Texas Almanac, 1859 Page: 76
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After the first crop has been gathered from the wild prairie land, the ground
should immediately be ploughed again for the next crop, and in this instance, it should
be ploughed deep, say about eight inches, the plough being the common turning-
plough, which is generally used. This is all the ploughing usual, but a few of the
best farmers subsoil the land, loosening the ground to the depth of fourteen or fif-
teen inches, and this extra labor is always well paid for in the superior crop. The
advantages of the ploughing of the ground immediately after the first crop has
been gathered, are these: all the grass seed and all' the scattering wheat on the
ground are thus turned in, and soon after sprout and come up, ahd by the time
(say September -or October) the ground is leveled for the winter crop, the weeds,
wheat, etc., that have come up, are all turned under and effectually killed, and in-
stead of injuring the next crop, they serve to enrich the ground and improve the
LETTER FROM I. T. TINSLEY, OF BRAZORIA CO.
COLUMBIA, Brazoria Co., Texas, July 28, 1858.
Editors of the Texas Abnanac:
GENTLEEx: In compliance with your request, I have set down for the purpose
of giving you a few general ideas upon the cultivation of the three staple products
of this portion of Texas, namely, Corn, Sugar, and Cotton.
In commencing, I will lay down two general rules, which should be always ob-
served in the preparation of the soil for the cultivation of each of the before-men-
First. The land should be well drained.
* Second. The land should be first ploughed up deep, and ploughed up well
Good draining consists in having the necessary ditches so arranged and made in
regard to width, depth, length, and locality, as to prevent water from lieing on
the surface after a rain, and also to make sub-soil drainage.
On stifi black soils the main ditches should be from three to five feet deep, and six
feet wide at the surface, with a slope of one and a half feet at the bottom; the
ditches leading into the main ditch, commonly called cross-ditches, should be
made for every seventy yards, to carry off the water freely into the main ditch.
gross-ditches, on common localities of level stiff soils, should be about four feet
wide at the top, running with a slope of one half foot to the bottom. All this kind
of soil requires a greater amount of ditching than any other we have in this part of
. The light peach-land does not require so much drainage; but this, like all other,
should be sufficiently drained, which sufficiency should be determined upon by
formation and locality. Cane-land requires a greater amount of ditching than
peach-land. Ditching in this kind of land should be proportionately broad, and
from three to four feet deep.
The three soils mentioned above, namely, stiff black, peach, and cane-soils, are the
principal soils in this portion of the country, and should be ploughed as early in the
year as possible, say in the month of January, and should be ploughed up deep
and ploughed up well The ploughing should be from four to six inches deep, and
with a plough adapted to one span of mules. This sized plough can be more profit-
ably used than any other. The size of plough should depend somewhat on the
kind ofland to be ploughed. In stiff land the plough should cut less than in light,
land, and adapted to the strength of the team. Land should be brokenup in ridges,
both for corn, cotton, and sugar.
The time of planting should depend, in a great measure, upon the kind of soil.
Light or sandy soil should be planted from the 15th of February to the 1st of
March. The black or stiff soil should not br wanted until the middle or last of
March, depending, in a great measure, upon the forwardness of the spring. This
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Texas Almanac, 1859, book, 1859~; (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth123765/m1/77/: accessed March 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.