large proportions. Such is the case in the soils of New York, even where they overlie a limestone, its average quantity rarely exceeds one per cent., and in large tracts it scarcely comes


Page 17

up to one-half of one per cent. In the western States there is about 1.50 per cent. In 48 European soils, noticed by Dana, it is 1.860. European soils agree generally with American; all things, therefore, being equal, their treatment with fertilizers will be based upon similar rules. We must not, however, disregard the influence of climate and temperature. These are important elements in agriculture, but so far as the composition of the soils of all the great geographical divisions are concerned, their differences have arisen from cultivation mainly; in their natural state they were much alike.

        * 10. Soils are analyzed for the purpose of determining their constituents. Under long cultivation some of the important elements are so much diminished that fertility cannot be claimed for them. We shall show hereafter how soils become infertile, and what becomes of the fertilizing matter. The proof that soils actually part with certain elements essential to fertility has been fully ascertained and determined. This result is certainly due to chemistry, and it is a great result; for, for a long time the contrary was maintained, and even now many believe that by a rotation of crops and good manipulation, soils may be maintained for an indefinite period in a state of productiveness. So, also, it has been believed, and is still in cerquarters, that lands thrown out to commons, or to remain a few years fallow, will recover their original fertility. The sooner, however, such opinions are abandoned the better, as they lead to an erroneous system of agriculture.

        A destructive practice really grew out of the doctrine, it was the continued use of the axe and fire, followed by long fallows when exhaustion was nearly completed. It demanded extensive plantations, and had such a system of extermination of timber been followed in a more northerly clime, the loss of wood and timber would have become a severe calamity.

        * 11. I have observed that temperature independent of the composition of soil is an essential element in agricultural practice. It often determines the kind of crop as well as the season when it is to be planted. In England maize finds an incompatible climate, and hence, as a substitute for grain wherewith to fatten cattle, root crops as the turnip is resorted to. Maize germinates in a soil when its temperature is as low as 60°, and also when it rises to 105. Germination is however arrested when the temperature reaches 116-120. In tropical regions the order of things is somewhat changed.


Page 18

So much heat exists in the period answering to our summer that wheat, barley and oats are sown in the coolest months. So in mountainous regions, temperature becomes the controlling element. In the latitude of the Swiss Alps in Europe, wheat ceases to germinate at 3400 feet which corresponds to the latitude of 64°.

        
Oats, at 3500, corresponding to latitude, 64°
Rye, at 4600, corresponding to latitude, 67°
Barley, 4800, corresponding to latitude, 70°

        In Northern New York at the hight of 2000 feet above the ocean, wheat is an uncertain crop, or is liable to be cut off by an early frost; while oats, barley and rye come to maturity. So far as these facts go, it appears that the solid masses of the globe as the rocks, have little influence upon crops; but at the same time cultivation never fails to produce its influence, that of impoverishing the soil.

        I have shown in a former report that the soils of the Southern States are not only formed from the rocks of the country, but that they remain upon the place where they are formed or in situ. The proof may be found in every railroad cutting from Virginia to Alabama. Wherever a quartz vein penetrated the rock it remains unchanged in position, it presents the interesting and curious phenomenon of an irregular band which seems now to have been forced through yielding and soft materials. Quartz veins standing up for 20 feet unsupported except by soft yielding materials. It is rare to see any thing of the kind in New York or New England. There, at some former period such soft materials with their veins of quartz were swept off by a mighty flood of waters. This erosion no doubt extended deeply or down to the solid plane of rock. No flood however, has disturbed the debris of rocks in North-Carolina, and hence it is no doubt true that this debris is really one of the most ancient products of the globe, equaling in age the Silurian or Devonian systems; still there is no clue by which its age can be exactly determined, it is now a soil often 25 to 50 feet deep. This condition of the soil no doubt has some important influence upon its agricultural capabilities. The plough in many places must continue to bring up for years an unexhausted soil where the mass is penetrable. This new soil turned up by deep ploughing, however, is necessarily coarse, especially where it is derived from the coarse schists, as gneiss and mica slate, hence it requires before it is really


Page 19

prepared to receive a crop to be exposed to the chemical influence of the air and the action of frosts whose effects are mainly to increase its fineness.

        * 12. Simple bodies enumerated in a foregoing paragraph seem to require a fuller notice, particularly as to their properties or functions as soil elements. When either of them is isolated they appear to be neutral bodies; that is, they manifest but little disposition to form combinations. Nitrogen and hydrogen would remain in contact with each other for ages without entering into combination. Oxygen and hydrogen never combine when confined together in a vessel. A force is necessary to effect it in either case. A flame however, unites them suddenly, attended with a violent explosion. When burnt in streams issuing from small orifices, they combine evolving great heat and intense light. The product of combination is water, and nothing else. Most bodies have a strong affinity for oxygen; and hence, it is an element common to most solids. The air or atmosphere is composed of oxygen and nitrogen, water, of oxygen and hydrogen, iron rust of iron and oxygen; potash, of oxygen and potassium; soda, of oxygen and sodium; lime, of oxygen and calcium. The general term for compounds of the metals with oxygen is, *oxide,

        * The word oxide, properly terminates in ide and not yde, because in framing the nomenclature, this termination was fixed upon; according to idiom it would be spelt oxyde.


as oxide of iron, manganese, lead, copper, &c. Oxygen when isolated is always aeriform; and has never been condensed into a solid or liquid. It is the essential element in combustion as usually understood, and is the only body capable of supporting life by respiration. When the word oxygen occurs we can scarcely fail to be reminded of it agency in sustaining life, and for supporting combustion. From these two facts, we may proceed farther, and call to mind that it forms a great class of bodies, called oxides. Neither can we fail to consider that it changes the condition of all bodies with which it unites. Water is unlike oxygen or hydrogen. Oxide of iron has no property in common with either of its elements.

        * 13. HYDROGEN, is the lightest body known, and is always aeiform except when in combination. It has neither taste or smell,


Page 20

and is never found in nature uncombined with other bodies. Although it exists in many bodies as oils, and those which are termed organic, yet water is the body in which it most abounds--not that its proportion is greatest in water, but the general diffusion of water over the globe and in most bodies, makes it the great source of this element.

        * 14. NITROGEN, is another aeriform body, neutral and of little power; it would seem almost destitute of affinty, for other bodies, if we judge of its perperties as it exists in the atmosphere. Indeed, though it has feeble affiinities, it is for that reason, an element of one of the most powerfully corrosive bodies known. Nitric acid for example is only oxygen and nitrogen, but who ventures to taste it the second time, notwithstanding we inhale the elements of nitric acid at every breath. What substance is more singular than ammonia, or harthorn, which is only nitrogen and hydrogen chemically combined. It will be seen in the sequel that nitrogen performs important functions in the soil.

        * 15. CARBON, is a solid. We feel relieved when a solid presents itself, something to be seen and handled. It is pure in the diamond; nearly so in anthracite coal, and in the purest charcoal. It has only a feeble disposition to combine with other bodies. Heat materially puts its particles in a combining state. It forms with oxygen, carbonic acid, an aeriform body sufficiently heavy to be poured from a tumbler. If poured upon flame it extinguishes it, showing that though one of its elements is a combustible and the other a supporter of it, that it is itself an extinguisher when applied to burning bodies, and hence has been and may be used to extinguish fires--when inhaled, it acts as poison to the system; and yet in all organic bodies it is a basis of support.

        * 17. The four preceding elements are often called by way of distinction, the organic elements of bodies; because all bodies which are organized are composed mainly of them. The following examples will show more clearly than any other statement, the fact alluded to. For example, hay, in 1,000 pounds, is composed of:

        
LBS.
Carbon, 458
Hydrogen, 50
Oxygen, 337
Nitrogen, 15


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        in which is found 90 pounds of inorganic matter called ash, the product of combustion. Potatoes is composed of:

        
LBS.
Carbon, 440
Hydrogen, 58
Oxygen, 447
Nitrogen, 15, Ash 40 lbs.

        Oats is composed of:

        
Carbon, 507
Hydrogen, 64
Oxygen, 367
Nitrogen, 22, Ash 40 lbs.

        Wheat is composed of:

        
Carbon, 461
Hydrogen, 58
Oxygen, 434
Nitrogen, 23, Ash 24 lbs.

        The constituents of animal bodies are quite different, though the same elements are usually found. Thus in lean beef blood, white of eggs, there is found:

        
Carbon, 55 per cent.
Hydrogen, 7
Nitrogen, 16
Oxygen, 22

        The propriety, therefore, of calling these four elements organic is not improper; it is true, however, that inorganic matter is always present. It seems to be necessary where with to form a species of skeleton, especially in such bodies as hay, oats, and wheat. In animal bodies, as hair and wool, sulphur is an important element, as well as phosphorus. In the solid structures, as bone, phosphorus, an element of the mineral kingdom, is always present in the largest proportion.

        All good soils have their organic parts. When, therefore, the organic constituent of a soil is referred to, we are necessarily reminded


Page 22

of the fact that it consists of these four elements, carbon, oxygen, hydrogen and nitrogen, or that it may be resolved into them.

        It is not to be concealed, however, that there are numerous bodies belonging to the organic kingdoms in which nitrogen is absent, as starch, gum, sugar, and the essential oils.

        * 18. SULPHUR is a well known substance, of a yellow color, and a faint, peculiar odor. It burns with a pale blue flame, giving off at the same time a pungent suffocating vapor, which consists of oxygen and sulphurin combination. One pound of sulphur will make three pounds of sulphuric acid, or oil of vitrol. Sulphur is present in many substances. Mustard seed contains it in a large proportion; it is also always present in eggs, and which in consequence blackens silver; in wheat it is present, particularly in its gluten; also in lean meat, and in hair and wool, in which it forms nearly one-twentieth of their weight. From its constancy in the vegetable and animal kingdoms, it might be inferred that its application to the soil would be attended with favorable results. It is however, a striking example, illustrating numerous other cases, that in a simple condition it is not at all fitted to fulfil the office of a fertilizer, although it is not entirely insoluble in water. It may be used, however, beneficially in its simple state for the purpose of protecting vegetables from the attack of insects, as turnips, cabbages, &c.

        But the sulphur of organic bodies, as hair, wool, mustard seed, is derived from salts which contain it; gypsum furnishes it; and other sulphates, as the sulphate of soda (glauber salts) sulphate of ammonia, etc. In this fact we find an illustration of the power of organic bodies to appropriate elements which are locked up in chemical combinations. Nothing is created in the vegetable tissue; it is only possible for it to decompose and appropriate such bodies as they require in growth, and each organ performs an independent office, and takes only that which its constitution demands. Thus the chaff of wheat differs in composition from the enclosed grain; and the hair differs in composition from the skin, upon which it is supported.

        * 19. PHOSPHORUS is a yellowish, waxy substance, extremely inflammable, and even consumes at the ordinary temperature, but does not burst into a flame except its temperature is slightly elevated.


Page 23

Friction upon a rough board sets it on fire. The common lucifer match is a good illustration of the fact, and the vapor given off in the act of combustion is composed of oxygen and phosphorus.

        It is generally diffused in the organic kingdoms; in certain parts, as bones, it is far more abundant than sulphur in other tissues. It is contained in the substance of brain. Wherever a compound word, as phosphate of lime, phosphate of soda, etc. occurs, they will at once suggest to the mind of the farmer the combustible substance, phosphorus, or it may be the lucifer match; but as in the case of sulphur, the simple body phosphorus cannot be employed directly as a fertilizer. Combinations of it must first be formed with oxygen, and then he acid thus formed must combine again with bodies which are called bases, as lime and potash. These form the base with which a salt is the final result. In the condition of a salt then, which is a body composed of an acid and a base, both sulphur and phosphorus are brought into a condition in which they may be employed as fertilizers. The composition of the salt is indicated by its name. Sulphate of lime, phosphate of lime, nitrate of lime, the latter indicating the presence of nitrogen, and by going back a step, it will be understood that nitric acid is implied, a compound of nitrogen and oxygen.

        * 20. The simple minerals from which soils are mainly derived, are felspar, hornblende and trap mica serpentine, tale, carbonate of lime. Their composition which has been given shows what elements they respectively furnish for the soil. Silex, which we find in the condition of sand, is a common product even of serpentine. But of the others we find felspar furnishes potash and soda, and one kind of felspar furnishes lime. Serpentine and talc abounds in magnesia, and so, also, certain kinds of limestone, particularly those called dolomites. Hornblende furnishes lime and but a trace of potash or soda. Hornblende is, however, generally of a dark green color, a color which is mainly due to iron, and hence soils derived from hornblende and trap, which is also dark colored, are generally red, for the reason that the iron when set free from its combinations, takes more oxygen and forms thereby a red peroxide of iron. When we find a soil derived thus from hornblende, and knowing also the composition of the mineral, we safely infer that the soil will contain a sufficiency of lime. A felspar soil is often gray, but


Page 24

when iron is present in one or more of the elements of granite, it will change to a red which indicates a better soil than the gray. Granite soils are often very silicious, in which case they are coarse and poor or meagre in consequence of the great excess of quartz in the granite. The granite soils of North-Carolina, however, are generaly very good, or are less meagre than in many other parts of the United States. Where felspar and mica predominate over the quartz element in granite, the soil resembles an hornblende soil in color, and in composition we may expect a larger per centage of potash.

        Hence we obtain approximately several important facts relative to the composition of a soil when we have ascertained its origin. It will appear also, that this information may be obtained with greater exactitude in the Southern than in the Northern or Western States, where the soil has been transported to a distance from its parent bed.

        * 21. It has been stated that the original source of nutriment for the vegetable and animal kingdoms may be traced back to the rocks and minerals; it is still required that we also show as correctly as possible how the seemingly insoluble debris of the globe's crust becomes food, or is fitted for its high and important function. The fact itself is based on observation and experiment. For example, the process of disintegration goes on under our eyes. We see rocks crumbling to a coarse powder which becomes by the continuance of atmospheric action still finer. If in any stage the composition of the rock is determined by analysis, it is found to consist of similar elements. But still the debris may and often does lose a portion of the mass, by solution. Granite contains in its felspar, potash or soda; both substances are finally washed out by water, or are perfectly set free from their combinations, and become soluble matters in the soil under other chemical states: those for example, which are called organic salts of potash or soda. We are required to look upon all the solid parts of the earth as in a state of change; every particle is in motion, nothing at rest. Some compounds it is true, are much more stable than others. Quartz for example, when unmixed with other bodies, appears to us stable. But felpar and mica are constantly undergoing change. The same may be said of hornblende, trap, mica, serpentine, talc, carb. of lime, etc. A double change is in progress. 1st, the mass is mechanically divided; and


Page 25

2d. It is changed chemically. A piece of felspar, hornblende, or trap splits into thousands of particles. The surface is thereby greatly increased. In this condition the carbonic acid of the atmosphere acts upon its potash. This aids greatly in breaking up the affinities between the silex and alumine, and the consequence is that in the masses the silex chrystalizes ont; the bond that united all the elements of felspar and formed an homogeneous mass is broken. In the original compound as felspar, the mineral was a silicate of alumine and potash, soda or lime, but carbonic acid having combined with one of the alkalies and formed a carbonate instead of a silicate, both the silex and alumina are set free, and the particles of silex will come together, and those of the alumine also. In the first mineral we perceive the grains of quartz or flint, and in the latter the pure clay. Molecular force, as it is called, brings together like particles. Under the operation of these molecular forces, felspar will not be reformed, though all the elements are present at one time; but in process of time all the carbonate of potash is dissolved out. An ultimate result which is quite obvious from inspection of beds of decomposing granite is the finding of a pure white bed of clay, called porcelain clay, intermixed with fragments of quartz, together with nodules of flint, as they would be called, and which are often hollow and their interior lined with fine crystals of quartz. The nodules are derived from the silex of the felspar, which was in combination with the alumine and potash. In this condition we see a perfect change of state. Analogous changes are in progress all the time.

        * 22. From the foregoing it may be seen that lime, potash, soda, silex, etc., are originally rock constituents, which by a process of decay become parts of the soil, and thereby accessible to the roots of plants. So also sulphur and phosphorus belong to the common compounds of the earth's crust. The first is extremely abundant in a class of bodies called sulphates or sulphides; combinations of metals with sulphur, as sulphuret of iron, so generally diffused in nature. It is known to be present by heating the body, when the peculiar bluish flame appears, accompanied with the suffocating odor of sulphur. Phosphorus, though less common, is probably always diffused through granite, but it is known to be more constant and more abundant in that class of rocks, called trap, in which also potash and other alkalies are constituents. Hence, as


Page 26

trap, when it decomposes, furnishes an aluminous basis for a soil, and is at the same time impregnated with sulphur, phosphorus, and the alkalies, their soils are eminently adapted to the wheat crop. The gluten of wheat requires sulphur and phosphorus, as well as potash in certain combinations.

        The organic constituents of the soil exist also as mineral bodies in the soils, and also rocks; oxygen in combination with all the elements of soil, hydrogen in water, and nitrogen in the nitrates, and the atmosphere diffused in the soil, where it is an active body, ever ready to form ammonia with hydrogen when water is decomposed.

        * 23. A substance which is not simple requires in this place a further notice, because its office is an important one in the vegetable economy; it is carbonic acid. The atmosphere is regarded as its source. It is, however, generated in the soil. Its solvent properties are among its most important properties. It is, notwithstanding, a feeble acid, and a feeble solvent, water charged with it dissolves rocks, and the indispensable compound, phosphate of lime, is dissolved by it, and being thereby brought into a soluble state by water, it becomes accessible to the roots of plants when diffused in this menstruum. In the atmosphere it forms only one two-thousandth part. It is maintained that leaves absorb it from the atmosphere, and obtain thereby the carbon required to build structures. Still, water in the soil holds it in solution, and from this source it is furnished in a direct way to the vegetable. It is also furnished to growing plants by peat, and the changes which organic matter undergoes in the soil; there is, therefore, an aerial source from which the leaves or upper structures of plants obtain it, and a sub-aerial source from whence the vegetable gets it by the roots. The latter are the channels by which the former may feed it to his growing crop. The organic part of the plant, that in which carbon is so abundant, is that which is consumed in combustion. The products are all volatile, and hence, are dissipated. It is by far the heaviest and most bulky part of the vegetable. That which is left after combustion is the inorganic part, and consists of lime, silex, potash, magnesia, soda, iron, etc.


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CHAPTER III.

        The organic part of a soil and variety of names under which it is known, changes which it undergoes, and the formation of new bodies by the absorption of oxygen. Fertilizers in North-Carolina. Green crops. Mutual action of the elements of soils upon each other. Composition of one or two of the chemical products of soils showing the source of carbon in the plant.

        * 24. The organic part of a soil consist apparently of carbonaceous matter, and taken as a whole, it is the brown or blackish part, and which is consumed when ignited. Its appearance, indeed, is due to a species of combustion which is carried just far enough to char the vegetable matter. In warm climates it is nearly all consumed, while in cold it constantly accumulates, and forms at the surface a coat of blackish mould. The term organic applies to this part of the soil. On the mountains of this State it is often more than a foot thick. In the swamps of the eastern counties it is often ten feet thick, while in the midland counties it is only sufficient to give a brown stain to the surface. It does not seem to accumulate in consequence of a slow combustion, or as it may be termed decay which takes place.

        In common language, the organic part is known under a variety of names, as humus, mould, vegetable mould. It is, however, a complex substance, and is constantly undergoing changes which promote vegetation. Chemists have obtained several distinct substances from it. It is really a mixture of organic and inorganic bodies. A portion of the organic matter is free, that is, it is uncombined with the inorganic part. Other parts are in combination with lime, magnesia, iron, potash, soda, &c. The latter are soluble, and also fertilizing matters, and play an important part in vegetation. The cause of this intermixture of organic and inorganic matter is to be traced to its origin. Thus, organic matter being the debris of the vegetables which had grown upon the soil, it must necessarily contain also the inorganic part which belonged to the living vegetables. From this fact it may be inferred that this matter is, in the proper proportions, to be employed by any subsequent crop.

        * 25. VEGETABLE MATTER after death passes through a series of chemical changes, which gives origin to the numerous compounds


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found in organic matter. These changes are due mainly to the absorption of oxygen. The first substance formed from woody fibre after the death of the plant, is ulmic acid. Another portion of oxygen changes ulmic acid into humic acid; and the last is changed into geic acid; on a farther oxydation it passes into crenic acid; and finally by the same process into apocrenic acid. In an old soil, all these bodies exist simultaneously. The most important, or those which are immediately active, are the three last, geic acid, crenic and apocrenic acid. All the foregoing bodies are the products of the decay of plants, when exposed in the soil to air and moisture. They cannot be distinguished by sight, and the whole mass is simply a homogeneous brown substance. But it is richly charged with the elements of fertility.

