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Q W E R T Y U I O P
A S D F G H J K L
Z X C V B N M
To choose the best Soil for a Garden.
Prefer a sandy loam, not less than two feet deep and good earth not of a binding nature in summer, nor retentive of rain in winter; but of such a texture that it can be worked without difficulty in any season of the year. There are few sorts of fruit-trees or esculent vegetables, which require less depth of earth to grow in than two feet to bring them to perfection, and if the earth of the kit hen-garden be three or more feet deep, so much the better; for when the plants are in a state of maturity, if the roots even of peas, spinach kidney beans, lettuce, etc., be minutely traced, they will be found to penetrate into the earth, in search of food, to the depth of two feet, provided the soil be of a nature that allows them; if it can be done, a garden should be made on land whose bottom is not of a springy wet nature. If this rule can be observed, draining will be unnecessary, for when land is well prepared for the growth of fruit trees and esculent vegetables, by trenching, manuring, and digging, it is by these means brought into such a porous temperament, that the rains pass through it without being detained longer than necessary. If the land of a garden be of too strong a nature, it should be well mixed with sand, or scrapings of roads, where stones have been ground to pieces by carriages.
To make Gravel Walks.
The bottom should be laid with lime-rubbish large flint stones, or any other hard matter, for eight or ton inches, to keep weeds from growing through, and over this the gravel is to be laid six or eight inches thick. This should be lain rounding up in the middle, by which means the larger stones will run off to the sides, and may be raked away, for the gravel should never be screened before it is laid on. It is a common mistake to lay these walks too round, which not only makes them uneasy to walk upon, but takes off from their apparent breadth. One inch in five feet is a sufficient proportion for the rise in the middle; so that a walk twenty feet wide should be four inches higher at the middle than at the edges and so in proportion. As soon as the gravel is laid, it should be raked, and the large stones thrown back again; then the whole should be rolled both lengthwise and crosswise, and the person who draws the roller should wear shoes with flat heels that he may make no holes, because holes made in a new walk are not easily remedied. The walks should always he rolled three or four times after very hard showers, from which they will bind more firmly than otherwise they could ever be made to.
To prepare Hot-beds, Manures, and Composts.
Stable-dung is in the most general use for forming hotbeds, which are masses of this dung after it has undergone its violent fermentation.
Bark is only preferable to dung because the substance which undergoes the process of putrid fermentation requires longer time to decay. Hence it is found useful in the bark pits of hot houses as requiring to be less often moved or renewed than dung or any other substance.
Leaves, and especially oak leaves, come the nearest to bark, and have the additional advantage that when perfectly rotten like dung they form a rich mould or excellent manure.
The object of preparation in these three substances being to get rid of the violent heat which is produced when the fermentation is most powerful, it is obvious that preparation must consist in facilitating the process. For this purpose a certain degree of moisture and air in the fermenting bodies are requisite, and hence the business of the gardener is to turn them over frequently and apply water when the process appears impeded, and exclude rain when chilled with too much water.
Recent stable-dung generally requires to lie a month in ridges or beds, and be turned over in that time thrice before it is fit for cucumber-beds of the common construction; but for McPhail's hot-beds, or for linings, or for frames with movable bottoms, three weeks, a fortnight, or less will suffice, or no time at all need be given, but the dung formed at once into linings. Tan and leaves require in general a month. Fermentation is always most rapid in Summer, and if the materials are spread abroad during the frost, it is totally impeded. In winter the process of preperation generally goes on under the back sheds which situation is also the best in summer, as full exposure to the sun and wind dries too much the exterior surface, but where sheds cannot be had, it will go on very well in the open air. Some cultivators have devised plans to economize heat by fermenting dung in vineries which are just beginning to be forced, or in vaults under pine pits, or plant stoves.
To form Dung Beds.
In general such beds are formed on a level surface, but Mr. T. A. Knight's plan is to form a surface of earth as a basis, which shall incline to the horizon to the extent of 15°; on this he forms the dung-bed to the same inclination, and finally the frame, when placed on such a bed, if as is usual, it be deepest behind, will present its glass at an angle of 20°, instead of six or eight, which is undoubtedly of great advantage in the winter season.
Ashes are often mixed with the dung of hot beds, and are supposed to promote the steadiness and duration of their heat, and at least to rev1ve it if somewhat decayed. Tan leaves have also been used for the same purpose, and it is generally found that about one-third of tan and two-thirds of dung will form a more durable and less violent heat than a bed wholly of dung. The heat of dung-beds is revived by linings or collateral and surrounding walls or banks of fresh dung, the old dung of the bed being previously cut down close to the frames, and in severe weather the sides of the beds are often protected by bundles of straw or faggots.
The residuum of heats, properly reduced by keeping, is a good simple manure for most fruit trees, and excellent in a compost; but where the soil is naturally cold a little ashes of coals, wood, straw, or burnt turf, or a minute proportion of soot, ought to be incorporated with it. Hog-dung has a peculiar virtue in invigorating weak trees. Rotten turf, or any vegetable refuse, is a general manure, excellent for all soils not already too rich. One of the best correctives of too rich a soil is drift sand. For an exhausted soil, where a fruit tree that has been an old, profitable occupant is wished to be continued, a dressing of animal matter is a powerful restorative, such as hogs' or bullooks blood, offal from the slaughter-house, refuse of skins and leather, decomposed carrion, etc. The drainings of dung laid on as mulch are highly serviceable.
It is very proper to crop the ground among new planted orchard trees for a few years, in order to defray the expense of hoeing and cultivating it, which should be done until the temporary plants are removed and the whole be sown down in grass. As the trees begin to produce fruit, begin also to relinquish cropping. When by their productions they defray all expenses, crop no longer.
To make Composts for manure.
During hot weather, says Knight, I have all the offals in the garden, such as weeds, leaves of strawberries and other vegetables, short grass, peas, and asparagus haum, with the foliage of trees and shrubs when newly shed, carefully collected into a heap. These are all turned over and mixed during the winter, that they may be sufficiently rotted to mix with the dung against the end of summer. I have also another heap formed with the prunings from gooseberry and currant bushes, fruit-trees, raspberry shoots, clippings of box-edgings, and lappings from shrubs; also the roots of greens and cabbages, which are generally burnt at two different periods in the year, viz., in spring and autumn, but previous to each burning I endeavor to pare up all the coarse grasses around the garden, with a portion of the soil adhering thereto, and whenever these are sufficiently dried have them collected to the heap intended to be burnt. The fire is kindled at a convenient distance from the heaps and a portion of such as burn most easily is first applied, until the fire has gained a considerable power. After this the process of burning is continued by applying lighter and heavier substances alternately, that the one may preserve the action of the fire, and the other prevent it from reducing them too much to ashes. When the whole are thus consumed a quantity of mould is thrown over the heap to prevent the fire from breaking through, and whenever it can be broken into with safety it is then mixed up into a dunghill with the rotted vegetables, moss-earth and stable-yard dung in such proportions as is likely to insure a moderate fermentation, which is generally completed in three or four weeks, at which time it is most advantageously applied in having it carried to the ground and instantly dug in.
To make Composts for Moulds.
Composts are mixtures of several earths, or earthy substances, or dungs, either for the improvement of the general soil under culture or for the culture of particular plants.
In respect to composts for the amendment of the general soil of the garden, their quality must depend upon that of the natural soil; if this be light, loose, or sandy, it may be assisted by heavy loams, clays etc., from ponds and ditches, cleanings of sewers, etc. On the other hand, heavy clayey and all stubborn soils may be assisted by light composts of sandy earth, drift and sea-sand, the shovellings of turnpike roads, the cleansing of streets, all kinds of ashes, rotten tanner's bark,
rotten wood, saw dust, and other similar light opening materials that can be most conveniently procured.
To make Composts for Plants.
These may be reduced to light sandy loam from old pastures: strong loam approaching nearly to brick earth from the same source; peat earth, from the surface of heaths or commons; bog earth, from bogs or morasses; vegetable earth, from decayed leaves, stalks, cow-dung, etc.; sand, either sea-sand, drift-sand, or powdered stone, so as to be as free as possible from iron; lime-rubbish; and, lastly, common garden earth. There are no known plants that will not grow or thrive in one or other of these earths, alone or mixed with some other earth, or with rotten dung or leaves. Nurserymen have seldom more than three sorts of earth: loam, approaching to the qualities of brick-earth, peat or bog-earth, and the common soil of their nursery. With these and the addition of a little sand for striking plants, some sifted lime-rubbish for succulents, and some well-rotted cow dung for bulbs, and some sorts of trees, they continue to grow thousands of different species in as great or greater perfection as in their native countries, and many, as the pine, vine, camellia, rose, etc., in a superior manner.
To prepare Composts.
The preparation necessary for heavy and light composts for general enrichment, and or the above different earths, consists in collecting each soil in the compost ground, in separate ridges of three or four feet broad, and as high, turning them every six weeks or two months for a year or a year and a half before they are used. Peat earth, being generally procured in the state of turves full of the roots and tops of heath, requires two or three years to rot; but, after it has lain one year, it may be sifted, and what passes through a small sieve will be found fit for use. Some nurserymen use both these loams and peats as soon as procured, and find them answer perfectly for most plants; but for delicate flowers, and especially bulbs, and all florists' flowers, and for all composts in which manures enter not less than one year ought to be allowed for decomposition, and what is called sweetening.
To make a Green-House or Conservatory.
The depth of green-houses should never be greater than their height in the clear; which, in small or middling houses may be sixteen or eighteen feet, but in large ones from twenty to twenty four feet; and the length of the windows should reach from about one foot and a half above the pavement, and within the same distance of the ceiling.
The floor of the greenhouse, which should be laid either with Bremen squares, Purbeck stone, or flat tiles, must be raised two feet above the surface of the adjoining ground, or, if the situation be damp, at least three feet; and if the whole is arched with low brick arches under the floor they will be of great service in preventing damp; and under the floor, about two feet from the front, it will be very advisable to make a flue of ten inches wide, and two feet deep, this should be carried the whole length of the house, and then returned back along the hinder part, and there be carried up into funnels adjoining to the tool-house, by which the smoke may be carried off. The fireplace may be contrived at one end of the house, and the door at which the fuel is put in, as also the ash-grate, may be contrived to open into the tool-house.
Whilst the front of the green-house is exactly south, one of the wings may be made to face the southeast, and the other the southwest. By this disposition the heat of the sun is reflected from one part of the building to the other all day, and the front of the main green-house is guarded from the cold winds. These two wings may be so contrived as to maintain plants of different degrees of hardiness, which may be easily effected by the situation and extent of the fireplace, and the manner of conducting the flues.
The sloping glasses of these houses should be made to slide and take off, so that they may be drawn down more or less in warm weather to admit air to the plants; and the upright glasses in the front may be so contrived as that every other may open as a door upon hinges, and the alternate glasses may be divided into two; the upper part of each should be so contrived as to be drawn down like a sash, so that either of them may be used to admit Air in a greater or less quantity, as there may be occasion. As to the management of plants in a green-house, open the mould about them from time to time, and sprinkle a little fresh mould in them, and a little warm dung on that; also water them when the leaves begin to wither and curl, and not oftener, which would make them fade and be sickly; and take off such leaves as wither and grow dry.
To propagate Vegetables.
Plants are universally propagated by seed, but partially also by germs or bulbs, suckers, runners, slips, and offsets, and artificially by layers, inarching, grafting, budding, and cutting.
The propagation by seed is to make sure of live seeds; for some lose their vitality very early after being gathered, while others retain it only for one or perhaps two seasons; some seeds also are injured, and others improved by keeping. The size of seeds requires also to be taker' into consideration, for on this most frequently depends the depth which they require to be buried in the soil; the texture of their skin or covering must be attended to, as on this often depends the time they require to be buried in the soil previously to germination. On the form and surface of the outer coating of seeds sometimes depends the mode of sowing, as in the carrot, and on their qualities in general depends their liability to be attacked by insects. The nature of the offspring expects it, and the proper climate, soil, and season, require also to be kept in view in determining how, where, when, and in what quantity any seed must be sown.
Germs or bulbs, cauline or radical, require in general to be planted immediately, or soon after removal from the parent plant, in light earth, about their own depth from the surface. Matured bulbs may be preserved out of the soil for some months, without injury to the vitality, but infant bulbs are easily dried up and injured when so treated.
Slips are shoots which spring from the collar or the upper part of the roots of herbaceous plants as in auricular, and under shrubs, as thymes, etc. The shoot, when the lower part from whence the roots proceed begins to ripen or acquire a firm texture, is to be slipped or drawn from the parent plant, so far as to bring off a heel or claw of old wood, stem, or root, on which generally some roots, or rudiments of roots, are attached. The ragged parts and edges of this claw or rough section are then to be smoothed with a sharp knife and the slip to be planted in suitable soil and shaded till it strikes root afresh.
The division of the plant is adopted in many species, as in grasses, the daisy, polyanthus, and a great variety of pthers. The plant is taken up the earth shaken from its roots, the whole is then separated, each piece containing a portion of root and stem, which may be planted without further preparation.
With certain species taking runners is a convenient and sure mode of propagation. All that is requisite is to allow the plantlet on the shoot or runner to be well rooted before being separated from the parent. It may then be planted where it is finally to remain on posts or stands, or supported from the tree, etc.
To perform the operation, having made one of the most convenient branches or shoots approach the stock, mark, on the body of the shoot, the part where it will most easily join to the stock; and in that part of each shoot pare away the bark and part of the wood two or three inches in length and in the same manner pare the stock in the proper place for the junction of the shoot next make a slit upwards in that part of the branch or shoot, as in layering, and make a slit downward in the stock to admit it. Let the parts be then joined, slipping the tongue of the shoot into the slit of the stock, making both join in an exact manner, and tie them closely together with bags. Cover the whole afterward with a due quantity of tempered or grafting clay or moss. In hothouses care must be taken not to disturb the pots containing the plants operated on.
Budding, or, as it is sometimes called, grafting, by germs, consists in taking an eye or bud attached to a portion of the bark of a ligneous vegetable, of various size and form, and generally called a shield, and transplanting it to another or a different ligneous vegetable. Nursery-men now generally prefer budding to any other mode of propagation. The object in view is precisely that of grafting, and depends on the same principle; all the differences between a bud and a scion being that a bud is a shoot or scion in embryo. Budded trees are two years later in producing their fruit than grafted ones: but the advantage of budding is that, where a tree is rare, a new plant can be got from every eye, whereas by grafting it can only be got from every three or four eyes. There are also trees which propagate much more readily by budding than grafting; and others, as most of the stone fruits, are apt to throw out gum when grafted. Budding is formed from the beginning of July to the middle of August, the criterion the formation of the buds in the axillae of the leaf of the present year.
The buds are known to be ready by the shield, or portion of bark to which they are attached, easily parting with the wood.
Is performed as follows: Fix on a smooth part on the side of the stock, rather from than towards the sun, and of a height depending, as in grafting, on whether dwarf, half, or whole standard trees are desired; then, with the buddingknife, make a horizontal cut across the rind, quite through the firm wood; from the middle of this transverse cut make a slit downward perpendicularly, an inch or more long, going also quite through to the wood. Proceed with expedition to take off a bud; holding the cutting or scion in one hand, with the thickest end outward, and with the knife in the other hand, enter it about half an inch or more below a bud, cutting nearly half-way into the wood of the shoot, continuing it, with one clean slanting cut, about half an inch or more above the bud, so deep as to take off part of the wood along with it, the whole about an inch and a half long, then directly with the thumb and finger, or point of the knife, slip off the woody part remaining to the bud, which done, observe whether the eye or germ of the kind remains perfect, if not and a little hole appears in that part, the bud has lost its root, and another must be prepared. This done, place the back part of the bud or shield between the lips, and with the flat heft of the knife separate the bark of the stock on each side of the perpendicular cut clear to the wood, for the admission of the bud, which directly slip down, close between the wood and bark, to the bottom of the slit. Next cut off the top part of the shield even with the horizontal cut, in order to let it completely into its place, and to join exactly the upper edge of the shield with the transverse cut, that the descending sap may immediately enter the back of the shield, and protrude granulated matter between it and the wood, so as to effect a living union. The parts are to he bound round with a ligament of fresh bass, previously soaked in water, to render it pliable and tough. Begin a little below the bottom of the perpendicular slit, proceeding upward closely round every part, except just over the eye of the bud, and continue it a little above the horizontal cut, not too tight, but just sufficient to keep the hole close, and exclude the air, sun, and wet.
Another Method of Budding.
Trees are generally budded by making a transverse section in the bark of the stock, and a perpendicular slit beneath it, the bud is then pushed down to give it the position which it is to have. This operation is not always successful, and it is better to employ an inverse or contrary method by making the vertical slit above the transverse section or cut, and pushing the bark containing the bud upwards into its proper position. This method very rarely fails of success, because as the sap descends by the bark, the kind placed above the transverse section receives abundance, whereas if it be placed below the section very little sap can ever get to it to promote the growth of the bud. Oil rubbed upon the stems and branches of fruit trees destroys insects and increases the fruit. buds. Used upon the stems of carnations, it guards them against the depredations of the ear-wig. The coarsest oil will suit, and only a small quantity is required.
To bud with Double Ligatures.
This is an expeditious mode of budding by Mr. T. A. Knight. The operations are performed in the manner above stated, but instead of one ligature two are applied, one above the bud, inserted upon the transverse section, through the bark; the other applied below in the usual way. As soon as the buds have attached themselves the lower ligatures are taken off, but the others are suffered to remain. The passage of the sap upwards is in consequence much obstructed, and the inserted buds begin to vegetate strongly in July (being inserted in June), and when these have afforded shoots about four inches long the remaining ligatures are taken off, to permit the excess of sap to pass on, and the young shoots are nailed to the wall. Being there properly exposed to light, their wood will ripen well, and afford blossoms in the succeeding spring.
To graft Trees.
This is a mode of propagation applicable to most sorts of trees and shrubs, but not easily to very small undershrubs, as heath, or herbaceous vegetables. It is chiefly used for continuing varieties of fruit trees. A grafted tree consists of two parts, the scion and the stock; their union constitutes the graft, and the performance of the operation is called grafting.
