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PLOUGHING.

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RURAL LTFE.

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RURAL LTFE. BY A SON OF TUB SOIL. SAY: AX IXJTTVFD T HE. That excellent journal, Scienec Siftings, gives particular, in a recent issue, of a method of saving a tree which is in danger of being lost because of insects. Sometimes, of course, nothing can save such a tree, but where a valu- able one is attacked, it is certainly worth whil« giving th-? metnod a trial. When, in the spring, the tiee :s found girdled drive a small chieel iiiio the ba.rk above and below "he part which is attacked, as shewn by the dotted lines in A. men cut ome large healthy twigs of the pre- ceding year's growth fro.n the top of the tree each a little longer than the distance between the opposite cuts in the tree. Sharpen both ends of the twigs and bend them until the ends can be placed in the cuts, as shewn in B. Press the twigs, in until they are as near straight as pos- sible, so that there is a perfect union between lAVING AN INJURED TREE. the inner bark of both twig and tree. Four or more twigs, according to the size of the tree, should be placed around it. Then cover the whole with a grafting wax. If the work is skil- fully done the tree will be completely cured in time. WINTER CUCUMBERS. Those who have been growing these during the late autumn have had a fairly mild time to deal with. From now to about the third week in January says a writer in the Market Gardener, will be the time to test the skill of the grower. Many court failure by trying to get too many fruits from the plants. The sunless days are not conducive to fruitful growth, and no growth that is not absolutely needed should be left. I he shoots must be disposed thinner on the wires than during the summer, and if any diffi- cully is experienced in rotting fruits to come down, the bloom should be lightly fertilised. Over watering should be carefully avoided, and in no case must cold water be. used either for syringing or for root watering. If the tempera- ture of the house stands at 70deg., the water used must be 5deg. or 6deg. hotter. As roots shew through top dressings must be given, but not thick one,. fin. is ample at this season of the year. Steamed bone meal and sometimes a little rape dust will be advisable for mixing with the soil. Where woodlice abound they should be poisoned or fed, and rape dust will answer the latter purpose to some extent. Occasionally dust round the stems with air-slaked lime, as this will do much to ward off canker, and a sprinkling down of the houses with a solution of perman- ganate of potash will help to keep the whole sweet. One pound to 100 gallons of water will do well. The plants may be watered with this once a fortnight. ON WILD DUCK. When in Norfolk quite lately I was greatly interested in hearing from a man who had been successful how very easy it is to encourage the breeding of wild Duck with a view of selling to the London markets or adding to the shooting value of an estate. At both Orwell, in Suffolk, ani Netherby. on the borders of Scotland, an enormous head of wild Duck is reared, but, generally speaking, the reclamation of land for agricultural purposes has driven away both Duck and other wild water fowl which at one time were quite common on reedy pools and quiet sheets of water. There is no prettier sight in wild life than a flight coming in to some reed- WILD DUCK. I fringed mere with outstretched wing and ex- tended feet. They plough the water for some distance, but they settle down very quickly although they are shy and wary, and one must be cautious and quiet when approaching them. The haunts of the wild Duck are varied. They may be found in many localities-upon the marshes bordering the seas, or upon the bank* of some tidal river. They visit private waters in parks, and the reedy meres upon the heather-clad moors. They sometimes wander for miles up the streams, especially during frost, when the open waters are frozen hard, and food is consequently scarce. Curiously enough, this shy bird is easily domesticated. If a sheet of private water has a certain amount of seclusion, it is generally visited by a pair or two of birds during the winter months, and if undisturbed they will most likely stay and nest. thus forming the nucleus of a colony. A NOVEL TWO-PART HOOK. The ordinary hook, nsed by lumbermen for attaching a cable to i log, is quite liable to be- come unhooked h. '1 the C"i>V is slackened, but to prevent that.inori.,all has invented a two-part hook so designed that it cannot be un- hooked accidentally. As shewn in the engrav- ing, the improved device consists of two over- lapping hooks mount"d to swing upon a bolt, to which the usual shackle is fastened. Contrary to the common practice the hooks swing laterally towards ea: h other, that if, the axis is parallel to the general pianos of the hootas instead of be- ing at right angles. The overlapping portions of the hook members are flattened at their adja- cent sides, so that when they are swung to closed position the ends will offer no projecting obstruction to the free movement of a cable within the dosed hook. In this po-ition the members form a practically co:it..iUOU6 closed A TWO-PART HOOK. ring. In order to keep the members in closed position they are attached to a spring, which is coiled on the bolt in a recess between the mem- bers. The extent to which the hooks may be opened is limited by a pin Oil one member, which etigages a slot io the other. One of the principal advantages of the invention is that the hook is free from any projecting parts, which are liable to catch on brush, or the like. in logging operations. Arother important feature of the invention is that the ends of the shackle are on the outside of the hook, and thus do not interfere with the cable. MANURES TO SOW NOW. Market growers, whether of fruit or vege- tables, who have never given their land potash in the form of kainit may do so at the present time. Continual applications of this form of potash are not to be encouraged, as the sulphate of magnesia and common salt contained in the bulk will prove harmful if this form is always used. Once in three years will, however, do no harm, but much good. The present is a good time to get this on the land, and from 2cwt. to 4cwt. may be broadcasted per acre. All soils that are low in lime contents may be dressed with basic slag. this being a good way to supply the necessary pho--n'-oric acid to 6uch soils, cherry orchards being c>f)C" ially benefited by its application. For ordinary fruit plantations and land that is to be used for various crops 6cwt. to the acre will be a fair dressing; lOcwt. to the acre will, however, not be too murh for cherry orchards. This also, should be applied at once, so that it may have time to work. Plum and damson trees will also be greatly helped by a heavy dressing of these two manures, basic slag being especially useful in helping the stone production in the fruit. Both manures may be sown on the surface; the rains will wash them into the soil. Strawberries will also benefit im- mensely by dressings now, and where weevils are present, either in this crop or raspberries, the 4cwt. and lOcwt. quantities should be given respectively. They will make it very uncom- fortable for the grubs and destroy many.

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