Image from page 46 of "Biggle garden book; vegetables, small fruits and flowers for pleasure and profit" (1908)
Authors: Biggle, Jacob
Publisher: Philadelphia, W. Atkinson Co.
Contributing Library: The Library of Congress
Digitizing Sponsor: The Library of Congress
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e;only experience and observationcan show which are best for yoursoil and your crops. In a generalway, however, I will say thatthere is no better all-purpose fer-tilizer than stable manure—all youcan get of it, say from ten to twenty tons to the acre.Haul it on the ground in winter and early spring,and spread it as it is hauled; plow it under, andthen broadcast (to each acre) about 400 pounds ofkainit (a commercial form of potash), and about600 pounds of finely ground bone meal; harrow thisin, and you have a very good, complete mixture whichcontains all essential elements of plant food. Or,if you desire, you can substitute muriate or sulphateof potash for the kainit, or twenty-five bushels ofunleached hardwood ashes; or phosphates or super-phosphates may be substituted for the bone. If stable manure can not be obtained, and ifthere is sufficient humus in the soil, buy a high-grade,complete, ready-mixed, commercial fertilizer—thebest you can get, not the cheapest—and broadcast it
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44 BIGGLE GARDEX BOOK on plo\ved land at the rate of about 1,200 poundsto the acre (more or less according to the soil andthe crop). Or, if you care to bother with the homemixing of such a fertilizer, you can buy the separateingredients, mix them yourself, and perhaps savesome money. Write to the U. S. Department ofAgriculture, Washington, D. C, and ask for freeFarmers Bulletins Xos. 44, 192, 245, 257 and 278,and you will obtain full information on this andkindred subjects. Humus.—This has to do with the mechanicalcondition of the soil. Humus is deca^/ed vegetablematter, without which any soil is almost worthless.Humus separates the soil particles, makes the groundmellow and loose, and aids it to retain moisture andair. A soil without humus is dead, airless, and eitherdry and hard as a stone, or a sticky mass of mud.Therefore, stable manure has a value aside from itsfertilizing contents—i. e., its ability to supply humusto the soil. LeaAes, straw, or an}^ decaying vegeta-tion, wou
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