The end of grafting is, first, to preserve and multiply varieties and sub-varieties of fruit-trees, endowed accidentally or otherwise with particular qualities, which cannot be with certainty transferred to their offspring by seeds, and which would be multiplied too slowly or ineffectually by any other mode of propagation.
Second, to accelerate the fructification of trees, barren as well as fruit bearing; for example, suppose two acorns of a new species of oak received from a distant country; sow both, and after they have grown one or two years cut one of them over and graft the part cut off on a common oak of five or six years' growth; the consequence will be that the whole nourishment of this young tree of five years' growth being directed towards nourishing the scion of one or two years, it will grow much faster, and consequently arrive at perfection much sooner than its fellow, or its own root left in the ground,
The third use of grafting is to improve the quality of fruits, and the fourth to perpetuate varieties of ornamental trees or shrubs.
Materials used in Grafting.
Procure a strong pruning-knife for cutting off the heads of the stocks previous to their preperation by the grafting-knife for the scion, a small saw for larger stocks, and a penknife for very small scions, chisel and mallet for cleft grafting, bass ribbons for ligatures, and grafting clay.
To prepare Grafting-Clay.
Grafting-clay is prepared either from stiff yellow or blue clay, or from clayey loam or brick earth; in either case adding thereto about a fourth part of fresh horse dung, free from litter, and a portion of cut hay, mixing the whole well together and adding a little water; then let the whole be well beaten with a stick upon a floor or other hard substance, and as it becomes too dry apply more water, at every beating turning it over, and continue beating it well at top till it becomes flat and soft. This process must be repeated more or less according as the nature of the clay may require to render it ductile, and yet not so tough as to be apt to crack in dry weather.
Whip, or as it is sometimes called tongue grafting, is the most generally adopted in nurseries for propagating fruittrees. To effect this mode in the best style, the top of the stock and the extremity of the scions should be nearly of equal diameter. Hence this variety admits of being performed on smaller stocks than any other. It is called whip-grafting from the method of cutting the stock and scions sloping on one side so as to fit each other, and thus tied together in the manner of a whip-thong to the shaft or handle.
The scion and stock being cut off obliquely, at corresponding angles, as near as the operator can guess, then cut off the tip of the stock obliquely, or nearly horizontally, make now a slit nearly in the centre of the sloped face of the stock downwards and a similar one in the scion upwards. The tongue or wedge-like process forming the upper part of the sloping face of the scion, is then inserted downwards in the cleft of the stock, the inner barks of both being brought closely to unite on one side, so as not to be displaced in tying, which ought to be done immediately with a riband of brass, brought in a neat manner several times round the stock, and which is generally done from right to left, or in the course of the sun. The next operation is to clay the whole over an inch thick on every side from about half an inch or more below the bottom of the graft to an inch over the top of the stock, finishing the whole coat of clay in a kind of oval globular form, rather longways up and down, closing it effectually about the scion and every part, so as no light, wet, nor wind may penetrate, to prevent which is the whole intention of claying.
This is resorted to in the case of strong stocks, or in heading down and re-grafting old trees. The head of the stock or branch is first cut off obliquely, and then the sloped part is cut over horizontally near the middle of the slope, a cleft nearly two inches long is made with a stout knife or chisel in the crown downward, at right angles to the sloped part, taking care not to divide the pith. This cleft is kept open by the knife. The scion has its extremity for about an inch and a half, cut into the form of a wedge; it is left about the eighth of an inch thicker on the outer side, and brought to a fine edge on the inside. It is then inserted into the opening prepared for it, and the knife being withdrawn the stock closes firmly upon it.
This is another mode adopted for thick stocks, shortened branches, or headed down trees, It is sometimes called grafting in the bark or rind, from the scion being inserted between the bark and wood. This mode of grafting is performed with best effect somewhat later than the others, as the motion of the sap renders the bark and wood of the stock much more easily separated for the admission of the scions.
In performing this operation, first cut or saw off the head of the stock or branch horizontally or level, and pare the top smooth; then having the scions cut one side of each flat and somewhat sloping, an inch and a half long, forming a sort of shoulder at the top of the slope, to rest upon the crown of the stock; and then raise the rind of the stock with the ivory wedge forming the handle of the budding knife, so as to admit the scion between that and the wood two inches down, which done, place the scion with the cut side next the wood, thrusting it down far enough for the shoulder to rest upon the top of the stock; and in this manner may be put three, four, five or more scions in one large stock or branch. It is alleged as a disadvantage attending this method in exposed situations, that the ingrafted shoots for two or three years are liable to be blown out of the stock by violent winds; the only remedy for which is tying long rods to the body of the stock or branch, and tying up each scion and its shoots to one of the rods.
This method resembles whip grafting, but differs in being performed on the side of the stock, without bending down. It is practised on wall trees to fill up vacancies, and sometimes in order to have a variety of fruits upon the same tree. Having fixed upon those parts of the branches where wood is wanting to furnish the head or any part of the tree, then slope off the bark and a little of the wood, and cut the lower end of the scions to fit the part as nearly as possible,, then join them to the branch, and tie them with bass and clay them over.
This is performed by first cutting the top of the Stock into a wedge-like form,, and then splitting up the end of the scion and thinning off each half to a tongue-shape; it is then placed on the wedge embracing it on each side, and the inner barks are made to join on one side of the stock, as in cleft grafting. This is a very strong and handsome mode for standard trees, when grafted at the standard height. It is also desirable for orange-trees and rose-standards, as it makes a handsome finish, covering a part of the stock, which, by the other methods, long remains a black sear, and sometimes never becomes covered with bark. The stocks fur this purpose should not be much than the scions, or two scions may be inserted.
Shoulder or Chink Grafting.
This is performed with a shoulder, and sometimes also with a stay at the bottom of the slope. It is chiefly used for ornamental trees, where the scion and stock are of the same size.
Root grafting is sometimes performed in nurseries on parts of the roots of removed trees, when the proper stocks are scarce; in which case the root of the white thorn has been resorted to as a stock both for the apple and pear. In general however, a piece of the root of the tree of the same genus is selected, well furnished with fibres, and a scion placed on it in any of' the ordinary ways for small stocks. Thus united, they are planted so deep as to cover the ball of clay, and leave only a few eyes of the scion above ground.
In a month after grafting it may be ascertained whether the scion has united with the stock by observing the progress of its buds, but, in general, it is not safe to remove the clay for three months or more, till the graft be completely cicatrized. The clay may generally be taken off in July or August, and at the same time the ligatures loosened where the scion seems to require more room to expand: a few weeks afterwards, when the parts have been thus partially inured to the air, and when there is no danger of the scion being blown off by winds, the whole of the ligatures may be removed.
To choose Scions.
Scions are those shoots which, united with the stock, form the graft. They should be gathered several weeks before the season for grafting arrives, It is desirable that the sap of the stock should be in brisk motion at the time of grafting; but by this time the buds of the scion, if left on the parent tree, would be equally advanced, whereas the scions, being gathered early, the buds are kept buck, and ready only to swell out when placed on the stock. Scions of pears, plums and cherries, are collected in the end of January or beginning of February. They are kept at full length sunk in dry earth, and out of the reach of frost till wanted, which is sometimes from the middle of February to the middle of March. Scions of apples are collected any time in February, and put in from the middle to the end of March. In July grafting the scions are used as gathered.
To choose Cuttings.
In respect to the choice of cuttings, those branches of trees and shrubs which are thrown out nearest the ground, and especially such as recline, or nearly so, on the earth's surface, have always the most tendency to produce roots. Even the brunches of resinous trees, which are extremely difficult to propagate by cuttings, when reclining on the ground, if accidentally or otherwise covered with earth in any part, will there throw out roots, and the extremity of the lateral shoot will assume the character of a main stem, as may be sometimes seen in the larch, spruce and silver fir.
The choice of cuttings then is to be made from the side shoots of plants rather than from their summits or main stems, and the strength and health of side shoots being equal, those nearest the ground should be preferred. The proper time for taking cuttings from the mother plant is when the sap is in full motion, in order that, in returning by the bask, it may form a callus or protruding ring of granular substance between the bark and wood, whence the roots proceed. As this callus or ring of spongy matter is generally best formed in ripened wood, the cutting, when taken from the mother plant, should contain a part of the former year, or in plants which grow twice a year, of the wood of the former growth, or in the case of plants which are continually growing, as most evergreen exotics, such wood as has begun to ripen or assume a brownish color. This is the true principle of the choice of cuttings as to time; but there are many sorts of trees, as willow, elder etc., the cuttings of which will grow almost at any season, and especially if removed from the mother plant in winter, when the sap is at rest.
These ought always to be cut across, with the smoothest and soundest section possible at an eye or joint. And as buds are in a more advanced state in wood somewhat ripened or fully formed than in forming wood, this section ought to be made in the wood of the growth of the preceding season; or as it were in the point between the two growths. It is a common practice to cut off the whole or a part of the leaves of cuttings, which is always attended with bad effects in evergreens, in which the leaves may be said to supply nourishment to the cutting till it can sustain itself. This is very obvious in the case of striking from buds, which, without a leaf attached, speedily rot and die. Leaves alone will even strike root, and form plants in some instances, and the same may be stated of certain flowers and fruits.
This is a mode of propagation by cuttings, and is adopted with plants having jointed tubular stems, as the dianthus tribe, and several of the grasses and the arundines may be propagated in this manner. When the shoot has nearly done growing, its extremity is to be separated at a part of the stem where it is nearly indurated or ripened. This operation is effected by holding the root end between the finger and thumb of one hand, below a pair of leaves, and with the other pulling the top part above the pair of leaves, so as to separate it from the root part of the stem at the socket, formed by the axillae of the leaves leaving the stem to remain with a tubular termination. These pipings are inserted without any further preparation in finely sifted earth to the depth of the first joint or pipe.
To insert Cuttings.
Cuttings, if inserted in a mere mass of earth will hardly throw out roots, while, if inserted at the sides of the pots so as to touch the pot in their whole length, they seldom fail to become rooted plants. The art is, to place them to touch the bottom of the pot; they are then to be plunged in a bark or hot-bed and kept moist.
To manage Cuttings.
No cutting requires to be planted deep, though the large ought to be inserted deeper than such as are small. In the case of evergreens the leaved should be kept from touching the soil, otherwise they will damp or rot off; and in the case of tubular-stalked plants, which are in general not very easily struck, owing to the water lodging in the tube and rotting the cutting, both ends may be advantageously inserted in the soil, and besides a greater certainty of success, two plants will be produced. Too much light, air, water, heat or cold, are alike injurious. To guard against these extremes in tender sorts, the means hitherto devised is that of inclosing an atmosphere over that cuttings by means of a hand or bell-glass, according to their delicacy. This preserves a uniform stillness and moisture of atmosphere. Immersing the pot in earth has a tendency to preserve a steady, uniform degree of moisture at the roots; and shading, or placating the cuttings if in the open air in a shady situation, prevents the bad effects of excess of light. The only method of regulating the heat is by double or single coverings of glass or mats, or both. A hand glass placed over a bell-glass will preserve, in a shady situation, a very constant degree of heat.
What the degree of heat ought to be is decided by the degree of heat requisite for the mother plant. Most species of the erica, dahlia, and geranium, strike better when supplied with rather more heat than is requisite for the growth of these plants in green-houses. The myrtle tribe and camellias require rather less: and in general a lesser portion of heat, and of everything else proper for plums, in their rooted and growing state, is the safest.
To sow Seeds with Advantage.
This is the first operation of rearing. Where seeds are deposited singly, as in rows of beans or large nuts, they are said to be planted; where dropped in numbers together, to be sown. The operation of sowing is either performed in drills patches or broadcast. Drills are small excavations formed with the draw-hoe, generally in straight lines parallel to each other, and in depth and distance apart varying according to the size of the seeds. In these drills the seeds are strewed from the hand of the operator, who, taking a small quantity in the palm of his hand and fingers. regulates its emission by the thumb. Some seeds are very thinly sown, as the pea and spinach; others thick, as the cress and small salading.
Patches are small circular excavations made with the trowel; in these seeds are either sown or planted, thicker or thinner, and covered more or less, according to their natures. This is the mode adopted in sowing in pots and generally in flower borders.
In broadcast sowing the operator scatters the seed over a considerable breadth of surface, previously prepared by digging, or otherwise being minutely pulverized. The seed is taken up in portions in the hand and dispersed by a horizontal movement of the arm to the extent of a semicircle, opening the hand at the same time and scattering the seeds in the air so that they may full as equally as possible over the breadth taken in by the sower at once, and which is generally six feet - that being the diameter of the circle in which his hand moves through half the circumference. In sowing broadcast on beds and narrow strips or borders, the seeds are dispersed between the thumb and fingers by horizontal movements of the hand in segments of smaller circles.
Dry weather is essentially requisite for sowing and more especially for the operation of covering in the seed, which in broadcast sowing is done by treading or gently rolling the surface, and then raking it; and in drill-sowing by treading in the larger seeds, as peas, and covering with the rake smaller seeds, sown in drills, are covered with the same implement without treading.
To plant Shrubs and Trees.
Planting, as applied to seeds or seed-like roots as potatoes, bulbs, etc., is most frequently performed in drills or in separate holes made with the dibbler; in these the seed or bulb is dropped from the hand, and covered with or without treading, according to its nature. Sometimes planting is performed in patches, as in pots or borders, in which ease the trowel is the chief instrument used.
Quincunx is a mode of planting in rows, by which the plants in the one row are always oposed to the blanks in the other, so that when a plot of ground is planted in this way the plant appear in rows in four directions.
Planting, as applied to plants already originated consists generally in inserting them in the soil of the same depth, and in the same position as they were before removal, but with various exceptions. The principal object is to preserve the fibrous roots entire, to distribute them equally around the stem among the mould or finer soil, and to preserve the plant upright. The plant should not be planted deeper than it stood in the soil before removal, and commonly the same side should be kept towards the sun. Planting should as much as possible be accompanied by abundant watering, in order to consolidate the soil about the roots; and where the soil is dry, or not a stiff clay, it may be performed in the beginning of wet weather, in gardens; and in forest planting, on dry soils, in all open weather during autumn, winter and spring.
To water Gardens.
Watering becomes requisite in gardens for various purposes, as aliment to plants in a growing state, as support to newly-transplanted plants, for keeping under insects, and keeping clean the leaves of vegetables. One general rule must be ever kept in mind during the employment of water in a garden, that is, never to water the top or leaves of a plant when the sun shines. All watering should be carried on in the evening or early in the morning, unless it be confined to watering the roots, in which case transplanted plants, and others in a growing state, may be watered at any time; and if they are shaded from the sun, they may also be watered over their tops. Watering over the tops is performed with the rose, or dispenser attached to the spout of the watering-pot, or by the syringe or engine. Watering the roots is best done with the rose, but in the case of watering pots in haste, and where the earth is hardened, it is done with the naked spout. In now-laid turf, or lawn of a loose, porous soil, and too mossy surface, the water-barrel may be advantageously used.
Many kitchen crops are lost, or produced of very inferior quality, for want of watering. Lettuces and cabbages are often hard and stringy, turnips and radishes do not swell, onions decay cauliflowers die off; and, in general, in dry soils copious waterings in the evenings, during the dry season, would produce that fullness of succulency, which is found in the vegetables produced in the low countries, and in the Marsh Gardens at Paris and in this country at the beginning and latter end of the season.
The watering of the foliage of small trees, to prevent the increase of insects, and of strawberries and fruit shrubs, to swell the fruit, is also of importance.
To water the foliage of Wall Trees.
Water is to be supplied to a garden from a reservoir, situated on an eminence, a considerable height above the garden walls. Around the whole garden, four inches below the surface of the ground, a groove, between two and three inches deep, has been formed in the walls, to receive a threequarter inch pipe for conducting the water. About fifty feet distant from each other are apertures through the wall, two and a half feet high, and ten inches wide, in which a cock is placed, so that on turning the handle to either side of the wall, the water issues from that side. The nozzles of the cocks have screws on each side, to which is attached at pleasure a leathern pipe, with a brass cock and director; roses, pierced with holes of different sizes, being fitted to the latter. By this contrivance, all the trees, inside and outside the wall can be most effectually watered and washed, in a very short space of time, and with little trouble. One man may go over the whole in two hours. At the same time the borders, and even a considerable part of the quarters, can be watered with the greatest ease, when required.
Transplanting consists in removing propagated plants, whether from seeds, cuttings, or grafts, according to their kinds and other circumstances to a situation prepared to receive them. Transplanting, there fore, involves three things: first the propagation of the soil, to which the plant is to be removed; secondly, the removal of the plant; thirdly, the insertion in the prepared soil.
The preparation of the soil implies, in all cases stirring, loosening, mixing, and comminution and, in many cases, the addition of manure or compost, according to the nature of the soil and plant to be inserted, and according as the same may be in open grounds, or pots, or hot-houses.
The removal of the plant is generally effected by loosening the earth around it, and then drawing it out of the soil with the hand; in all cases avoiding as much as possible to break, or bruise, or otherwise injure the roots. In the ease of small seedling plants, merely inserting the spade, and raising the portion of earth in which they grow will suffice; but in removing larger plants, it is necessary to dig a trench round the plant.
In some cases, the plant may be lifted with a ball of earth, containing all its roots, by means of the trowel; and in others, as in large shrubs or trees, it may be necessary to cut the roots at a certain distance from the plant, one year before removal, in order to furnish them with young fibres, to enable them to support the change. In pots less care is necessary, as the roots and ball of earth may be preserved entire.
To accelerate Plants in Hot-Houses.
There are two leading modes of accelerating plants in these buildings; the first is by placing them there permanently, as in the case of the peach, vine, etc., planted in the ground, and the second is by having the plants in pots, and introducing or withdrawing them at pleasure. As far as respects trees, the longest crops, and with far less care, are produced by the first method; but in respect to herbaceous plants and shrubs, whether culinary, as the strawberry and kidney-bean, or ornamental, as the rose and the pink, the latter is by far the most convenient method. Where large pots are used, the peach, cherry, fig, etc., will produce tolerable crops. Vines and other fruit trees, when abundantly supplied with water and manure in a liquid state, require but a very small quantity of mould.
To Protect Vegetables from injuries by means of Straw Ropes.
