The American Pictorial Home Book
or Housekeeper's Encyclopedia - online book

A reference manual of household management in Victorian times.

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out your 3 or 4 year-old sweet seedling orange trees, procured from any nurseryman, 20 or 26 feet apart each way. Plant 50 or not more than 100 sions, as you cannot for several years do justice to any more. You can add to these by seedlings of your own grow­ing, as you should save and plant every seed from good oranges that comes into your possession. When buying your seedlings see that they are thrifty, free from insects, and are the owners of good, fibrous roots. Do all your pruning at the time of transplanting, cut­ting away sufficient top to create a balance between the top and roots. October and November may be considered the best months for the removal of the trees, as it is the commencement of a resting period for all of the tree that is above the ground. If the spring planting is preferred, February and March are safe months, and the trees will do very well. Plant no other trees between your orange trees. Set your trees at least 1-2 an inch higher than they were in the nursery. More damage is done by setting trees too low than by all or any other causes combined.
Manure for Orange Trees.—After having made the hole for the trees to be planted in, take some wood soil, such as consists of rotten and decayed wood or leaves or well rotten composts, consisting of dirt, lime, leaves and road or lot scrappings (no fresh animal manure), and deposit about a bucketful or two in each hole, and plant the tree on top; or, which we consider a better plan, set the tree in the hole, and cover the roots with the above manure, shaking the tree while throwing it in, and finish with the original soil on the top. There should be no manure on the surface, where soil is naturally strong; it is sufficient to cover the roots with the top soil taken out of the hole on top, and on this spread from 2 to 3 quarts of lime (slacked). After planting we would advise you to mulch under all circumstances. Salt mash grass is the very best material, next fine straw, dead weeds, &c. Burnt oyster shells will answer the purpose where lime is desired. After having been applied for some time, and when weeds commence to appear, incorporate it lightly with the soil with a hoe, then mulch.
The pear is also a wild fruit, growing wild in Europe, and is culti­vated in all temperate climates. In China they weigh from 8 to 10 pounds, but are comparatively insipid and of coarse grain. Useful in culinary purposes, well spiced and sweetened with sugar. I have tasted them there, but found them rough and too dry to eat without the aid of foreign ingredients after being exposed to a toasting heat for some time. Of this most delicious and almost matchless fruit, there are more than 200 varieties. More than 2,000 years ago it was known to the Greeks and Romans.
Avacata or Aligator Pear.—The latter being a corruption of