        We may omit the details respecting the chemical constitution of these bodies. It will be sufficient to state in this place, that they are feeble acids; and yet possess considerable affinity for inorganic matter, lime, magnesia, ammonia, potash, soda, iron, etc.; so much so as to combine and form with them salts, which are at once in the proper state to be received as nutriment into the tissue of growing vegetables. This organic matter, however, is remarkable for its affinity for ammonia; the result, therefore, is that this important substance may be detected in vegetable mould, though it may be chemically uncombined with the foregoing acids; it may be present as a mixture, yet being present, it will be disposed and ready to combine with the crenic and apocrenic acids, in both of which nitrogen may be always detected. Organic salts, formed by the union of organic acids, with lime, magnesia, potash, ammonia, etc, are the proper food for plants; and hence, it will be a maxim with the farmer to take such measures as the nature of those substances require to increase it upon all occasions which occur. The greater the amount of these salts in his soil, the greater his crops.

        * 26. From the foregoing statements we may deduce the following principle, that there is a mutual action of the organic and inorganic parts of the soil upon each other, and that to this action fertility is, in a great measure, due.

        In order that these mutual actions may be better understood, we proceed farther and state, that those substances which are called silicates, have but a slight if any tendency to act upon each other. They are, however, gradually decomposed by carbonic acid, the


Page 29

effect of which is to form with the base of the silicate a carbonate. Thus in the case of granite and similar compounds, the felspar and mica which are silicates, are slowly decomposed, and the alkali, as potash, or alkaline earths, as lime and magnesia, or even iron and manganese of the rock, lose their silica, or are disengaged therefrom; and the carbonic acid combines with them. These being soluble compounds, are liable to be washed out and carried to the sea, while the insoluble silicate of alumina, or its pureform, remains behind. The consequence of this is, that the soil is relatively richer in clay than before, and the longer the chemical changes are going on, the larger the quantity of clay in the soil; and it is agreeable to experience that soils become stiffer by cultivation. By this process they become less adapted in the course of time to certain crops in consequence of this change of constitution. Large districts which once grew the peach luxuriantly, seem to have lost in part the power or ability, or, at any rate, the peach tree does not thrive so well in the oldest districts of New York and New England, as it did in the early period of their settlement. It is not possible probably to be satisfied fully with respect to the cause why the peach is cultivated with difficulty, but the fact that the soil by cultivation becomes more close and compact, may be remotely connected with the change we have stated. It has been attributed to a change of climate, but it is not true that the climate has changed, and hence we are disposed to refer the change in question to a change in the soil.

        * 27. In North-Carolina the natural supply of fertilizers exists in the marls of the lower counties, together with the organic matter of the swamps and bogs. The two exist often in juxtaposition. Experience has proved that marl applied to exhausted lands is often injurious. Now this exhaustion extends to the organic matter, though it also exists in its inorganic also. But experice further proves, that however large a quantity of the latter is applied, little benefit is secured so long as the first deficiency exists. We may see the reason why no organic salts can be formed in the absence of organic matter. The inorganic matter cannot find the proper elements with which to combine, and which the constitution of the vegetable requires. The practical inference is, that marls should be composted with organic matter, as leaves, straw, and weeds, which are free from seeds, or anything which has lived. Or, another


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plan may be pursued--supply the organic matter from a green crop, as a crop of peas, ploughed in. In certain parts of the State, clover or buck-wheat may be resorted to. The gain arising from the latter practice, arises from the ability of these crops to take from the atmosphere the organic elements, and deliver them to the soil, a process over which the planter or farmer has no control, except the institution of means. Under many circumstances, the organic matter may be supplied more cheaply by sowing seed than by composting.

        The importance of organic matter in soils has been sustained by the experience of ages; but there was a time when this point was denied by the ablest Chemists of the age. It was maintained, that the ash or the inorganic part gave to the soil all that was important, and hence certain practices were recommended which were in accordance with this theory, such as burning manures, burning turf and the like. Happily, this question has been set at rest, and the best Chemists admit those views which the experience of ages has confirmed independently of chemistry.

        * 28. But the point which bears more immediately upon the principle respecting mutual actions, comes in play subsequently to the decomposition of the silicates; which, so far as inorganic matter is concerned, are inert; but the lime and alkalies once freed from their original combinations with silica, becomes fitted to act at once upon organic matter, and form with it salts. This decomposition may take place where no organic matter exists by the carbonic acid of the atmosphere, but it happens that organic compounds furnish also carbonic acid to the soil; for it is displaced when carbonate of lime or potash is acted upon by an organic salt. Crenic acid, acting upon carbonate of lime, sets free the carbonic acid, and this, in its turn, acts upon the silicates to decompose them, and thereby sets the alkalies and alkaline earth also free. There is then a double mutual action, as it were, constantly going on in the soil, by which nutriment is furnished to the crop. Some physiologists maintain that the presence of a living body, as the root of a growing plant, effects decomposition similar to the action of sulphuric acid in converting starch into sugar. However this may be we are inclined to believe that the root has power to act and effect changes upon the elements of soil which are unknown in the laboratory of the chemist; and many substances which are insoluble


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by chemical agencies, become soluble by the action of the roots of vegetables.

        * 29. The foregoing facts and principle do not change at all the action of the farmer; they go to sustain his practice in providing fertilizers by means of composts, formed by mixing the organic and inorganic bodies together, and for the purpose of giving them time and opportunity to effect those chemical changes, of which we have spoken. These never fail, while fertilizers in other states do. The foregoing are some of the chemical changes which take place in the soil, and which are mostly due to the presence of organic matter. All the facts go to prove the importance of organic matter, and the necessity, therefore, to supply it when from any cause it is wanting or deficient in quantity.

        * 30. In addition to the lime and other mineral bodies which the organic salts furnish to plants, it is plain that carbon is also one of the elements supplied. To make this plain we annex the composition of one or two of these organic bodies. Humate of ammonia consists of:

        
Carbon, 64.75
Hydrogen, 5.06
Oxygen, 26.22
Nitrogen, 3.97

        Humate of ammonia, it will be perceived, contains more than half its weight of carbon, which may be taken up in the circulating sap.

        Humic acid is composed of:

        
Carbon, 65.30
Hydrogen, 4.23
Oxygen, 26.82

        It will follow, from the foregoing, that carbon, which forms the largest part of a vegetable, is not derived entirely from the atmosphere. The soil, through the medium of the roots of the plant, furnishes at least a part of this essential element. In certain plants, as wheat, rye and oats, it is very possible that all the carbon is derived from the soil; while in beans, clover, lucerne, etc., a large proportion may be derived from the atmosphere.


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CHAPTER IV.

        The mechanical condition of soils differ. Circulation of water in the soil with its saline matter. Capability of bearing drouth. How to escape from the effects of drouth. Temperature of soils. Influenced by color. Weight of soils, etc.

        * 31. The mechanical or physical conditions of soils differ according to their composition, and these physical differences must not be disregarded. It is well known that a clay soil contains under ordinary circumstances, more water than a mixture of clay and sand, and much more than sand alone. This fact may or may not become a serious injury to growing crops. It will depend upon the season. If it is very wet serious injury may be expected, or if it is very dry the crop will suffer, but not in the same way. All surfaces, whether composed of clay or sand, become dry by the evaporation of water, and the evaporation not only effects the surface but extends to a great depth; water seems to rise up to the surface from beneath to supply the waste. In confirmation of this view it is not uncommon to find a saline matter upon the surface in dry weather, which has been in solution in the water brought to the surface by this process. In many places in Wake county, N. C., the naked soil in ditches is covered with an incrustation of sulphates or iron and alumine, an astringent salt injurious to vegetation. This incrustion is formed only when there is a drouth; it is a gradual process. In countries where a whole season is dry, the soil becomes whitened with salts. Rains dissolve them and they sink again into the soil, though a portion will be carried away by water. An effect of a drouth upon a clay soil is to cause a shrinkage of the mass. It will then become still more difficult for roots to penetrate it, and hence, when drouth occurs early in the season, the crop is starved for want of nutriment, the roots cannot spread through an impervious mass. But sand simply dries without diminishing its bulk, but this process takes place with greater rapidity than upon clay soils, the latter being close and more retentive of moisture than the former.

        * 32. The rise of water to the surface from beneath, is familiarly illustrated by the putting of water into the saucer of a flower pot; its rise to the surface is well known. Flower pots are watered with


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common rain water or charged with fertilizing matter which is conveyed to the roots. In long continued drouths when the water rises from a depth of 4 or 5 feet, instead of carrying up matter compatible with the nature of the plant, the astringent salts take their place, injurious effects to vegetation take place in addition to those which arise directly from e want of rain. These injurious salts are easily corrected by the use of lime or marl. When they reach the neighborhood of the roots if lime is present, it will decompose the salts and form gypsum. Fruit trees which send their roots deeply into the soil are often injured by the presence of these salts. From the foregoing facts it is evident that the subsoil should be examined for poisonous salts, and when the ditches or deep layers are exposed in cuttings for roads, and should become partially incrusted with astringent salts, it will be important to institute means for correcting this condition of the deep subsoil.

        * 33. The foregoing remarks apply to those varieties which are purely clay or sand. Composition may modify results materially; if for example a soil whose composition retains a preponderance of clay and yet has a due admixture of organic matter and lime, its ability to stand a drouth is greatly increased--for organic matter and lime not only retain moisture strongly, but they affect the texture favorably, and counteract the tendency to excess in shrinkage.

        * 34. As drouths in North-Carolina are much more injurious than excess of rain, it becomes a question of importance to know how to guard against their effects. The first point to be attended to, is to drain deeply. This will affect gradually the texture of the clay; it will become more porous, while its natural affinity for water will not be diminished; that is, it will be sufficiently retentive while the excess of water will be drained off. Clay may be regarded as requiring a specific amount of water; but at the same time its capacity for receiving and holding a greater quantity than this, is proved by experience. Another change may be affected by the free use of organic matter, which, when mixed with the soil, makes it porous. In the cultivation of not only clay soils, but sandy ones, crops should be planted as early as possible, that the surface may be protected by the shade of the growing crop. To be able to plant early, in clay soils especially, the water must be disposed of by drainage. Two weeks may be saved in many cases by drainage; that is, the land will admit of the plough two weeks earlier


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in drained, than in undrained lands. Give a crop of corn two weeks more of growth than another piece equally well prepared, and the former will live through an ordinary drouth without injury, while the latter will not become half a crop.

        * 35. Absorption of moisture from the air takes place principally during the night, and unabsorbative power is less in sandy than clayey soils. This respite from heat, which causes so much evaporation during the day is of the highest importance. Even when dew does not fall, soils take a small quantity of water from the atmosphere. A stiff clay, it is said, sometimes absorbs one-thirtieth part of its own weight. Dry peat will also absorb nearly as much, but its power depends upon its condition; if very fine it absorbs more than clay; if coarse, less. The best condition of a soil is without doubt a mixture of clay and organic matter, where it is necessary to guard against droughts.

        * 36. The surface temperature of soils differ according to their composition. Water in all soils favors a low temperature because the evaporation carries off heat in the invisible vapor which rises from the surface. So long as an active evaporation goes on the surface continues cold, hence in swamps and bogs where the supply is inexhaustible, very slight changes only occur during the summer. When the surface becomes dry it begins to rise, and if the air is only 60° or 70° in the shade, the soil will absorb and accumulate heat and may rise to 90° or 100°.

        Color has much effect upon temperature. The darker the color, all things being equal, the greater is the absorbative power. The correctness of the common opinion with respect to the natural coldness of light colored clay soils is correct.

        * 37. It is stated by good authority that the amount of evaporation from an acre of fresh ploughed land is equal to nine hundred and fifty pounds per hour for the first and second days after plowing. The rapid evaporation diminishes every day. Evaporation begins again by hoeing, but the moist surface thus exposed has other functions besides the evaporative one. Moist surfaces are much better absorbents of ammonia from the atmosphere than dry ones, and one of the most important effects of stirring the soil often, arises from its increase in absorbative power. Water in the soil is disposed of by forest leaves or by the vegetable kingdom. A single tree 8½ inches in


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diameter and 30 feet high expired from leaves in 12 hours 333,072 grains of water.

        * 38. An acre of woodland evaporates 31,000 pounds in 12 hours. During the summer, embracing 92 days, the whole amount of evaporation will amount to 2,852,000 pounds. Forests and vegetation generally largely aid the disposal of excessive water in the spring. Water of course accumulates in the soil during winter. Our wells receive their supply and springs have their sources of water replenished.

        It is true, however, that the removal of forests presents a seeming anomaly, for where large tracts of country are shorn of their trees and forests, there the head-waters of our rivers fail or diminish. Evaporation is greatest from a shorn surface, and a country is on the road to ruin when its woodlands are mostly destroyed or consigned to the axe.

        But woodlands require a change. Rotation is as necessary to the forest as to the successive crops of the farmer. We see this in the death of pines over large areas of this State. The idea that death was caused wholly by insects is fallacious. In it we see, in part at least, a natural effort to change the kind of vegetation. Oaks and hickory replace the pines. For hundreds of years pines had been the staple products of large tracts in this State. Is it therefore remarkable that a light soil containing the true pabulum of life for the pine, should have been nearly exhausted and the pine should have thereby become weakened and more liable to disease than formerly?

        * 39. The absolute weight of different soils is also variable. A cubic foot of clay, with its moisture, weighs about 115 pounds. The same quantity of damp sand 141; while peat, with its water, weighs only about 81 pounds. The weight of soils affects the labor of tillage. More force is required to lift a sandy soil than a clay. But the texture or compactness of an undrained clay soil more than makes up for its less weight.

        In every point of view the farmer is encouraged to ameliorate the mechanical condition of his plantation. The first point requiring attention is its water or drainage, for when a soil is water soaked, good crops are only to be made in the most favorable season.

        A subsoil of clay beneath sand is ameliorated by draining, though the top may appear to be sufficiently dry; for the clay may be


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regarded as a reservoir of water, just as the filled saucer beneath the flower pot.

        * 40. We may recognise in all these facts two currents which may be found in soils; a downward current, which disposes of surface water, and an upward current, when the surface water has become exhausted. This arrangement is a wise one, for if there were no upward currents plants would perish, both for want of nutriment and water during drouths. This result would be far more likely to happen in the case of the cereals and cultivated crops, than in the plants which grow naturally in the soil.

CHAPTER V.

        Mechanical treatment of soils. Deep plowing. Advantages of draining. Open drains. Plowing. Objects attained by plowing. Harrowing. Roller. Improvement of soils by mixture. Hoeing. Effects of hoeing.

        * 41. No doubt the proper mechanical treatment of soils is the most important part of husbandry and farming. By mechanical treatment we mean plowing, hoeing, harrowing, etc. If contrasted with the chemical treatment or with the use of manures, it will be evident that unless the mechanical treatment is right, much of the labor and expense of manuring will be lost. Probably there is no part of farming which is executed so poorly in North-Carolina as the mechanical treatment of soils. It fails to be effective for want of depth. It is true, we believe, that climate should be considered when the question of deep plowing is to be answered. That regard should be had to climate will appear from what has been said in the foregoing chapter with respect to the evaporation from freshly plowed surfaces. Under the more powerful influence of the sun's rays in the Southern States, the question may be raised whether the plowing which in New-York is called deep plowing, from 12 to 14 inches deep, might not result in two great a loss of water. But whether this question is answered in the affirmative or not, it will


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be found true that deeper plowing than is usually practiced will be attended with greater success.

        Preparatory to plowing stands draining; not always, but frequently. An important question to be answered is whether any given tract requires this preliminary treatment. Observation may readily return the reply. If water stands upon the surface only a few hours after a rain, it is probable draining will benefit the tract where it stands. If a bed of clay lies near the surface it is called for even if the top is sand. All swamps and bogs of course require it. In all the eastern counties there is a continuous bed of impervious brick clay, which often is not less than one foot from the surface, and its materials are often blended with the sand where it lies deper. This yellowish white clay will frequently be found cropping out in ravines where its position may be determined, and having determined its position, it will aid in solving the question of drainage. This bed of clay varies from four to seven feet thick, and is overlaid, and also underlaid with sand. These sand beds vary in thickness, and are always above the marls, unless we reckon among mar the recent shell bed of the coast. In drainage it is unnecessary to cut through the brick clay; it is sufficient to cut deeply into it, though the drainage will be more perfect if it is cut through. Another indication of the necessity of special drainage is furnished where springs issue near the surface. These are always thrown out by an impervious stratum. This impervious stratum may be sought for in ravines, or by boring with an auger of a suitable length; its depth beneath the surface may thereby be determined.

        * 42. Sandy clays which are sufficiently cohesive to be formed into balls by the hand when moistened, will require drainage. In drainage we not only have regard to surface water, to draw that off, but we must cut into the impervions stratum sufficiently deep to take out the water confined in its upper layers or beds. Otherwise the soil will rest on a bed always saturated with water, and always giving it off from the surface in vapor, and hence, will maintain a surface too cool for the growth of cotton or corn.

        Another fact should be thought of and considered. Old soils become more compact and clayey by cultivation; and though in its new state crops were sure and certain, yet, in process of time, a change takes place. The greatest change is in the subsoil, which


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becomes partially consolidated by the infiltration of the oxide of iron and carbonate of lime. Free percolation is stopped, and this partially indurated stratum should be cut through to restore a free passage of water. Breaking it up with a subsoil plow is not sufficient with many persons; this pan, as it is called, must not be cut. Experience, however, justifies it, and no harm ever follows from the practice.

        * 43. Drainage has been spoken of and recommended in the preceding chapter, but one or two advantages should be more distinctly stated. It is the openness which follows, and by which air penetrates freely the strata. The advantages, or it should be said the necessity for oxygen in the soil, is absolute, especially where organic matter exists, for we have shown that oxygen must change the vegetable fibre into humates, geates, and crenic and apocrenic acids, etc. All these changes are accompanied with the disengagement too of carbonic acid. If the vegetable fibre is confined in wet soils, it is converted into a peat only, in which state it is not fitted for vegetable assimilation. But in soils air must circulate; and when it is too close and compact, circulation can be effected only by drainage.

        From the foregoing, it is plain drainage effects two objects:

        * 44. 1. It raises the temperature of the soil by sending the water in subterranean channels to distant parts. 2. It opens the texture of soil and permits the free passage of atmospheric air. Both the mechanical and chemical wants of vegetation are provided for by drainage. Among the advantages of draining one has already been fully stated; but still, let it not be forgotten that by it seed time comes earlier, where soil is drained, and it may and will happen that to an earlier planting a good crop is mainly due. A result of this kind, together with a larger crop for one or two seasons, will more than pay the expenditure incurred in the operation.

        But when a general system of drainage for the country has been carried out, the general health of all its citizens will be secured. Stagnant pools will not exist; the water of wells will be improved and the climate will be measurably changed. Nothing can be more important than the sanitary effects of good drainage. The great source of intermittent fever is in stagnant waters. It is true we cannot prevent the freshets which give origin to miasmata, but


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even here, drainage will have a salutary influence by carrying off at an earlier day the surplus waters.

        The volume of this water is replaced by air. Hence it is plain that a very important change must necessarily take place. While soaked with wat, which contains but little air, no chemical changes take place which produce fertilizing matter. The changes are preparatory only, but the peaty matter or peat itself, will remain peat, or become real coal forever. But draw off the water and replace it by atmospheric air with its active principle, oxygen, and a new order of things begins.

        * 45. Drainage is not neglected in North-Carolina, but its system is defective. Open drains are usually made; they effect the object less perfectly than tile draining when properly laid down. The former are obstructed by the growth of weeds, and the banks are in part closed to the free exit of water. They are also inconvenient, and hence, it is to be hoped, the time is not far distant when tile will be used. These remarks, however, are applicable to the uplands, the swamps must be drained by open ditches and canals.

        * 46. The operation next in importance to drainage is plowing. By the plow the surface is designed to be pulverized, should be pulverized, or else the operation is badly performed. The condition of the surface must be right, or else it will be imperfect, however skilful the holder of the plow may be. If wet, it should not be undertaken. This is a settled and well known point, but it is not always observed, for a large amount of pressing work in the spring may in one sense compel a farmer to plow before the soil is dried. Plowing is an old custom, and the experience of the world says that nations have prospered and communities prospered in the direct ratio that this operation approaches perfection. We throw out of mind all that is done in a new soil full of roots and stumps. Great crops of corn have been raised where the plow could not run. But every old country where roots, stumps and briars have been disposed of and the soil has found its level, there the plow must run. The importance of plowing is felt everywhere, is shown by the inventions of mechanics and farmers to perfect the machine and make an instrument which is adapted to all surfaces and depths to which the machine may be driven by cattle and the hand of man. The evil arising from plowing wet land is the lumpy condition


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of the furrow mass, and as these dry they become really indurated in the sun, and the consequence frequently is, that such a condition of the soil remains for one or two years.

