Victory Gardens


Audio Transcript

Narrator (00:15)
On this farm in the rolling hill country of northern Maryland, the Holders rallying to the call for more food join the growing army of victory gardeners. This is Dad Holder. He helps with the heavy work. Mother, well she helps with most everything. Grandpa Holder. He says the only honest way to get a mess of peas or a crown of glory is to work for it. Brother Bill is in the army, but Dick, 14 years old, takes his place. And this is Jane, just 16.
Narrator (00:57)
Grandpa and Dad always kept garden plans in their heads, but victory garden plans should be on paper. So with the advice of the county home demonstration agent, they will study state and federal bulletins which have been written to serve as guides in victory gardens.
Narrator (01:36)
Now let's see on this little model of their quarter-acre garden the plan they worked out. Here's the early garden. Here four rows of early potatoes. Then, two double rows of peas, early, medium, and late. One row of cabbage. Double row of carrots and beets, half a row of each. One double row of greens, spinach, mustard, turnips, and chard. Tomatoes, early and late, wilt resistant. Peppers, half a row. Radishes, lettuce, and onions next to the house. Asparagus and rhubarb beds are at the side. Pole beans, three rows. Four rows of sweet corn along the fence. And finally, two rows of lima beans complete the early garden.
Narrator (02:30)
Now for the late garden. After each of the early crops is harvested, a planting of another crop is to be made so as to have a succession. For convenience of illustration, all early crops except tomatoes and chard are removed from the model. Here are the later crops. Four rows of U.S. Number 5 Refugee beans. Two rows of squash along the fence. Three rows of late potatoes. Late cabbage. Carrots and beets, half double row of each. Three rows of turnips. A row of spinach. Kale and collards, half a row of each complete the late garden. Here they have a garden plan that will serve the family need this year. In succeeding years they will want to rotate crops within the plot.
Narrator (03:18)
Now for the real garden. When the maples are in bloom, it's time to begin planting. When the moisture is just right, the soil won't ball or be sticky. It holds its shape when pressed but crumbles easily when broken. Then it's right for working and planting. The garden is sunny, has good soil and drainage, and is well fenced. It was manured and plowed last fall. Now after lining and harrowing it is ready to plant.
Narrator (04:04)
Grandpa knows how to cut seed potatoes. He makes good size chunky pieces about the size of a hen's egg, each with at least one eye. Certified seed gives best results. Look for the blue tag. Potato rows are three feet apart, four inches deep. A complete commercial fertilizer like 5-10-5 is spread in the furrow and mixed in the soil before planting. The seed is dripped one piece to a hill, evenly spaced about one foot apart. Covering may be done with plow or with hoe.
Narrator (04:48)
In running furrows for peas, a line or stakes are used to space them in double rows three feet apart. Treatment of peas and other vegetable seed with dust disinfectant helps to prevent seed rot and blights. A level teaspoon full of powder to four pounds of seed well mixed until each seed is coated.
Narrator (05:26)
Young cabbage and tomato plants are coming along well in the cold frame. Being hardy, cabbages are planted early. Dick sets the roots deep and presses the soil firmly around them. If the ground is dry, he pours a little water into each hole before covering. A piece of tar paper, two inches square, with a slit to a hole in the center will keep maggots away. The Holders have best results with onion sets grown the previous year, though they could use seedlings or seeds. The corner or handle of the of the hoe is used to make furrows for small seeds like lettuce about a half-inch deep. Jane shakes the seed out evenly, but not too thickly.
Narrator (06:20)
Carrot seeds are also planted about a half inch deep. Beet seeds, larger, are planted one inch deep, one inch apart. Spinach seeds are planted like carrots, the young plants are thinned to four inches apart. The Holders have selected vegetables that are grown easily, good yielders, rich in vitamins, and that can be canned or stored for winter use.
Narrator (06:53)
Plum trees are in bloom. Time to plant sweet corn. This is the Golden Cross Bantam, resistant to disease. Three kernels to the hill of high germinating seed are enough.
Narrator (07:15)
Almost summer now. And the garden is coming along. A garden that will furnish plenty of nutritious, vitamin-packed vegetables for the family table. That is, if they ever reach the table. The paper still keeps the maggots away from the cabbage. Tomatoes are a must in every victory garden and lots of them. Plants are set out when danger of frost is over. They are protected from cut worms by paper collars, fastened at the top with a paper clip or a pin. At the bottom, by pulling the soil around them.
Narrator (08:19)
A few peppers are desirable. The Holders started these hot-weather plants seven weeks ago in the kitchen window. Lima beans are planted two to the hill, an inch-and-a-half deep. Pole limas and the large seeded bush type complete the early garden plantings.
Narrator (08:59)
Some vegetables need thinning. Dick uses a garden mattock or a hoe for the rough part, but finishing is done by hand. The chard is being thinned to six to eight inches apart.
Narrator (09:14)
The only way to get weeds out of a row of carrots is by hand, right now when they are small. Pigweed or amaranthus is a common fast growing weed. Another is lambs-quarter. They will quickly crowd out vegetables if not pulled. Thinning carrots is a pain in the back, for seedling carrots are little and no mistake. But these young folks have keen eyes and nimble fingers.
Narrator (09:44)
Weeds grow fast, and as Grandpa says, "There's no tool that gets them all," but the ** hoe makes the job easier between the rows. Careful! Not too close or too deep. You might cut the outer roots. A horse cultivator may do the job much faster. This implement has attachments that will plant seeds of almost any size in rows or in hills.
