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small potatoes; long manure

Messrs. Editors — Finding that some of our best Farmers had abandoned root culture, I inquired the reasons: “A puttering business—hired men won’t work at it,” “increase don’t pay the malting,” &c.
      Now, if the time employed in digging, and picking up small potatoes in the fall was spent in hauling long manure on to a single acre of ground and ploughing it under, this acre would be ready early in the spring for sugar beets with harrowing only. Plant as early as the ground is dry enough, thin out and transplant as soon as the beets are three or four inches high, and by the first July some of the beets will measure five or six inches in circumference. I admit that if a piece of ground is half ploughed in the spring and planted just before the droughts of summer commence, that the culture of beets will prove a puttering business, and the increase will not pay the malting.
      P.S. — I have now sugar beets in my garden, self-sowed and transplanted in May, that will now measure four inches in diameter above the ground — heavy clay soil.

ex “Sugar Beets Plough Late and Plant Early” by “Seneca” (Waterloo, July 18, 1841), in The New Genesee Farmer and Gardener’s Journal 2:8 (Rochester; August 1841) : 117

28 February 2022