        Another important principle differing in kind from the foregoing is, that furrows should not run down hill; they should encircle the knowl or hill-side in order to divert streams from a direct descent, and thereby cut a side-hill ditch and finally lead to the formation of unseemly gullies. These, however, are not only unseemly, but monstrous evils, and especial care needs be taken in working the soils overlying the free-stones of this State. The first thing to be effected in plowing is good pulverization, the next is to open the soil to a sufficient depth for the roots to spread themselves, and an indirect benefit is secured when these two ends are accomplished, that of helping a crop through a drought without injury. The reader will understand the mode in which this comes to pass by applying the principles already stated.

        Washing and the formation of gullies is also prevented in part by deep plowing. The subsoil plow is called into requisition to deepen furrows, but not to bring the broken substance to the surface. By deep plowing, especially if aided by the subsoil plow, the soil will absorb double the quantity of rain, and hence, diminish the amount which would otherwise escape in streams over the surface, and thereby carry off good soil, and tend to the formation of gullies.

        Pulverization, an open, porous condition for roots to penetrate, depth for absorption of rain, together with a perfect mixture of the matters of the soil and fertilizers, are objects to be attained by plowing. These are all to be kept in view.

        * 47. The harrow and bush become necessary to break the lumps and form an even surface for the reception of seed.

        The whole operation of seeding and providing for the germination of seed is completed by a heavy roller. This acts superficially, but fewer seed are lost by its employment, especially small seeds. Let a person step upon a celery bed and he will find that double the number of plants come up where the soil is pressed, than where its surface remains loose. It is to be regretted that the roller is not more frequently employed. It crushes clods which have escaped the harrow, and makes withal an even surface.


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        * 48. The mechanical condition of a soil can rarely be ameliorated by mixture. Those which really require mixture are stiff clays and loose sands. If a mixture can be effected by the plow, it will no doubt pay. But it becomes quite questionable, whether a farmer can haul sand to mix with the clay, or clay to mix with the sand. The cost of hauling is too great. A gardner may make the necessary mixture. At any rate, before a farmer attempts to change a field of ten acres by mixing clay with sand, or the reverse, he had better count the cost beforehand. Now although a barren sand will not probably be benefitted by draining, yet the texture of the stiffest clays will be; and as clays are mixtures of silex and alumine, and as they are often, if not generally supplied with the alkalies and alkaline earths, the most direct as well as the cheapest mode to cure a clay of its stiffness, will be to remove the water by under drainage.

        As it regards sand, it will be cheaper to employ calcareous fertilizers with forms of muck than to mix with it clay.

        The theory of amendment by mixture is perfectly satisfactory; but in practice, it will be found a losing business, where either material has to be carted many rods.

        * 49. To recur once more to the subsoil plow in connexion with the clays too stiff to cultivate; it has been stated, that the subsoil plow should not be used until the land has been well drained. When considerable moisture exists in the clay, it unites and becomes solid and impervious, so that little benefit has been experienced in certain cases from subsoiling; but when the water has been drained off and the clays have become loose and porous, the masses raised by the plow still remain in this condition, or become still more porous, so that the beneficial effects of subsoiling a stiff under clay will not be secured till after the land has been well drained.

        * 50. It is scarcely necessary to speak of hoeing or the use of the cultivator. They are needful operations and no one omits them; but why hoe? is it simply to kill weeds? Hoeing kills weeds and pulverizes the soil, but it has an effect which is unseen except from its effects which are liable to be misinterpreted. The good effects of hoeing arise from the moist surface created, and which absorbs ammonia. That the beneficial effects do not all arise from the destruction of weeds and pulverization is evident from the fact that


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the more frequently the surface is stirred and a moist surface exposed, the more vigorous the growth of the crop. The properties of ammonia remove all doubts respecting the effects of hoeing. Let the vapor of hartshorn in a receiver or tumbler be placed over a vessel of quicksilver, and then introduce a mass of moist soil, and see with how much rapidity the whole of the ammonia will be absorbed by the moist soil. Ammonia always exists in the atmosphere, and it is obtained in dry weather by exposing a fresh surface of soil to the atmosphere. Hoeing is a cheaper way of obtaining ammonia than buying it in guano; we get it in dry weather, and it is agreeable to the experience of all good observers, that hoeing in dry weather is followed with greater benefits than if the weather is wet. Gardens are hoed more frequently than field crops, though it may be supposed that the vigorous growth in the former is due to a rich soil. Still, the good effects of hoeing are too demonstrable to the eye to admit of doubt. Hoeing, however, is laborious, and too much time is consumed to admit of its repetition in field crops. To supply the place of the hoe the cultivator comes in, and no doubt its more frequent employment in dry weather, not simply to kill weeds and break sods, but to create a moist surface which will absorb ammonia, and which is now known to be so needful to all crops. Dry surface has little or no absorbative power as may be shown by introducing a ball of dry earth into a tumbler, or receiver of hartshorn in vapor.

CHAPTER VI.

        Soil elements preserve the proportions very nearly as they exist in the parent rock. Weight of different kinds of soils. Most important elements of soil represented by fractions. Effects of small doses of fertilizer explained. Nature deals out her nutriment in atom doses, and so does the successful florist.

        * 51. It is well established by experiment and observation, that the soil contains, in its ordinary state, all the elements the vegetable


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kingdom needs. It is also known that all may be, and are probably derived from the solid rocks of the globe; and hence it will follow that the composition of the soil will not differ materially from the parent rock from which it is derived; and what is particularly worthy of note is, that the proportions of the elements will be found in the soil as they exist in the rock; and that where an element or compound is in excess in the rock, so it will be found in the soil, and where the proportion is small in the rock so it will necessarily be small in the soil. We propose in this chapter to state the quantities of elements in soils, and it will appear that though many important substances are extremely minute when put in a table of the common form used in chemical analysis; yet, if calculated therefrom in absolute quantities per acre, they are very large.

        We have given the weight of cubic feet of sandy, clayey and peaty soils; these data will give the weight of a layer of soil of the area of an acre and one foot deep. A granite soil with its usual state of moisture weighs about 90 lbs to the square foot, and the superficial square feet of an acre weighs 3,920,000 pounds. If granite is composed of two-fifths quartz, two-fifths felspar and one-fifth mica, its composition will be represented by the following:

        
Silex, 74.84
Alumina, 12.80
Potash, 7.48
Magnesia, .99
Lime, .37
Oxide of iron, 1.93
Oxide of manganese, .12

        It will be seen that in this and all other analyses of rocks and soils, that silex and alumina constitute by far the largest parts, while those elements which seem the most important to the vegetable occur, or are represented by fractions, and generally the fractions are much less than in the case selected. The potash given is the potash of the rock, and thus never occurs in the soil, and the fraction which should represent the potash of a granite soil will not exceed one-half of one per cent. in consequence of its solubility. But if it equals the lime, .37, the amount of potash in one hundred pounds of soil will be three-eighths of a pound. If the per centage


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amounts to one-half of one per cent., there will be over twenty tons of the substance in the mass of soil, one foot thick and within the area of an acre. The small per centages, therefore, in an analysis, when calculated for a field, become large and important figures; and even where the Chemist makes his note as a trace, and which indicates its presence, without being able to weigh the element, it is still sufficient to meet the wants of vegetation. It is still greater than the farmer employs even when he uses gypsum, and much greater than when guano is employed. The interesting question then comes up, how can the great effects of guano be reconciled with the small quantity used? Two hundred pounds of guano to an acre, sown broadcast upon a wheat field, produces visible effects as far as the field can be seen when growing, and is known to double the crop. How can the great effects, then, be accounted for when the quantity is so small that it would be difficult to detect it in a pound of soil?

        We may conceive it to be explained in this way: It is all dissolved and evenly distributed in the mass of soil, and is brought directly to the roots of the growing plant in the right condition to be taken up. It is not the absolute quantity called for by the crop, it is the state or condition of solution. Supposing four times as much used, and hence the solution would be four times as strong, would it produce quadruple effects? certainly not. Experience does not sanction the doctrine; instead of good effects, the crop would be hurt, or if taken up by the rootlets at all, it is too strong, and the probability is that much would not be taken up, as the strength or suspended particles of nutriment could not be received into the vegetable tissues at all.

        We account then for the striking efforts of apparently homeopathic doses of fertilizers, on the ground of their solutions being adapted to the mouths of the spongioles through which the nutriment must enter the vegetable organism, and the adaptation in this state to the constitution of vegetables. All concentrated doses are rejected. All floriculturalists who produce beautiful flowers, employ agents extremely diluted. Others, who do not understand the business of feeding beautiful plants, attempt to cram them with too much and too rich solutions; the consequence is, the plants are killed outright, or else become yellow, their leaves drop, the whole plant indicates suffering.


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        It is highly probable too, that a farmer might produce results as beautiful as the florist, by pursuing like means; applying his fertilizers in a state of extreme dilution, in which case it is evenly distributed to roots and in a state in which it can be taken up. Facts constantly occurring in the analysis of soils, favor, and even sustain the doctrine. For how much soluble matter is there in one thousand grains of soil? It is possible to obtain one and one and a half per cent, consisting of 12 to 14 substances. Nature seems to dole out her treasures; instead of dealing liberally as befitting her, she gives atoms. There are practical principles in the facts developed. If soluble substances are employed, they too must be dealt out in atoms only. A few atoms at a time only are found in solution in the soil. The vegetable organism is only fitted to receive atoms; and in this we see adaptations which must be repeated. It is true, turkeys, swine and men may be crammed and fattened; but this system will not succeed in raising wheat, cotton or corn.

CHAPTER VII.

        Fertilizers defined. Their necessity. Mechanical means of improvements of soil. Effects of lime. Growth is the result of change in the constitution of the fertilizers employed. Organs have each their own special influence upon the fertilizing matter they receive. Provisions for sustaining vegetable life. A system of adaptive husbandry. Instances cited. Adaptation of a crop to the soil. What fertilizers will ripen a crop at the right time. The source of fertilizers. Green crops. Peat. Advantages of a green crop. Marine plants. Straw. Losses of farm yard manure. Peat, how prepared for use. Composts. Fertilizers of animal origin. Solids and fluids.

        * 52. A FERTILIZER is a substance which promotes the growth of vegetables. In this definition is included water, and a great variety of bodies which would scarcely be ranked under the name of manures. The latter term is generally applied to the excrements of animals, and yet, it has a wide signification, so that when we


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have really determined the number of bodies which may be classified under it, we find that its meaning is as extensive as that of fertilizer.

        * 53. The necessity which has given rise to the use of this class of bodies, is the excessive taxation of the natural resources of soil for the support of much greater crops than the soil would spontaneously produce, and this taxation being prolonged century in, and century out, the necessity now for resorting to their use and hereafter, has become a fixed institution, established in absolute dominion upon the money and labor of all who have anything to do in agriculture in earnest. The improvement of the soil by mechanical means extends farther than the simple movement of it in a certain way, turning it over with the plow, breaking up the compact matter at the bottom of a furrow, exposing fresh surfaces with the hoe or cultivator; for in all these there are excited chemical actions, whereby combinations promoting growth take place. So also the employment of chemical bodies do not end strictly in chemical changes; mechanical ones result from chemical actions. Witness the effect of quick lime upon a clay soil; it becomes porous and light, even more so than by the use of the plow and hoe; besides, it is a permanent change in texture as well as composition. From the foregoing facts, it will be seen how one system of improvement connects itself with another, and that the institution of one system of means sets in motion those which seemingly belong to an opposite kind. We repeat that mechanical agencies result in chemical, and chemical ones result also in mechanical. All means, therefore, for improving the soil belong to double systems, excepting those instances where a fertilizer is selected with reference to a single result, as is often the case in most of the soils; as in sulphate of ammonia, nitrate of potash, or phosphate of lime.

        But still, fertilizers improve soils by chemical agencies, and we shall now consider them in this range of their functions, leaving out of view any mechanical results they may produce.

        * 54. All applications of substances designed to promote growth do not always act by the results of change in themselves, nor by inducing chemical changes in others prior to their introduction into the organism of the plant. But by far the greater number of feilizers undergo a change somewhere before they are assimilated,


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or become incorporated into the vegetable body. We cannot think of any thing, how much alike it seems to the constitution of organized matter, which must not be changed in its chemical constitution before it finds its destined position in the vegetable structure. Water, it is true, acting as the vehicle by which food is conveyed inward, passes through and out again by respiratory pores and undergoes no change; but, what it transmits, must be changed. The actions of organs have much that is special; each organ its own wants, and its own apparatus to supply them. The husk of a kernel of grain demands its supply, and though it gets a supply from the common circulating store, yet its organization elaborates from that supply, something quite different from that of the kernel, leaf or stalk. The changes indicated are regarded as chemical, with what, and how much right, we cannot decide. There is a vitality in each and every part and organ; how much is to be attributed to this principle has never been agreed upon; but it is supposed by some that this principle is a force or power controlling the movements in question; yet, the changes in the substance are like unto chemical products taking place independently of this subtle force called vital. But the foregoing is a departure from the track or line in which we designed to move.

        * 55. But before we speak of the fertilizers we may profitably look at or consider the natural provisions for sustaining vegetable life when left to the workings of its own unaided machinery. The machinery consists of organs for support and reception, discharge and growth. The first are the roots, which consist of a tapering stem which sends off threads terminating in a congeries of exceedingly minute orifices, which are called spongioles, whose office is to obtain, and we might perhaps say, select nutriment. The second class of organs are the leaves. They exhale water, in vapor of course, from pores which are mainly located upon the under side. The water is pure, though it has been the carrier of food, as it is called, from which has been manufactured salts, sugar, starch, extract, gum, woody fibre, etc. The superfluous water escapes from the surface of leaves. But leaves, besides performing the office of exhalation, perform that of reception, or of absorption. This office, however, appears to be an important one in the clover and allied plants; while in the cereals, it is much less so. The movement of water (and when impregnated with foreign matter, is


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called sap,) is upward and outward, so as to distribute it to the new growing organs. It passes into cells in its upward progress, where it is changed or assimilated, and becomes by its passage through them, perhaps by the action of its walls, vegetalised, if we may coin a word answering to animalised. There is motion in all directions, but the currents tend upward and outward, so as to reach the extreme bud and leaf. This is a necessary result, because the bud, leaf, and extreme of the branches seem to be the source of the force by which circulation is carried on. In the workings of this imperfectly described machinery, which may be regarded as belonging to a tree, we find organs which are but temporary in their office, and which therefore require periodical renewals. These are the leaves, fruit and bark. The permanent organs are the trunk with its limbs, and the roots. The growth is both aerial and sub-terrestial. The latter keeps pace with the former; the roots spread equally with the branches, and that the roots may be fed they penetrate outwardly into new feeding grounds, which like the leaves, bark and fruit in falling after decay, help supply the necessary nutriment. They re-supply in part, and once again traverse the organism.

        * 56. Time, also, is not to be lost sight of in the range of enquiries relative to fertilizers. It may be, and is, of great importance to get an early and good stand; the result of the crop may turn upon this one point. Hence, what treatment, what fertilizer will best fulfil the end sought; for instance, in a crop of tobacco or cotton? What is wanted is an early, or indeed an immediate effect; one which will not retard the germination of the seed, but which will act gently upon the infant plant. The does, too, is an important consideration; a tea-spoonful of broth is not too much for the infant, while a table-spoonful, which an adult stomach would manage, would be too much for the former.

        There is another enquiry in range of the specialities we are considering. What fertilizer will ripen a crop at the best time and manner? This may not have been thought of so frequently as some other questions; but the tobacco grower's attention has been turned to it. This crop must ripen evenly before frost; and as it is a leaf ripening, not a seed, an organ which has no connexion with the organs by which the plant is propagated, but is supplied with cellular tissue, which may grow and develope itself indefinitely,


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and which, under the influence of abundance of nutriment, will keep green; this organ, the leaf, may not ripen at the right time, and may ripen quite irregularly and the crop be half spoiled. The problem, then, for the tobacco grower to solve, is, what fertilizer will spend its powers and exert its properties to the best advantage in order that the leaf shall not grow too large, but expend or exhaust its power before frost, and thereby promote its ripening at the right time; for, as long as the leaf is encouraged to grow by the fertilizer employed, it will not stop to ripen. The leaf is under a different law from the organs which propagate the species, though even these may not put forth their powers when the woody system is over stimulated with nutriment.

        A system of husbandry which is now called for is adaptive, or to use another term of like import, should be as far as possible special; by which we mean, the use of those means of improvement which are adapted to the soil crop. It is now proved by experiment, that phosphatic fertilizers are better adapted to the growth of turnips than ammoniacal ones, and that a combination of ammoniacal and phosphatic are best suited to wheat. These are instances of adaptive husbandry. How many such instances will be established by experiment and observation we cannot tell. But their discovery is in the right direction; it is a progression towards perfection. So also as to the mode of application; abundant experience and observation point to the fact, that surface application is the true mode for grass lands. But it may not be the best for corn lands; it may not supercede a more immediate application of certain fertilizers to the hill of corn.

        So again, the adaptation of a crop to the soil and to the condition of any particular kind, is an established principle. Clayey lands are better for wheat than sandy, and sandy soils grow rye better than they do wheat. But observations in this direction are older than those which are established relative to the special use of fertilizers. The enquiry is and has been in the mind of every farmer, what is this piece of land adapted to? What kind of crop will be the most profitable? and the consequence of this kind of enquiry has been to establish many important practical results which are now acted upon every day by our best farmers. This field of improvement comes first in the order of time; and from the nature


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of things, has made greater progress than that which comes from the special use and adaptations of fertilizers.

        * 57. Fertilizers belong to the three kingdoms, and it will promote a systematic view of them by adopting a classification corresponding to their origin or source.

        The most striking difference in these classes is their bulk and the quantity which is to be applied. Those fertilizers which are derived from the vegetable kingdom are bulky; and hence, one important result is secured, which cannot be obtained from the others, especially the mineral kingdom; they lighten the soil and make it more open than the other two; a result which is due from bulk alone, while, if porosity results from mineral fertilizers, it is in consequence of chemical changes in the soil. Mineral manures are more special than vegetable or animal; which arises from the fact that they are less complex in their composition, or consist of two or three elements only. We might have made another class, inasmuch as some of the most favorite compounds are composed of substances derived from the three kingdoms. These are composts, and it might at first sight be inferred that guano ought to be classified in both the mineral and animal kingdoms; but it is plain that what is strictly mineral in it is secondarily derived from the animal kingdom only; as it consists of the excrements of birds, who have subsisted mainly upon fish or other animal bodies.

        * 58. Vegetable fertilizers do not furnish exclusively vegetable matter, they also yield up mineral matter, which has already been mentioned under the name inorganic. It is that which has been taken up and fulfilled its functions in the vegetable organism, and now, after its death, it is again seperated by a series of chemical actions, and restored again to the soil. It is probably the best part of it, and sooner or more easily soluble, or more quickly prepared for its reception into the vegetable organism than the unchanged elements of soil.

        * 59. Vegetable fertilizers are matters which have decomposed; their particles separated as well mechanically as chemically; in fine, which have passed through a series of changes which have resulted in the formation of a class of new bodies. The vegetable loses its green, and is blackened, as if charred, but at the same time is softened and becomes pulpy; the fibrous structure disappears and the organization is broken up. It has become subject to


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chemical laws. The common term is rotten or rotted. All vegetable matters pass through the same changes, whether matured wood, twigs or leaves. Matured wood requires more time, but ultimately it will become a mixed fertilizer, and have a value proportioned to the kind of inorganic matter combined with its quantity; for observation and experiment proves that the pines, poplars and willows have less mineral matters than oak, hickory or birch; and certain parts have more than others. The bark of the oak is richer in lime than the wood; the twigs and leaves are richer in phosphates than the wood, and the fruits are worth more for fertilizers than other parts, because they contain more potash and phosphates combined. One thousand pounds of the willow wood will enrich the soil four and a half per cent., while one thousand pounds of dry leaves will enrich it at the rate of eighty-two per cent. Leaves then would bear hauling much farther than the saw dust of willows or pines; hence, it will be perceived that leaves must produce a much greater effect; they are richer in the money elements.

        Fertilizers belonging to the vegetable kingdom are used in a green or in a decomposing state, as in green crops, plowed under and in the condition of peat, or peaty matter formed in bogs, and in a state of partial decay.