This is effected by throwing the ropes in different directions over the trees, and sometimes depositing their ends in pails of water. It has been tried successfully on wall-trees, and on potatoes and other herbaceous vegetables. As soon as the buds of the trees become turgid, place poles against the wall, in front of the trees, at from four to six feet asunder, thrusting their lower ends info the earth, about a foot from the wall, and fastening them at the top with a strong nail, either to the wall or coping. Then procure a quantity of straw or hay-ropes and begin at the top of one of the outer poles, making fast the end, and pass the rope from pole to pole, taking a round turn upon each, until the end is reached, when, after securing it well, begin about eighteen inches below, and return in the same manner to the other end, and so on till within two feet of the ground. Straw-ropes have also been found very useful in protecting other early crops from the effects of frost, a. peas, potatoes, or kidney-beans, by fixing them along the rows with pins driven into the ground.
The same by Nets.
The net should be placed out at the distance of fifteen or eighteen inches from the tree, being kept off by looped sticks, with their butts placed against the wall, and at a distance of about a yard from each other. In order to make them stand firmly, the net should be first stretched tightly on, and be fastened on all sides. If the nets were doubled or trebled, and put on in this way, they would be a more effectual screen, as the meshes or openings would, in that case, be rendered very small. Woollen nets are deemed the best, and are now in general use in Scotland. In screening with nets of any kind, they are always to be left on night and day, till all danger be over.
The same by Canvas Screens.
This is effected either by placing movable canvas screens over or around detached trees, portable hand-cases over herbaceous plants, tents or open sheds over the forests' productions, or frames or sheets against trees trained on walls. In all cases they should be placed clear of the tree or plant, either by extended, forked or hooked sticks, or any other obvious resource.
To raise and manage Fruit Trees.
In the removal or transplantation of trees, gardeners and nurserymen are generally very careless and inattentive in taking them up, and care not how much the roots are broken or lessened in number, provided they have enough left to keep the tree alive; the consequence is that although the branches left on remain alive, there is so great a deficiency of sap, from the loss of roots, that the vessels cannot be filled the following spring.
The roots are broken or cut off at random, and generally diminished more than one-half, or they are doubled back and distorted, and if there be enough left to keep the plant alive, it is thought quite sufficient, and by these means the appearance of blossoms and fruit being prematurely produced, those stinted and deformed plants are sold as half or full-trained trees for four times the price of others, and when sold they are again taken up and the roots treated and diminished in the same careless manner.
When the soil of a garden wherein fruit-trees are to be planted is not naturally comfortable or congenial to the first principle, it must be made so.
The top of a wall should be so formed as to throw off water, for otherwise it will generally be damped, which renders the trees unhealthy and when the substance against which the branches are fixed is dry, the temperature on all sides will be more equal.
In preparing beds or borders, due attention must be paid both to the soil and subsoil, as each equally affects the health and fruitfulness of trees, and principally as it retains or discharges water, stagnant water being at all times particularly detrimental to the fructification of trees.
For peaches, nectarines, etc., a border of ten or twelve feet wide will generally prove sufficient. In cases where the soil has been too close and retentive, and the roots apt to grow deep on the substratum, lay a stratum of six inches of the common soil of the garden and then form a stratum of about six inches for the roots to run and repose in, composed of two-third parts of fine drift sand (the scrapings of a public road that has been made or repaired with flints), and one-third part of rich vegetable mould, well mixed together; and the better way to perform this is first to lay on about three inches of the composition and on this place the roots of the plant, and over them spread the other three inches, and cover the whole down with from nine to twelve inches of the common soil of the place.
Where it is not found necessary to form an artificial substratum, it will be sufficient to remove the soil to the depth of fifteen or eighteen inches and there form the stratum of the roots, covering it down with afoot or nine inches of the common soil.
General mode of planting Trees.
The operation of inserting plants in the soil is performed in various ways; the most general mode recommended by Marshal and Nicol is pitting, in which two persons are employed, one to operate on the soil with a spade, and the other to insert the plant and hold it till the earth is pat round it, and then press down the soil with the foot. The pit having been dug for several months, the surface will therefore be incrusted by the rains or probably covered with weeds The man first strikes the spade downwards to the bottom two or three times, in order to loosen the soil, then poaches it, as if mixing mortar for the builder; he next lifts up a spadeful of the earth, or if necessary two spadesful, so as to make room for all the fibres without their being anywise crowded together; he then chops the rotten turf remaining in the bottom and levels the whole. The boy now places the plant perfectly upright an inch deeper than when it stood in the nursery, and holds it firm in that position. The man trindles in the mould gently; the boy gently moves the plant not from side to side, but upwards and downwards until the fibres be covered. the man then fills in all the remaining mould, and immediately proceeds to chop and poach the next pit, leaving the boy to set the plant upright and to tread the mould about it. This in stiff, wet soil he does lightly, but in sandy or gravelly soil he continues to tread until the soil no longer retains the impression of his foot. The man has by this time got the pit ready for the next plant; the boy is also ready with it in his hand, and in this manner the operation goes on.
One general rule, and one of considerable importance in transplanting, is to set the plant or tree no deeper in the ground than it was originally; deep planting very often causes a delay, if not sudden destruction.
More expeditious method.
The following mode has been practised for many years on the Duke of Montrose's estate, in Scotland: The operator with his spade makes three cuts twelve or fifteen inches long, crossing each other in the centre at an angle of 60 degrees the whole having the form of a star. He inserts his spade across one of the rays, a few inches from the centre, and on the side next himself; then bending the handle towards himself, and almost to the ground the earth opening in fissures from the centre in the direction of the cuts which had been made, he at the same instant inserts his plant at the point where the spade intersected the ray pushing it forward to the centre and assisting the roots in rambling through the fissures. He then lets down the earth by removing his spade, having pressed it into a compact state with his heel; the operation is finished by adding a little earth with the grass side down, completely covering the fissures for the purpose of retaining the moisture at the root, and likewise as a top-dressing, which greatly encourages the plant to put fresh roots between the swards.
German method of forcing Trees.
With a sharp knife make a cut in the bark of the branch which is meant to be forced to bear, and not far from the place where it is connected with the stem, or if it is a small branch or shoot, near where it is joined to the large bough; the' cut is to go round the branch, or to encircle It, and penetrate to the wood. A quarter of an inch from this cut make a second like the first, round the branch, so that by both encircling the branch a ring is formed upon the branch a quarter of an inch broad between the two cuts. The bark between these two cuts is taken clean away with a knife down to the wood, removing even the fine inner bark, which lies immediately upon the wood so that no connexion whatever remains between the two parts of' the bark, but the bare and naked wood appears white and smooth; but this bark ring, to compel the tree to bear, must be made at the time when the buds are strongly swelling or breaking out into bloom.
The best soil for the apple is a dry loamy, rich soil, with a light clay subsoil that the roots can easily penetrate to a considerable depth; with an easterly or southern exposure. The best fertilizers are barnyard manure, lime and bone-dust. Care should be taken to apply the manure generally over the surface.
The best varieties for cultivation are the following, which ripen in succession: the Early Harvest; Red Astrachan; Summer Rose; American Summer Pearmain; Large Early Bough; Gravenstein; Maiden's Blush; Fall Pippin; Smokehouse; Rambo; Esopus; Spitzenberg; Boston Russet; Rhode Island Greening; Baldwin; Wine-sap.
The apple-tree is subject to several diseases. The best preventive of them is heading low, so that the trunk of the tree will be shaded from the hot sun, and washing the tree occasionally with soap-suds - a pint of soft soap to a gallon of water.
The best soil for the pear is a moderately heavy sandy, and dry soil, with a sub-soil of light clay which is easily penetrated by the roots to a great depth, a moderate portion of iron in the soil is desirable. the best situation is an undulating eastern or southern exposure. The best fertilizers, as in the case of the apple, are barn-yeard manure, lime, and bone-dust. Iron cinders are a good application when there is a deficiency of that element in the soil.
The most desirable varieties for general culture as standards to ripen in succession are as follows:
Doyenne d'Ete; Bloodgood; Dearborn's Seedling; Beurre Giffard; Bartlett; Sickel; Tyson; Howell; Belle Lucrative; Buffum; Blemish Beauty; Beurre Bose; Doyenne Boussock; Beurre d'Anjou; Sheldon; Beurre Clairgeau; Lawrence.
The best varieties for dwarf pears, on quince stocks, are Beurre d'Anjou; Duchesse d'Angouleme; Glou Morceau; Vicar of Wakefield.
The most serious disease of the pear is the blight. The remedy is, to cut the blight off well down into the second wood.
The soil most suitable for the peach-tree is a dry, light, sandy, undulating soil. with a light clay subsoil, and an eastern or southern exposure. The best fertilizer for the peach is Peruvian guano. Among the best varieties to ripen in succession are, of clearstones, The Early York, Early Tillitson; George The Fourth; Oldmixon Freestone; Columbian; Crawford's Late. Of clingstones, Large White; Oldmixon Cling; Heath.
The principal diseases of the peach are the yellows, and worms which prey upon the crown roots near the surface of the ground. The most effectual preventive for the yellows is, to be careful to act healthy trees, and to plant them well above The surface of the ground, by throwing up ridges with The plough, say fifteen or twenty feet apart, then plant the tree on the ridge, also making a slight mound to cover the roots. If the tree shows signs of weakness, dig the earth well from the crown roots, scrape the worms away if any, and then sprinkle in the hole around the roots a handful or two of guano, and fill it up with earth. Worms may be prevented, also, by coating the bark of each tree, for three or four inches next to the ground, with coal or gas tar; which will not allow The parent insect to deposit its eggs. Only a short distance must be so coated, as to cover the whole trunk would kill the tree. A kind of coat made of the gas-soaked felt used for roofs will answer the same purpose.
All orchard trees require good cultivation, but especially the peach. Ashes are said by some to be a good addition to its manure.
The plum-tree is hardy, and requires but little attention, it bears abundantly, and may be considered a sure crop when the soil suits. The best for it is a stiff clay, which is not suitable to the habits of the curculio, the great enemy of the plum.
The best varieties are, the Green Gage, Purple Gage, and Prince's Yellow Gage.
For the cultivated blackberry the soil should be rich, dry, and mellow. Barn-yard manure and bone dust are its best fertilizers; it is a good plan to mix them with half-rotten straw, or some such thing. They should be planted three feet apart in The rows; the rows being six feet asunder. The most approved variety is the Lawton or Rochelle, its fruit is very large, beautiful, and luscious, when allowed to become fully ripe on the bush. The Dr. Warder, Dorchester and Marshall Winder varieties are also very fine. Immense numbers of cultivated blackberries are now sold annually in the markets of our cities.
The best soil for the raspberry is a rich, light, deep soil. Plant them in rows six feet apart and three feet asunder in the row. It is well occasionally to throw up the earth around them so as to protect the roots which keep near the surface from The hot sun. The most desirable varieties are, the American Black; Hudson River Antwerp; Improved American Black; Brinckle's Orange.
For this fruit the most suitable soil is light and sandy. It may be enriched by ashes, bone, barnyard manure, etc. The plants should be set one foot apart, in rows two feet from each other. Put in the young plants from the middle of August to the middle of September. Keep the ground mellow and tree from weeds. In the following spring manure and hoe the ground well, to keep it moist and free from weeds. With such care a quart of fruit has sometimes been picked from one plant, the next season after planting. Some cultivators prefer to cut off all the blossoms the first spring, so as to strengthen the plants for growth. The best varieties of strawberry are, Wilson's Albany; Hovey's Seedling; Triomphe de Gand; Bartlett; McAvoy's Superior.
This is a hardy trailing shrub, growing wild in many parts of the country. It is easily cultivated and when once established in the soil requires very little attention; it produces large crops, and the fruit commands high prices. The best soil is that of swampy, saucy meadows or bogs, which are unfit for any other purpose. This fruit is well worthy of the attention of any one who has wet, swampy land. It will flourish from Maine to middle Virginia.
To plant Small Fruits.
Currants and gooseberries are often planted in lines, by the side of the walks or alleys of the garden, but it is a better method to plant them in quarters by themselves, and to make new plantations every sixth or seventh year.
Raspberries produce the finest fruit when young, that is, about the third or fourth year after planting, if properly managed.
It is proper to plant some of all the above fruits on a north border, or other shaded situation, in order to prolong the season of them, if that be an object, besides planting them out in quarters as hinted above.
From four to six feet square, according to the quality of the soil, may be deemed a proper distance at which to plant the above fruits; that is in good land six feet, in middling land five, and in poor land four feet apart. Some may also very properly be planted against vacant places on any of The walls, pales or espaliers. Antwerp raspberries, in particular, and some kinds of gooseberries, are highly improved in size and flavor if trained to a south wall.
To choose Plants.
No better mode exists at present than having recourse for trees to the most reputable nurseries; and, with McPhail and Nicol, we would recommend, "instead of maiden plants, to make choice of those not very young, but such as are healthy, and have been transplanted several times, and been in a state of training for two or three years at least." A safe mode is to plant partly maiden and partly trained plants, by which means those which come early into fruit, should they prove bad sorts, may be replaced by others.
To manage Orchards.
The whole ground of an orchard should be dug in the autumn and laid up in a rough state for the winter, giving it as much surface as possible in order that the weather may fully act upon and meliorate the soil, thus following it as far as the case will admit. Observe to dig carefully near to the trees, and so as not to hurt their roots and fibres. If the soil be shallow,, and if these lie near to the surface, it would be advisable to dig with a fork instead of the spade.
Crop to within two feet of the trees the first year, a yard the second, four feet the third, and so on until finally relinquished; which, of course would be against the eighth year, provided the trees were planted at thirty or forty feet apart, with early-bearing sorts between. By this time, if the kinds have been well chosen, the temporary trees will be in full bearing, and will forthwith defray every necessary expense.
Let a small basin or hollow be made round the stem of each tree, a foot or eighteen inches in diameter and two or three inches deep, according to the extent of its roots. Fill this basin with dung to the thickness of five or six inches. over which sprinkle a little earth, just enough to keep it from being blown about. This both nourishes the young fibres, and keeps the ground about them moist in hot weather if wetted freely once a week.
To clothe the Stems of Standard Trees.
this is done by an envelope of moss or short grass; or litter wound round with shreds of matting is of great use the first year after planting to keep the bark moist, and thereby aid the ascent and circulation of the sap in the alburnum. This operation should be performed at or soon after planting. and the clothing may be left on till by decay it drops off of itself. It is of singular service in very late planting, or when, from unforeseen circumstances, summer-planting becomes requisite.
To prune Orchard Trees.
The object in pruning young trees is to form a proper head. The shoots may be pruned in proportion to their lengths, cutting clean away such as cross one another, and fanning the tree out towards the extremities on all sides, thereby keeping it equally poised, and fit to resist the effects of high winds. When it is wished to throw a young tree into a bearing state, which should not be thought of, however, sooner than the third or fourth year after planting, the leading branches should be very little shortened and the lower or ride branches not at all, nor should the knife be used, unless to cut out such shoots as cross one another.
The season for pruning orchards is generally winter or early in spring. A weak tree ought to be pruned directly at the fall of the leaf. To prune in autumn strengthens a plant, and will bring the blossom buds more forward; to cut the wood Iate in spring tends to check a plant, and is one of the remedies for excessive luxuriance.
To recover Deformed Trees.
Where a tree is stunted or the head ill-shaped from being originally badly pruned, or barren from having overborne itself, or from constitutional weakness, the most expeditious remedy is to head down the plant within three, four or five eyes (or inches, if an old tree) of the top of the stem, in order to furnish it with a new head. the recovery of a languishing tree, if not too old, will be further promoted by taking it up at the same time and pruning the roots: for as, on the one hand the depriving of too luxuriant a tree of part even of its sound, healthy roots, will moderate its rigor, so, on the other, to relieve a stinted or sickly tree of cankered or decayed roots, to prune the extremities of sound roots, and especially to shorten the dangling tap-roots of a plant affected by a bad subsoil, is, in connection with heading down, or very short pruning, and the renovation of the soil, and draining if necessary of the subsoil, the most availing remedy that can be tried.
To cure Diseases of Orchard Trees.
A tree often becomes stinted from an accumulation of moss, which affects the functions of the bark and renders the tree unfruitful. This evil is to be removed by scraping the stem and branches of old trees with the scraper, and on young trees a hard brush will effect the purpose. Abercrombie and Nicol recommend the finishing of this operation by washing with soap-suds, or a medicated wash of some of the different sorts for destroying the eggs of insects.
Wherever the bark is decayed or cracked it ought to be removed.
The other diseases to which orchard trees are subject are chiefly the canker, gum, mildew and blight, which are rather to be prevented by such culture as will induce a healthy state than to be remedied by topical applications. Too much lime may bring on the canker, and if so, the replacing a part of such soil with alluvial or vegetable earth would be of service.
The gum may be constitutional, arising from offensive matter in the soil; or local, arising from external injury. In the former case improve the soil, in the latter employ the knife.
The mildew may be easily subdued at its first appearance, by scattering flour of sulphur upon the infected parts.
For the blight and caterpillars, Forsyth recommends burning of rotten wood, weeds, potato haulm, with straw, etc., on the windward side of the trees, when they are in blossom. He also recommends washing the stems and branches of all orchard trees with a mixture of "fresh cow dung with wine and soap-suds," as a whitewasher would wash the ceiling or walls of a room. The promised advantages are, the destruction of insects and fine bark, more especially when it is found necessary to take off all the outer bark.
To preserve Apple, Cherry, and Plum-trees from Frost, as practised in Russia.
The severity of the winters at St. Petersburg is so great that few fruit trees will survive it, even with careful matting; to prevent the loss which is thus usually sustained, the following mode of training has been attended with complete success. It consists in leading the branches of the trees on horizontal trellises only ten or twelve inches from the ground. When the winter sets in, there are heavy falls of snow, and as the frost increases, the snow generally augments, by which the trees are entirely buried, and receive no injury from the most intense frost.
Another very great advantage of training trees in the above method consists in the growth of the wood, it being of equal strength, and the fruit produced being all alike, the blooms come out much earlier, and the crop ripens sooner. The trees are always clean and free from insects.
The only cherry that does not succeed in that way is the Black-heart, this is attributed to the damps which affect the early blossoms, but in a milder climate this injury would be obviated by placing the trellis higher from the ground. When the trellis decays under the apples, it is never renewed, as the trees keep always (from the strength of their branches) their horizontal position.
