Texas Almanac, 1859 Page: 78
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78 TEXAS ALMANAC.
yield per acre of our lands, will not fail to be read with interest by the friends of
Texas abroad. I will state with pleasure, and as briefly as possible, the conclu-
sions which a long experience has led me to adopt as to the mode of cultivation of
each of our leading staples.
PREPARATION FOR CORN.
The usual method of preparing corn land is, to lay off the rows four feet wide
and flush the intervening ground. This leaves on each side of each bed, an under-
furrow, in which the corn is planted. This preparation should be made in Janu-
ary-always by the first of February. The earliest planting in favorable seasons
generally commences about the 15th of February. Planters in this vicinity finish
commonly by the first of March.
PREPARATION FOR COTTON.
The preparation for a cotton crop begins about the 1st of January. The follow-
ing is the usual method pursued in this county: first, lay off your ground from six
to eight feet, and with a large two-horse turning-plough, throw up a bed as high
as can be conveniently made, leaving on each side of each bed, as deep a furrow
as possible, which will take off the water after heavy rains. Let it remain in this
condition until the 10th of March, about which time planting commonly com-
PREPARATION FOR CANE.
For cane, the course I pursue, is first, to lay off my ground in rows from six to
eight feet, and then with a large tSvo-horse turning-plough, run two furrows to-
gether as deep as possible, and clean them out well with hoes, in order to deepen
and widen them. Keep your planting up with the ploughs, which is done any
time between the first of December and the first of March.
Corn, in this vicinity, is planted in drills from sixteen to twenty inches apart,
and covered commonly with a light turning-plough. After it has come to a stand,
allow it to remain until four to six inches high; then with light turning-ploughs
run round it, always keeping the bar of the plough next to the corn, so as to throw
the dirt from it. Then follow with the hoes, anud chop out the young grass and
weeds. Thin it to a stand, adding a little dirt at the same time. Corn should be
worked once in fifteen days, adding dirt each time, so that by the time it is laid by
there may be formed around it a wide and elevated bed. With us, corn is in
roasting-ear by the 15th of June, and is ready for harvesting from the 20th of
August to the 1st of September. Our average yield per acre is about fifty bushels
on bottom-lands, and thirty bushels on uplands. Seventy-five bushels per acre
throughout an entire crop is not uncommon, in favorable seasons, on our good bot-
About the 10th of March, (by which time early planting is commenced,) open
the beds that have been prepared in Januar, with a scooter, or narrow shovel-
plough. The furrows should be from four to six inches deep. Then cast the seed
into them very thick, and cover with a board attached to the heel of the plough,
or with a harrow, as the planter may prefer. Afterwards run a roller over the
beds, so as to settle the dirt around the seed; and the roller also compacts the
earth, causing it to retain the moisture better, and increases the planter's chances of
securing a stand. After the cotton has come to a stand, the bed should be care-
fully scraped down on each side of it with the hoe, and all the young grass and
weeds removed. Three or four days after scraping, run around it with ploughs,
keeping always the bar of the plough next to the plant, so as to throw the dirt
from it; leave six inches of earth undisturbed between the furrow and the young
It is allowed to remain after this, about two weeks, when the ploughs are again
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Texas Almanac, 1859, book, 1859~; (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth123765/m1/79/: accessed July 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.