        Green crops are fertilizers of the first order, being decomposable speedily in consequence of the full charge of sap which they contain when plowed under the sod. They change into a light black mould and assume the condition of a compost heap. A crop is selected for this purpose which grows rapidly, has extensive roots, and is supposed to obtain its stock of materials in part from the atmosphere. This last is considered a clear gain. The extended roots concentrate the mineral matter in the plant, and if its roots run deep, bring up fertilizers beyond the reach of the wheat plant. At any rate, whatever the green crop contains is laid down in a layer some four or five inches beneath the surface, and is really a magazine of food.

        The red clover and buckwheat are employed most frequently in the northern and middle States, while the pea is best adapted to the latitude and climate of North and South-Carolina. But all that part of North-Carolina which lies north of the Central Railroad, may sow clover instead of the pea. But the pea is a richer plant,


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especially if the plant is mature, and its pods filled with fruit. The pea has long roots; we have found them twelve feet long. Green manuring is not confined to the plants named; all the clover class, as lupin, lncern, etc., borage, turnips, and wild mustard are sown in Europe for the same purpose.

        * 60. The advantages accruing from green crops are numerous, but they are both mechanical and chemical; the development of ammonia, nitric and carbonic acid within the soil and which therefore are in the best condition to be absorbed by it, belong to the latter.

        It is maintained that a green crop plowed in enriches the soil as much as the droppings of cattle from three times the quantity of green food consigned to the soil by the plow. Another advantage claimed is, that about three-fourths of the whole organic matter is derived from the atmosphere. This is the most likely to be true in the clover and bean family.

        Those who reside near the sea may obtain sea-weed, and plow it in, in the same condition that it is cast upon the shore. Seaweeds decompose readily; they yield both organic and saline matter, and are nearly equal, for potatoes, to barnyard manure. Sea-weeds are a specific fertilizer for asparagus, a sea-shore plant. The coast of North-Carolina, however, does not abound so much in this class of fertilizers, as the northern rocky shores of the Atlantic. The foregoing fertilizers are employed in their wet state. The following are spread upon the ground dry.

        * 61. Straw of all kinds are used as fertilizers. In the condition of straw or hay, which is a plant dried in the sun, the decomposition is comparatively slow, even if buried in the soil. Mixed with animal matter in heaps, its change is rapid; fermentation is induced which soon reduces the mass to a bulky consistence, or the fibre of the straw is separated or broken, and admits, thereby, of a ready incorporation with the soil.

        Fertilizers undergoing a series of changes in the yards where they are formed are subject to a nsiderable loss of weight. The figures given by Johnson are the following. A recent mixture weighs, for example, from
46 to 50 cwt.
After 6 weeks, weighs 40 to 44 cwt.
After 8 weeks, weighs 38 to 40 cwt.
After when half rotten, weighs 30 to 35 cwt.
And when fully rotten, weighs 20 to 25 cwt.


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A loss of more than one-half of its weight during the time required to make what is called short manure. But it is not a loss of one-half its value. It may be infered that the principal loss in weight is water, though ammonia and carbonic acid also escape. But an informed farmer would stop the loss of valuable parts by the use of absorbents, as plaster, weak solution of sulphate of iron, sprinkled over the heap or mass, while fermenting. By these means, if the loss in weight was not entirely prevented, it would greatly diminish that which is regarded as valuable and be confined to the watery parts.

        Covering the dry manure in the soil answers the same purpose. Among the dry materials generally discarded by our farmers is saw dust. It lies in great heaps around the sites of old saw mills, and has never, in this State, been employed as a manure. It is true that it generally consists of pine, still, on sandy lands, applied in small and repeated doses, it will supply organic matter and prepare the way for a satisfactory use of marl. One hundred loads to the acre is a suitable quantity. This should be spread and ploughed in.

        * 62. The seeds of all plants are richer fertilizers than the stems or leaves. Cotton seed is in great repute, indeed all that furnish oils seem to be well adapted to promote vegetation.

        Rape seed (Brassica napus) is equal to cotton seed, but is too valuable for its oil to be employed before expression. The cake which remains is still valuable.

        * 63. Peat is one of the most common materials which has been employed as a fertilizer, and has received the same sanction of those who have used it, and as it is widely distributed it is necessary to notice it in this connexion. It may be regarded as the basis of all composts. It may be employed by itself, provided it is brought by sufficient exposure to the air and moisture to pass into a pulverulent state when mixed with the soil. If lumps of peat, which have dried in the air, are buried in the soil, they continue in the condition of lumps as a nuisance for two or three years, but if kept moist in a heap, and a species of fermentation is excited, it then pulverises and mixes readily with the soil.

        Peat is best prepared for crops by composting it with other substances. Johnson gives the following formula as the best, all


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things considered, especially with reference to the cost of materials, and the effects which are produced:

        
Saw dust or earthy peat, (muck,) 40 bushels.
Coal tar, 20 gallons.
Bone dust, 7 bushels.
Sulphate of soda, (glaubers salts,) 1 cwt.
Sulphate of magnesia, (ep. salts,) 1½ cwt.
Common salt, 1½ cwt.
Quick lime, 20 bushels.

        "These materials are mixed and put into a heap and allowed to ferment three weeks; then turned and allowed again to ferment, when the compost is ready for use.

        "This compound is compared with guano, both as a fertilizer for hay and turnips.

        "On hay, per imperial acre:

        
PRODUCE. COST.
Nothing, 416 stones.
Guano, 3 cwt., 752 stones. $7 50
Compost, 40 bushels, 761 stones. 5 00

        "On turnips:

        
PRODUCE. COST.
Farm yard manure, 28 yards, 26 tons.
Guano, 5 cwt., 18 tons. $12 50
Compost, 64 bushels, 29 tons. 7 75

        According to the foregoing experiments the compost seems to be better than guano."

        But Johnson remarks that the experiments need repeating, and yet from the nature of the compost there is nothing improbable in the results. It will be observed that the compost contains coal tar, a substance which, a priori, we should be very likely to place any where else than in a list with fertilizers, yet experience proves its value.

        A combination of one hundred parts of plaster, and from one to three parts of coal tar, well mixed in a mortar, is valuable in agriculture. For certain purposes olive oil is added, as when the mixture is designed for application to putrid sores, etc. This is principally used, but without the olive oil, in place of chloride of


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lime to disinfect sinks, privies, etc. It purifies water in a short time.

        But it is also valuable in agriculture, one-half a pound of the powder dissolved in 5 or 6 gallons of water and sprinkled on the litter of a stable will deprive a cubic yard of manure of all odor, and prevent the loss of fertilizing matter.

        Coal tar has also been applied, per se, to wheat stubble for the benefit of a root crop which was to succeed.

        The use of coal tar is mentioned in this place as in many of the towns of North-Carolina it can be obtained at the gas works. It is now wasted. It is expected, also, that the kerosine oil works, which are about to be established upon Deep river, will furnish large quantities of coal tar for market.

        * 64. But to return to the consideration of peat and muck. Many questions have been raised with respect to their use, which are really superfluous; as in what kinds of soils do they produce the best results, etc. Now, this substance, if properly prepared, acts beneficially on all kinds of soils. It may be in a condition to benefit no soil; and hence, prejudices will be raised, when its failure is our own fault. But questions respecting the best mode of preparing it for use, are highly important.

        There are many modes of composting, and undoubtedly some formula prescribing the ingredients should be adopted; and in constructing a formula, regard must be had, both to the crop it is intended for, and the condition of the soil to which it is to be applied.

        In practice, muck or peat which by itself is scarcely soluble, requires an alkali to effect a solution of it at least.

        Mr. Dana, in his Muck Manual, gives a good formula which can be followed by any person who is inclined to try it. It is composed of the following proportions:

        
Peat, 50 lbs.
Salt, ½ bushel.
Ashes, 1 do.
Water, 100 gallons.

        The ashes and peat are well mixed, adding a little water to moisten the materials. This mixture lies a week, when the dissolved salt or brine is to be added and well stirred in a hogshead.


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It requires stirring for a week, when it is fit for use. The brown liquid which floats above the peat, contains the whole organic matter in the salts. This is to be applied to the land it is designed for, in solution. In the course of four or five weeks, however, another substance is formed, sulphuretted hydrogen, which is injurious to vegetation. But in the mean time, repeated additions of water will furnish more soluble matter from the peat. A decided benefit is seen upon corn, onions, grass, barley, etc. A compost of these materials applied dry will be attained with less trouble, and though its effects may not be exhibited so soon, yet they will last longer. In the present state of our knowledge respecting the powers of the roots of vegetables to select or obtain nutriment, the necessity of obtaining a soluble condition of peat before its application, is not well settled; for it seems that the roots do act upon insoluble matters, and appropriate them to the use of the plant. By this phraseology, it is not meant that roots do take up insoluble material, but that they have a power of imparting solubility which water by its own action has not.

        * 65. Fertilizers of Animal Origin.--It will be superfluous to enumerate all the kinds which are referred to the animal kingdom. It is sufficient to observe that everything has been or may be employed for manures which has lived. All parts, all organs, hair, wool, skin, flesh and bone, help make up the list. To the foregoing we may add the animal liquids, blood, and the excrements both solid and liquid. As in the vegetable kingdom, they possess different values.

        A knowledge of their composition furnishes a reason why they are so, as well as how they act.

        Bone is composed of:

        
Phosphate of lime, 55.50
Phosphate of Magnesia, 2.00
Soda and common salt, 2.50
Carbonate of lime, 3.25
Fluoride of calcium, 3.00
Gelatine, 33.25
100.00


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        In adding dry bone pulverized there is added thirty-three per cent. of organic matter in gelatine.

        Bones are employed in a dry state after being ground or crushed. They of course act slowly in this condition, but with excellent results. The most popular mode of employing bone, however, is as a super-phosphate, as it is called. This substance is prepared by mixing one half of its weight or its whole weight, which is better, with sulphuric acid, (oil of vitriol), previously diluted with three times its bulk of water. The materials require repeated stirring. When the solution is effected, a pasty substance is obtained. Two modes of applying it are recommended. The first in substance, in the condition of a powder. This is obtained by mixing with charcoal powder, dry peat, saw-dust or a fine vegetable soil. If it is wished to drill in this fertilizer with the seed for a crop, as wheat, the powdered state as above may be resorted to, or if it is designed to use a solution, it is necessary to add forty or fifty times its quantity of water, when it may be applied to the crop with a water cart. The latter mode brings out results much more speedily, and as farmers are anxious to see immediate effects, the latter may afford more encouragement to use those fertilizers which belong to the first class.

        * 66. The comparative results as determined by experiments of the two forms of bones, the crushed and dissolved, should be given in this connexion. Thus, while 16 bushels of crushed bones gave ten tons and three hundred pounds per acre, two bushels of superphosphate gave nine tons and twelve hundred pounds; the latter approximating very closely upon the former. But this statement taken literally, does not reveal to us the state of the case, for the latter has cost something for its preparation, but the difference in the long run will be found to be much less, inasmuch as the powdered preparation will continue to fertilize the soil for the next 10 years without additional expense; and yet the following practice we would recommend, viz: for all cultivated crops, as turnips, corn, oats, etc., to use the super-phosphate on the score of speedy action and immediate results; for long continued use, as for pastures and hay, the ground bones. The powder will be slowly dissolved by the aid of carbonic acid and furnish thereby a constant supply of food for years in succession. So also, as a fertilizer for vines and fruit trees, the bone in substance answers a better purpose


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than the super-phosphate. It is no object to over manure a vine or tree; what is wanted is a steady and constant supply. When a great growth of vine and limbs is obtained by great doses of fertilizers, the wood is not perfected, and the tendency will be to develope imperfectly consolidated or unripe wood rather than fruit; there will be an over-burthen of the latter. Even uncrushed bones buried among the roots of a vine produce the best of results. In that way, the bones are, as it were, penetrated by thousands of spongioles, which, by a power not well understood, supply from these comparatively insoluble bodies, all the nutriment they require of this kind, for heavy crops.

        The experiments of WOHLER show that bones are soluble in water without the aid of carbonic acid. Water which has been filtered through a mass of bones, has always contained phosphates in solution. But it appears that the quantity dissolved depends partly upon the stage of putrefaction which they have reached; and hence, it is inferred that fresh bones kept wet will furnish this important fertilizer in a mode cheaper than that which is usually pursued.

        * 67. Horn (horn core) is composed of:

        
Water, 10.31
Phosphates of lime and magnesia, 46.14
Carbonate of lime, 7.71
Gelatine (organic matter) 35.84
100.00

        * 68. Liquid excrements, as the urine of different animals, instead of being preserved in its liquid state, have been of late mixed with a sufficient quantity of gypsum to fix the volatile compounds, as the ammonia, and then dried to a powder; in this state it is applied to land. But it is doubtful if it has an advantage over the mixture composed of peat. Let every one consult his feelings in regard to the preparation of these bodies, especially where apparatus is not at hand, and he will readily understand why it is that the preparation and even preservation of many valuable substances is neglected; for much care and work is involved in the process when evaporation and preparation of superphosphates are talked about. But when preservation and preparations are simplified,


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it is possible to persuade farmers to undertake it. It is not so much for want of knowledge that so much is neglected; it is because the work is presented in a shape too complicated, or requiring too much attention and labor. Guano, with all its expense, has taken everywhere, because it is ready to apply. If farmers had to cook it before it could be used, very little would have been used in North-Carolina.

        * 69. For these reasons it is believed that very few will resort to the use of tanks and distribution carts for the preservation and distribution of the liquid excrements of men and cattle. A muck or peat yard with a depression in the middle, which may be made the receptacle of offal, blood, urine, etc., will be found the most eligible mode of preserving these bodies. It is known that every thing is to go there, and all that will be required to preserve the volatile matters and absorb offensive gases, will be to use plaster and peat intermixed with a small quantity of coal tar, which can now be procured in almost every village of the State. These imperfect compost beds may be turned over with the fork from time to time in order to secure a perfect mixture. It should be spread broadcast, and the harrow used to mix it with upper soil.

        * 70. For the preparation of the fluid substances of animals, a compost with peat is probably the best which can be devised. Blood and fluid excrements mixed with charcoal or peat, the latter of which is the cheapest and most easily prepared, form with little labor and expense an excellent compost. Indeed the basis should be kept in heaps for the reception of fluid refuse matter; even the soapsuds of the wash room, which are generally wasted, should find a repository there. But let the small farmer enumerate the animal substances which might be saved in the course of a year. The blood, hair, wool, bristles, feathers, skin, old leather, woolen rags, fragments of bones, to which we may add entire carcasses of dead animals, even cats and dogs, will form a formidable mass when deposited together in the farmyard. These, when moistened or wet in a heap with ammoniated compounds, or even water, will soften, undergo a partial fermentation, and in time become as valuable as guano. The absorbant power of peat and charcoal will fix all the valuable gases.

        The preservation of the foregoing substances require no cash, and very little time, and there is no necessity of attempting the


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regulation of the quantity by weight or measure. Woolen rags may be deposited among the roots of vines or fruit trees; hair, bristles, old shoes and leather, etc., may have the same destination. One ton of hair, bristles and wool are worth as much as four or five tons of blood. The dry materials enumerated are fitted to those crops which are to be sustained for several years in succession, as meadow land and pasturage, while the fluid and easily decomposed kinds are better suited to the annual hoed crops. In this distribution we obtain more speedily their money value. Nitrogen is supposed to be the most important element of animal bodies. Thus dry blood contains 15.50 per cent.; dry skin, hair and horns, from 16 to 17.50 per cent. of nitrogen. Still, all these substances are rich in phosphates, and hence, their value is due in part to the latter.

        To the planter, the importance of providing for the preparation or preservation of night soil, presents itself in a strong light; especially, if we can confide in the conclusions of Bonsingault. According to this distinguished farmer and chemist, the liquid and solid excrements of an adult individual amount on the average to 1½ pounds daily, and that they contain 3 per cent of nitrogen. According to this calculation, they will amount in a year to 547 pounds, containing 16.41 pounds nitrogen; a quantity sufficient to yield the nitrogen of 800 pounds of wheat, or of 900 pounds barley. The quantity is more than sufficient to fertilize an acre of land. From the foregoing it is not difficult to form an estimate of what is lost upon plantations stocked with one hundred, or any given number of laborers; or to place it in another point of view, how much might be gained by the adoption of means which shall enforce the preservation of excrements, both liquid and solid.


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CHAPTER VIII.

        Solid excrements. Guano. Composition and comparative value. Discrepancies stated.

        * 71. The solid excrements of animals form a well known class of fertilizing bodies of great value. Their value depends upon the food upon which the animals are supported. It may consist of matters little better than ground hay intermixed with small portions of mucus; or if fed upon corn, it is richly charged with ammonia, or perhaps still richer, if fed upon fish and animal substances. The kinds receive their designation according to their origin. Night soil, human excrement, which when dried with gypsum or lime, is sold under the name of poudrette. The former, in consequence of its richness, loses more of its value by exposure to the atmosphere, than any other kind. Hence arises the necessity of mixing it with absorbants, such as plaster, charcoal, peat, sawdust, etc. To these may be added the sulphuric acid or muriatic; both form with ammonia a valuable fertilizer. Muriatic acid may be sprinkled over foecal matters in the vault from a copper watering vessel. The acid should be diluted with two and a half times its bulk of water.

        The products of the horse, cow and hog should be mixed together, as in that case the properties which are wanting in one are supplied by the other. Fermentation, resulting in a prepared state for use, will be secured more safely than when they are used alone. Those of the horse, it is well known, if packed into heaps, heats and is nearly destroyed. That of hogs fattening upon grain is probably richer than any other, but is far less liable to heat than the former. It is accused of imparting an unpleasant taste to roots when freely used, in consequence of containing an unexamined volatile substance.

        * 72. The excrement of birds is richer in fertilizing matter than quadrupeds, in consequence of mixture. The urate which exists in the urine of the latter, passes off with the foccal in the former. That of pigeons is in repute in Flanders, Spain and other countries in Europe. In some parts of Spain it is sold for fourpence a pound, and is used for melons, tomatoes and flower roots.


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Its valuable properties are no doubt due to the grains upon which the birds feed. In Flanders the manure of one hundred birds is worth twenty shillings a year for agricultural purposes.

        Equally valuable are the same products from the domestic fowl, geese and ducks, when fed upon corn. When the domestic fowl is lodged in a suitable shed, the free use of gypsum upon the floor is indispensable to the preservation of the volatile parts. It is necessary to use it with the same care as is observed in the use of all compounds which contain the elements of ammonia.

        * 73. Of the solid animal fertilizers, the most celebrated of this class is Guano, now generally used and is by some regarded as almost indispensable for the successful cultivation of wheat and tobacco, etc.

        This substance consists of the excrements of birds, (sea fowl,) which feed mostly on fish or animal matter. The accumulation and composition is to be attributed to the dryness of the atmosphere. There are two varieties in market, the South-American from the coast of Peru, and the Mexican from the Gulf. The former is from a rainless district, and hence retains its soluble matter; the latter is from a district subject to rains, and hence its ammonia salts and other solnble matters are diminished to a minimum quantity. A little reflection will enable a person of information to understand their relative values, especially when it is known that the latter frequently contains from 60 to 80 per cent. of bone earth, and the former 50 per cent. of soluble matters, and rich in ammoniacal salts, and only about 23 to 25 per cent. of phosphates or bone earth. In accounting, however, for the effects of gnano, we should not lose sight of their complex composition. This fact is brought out in the following analysis:

        
VOELKEL
Urate of ammonia, 3.24
Oxalate of ammonia, 13.35
Oxalate Lime, 16.36
Phosphate of ammonia, 6.45
Phosphate Lime, 9.94
Phosphate Ammonia and magnesia, 4.19
Phosphate Soda, 5.29
Muriate of soda, 0.10
Sulphate of soda, 1.19
Sulphate Potash, 4.22
Muriate of ammonia, 6.50
Water and organic matter, 5.90
Clay and sand, 28.31


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        This elaborate analysis is selected for the purpose of showing the complexity of composition of guano. The most valuable parts of it, it will be seen, are the ammoniacal salts and phosphatic salts. In some varieties the guano is weakened by sand and clay; it is often much less, rarely more, unless adulterated. Potash is usually regarded as existing in too small proportions to effect its value, yet it is found as a salt in this case to be larger than usual; the per centage rarely exceeding one per cent. It may be expected, therefore, that this deficiency may be observed in the course of a few years of use.

        * 74. The length of time during which guano acts is estimated variously by observers, though all agree that the guano of the rainless districts have a shorter life than those which are preserved upon a rainy coast. The reason is obvious. In this climate the former are expended in two years; the latter, as they resemble bone earth, last longer,--at least twice as long.