There are other advantages of treating fruit trees in this manner; they come sooner into bearing, and their fruit is not affected by high winds. The apples are never gathered, but suffered to drop off, for the distance they fall is not sufficient to bruise them.
To preserve and pack Roots, etc.
Roots, cuttings, grafts, and perennial plants in general, are preserved, till wanted, in earth or moss,, moderately moist, and shaded from the sun. The same principle is followed in packing them to be sent to a distance. The roots, or root ends of the plants, or cuttings, are enveloped in balls of clay or loam, wrapped round with moist moss and air is admitted to the tops. In this way orange-trees are sent from Genoa to any part of Europe and North America in perfect preservation, and cuttings of plants sent to any distance which can be accomplished in eight months, or even longer with some kinds. Scions of the apple, pear, etc., if enveloped in clay, and wrapt up in moss or straw, and then placed in a portable icehouse, so as to prevent a greater heat than 32° from penetrating to them, would keep for a year, and might thus be sent from England to China. The buds of fruit trees may be preserved in a vegetating state, and sent to a considerable distance by reducing the half-stalks to a short length, and enclosing the shoot in a double fold of cabbage-leaf, bound close together at each end, and then enclosing the package in a letter. It is of advantage to place the under surface of the cabbage-leaf inwards, by which the enclosed branch is supplied with humidity, that being the porous surface of the leaf, the other surface being nearly or wholly impervious to moisture.
Screen for protecting Wall Trees.
It consists of two deal poles, on which is nailed thin canvas, previously dipped in a tanner's bark pit, to prevent its being mildewed when rolled up wet. At the top the ends of the poles fit into double iron loops, projecting a few inches from the well, immediately under the coping; and at the bottom they are fixed by a hole at the end of each pole, upon a forked iron coupling which projects about fourteen inches from the wall, thereby giving the screen a sufficient inclination to clear the branches. When it is wished to uncover the trees, one of the poles is disengaged, and rolled back to the side of the other where it is fastened as before. The most violent winds have no injurious effect upon shades of this kind; a wall is very expeditiously covered and uncovered, and there is not any danger of damaging the blossoms in using them, they occupy very little space when rolled up, are not liable to be out of order; and, although rather expensive at first, seem to be very durable. From the facility with which the screen is put up, it may be beneficially used in the seasons when fruit ripens to secure a succession, by retarding the crop of any particular tree.
The lower ends of the poles are advantageously retained in their place by means of a small iron spring key, attached to the coupling by a short chain.
To protect Fruits from Insects.
Some species, as wasps, flies, etc., are prevented from attacking ripe fruits by gauze or nets, or by inclosing the fruit, as grapes, in bags.
The blossoms of the hoya carnosa drives wasps from grapes in hot-houses; and the fruit of the common yew-tree the same in open air.
To manage Pineries.
The culture of Pine-apples (says Nicol), is attended with a heavier expense than that of any other fruit under glass, especially if they be grown in lofty stoves; but, independent of this, pine-apples may certainly be produced in as great perfection, if not greater, and with infinitely less trouble and risk, in fluid pits, if properly constructed than in any other way.
The pinery should, therefore, be detached from the other forcing-houses, and consists of three pits in a range; one for crowns and suckers, one for succession, and one for fruiting plants. The fruiting pit to be placed in the centre, and the other two right and left, forming a range of one hundred feet in length, which would give pine-apples enough for a large family.
The fruiting pit to be forty feet long, and ten wide, over walls; and each of the others to be thirty feet long and nine feet wide also over walls. The breast-wail of the whole to be on a line, and to be eighteen inches above ground. The back-wall of the centre one to be five feet. and of the others to be four and a half feet higher than the front. The front and end flues to be separated from the bark bed by a three inch cavity, and the back flues to be raised above its level.
The furnaces may either be placed in front or at the back, according to convenience: but the strength of the heat should be first exhausted in front, and should return in the back flues. the fruiting pit would require two small furnaces in order to diffuse the beat regularly, and keep up proper temperature in winter; one to be placed at each end, and either to play first in front and return in the back; but the flues to be above, and not alongside of one another. The under one to be considered merely as an auxiliary flue, as it would be wanted occasionally. None of these flues need be more than five or six inches wide, and nine or ten deep. Nor need the furnaces be so large, by a third or a fourth part, as those for large forcing houses; because there should be proper oil-cloth covers for the whole, as guards against severe weather, which would be a great saving of fuel. The depth of the pits should be regulated so that the average depth of the bark-beds may be a yard below the level of the front flues, as to that level the bark will generally settle, although made as high as their surfaces when new stirred up. If leaves, or a mixture of leaves with dung, are to be used instead of bark, the pits will require to be a foot or half a yard deeper.
General Mode of Cultivating the Pine.
The culture of this plant generally commences in a common hot-bed frame, heated by dung; at the end of six or nine months it is removed to a larger framed hot-bed or pit, generally called a succession-bed, and after remaining here from three to twelve months, it is removed to its final destination, the fruiting-bed. Here it shows its fruit, continues in a growing state during a period of from six to twelve months, according to the variety grown, mode of culture, etc., and finally ripens its fruit and dies, leaving the crown or terminal shoot of the fruit, and one or more suckers or side-shoots as successors. The production of a single pine-apple, therefore, requires a course of exotic culture, varying from eighteen months to three years.
The pine-apple plant will grow in any sort of rich earth taken from a quarter of the kitchen garden, or in fresh sandy loam taken from a common pastured with sheep, etc. If the earth be not of a rich, sandy quality, of darkish color, it should be mixed well with some perfectly rotten dung and sand, and if a little vegetable mould is put with it, it will do it good, and also a little soot. Though pine-plants will grow in earth of the strongest texture, yet they grow most freely in good sandy loam not of a binding quality.
Pines do not require so strong a bottom-heat as many keep them in, yet there is something in a mild tan-heat so congenial to their natures, that they thrive much better in pots plunged in a bark bed, if properly managed, than when planted out on a bed of earth that is heated, and often scorched by under-flues. The tan or bark-pile are, therefore, essential to the pinery. Bark-pits are filled with tan which has previously undergone a course of draining and sweating. The heat thus produced will last from three to six months, when it is sifted and again put in a state of fermentation, by replacing the deficiency occasioned by decay, and a separation of the dust by sifting with new tan. In this way the bark-bed is obliged to be stirred, turned, refreshed, or even renewed, several times a year, so as to produce and retain at all times a bottom-heat of from 75 to 86° in each of the three departments of pine culture.
Propagation of the Pine.
The pine is generally propagated by crowns and suckers, though, in common with every other plant, it may be propagated by seed.
To separate Crowns and Suckers.
When the fruit is served at table, the crown is to be detached by a gentle twist, and returned to the gardener, if it be wanted for a new plant. Fruit stalk suckers are taken off at the same period. Suckers at the base of the herb are commonly fit for separation when the fruit is mature; though, if the stool be vigorous, they may be left on for a month after the fruit is cut, the stool receiving plentiful waterings on their account. the fitness of a sucker to be removed is indicated, at the lower part of the leaves, by a brownish tint, on the appearance of which, if the lower leaf be broken off, the sucker is easily displanted by the thumb.
If the old fruiting-plant offers only small bottom suckers, or fails to furnish any, good suckers may be thus brought out: having waited till the fruit is cut, take the old plant in its pot out of the bark-bed; strip off the underleaves near the root, and with the knife cut away the leaves to six inches from the bottom. Take out some of the stale mould from the pot, fill up with fresh, and give a little water. Plunge the old plant info a bed with a good growing heat. Let the routine culture not be neglected, and the old plants will soon send out good suckers; allow these to grow till they are four inches long or more, and on the signs of fitness detach them.
As soon as either crowns or suckers are detached, twist off some of the leaves about the base; the vacancy thus made at the bottom of the stem is to favor the emission of roots. Pare the stump smooth; then lay the intended plants on a shelf in a shaded part of the stove or any dry apartment. Let crowns and fruit off-sets lie till the part that adhered to the fruit is perfectly healed; and root suckers in the same manner till the part which was united to the old stock is become dry and firm. they will be fit to plant in five or six days.
Treatment of the Plants.
Keep the plants growing gently, and have the pots, in general, completely filled with the roots by the time at which it is intended to excite them into blossom. From the middle of February to the 1st of March is a good time to have the main crop in flowers; as the prospective season is the finest. About a month before it is expected to see fruit dress the plants by taking away two inches in depth from the top of the mould. Twist off some of the lower leaves. Fill up with fresh compost, round the stem, to the remaining leaves The bark-bed should be revived at the same time so as to make it lively; but no new tan should be added till the time for the fullest heat arrives. If it is desired to ripen eminently large fruit, destroy the suckers as they spring, by twisting out their hearts with an iron sharp-pointed instrument formed for the purpose. Apply this to the heart of the sucker; and, turning it round, bring the heart away; on the other hand, when the multiplication of the stock is a principal object, the suckers must not be extirpated. A yet further advantage may be given to the swelling of the fruit, by having a few of the lower leaves of the plant taken off, and by putting a rim of tin, or anything else in the form of a hoop, round the top of the pot, sufficient to raise the mould three or four inches. The mould should be of the best quality, and constantly kept in a moderately moist state, this may be done by having the surface kept covered with moistened moss The roots of the pine-plant, especially those produced from the part of the stem just under the leaves, will then make a surprising progress, and the fruit will be greatly benefited by this expedient.
To cut Ripe Pines.
The indications of maturity are a diffusive fragrance, accompanied by change in the color of the fruit; most sorts becoming yellow or straw color; others dark green, or yellowish tinged with green. Cut pine-apples before they are dead ripe, or the spirit of the flavor will be dissipated. Bring away with the fruit above five inches of stalk, and leave the crown adhering to the top. If pine-apples be not cut soon after they begin to color, they fall greatly off in flavor and richness, and that sharp luscious taste, so much admired, becomes insipid.
To destroy Insects in Pines.
If the plants by proper culture be kept healthy and vigorous, insects will not annoy, but leave them. The coccus hesperides seems to delight in disease and decay, as flies do in carrion. the following recipe may safely he applied to pine-apples in any state, but certainly best to crowns and suckers, at striking them in August; to others it may, at any rate, be used in the March shifting, when they are shaken out of their pots:
Take of soft soap 1 pound, flowers of sulphur, 1 pound; tobacco, half a pound; nux vomica, 1 ounce; soft water, 4 gallons. Boil all these together till the liquor is reduced to three gallons, and set it aside to cool. In this liquor immerse the whole plant, after the roots and leaves are trimmed for potting. Plants in any other state, placed in the bark-bed, may safely be watered over head with the liquor reduced in strength by the addition of a third part of water. As the bug harbors most in the angles of the leaves, there is the better chance that the medicated water will be effectual because it will there remain the longest, and there its sediment will settle. The above is a remedy for every species of the coccus; and for most insects, on account of its strength and glutinous nature. Its application will make the plants look dirty, therefore, as soon as the intended effects may be supposed to have followed, whatever remains of the liquor on the leaves should be washed off with clean water. It would be improper to pour a decoction charged with such offensive materials, over fruiting plants.
Turn the plants out of the pots, and clean the roots, then keep them immersed for twenty four hours in water in which tobacco stalks have been infused. The bugs are then to be rubbed off with a sponge, and plants, after being washed in clean water and dipped, are to be repotted.
In the "Caledonian Horticultural Transactions," a similar mode is described, only in the place of tobacco-juice flowers of sulphur are directed to be mixed with the water. With a bit of bass-mat, fixed on a small stick and dipped in water, displace as many of the insects as can be seen. Then immerse the plants in a tub of water, containing about one pound of flowers of sulphur to each garden potful. Let them remain covered in the water twenty-four hours, then lay them with their tops downwards to dry, and re-pot them in the usual manner.
The experience of Hay, one of the best practical gardeners in Scotland, leads him to conclude that even moderate moisture is destructive to these insects. For many years he regularly watered his pine plants over head with the squirt during the summer months. This was done only in the evening. It never injured the plants, and the bug never appeared upon them.
For the grape, the best soil is a light, loamy, dry, limestone soil, with a high and warm exposure, especially to the south. the earth should be kept well cultivated and free from weeds. The most useful fertilizers for the grape are well-rotted barn-yard manure, bone, and lime. For ordinary cultivation the best varieties are, the Isabella, Catawba, Diana, Delaware, Concord, Clinton, and the Rebecca when you have a sheltered situation. Some of the finer foreign wine-grapes, of France, Italy, and the Rhine region, may be naturalized with success in some parts of the United States; but it is hardly yet determined which are best suited for the purpose.
To plant Vines.
Vines are often either trained against the back wall or on a trellis under a glass roof. In the former case the plants are always placed inside the house; but in the latter, there are two opinions among practical men, one in favor of planting them outside, and the other inside the parapet wall.
Abercrombie says: "Let them be carefully turned out of the pots, reducing the balls a little and singling out the matted roots. Then place them in the pits, just as deep in the earth as they were before, carefully spreading out the abres and filling in with fine sifted earth or with vegetable mould. Settle all with a little water, and let them have plenty of free air every day, defending them from very severe frost or much wet; which is all the care they will require tiff they begin to push young shoots.
Composts for Vines.
The following are the materials and proportions of a good compost, recommended by Abercrombie: Of top-spit sandy leam, from an upland pasture, one-third part; unexhausted brown loam from a garden one-fourth part, scrapings of roads, free from clay, and repaired with gravel or slate, onefifth part; vegetable mould, or old tan reduced to earth, or rotten stable-dung, one-eighth part; shell marl or mild lime, one-twelfth part. The borders to be from three to five feet in depth, and where practicable, not less than four feet wide in surface within the house, communicating with a border outside of the building not less than ten feet wide.
To choose the Plants.
Vines are to be had in the nurseries, propagated either from layers, cuttings, or eyes; and, provided the plants be well rooted, and the wood ripe, it is a matter of indifference from which class the choice is made.
Speedy Mode of Stocking a New Grape House.
This mode is only to be adopted where a vinery previously exists in the open air, or where there is a friend's vinery in the neighbourhood.
In the end of June or beginning of July, when the vines have made new shoots from ten to twelve feet long, and about the time of the fruit setting, select any supernumery shoots, and loosening them from the trellis, bend them down so as to make them form a double or flexure in a pot filled with earth, generally a mixture of loam and vegetable mould, taking care to make a portion of last year's wood, containing a joint, pass into the soil in the pot. The earth is kept in a wet state, and at the same time a moist warm air is maintained in the house. In about ten days roots are found to have proceeded plentifully from the joint of last year's wood, and these may be seen by merely stirring the surface of the earth, or sometimes they may be observed penetrating to its surface. The layer may now be safely detached; very frequently It contains one or two bunches of grapes, which continue to grow and come to perfection. A layer cut off in the beginning of July generally attains, by the end of October, the length of fifteen or twenty feet. A new grapehouse, therefore, might in this way be as completely furnished with plants in three months, as by the usual method, above described, in three years.
A mode of more general utility than the foregoing, is to select the plants in the nursery a year before wanted, and to order them to be potted into very large pots, baskets, or tubs, filled with the richest earth, and plunged into a tan bed. They will thus make shoots which, the first year after removal to their final destination, will, under ordinary circumstances, produce fruit.
To prune and train Vines
The methods of pruning established vines admit of much diversity, as the plants are in different situations. Without reckoning the cutting down of young or weak plants alternately to the lowermost summer shoot, which is but a temporary course, three different systems of pruning are adopted.
The first is applicable only to vines out of doors, but it may be transferred to plants in a vinery without any capital alteration. In this method one perpendicular leader is trained from the stem' at the side of which, to the right and left, the ramifications spring. Soon after the growing season has commenced, such rising shoots as are either in fruit or fit to be retained, or are eligibly placed for mother-bearers next season, are laid in either horizontally, or with a slight diagonal rise at something less than a foot distance, measuring from one bearing shoot to the next. The rising shoots, intended to form young wood should be taken as near the origin of the branch as a good one offers, to allow of cutting away, beyond the adopted lateral, a greater quantity of the branch, as it becomes old wood; the newsprung laterals, not wanted for one of these two objects, are pinched off. The treatment of those retained during the rest of the summer thus differs: As the shoots in bearing extend in growth. they are kept stopped about two eyes beyond the fruit. The coronate shoots, cultivated merely to enlarge the provision of wood, are divested of embryo bunches, if they show any, but are trained at full length as they advance during the summer, until they reach the allotted bounds. In the winter pruning there will thus be a good choice of motherbearers. That nearest the origin of the former is retained, and the others on the same branch era cut away; the rest of the branch is also taken off so that the old wood may terminate with the adopted lateral. The adopted shoot is then shortened to two, three, four, or more eyes, according to its place on the vine, its own strength, or the strength of the vine. The lower shoots are pruned in the shortest, in order to keep the means of always supplying young wood at the bottom of the tree.
The second method is to head The natural leader so as to cause it to throw out two, three, or more principal shoots; these are trained as leading branches, and in The winter-pruning are not reduced, unless to shape them to The limits of the house, or unless the plant appears too weak to sustain them at length. Laterals from these are cultivated about twelve inches apart, as mother-bearers; those in fruit are stopped in summer, and after the fall of the leaf are cut into one or two eyes. From the appearance of the motherbearer, thus shortened, this is called spur-pruning.
The third plan seems to flow from taking the second as a foundation, in having more than one aspiring leader, and from joining the superstructure of the first system immediately to this in reserving well-placed shoots to come in as bearing wood. Thus, supposing a stem which has been headed to send up four vigorous competing leaders, two are suffered to bear fruit and two are divested of such buds as break into clusters, and trained to the length of ten, twelve, fifteen feet or more, for mother-bearers, which have borne a crop, are cut down to within two eyes of the stool or legs, according to the strength of the plant, while the reserved shoots lose no more of their tops than is necessary to adjust them to the trellis.
To prune Vines to advantage.
In pruning vines leave some new branches every year, and take away (if too many) some of the old, which will be of great advantage to the tree, and much increase the quantity of fruit. When you trim your vine, leave two knots and cut them off the next time, for usually two buds yield a bunch of grapes. Vines thus pruned have been known to bear abundantly, whereas others that have been cut close to please the eye have been almost barren of fruit.
To mature Grapes by Incision of the Vine Bark.