Narrator (10:22)
Now the pests begin to work. Smut, worm, beetle, blight, bugs, hoppers. Who said gardening was just pleasant exercise? Here's the first pest. The common cabbage worm eating holes in the newest cabbage leaves. Like a good gardener, Dick is on the job to protect the crop from all these pests and diseases. The cabbage worms' mama, a small white butterfly, lays its eggs in the leaves. A serving of stomach poison for the cabbage should finish Mister Cabbage Worm. Rotenone and pyrethrum dust have been made scarce by the war, so cryolite dust is used. Dick does a good job of it.
Narrator (11:17)
This cabbage is sick with the yellows, or wilt. Once the fungus that causes wilt gets into the soil, it takes years to get rid of it. Next time, Dick will use wilt-resistant varieties like Jersey Queen, Marian Market, and Glow. The easy way to control insects and diseases is to attack them before they become too numerous. Flea beetles eat holes in potato leaves. Bordeaux mixture and calcium arsenate combined is the remedy for insects and leaf diseases of potatoes.
Narrator (11:56)
To make two and a half gallons of bordeaux, Dick dissolves three ounces of powdered copper sulfate in water. Then he makes a thin paste of three ounces of hydrated lime and water. This is put into the pail, stirred, and the bordeaux mixture is made. To this may be added two tablespoon fulls of calcium arsenate to kill potato bugs and other leaf-eating insects. Easy isn't it? Bordeaux is also a good spray for grapes, tomatoes, and roses. Dick sprays potatoes with bordeaux about once every two weeks. Late potatoes need more sprayings than early ones.
Narrator (12:45)
Now the peas are ready. Excellent source of vitamin C. Cabbage too is ready to eat. Another source of vitamin C, especially raw. It should be grown in every victory garden. A solid four-pound head. Good for kraut or for storing. Cabbage is available in the garden over a long period.
Narrator (13:22)
Carrots are rich in vitamin A, needed for night vision and building up resistance to disease. Luscious raspberries are ripening. Such delicious, small fruit should be in every victory garden.
Narrator (13:57)
Uh-oh. Those pesky bugs again. This time it's the Mexican bean beetle, a bad pest in the south and east. The young yellow beetles may strip a plant completely in a week or two. A complete generation occurs in 35 days. Rotenone and cryolite dust is the remedy. Beetles feed on the underside of the leaves, so Dick makes sure to reach them with the dust. One of the common causes of failure lima and green and wax snap beans is bacterial blight. Leaves are blighted, pods and leaves are spotted. This disease is carried with a seed. Western grown seed from reliable firms is recommended.
Narrator (14:45)
Tomatoes are troubled by wilt caused by a fungus that lives in the soil and attacks through the roots, getting into the sap-carrying tubes and shutting off the water supply. The plants die. This blackened woody tissue is the sign of wilt. Only resistant varieties should be grown on wilt-infested land. The fungus does not damage seriously resistant varieties like Marglobe, Rutgers, Pritchard, and Pan-American.
Narrator (15:20)
A similar disease affects eggplant. Note the darkened tissue in the cut stem. The remedy is rotation of crops. The clean white appearance of this stem indicates a healthy plant.
Narrator (15:36)
Here's the pesky old corn-ear worm. Eggs are laid and hatched in the silk. A mixture of white mineral oil and pyrethrum in the silk at the right time helps to control them. Smut, another corn enemy, attacks all parts of the plant. On tassels it does not lower yield much, but on or below the ear it is damaging. Leaf blights also affect corn. Sprays do not control these diseases, but resistant varieties of corn are being developed.
Narrator (16:16)
Downy mildew is one of several leaf diseases that interfere with successful production of cucumber and related crops. Another is anthracnose. It affects both the leaves and the fruit. It spots and blights watermelons and muskmelons, decreasing yields and reducing quality of fruit. Bordeaux and copper lime dust are used for these diseases. This garden pest is easy to stop. Just keep the gate closed and the fence tight. No holes.
Narrator (16:52)
Zinnias are in bloom. And the crops are beginning to roll out. The last of the early Irish Cobblers. Certified seed helped to make a good yield. Good quality, too. Free from scab and uniform in shape. Much of the nutritional value of beets is in the tops, so it's wise to use them young when the tops are edible. Perhaps the number-one garden crops, they keep ripening over a long period, and are an important source of vitamin C, which is often deficient in our diets. When properly cooked or canned, there is not much loss of this vitamin. Tomatoes are easily canned. One bushel will fill twelve quart jars. At least 20 quarts per person should be put up.
Narrator (18:06)
Corn tops against the sky. Yellow varieties of corn contain vitamin A. Both white and yellow contain small amounts of minerals and vitamins as well as starch and sugar.
Narrator (18:25)
Green peppers. Rich in vitamins C and A.
Narrator (18:44)
Pole beans to use green, dried, or canned. And Swiss chard. Chard can be used throughout the summer. The Holder garden has plenty of such green, leafy vegetables: turnip greens, mustard greens, spinach, and collards, all fine for fall and winter use.
Narrator (19:02)
And that just about covers the Holder victory garden. Just one of thousands of such farm gardens. Just a sample that you can match in most any community in America. Each a health insurance policy, a door yard savings bank. Each a vitamin mine from which you can take stuff more precious than silver or gold. But remember what Grandpa says: "No work, no garden." Get what that means. No work, no spuds. No work, no turnips. No tank, no flying fortress, no victory. Bear that in mind all you victory gardeners, and work for victory.
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