        It must be admitted that guano, in this country, has laid agriculture under immense obligations. It has encouraged, or, indeed, inaugurated a new system, and has given that impetus to it which will never die out.

        The advantages of guano in the Southern States are numerous. By its use old fields are brought into bearing immediately, and bear at once money making crops. Several years are required to resuscitate an old field in the ordinary mode of procedure. The result, then, is the saving of time. On cotton and tobacco its influence is felt strongly in securing early a good stand. Its influence is continued down to the right period for ripening, and no doubt in those cases where the proper quantity is used it ceases to grow, and the process proceeds regularly, and thereby secures uniformity; a point of the greatest importance where a high priced tobacco is the object.

        The quantity of guano per acre, which is useful, seems to be tolerably well determined. Very few use more than two hundred pounds to the acre. Curious, as well as instructive experiments


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are given in Johnson's elements of agriculture of the effects of quantity on a crop. Thus:

        
QUANTITY OF GUANO. EFFECT ON THE TURNIP CROP. ON THE AFTER CROP OF WHEAT.
4 cwt. to the acre, (Scotch.) 18 tons of good turnips. Good wheat.
8 cwt. to the acre. 14 tons very indifferent. Inferior.
16 cwt. to the acre. Looked, when young, wonderfully well, but there was little bulb in the end, produce 10 tons. Stuble black, grain dark, and not larger than small rice.

        Guano is accused of acting injuriously when its use is protracted. The probable influence of guano, when used for several years on the same area, is to cause an exhaustion of those elements in the soil which the guano cannot supply. Potash is probably so much diminished that it ceases to furnish it to the crops. However this may be, it is evident that its use increases so largely the quantity or weight that to supply any element from the soil alone would diminish the stock or magazine in a greater ratio, and hence more speedily than ordinary crops. Hence, as the supply is derived originally from the rocks, and never can accummulate under these circumstances, though every year adds its atoms to the soil, yet it is used faster by far than it is produced; the consequence is, the stock will be too much diminished to supply the wants after an uncertain period, and the soil will actually become poor in one or more elements necessary to the cultivated plant.

        If potash is deficient in a soil, and is the result of the excessive use of guano, the addition of leached ashes will supply the deficiency; but a mixture of well pulverized peat and ashes with guano will best supply the deficiences of this fertilizer. It is doubtful whether the use of guano ought not to be intermittent. As we have said, it saves time in resuscitating old fields. If, after one or two years, guano is dismissed, and the fertility is kept up afterwards by vegetable and mineral substances composted together, the evil of exhaustion will be averted.

        * 75. In consequence of the high price of guano, an article of an inferior value is often brought to market, or else it is adulterated. Chemical changes also affect its value. It is not easy to form a judgment by occular inspection. Those which are brown have undergone those changes which approximate a decomposition, which


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discharges a large proportion of its ammonia. Hence, the lighter the color the less change it has undergone, and therefore the better.

        A strong odor of ammonia is a good indication; if not free, a trial may be made by mixing a spoonful of it with air-slacked lime in a glass; ammonia fumes ought to be exhaled if good. Too much water is indicated by its mechanical condition. Fifty-five dollars per ton for water is a poor investment. Guano then should be dry. If much sand is intermixed it may be detected by mixing it with water in a tumbler, giving a little time for subsidence, pour off the top, repeat the operation a few times, and the quantity of sand will remain at the bottom of the tumbler. There is another experiment which it is easy to perform for the purpose of determining the quantity of sand, and if weighed, the result may be quite accurate. Heat the weighed quantity to redness, when the volatile matters, ammonia and others of that nature, will be consumed or dissipated. Dissolve the remainder in dilute muriatic acid of the shops by applying a moderate heat. The remainder will be sand or other useless earth. Elaborate analyses are too difficult and expensive to be undertaken for a moderate quantity of guano, but the foregoing may be resorted to and ought to be; for they may account for a failure, or explain more satisfactorily the results upon the crop, whether remarkably good, indifferent or bad. Much, however, must be trusted to the character of the merchant.

        * 76. The money value of animal manures cannot be accurately determined for many reasons, so much depends on the season, and circumstances under which they are employed. It is only the theoretical value which chemistry fixes. This is undoubtedly to be trusted, but it often happens that an inferior manure thus tested has a better influence than one which has the highest chemical or theoretical value. It seems to be settled that the value of a manure for a given crop depends upon the quantity of nitrogen it contains, and tables have been constructed which are designed to express this fact. It is assumed, however, that a selected example is represented by a given number, it may be 1000 or 100. This is the standard with which the others are compared, and it may be interesting to consult a table constructed upon this principle, and also occasionally useful. The following is given by Johnson:


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Farm yard manure, 100 taken as a standard.
Solid excrements of the cow, 125
Solid excrements of the horse, 73
Liquid excrements of the cow, 91
Liquid excrements of the horse, 16
Mixed excrements of the cow, 98
Mixed excrements of the horse, 54
Mixed excrements of the sheep, 36
Mixed excrements of the pig, 64
Dry flesh, 3
Pigeon's excreta, 5
Flemish liquid manure, 200
Liquid blood, 15
Dry do. 4
Feathers, 3
Cow hair, 3
Horn shavings, 3
Dry woolen rags,

        There is considerable truth, no doubt, in the foregoing table, inasmuch as experience supports it so frequently, that in the minds of many it may in fact merit a high degree of confidence. But in the example, woolen rags rank in this scale as high as 2½, that is, 2½ pounds of woolen rags possess as much fertilizing power as 100 pounds of farmyard manure, is doubtful; the practice of wasting them, however, should not be tolerated. According to the chemistry of pigeons' excrements, 5 pounds are worth as much as 100 pounds of farmyard manure. Reliable experience, and all that Johnson* has said of it in another place, seems to sustain in part this view, but all things considered, it is possible it also is ranked too high.

        * Johnson's Elements of Agriculture, p. 213--14.



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CHAPTER IX.

        Mineral fertilizers. Sulphates. Native phosphates. Carbonates. Nitrates. Silicates. Ashes. Analysis of the ash of the white-oak. Composition of peat ashes. Management of volatile and other fertilizers.

        * 77. As the name implies, mineral fertilizers are derived from the mineral kingdom. They comprehend exactly the common elements of soil, and differ from them only in being isolated and in large quantities. Marl does not differ from the carbonate of lime in the soil; phosphate of lime is a soil element, but we procure it in quantities and intermix it with soil, and then call it a fertilizer. The process of fertilization consists simply in resupplying what has been removed, or adding it when it is from the start defective, or entirely absent. The farmer, in fertilization, goes to work and supplies from the mineral stores of nature what to him is wanting to make his crops grow.

        * 78. This kingdom is rich in fertilizers, the number exceeds those of both the vegetable and animal kingdoms.

        As a class, they are composed of combinations of two and sometimes three elements, which, as a whole, is termed a salt, and they resolve themselves into two parts, a base and an acid; thus sulphate of lime is a salt, and consists of lime, which is the base, and sulphuric acid (oil of vitriol,) which is the acid. Virtually, it seems to be simply a base and an acid; still, lime is a compound of oxygen and calcium, and oil of vitriol of sulphur and oxygen; there is, therefore, three partners in the concern--oxygen, sulphur and calcium. Now in its action, it is not calcium, but lime; and though sulphur seems to be dissolved in certain animal fluids, yet it is generally the compound of sulphur and oil of vitriol which is found in the organic tissues. In the mind of the farmer oil of vitriol should not be strongly persistent; for, in combining with lime, or iron, or a base, this powerful substance loses its sour, caustic properties, and the gypsum formed is really one of the gentlest, mildest and modest bodies in the whole mineral kingdom, notwith-standing it contains that audacious consumer of all things, oil of vitriol.

        * 79. But we propose to consider somewhat in detail the mineral fertilizers under the heads they are ranked by writers upon agricultural


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chemistry, and to make such remarks upon them as we may deem useful to the planter.

        It need not be inferred, it appears to us, that because a substance is classed with minerals, that its mode of action differs materially from those derived from the vegetable kingdom, or that they are selected by the roots of plants and taken up by them in a different mode. In the vegetable and animal economy, they must be regarded as necessities, and cannot be dispensed with, though in quantity they are necessary only in small proportions.

        * 80. Sulphates, are no doubt taken up into the vegetable organism, and if decomposed by the roots or other agencies in the soil without the sulphur which exists in may plants, could not be satisfactorily accounted for. Being taken up as sulphates, the plant has power to decompose them and appropriate the sulphur and the base of the salt.

        * 81. Sulphate of lime, or gypsum. This substance is feebly soluble in water. In its purest crystalline condition, it is transparent, and is called selenite when massive it is white or gray, and often granular, or else compact when it forms the common gypsum of agriculture, and which may be distinguished from carbonate of lime or marble by its softness, and not effervescing with acids. It is so soft as to be scratched by the finger nail.

        It occurs abundantly in nature, but is never found associated with primary rocks, as granite, mica slate, gneiss, etc. This should be recollected. There is no plaster in North-Carolina unless it is associated with the sandstones of Orange, Chatham or Moore. The agalmatolite, resembling soapstone, has been mistaken for it; indeed, true soapstone is often mistaken for it. Gypsum is usually, too, accompanied with salt springs or salt, and the only indication that possibly gypsum may occur in this state are the feeble saline wells of this formation.

        Gypsum appears to have a specific action on the clovers and plants of this natural order, though its activity is less on some species than others. The white clover springs up under the influence of ashes and marls, the red under that of gypsum. Applied directly to many crops, and it is difficult to see that it has benefitted them. This is the case with wheat. No one at present applies it to his crop of wheat directly, but it is first used to grow a crop of clover. This, after being fed off in part by stock, is plowed in and the wheat


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then sowed. It is thought by many farmers in the wheat growing districts of New York, that the system of clover, gypsum and wheat, with alternate rests, is the true system of rotation, and following it the lands will remain as fertile as they ever were. This view, however, it is difficult to reconcile with the fact that several elements are removed with every bushel of wheat sold, which gypsum cannot supply; the natural result, insolvency, ought to follow, as the supply of food is limited.

        Gypsum has a fine effect upon the Irish potatoe. It is sown broadcast upon the leaves or foilage when it is hoed the first time. Grass lands are also improved by it. Gypsum appears to be useful to wheat in this way; the grain is first soaked over night, and when wet is rolled in plaster which adheres to it; when it is sown, it is covered with a coat of gppsum. In this mode of use, it seems to aid in bringing it forward, or in promoting an early germination. A remarkable fact with respect to the use of it in the gypsum country of New York, is, that it acts as decidedly upon farms where gypsum exists in beds, as in other parts of the State.

        In New York, gypsum has been applied with benefit to all crops but not by every individual. It is said that upon the soil of Long Island it is of no use, and it is accounted for on the ground that the soil is already supplied, or that the sea spray furnishes enough for every crop; certain it is that where the soil has ½ per cent. it is useless to add more. The failure of gypsum is generally due to the fact that there is enough in the soil, if so, it may be determined by analysis.

        * 82. The good effects of gypsum has been explained in several ways. One theorist has maintained that it is simply a stimulant to plants, or a condiment. This view is overhung with doubts. The most rational theory seems to be that it furnishes both sulphur and lime, or is indeed food. Those plants whose growth is strikingly promoted by its use contain notable proportions of both sulphur and lime. Clover, for example, is one; mustard is another. I have already stated that rape seed, which is a mustard plant, contains a large proportion of the former.

        The importance of gypsum, or, to be more general, the sulphates, will be best appreciated when it is stated that the most important constituents of our bodies contain and require sulphur.


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        Thus those parts of the blood which are known as fibrin and serum, as well as the egg of fowls, contain sulphur. This is strikingly manifest when they are in a state of decomposition, as they all give off compounds which exhale the offensive odor of a sulphur compound, well known in the rotten egg;--so also they all blacken silver. Now the bodies named above are all of animal origin, but the sulphur is not disengaged by the animal forces. It is obtained ready formed in the roots and seeds, the cereals and leguminous plants, such as peas, beans and wheat.

        To account for the origin of sulphur in animal organisms, it is necessary to go back to the soils, to those salts, such as gypsum, sulphate of ammonia, etc., which contain sulphur in combination. To the vegetable organism is assigned the business of separating this substance from its combinations, and form the roots and seeds spoken of; the animal that feeds upon them obtains, without labor, the sulphur, separated and united with such compounds as we find in the blood, fibrin and serum. The vegetable kingdom thereby becomes a great labor saving machine to the animal, as all its heavy and complicated duties are performed by it in preparing food for animals. It is not necessary that we should be able to account for changes effected by the vegetable before we can admit the foregoing views. Experiment assures us of the facts in the case. Feed a clover plant or a mustard with gypsum and the sulphur will be found in both.

        * 83. Gypsum is applied at the rate of from 2 to 3 tons per acre broadcast. When used for indian corn it is applied around the hill, and it is regarded as an eminent absorber of water as well as ammonia.

        * 84. When gypsum has been used for many years upon the same ground it ceases to produce an increase of the same crop. The ground is then said to be plaster sick. It occurs only with those lands where it exists in excess in the soil in consequence of its free application for a succession of years. The remedy is to suspend its use and substute wood ashes.

        * 85. Sulphate of ammonia.--We place this salt in juxtaposition with gypsum, the object will be seen in the character of the subjoined remarks. As its name implies, it is composed of sulphuric acid and ammonia. We see nothing of it in the soil or elsewhere, unless we take special pains to procure or make it. Sulphate of ammonia


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is manufactured from the ammoniacal liquor of gas works from the coal used in the manufacture of gas. If sulphuric acid is added to this liquor, the sulphate will be formed, and some coals yield a liquid which gives 14 oz. of sulphate to the gallon. Sulphate of ammonia is much more valuable than sulphate of lime, as it contains two important elements, sulphur and nitrogen. The nitrogen being much more valuable than the lime. Besides, the animal and vegetable sulphur compounds, fibrin, serum, white of eggs, cascin, etc., contain and require both sulphur and nitrogen. Here in the sulphate of ammonia they exist, and in a salt highly soluble. The simple chemical change required by the plant is to separate the elements of water, hydrogen and oxygen, when the sulphur and nitrogen are in a condition to pass into the composition of its organism.

        This salt will probably be found in the markets of this State, seeing that many of the principal villages have gas works in their suburbs, and may therefore furnish the ammoniacal liquid which may be converted into the sulphate, or it may be used directly, after being greatly diluted.

        But sulphate of ammonia may be secured by all persons who keep a stable. This is effected by means of gypsum. If this substance is sprinkled often over the floors of stables, as it should be, it absorbs the ammonia exhaled from excrement of the animals. The ammonia is mostly in the condition of a carbonate. When the gypsum is used in a quantity sufficient to absorb all the escaping ammonia, a large amount of the sulphate will be ultimately formed among the excrements. The gypsum is decomposed by it, and carbonate of lime is the result as it regards the sulphate of lime, and the sulphuric acid goes over to the ammonia and forms sulphate of ammonia. The advantages of this change are, the ammonia becomes fixed, it is no longer a volatile compound, and there is really no loss attending any of the chemical ones involved in the processes.

        The sulphate of ammonia, however, is quite soluble, and should not be exposed to rains out of doors until it is applied to the soil where it is wanted.

        From the foregoing we learn several important uses to which gypsum may be put. 1. As an absorbent of injurious and offensive odor. 2. The formation of an important salt--important,


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because it contains the elements of blood and muscle. 3. It prevents the destructive chemical changes which ammonia effects in walls plastered with mortar. The lime of the mortar being changed into a nitrate of lime by the formation of nitric acid, which results in the ruin of the plastering. Besides, coaches, harness, saddles, etc., are injured by the escape of ammonia.

        The positive economy, therefore, of supplying stables with plaster is too evident to require comment.

        Sulphate of ammonia costs in England, ready made, £16 per ton. About one-half cwt. is applied to the acre. It is applied to soils which contain inactive vegetable matter, and it may be mixed with wood ashes, bones, animal and vegetable manures; it may be used as a top dressing to sickly crops, which it revives and regenerates.

        * 86. Sulphates of patash and soda are also important fertilizers. The sulphate of soda (glauber salt) possesses a good degree of activity, and is not expensive. It is used successfully upon grasses, clover, green crops and the pea. Its quantity per acre is about one and a half cwt.

        Sulphate of magnesia, (epsom salts.) Its application to the crops just mentioned is attended with satisfactory results. Magnesia is an important element in all the grains; and hence, where this earth is deficient the sulphate is an elegant compound to be used as a top dressing, for its supply.

        * 87. Sulphate of iron (copperas) is an astringent salt, and may be used destructively to a crop. It is a poison, and yet in small doses its use is beneficial to feeble crops, or to fruit trees. It imparts a deeper green to the foliage and appears to give vigor to unhealthy individuals. In these respects its action is similar to that upon the human frame and constitution. It has been used in a weak solution as a top dressing to grass. Two beds of an acid sulphate of iron are known in this State, one in Edgecombe county, the other in Halifax county, near Weldon. A spoonful applied to a hill of corn kills it. To prepare it for use mix with marl. It is by this agent converted into gypsum.

        This substance in both cases occurs in a lignite bed, consisting of stems, leaves, and trunks of trees. The organic matter has combined in process of time with sulphate of iron. This, in its turn, or when air has access to it, decomposes and furnishes the


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salt in question, and where abundant, is important, provided marl beds are accessible.

        * 88. Native phosphate of lime.--This mineral exists in large quantities in New Jersey and New York. The most abundant source of it is in Essex county, New York, in connexion or associated with magnetic iron, where it forms in some part of the vein from one-sixth to one-half its weight. It seems to be inexhaustible. It may be separated from the iron by washing, or by magnets; both methods have been pursued. It exists frequently also, in primary limestones, associated with hornblende, mica, felspar, etc. The great source of phosphate of lime in the soils is probably the granites and other allied rocks. It is present in lavas and other igneous rocks. But it is in minute particles, and rarely when it exists in granite and other compounds is it visible, and is only ascertained to be present by the most careful analysis of the rock.

        Other sources of the native phosphate of lime are the sediments which contain fossils. Most, if not all the fossiliferous limestones, the marls of the secondary and tertiary divisions of rocks, furnish it in per centages varying from one to two and a half per cent. In the use of limestones and marls, therefore, as fertilizers, we obtain this important compound as phosphates.

        Native phosphate of lime, or as it exists in soils, is quite insoluble in pure water; but for its solution carbonic acid is depended upon in an uncultivated soil. When, however, the planter employs common salt, or salt of ammonia as fertilizers, he provides in part for the solution of phosphate of lime. In sulphate of ammonia, phosphate of lime dissolves as readily as gypsum in water.

        * 89. In North-Carolina the principal source of it is in the marl region. We have never found it in the primary rocks nor associated with any of its iron ores, as in New York and New Jersey, nor in the primary limestones of the mountain belt. The marls all contain it as an organic product, for in every living being it is found both in their hard and soft parts. It is principally in the latter that it exists in the marls. The value of the marls are increased by its presence, and the striking effects of its use may often be attributed to small quantities of phosphate of lime. There are frequently small, round, hard bodies in marl , bods called coprolites, which are often in sufficient quantities to pay for selection to be employed in converting them into super-phosphates by sulphuric


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acid. They contain about 50 per cent. of phosphate of lime. They are hard, and but slightly acted upon by water and the atmosphere, and will therefore remain like rocks, unchanged, and of course benefit the soil but slightly. By the use of an equal weight of sulphuric acid they may be converted into a valuable fertilizer. They would require, however, to be broken into small pieces by a hammer and frequently stirred. A portion would remain in powder, in the form of gypsum. It may be treated like the ordinary super-phosphate of lime made from bones. Super-phosphate of lime is worth about thirty-five dollars per ton.

        The practice of burning bones for the purpose of pulverizing them easily is not advisable; it is of course attended with the loss of all the organic matter, and as we believe with effects greatly diminished.

        * 90. Carbonates.--The carbonates are the most common of minerals. At the head of the list stands carbonate of lime, known as limestone or marble. Limestone may be known by its effervescing with acids. It cannot be scratched by the nail, but readily by a knife. Its colors are numerous--white, black, brown, flesh-colored, together with shades and tints produced by the oxides of metals, or a mixture of earth. When pure it is white and usually granular, but many limestones of a palaeozoic and mesozoic age are compact.

