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In Mr. A. Young's valuable and interesting Repor* on the Agriculture of Suffolk, I was much struck with his account of the culture of carrots, and the advantage resulting from the application of them as food for horses. From the very general opinion which prevails, that none but particular soils are applicable to the growth of carrots, the culture of them to any extent has been confined to small districts. I presume, therefore, that it may not be unacceptable to the Society to be informed of the success of trials in the cultivation of this valuable root, on a stiff loam, partaking, in a great measure, of clay. Mr. Young's observations are confined to sowing by broad -cast, which can be successful- exclusively in sandy soils. The method I have pursued has been to trench, plough^ and stitch up the ground intended for carrots, as soon as it was cleared of the grain, leaving it in that state during winter: its working in the spring is by (his means facilitated. In April I break it up, by giving it three or four ploughings, harrowings, and -Takings, vihich bring it into garden tilth, previous to the last ploughing, I give from ten to fifteen cart-loads of ashes per acre. . The second week in April, or sooner if the season permits, it is stitched up, and made ready for sowing; allowing three feet between each stitch; and I throw the ridges as high as they can be got. The tops of the stitches are smoothed with a very light roller, so as to admit of a furrow being drawn with a hand-hoe.
The seed', ten days or a fortnight before it is used, is mixed with wet sand, and placed in some warm situation, so as to be in a full state of vegetation before' it is sown. A fortnight is gained by this method, and the carrots are less liable to be injured by the weeds.Two pounds of seed are sufficient with care for an • acre. The plough and harrow are kept at work during the whole summer. The plants are- twice handweeded, and afterwards thinned. The expense attending this is considerable, but the value of the crop amply compensates it.
, In 1804, I had an acre and a rood, which had been previously occupied by cabbages, and afterwards by taresi The tops of this crop were so abundantji that they would have fed twenty head of cattle for a month.' I began cutting them too late, by which means I lost a great part. It is essentially necessary to get the carrots dry, to enable them to keep. I endeavour, if the weather be favourable, to have them up by the first or second week in October. The taking them up with gripes costs 10/. per acre. The crop yielded 829 Winchester bushels, equal to 4143 stone (of 14 pounds). Estimating the carrots at 6d, per stone, (the price of oats at that time) they were worth to me 103?.
Each working horse in my employ is allowed 8lb. of oats per day. One half was taken away, and supplied by an equal weight of carrots, and this was continued while they lasted. The general opinion xvas, that the horses improved in their condition upon this food,
s 4 In
In 1805, I had three acres and three roods of 3 similar soil, sown with carrots, which had previously borne a crop of oats. The first part of the season was uncommonly cold, and afterwards unusually wet, which checked the growth1 of the tops, so that they never got to any size, and were eaten off by sheep. In order to facilitate the work, and at the same time to save expense, I made a trial of the plough, to take off the earth from the carrots, and then setting in and turning them up.
The injury was trifling, and the expense not a tenth, part what it had been. There were 108 carts of 80stone each, or 2246 stone per acre, which at 6d. per stone would amount to 601. and upwards per acre, I have made use of them as in the preceding year, with the most complete success, and saved 60 bushels of bats per week, and shall be able to continue to do safer a fortnight or three weeks longer.
In the first trial, an acre of carrots was equal in food to 23 of oats, allowing 60 Winchester bushels of oats per acre, and at three stone the bushel. On taking up the carrots, a small piece was cut from the top of each, to prevent it from vegetating, and these were immediately used. The remainder were piled in rows two feet thick, and five feet high, leaving a space between each, row for a free circulation of air.
I do not doubt but that they would keep in this way for a length of time. I have always made immediate use of them, as old oats are more valuable than ne.w, and moreover, the saving of oats is in itself a matter o£ jnuch importance, III, The
The success of these trials has determined me to extend the cultivation of carrots, and I have prepared ten acres for the ensuing season.
Mr. Young recommends carrots as a substitute for hay: when the expense of procuring them is small, this may answer; but when the ground is to be prepared for them at a considerable expense, cheaper substitutes may be .found. The carrots are a costly article of culture; the giving of them in part instead of oats, will well answer. The expense of each acre in , sowing, cleaning, and housing, will not be short of 15/.
Whatever system can multiply the produce of one acre into that of two or more, is, I conceive, an object to a country where the consumption of the first necessary of life exceeds what is at present produced within the empire. In this point of view I flatter myself that the present paper may not be thought unworthy the attention of the Society.
Wi, Isaac Kendal, Bailiff, and Thomas Moore, Groom, to J. C. Curwen, Esq. do certify, that Mr. Cur Wen's working-horses had 4lb. of carrots given them in the room of so much oats, from October., 18O5, to January, 1806, being three months: that without the use of carrots Mr. Curwen allowed his working-horses from 8lb. to 12lb. of oats per day, according to the size and work of the horses: that the carrots answered every purpose, and that the horses were never in better condition than at the time they
were were in use ; and we believe that they would not have been better, nor fitter for work, with the whole allowance of bats: that the crops of carrots have been extremely good by Mr. Gurwen's mode of management. The saving of oats was 58 Winchester bushels per week by the use of carrots upon the food of 76^ horses.
Workington, May 10, 1806.
from subsequent trials I have found it advisable to leave the top uncut, and to pack the carrots with the tops outward, leaving room for the air to pass between each row. The top vegetates, but does little injury; and carrots so treated will keep very long. I have found the same method to answer with turnips.
The last year's crop was highly productive: the tops produced upwards of four tons, and sixteen acres would average about 2000 stone per acre: they kept extremely well till the middle o'f March, and were a prodigious saving at the high prices at which oats have been at.
March 28, I8O9.