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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 35.djvu/217

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THE PRODUCTION OF BEET-SUGAR.

of these implements will be seen by reference to the diagrams, which illustrate the cultivator rigged for use at different stages of the growth of the crop.

Every seed-vessel of the beet, containing from two to three germs, will produce as many plants, of which the strongest is left.

PSM V35 D217 Beet cultivator with root covering attachment.jpg
Fig. 3.—The Beet-Cultivator, with Attachment for covering the Roots at the last hoeing.

while the rest are pulled up or otherwise destroyed. The process of thinning out the plants, not unlike the same operation in the cultivation of corn, takes place after the first passage of the cultivator, as soon as the roots have reached the length of from four to five inches. The remaining plants are six to eight inches apart. The soil around the young plant is frequently loosened by the PSM V35 D217 Beet digger.jpgFig. 4.—The Beet-Digger. beet-cultivator, as shown in Fig. 2, every two or three weeks, until the leaves have acquired their proper development early in June. This treatment, by destroying the weeds and increasing the general absorbing properties of the soil, favors an undisturbed and early development of the leaves, which have a controlling influence in the formation of sugar.

The beet-digger, Fig. 4, is a powerful machine, also drawn by two horses. It consists of two long knives or coulters, fixed in a heavy framework, and so arranged that they may be set to run to a greater or less depth, as may be desired. These knives run under and lift two rows of beets at each passage. As the machine