Texas Almanac, 1859 Page: 79
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put into it, and the dirt replaced which has been previously thrown from it; four
furrows generally answer the purpose at this stage; in three or four days, chop
through the cotton, leaving it in bunches about one foot apart, and from four to
six stalks in a bunch; there will be remaining after chopping it out, nearly double
the quantity of cotton required when it is thinned finally to a stand; this is done
to guard against any disaster that, may occur to it from too much rain, the worm,
or any other cause. It is not disturbed again for two weeks, when the ploughs
are again started; dirt is thrown to the cotton, and the middles broken thoroughly;
after the ploughs, the hoes follow immediately and thin the cotton to a stand; this
is done by chopping down alternately one of the bunches left; allow but one stalk
in a place to remain. After the crop is thinned to a stand, the plants should not
be nearer each other than two feet; from this time the cotton should be worked once
every two weeks, until the cultivation is disposed of which is generally about the
middle of July.
Early cotton is in blossom about the 20th of May. Cotton commences to open
generally by the 1st of August, though there is much of it open and ready to pick
before that time. The usdal time of picking cotton among planters generally, is
about the 10th of August on bottom lands, and earlier on uplands. Ef ht bales
petand, weighing five hundred pounds each, is about the average on well-man-
aged plantations. Our bottom lands will average two thousand pounds, or more,
to the acre; uplands yield from twelve to fourteen hundred pounds to the acre.
Ten bales may be made and gathered by each hand; and sometimes more is raised,
but seldom gathered, by a single hand. The season for gathering cotton is from
three to four weeks longer in Texas than in Alabama, and I think the same may
be said of most of the other cotton States.
Cane is planted by first laying a single stalk in the furrow heretofore described,
and then another stalk is laid so as to lap half the length of the first, and so on
throughout. Care should be used in laying the stalks of cane, so that all the butts
may point in one direction. Hands follow immediately after the cane-droppers,
with sharp knives, and cut each stalk into three pieces; this cutting is necessary,
to prevent the shoots from the butts of the cane, where there is more vigor and
vitality, from exhausting the shoots from the upper and less vigorous portion of
the stalk. Follow immediately after the cane is cut and replaced, and cover it
from four to six inches deep, with large turning-ploughs; four furrows are neces-
sary to do this completely and effectually. After the cane is planted, let it remain
until spring opens, which will be known from seeing an occasional shoot making
its appearance. As soon as you are convinced that the crop has commenced to
sprout, scrape a portion of the earth from above the cane, leaving it two or three
inches below the surface. The object for doing ,dis, is to bring out as nearly
together as possible,, all the shoots at the same time; the weakly, as well as the
strong and vigorous. By aiding it in this way, additional time is gained for grow-
ing and maturing the crop. After heavy rains, or from any other cause, the sur-
face becomes hard, it will be necessary to loosen the dirt around the cane, as the
young shoots find great difficulty in making their way through the crusted earth.
As soon as suffiQient young cane has made its appearance to mark distinctly
the rows, the process of cultivation is as follows: Run around the .young
cane as in young corn, throwing the dirt from it; follow as soon as possible with
the hoes, and loosen the dirt in the same manner as when coming up. In about
ten days, plough again, and throw the dirt back into the furrow made by running
around it the first time; but be careful not to throw the dirt among the young
cane; plough the middle of the rows this time thoroughly, and leave in the centre
of each a deep, wide, and straight furrow; this course of cultivation is pursued
until your stand is perfected. With the hoes, add each time you go over it, a very
little dirt. The stand should be complete by the-20th of May; and whether so or
not, it will be necessary to commence dirting the cane, both with the plough and
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Texas Almanac, 1859, book, 1859~; (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth123765/m1/80/: accessed January 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.