It is not of much consequence in what part of the tree The incision is made, but in case the trunk is very large the circles ought to be made in the smaller branches. All shoots which come out from the root of The vine or from the front of the trunk, situated below the incision, must be removed as often as they appear, unless bearing wood is particularly wanted to fill up The lower part of The wall, in which case one or two shoots may be left.
Vines growing in forcing houses are equally improved in point of size and flower, as well as made to ripen earlier, by taking away circles of bark. the time for doing this is when the fruit is set and the berries are about the size of small shot. the removed circles may here be made wider than on vines growing in the open air, as the bark is sooner renewed in forcing houses, owing to the warmth and moisture in those places. Half an inch will not be too great a width to take off in a circle from a vigorous growing vine, but I do not recommend the operation to be performed at all in weak trees.
This practice may be extended to other fruits, so as to hasten their maturity, especially figs, in which there is a most abundant flow of returning sap, and it demonstrates to us why old trees are more disposed to bear fruit than young ones. Miller informs us that vineyards in Italy are thought to improve every year by age till they are fifty gears old. For as trees become old the returning vessels do not convey the sap Into the roots with the same facility they did when young. Thus by occasionally removing circles of bark we only anticipate the process of nature. In both cases stagnation of the true sap is obtained in the fruiting branches, and the redundant nutriment then passes into the fruit.
It often happens after the circle of bark has been removed, a small portion of the inner bark adheres to the alburnum. It is of The utmost importance to remove this, though ever so small, otherwise in a very short space of time the communication is again established with the roots, and little or no effect is produced. Therefore, in about ten days after the first operation has been performed, look at the part from whence The bark was removed, and separate any small portion which may have escaped the knife the first time.
To prevent the Dropping off of Grapes.
Make a circular incision in the wood, cutting away a ring of bark about the breadth of the twelth of an inch. the wood acquires greater size about the incision, and the operation accelerates the maturity of the wood, and that of The fruit likewise. The incision should not be made too deep and further than the bark, or it will spoil both in the wood and the fruit.
To retard the Sap.
At certain periods preventing or retarding the mounting of The sap tends to produce and ripen the fruit. An abundance of sap is found to increase the leaf buds and decrease the flower buds. A process to retard sap has long been employed in the gardens of Montreuil. The practice is to divaricate the sap as near The root as may be, by cutting off the main stem and training two lateral branches, from which the wall is to be filled. Another process of interrupting the rising of the sap by separating the bark has been long in practice in vine-forcing houses; this is done when the grapes are full grown, and is found to assist the bark in diminishing the aqueous and increasing the saccharine juice.
To destroy Insects in Vines.
the red spider is the grand enemy to the vine; after every winter's pruning and removal of the outward rind on the old wood anoint the branches, shoots and trellis with the following composition, the object of which is the destruction of their eggs or larvae:
Soft soap, 2 lbs.; flour of sulphur, 2 lbs.; leaf of roll tobacco, 2 lbs.; nux vomica, 4 oz.; turpentine, 1 English gill.
Boil the above in 8 English gallons of soft river water till it is reduced to six.
Lay on this composition, milk-warm, with a painter's brush, then with a sponge carefully anoint every branch, shoot and bud, being sure to rub it well into every joint, hole and angle. If the house is much infected the walls, flues, rafters, etc., are also to be painted over with the same liquor. Watering over the leaves and fruit at all times, except the ripening season, is the preventive recommended and which all gardeners approve.
To protect Grapes from Wasps.
Plant near the grapes some yew-trees, and the wasps will so far prefer The yew-tree berries as wholly to neglect the grapes.
To take off Superfluous Suckers from Shrubs.
Many flowering shrubs put out strong suckers from the root, such as lilacs, syringa, and some of the kinds of roses which take greatly from the strength of the mother plant, and which. if not wanted for the purpose of planting the following season should be twisted off or otherwise destroyed.
To renovate old Apple Trees.
Take fresh made lime from the kiln, slake it well with water and well dress the tree with a brush, and the insects and moss will be completely destroyed, the outer rind will fall off and a new smooth, clear, healthy one will be formed, and the tree will assume a most healthy appearance and produce the finest fruit.
Treatment of Apple-Trees.
The limbs of apple-trees are recommended by some to be brushed all over in the midst of summer, but it is difficult to brush the branches of trees when the fruit is upon them. Instead of brushing the trees in summer, as soon as the leaves have fallen every tree should be carefully and freely pruned; this will open a passage to the sun and air, and will contribute to health in the future season. In addition to this, says a correspondent of the Monthly Magazine, I should recommend brushing off the moss and cutting out the cankered parts at any season this is convenient, and I further recommend the tree to be anointed some feet from the ground with a composition of sulphur and goose oil, and unless the orchard is ploughed, the soil should be opened at the roots.
To render New Pippins Productive.
To render it more hardy, the farina of the pippin should be introduced to the flower of the Siberian crab, whereby a mule is produced, which ripens in cold and exposed situations, yet retains the rich flavor of the other parent. But these hybrid or mule productions in a few generations return to the character of the one or the other variety. A most excellent variety of this apple, called the Downton Pippin, has been obtained by introducing the farina of the golden to the female flower of the Orange Pippin, and the progeny is more hardened than either parent.
To obtain Early Fruit by Exhibiting the Trees.
Mr. Knight having trained the branches of an appletree against a southern wall in winter, loosened them to their utmost, and in spring, when the flower-buds began to appear, the branches were again trained to the wall. The blossoms soon expanded and produced fruit, which early attained perfect maturity, and what is more, the seeds from their fruits afforded plants which, partaking of the quality of the parent, ripened their fruit very considerably earlier than other trees raised at the same time from seeds of the same fruit, which had grown in the orchard.
To hasten the Ripening of Wall Fruit.
Painting the wall with back paint or laying a composition of the same color, produces not only more in quantity, in the proportion of five to three, but the quality is also superior in size and flavor to that which grows against the wall of the natural color. But the trees must be clear of insects, or they will thrive, from the same cause, more than the fruit.
To Preserve Plants from Frost.
Before the plant has been exposed to the sun or thawed, after a night's frost, sprinkle it well with springwater in which sal-ammoniac or common salt has been infused.
To engraft the Coffee-Tree.
Plant in small hampers during the rainy season young plants raised by seed, when they are from twelve to eighteen inches high. Place them in the shade until they are quite recovered, then remove them in the hampers, respectively, to the foot of the coffee trees chosen for the mother plants, which ought to be of the most healthy and productive kind.
These latter ought to be cut down to within three or four inches of the ground, to make them throw out new wood near their roots. It is those shoots which are grafted when they are about a foot or fifteen inches long upon the seedling plants in the hampers placed round the mother plants. the hampers should be in part buried in the ground to preserve the earth within them moist.
There are several ways of performing the operation of grafting, but we shall give only the two following, which seem most likely to answer the purpose, without calling upon the cultivator to pursue too complex a process:
1st Draw together the stem of the plant in the hamper and one of the branches of the mother plant. Then make a longitudinal incision on each of them of the same length; bring the two incisions together, so that one wound covers the other, bind them closely together and finally cover them with a mixture of clayey earth and cow dung. It would be useful to cut off the top of the plant in the hamper, in order to force the sap into the branch of the mother plant.
2d. Draw together the tree in the hamper and the branch of the mother plant as before, and take off from three to eight inches of the head of the former. Then make a triangular incision upon this cut, and a similar one on the branch of the mother plant, to unite the two wounds; take them fast together and cover them with the same composition as before; then place the branch upright by means of a prop. When the parts are firmly knit together, cut the branch away from the mother plant, and the engrafting is completed.
Young trees thus engrafted, after remaining one or two years in the nursery, should be removed to the plantation they are designed for. This method is highly useful to the fruit trees which do not propagate with all their best qualities by means of seed. In the same manner excellent varieties of spice trees may be raised from plants propagated by seed.
To preserve Fruit Trees in Blossom from Frost.
Surround the trunk of the tree in blossom with a wisp of straw or hemp. The end of this sink by means of a stone tied to it in a vessel of spring water at a little distance from the tree. One vessel will conveniently serve two Trees, or the cord may be lengthened so as to surround several before its end is plunged into the water. It is necessary that the vessel should be placed in au open situation out of the reach of any shade, so that the frost may produce all its effects on the water by means of the cord communicating with it.
Chinese Mode of Propegating Fruit Trees.
Strip a ring of bark about an inch in width from a bearing branch; surround the place with a ball of fat earth or loam, bound fast to the branch with a piece of matting, over this they suspend a pot or horn with water, having a small hole it; the bottom just sufficient to let the water drop, in order to keep the earth constantly moist. The branch throws new roots into the earth just above the place where the ring of bark was stripped off. The operation is performed in the spring, and the branch is sawn off and put into the ground at the fall of the leaf. The following year it will bear fruit.
This mode of propagating, not only fruit trees but plants of every description, received particular attention from the editor while in China, and has since been practiced by him in this country with never-failing success. The mode he has adopted is this: - A common tin cup has a round hole punched in the bottom, a little larger than will admit the stem of the branch it is intended to receive. A slit is then to be made from the edge down one side and along the bottom to the central aperture. The two sides can thus be separated so as to let in the branch without injury; it is then closed up, the cup filled with loam mixed with chopped moss, and another cup or gourd pierced with a small hole suspended from a branch above. This is to he kept filled with water. the time to do this is in the spring just before the sap rises. In the fall the limb, as before stated, is to be taken off below the cup and planted, with all the earth that adheres to the roots.
To heal Wounds in Trees.
Make a varnish of common linseed oil, rendered very drying by boiling it for the space of an hour, with an ounce of litharge to each pound of oil mixed with calcined bones, pulverized and sifted to the consistence of an almost liquid paste. With this paste the wounds are to be covered by means of a brush, after the bark and other substance have been pared, so as to render the whole as smooth and even as possible. The varnish must be applied in dry weather, in order that it may attach itself properly.
Composition for Healing Wounds in Trees.
Take of dry pounded chalk three measures, and of common vegetable tar one measure; mix them thoroughly, and boil them with a low heat till the composition becomes of the consistency of beeswax it may be preserved for use in this state for any length of time. If chalk cannot conveniently be got, dry brick-dust may be substituted. After the broken or decayed limb has been sawed off the whole of the saw-cut must be very carefully pared away, and the rough edges of the bark, in particular, must be made quite smooth: the doing of this properly is of great consequence; then lay on the above composition hot, about the thickness of half a dollar, over the wounded place, and over the edges of the surrounding bark; it should be spread with a hot trowel.
To propagate Herbs by Slips and Cuttings.
Many kinds of pot-herbs may, in July, be propagated by cuttings or slips, which may be planted out to nurse on a steady border for a few weeks or till they have struck root, and may then be planted out where they are to remain. If made about the middle or end of the month, they will be ready for transplanting before the end of August and in that case will be well established before the winter. The kinds are marjoram, mint, cage, sorrel, tansy, tarragons and thyme.
To prevent the growth of Weeds round Young Fruit Trees.
To diminish the growth of weeds round fruit trees, spread on the ground round the fresh transplanted trees, as far as the roots extend, the refuse stalks of flax after the fibrous parts have been separated. This gives them very surprising vigor as no weeds will grow under flax refuse, and the earth remains fresh and loose. Old trees treated in the same manner, when drooping in an orchard, will recover and push out vegerian shoots. In place of flax stalks the leaves which fail from trees in autumn may be substituted, but they must be covered with waste twigs or anything else that can prevent the wind from blowing them away.
To avoid the bad effects of Iron Nails, etc., on Fruit-Trees.
It often happens that some of the limbs of fruit trees, trained against a wall, are blighted and die, while others remain in a healthy and flourishing state. This has hitherto been erroneously attributed to the effects of lightning, but from closer observation, and from several experiments, it has been found to arise from the corroding effects of the nails and cramps with which trees in this situation are fastened. To avoid this inconvenience, therefore, it requires only to be careful in preventing the iron from coming in contact with the bark of the trees.
To destroy Moss on Trees.
Remove it with a hard scrubbing brush in Febuary and March, and wash the trees with cow dung, urine and soap-suds.
To protect Trees and Shrubs from the attack of Hares.
Take three pints of melted tallow to one of tar, and mix them well together over a gentle fire. In November take a small brush and go over the rind or bark of the trees with the mixture, in a milk-warm state' as thin as it can be laid on with the brush. This coating will not hinder the juices or sap expanding in the smallest degree. Its efficacy has been proved by applying the liquid to one tree and missing another, when the latter has been attacked and the former left. During five years' experience, of those besmeared the first two years not one was injured afterwards. If all the bark were properly gone over with the mixture they probably would not need any more for some years.
To prevent the Propagation of Insects on Apple Trees.
Let a hard shoe-brush be applied to every infected limb, as if it were to coach harness, to get off the dirt, after which, with the tin box and brush, give the limbs a dressing, leaving them exposed to the sun to increase the efficacy of the application. This should be repeated occasionally during the summer, choosing always a dry time, and warm, clear sunshine.
To prevent the Ravages of the Gooseberry Caterpillar.
The only remedy is placing something about the stem or among the branches of the bush, the smell of which is obnoxious to flies, and which they will not approach. The smell of coal-tar or petroleum is said to keep off the caterpillars; The fact is that it keeps off the fly. The practice is to wrap a beam or twist of seed, strongly impregnated with this strong-scented bitumen, round the stem of the bush, and no caterpillar will touch a leaf.
Other remedies are used, such as soap-suds thrown over the bushes, lime, chimney-soot, and a strong decoction of elder-leaves: but who can eat gooseberries and currants after they have been besmeared with such filthy materials ? Keeping off the fly by the smell of something which is disagreeable to it goes to the root of the evil at once, and there is nothing in the smell of coal-tar which can excite a prejudice in the most delicate stomach.
A few small pits or holes, from twelve to fifteen inches deep, being dug among the bushes, at convenient distances, all the surface mould immediately under and near to the bushes, wherein the greatest quantity of shells is likely to be deposited, is taken off with a common garden hoe and buried in these holes or pits, after which the whole surface is carefully dug over to a considerable depth. Wherever these operations are properly performed, no apprehension of loss from this kind of caterpillar need be entertained.
To cure the Disease in Apple-Trees.
Brush off the white down, clear off the red stain underneath it, and anoint the places infected with a liquid mixture of train oil and Scotch snuff.
Orchards are occasionally much injured by an insect appearing like a white efflorescence; when bruised between the fingers it emits a blood-red fluid. Mix a quantity of cowdung with human urine, to the consistence of paint, and let the infected trees be anointed with it, about the beginning of March.
To cure the Canker in Apple-Trees.
The only means of preventing the canker worm, which destroys the young fruit, and endangers the life of the tree, when discovered, and which, in many instances, has proved to be effectual, is encircling the tree, about knee-high with a streak of tar, early in the spring, and occasionally adding a fresh coat.
In other Trees.
Cut them off to the quick, and apply a piece of sound bark from any other tree, and bind it on with a flannel roller. Cut off the canker, and a new shoot will grow strong, but in a year or two you will find it cankered.
To cure Ulcers in Elm-Trees.
the remedy consists in boring every tree attacked by the disease at the ulcer itself, and in applying a tube to the hole occasioned by the borer, penetrating about nine lines in depth. The sound trees, which are also bored, afford no liquor, whereas those that are ulcerated afford it in great abundance, increasing particularly ID fine weather, and when the wound is exposed to the south. Stormy weather and great winds stop the effusion. In this manner the ulcers dry and heal in forty-eight hours.
To cleanse Orchard Trees by Lime.
The use of lime has been highly recommended in the dressing of old moss-eaten orchard trees. Some fresh made lime being slaked with water, and some old worn out appletrees well dressed with it with a Brush, the result was that the insects and moss were destroyed, the outer rind fell off, and a new, smooth, clear, healthy one formed; the trees, although twenty years old, assuming a most healthy appearance.
To cure Blight in Fruit Trees.
A smothering straw-fire should be made early in October, in calm weather, under each tree, and kept up during an hour or more. This done, scrape the moss and other impurities from the trunk, and from every obscure hole and corner set your ladders to the branches, carefully cleaning them in the same way, taking from the remaining leaves every web or nidus of insects. If need be, wash the trunk, and all the larger wood with a solution of lime and dung. Last of all, it is necessary to destroy the insects or eggs, which may have dropped upon the ground, and it may be useful to loosen the soil in the circumference. In the spring, or early blighting season, apply your ladders, make a careful survey of every branch, and act accordingly; repeat this monthly, picking off all blights by band, and using the water-engine, where ablution may be necessary. To those who have fruit, or the market profit thereof, every orchard or garden, little or great, will amply repay such trouble and expense.
Trees newly transplanted, in general, escape its attack, when other trees, of the same kind of fruit, grown in the same situation, are nearly destroyed. Peach and nectarine trees should be dug up once in every five or six years, and replanted with fresh mould. By this method, a larger quantity of fruit of a superior kind will be obtained. The covering of trees with mats, by almost totally depriving them of light, has a tendency to create blight, which often attends an excess of heat or cold.
To preserve Apple-Trees from Blight.
Washing the branches with quick-lime will preserve the trees from blight, and insure a crop those which escape washing suffer from the blight whilst the others produce a good crop.
To prevent the Blight or Mildew from injuring Orchards.
Rub tar well into the bark of the apple-trees about four or six inches wide round each tree and at about one foot from the ground. This effectually prevents blight, and abundant crops are the consequence.
To prevent Mildew on Fruit-Trees.
Take one quart of whiskey, two pounds of powdered sulphur, two ounces of copperas, and a small quantity of camphor. Dissolve first the camphor, reduced to powder, gradually in the spirit, then dissolve also the copperas in it, then rub gradually the powdered sulphur into the solution, then the whole will form a mixture of a thickish consistence. the fruit-trees, in the spring of the year immediately after being cleaned and tied up, are to have their trunks and all their branches completely covered with this mixture, by means of a large paint-brush.
To prevent Mildew on Peach-Trees.
In the months of January and February, if the trees are in a stunted or sickly state, take away all the old mould from the roots as carefully as possible, and put in its place fresh rotten turf from an old pasture, without any dung, and the trees will not only recover their health, but produce a crop of fine fruit.
To prevent Gumming in Fruit- Trees.