        The limestones which are regarded pure are composed of from 96 to 98 per cent. of carbonate of lime. Its chemical constitution is:

        
Carbonic acid, 43.7
Lime, 56.3

        Certain limestones contain also magnesia, which are best known under the name of dolomites. A dolomite is composed of:

        
Carbonate of magnesia, 45.8
Carbonate of lime, 54.2

        When in addition to the magnesia limestones contain 20 per cent. of ferruginous clay, they form hydraulic limestones, which furnish a material, when burned, having the property of becoming hard or solid under water.

        The term marble applies to limestones which take a polish. Other limestones are designated by the terms argilaceous and ferruginous


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or magnesian, according to the name of the substance which is mixed with the rock.

        Limestone is nearly insoluble in pure water, 1 gallon dissolving only 2 grains, but when water is charged with carbonic acid it dissolves freely.

        Limestone, when ground finely, might be applied to soils as a fertilizer, but its solution is slow to act. In the form and condition of marl, it is much more efficient.

        Quicklime is sometimes important; it is best adapted to stiff clay soils, and is applied for the purpose of making them open and porous. It has also a chemical action which undoubtedly lies at the foundation of its mechanical effects, that of attacking the clay and liberating potash or the alkalies.

        Erroneous opinions have been entertained with respect to the action of quicklime on animal and vegetable matter. According to Dr. John Davy, quicklime, instead of promoting fermentation, arrests it in vegetable matters, as peat for example, and as it regards its action upon animal bodies, it only attacks the cuticle, nails and hair, exerting no destructive influence upon the other tissues.

        Mixed with peat and vegetable organic matter, it confers a necessary solubility, or rather, the probable action is the formation of an organic salt of lime, which is soluble. This view is sustained by the fact that in the absence of organic matter, lime exerts no perceptible effects. Quicklime should not be mixed with stable manure, unless there is added at the same time gypsum, to absorb the ammonia which the lime will be instrumental in discharging. Peat, in a state of fineness, may be employed in the absence of gypsum, as its absorbent powers are equally great.

        The deficiency of limestone in this State is notorious. The mountains and the region of the Yadkin are tolerably well provided for. The midland counties, which take in a belt over one hundred miles wide, are destitute of it. The lower counties supply carbonate of lime for agriculture in their marl beds, and might also quicklime for building, white-washing, etc. The banks of the Neuse, 20 miles above Newbern, are well stocked with consolidated marl, well adapted in composition for quicklime.

        For more than a century, burnt lime has been used in England for the benefit of the soil. It may be shown that potters and brick clay, which are stiff and unyielding, contain potash and other alkalies.


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Now, no plowing, hoeing, or mechanical operation can hasten very materially the liberation of these important elements. No mechanical means effect materially its condition; chemically, they are too slow. If we resort to the use of quicklime, in the fall spreading it over the plowed field, and allow it to act through the winter, the potash will be liberated and the whole field become porous.

        * 91. That form of carbonate of lime which is known as marl, acts more efficiently as a fertilizer than the ordinary air slacked lime. It is not simply a salt of lime alone, but a mixture of fine carbonate of lime, phosphate of lime, magnesia, iron, and some organic matter. Marl appears to be in a more favorable condition than pure lime for an easy solution.

        This substance, though it appears inert to the eye, still has to be applied under the guidance of a few rules. It cannot be freely used on poor soils; those, we mean, which are destitute of organic matter. It being an absorbent of water, it is prone to act injuriously upon a crop in dry weather, or to burn it. If on the contrary, the quantity applied is proportionate to the organic matter, it will form soluble combinations adapted to the wants of the crop.

        There is no poisonous matter in the marl usually, and the probability is that when in large doses, as 600 bushels to the acre, it deprives the plant of water, being in itself one of the strongest absorbents of moisture known. Where sulphate of iron and alumina are present, this astringent salt being a poison, the plant is killed by its chemical action upon its tissues. As marl is applied to the surface and rarely buried by the plow deeply, it occupies a position which commands all the moisture in a dry time.

        To forestall the evils of a large application, it may be composted with peat, or any organic matter; it should always be prepared in this way. But when an over dose has been applied, the most direct mode of neutralizing its bad effects, is to plow it in deeply. It will then become mixed with a large quantity of soil, and all the organic matter of it. It will probably be changed into a fertilizing agent. As used in common cases in this State with the ordinary depth of pwing, a large body of it must effect unfavorably the whole surface, for there is only a few inches of soil for it to act upon.

        * 92. The marls of North-Carolina are not rich in lime, but still remarkable effects are obtained by their use. The following shows


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the composition of a marl upon the plantation of Col. Clark, of Edgecombe:

        
Peroxide of iron and alumina, 6.800
Carbonate of lime, 16.100
Magnesia, 0.436
Potash, 0.616
Soda, 1.988
Sulphuric acid, 0.200
Soluble silica, 0.440
Chlorine, 0.030
Phosphoric acid, 0.200
Sand, 72.600

        The complex nature of this marl is exhibited in this analysis; it shows that it is adapted to the wants of the vegetable in furnishing as large & list of those elements which the ashes of plants usually contain.

        An eocene marl from the plantation of Benj. Biddle, Esq., of Craven county, gave:

        
Sand, 9.60
Carbonate of lime, 85.00
Peroxide of iron and alumina, containing phosphoric
acid, 4.40
Magnesia, trace.

        Those marls which are thus rich in lime, are more liable to be used in excess.

        * 93. The action of the carbonates upon vegetation is usually attributed to the organic salts which are generated in the soil, as the crenates and apocrenates of lime, etc.; but in the formation of these salts it may happen that carbonic acid is set free, and in this condition becomes also a contributor of matter to the growing plant. The carbon of the carbonic acid will be retained in the plant, and the oxygen set free.

        The action of marls, as a class of carbonates, upon soils is more favorable in the long run than lime, except where quick lime upon clays is required. The use of lime for many years has induced complaints, whether justly or unjustly, is not perhaps fully settled; but it is charged with exhausting the soil, and like guano, of which


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we have spoken, the charge seems to be reasonable enough and to rest on the same grounds.

        If the charge is sustained, we can readily see by comparing the composition of marl with common lime, that the former supplies a much greater number of fertilizing elements than the latter; indeed, it is probable that marls, like ashes, contain the most needful elements; and hence, the annual application of marl is not likely to cause an exhaustion of the soil, because of the constant additions made by its use. It rather ought to grow better yearly; for the cotton crop does not require, or does not remove as many pounds of inorganic matter as there are applied. This subject, however, we have not heard spoken of, and we have never heard of injurious effects of marl which could by any means be attributed to exhaustion, and we are confident from the nature of the facts bearing upon the subject, that where especially a compost is made of the marl, it will continue for long periods to produce good effects.

        Marl seems well adapted to all those crops where the product sought is made up of cellular tissue, as the lint of cotton, the lint of flax and hemp, the fruit, such as the apple, because lime is the basis of cellular tissue. The phosphoric salts are required in the cereals, the parts sought for must be rich in sulphur and phosphorus. These last are contained in stems, lint, bark, etc., in much less proportions.

        * 94. Carbonates of potash and soda.--The first was anciently called the vegetable, and the latter the mineral alkali. Both, however, are derived from the mineral kingdom, but they are derived for commercial purposes from the ashes of vegetables.

        Pearlash is a carbonate of potash; it is the common substance used in biscuit making, or short cake, though the bi-carbonate has displaced the old or common carbonate. Neither of these substances have been used extensively in field agriculture. The latter has become a favorite fertilizer for strawberries. Their composition and the fact of their occurrence in the ash of all plants. proves their adaptation to crops. Their cost, however, for general and extensive use, is the only draw-back to their application to corn, wheat, potatoes, etc.

        * 95. Carbonate of ammonia is a white salt, with the pungent odor of hartshorn. It exists in the ammoniacal liquids already noticed,


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and is given off in stables in an impure state, or mixed with the effluvia of animal matters. It is an active fertilizer. Its true value, as in the case of other compounds of ammonia, is due to its ability to furnish nitrogen to vegetation.

        As it regards the compounds or salts of ammonia for wheat and other corn crops, it seems to be established that they are essential to the increase of grain, beyond the natural produce of a soil, aided by phosphatic fertilizers. The experiments of Mr. Lawes, of Hertfordshire, England, gave the following results:

        
APPLICATION PER IMPERIAL ACRE. PRODUCE.
In grain. In straw.
1844. Super-phosphate of lime, 560 lbs., 16 bushels. 1,112 lbs.
Silicate of potash, 220, 16 bushels. 1,112 lbs.
1845. Sulphate of ammonia, each ½ cwt., 31½ bushels., 4,266 lbs.,
Muriate of ammonia., each ½ cwt., 31½ bushels., 4,266 lbs.,
1846. Sulphate of ammonia, 2 cwt., 27 bushels., 2,244 lbs.

        The increase by the salts of ammonia upon the former crop manured by super-phosphate of lime and silicate of potash, is a striking result, and shows that the soil in order to reach its capacity for a crop of cereals, requires, besides the phosphates, those fertilizers which can furnish nitrogen. It does not prove that phosphates can be dispensed with, but only that unless nitrogenous bodies are added the crop will be less.

        * 96 -- Nitrates.--The union of nitric acid with a base, as potash and soda, constitute nitrates, a remarkable class of bodies. They are all soluble and easily decomposed. When thrown upon glowing coals they deflagrate, or burn energetically with flashes of flame and scintillation.

        Nitrate of potash, sultpetre, niter.--Its manufacture illustrates its formation in the soil. If the refuse of old buildings, its mortar, animal refuse, ashes, &c., are mixed in a heap and exposed to the air and watered occasionally, especially with putrid urine, they become charged with nitrates of potash and soda. Whenever, then, the circumstances are favorable, these salts will be formed; the animal matter furnishing the nitrogen which unites as it is developed with oxygen. The elements of the nitrates are found under houses, in caves, or wherever organic matter is mixed with carth protected from rains.


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        Both nitrates of potash and soda are highly esteemed in agriculture, though the high price of saltpetre debars it from general use. Its action upon young crops, when applied to them at the rate of one cwt. per acre, is highly favorable. Trees, the sugar cane and the grasses become fresh and green, and when combined with the phosphates is one of the most important fertilizers, as it contains in combination, the most important elements which the crop demands--nitrogen, phosphoric acid and potash. Nitrates increase the foliage of plants; and hence, for grass, or meadows, they are particularly and immediately serviceable.

        The nitrate of soda, sometimes called soda-saltpetre, is a native product of Peru and Chili, being formed in the earth in those sections where rain rarely falls.

        * 97. Chlorides.--The compounds consist of chlorine and a base, as sodium, uniting directly, or without the previous union of the base, with oxygen. The most common, and to the agriculturist the most important, is salt, or the common table salt. It is a native production in many countries, occurring in solid beds, which have to be quarried like rock. The bed near Cracow, Poland, is supposed to extend 500 miles, and is 1,200 feet thick. Salt springs are common, but the ocean is the great reservoir of salt. It contains about four ounces to the gallon of water. Salt has been and is variously estimated as a fertilizer. It strengthens the straw of the cereals, and is supposed to increase the weight of the grain. It is more important in land, or at a distance from the sea, than upon the shores.

        * 98. Chloride of ammonia.--Sal ammoniac of the shops. Muriate of ammonia. This well known salt has proved by experiment, to exercise a beneficial influence upon crops. It is, however, too expensive in its pure state, to be economically employed in agriculture. A solution for steeping seed corn is recommended; it hastens germination, and is supposed also to add to the luxuriance of the crop.

        * 99. Silicates.--Pure silica, or pure flint is strictly an acid, but it is so insoluble that under common circumstances its real character is disgnised. But put finely ground flints into a solution of potash and the silica unites with the potash, and forms a soluble silicate of potash. Silicates, then, are bodies constituted like other salts, having a base united with soluble flint. The silica may be


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separated from its combination by the addition of an acid, and the silica will form by itself a gelatinous mass, which is a silicic acid with water. If this gelatinous mass is dried, the silica becomes gritty and is really now what is called quartz, and is no longer soluble.

        Now in the soil there is always a small quantity of soluble quartz, and certain plants must have it in order to give strength to their stems. All the cereals and grasses are furnished with this substance, which is mainly deposited upon the outside; which both protects and strengthen the straw. It is not properly a nutriment, but in the organization of the grass tribes it is an essential element; wherever the soil is deficient in soluble silica, the straw of the grain is weak. The celebrated German Chemist, Liebig, proposed the use of special manures, consisting of silicates mostly, as a fertilizer for wheat, rye, oats, turnips, &c. His special manures, however, have failed to meet the expectations of his friends. They failed on the ground that mineral substance alone, and by itself, is insufficient to supply the wants of vegetation. The failure has an important bearing on our practical views, showing clearly enough that organic matter is essential to plants. It does not prove that what Liebig proposed was useless and unnecessary, but that he did not go far enough; he fell short of a sound theory by excluding from his potent fertilizers vegetable matter, from which the organic acids are formed.

        The silicates of rocks are not wholly insoluble, they are attacked by water and carbonic acid, and by their joint action are dissolved. It is by their action that the soil is furnished with soluble silicas. That such a result is possible is shown by the action of rains and carbonic acid upon window glass, while a silicate which becomes gradually opake, especially in stables, where carbonic acid escapes. Distilled water alone dissolves glass. The tumblers used in carbonated spring water are coroded by carbonic acid

        Straw furnishes silicates, when spread over the surface of fields, but, if burnt, the silica becomes insoluble. Hence, straw should be applied without change. Its organic matter is also put to use. Straw spread upon meadows for grass is an excellent application.

        * 100. Ashes contain a large number of fertilizing elements; indeed it may be presumed that whatever an ash contains performs something in the economy of the vegetable which yields it.


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        The ash of sea weeds is the kelp of commerce. It contains potash, soda, lime, silica, sulphur, chlorine, iodine, etc. The existence of these elements in marine plants throws light on their action upon vegetation.

        Wood ashes contain, among other things, pearlash, or carbonate of potash. The composition of ashes depends upon the tree and the part burned; the bark furnishes an ash whose composition differs from that of the wood or the leaves.

        The ash of the bark and wood of the white oak contains the following substances:

        
SAPWOOD. BARK. HEARTWOOD.
Potash, 13.41 0.25 9.68
Soda, 0.52 2.57 5.03
Sodium, 2.78 0.08 0.39
Chlorine, 4.24 0.12 0.47
Sulphuric acid, 0.12 0.03 0.26
Phos. of peroxide of iron, lime and magnesia, 32.25 10.10 13.30
Carbonic acid, 8.95 29.80 19.29
Lime, 30.85 54.89 43.21
Magnesia, 0.36 0.20 0.25
Silica, 0.21 0.25 0.88
Soluble silica, 0.80 .25 0.30
Organic matter, 5.70 1.16 7.10

        The tree furnishing the ash grew upon a clay soil rich in lime. It will be observed that the bark is much richer in lime than the wood, while the wood is richer in phosphates; and the richest part of the wood is that of the outside. The same result is shown in the distribution of potash; the outside wood contains more than the heart wood, and in the bark it is reduced to a minimum quantity, only 0.25 per cent. These are leading facts in the distribution of the clements of growth in the vegetable kingdom, and we may feel assured that it is not an accident that they are thus distributed. It is probable that lime distributed the outside is best adapted to the protection of the vegetable tissues. The newest parts, as the outside wood, derives a part of its elements from the inside, especially the phosphates, which are no doubt transferred by the circulation. The law which has been already expressed, holds good in all the correct analyses of the parts of trees; their distribution is


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upward and outward, tending continually to the new parts which are being developed.

        * 101. The ashes of peat differ in composition according to the nature of the plant from which peat is formed. There will also be changes in the composition of peat which is old, when compared with a new growth of it.

        The following analysis by Johnson, shows the general composition of peat ashes:

        
Chloride of sodium, 0.41
Phosphate of lime, 2.46
Sulphate of lime, 18.66
Sulphate of magnesia, 1.68
Carbonate and silicate of magnesia, 6.32
Carbonate and silicate of potash and soda, 5.32
Carbonate and silicate of alumina, 11.63
Oxide of iron, 9.18
Silica, 15.55
Insoluble matter, sand, &c., 7.94
Carb. acid, coal, etc., 10.85
100.00

        In this sample the gypsum is much greater than usual, and the silicate of alumina is foreign matter, as alumnia is never a true ash product.

        * 102. On reviewing the general principles which are set forth in the preceding account of fertilizers, we may understand that it is not sufficient to apply to the soil fertilizers in their simple state, and at random, provided the planter determines to derive from them the greatest benefit. We are unable to increase their power, but their elements of fertility may be preserved or prolonged by a suitable management, which in reality would be equivalent to an increase of power. The most active and valuable ones require the most particular attention. Guano, for example, requires careful manipulation, and when it is once determined how this volatile compound is to be treated, it furnishes a rule for others whose composition is closely related to it.

        Of the different fertilizers, we may arrange them into four orders.


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        In the first, we may place those which contain a notable per centage of ammonia, in such a state of combination that it is freely exhaled, or exists in a volatile condition.

        In the second, those which by chemical changes form ammonia, and which also become volatile.

        In the third, we may place the fixed salts; and

        In the fourth, those compounds which consist of carbonaceous matters, and possess also the character of comparative stability under ordinary conditions. The latter order is well adapted to a general use with the preceding, either as an absorbent of the volatile matter, especially ammonia, or with the salts, with which they form combinations consisting of an organic acid and a mineral base.

        The probability is that the best results are secured by mixing our organic with the inorganic in every instance. By adopting this course, the time when soils will begin to exhibit signs of exhaustion will be far in the future, or certainly postponed indefinitely.

CHAPTER X.

        The quantity or ratio of the inorganic elements in a plant may be increased by cultivation. Source of nitrogen. Specific action of certain manures, particularly salts. Farm yard manure never amiss. Use of phos. magnesia. Special manure sometimes fails, as gypsum.

        * 103. While it is well established that the organs of plants possess each their own component, inorganic elements, it is equally well proved that their quantity may be increased or diminished by modes of cultivation. The organs still maintain their differences in respect to the ratio of the component elements under any system of culture.

        As an illustration of the changes which may be produced by modes of cultivation, we may cite wheat. If, for example, it is


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manured with the ejecta of the cow, it furnishes a smaller proportion of gluten than if manured with fertilizers richer in ammonia. When manured as above, the berry contained 11.95 parts of gluten, and 62.34 of starch. When manured with human urine, which is rich in the elements of ammonia, it yielded 35.1 of gluten; nearly three times as much as in the former case. Gluten determines the weight of the grain, and, to a certain extent, its use. The flour, which is suitable for the manufacture of maccaroni, must be rich in gluten. Certain soils produce, without fertilizers, a heavy wheat rich in gluten. This is a fact with the wheat of Stanly county, N. C., which weighs 68 lbs. to the bushel, probably the heaviest wheat ever sent to market.

        * 104. The important principle contained in the foregoing facts have a practical bearing; they determine the practicability of raising a crop adapted to a particular use, independent of the influence of climate, and hence of increasing its value.

        In relation to the subject of ammonia, much thought has been given, and many experiments made to settle the question of its source. As nitrogen forms a large proportion of the atmosphere, it was natural to infer that the atmosphere might furnish this element directly to the leaves or to some other part of the plant. This view has not been adopted, and it is moreover well settled that ammonia exists in the air in small quantities and is dissolved in rain water; it is also contained in fresh fallen snow, but notwithstanding its presence in the atmosphere, it is essential to its reception in the plant to combine it with an organic acid, which nature effects in the soil, which contains organic matter, in the condition of acids, as the cerenic and apocrenic.

        Certain other saline manures exercise a specific action upon crops. Those of ammonia are, perhaps, the most general in their effects; all crops continue to grow longer under the influence of these salts, or continue in a growing state until late in the season. Nitrate of soda has a similar effect. With respect to their application to certain crops, which we wish to have ripened within a certain period, as tobacco, for example, they would not be adapted to it; it would cause the plant to continue growing until frost; it would be in the unripened state, or only ripened in part; and hence the tobacco would command only an inferior price in market.


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        * 105. Certain salts promote the growth in perfection of particular parts of vegetables. Thus when the straw of wheat or rye is weak, theory would lead to the use of the soluble silicates of lime or potash, for the purpose of supplying the silex where it is required. The practice is attended with good results. When the ear is not well filled, the phosphates are resorted to, as it is here that this salt is deposited in the greatest quantity. The leaves of the vine are best developed by carbonate of potash; and the phosphates again develope or go to the fruit.

        Other fertilizers seem to be adapted in certain conditions at least to all crops. Farm-yard manure never comes amiss, provided it has been subjected to such physical and chemical changes which the crop requires. It is not always proper to apply it fresh or in the condition of long manure. Gypsum is specially adapted to the growth of red clover, and ashes and marl will bring up white clover in places where it had not been known to grow perhaps at all.

