Dewberry growing. Page: 3
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In the wild state dewberries are found in open fields and pastures
and by roadsides, especially where the soil is poor and the growth of
grass and herbage is thin. In such locations its leaves can get more
sunlight than where the soil is rich and the grass rank. The cultivated
dewberry is grown on many types of soil. Though the plants
will grow on poor land, it is necessary in order to produce good
crops of fruit that it be fertile or that plant food be supplied. In
North Carolina the soil in many of the large dewberry fields is a
coarse sand. Fertilizers are applied liberally to plantations on such
soils. In other sections clay loams and other soils are used for dewberry
fields, and if they are fertile less plant food need be added.
As the dewberry has a very deep root, it is able to get moisture from
a considerable depth and is, therefore, not as subject to drought as
raspberries and blackberries.
Dewberries should not be set on wet soil. Because of their deep
rooting system they are more susceptible than many other fruits to
injury by wet soils. In some sections root-rot has been found to
kill plants where the soil was only slightly wet; on the other hand,
the soil must furnish a sufficient moisture supply, especially at the
time the berries are developing and ripening. Coarse sandy loams
with a clay subsoil are the leading soil types in three of the principal
dewberry sections. Any fertile soil provided with good drainage
and yet with a good supply of humus to retain moisture is
suitable for growing dewberries.
PREPARATION OF THE SOIL.
As the dewberry plants are to occupy the soil for several years the
land should be very thoroughly fitted before they are set out. If
the soil lacks humus, the use of cover crops before planting dewberries
will be helpful. Much better results will follow if the land is
planted to cultivated crops for two years prior to setting it to dewberries.
The plants will grow better the first year, and a crop will
be borne earlier than without such preparation. Often very little
fruit is obtained the year after planting, yet Figure 2 shows a plantation
set the previous year which was yielding a good crop. This
field had been carefully prepared before the plants were set.
Dewberry plants are usually set during the winter and early spring
in the South and in early spring in the North. As the tips of the
canes which root in the fall continue to develop until very late,
more mature plants will be obtained in the spring. For this reason
fall planting is not practiced. Figure 3 shows strong Lucretia dewberry
plants ready to be set. Because the essential factor of success
in planting dewberries is a moist soil, they should be set as early in
the spring as possible, for there is usually more moisture in the
ground then than later and a larger percentage of the plants will live.
The plants should be set as soon as possible after being received
from a nursery or after being dug. Exposure of the roots to the air
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Darrow, George M. (George McMillan), 1889-. Dewberry growing., book, 1933; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc9963/m1/5/?q=TRAIL: accessed November 15, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.