To prevent gumming, or the spontaneous exudation of fum from the trunks of fruit trees which injures to a considerable extent the growth and strength of the tree:-
Take of horse dung any quantify, mix it well up with a quantity of clay and a little sand, so as to make a composition; then add a quantity of pitch-tar (which is put upon cart-wbeels), and form a wettish composition of the whole. The fruit trees, in the spring of the year, after they are cleaned and tied up, are to have their trunks and stems completely bedaubed or covered with this mixture.
To cultivate the Cucumber.
To produce cucumbers at an early season, is an object of emulation with every gardener; and there is scarcely any person who has not a cucumber-bed in his garden. Cucumbers are forced in hot-beds, pits, and hot-houses, and the heat of fire, steam, and dung have been applied to their culture; but dung is the only thing yet found out, by the heat of which the cucumber may be advantageously cultivated.
Cucumbers, like every other plant, will grow in any soil, though not with the same degree of vigor, provided they be supplied with a sufficiency of heat, light, water, and air.
For Early Forcing.
Abercrombie recommends a mould or compost of the following materials. One-third of rich top spit earth, from an upland pasture, one-half of vegetable mould, and one-sixth of well decomposed horse dung, with a small quantity of sand.
McPhail used vegetable mould made from a mixture of the leaves of elm, lime, beech, sycamore, horse and sweet chestnut, spruce and Scotch fir, walnut, laurel, oak, evergreen, oat, ash, etc., and among them withered grass, and weeds of various sorts. This vegetable mould is preferable to any other.
Compost used in Kew Garden.
Of light loam, a few months from the common, one-third part, the best rotten dung, one-third part, leaf mould, and heath earth equal parts, making together one-third part: the whole well mixed for use.
To form the Seed.
If one light frame will be large enough for ordinary purposes, choose a dry sheltered part of the melon ground, and form abed. When high winds are suffered to blow against a cucumber bed, they have a very powerful effect on it; therefore, when a cucumber bed is about to be formed, the first object of consideration should be to have it sheltered from the high winds and boisterous stormy weather. Having put on the frame, and waited till the bed is fit for moulding, lay in five or six inches depth of the proper earth or compost.
Abercrombie sows some seeds in the layer of the earth, which he spreads over the bed, putting them in half an inch deep. He also sows some seeds in two, three, or more small pots of the same kind of earth, which may be plunged a little into that of the bed.
To raise Plants from Cuttings.
Instead of raising cucumber plants from seed, they may be raised from cuttings, and thus kept on from year to year, in the following manner; Take a shoot which is ready for stopping, cut it off below the joint, then cut smooth the lower end of the shoot or cutting, and stick it into fine leaf or other rich mould, about an inch deep, and give it plenty of heat, and shade it from the rays of the sun till it be fairly struck. By this method cucumber plants may readily be propagated.
Treatment till removed to the Fruiting Bed.
After sowing continue the glasses on the frame; giving occasional vent above for the steam to evaporate. the plants will be up in a few days; when it will be proper to admit air daily, but more guardedly at the upper ends of the lights. In frosty weather hang part of a mat over the aperture. When the plants are a little advanced, with the seed leaves about half au inch broad, take them up and prick some in small pots of light earth previously warmed by the heat of the bed. Put three plants in each pot, and insert them a little slopingly, quite to the seed-leaves. Plunge the pots into the earth; and prick some plants also into the earth of the bed. Give a very little water just to the roots; the water should be previously warmed to the temperature of the bed. Draw on the glasses; but admit air daily, to promote the growth of the plants, as well as to give vent to the steam rising in the bed, by tilting the lights behind from half an inch to an inch or two high, in proportion to the heat of the bed and the temperature of the weather. Cover the glasses every night with garden mats and remove them timely in the morning. Give twice a week, once in two days or daily, according to the season, a very light watering. Keep up a moderate lively heat in the bed by requisite linings of hot dung to the sides.
To guard the Seeds from Mice.
Lay a pane of glass over the pot or pan till the, have come up and afterwards at night cover with a pot of equal size till the seed-leaves have expanded and the husks have dropped; for, until then, the plants are liable to be destroyed. The cover, however, should always be removed by sunrise, and replaced in the evening. It is at night these vermin generally commit their depredations. No air need be admitted till the heat begins to rise, and steam begins to appear; but after that the light should be tilted a little every day, in whatever state the weather may be, until the plants break ground. Air must then be admitted with more care; and if frosty, or very chill, the end of a mat should be hung over the opening, that the air may sift through it, and not immediately strike the plants.
To transplant Cucumbers.
As soon as the seed-leaves of the plants are fully expanded, transplant them singly into pots of the 48th size, and give a little water and air night and day. The temperature for seedlings is from 65° to 75°. With this heat and water, as the earth in the pots becomes dry, and a little air night and day so as to keep the internal air in the frame sweet and fluctuating between the decrees of heat abovementioned, the plants will be fit for finally transplanting out in one month, that is, by the 14th of November, into the fruiting frames.
To form the Fruiting Bed.
Begin to make preparations for the fruiting bed' about three weeks before the plants are ready to be planted out for good. The dung collected, after being well worked, is made up into a bed about four or five feet high, and the frames and lights set upon it. It is afterwards suffered to stand for a few days to settle, and until its violent heat be somewhat abated, and when it is thought to be in a fit state for the plants to grow in, its surface is made level, and a hill of mould laid in just under the middle of each light, and when the mould gets warm the plants are ridged out in it. Alter this, if the bed has become perfectly sweet, and there be heat enough in it, and the weather proves fine, the plants will grow finely.
To Plant Out.
When the temperature is ascertained to be right, bring the plants in their pots, turn over the hills of mould, forming them again properly, and then proceed to planting. Turn those in pots clean out one at a time, with the ball of earth whole about the roots; and thus insert one patch of three plants which have grown together, with the ball of earth entire into the middle of each bill, earthing them neatly around the stems. Also any not in pots having been pricked into the earth of the bed, if required for planting, may be taken up with a small ball of earth and planted similarly. With water warmed to the air of the bed, give a very light watering about the roots, and shut down the glasses till next morning. Shade the plants a little from the mid-day sun a few days, till they have taken root in the hills, and cover the glasses every evening with large mats, which should be taken off in the morning.
Mr. Phail's Method of Covering the Frames.
First, lay clean single mats on the lights in length and breadth, nearly to cover the sashes, taking care not to suffer any part of the mats to hang over the sashes on or above the linings, for that would be the means of drawing the steam into the frames in the night time. On these mats spread equally a covering of soft hay, and on the hay lay another covering of single mats, upon which are laid two, and sometimes three or four, rows of boards to prevent the covering from being blown off by the winds. The mats laid on next to the glass are merely to keep the seeds and dust which may happen to be in the hay from getting into the frames among the plants. If the bed be high, in covering up, steps or short ladders must be used by those whose office it is to cover and uncover; and great care must be taken not to break or injure the glass.
Setting the Fruit.
the cucumber bears male and female blossoms distinctly on the same plant. The latter only produce the fruit, which appears first in miniature close under the case, even before the flower expands. There is never any in the males; but these are placed in the vicinity of the females, and are absolutely necessary, by the dispersion of their farina, to impregnate the female blossom; the fruit of which will not otherwise, swell to its full size and the seeds will be abortive. the early plants under the glass, not having the fall current of the natural air, nor the assistance of bees and other winged insects to convey the farina, the artificial aid of the cultivator is necessary to effect the impregnation.
At the time of fructification watch the plants daily, and, as soon as a female flower and some male blossoms are fully expanded, proceed to set the fruit the same day. Take off a male blossom, detaching it with part of the foot-stalk; hold this between the finger and thumb; pull away the flowerleaf close to the stamens and central part which apply close to the stigma of the female flowr, twirling it a little about, to discharge thereon some particles of the fertilizing powder. Proceed thus to set every fruit, as the flowers of both sorts open, while of a lively full expansion; and generally perform it in the early part of the day, using a fresh male, if' possible, for each impregnation, as the males are usually more abundant than the female blossoms. In consequence the young fruit will soon be observed to swell freely. Cucumbers attain the proper size for gathering in about fifteen or twenty days from the time of setting; and often, in succession, for two or three months or more, in the same bed, by good culture. The above artificial operation will be found both necessary and effectual in forcing the cucumber, between the decline of autumn and May, while the plants are mostly shut under glass. In plants more fully exposed to the free air the impregnation is effected mostly or wholly by nature.
To save the Seed.
Select some best summer fruit, from good productive plants, which permit to continue in full growth till they become yellow. Then cut them from the vine, and place them upright on end,, in the full sun, for two or three weeks, when they may be cut open, and the seed being washed out from the pulp, spread it to dry and harden; then put it up in papers or bags for future sowing. It will remain good many years; and seed of three or four years' keeping is preferable for early frame crops.
Insects and Diseases.
The thrips sometimes attack early cucumbers, and are to be destroyed by fumigation. The red spider rarely makes its appearance; when it does water must have been improperly withheld. Some soils produce canker in the shoots, especially where they branch from the main stem. When this is the case, the only resource is to renew the soil and the plants.
To grow Cucumbers under Hard-Glasses.
The following method is given by McPhail as that generally practiced: The seeds are sown about the middle of April in a cucumber or melon bed, and when they come up they are potted out into small pots, two or three plants in each, and kept properly watered, and stopped at the first or second joint. About the middle of May a warm situation, where the mould is very rich, is pitched on, and a trench dug out about two feet deep, three broad, and the length proportioned according to the number of lights it is intended for. This breach is filled with good warm dung and when the dung is come to its full heat it is covered over with eight, ten, or twelve inches deep of rich mould. The glasses are then set upon it about three feet distant from each other, and when the mould gets warm under them the plants are turned out of the pots, with their balls whole, and plunged in the mould under the glasses, and a little water given them to settle the mould about their roots, the glasses set over them; and after they have made roots and begin to grow, in fine days they are raised a little on one side to let the plants have free air; and, as the weather gets warmer, air is given more plentifully, to harden the plants, so that they may be able to bear the open air and run from under the glasses. When the plants begin to fill the glasses, they are trained out horizontally, and the glasses set upon bricks to bear them from the plants. After this the plants require nothing more than to be supplied with water when the summer showers are not sufficient, and to stop them when they run too thin of branches, and thin them of leaves or branches when they are likely to be overcrowded.
In warm summers and in warm situations, by this mode of management, the plants will bear plentifully for about two months, provided they be not attacked by insects or weakened by diseases.
To prevent the Irregular Growth of Melons.
Melons frequently, in certain situations, lose their circular form and grow larger on one side than the other, and these misshapen fruits are always bad. To remedy this, take a small forked stick, in proportion to the size of the melon, and thrust it into the ground as nearly as possible to the tail of the fruit, taking the precaution to lay a little moss between the two prongs, and suspend the melon to the fork. In a few days the melon will resume its form, when the fork may be removed and the operation is finished. The quality of the fruit remains undiminished.
To produce Mushrooms.
If the water wherein mushrooms have been steeped or washed be poured upon an old bed, or if the broken part of mushrooms be strewed thereon, there will speedily arise great numbers.
To produce New Potatoes throughout the Winter Months.
Prepare a proper quantity of red sand, of a rather loamy nature, and mix it up with a portion of lime in powder, viz., about one third, about fourteen days before using it. This soil is to be spread about three inches thick at the bottom of any old wooden box, or on a very dry brick cellar floor. The cellar ought not to be exposed to the frost, nor yet too much confined from the air. Produce a measure or two of large potatoes of a prior year's growth; the sorts preferred are the red-apple potatoes and the pinkeyes of purple potatoes. Set these on the soil whole, about three inches apart, with the crown or the principle eye to the soil in preference; but put no soil over them. Plant about the 20th of September, which allows from ten to twelve weeks for their growth; the old potatoes also throw out numerous sprouts or stalks, with many potatoes growing on them. The original potatoes for planting whole, for sets in September, should be such as were of perfect growth in the October of the preceding year, and well preserved during the winter. The sprouts which shoot from them should be removed by the end of April, and these sprouts, which will be from six to twenty-six inches long, may be planted with all their fibres in a garden, for a first crop; about June 16 The potato sets may be split again, and the sprouts planted for a second crop, and in September the potato sets may be split a third time, and The sprouts of The last produce thrown away as useless. At the end of September the original or seed potato is to be gently placed on the soils, as before mentioned for a Christmas crop. At The end of three months at furthest The old potatoes should be carefully twisted from the new ones, and the sprouts taken off The old potato, and The old potato is then to be placed on its bottom or side, on a fresh bed of soil prepared as before, and left to produce another crop from fresh eyes placed next The soil: as you are to observe that The old potato should not be set or placed twice on the same side, and you must take care at that time to remove the sprouts, to prevent the moisture from rotting the old potato. By the above method may be had four crops of new potatoes from one potato, exclusive of those produced from the sprouts planted in The garden in April and June, from which may be obtained two crops of well-grown potatoes in September and October, weighing from ten to twelve ounces each. The crops were very plentiful, in proportion to The quantity planted.
The potatoes are remarkably well flavored, and may be kept longer without prejudice after gathering, before dressed, than potatoes grown in the natural ground.
To raise Peas in Autumn.
The purple-flowered peas are found to answer best for a late crop in autumn as they are not so liable to be mildewed as many of the other sorts and will continue flowering till The first crop stops them. These peas may be sown in July, August, or so late as the first week in September, if sown in a warm, sheltered situation, and in a soil inclining to sand. Soak the peas in warm milk, and after you have drawn the drills water them before you sow the peas; it is best to sow them towards the evening. If the autumn should prove very dry they will require frequent watering. When peas are sown before winter or early in spring, they are very apt to be eaten by mice. To prevent this, soak the peas for a day or two in train oil before you sow them, which will encourage their vegetation and render them so obnoxious to the mice that they will not eat them.
To sow Peas in Circles instead of Straight Rows.
It is a great error in those persons who sow the rows of tall-growing peas close together. It is much better in those sorts which grow six or eight feet high to have only one row, and then to leave a bed ten or twelve feet wide for onions, carrots or any crops which do not grow tall. The advantages which will be derived are, that the peas will not be drawn up so much, be stronger, will flower much nearer the ground, and in wet weather can be more easily gathered without wetting you. But instead of sowing peas in straight rows, if you will form the ground into circles of three feet diameter, with a space of two feet between each circle, in a row thirty feet long, you will have six circles of peas, each nine feet, in all fifty-four feet of peas instead of thirty' on the same extent of ground. If you want more than one row of circles leave a bed of ten or twelve feet before you begin another. For the very tall sorts four feet circles will afford more room for the roots to grow in and care must be taken by applying some tender twigs or other support, to prevent The circles from joining each other. This method is equally applicable for scarlet beans.
To prevent Mice from Destroying early-sown Peas.
The tops of furze, or whins, chopped and thrown into the drills, and thus covered up, by goading them in their attempts to scratch, is an effectual preventive. Sea sand strewed pretty thickly upon the surface has the same effect. It gets in their ears and is troublesome.
To cultivate Common Garden Rhubarb.
It is not enough to give it depth of good soil but it must be watered in drought, and in winter must be well covered with straw or dung. If this be attended to your rhubarb will be solid when taken out of The ground, and your kitchen, if a warm one, will soon fit it for use.
To force Rhubarb.
Cover plants of the rheum hybridum with common gardenpots (number twelve), having their holes stopped. These are covered with fermenting dung and the plants come very fine and quickly, but are much broken by The sides and tops of the pots. After it is all well up the dung and pots are entirely taken off and large hand-glasses are substituted in their stead, thickly covered with mats every night and in dull weather. This process greatly improves their flavor, and gives a regular supply till that in the open air is ready for use.
Inclose and cover The bed with open framework, around and on which place The dung, and with this treatment the rhubarb will come up very regularly, be of excellent quality and want far less attention than is required by the former method, for the frame-work renders hand-glasses or any other cover unnecessary. Care should be taken to lay the dung in such a manner that the top may be partly or wholly taken off at any time for the purpose of gathering or examination without disturbing the sides.
This is a superior method of forcing the rheum hybridum, but still the forcing by pots will answer very well for any of the smaller growing species.
To those who dislike the trouble of either frames or pots, it may be useful to know that rhubarb will come in much quicker by being covered about six inches thick with light litter; care should be taken in putting it on and removing it that no injury be done to the plants.
To dry Rhubarb.
The best method of drying rhubarb is to strip it off its epidermis. This is a long operation, but both time and expense are spared in the end by the promptness and regularity of the drying.
Many cultivators of rhubarb on a large scale have repeated the experiment and have met with the most decisive results.
To cure Rhubarb.
The method of curing the true rhubarb is as follows: Take the roots up when the stalks are withering or dying away, clean them from the earth with a dry brush, cut them in small pieces of about four or five inches in breadth and about two in depth, taking away all the bark, and make a hole in the middle and string them on pack thread, keeping every piece apart, and every morning, if the weather is fine, place them in the open part of the garden on stages erected by placing small posts about six feet high in the ground and six feet asunder, into which fix horizontal pegs about a foot apart, beginning at the top, and the rhubarb being sprung crosswise on small poles, place them on these pegs, so that if it should rain you could easily remove each pole with the suspended pieces into any covered place. Never suffer them to be out at night, as the damp moulds them.
To cultivate Onions.
Never use the hoe to the plant except it be for clearing the ground from weeds. When the onions have shot out their leaves to their full size, and when they begin to get a little brown at the top, clear away all the soil from the bulb down to the ring, from whence proceed the fibres of the roots, and thus form a basin round each bulb, which catches the rain and serves as a receptacle for the water from the watering-pot. The old bulbs will then immediately begin to form new ones, and if they are kept properly moist and the soil is good the clusters will be very large and numerous. This is not the only advantage of this mode of treatment, as the bulbs thus grown above ground are much sounder than those formed beneath the surface, and will keep quite as well as any other sort, which was not the case until this plan was adopted.
By a particular mode of culture, the onion in this country may be grown nearly in form and size like those from Spain and Portugal. the seeds of the Spanish or Portugal Onion should for this purpose be sown at the usual period in the spring, very thickly, and in poor soil, under the shade of apple or pear-trees. In autumn the bulbs will not be much larger than peas, when they should be taken from the soil and preserved until the succeeding spring, and then planted at some distance from each other, in a good soil, and exposed to the sun. the bulbs will often exceed five inches in diameter, and will keep throughout the winter much better than those cultivated in the usual manner.