        Phosphate of magnesia has been praised for potatoes, and the super-phosphate of lime is the best dressing for turnips.

        But even the foregoing well authenticated facts are somewhat local; for certain reasons not well ascertained, some of the striking effects of these special results, do not occur in another section of the country, or at least are far from being so striking It is never possible to predict the effects of gypsum on crops, though its properties must hold good everywhere; that is, must always act as an absorbent of ammonia and water, but still it is said to fail at times as a fertilizer. In England it is not particularly praised, while in this country there are only a few districts where it is not attended with benefit to the crop. Natural fertilizers, however, do not stand alone in their failures. Those manufactured for a particular end are found to fail frequently. Failures no doubt occur by a misapplication of the substance; it may be given in excess and become a destroyer. It may fail from an unfavorable season, and may also fail from adulteration or for want of a natural purity in composition as a great excess of inert and valueless substance with which it is intermixed.


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CHAPTER XI.

        On the periodical increase of the corn plant. The white flint, together with the increase of leaves and other organs. The proportions of the inorganic elements in the several parts of their composition. The quantity of morganic matter in an acre of corn and in each of its parts. Remarks upon the statistics of composition.

        * 106. The changes which a plant undergoes during its period of growth are worthy of attention. For the purpose of illustrating the development of vegetable organs, we have selected the Indian corn or maize; and as the growth of the foliage exhibits the views we wish to bring out, we have tabulated the weekly increase of the leaves in weight, and the amount of water they contain, together with the quantity of ash the whole weight furnishes. The observations begin in July and are continued until August 11:

        
TIME: JULY 5. JULY 12. JULY 18. JULY 29. AUGUST 4. AUGUST 11.
Weight in grains, 367 698 886 2294 2810 1642
Water, 304 568 869 1835 2179 1227
Ash, 6.75 756 8.32 41.58 58.97 36.59

        This table shows the rapid increase of weight in the leaves from July 18 to August 4, after which the leaves rapidly lose their weight, by supplying, no doubt, nutriment to the corn, which is then filling up. There is in most organs a growth which attains its maximum at a certain period, when it seems to retrograde. This view, however, applies only to the subsidiary organs All the energies of a plant are concentrated on the production and perfection of seed. The stalks of corn increase in about the same ratio as the leaves.

        
STALKS. TIME: JULY 5. JULY 12. JULY 18. JULY 24. AUG. 4. AUG. 11.
Weight in grains, 100 1084 3041 5219 4597
Water, 92 987 2671 4525 3832
Ash, 94 8 16.82 29.48 51.25

        * 107. The stalk attains its maximum growth between by the 4th and before the 11th of August, and begins to yield up its nutriment to the car, which is rapidly forming. By the 23d of the


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month, a week later, they weigh 2,237 only. In the selection of specimens, it was attempted to employ such as were equally advanced and of equal size, as possible.

        * 108. The increase in weight of the white flint corn during periods of one week and during the period embraced in the foregoing observations, will be expressed in the following tables and remarks.

        On the 28th of June the corn was 18 inches high, and had increased in height during the preceding week 7½ inches:

        
Average weight of each plant, 84.15 grs.,
Increase in weight, 62.05 grs.,

        July 5th, hight 26 inches; increase in hight, 8 inches:

        
Weight of one plant, 237.5 grs.,
Increase of weight during the week, 152.35 grs.,
Average increase of one plant per day, 21.76 grs.,

        July 12th, hight of plants 35 inches; increase 9 inches:

        
Weight of one plant, 861.9 grs.,
Increase per week, 432.7 grs.,
Increase per day, 61.81 grs.,

        July 19th, hight 43 inches; increase in hight 8 inches:

        
Average weight of each plant, 875.48 grs.,
Increase during the week, 177.19 grs.,
Increase per day, 25.31 grs.,

        July 26th, hight 49 inches; increase in hight 6, or one inch per day:

        
Average weight of each plant, 2039. grs.,
Increase per week, 1191.6 grs.,
Increase per day, 170.22 grs.,
Increase per hour, 7.09 grs.,

        August 2d, hight 58 inches; increase 9 inches:

        
Average weight of each plant, 3308. grs.
Increase in weight per week, 1269. grs.
Average per day, 181. grs.
Average per hour, 7.55 grs.


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        August 9th, hight 65 inches; increase during the week 7 inches:

        
Average weight of each plant, 38.27 grs.,
Increase during the week, 286. grs.,
Increase per day, 11.92 grs.,
Increase per hour, .49 grs.,

        August 16th, average hight 72 inches; increase 7 inches:

        
Average weight of each plant, 6780 grs.,
Increase of weight during the week, 2953 grs.,
Increase per day, 436 grs.,
Increase per hour, 18.16 grs.,

        August 23rd, average increase in hight of plants for the week .76 inches; increase in hight during the week 4 inches:

        
Average weight of each plant, 8170. grs.,
Increase in weight, 1389. grs.,
Average per day, 198. grs.,
Average per hour, 8.27 grs.,

        August 30th, average hight 78 inches; increase in hight during the week 2 inches:

        
Average weight of each plant, 10.580 grs.,
Increase during the week, 2.409 grs.,
Increase per day, 344 grs.,
Increase per hour, 14.34 grs.,

        September 6, average hight of each plant, 78 inches. No increase in hight for the week:

        
Average weight of each plant, 12.917 grs.,
Increase during the week, 2136. grs.,
Increase of weight per day, 305. grs.,
Increase of weight per hour, 12.72 grs.,

        On comparing the parts of the plant with each other at this stage of growth, we find they hold the following proportions to each other:


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WEIGHT.
Tassel, 147.98 grs., 2.29 per cent.
Upper part of the stalk, 1128.8 grs., 0.63 per cent.
Lower part of the stalk, 2084. grs., 1.13 per cent.
Sheaths, 1239. grs., 1.42 per cent.
Leaves, 1970. grs., Lost.
Ear stalks, 1217. grs., .48 per cent.
Husks, 2484. grs., 1.65 per cent.
Kernels, 926. grs., .488 per cent.
Cob, 1255. grs., .354 per cent.

        The composition of the ash of the leaves and sheaths at this stage of growth is as follows:

        
LEAVES. SHEATHS AND HUSKS.
Potash, 10.15 8.76
Soda, 22.13 19.68
Lime, 3.38 1.20
Magnesia, 2.38 2.02
Earthy and alkaline phosphates, 14.50 13.80
Carbonic acid, 3.50 4.14
Silicic acid, 36.27 38.10
Sulphuric acid, 5.84 6.36
Chlorine, 1.63 4.34

        At a later period, that of October 18th, when the corn was ripe, the leaves and sheaths were composed of:

        
LEAVES. SHEATHS.
Potash, 8.33 7.48
Soda, 8.52 12.44
Lime, 4.51 2.13
Magnesia, 0.86 0.79
Phosphates, 6.85 9.75
Silicic acid, 58.65 51.25
Carbonic acid, 4.05 trace.
Sulphuric acid, 4.88 12.27
Chlorine, 2.66 2.96

        * 109. The stalks of the period were composed of:


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STALKS.
Potash, 16.21
Soda, 24.69
Lime, 2.84
Magnesia, 0.93
Phosphates, 16.15
Silicic acid, 12.85
Carbonic acid, 1.85
Sulphuric acid, 10.73
Chlorine, 10.95

        The phosphates of the leaves of the October's growth are less than in those of September 6. The amount of the alkalies have apparently diminished, though it is possible that comparisons may be fallacious, seeing that the results are obtained from the analysis of different plants, growing also on different hills, and may prove to be due to other causes than those connected with the distribution of inorganic matter by the influence of the organs. Our theory is, with respect to the distribution of the inorganic matter, that the leaves furnish to the grain a part of their store, or that it is transferred from the leaf to the grain.

        The husks are composed of:

        
RUSKS.
Potash, 3.51
Soda, 9.82
Lime, 0.45
Magnesia, 0.07
Phosphates, 26.25
Silicic acid, 47.65
Sulphuric acid, 6.67
Chlorine, 5.56
Carbonic acid, trace.

        For feeding stock, horses, cows, etc., the advantages of one organ over the other are not very great, so far as the inorganic matter is concerned. The silicic acid or silica is the greatest in the husks, which may be regarded as the useless part; but it happens that the phosphates are greater in the husks than the leaves at this stage; but again, the potash and soda are greatest in the leaves.

        In the sheath and leaves, taken at the same date, Sept. 6, there are but slight differences in composition in the two organs, leaf and husks. A comparison of the composition of the leaves and the grain of the white flint corn of August 22:


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LEAVES. GRAIN.
Potash, 12.76 23.92
Soda, 8.51 22.59
Lime, 6.09 0.16
Magnesia, 1.25 2.41
Alkaline and earthy phosphates, 19.25 35.50
Silica, 50.55 9.50
Sulphuric acid, 4.18 4.38
Chlorine, 9.76 0.40

        The alkaline and earthy phosphates, potash and soda, exist in large proportions in the grain, while the silica is reduced to a minimum, and is confined to the enticle.

        * 110. Analysis of the grain and cob of the 8 rowed yellow corn of the same ear:

        
GRAIN. COB.
Potash, 27.35 37.85
Soda, 5.79 1.83
Lime, trace. 0.24
Magnesia, trace. 0.53
Earthy and alkaline phosphates, 52.75 36.57
Chlorine, 4.10 2.95
Sulphuric acid, 3.48 9.20
Silex, 1.73 10.76
Per centage of ash, .62 .40

        As it regards the value of the cob for nutriment so far as its inorganic matter is concerned, it is plain that it has a certain value and should not be lost. Cob ashes are known to be rich in the alkalies even when guided only by taste; but at this stage the potash amounts to 37 per cent. and the phosphates to 36 per cent. and the silica to only ten per cent. But the per centage of ash is small in the cob. scarcely amounting in any case to more than one-half of one per cent.

        * 111. The husks of this variety of corn and which belong to the same stage of growth, are composed of:

        
Potasin, 21.85
Soda, 2.04
Carb. of lime, 0.27
Magnesia, 0.23
Phos. of lime, magnesia and iron, 29.43
Chlorine, 1.11
Sulphuric acid, 11.11
Silica, 32.13


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        From observation and experiment it appears highly probable, that the 8 rowed yellow corn is one of the most valuable for feeding properties. Its parts are all of them rich in inorganic matter.

        * 112. Upon an acre of corn we raise about 18,700 plants. These plants will contain 466.80 lbs. of inorganic matter. This inorganic matter will be distributed to the parts of plants in the following amounts:

        
Tassels, 64.239 grs.,
Stalks, 525.525 grs.,
Sheaths, 594.962 grs.,
Leaves, 1.195.845 grs.,
Silks, 25.284 grs.,
Husks, 434.091 grs.,
Cobs, 264.600 grs.,
Grain, 480.690 grs.,
3.585.036 grs., = 7468.82 oz. = 466.80 lbs.

        Of this quantity the leaves and sheaths will contain of:

        
LEAVES. SHEATHS
Silica, 82.681 pounds, 39.667 pounds,
Earthy phosphates, 29.273 pounds, 7.546 pounds,
Lime, 9.400 pounds, 1.581 pounds,
Magnesia, 1.910 pounds, 0.589 pounds,
Potash, 19.704 pounds, 5.571 pounds,
Soda, 13.142 pounds, 9.262 pounds,
Chlorine, 15.072 pounds, 2.202 pounds,
Sulphuric acid, 6.461 pounds, 8.928 pounds,

        The weight of the inorganic matter of the grain and cob will be:

        
GRAIN. COB.
Silica, 5.939 4.678
Earthy and alkaline phosphates, 22.187 8.229
Lime, 0.187 0.103
Magnesia, 1.506 0.309
Potash, 14.950 12.315
Soda, 14.118 2.034
Chlorine, 0.309 0.045
Sulphuric acid, 2.740 0.118


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        The stalks of one acre will contain:

        
Silica, 8.789
Earthy phosphates, 10.362
Lime, 1.928
Magnesia, 0.640
Potash, 11.087
Soda, 17.094
Chlorine, 7.491
Sulphuric acid, 7.382
64.773 pounds.

        * 113. The several amounts of the inorganic elements will stand as follows:

        
LBS. OZ. DECIMAL PARTS OF AN OUNCE.
Silica, 173.12.496
Earthy phosphates, etc., 93. 3.984
Lime, 13. 9.248
Magnesia, 5. 0.752
Potash, 66. 2.944
Soda, 61.15.184
Chlorine, 28. 7.328
Sulphuric acid, 29.11.696
471.15.632

        * 114. The foregoing statistics of the corn or maize elements show that it is an exhausting crop. This is agreeable to the opinions of the best informed farmers.

        The maize crop is remarkable for bearing high culture without danger of an excessive growth of stalk or leaves. In this respect it is quite different from wheat or oats. The rich lands of the eastern counties of North-Carolina produce great crops of maize, but when wheat is put upon them, the crop consists of straw instead of grain, which is even of a poor quality, so far as it is produced.

        Again, the foregoing statistics show the actual amount which each part contains, and what it removes from the soil. An inference


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from all these facts is, that it is not sufficient to supply the phosphates upon an exhausted soil to restore it to fertility; the quantity of potash, soda, etc., which may be and probably is combined in part with silica, shows that the soluble silicates will be required in the list of fertilizers. Plants require foliage elements, as well as grain or seed elements; for undoubtedly the perfection of the seed is dependent, in a great measure, upon the perfection of the foliage. This precedes, or is developed first, and when we find it green and luxuriant, we predict a fine crop of grain.

CHAPTER XII.

        Value of foliage for animal consumption depends upon the quantity of two different classes of bodies: heat producing and flesh producing bodies. These two classes are the proximate organic bodies, and are ready formed in the vegetable organs. Proximate composition illustrated by two varieties of maize. Their comparative value. Analysis of several other varieties of maize for the purpose of illustrating difference of composition as well as their different values. Composition of timothy, etc.

        * 115. The true value of foliage is determined from the quantity of the proximate elements of certain organic products developed or produced in the organs and seeds of many plants, particularly those which are in common use for feeding animals. Of these elements starch, sugar, gum, dextrine, gluten, legumen, casein, albumen, are the most important. The list is naturally divisible into two classes. The four first form a class which have been called respiratory elements, and furnish the body with heat and fat; they are destitute of of nitrogen. The remainder, of which gluten stands at the head, are the flesh and strength producing elements, and are known to contain nitrogen, and hence are sometimes called nitrogenous elements. The first class meet a special want in the animal economy, that of supplying it with heat, and when they are taken in larger quantities than the system requires, they accumulate around certain parts in the form of fat.


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        It is evident that as the economy of the animal system requires not only heat but strength and muscle or flesh, and as these are furnished from plants in the first place, that any given plant is valuable for food in proportion to the quantity which these two classes of elements are contained in the vegetable or which it can furnish. In order to determine the value of a plant, then, these different classes and individuals of the class are separated or isolated from their natural combinations, or in other words they are analyzed. As an example we may take the composition of maize, which will show the proximate composition of the grain. Its ultimate analysis would be, resolve the proximate bodies into the elements, carbon, oxygen, dydrogen and nitrogen. The proximate elements exist ready formed in the grain, leaf or stem, and they are separated from the fibre or cellular tissue by water, alcohol, ether, weak alkaline, solutions, etc. The grain, then, in its proximate elements of ready formed bodies, contains:

        
8 ROWED WHITE FLINT. WHITE KENTUCKY DENT CORN.
Starch, 57.47 50.92
Oil, 2.55 0.64
Dextrine or gum, 4.01 3.08
Sugar and extractive, 13.21 13.80
Albumen, 2.27 4.44
Casein, 0.39 0.80
Gluten, 1.67 0.72
Fibre, 6.07 9.70
Water, 11.46 12.22

        The heat producing bodies in the two varieties are:

        
FLINT KENTUCKY CORN.
Starch, 57.47 50.92
Oil, 2.55 0.64
Gum, 4.01 3.08
Sugar, 13.21 13.80
77.24 68.42 Heat and fat producing bodies.


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        While the flesh producing are in the

        
FLINT CORN. KENTUCKY CORN.
Albumen, 2.27 4.44
Casein, 0.39 0.80
Gluten, 1.67 0.72
4.33 5.96

        In the Kentucky corn the flesh producing bodies exceed those in Flint corn.

        To give another analysis of corn for the purpose of showing a still greater difference in the varieties often cultivated, we select the small blue corn used for parching. It contains:

        
Starch, 42.56
Oil, 5.30
Sugar and extractive, 15.32
Gum, 7.52
Albumen, 5.00
Casein, 2.04
Gluten, 4.78
Fibre,* 8.56
Soluble in fibre by potash, 8.55

        * Fibre is the hard stringy part of vegetables; it is wood or the fibre of flax; cotton lint is the purest form of fibre; bruise or beat wood or straw or grain, dissolve out by water, ether, alcohol and a weak solution of pearlash all that can be and the part remaining is fibre; it exists in the excrements of cattle and horses, and forms much of their bulk.


        The fine parching properties of this corn are due to the large quantity of oil present in the grain. Another variety of pop corn, the lady finger, contains nearly 7 per cent. of oil.

        The sweet corn is still more remarkable in its composition, thus it contains:

        
Starch, 11.60
Oil, 3.60
Sugar, 6.62
Dextrine or gum, 24.82
Extract, 8.00


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Gluten, 4.62
Albumen, 14.30
Casein, 5.84
Fibre, 11.24
Water, 10.81

        The starch in this variety is reduced to a minimum quantity, and the gum or dextrine is increased to the maximum known in maize. The gum, no doubt, replaces in part the starch, and it is this element which causes the great shrinkage in the kernel, from which we should very naturally infer that the corn was gathered in an unripe condition. This, however, is not the fact. But the sweet corn is eminent for its flesh producing elements when it is seen to contain 14 per cent. of albumen and 5 per cent. of casein.

        * 116. The value of the corn leaf, or fodder, as it is called, is more accurately ascertained by submitting it to an organic proximate analysis. When thus treated timothy and corn leaf are found to be composed of:

        
TIMOTHY. CORN LEAF.
Fibre, 68.14 60.00
Wax, 2.80 undetermined.
Sugar extract and dextrine, 8.20 10.00
Albumen, 1.89 0.22
Casein, 2.34 1.60
Water, 12.30 10.17

        The insoluble fibre makes the bulk of the leaf, and serves in the animal economy to fill up space, or give a proper degree of tension to the membranes. The albumen and casein are nearly as large in corn leaf as in the best of grasses. The red top, a favorite hay, is composed of:

        
Fibre, 65.00
Wax, 11.62
Resin, 3.08
Extract and sugar, 9.00
Albumen, 1.49
Casein, 1.80
Water, 10.00


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        * 117. It will be observed that the insoluble matter, or fibre, in the three kinds in the above examples, timothy, red top and corn leaf, are really the same, or nearly so. All the other bodies, classed as nutritive and fat producing, make up the remainder. They differ in quantity in these individual specimens, yet, it is probable, that for feeding stock, as they generally grow, sometimes on rich and sometimes on poor soil, they cannot differ essentially. One, in its general run, will support as much stock as the other, for it will be observed that cultivation, or no cultivation, changes the character of the crop. If, however, we compare the foregoing compositions with another species, which grows naturally on a cold wet soil we shall perceive a great difference.

        For example, a carex (a swamp grass) collected just before it was to blossom was found to be composed of:

        
Fibre, 86.20
Wax, 2.00
Albumen, 2.84
Casein, trace.
Resin, 0.47
Extract and sugar, 6.60

        The greatest part of this grass is unnutritious fibre, still it is not deficient in albumen, but both classes of bodies are reduced to a low per centage. We find less than 15 per cent. of the heat and flesh producing bodies combined.

        Composition of the common garden pea, rice and wheat, so far as their proximate organic elements are concerned:

        
PEA. RICE. WHEAT.
Water, 14 13 15
Starch, 42 70 42
Sugar and gum, 6 4 9
Nitrogenous substances, 24 7 15
Oil, 2 1 2
Woody fibre, 9 4 15
Ash, 3 1 2
100 100 100

        Rice contains a larger amount of stalk than wheat or corn, but in nitrogenous substances it is less than one-half of that in wheat, and in the pea they exceed the rice more than three times.


Page 100

CHAPTER XIII.

        Composition of tuberous plants with respect to their nutritive elements. Irish potatoe. Sweet potatoe. Their nutritive values compared.

