The asparagus-growers relied too much upon soot as a fertilizer; it has a marvellous effect upon the mechanical condition of heavy land; its particles intervene between the particles of the almost impalpable powder of which clay is composed, and the soil approximates to a well-tilled garden plot after a few applications and careful incorporation, and in the local phraseology, it becomes “all of a myrtle.” But as plant food soot contains nitrogen only, a great plant stimulant, which quickly exhausts the soil of the other necessary constituents. If the growers would make use of basic slag, superphosphate, or bone dust to replace the phosphate of lime removed by the crop, and of potash in one of its available forms, they would soon experience a great improvement in the power of their asparagus to resist disease and deterioration.
I am aware that some of the smaller growers regard all kinds of artificial fertilizers with suspicion, but they may be interested, should they ever read these pages, in the following story. When Peruvian guano was first introduced into this country, the farmers could not be persuaded that it merited any reliance as a manure. The importers, in despair, caused some of the despised stuff to be sown in the form of huge letters spelling the word “FOOLS” upon a bare hillside, visible from a great distance. The following spring, with the beginning of growth, and throughout the summer, the word stared the farmers in the face whenever they chanced to look that way, in dark green outstanding characters upon the yellow background; after this practical demonstration there was no difficulty in finding purchasers.
Sir Richard Temple was opposed by Mr. Arthur Chamberlain, one at least of whose canvassers was not above stretching a point to obtain the votes of the labourers. My men told me that they had been promised roast beef and plum pudding every day of their lives should the Liberal party be returned. These tactics were again resorted to in the election of 1906, when walls were placarded with pictures of the Chinese employed in the gold-mines of the Transvaal, driven in chains by cruel overseers, presumably representing the Conservative Government which had sanctioned their employment. I know from what I heard in my new home, for I was no longer at Aldington, that this misrepresentation decided the votes of many of the more ignorant voters.
MY THREE VICARS—CHURCH RESTORATION—CHURCHWARDEN EXPERIENCES— CLERICAL AND OTHER STORIES.
“Where many a
Hath perfumed and hath blessed the air.”