The Portuguese Mode of Cultivating Onions.
They must first be raised on a nursery-bed, in the warmest and most sheltered part of the garden, as early in the month of February as the season wall permit; as soon as the plants are strong enough to bear removal, that is to say, when they are about the thickness of a goose-quill, let some puddle be prepared with garden mould and water, with a small proportion of soot, the whole to be of the consistence of thick cream; as the plants are drawn from the seed-bed, let their routs be instantly immersed in the puddle, and there remain till they are transplanted, where they are permanently to continue. The plants should be set out bout six inches apart, and the ground kept perfectly clear of weeds, and regularly refreshed with waler in hot and dry weather. On this latter circumstance will very much depend their size and mildness, to this is owing the superiority of onions grown in Portugal, which are all cultivated in the way here recommended. By keeping the roots in puddle, if it were only for a few minutes, during the interval between the taking up and transplanting, they are prevented from receiving the slightest check from the access of the atmospheric air, and will require no immediate watering when first transplanted.
To obtain a good Crop of Onions.
In order to obtain a good crop of onions it is proper to sow at different seasons, viz., in light soils, in August, January, or early in February; and, in heavy wet soils, in March, or early in April. Onions, however, should not be sown in January, unless the ground be in a dry state, which is not often the case at so early a period of the season: but if so, advantage should be taken of it.
To cultivate Asparagus.
That part of the garden which is longest exposed to the sun, and least shaded by shrubs and trees, is to be chosen for the situation of the asparagus quarter. A pit is then to be dug five feet in depth, and the mould which is taken from it must be sifted, taking care to reject all stones, even as low in size as a filbert nut. The best parts of the mould must then be laid aside for making up the beds.
The materials of the beds are then to be laid in the following proportion and order:-
Six inches of common dunghill manure; eight inches of turf; six inches of dung as before; six inches of sifted earth; eight inches of turf; six inches of very rotten dung; eight inches of the best earth.
The best layer of earth must then be well mixed with the last of dung. The addition of salt to the earth of asparagus beds, especially in places far from the sea, is suggested by the natural habits of the plant.
The quarter must now be divided into beds five feet wide, by paths constructed of turf, two feet in breadth, and one in thickness. The asparagus must be planted about the end of March, eighteen inches asunder. In planting them, the bud or top of the shoot is to be placed at the depth of an inch and a half in the ground, while the roots must be spread out as widely as possible, in the form of an umbrella. A small bit of stick must be placed as a mark at each plant, as it is laid in the ground. As soon as the earth is settled and dry, a spadeful of fine sand is to he thrown on each plant, in the form of a mole-hill. If the asparagus plants should have begun to shoot before their transplantation, the young shoots should be cut off, and the planting will, with these precautions, be equally successful, though it should be performed in this country even as late as July. Should any of the plants originally inserted have died, they also may be replaced at this season. The plants ought to be two years old when they are transplanted; they will even take at three, but at four they are apt to fail.
In three years the largest plants will be fit to cut for use. If the buds be sufficiently large to furnish a supply in this manner, the asparagus shoots should be cut as fast as they appear, otherwise they must be left till the quantity required has pushed forth; in which case the variety in color and size prevents them from having so agreeable an appearance. An iron knife is used for this purpose.
The asparagus-bed now described will generally last thirty years; but if they be planted in such abundance as to require cutting only once in twenty-seven years, half the bed being always in a state of reservation, it will last a century or more. The turf used in making the beds should be very free from stones.
Make the bed quite fiat, five feet wide, of good soil, without any dung, long or short; sow it with onions. Then sow two asparagus seeds (lest one should fail) about one inch deep, near each other; twelve inches each way sow two more, and if the spring is cold and dry let the weeds grow until rain comes. In October cover the bed with manure or rotten hot-bed. The next spring remove the weakest of the two plants, and keep the bed free from weeds. To raise seed, select the thickest stems; after blossoming enough. take off the tops to make the seed strong. This is also the best way to raise double ten-weeks and Brompton stocks. Six pounds are sufficient for any strong plant; setting them to flower near double ones is of no use. The excess in petal arises from cultivation, and transplanting into rich soil; wild flowers are seldom double. Keep all small seeds in the pod until you sow them.
To force Asparagus.
The pits in which succession pines are kept in the summer have at bottom a layer of leaves about eighteen inches deep, covered with the same thickness of tan, which becomes quite cold when the pines are removed. In one of the pits should be spread over the entire surface of the old tan a quantity of asparagus roots, and cover it with six inches more of tan, and apply linings of hot dung, and successively renew it round the sides, keeping up thereby a good heat. The above mode was practised in the middle of December by Mr. William Boss, and in five weeks the crop was fit for use. As soon as the shoots made their appearance, and during the daytime be took off the lights, introducing as much air as possible, which gave them a good natural color, and the size was nearly as large as if they had been produced in the open ground at the usual season.
To insure perfect success, it is expedient to have good roots to place in the bed, the usual plan of taking them from the exhausted old beds of the garden is bad. If they are past their best and unfit to remain in the garden, they cannot be in a good state for forcing. Young roots, four years old from the seed, are much preferable: they are costly if they are to be purchased every year; but where there is sufficient space a regular sowing for this particular purpose should be made annually, and thus a succession of stock secured.
To render Asparagus more Productive.
In the formation of beds the male plants only should be selected, which may easily be done by not planting from the seed-bed until they have flowered. When the plants are one year old transplant them into the other beds, at six inches distance; let them remain there until they flower, which will be in most of them in the second year put a small stick to each male plant to mark it, and pull up the females, unless it is wished to make a small plantation with one of them to prove the truth of the experiment.
Towards the end of July, especially if it be rainy weather, cut down the stalks of the asparagus, fork up the beds, and rake them smooth. If it be dry, water them with the draining of a dunghill; but, instead of leaving them round, leave them rather flat or hollow in the middle, the better to retain the water or rain. In about twelve or fourteen days the asparagus will begin to appear, and if it be dry weather continue watering once or twice a week. By this method asparagus may be cut about the end of September; at which time the hot-beds will succeed this, so that by making five or six hot-beds during the winter, a regular succession of it may be had every month of the year.
To raise Capsicum and make Cayenne Pepper.
Capsicum pepper is produced from the capsicum, which is raised for ornament, with many other annual flowers, or for pickling the green pods, and is the seed and pod when ripe. In March or April procure some pods of any of the sorts of capsicums, as there are many varieties of them of different shapes; take out the seeds, and sow them on a bed not too thick. When they are about four inches high prick them out on the hot-bed at six inches asunder, or put each into a small pot, or three into a large one, and keep them still under the glasses. In June, when the weather is settled, plant them all in a warm situation in a rich earth, where they are to remain, some on the borders of the flower garden and some into larger pots, which you can shelter in bad weather.
To cultivate the Alpine Strawberry.
The process consists of sowing the seed on a moderate hot-bed in the beginning of April, and removing the plants, as soon as they have acquired sufficient strength, to beds in the open ground. They will begin to blossom after midsummer, and afford an abundant late autumnal crop. This strawberry ought always to be treated as our annual plants.
To cultivate Sea Kail,
The seed is to be sown-in the month of April in drills, on a good light dry soil, as the plants rise thin then and keep them clean. The first winter earth them up to protect them from the frost; the following summer thin them to about eighteen inches distance, leaving the best plants. At Christmas take away the decayed leaves and cover up each plant with a large deep pan or flowerpot, upon which lay a quantity of the leaves of trees, to keep off the frost and create beat to the plants. Stable litter is sometimes used instead of leaves, but it is apt to give the plants a rank taste. In the following month of April the pots will be quite full of fine tender blanched shoots, which may be cut over by the ground (but not too near) and the stumps covered up again for a second crop. This may be repeated with the same plants two or three times during the spring, before the plants are left for summer's growth. With this treatment the sea kail, if sufficiently boiled in two waters, will be found equal to any asparagus or brocoli, and may be eaten with butter, or butter and vinegar and pepper, as may suit the taste. The plant being a perennial one, will last for any length of time with proper culture.
To cultivate Radishes to have them at all Seasons.
Take seeds of the common radish and lay them in rain water to steep for twenty-four hours; then put them quite wet into a small linen bag, well tied at the mouth with a packthread. If you have steeped a large quantity of seeds, you may divide them into several bags. Then expose the bags in a place where they will receive the greatest heat of the sun for about twenty-four hours, at the end of which time the seed will begin to grow, and you may then sow it in the usual manner in earth well exposed to the heat of the sun. Prepare two small tubs to cover each other exactly. These may be easily provided by sawing a small cask through the middle, and they will serve in winter; in summer one will be sufficient for each kind of earth that has been sown. As soon as you have sown your seeds you must cover them with your tub, and at the end of three days you will find radishes of the size and thickness of young lettuces, having at their extremities two small round leaves, rising from the earth, of a reddish color. These radishes, cut or pulled up, will be excellent if mixed with a salad, and they have a much more delicate taste than the common radishes which are eaten with salt.
By taking the following precautions you may have them in the winter, and even during the hardest frosts. After having steeped the seeds in warm water, and exposed them to the sun as already directed, or in a place sufficiently hot to make them shoot forth, warm the two tubs; fill one of them with earth well dunged; sow your seeds, thus prepared, in one of them, and cover it with the other tub; you must then be careful to sprinkle it with warm water as often as may be necessary. Then carry the two tubs closely joined, taking care they cover each other, into a warm vault or cellar, and at the end of fifteen days you may gather a fine salad.
To increase Potage Herbs.
The manzel worzel would, if permitted to run up, grow to a great height, and afford a good plucking of potage vegetables twice a week in winter (only). It must be planted late, but may continue in the ground two or three years, when its roots will be wasted, the herbage become dwarfish, and it must be renewed by seed.
To guard Cabbages from the Depredations of Caterpillars.
Bow with hemp all the borders of the ground wherein the cabbage is planted; and, although the neighourhood be infested with caterpillars the space inclosed by the hemp will be perfectly free, and not one of these vermin will approach it
To banish the Red Spider.
Cut off the infected leaf. The leaf once attacked soon decays and falls off; but in the mean time the animals remove to another, and the leaf, from the moment of attack, seems to cease to perform its office; but persevere in the amputation, and the plants become healthy
To stop the Ravages of Caterpillars from Shrubs, Plants, and Vegetables.
Take a chafing-dish with lighted charcoal, and place it under the branches of the tree or bush whereon are the caterpillars; then throw a little brimstone on the coals. The vapor of the sulphur, which is mortal to these insects, and the suffocating fixed air arising from the charcoal, will not only destroy all that are on the tree, but will effectually prevent the shrubs from being, at that season, infested with them. A pound of sulphur will clear as many trees as grow on several acres.
Another method of driving these insects off fruit trees is to boil together a quantity of rue, wormwood, and common tobacco (of each equal parts) in common water. The liquor should be very strong. Sprinkle this on the leaves and young branches every morning and evening during the time the fruit is ripening.
To destroy Insects on Plants.
Tie up some flowers of sulphur in a piece of muslin or fine linen, and with this the leaves of young shoots of plants should be dusted, or it may be thrown on them by means of a common swans-down puff, or even by a dredging box.
Fresh assurances have repeatedly been received of the powerful influence of sulphur against the whole tribe of insects and worms which infest and prey on vegetables. Sulphur has also been found to promote the health of plants or, which it was sprinkled, and that peach-trees in particular were remarkably improved by it, and seemed to absorb it. It has been likewise observed that the verdure and other healthful appearances were perceptibly increased, for the quantity of new shoots and leaves formed subsequently to the operation and having no sulphur on their surfaces, served as a kind of comparative index, and pointed out distinctly the accumulation of health.
To cultivate the Sunflower.
The sunflower, kidney-beans, and potatoes, mixed together, agree admirably, the neighbourhood of the sunfluwer proving advantageous to the potato. It is a well-authenticated fact that, with careful attention, the sun-flower will make excellent oil.
The marc or refuse of the sunflower, after the oil is expressed, may be prepared as a light viand for hogs and goats, pigeons and poultry, which will banquet on it to satiety. Query, would it not make good oil-cakes for fattening pigs? if brought into notice it might become an object of magnitude. Forty-eight pounds of sunflower will produce twelve pounds of oil. In fine, I esteem it as worthy of consideration; for 1. In the scale of excellence, it will render the use of grain for feeding hogs, poultry, pigeons, etc. completely unnecessary. 2. As it resembles olive oil, would it not be found, on examination, competent to supply its place? Whatever may be the points of difference, it certainly may be servicable in home consumption and manufactures. 3. Its leaves are to be plucked as they become yellow, and dried. 4. It affords an agreeable and wholesome food to sheep and rabbits. To goats and rabbits the little branches are a delicious and luxurious gratification, as is also the disc of the pure flower, after the grains have been taken out. Rabbits eat the whole, except the woody part of the plant, which is well adapted for the purpose of fuel. 5. Its alkalic qualities appear to deserve notice; forty eight quintals yield eighty pounds of alkali, a produce four times superior to that of any other plant we are acquainted with, maize excepted. 6. Might it not be used as a lye? And minuter observation might convert it into soap, the basis of both being oil.
Dig and trench about it, as both that and the potato love new earths. Let the rows be twenty nine inches distant from each other and it will be advantageous as the turnsole loves room.
Three grains are to be sown distant some inches from each other, and. when their stems are from eight to twelve inches high, the finest of the three only to be left. Two tufts of French beans to be planted with potatoes. The French beans will climb up the side of the sunflower, which will act and uniformly support like sticks, and the sunflower will second this disposition, by keeping off the great heat from the potato, and produce more than if all had been planted with potatoes.
Each sunflower will produce one or two pounds, and the acre will bring in a vast amount, or contain one thousand pounds, being one-third more than grain.
To economize the Sunflower.
The cultivation of the annual sunflower is recommended to the notice of the public, possessing the advantage of furnishing abundance of agreeable fodder for cattle in theirleaves. When in flower bees flock from all quarters to gather honey. The seed is valuable in feeding sheep, pigs, and other animals; it produces a striking effect in poultry, as occasioning them to lay more eggs, and it yields a large quantity of excellent oil by pressure. The dry stalks burn well, the ashes affording a considerable quantity of alkali.
To remove Herbs and Flowers in the Summer.
If you have occasion to transplant in the summer season, let it be in the evening, after the heat is passed. Plant and water the same immediately, and there will be no danger from the heat next day; but be careful in digging up the earth you do not break any of the young shoots, as the sap will exude out of the same, to the great danger of the plants.
Method of Growing Flowers in Winter.
In order to produce this effect the trees or shrubs, being taken up in the spring, at the time when they are about to bud, with some of their own soil carefully preserved among the roots, must be placed upright in a cellar till Michealmas, when, with the addition of fresh earth, they are to be put into proper tubs or vessels, and placed in a stove or hot-house, where they must every morning be moistened or refreshed with a solution of half an ounce of sal-ammoniac in a pint of rain-water. Thus, in the month of February fruits or roses will appear; and, with respect to flowers in general, if they are sown in pots at or before Michaelmas, and watered in a similar manner, they will blow at Christmas.
To preserve Wood from Insects.
In the East Indies aloes are employed as a varnish to preserve wood from worms and other insects, and skins, and even living animals, are anointed with it for the same reason. The havoc committed by the white ants, in India, first suggested the trial of aloe juice to protect wood from them, for which purpose the juice is either used as extracted, or in solution by some solvent.
To preserve Young Shoots from Slugs and Earwigs.
Earwigs and slugs are fond of the points of the young shoots of carnations and pinks, and are very troublesome in places where they abound; to prevent them they are sometimes insulated in water, being set in cisterns or pans. If a pencil dipped in oil was drawn round the bottom of the pots once in two days, neither of these insects or ants would attempt them. Few insects can endure oil, and the smallest quantity of it stops their progress.
Vegetable Liquor to hasten the Blowing of Bulbous-Rooted Flowers.
Take nitre, 3 ounces, common salt, 1 ounce potash, 1 ounce, sugar, 1/2 ounce, rain-water 1 pound. Dissolve the salts in a gentle heat, in a glazed earthen pot, and when the solution is complete add the sugar, and filter the whole. Put about eight drops of this liquor into a glass jar, filled with rain or river-water. The jars must be kept always full, and the water removed every ten or twelve days, adding each time a like quantity of the liquor. the flowers also must be placed on the corner of a chimney-piece, where a fire is regularly kept. the same mixture may be employed for watering flowers in pots, or filling the dishes in which they are placed, in order to keep the earth, or the bulbs or plants which they contain, in a state of moisture.
To restore Flowers.
Most flowers begin to droop and fade after being kept during twenty-four hours in water; a few may be revived by substituting fresh water, but all (the most fugacious, such as poppy, and perhaps one or two others excepted) may be restored by the use of hot water. For this purpose place the flowers in scalding hot water, deep enough to cover about onethird of the length of the stem; by the time the water has become cold the flowers wall have become erect and fresh; then cut off the coddled ends of the stems and put them into cold water.
To preserve Flower Seeds.
Those who are curious about saving flower seeds must attend to them in the month of August. many kinds will begin to ripen apace, and should be carefully slicked and supported to prevent them from being shaken by high winds, and so partly lost. Others should be defended from much wet, such as asters, marygolds, and generally those of the class syngenesia, as from the construction of their flowers they are apt to rot, and the seeds to mould in bad seasons. When ever they are thought ripe, or sooner in wet weather, they should be removed to au airy shed or loft, gradually dried and rubbed or beat out at convenience. When dried wrap them up in papers or in tight boxes containing powdered charcoal.
To improve all sorts of Seeds.
Charles Miller, son of the celebrated botanist, published a recipe for fertilizing seed, and tried it on wheat, by mixing lime, nitre and pigeon's dung in water, and therein steeping the seed. the produce of some of these grains is stated at sixty, seventy and eighty stems, many of the ears five inches long, and fifty corns each, and none less than forty.
To preserve Seeds for a long time.
When seeds are to be preserved longer than the usual period, or when they are to be sent to a great distance, sugar, salt, cotton, saw-dust, sand, paper, etc., have been adopted with different degrees of success. Chinese seeds, dried by means of sulphuric acid, in Leslie's manner, may be afterwards preserved in a vegetating state for any necessary length of time by keeping them in an airy situation in any common brown paper, and occasionally exposing them to the air on a fine day, especially after damp weather. This method will succeed with all the larger mucilaginous seeds. Very small seeds, berries and oily seeds may probably require to be kept in sugar, or among currants or raisins.