        * 118. The family of vegetables which rank next in nutritive value to the cereals are the tuber bearing plants, potatoes, sweet potatoes, turnips, etc. They owe their value mostly to the presence of the same heat and flesh producing bodies as the grains. The inorganic elements are the same as in the cereals and grasses, but their proportions differ somewhat from them. The ash of the mercer potatoe, which is, in general repute, is composed of:

        
MERCER POTATOE.
Silica, 4.40
Earthy and alkaline phosphates, consisting of lime, magnesia and iron, 39.50
Lime, 0.15
Magnesia, 0.80
Potash, 14.26
Soda, 24.92
Sulphuric acid, 6.25
Carbonic acid, trace.

        A curious fact which we brought out in the analysis of the potatoes is the difference in the proportion of both water and ash of the ends, and besides the rose end, if planted, will form potatoes earlier than the heel end. They are composed of:

        
ROSE END. HEEL END.
Water, 83.83 75.17
Dry matter, 16.16 24.82
Ash, 0.72 0.43

        * 119. The proximate organic analysis of the tuber of the mercer gives us more information, as it regards its nutritious qualities. It contains:

        
Starch, 9.71
Fibre, 5.77
Gluten, 0.20


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Fatty matter, 0.08
Albumen, 0.24
Casein, 0.50
Dextrine, 0.72
Sugar and extract, 3.93

        The water of the potatoe amounts to about 80 per cent. The starch is less in this sample of mercer than in the early June, which contains 13.37 per cent. As it regards flesh producing bodies all the potatoes rank low.

        * 120. The following analysis of the sweet potatoe will enable the reader to compare it with the Irish as an article of food, particularly with regard to its flesh producing qualities. The ash is composed of:

        
Silica, 1.85
Earthy and alkaline phosphates, 22.10
Carbonate of lime, 0 60
Magnesia, 0.50
Potash, 49.36
Soda, 5.02
Sulphuric acid, 1.20
Chlorine, 4.09
Carbonic acid, 15.72
98.91

        The tuber contains:

        
Water, 69.51
Dry matter, 30.48
Ash, 1.09

        * 121. The proximate organic analysis gave:

        
SWEET POTATOE. TURNIPS.
Starch, 19.95 7
Sugar and extract, 5.80 2
Dextrine, 0.75
Fibre, 1.85 2
Matter dissolved by potash, 2.10
Albumen, 5.90
Casein, 1.03
A body that resembles balsam, 0.22 ½ oil.
Water, 96.56 86


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        The foregoing analyses serve to confirm or rather to agree with the common opinion, that the sweet potatoes rank considerably higher in the scale of nutriment than the Irish; they furnish more of the flesh producing bodies; they contain less water. Both are rich in potash. The per centage of ash appears low, but in both it is extremely fusible and difficult to obtain in a pure condition for weighing, as it is very liable to be caustic. The ash of the leaves and stems is composed of:

        
Silica, 23.60
Earthy phosphates, 28.57
Carbonate of lime, 15.00
Magnesia, none.
Potash, 18.51
Soda, 9.46
Sulphuric acid, 2.78
Chlorine, 2.09
Per cent. of ash in leaves, 2.63
Per cent. of ash stems, 1.73

        The sweet potatoe compared with the turnip used so largely for fattening stock in England, is far superior in every point of view.

CHAPTER XIV.

        Composition of the ash of fruit trees; as the peach, apple, pear, Catawba grape. Amount of carbon or pure charcoal which some of the hard woods give by ignition in closely covered crucibles.

        * 122. Persons who cultivate fruit trees may wish to know the composition of the inorganic matter or ash which the different parts furnish. The following analysis will fulfil in part, at least, their wishes. The peach being a very important fruit tree in this State, is selected from among many which have been made. The ash of the parts of the peach is composed as follows:


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BARK. WOOD. LEAVES.
Potash, 2.20 7.11 12.41
Soda, 11.15
Chlorine of sodium, 0.04 0.16 0.36
Sulphuric acid, 4.19 1.51 12.12
Lime, 42.17 22.26 14.77
Magnesia, 2.16 6.40 8.00
Phosphate peroxide of iron, 0.45 0.32 2.47
Phosphate of lime, 9.79 26.19 10.44
Phosphate of magnesia, 0.51 1.34 3.15
Silica, 4.15 1.35 6.42
Coal, 4.48

        In the foregoing analysis the carbonic acid was undetermined. It appears from the analysis that sulphates, gypsum probably, will have good effects upon the peach tree. The leaves in another analysis made in July, gave:

        
PEACH LEAVES.
Potash, 14.28
Soda, 21.22
Lime, 16.22
Magnesia, 5.90
Phosphate, 11.60
Sulphuric acid, 4.42
Chlorine, 5.12
Carbonic acid, 14.30

        The pits of a peach are rich in lime, phosphate of lime and silica. Lime must hold an important place as a fertilizer for the peach tree, provided we attempt to fulfil the indications furnished by the composition of leaves, wood and bark. The alkalies, potash and soda, are also to be supplied. Ashes, however, will supply all its wants.

        * 123. Composition of the leaves of the pear and apple tree at the time when the flowers had just fallen:

        
APPLE TREE LEAVES. PEAR TREE LEAVES.
Potash, 27.17 18.95
Soda, 11.83 15.19
Lime, 3.38 4.71
Magnesia, 2.74 4.50
Chlorine, 0.79 undetermined.
Phosphates, 26.60 25.05


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Sulphuric acid, 10.12 undetermined.
Silica, 4.65 1.75
Carbonic acid, .55 11.56

        Both the apple and pear leaves are rich in alkalies as well as phosphates. Whether an analysis in September would furnish similar results is doubtful, as it is believed that there may be a transference of these bodies to the maturing fruit.

        * 124. Analysis of the ash of the leaves of the Catawba grape, gathered June 2d:

        
Potash, 13.39
Soda, 9.69
Lime, 4.39
Magnesia, 1.74
Phosphates, 32.95
Sulphuric acid, 2.09
Silica, 29 65
Chlorine, 0.74
Carbonic acid, 3.05
Ash of the wood, 0.98

        At this period of the year the leaf is rich in phosphates and alkalies. It is well known that bones and alkalies are among the best fertilizers for the vine.

        * 125. The ash of wood, it is shown, differs in the proportions of organic matters. They differ also, in quantity of carbon or charcoal the wood furnishes. Thus, beech wood gives 17.16 per cent. of charcoal. Deducting its ash, it leaves 16.94 as pure charcoal.

        The iron wood gives 16.21. Deducting ash, it leaves 15.91. The broad leaved laurel gives only 7.30; and deducting ash, 6.60. The wood is very compact.

        The chestnut gives 9.75; ash 9.27.

        The white elm gives 15.84 per cent of coal, minus ash; leaves 15.04.

        The black birch gives 16.01 charcoal, minus ash, equals 15.96.

        The pear tree has 9.79 per cent. of coal, and the apple 15.90; abstracting the ash of the latter, it is reduced to 15.70.

        From the foregoing, it appears that the quantity of carbon or coal which the hard woods furnish, rarely exceeds 17 per cent., and this is reduced by extracting the ash.


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CHAPTER XV.

        Nitrogenous fertilizers most suitable for the cercals. Correlation of means and ends which meet in fertilizers. The final end of nitrogenous bodies. The power to store up or consume fertilizers modified by age, exercise and temperature. Error in cattle husbandry. Crops containing the largest amount of nutriment. Weights of crops, etc. Indian corn and turnips. Sweet potatoes. The produce of an acre of cabbage, etc. Cultivation of fruit trees--trimming and protection.

        * 126. As those substances are the most suitable for fertilizers, especially for the cereals, which contain the most nitrogen, so, those containing this element are the most suitable food for animals; and as none of the cereals can be grown without this element, so animals cannot be sustained unless it forms a part of their food. There is, therefore, a correlation of means and ends existing in the established order of things between what plants and animals require for sustenance. In the first case, it would seem that the nitrogenous compounds are secondary necessities, while in the latter they are primary, or have immediate reference to the characteristics of the class of beings by whom they are required. They are more essentially the force creating elements, and are designed to be expended for this purpose, and never to accumulate beyond the creation of the parts which are the seat of the force, while in the vegetable kingdom they accumulate and are not consumed in the performance of any of its functions. Gluten, a nitrogenous element, and starch, a heat producing element, accumulate in the grain. There they remain until on being received into the animal structure; the latter is expended in developing heat, the former in motion or exercise of the muscular organs.

        * 127. The final end, then, of furnishing nitrogenous bodies to growing vegetables, is to supply necessities which the nature and construction of animals demand; and herein is a broad distinction between the two kingdoms--accumulation in one, waste in the other, or a consumption of its own organs in animals, requiring therefore constant renewal to supply the place of the wasted tissues which have been expended in the development of force.

        In the animal economy the heat producing bodies, starch, gum, oil and sugar, cannot be substituted for the flesh and force producing


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bodies, gluten, albumen and fibrin or casein; their functions being totally different. A dog cannot live on pure starch or sugar; neither could his life be sustained on pure fibrin. There is always a mixture of these bodies in all kinds of food as prepared by the organic bodies.

        Wheat, Indian corn, rye, etc., have been shown to consist of a number of elements belonging to each of the class whose functions in the animal economy have been stated. Any of the cereals will sustain life, as they furnish both heat and flesh. Rice contains less of the flesh producing elements than wheat. Indian corn by itself is probably the best life sustaining body of this class.

        * 128. The ability or power of the animal machine to consume and store up elements is modified by exercise and age. The growing animal only accumulates as it is necessary; it is a law that the young should attain the size of the species; so in passing from the embryo to the adult state, consumption falls short of accumulation, when the adult state is attained accumulation is no longer necessary, and the amount of food taken has to be adjusted to the preservation of the balance between the food eaten and the forces which consume it. Exercise increases consumption, a fact established by numerous experiments made with healthy animals. This is an important consideration when applied to the fattening of animals. Whey they are allowed to run at large and exercise at will, or even subjected to such an amount of exercise as may be required to feed, the accumulation of fat is slower, and the quantity of food is less, which is necessary to reach that state of obesity required for the stall; a larger amount of food is necessarily consumed than is essential to it when the animal is still and performs no more exercise than health demands.

        In illustration of the foregoing statement, it has been determined by experiment that where 20 sheep were allowed to run at large in an open field, they consumed 19 lbs. of turnips each day for 3 successive winter months; they gained during the time of trial 512 pounds. Twenty other sheep kept for the same time in a shed, and upon an average consumed 15 pounds of turnips per day, and increased in weight 790 pounds. In addition to the turnips both flocks were fed half a pound of linseed cake and half a pint of barley, but from inclination the enclosed flock consumed one-third less linseed cake than the out door flock. The increase in the confined flock was greater, and also the consumption of food less.


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        Protection from cold weather is another way of increasing weight by the use of less food. Those elements which are burnt in the system for the purpose of developing heat, must be provided in larger quantities and proportionate to the severity of the cold to which they are exposed. The starch, oil, sugar, etc., is consumed for the generation of heat, which would be deposited in fat if the medium in which they are placed were warmed or was protected from extreme severities.

        The natural adjustment, then, of food to the wants of the system is influenced by age, exercise and temperature. The two latter may be controlled by means both simple and cheap, so that both food is saved and accumulations of fat deposited.

        * 129. The great error in this State in cattle husbandry is, the practice of compelling animals to shirk for themselves both winter and summer. So effectually do they consume all they eat in winter to keep themselves warm, that when spring comes they are more than spring poor, and two months is required to get them up to a living condition; and it is rare that a fat animal is found or made during summer and autumn.

        There is, then, no doubt that shelter and food is required in North-Carolina as well as in New York, though the climate is much more favorable here for every purpose than in the north. The natural food which is mostly the produce of old fields and the wood and swamp ranges, is far less nutritious than the cultivated vegetables; more exercise is required to get it, and hence a greater amount of expenditure of force is necessary. This, coupled with the fact of a less nutritious food and exposure, accounts for the small size of the stock of the Southern States.

        * 130. It is an interesting enquiry, what crop or production contains in itself, the largest amount of nutriment or life-sustaining elements? In a questi Bon of this kind, it should be understood that it is not simply albumen or gluten, the flesh prucing bodies, which are involved in the question, or the quantity of heat producing bodies as starch, sugar and gum; for neither class of bodies is in reality life sustaining by itself, but it relates to, or means to inquire, what crop per acre contains that combination of the heat and flesh producing bodies in the greatest quantity? A good old Malthusian would regard this as a question of the deepest import, and would call to his aid the power of arithmetic and of the statistics of crops to solve the question.


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        * 131. To obtain a close approximate solution of this question, it is necessary to state the several weights of the crops which an acre yields under good culture. An acre should yield, for example, 25 bushels of wheat, though large territories may not yield more than 15 bushels; but an acre which will yield 25 bushels of wheat will yield 60 bushels of corn--it is always competent to do this; but the reverse of this is not true, for swamp lands will readily produce the Indian corn, but not more than half the amount of wheat and of a poor quality.

        If Indian corn is compared with the turnip, which is regarded in England as furnishing the greatest amount of life preserving elements, it will appear that in this respect it exceeds our favorite crop. It is assumed that a crop of turnips yield per acre 67,000 pounds, but only one-ninth of this is nutriment, the rest is water; there is, therefore, out of the 67,000 pounds only 8,444 of dry matter. The heat producing elements only equal 6,220 pounds, and the flesh producing bodies amount to 1,000 pounds. The grain of Indian corn contains in an acre 2,780 pounds of starch, oil, &c., which belong to the heat producing bodies, while the flesh producing amount to 840 pounds. If the grain only is taken into the account, turnips rank higher than corn in their life sustaining power. But it may thus be that though turnips outweigh Indian corn, it is not clear that in actual service this crop could by itself be employed for the human family; it answers a good purpose as one of our dishes, and gives a relish to a turkey or roast beef; no one would like the process of being fattened exclusively upon turnips. But Indian corn being susceptible of all kinds of treatment by the cook, each one of which is generally relished, it is highly probable that it should be placed highest in the scale as a life sustaining body.

        * 132. Of the root crops, though turnips in England are preferred to all others for fattening cattle, yet they must rank far below the sweet potatoe. The dry matter in the sweet potatoe amounts to 30 per cent. It contains 19 per cent. of starch, 5 per cent. of sugar, and nearly 1 per cent. of dextrine or gum. Its heat producing bodies in the aggregate amount to 25 per cent. at least. It contains nearly 7 per cent. of flesh forming bodies. A crop of sweet potatoes will weigh per acre about 30,000 pounds. The quantity of starch, sugar, &c., will amount to 7,625 pounds, and


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the weight of the flesh producing elements amount to 2,100 pounds. The life sustaining elements, therefore, in the sweet potatoes exceed those of the turnip, and would be preferred by far to them; and if the human family was reduced to the alternative of subsisting upon a single product, the sweet potatoe would do, because, like Indian corn, it may be cooked in various modes and made to suit the palate, which is by no means to be lost sight of. But the turnip has too much water, is too insipid for daily use by itself, and could not be employed alone as a life sustaining substance, notwithstanding its rank. It takes rank because of the immense weight of a crop upon an acre. Taken pound for pound and it ranks low in the scale of nutrients. A person would have to consume 3 pounds of turnips to obtain the nutrient matter of one pound of the sweet potatoe, if our estimate is founded upon the quantity of dry matter which they respectively contain. In the Indian corn there is about 14 per cent. water; by the most thorough drying it amounts to 16. The remainder is important as a nutrient, taking the word in its broadest signification.

        We are aware that Johnson's doctrine is somewhat different. He maintains in his scale of heat producing elements that the turnip will support eight times as many men upon the same acre as wheat. On the other hand, when they are estimated for flesh forming qualities, turnips will support four times as many men as wheat, Indian corn, or barley.

        Cabbage, however, it is admitted, ranks higher than turnips in its flesh forming elements. The Irish and the negro population seem to understand this; the former particularly, purchase in market a cabbage, if it is to be found.

        * 133. The produce of an acre of cabbage amounts to 24.2 tons if their heads average 10 pounds each. Of this quantity 20.2 tons is water and 4 is dry cabbage, of which a ton will contain 324 pounds of nitrogenous matter. A ton contains 18 pounds of inorganic matter, but if the substance is perfectly dry, it contains 153.9 pounds. The problem to be solved, however, is not the power of the different kinds of substances to sustain life by their actual amounts of heat or flesh producing elements which they contain. It does not seem to be intended that either man or beast should subsist upon one kind of food. The appetite is never satisfied with one or two things even,--it seeks variety; and when variety is attainable,


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the strength for labor and the enjoyment of health attains its maximum power.

        Turnips and cabbage are important articles in the list of nutriments; and although they may contain more nitrogenous matter than wheat or corn, yet few persons would make them their exclusive meat and drink, unless driven by necessity so to do; and if necessity compelled men to take them, the power to work and endure fatigue would be diminished, while Indian corn, wheat, or even sweet potatoes, though they contain less nitrogenous matter, would supply the wants of the system much better.

        * 134. It is maintained, and the fact should be noticed in this connexion, that root crops, particularly the turnip, are to be specially recommended for cultivation as they impoverish the land less. Let us look, however, at the facts. A good turnip crop weighs to the acre 67,000 pounds, and its inorganic matter or salts amount to 450 pounds to the acre, while wheat has only about 60 pounds in the 25 bushels. Cabbage takes away about 600 according to Johnson, but this is rather to little for dry cabbage; it amounts to 615.34 pounds. Green cabbage contains only 18 pounds to the ton. When we consider, then, the great weight of a good crop of turnips or cabbage, it will be admitted, we believe, that they are really more exhausting than the cereals. It makes no difference in the final results if it is proved that the root crop derive a large share of their nutriment from them; they must obtain inorganic matter from the soil in due proportion, and experiment proves that they remove more from the soil than other crops. This is not stated with a view to discourage the raising of roots. They have their place in feeding animals in the winter and spring when the green grasses cannot be bad. But they should not be selected for cultivation on the erroneous doctrine that they do not impoverish the soil, or to less amount than the cereals and many other crops.

        * 135. Our remarks thus far have related to the cereals and those crops which are designed for the sustenance of man, or rather the character of the elements which he constantly employs.

        We have another class of nutrients in fruits, which are of vast importance. Their cultivation is every where, we may say, receiving special attention, but many work on the old doctrine that a fruit tree or vine will provide for itself, if it is once fairly planted and watered a few times. It lives and may be it flourishes a few years,


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but in process of time it ceases to grow, and its fruit fails in quantity and quality. In such a result the planter is very apt to say that the climate is unsuitable for its growth.

        But let us briefly inculcate the true doctrine relative to trees. They require fertilizers as well as the cereals, and most of the fruits are injured by heavy grass culture, and especially by corn. The reason is they are robbed of food. Roots extend much farther than many suppose; hence the deep plowing at a distance from the trunk breaks up the rootlets and cuts off the channels through which nutriment ordinarily flows. Thrifty and profitable trees are made in this way only, that of supplying that variety of nutriment which any farmer knows his wheat or corn requires. The mode which should be followed in applying it, is to broadcast it over the surface, and which should extend beyond the shade of the branches. Very few rootlets for the support of the tree are thrown out, ordinarily, near the trunk. It is of little use again to trench around the tree and deposit in the cut manure--it is far better to give the whole surface of an orchard dressings of composted manure. Such a course favors the development of rootlets, and the nutrient matter is carried down to them in that dilute condition which their spongioles require; and lastly, trees require clean culture, the removal of all weeds beneath, and suckers which sprout from the base of the trunk.

        * 136. Many trim their trees outrageously by cutting the lowest large branches; the consequence is the production of a high, slimheaded tree of little value. The growth of the apple tree is upperward and narrow, with only a slight tendency to spread or expand latterally. This mode of trimming the tree increases the upward growth, and hence, a very imperfect head is formed by the lateral extension of the side branches. Trees thus mutilated always remain cripples, if the word can be applied to trees. Even peach trees in North-Carolina are deprived of their best bearing branches. In addition to the injury sustained directly as fruit-bearing trees, their trunks are also exposed to the heat of the sun, which blasts the south or south-western sides, in consequence of being deprived in part, at least, of the shading which they require from the branches.

        In regard to vines, we believe the European mode of close trimming not well adapted to the cultivation of our native graves. It


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is unnatural, and not really required by our climate. It is true, the Catawba, under the knife and shears of foreign culturists, have survived thus far their mutilations; but this fact rather proves their life tenacity and natural recuperative powers under injury, than the utility of the practice. What the human system may endure under physic is one thing; what it requires, and is necessary for perfect health and developement, is another.

        In our southern climate, protection from a burning sun on the side exposed from noon till five, is one of the most important points to be attended to, and probably it is equally necessary in the growth of young orchards and vineries to protect the roots during the heat and drouth of summer by mulching. The object is to preserve the water of the soil, or prevent its excessive evaporation by organic matters, which are the most retentive of moisture of all bodies which can be employed for this purpose.