Texas Almanac, 1859 Page: 81
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HINTS TO THE FARMERS, 81
of the plantation, and an exact balance-sheet made out If the profits should not
be equal to the expectations of the owner, he would find it greatly to his advan-
tage to review his plantation calendar or diary of the old year, which every method-
ical cultivator should keep, and endeavor to ascertain the source of his deficiencies,
and correct himself in his future management.
It is only in this way that we can hope to be fully successful in the great and
noble science of agriculture; for it is more decidedly experimental than any other,
and can only be improved by the most diligent and timely correction of past errors
and misapplied labors. We do not design here to inculcate parsimony, but to en-
force economy. Nothing that mnay be of use should be thrown away. Then the
planter can afford to provide the most substantial establishments for his negroes,
extend their bill of fare, and render them in all things comfortable and happy.
We are constrained to say, that as a general thing, the negro household in the
Slave States is the most bountifully provided for, and their situation may well be
the envy of the poorer and suffering millions upon the continent.
With the opening of this month, or if possible before the close of the past, the
ploughs (being in complete trim for double teams) should be started to bed up the
ground for the first planting of corn. The land must be ploughed deep (if sub-
soiled in the lighter qualities, all the better,) and bedded in rows from three to four
feet apart, depending for distance upon the relative strength of the soil. If the
season promise to be forward, half the crop of corn may be planted between the
middle and last of the month, the work of preparing for the seeding of the balance
to be in preparation at the same time. Whilst if the strength of force and team will
permit, the ground for oats, if intended to be sown, should be well prepared and
the crop in the ground by the middle or last of the month, (the earlier the better,)
if there is sufficient moisture in the soil to sprout the seed.
The corn in our flat lands succeeds best when planted in the drill, as it is more
effectually drained by this method, and should be sowed without stint of seed, as
birds ,and worms will destroy a great deal, and it is all-important to procure a
stand from the first planting. The corn-planter, found at the agricultural ware-
house in Galveston, is most admirably adapted for' this purpose, as the seed is
dropped from it with perfect regularity and great celerity, and the ground well
rolled and packed to prevent the feathered depredator from committing his ravages.
Our best lands, when properly prepared and well planted in the way indicated,
may be relied on in good seasons for eighty bushels to the acre, and lighter qualities
for half this yield. If early corn is desired, the seed should not be imbedded over
two inches. Every inch beyond this depth will retard the growth of the plant
If the half of the corn crop be planted by the close of this month, the oats sowed,
and any other small grain intended to be raised seeded, the most important work
of preparing the ground intended for cotton may now be commenced, if not before
entered upon. With the brief space allowed us, we must confine our observations
exclusively to the cotton and corn-planters, as being the most important and ex-
"Come, gentle Spring, ethereal mildness, come,
And from the bosom of yon dropping cloud,
While music wakes around, veiled in a shower
Of shadowing roses, on our plains descend."
With the commencement of this month, every effort should be concentrated to
'-hasten the preparation of all the ground designed to be occupied by the cotton
plant; and if the season be favorable, by the close of the same, all the, early plant-
ing should be finished, Between the first and the "ides of March," the second and
last seeding of corn .may be made, so that by the time the late field of cotton was
planted, the hands would be ready to give the early corn a working over, and re-
duce it in part to a stand.
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Texas Almanac, 1859, book, 1859~; (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth123765/m1/82/: accessed June 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.