CULTIVATION. The plant requires for its best development a peculiar soil and climate. While the method of cultivation is about the same in the various countries where it is grown, that in the United States is the most perfect. Although the plant is not really an annual, it is treated a. such in its cultivation. The land is prepared in winter, the time of beginning varying with the locality. After thorough plowing, and after all frost has gone, the ground is bedded into rows from three to four feet wide, according to situa tion and the quality of the soil; the seed is sown along the centre of these beds, either in a straight furrow made with a small plow or opener. or in holes twelve to eighteen inches apart. Where artificial fertilizers or cottonsecd-meal are drilled in this method of preparation is indispensable. The usual date to begin preparing land is front January 15 in southern Texas to March 5 in South Carolina. Sowing usually commences March 10 to April 15 and continues to May 15; but late spring frosts may delay it longer. The yonng shoots, which appear in from ten to fifteen days, are weeded and thinned when they have attained a height of two to six inches. say, when the third or first true leaf appears. The average date of bloom is June 5. As a general rule, cot ton is a dry-weather plant., heavy rainfall inter fering with both the culture and the stand, al though an extremely dry spring interferes with the growth. For plowing it is best to have just enough rain to make the soil moist and spongy. When young, the crop flourishes best with warm steamy weather, with an occasional shower until blooming. An excess of rain produces weeds and
wood; severe drought stunts the plant, matures it too early, and causes a small, light-stapled crop. Early frost causes the plant to turn brown: cold nights cause many of the plants to die. Lands in hilly or upland districts require more moisture than those lying in the plains and river bottoms. Overflowing often causes in jury on bottom and flat prairie lands, lint re planting or recuperation often redeems the most hopeless cases. Where, however, overflowing causes 'sanding,' the land is rendered utterly use less for cotton culture that year. The experi ment stations in the Southern States have aided in introducing improved methods of cultivating, fertilizing, and handling the crop. Rotation of crops and green manuring have been shown to be of great advantage. From the date of bloom, warm, dry weather is needful, until picking time, which usually commences from July 10 in south ern Texas up to September 10 in Tennessee, and continues until frost puts a stop to further growth. During the harvest all available hands are called into full employment. The cotton is gathered into baskets or bags hung from the shoulders of the pickers, and when the crop has been secured it is spread out, dried, and then the fibre separated from the seeds. For long-staple or Sea Island cotton in South Carolina the usual date to begin preparing land is February 1; planting, begins pH] 1 and ends May 1; picking is from August 25 to December 10.