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the inconvenience of not easily admitting either the hand or tools to clean them after the first year, the single row ought always to be preferred, except upon such soils as are quite free of weeds. For, if these spring up, and are allowed to grow without molestation, the hedge will be quickly choaked up with them, and stinted in its growth. Indeed, I am of opinion, that the single row is almost, in all cases, the most eligible; as it is not only more easily cleaned, but likewise, for the most part, advances with greater vigour, and becomes, at last, a stronger and a better fence than where more rows are planted; although these last have usually a more promising appearance for the first year or two.
Of the Choice of a proper Soil for a Nursery of ivhite Thorn-Hedges.
Almost all writers on agriculture, advise the farmer to be very careful to make choice of such plants only as have been raised in a nursery of a poor soil; and always to reject such as have been reared in a richer foil than that in which he is to plant them: * Because,' say they, c a plant which has been reared in a barren foil, has been inured from its infancy to live hardly, and will advance with a great degree of luxuriance, if it is planted in one that is better; whereas a plant, that has been nursed in a fertile soil, and has suddenly rushed up to a great size, like an animal that has been pampered with high feeding and swelled up with fat, will languish and pine away if transplanted to a more indifferent soil.*
It would be rid difficult matter to show the fallacy of this mode of reasoning, and to point out many errors which have crept ihtb almost all sciences, from pursuing such fanciful analogies between objects in their own nature so different as in this example. But, as this would be, in some measure, foreign to my aim in this essay, I shall content myself with observing, that it could seldom be attended with worse consequences than in the present case, as it leads to a conclusion directly the reverse of what is warranted by experience. For, I have found, from reiterated experiment, that a strong and vigorous plant, that has grown up quickly, and arrived at a considerable magnitude in a very short time, never fails to grow better after transplanting, than another of the same size that is older and more stinted in its growth, whether the soil in which they are planted be rich or poor; so that, instead of recommending a poor hun
gry soil for a nursery, I would, in all cases, wish to set apart, for this purpose, the richest and most fertile spot that could be found; and, in the choice of plants, would always prefer the youngest and most healthy to such as were older, if of an equal size. I speak here from experience, and, therefore, do it without the smallest doubt or hesitation;being certain that future observations will confirm the justness of these remarks*
Directions for managing the Plants while in the Nursery,
It has been hinted above, that, if the plants have been so managed as to have then? roots very much multiplied close by the stem* it will tend greatly to make them prosper well after they are transplanted. But, as this is a circumstance of much greater importance than is in general apprehended, 1 shall beg leave to call the attention of the reader to it in a more particular manner.
It was long imagined, that roots imbibed nourishment from the earth throughout their whole length, as it was apprehended, that the watery juices penetrated the bark at every place, which acted as a filtre, or very fine strainer, and served to prepare the sap for entering into the finer vessels of the plant. But the experiments of Du Ham el, Bonnet, and others, have now sufficiently demonstrated, that little or no moisture is imbibed through the pores of the bark of roots; but that the whole nourishment of the plant is absorbed at the extremities only of the smallest ramifications of the roots. Hence, then, it follows, that the more numerous these small ramifications are, the more numerous will be the mouths of the plant, and the nourishment imbibed by them will be, in