. For the American Farmer. 
Perhaps no fruit is more delicious to the taste— more healthful, or more decorative to the festive board than the strawberry. And Providence with a munificent hand has distributed it bountifully throughout almost every clime. Its culture is so simple and easy, that superb fruit and abundant crops may be produced, without invoking the aid of the Horticultural Chemist in the preparation of artificial specifics. For family or market purposes, a few varieties comprise all the merits essential to render their culture remunerative.
The directions herewith submitted, are the result of twenty-five years experience and close observation: during which time more than one hundred and fifty varieties have been under experimental culture, and not more than ten in that number have been considered worthy of propagation. Many varieties have been imported from England and France under high sounding names, and at high prices, and nearly all have been discarded as worthless trash. We must look to native seedlings, as they have proved decidedly more vigorous, productive, and better resist the vicissitudes of our climate.
The strawberry rapidly adapts itself to almost every situation and soil. It prefers and delights in a deep loam, of texture sufficiently pliable for free culture. Although it is a herbaceous plant, its roots if encouraged, will penetrate to the depth of two feet in one season, and hence, the advantage of a deep preparation. Where it is intended to cultivate this plant extensively for market, we would recommend the adoption of the following plan: In the first place, clear off all weeds and grass from the land, then spade or plough, and subsoil to the depth of one foot or more. Thoroughly pulverize the soil, incorporate with it a few inches of well decomposed stable manure; harrow or rake, and level the surface of the land well. Mark it off by a line in alternate rows, of three feet and eighteen inches apart. Select strong, young plants; observing to take them up with great care, in order to preserve the roots as entire as possible, and set them in the rows twelve inches asunder, and avoid the fatal error of planting too deep. We prefer the month of March and April for planting. From spring until fall, we permit the runners only to extend and take root in the wide or three feet space, and during this time, we regulate also the plants as they grow to the distance of ten or twelve inches apart; or if they grow too close, they may be thinned to the proper distance in September. Eradicate carefully the weeds and grass as they appear, and occasionally work the surface of the ground between the plants, from spring until autumn. Keep the narrow space of eighteen inches clear, both of grass and plants during the same time, and the following spring you will have your beds all beautifully laid off three feet wide, with an alley of eighteen inches for the gatherers to walk on. The vines cultivated in this way, become extraordinarily vigorous, and the whole beds sometimes seem to become literally covered with trusses of fruit. The great luxuriance of the foliage, seems to afford protection to the fruit against the intensity of the sun's rays. The preceding mode is not only the most productive, profitable, and economical one that can be adopted upon an extensive scale, but is particularly adapted to the successful cultivation of llovey's Seedling and other pistillates.
A great many different manures have been recommended. Animal, vegetable and mineral manures have all had their advocates. We believe that stable manure contains all the elements necessary to the production of the largest and highest flavored fruit, and where accessible, we use it in preference to all others. Animal manures we have found too stimulating.
Another plan. For the gratification of the fancy of the amateur cultivators; or to produce magnificent fruit for exhibition, we would recommend the following plan:
Trench your land to the depth of two feet, and mix well with it six inches of well rotted stable manure. And after a thorough pulverization and raking of the soil as heretofore directed, proceed to mark it off in rows 18 inches apart, and set the plants 18 inches asunder in the rows. Destroy all runners, weeds and grass, as they appear throughout the summer and fall. At the approach of winter protect the plants with a covering of long manure or coarse litter, and in the spring remove the whole, and work the ground superficially between the plants; mulch around each plant, or cover the whole surface of the beds at least one inch thick with wheat chaff, chopped straw, pine shatters, short grass or tan. You will thereby preserve the humidity of the soil and keep it cool; greatly increase the size of the fruit, and protect from grit.
And as no teetotaller ever enjoyed pure cold water more than the strawberry, we would recommend copious applications or irrigation with this fluid frequently, from the time of its flowering to the maturity of the fruit. As it is important to protract the season of this fruit as long as possible, and in order to do so, we accelerate the ripening of the earliest varieties. This is accomplished by selecting the first ripeners, and planting them in a gravelly light soil on declivities with a southern aspect, and well protected from the cold winds by close fences or evergreen hedges. This plan frequently produces fruit so early as to command in Washington market one or two dollars per quart. For the medium season and main crop, we prefer level land, rather retentive of moisture. For the late crops, select late varieties, and plant on the north side of the board fences, or northern hills, and in cold soils.
The sexual character of the strawberry has been the theme of much controversy. The theory is now generally admitted, and beds are usually made in accordance with it. Many cultivators have recommended the Staminates and Pistillates to be planted in close proximity, or in parallel rows. Others advise them to be planted out in the proportion of one staminate to ten pistillates. We have found these plans to be very objectionable, as the non-fruit bearing plants multiply so rapidly, that in a few years they predominate almost to the entire exclusion of the pistillates. The writer of this article discovered some eight years ago that the objections might be obviated by planting the sexes more remotely. He found that the Boston Pine and large Early Scarlet, which are hermaphrodites, and under high culture are productive, would fructify Hovey's seedling at the distance of one hundred and fifty feet. The success of the experiment was published at the time in Hovey's Magazine. It has been recommended, and successfully adopted by others since. But how this transfer and distribution of Pollen is accomplished this distance, remains still somewhat inexplicable. Some have attributed the transmission of this minute and subtile dust, to the agency of the honey bee ; of this we entertain doubt, as with freat vigilance we have rarely seen the bee on the ower of the strawberry. We believe the atmosphere is the medium through which it is conveyed.
Before concluding this article, which has already I fear grown too long, I must add a few remarks in reference to the selection of varieties. As before stated we have had under culture at diflerent times, one hundred and fifty varieties, and in that number have not retained more than ten, and have rejected the rest. We have at this time many new ones under probation, and will not be able to test them until another season.
- Large Early Scarlet is of medium size, fine flavor and tolerably productive. Its chief merit is its early precocity.
- Princess Alice Maud. Is very large, and early, and immediately succeeds the preceding. From its large size and early maturity, and commanding the highest price in market, we were induced to propagate it extensively until last year. The drought of last season nearly destroyed every plant, and with them our hopes of its becoming a valuable acquisition of the list of market fruit.
- Prince's LeBaron. Early, large, productive and of exquisite flavor.
- Prince's Imperial Crimson. A very large, dark crimson berry, fine flavor and very productive.
- McAvoy's Superior. Very large, beautiful, productive, and finely flavored. It is a valuable family fruit, but is so tender that it breaks easily and its juice exudes, and is unfit for market.
- Munroe's Scarlet. Large, rounded or obovate; light scarlet, extraordinarily productive. It came nearer covering the beds with fruit last season than any variety we have ever seen.
- Scott s Seedling. Large, conical shape, bright crimson and productive.
- Hovey's Seedling. Slightly ovate, conical, beautiful scarlet, fine flavor, very large, very productive. This splendid fruit stands unrivalled for its many merits. It stands at the very top of the list of all strawberries in this country, and is incomparably superior in our estimation to any other variety.
 American Farmer Vol XI. S. Sands & Worthington. 1855 . p. 90