To preserve Exotic Seeds.
Five years ago, says a correspondent of the Monthly Magazine, I had a collection of seeds sent me from Scrampoore, in the East Indies, which have been since that period kept in small bottles in a dry situation, without corks, last spring some of them were sown, and produced strong, healthy plants, under the following system; but if taken from the bottles and sown in the ordinary way I have found them either to fail altogether or to produce germination so weak that the greatest care can never bring them to any perfection.
I have long observed that oxygen is necessary to animal and vegetable life, and that soil which has imbibed the greatest proportion of that air or gas yields the strongest germination, and with the least care produces the best and most healthy plants; under that impression I prepare the soil by adding to it a compost made from decayed vegetables, night soil and fresh earth, well mixed together and turned several times; but should the weather be dry I have generally found the compost better by adding water to keep it moist. On the evening before I intended to sow the seeds I have immersed them in a weak solution of chlorine, and suffered them to remain until they begun to swell.
By pursuing this treatment even with our English annual seeds, I am gratified with an earlier germination and with generally stronger and more healthy plants.
To dry Flowers.
They should be dried off as speedily as possible, the calyces, claws, etc., being previously taken off; when the flowers are very small the calyx is left, or even the whole flowering spike, as in the greatest portion of the labiate flowers; compound flowers with pappous seeds, as coltsfoot, ought to be dried very high and before they are entirely opened, otherwise the slight moisture that remains would develop the pappi, and these would form a kind of cottony nap, which would be very hurtful in infusions, by leaving irritating particles in the throat. Flowers of little or no smell may be dried in a heat of 75° to 100° Fabr.; the succulent petals of the liliaceous plants, whose odor is very fugaceous, cannot well be dried; several sorts of flowering tops, as those of lesser centuary, lily of the valley, wormwood, mellilot, water germander, etc., are tied up in small parcels and hung up; or exposed to the sun, wrapped in paper cornets, that they may not be discolored. The color of the petals of red roses is preserved by their being quickly dried with heat, after which the yellow anthers are separated by sifting: the odor of roses and red pinks is considerably increased by drying.
To dry Tops, Leaves, or Whole Herbs.
They should be gathered in a dry season, cleansed from discolored and rotten leaves,, screened from earth or dust, placed on bandies covered with blotting paper and exposed to the sun or the heat of a stove, in a dry, airy place. The quicker they are dried the better, as They have less time to ferment or grow mouldy; hence they should be spread thin and frequently turned; when dried they should be shaken in a large meshed sieve to get rid of the eggs of any insects. Aromatic herbs ought to be dried quickly with a moderate heat, that their odor may not be lost. Cruciferous plants should not be dried, as in that case they lose much of their antiascorbutic qualities. Some persons have proposed to dry herbs in a water bath, but this occasions them, as it were, to be half boiled in their own water.
To dry Roots.
They should be rubbed in water to get rid of the dirt and also some of the mucous substance that would otherwise render them mouldy; the larger are then to be cut, split, or peeled, but in most aromatic roots, the odor residing in the bark, they must not be peeled, they are then to be spread on sieves or hurdles and dried in a heat of about 120° Fahr. either on the top of an oven, in a stove, or a steam closet, taking care to shake them occasionally to change the surface exposed to the air. Thick and juicy roots, as rhubarb, briony, peony, water-lily, etc., are cut in slices, strung upon a thread and hung in a heat of about 90° to 100° Fahr. Squills are scaled, threaded and dried round the tube of a German stove, or in a hot closet. Rhubarb should be washed to separate that mucous principle which would otherwise render it black and soft when powdered. Potatoes are cut in slices and dried.
To preserve Roots.
These are preserved in different ways, according to the object in view. Tuberous roots, as those of the dahlia, paeonia, tuberose, etc., intended to be planted in the succeeding spring, are preserved through the winter in dry earth, in a temperature rather under than above what is natural to them. So may the bulbous roots of commerce, as hyacinths, tulips, onions, etc., but for convenience, these are kept either loose, in cool dry shelves or lofts, or the finer sorts in papers, till the season of planting.
Roots of all kinds may be preserved in an icehouse till the return of the natural crop.
After stuffing the vacuities with straw, and covering the surface of the ice with the same material, place on it case boxes, casks, baskets, etc., and fill them with turnips, carrots, beetroots, and in particular potatoes. By the cold of the place vegetation is so much suspended that all these articles may be thus kept fresh and uninjured till they give place to another crop in its natural season.
To gather Vegetables.
This is, in part, performed with a knife, and in part by fracture or torsion with the hand. In all cases of using the knife, the general principle of cutting is to be attended to, leaving also a sound section on the living plant. Gathering with the hand ought to be done as little as possible.
To preserve Vegetables.
This is effected in cellars or sheds, of any temperature, not lower nor much above the freezing point. Thus cabbages, endive, chicory, lettuce, etc., taken out of the ground with their main roots, in perfectly dry weather, at the end of the season, and laid on, or partially immersed in sand or dry earth, in a close shed, cellar, or ice-cold room, will keep through the winter, and be fit for use till spring, and often till the return of the season of their produce in the garden.
Time for Gathering Fruits.
This should take place in the middle of a dry day. Plums readily part from the twigs when ripe, they should not be much handled, as the bloom is apt to be rubbed off. Apricots may be accounted ready when the side next the sun feels a little soft upon gentle pressure with the finger. They adhere firmly to the tree, and would overripen on it and become mealy. Peaches and nectarines, if moved upwards, and allowed to descend with a slight jerk, will separate, if ready; and they may be received into a tin funnel lined with velvet, so as to avoid touching with the fingers or bruising.
A certain rule for judging of the ripeness of figs is to notice when the small end of the fruit becomes of the same color as the large one.
The most transparent grapes are the most ripe. All the berries in a bunch never ripen equally; it is therefore proper to cut away unripe or decayed berries before presenting the bunches at table.
Autumn and winter pears are gathered, when dry, as they successively ripen.
Immature fruit never keeps so well as that which nearly approaches maturity. Winter apples should be left on the trees till there be danger of frost; they are then gathered on a dry day.
To gather Orchard Fruits.
In respect to the time of gathering, the criterion of ripeness, adopted by Forsyth, is their beginning to fall from the tree. Observe attentively when the apples and pears are ripe, and do not pick them always at the same regular time of the year, as is the practice with many. A dry season will forward the ripening of fruit, and a wet one retard it so that there will sometimes be a month's difference in the proper time for gathering. If this is attended to the fruit will keep well, and be plump, and not shriveled, as is the case with all fruit that is gathered before it is ripe.
The art of gathering is to give them a lift, so as to press away the stalk, and if ripe, they readily part from the tree. Those that will not come off easily should hang a little longer; for when they come off hard they will not be so fit to store; and the violence done at the foot-stalk may injure the bud there formed for the next year's fruit.
Let the pears be quite dry when pulled, and in handling avoid pinching the fruit, or in any way bruising it, as those which are hurt not only decay themselves, but presently spread infection to those near them; when suspected to be bruised, let them be carefully kept from others, and used first; as gathered, lay them gently in shallow baskets.
To preserve Green Fruit.
Green fruits are generally preserved by pickling or salting, and this operation is usually performed by some part of the domestic establishment.
To preserve Ripe Fruit.
Such ripe fruit as may be preserved is generally laid up in lofts and bins, or shelves, when in large quantities, and of baking qualities; but the better sorts of apples and pears are now preserved in a system of drawers, sometimes spread out in them; at other times wrapped up in papers, or placed in pots, cylindrical earthen vessels, among sand, moss, paper, chaff, hay, saw-dust, etc., or sealed up in air-tight jars or casks, and placed in the fruit-cellar.
To preserve Pears.
Having prepared a number of earthen-ware jars, and a quantity of dry moss, place a layer of moss and pears alternately till the jar is filled, then insert a plug, and seal around with melted rosin. These jars are sunk in dry sand to the depth of a foot, a deep cellar is preferable for keeping them to any fruit-room.
Choice apples and pears are preserved in glazed jars, provided with covers. In the bottom of the jars, and between each two layers of fruit, put some pure pit-sand, which has been thoroughly dried. the jars are kept in a dry, airy situation, as cool as possible, but secure from frost. A label on the jar indicates the kind of fruit, and when wanted it is taken from the jar and placed for some time on the shelves of the fruit-room.
In this way Colmarts, and other fine French pears may be preserved till April; the Terling till June; and many kinds of apples till July, the skin remaining.
To preserve Apples and Pears.
The most successful method of preserving apples and pears is by placing them in glazed earthen vessels, each containing about a gallon, and surrounding each fruit with paper. These vessels being perfect cylinders, about a foot each in height, stand very conveniently upon each other, and thus present the means of preserving a large quantity of fruit in a very small room; and if the space between the top of one vessel and the base of another be filled with a cement composed of two parts of the curd of skimmed milk, and one of lime, by which the air will be excluded, the later kinds of apples and pears will be preserved with little change in their appearance, and without any danger of decay, from October till February or March. A dry and cold situation, in which there is little change of temperature, is the best for the vessels; but the merits of the pears are greatly increased by their being taken from the vessels about ten days before they are wanted for use and kept in a warm room, for warmth at this, as at other periods, accelerates the maturity of the pear.
To preserve various sorts of Fruit.
By covering some sorts of cherry, plum, gooseberry and currant trees, either on walls or on bushes with mats, the fruit of the red and white currant, and of the thickerskinned gooseberry-trees, may be preserved till Christmas and later. Grapes, in the open air, may be preserved in the same manner; and peaches and nectarines may be kept a month hanging on the trees after they are ripe.
Arkwright, by late forcing, retains plump grapes on his vines till the beginning of May, and even later, till the maturity of his early crops. In this way grapes may be gathered every day in the year.
But the true way to preserve keeping-fruit, such as the apple and pear, is to put them in airtight vessels, and place them in the fruit cellar, in a temperature between thirty-two and forty degrees. In this way all the keeping sorts of these fruits may be preserved in perfect order for eating for one year after gathering.
To store Fruit.
Those to be used first, lay by singly on shelves or on the floor, in a dry southern room, on clean dry moss or sweet dry straw, so as not to touch one another. Some, or all the rest, having first laid a fortnight singly, and then nicely culled, are to be spread on shelves or on a dry floor. But the most superior way is to pack in large earthen China or stone jars, with very dry long moss at the bottom, sides, and also between them if possible. Press a good coat of moss on the top, and then stop the mouth close with cork or otherwise, which should be rosined round about with A twentieth part of beeswax in it. Baked saw-dust will do as well. As the object is effectually to keep out air (the cause of putrefaction), the jars, if earthern, may be set on dry sand, which put also between, round and over them, to a foot thick on the top. In all close storing, observe there should be no doubt of the soundness of the fruit. Guard in time from frost those that lie open. Jars of fruit must be soon used after unsealing.
To keep Apples and Pears for Market.
Those who keep their fruit in storehouses for the supply of the London and other markets, as well as those who have not proper fruit-rooms, may keep their apples and pears in baskets or hampers, putting some soft paper in the bottoms and round the edges of the baskets, etc., to keep the fruit from being bruised; then put in a layer of fruit and over that another layer of paper; and so on, a layer of fruit and of paper alternately, till the basket or hamper be full. Cover the top with paper three or four times thick to exclude the air and frost as much as possible. Every different sort of fruit should be placed separately; and it will be proper to fix a label to each basket or hamper, with the name of the fruit that it contains, and the time of its being fit for use.
Another way of keeping fruit is to pack it in glazed earthern jars. The pears or apples must be separately wrapped up in soft paper, then put a little well-dried bran in the bottom of the jar and over the bran a layer of fruit, then a little more bran to fill up the interstices between the fruit, and to cover it; and so on, a layer of fruit and bran alternately, till the jar be full : then shake it gently, which will make the fruit and bran sink a little; fill up the vacancy at top with a piece of bladder to exclude the air; then put on the top or cover of the jar, observing that it fit as closely as possible. These jars should be kept in a room where there can be a fire in wet or damp weather.
Nicol considers it an error to sweat apples previously to storing them. The fruit ever after retains a bad flavor. It should never be laid in heaps at all; but if quite dry when gathered should be immediately carried to the fruitroom, and be laid, if not singly, at least thin on the shelves. If the finer fruits are placed on any thing else than a clean shelf, it should be on fine paper. Brown paper gives them the flavor of pitch. The fine larger kinds of pears should not be allowed even to touch one another, but should be laid quite single and distinct. Apples, and all ordinary pears, should be laid thin, never tier above tier. Free air should be admitted to the fruitroom always in good weather, for several hours every day; and in damp weather a fire should be kept in it. Be careful at all times to exclude frost from the fruit, and occasionally to turn it when very mellow.
To preserve Fruits or Flowers.
Mix one pound of nitre with two pounds of sal ammoniac and three pounds of clean common sand. In dry weather take fruit of any sort not fully ripe, allowing the stalks to remain, and put them one by one into an open glass, till it is quite full; cover the glass with oiled cloth, closely tied down; put the glass three or four inches into the earth in a dry cellar, and surround it on all sides to the depth of three or four inches, with the above mixture. This method will preserve the fruit quite fresh all the year round.
To preserve Walnuts.
Walnuts for keeping should be suffered to drop of themselves, and afterwards laid in an open airy place till thoroughly dried; then pack them in jars, boxes or casks, with fine clean sand that has been well dried in the sun, in an oven, or before the fire, in layers of sand and walnuts alternately; set them in a dry place, but not where it is too hot. In this manner they have been kept good till the latter end of April. Before sending them to table wipe the sand clean off: and if they have become shriveled, steep them in milk and water for six or eight hours before they are used, this will make them plump and fine, and cause them to peel easily.
To preserve Chestnuts and Filberts.
The chestnut is to be treated like the walnut after the husk is removed, which in the chestnut opens of itself. Chestnuts and walnuts may be preserved during the whole winter by covering them with earth, as cottagers do potatoes.
Filberts may always be gathered by hand, and should afterwards be treated as the walnut. Nuts intended for keeping should be packed in jars or boxes of dry sand.
To preserve medlars and Quinces.
the medlar is not good till rotten ripe. It is generally gathered in the beginning of November and placed between two layers of straw to forward its maturation. Others put medlars in a box on a three-inch layer of fresh bran, moistened well with soft warm water, then strew a layer of straw between them, and cover with fruit two inches thick, which moisten also, but not so wet as before. In a week or ten days after this operation they will be fit for use.
Quinces are gathered in November, when they are generally ripe. After sweating in a heap for a few days, they are to be wiped dry and placed on the fruit-shelf, at some distance from each other.
To pack Fruit for Carriage.
If fruit is to be sent to any considerable distance, great care should be taken in packing it. It should not be done in baskets, as they are liable to be bruised among heavy luggage and the fruit of course will be impaired. Forsyth, therefore, recommends boxes made of strong deal, of different sizes, according to the quantity of fruit to be packed. The following are the dimensions of the boxes in which fruit used to be sent by the coach to Windsor and Weymouth, for the use of the royal family:
The larger box is two feet long, fourteen inches broad, and the same in depth. the smaller box is one foot, nine inches long, one foot broad, and the same in depth. These boxes are made of inch deal, and well secured with three iron clamps at each corner; they have two small iron handles, one at each end, by which they are fastened to the roof of the coach. In these boxes are sent melons, cherries, currants, pears, peaches, nectarines, plum; and grapes; they are first wrapped in pine leaves and then in paper. The cherries and currants are first packed in a flat tin box one foot four inches long, ten inches broad and four deep.
In packing, proceed thus: First put a layer of fine, long, dry moss in the bottom of the tin box, then a layer of currants or cherries, then another layer of moss, and so on alternately fruit and moss until the box is so full that when the lid is hasped down the fruit may be so finely packed as to preserve them from friction. Then make a layer of fine moss and short, soft, dry grass, well mixed, in the bottom of the deal box, pack in the melons with some of the same, tight in between all the rows, and also between the melons in the same row, till the layer is finished, choosing the fruit as nearly of a-size as possible, filling up every interstice with the moss and grass. When the melons are packed, put a thin layer of moss and grass over them, upon which place the tin box with the currants, packing it firmly all round with moss to prevent it from shaking; then put a thin layer of moss over the box and pack the pears firmly (but so as not to bruise them) on that layer in the same manner as the melons, and so on with the peaches, nectarines, plums, and lastly the grapes, filling up the box with moss, that the lid may shut down so tight as to prevent any friction among the fruit. The boxes should have locks and two keys, which may serve for them all, each of the persons who pack and unpack the fruit having a key. The moss and grass should always be returned in the boxes, which, with a little addition, will serve the whole season, being shaken up and well aired after each journey, and keeping it sweet and clean. After the wooden box is locked cord it firmly.
If fruit be packed according to the above directions, it may be sent to great distances by coaches or wagons with perfect safety.
Other Methods of Packing Fruit.
Fruits of the most delicate sorts are sent from Spain and Italy to England, packed in jars with saw-dust from woods not resinous or otherwise ill tasted. One large branch of grapes is suspended from a twig or pin laid across the mouth of the jar, so that it may not touch either the bottom or sides; saw-dust or bran is then strewed in, and when full the jar is well shaken to cause it to settle; more is then added till it is quite full, when the supporting twig is taken away, and the earthen cover of the jar closely fitted and sealed, generally with fine stucco.
In the same way grapes may be sent from the remotest part of Scotland or Ireland to the metropolis. When the distance is less they may be sent enveloped in fine paper and packed in moss. The simplest mode for short distances is to wrap each bunch in fine, soft paper, and lay them on a bed of moss in a broad flat basket with a proper cover.
Cherries and plums may be packed in thin layers, with paper and moss between each.
Peaches, apricots, and the finer plums may each be wrapped separately in vine or other leaves, or fine paper, and packed in abundance of cotton, flax, fine moss, or dried short grass. Moss is known to communicate its flavor to fine fruits, and so is short grass, if not thoroughly dried and sweetened. Cotton best preserves the bloom on peaches and plums.
To preserve Grapes.
When there are several bunches in one branch, it may be cut off, leaving about six inches in length or more of the wood, according to the distance between the bunches, and a little on the outside of the fruit at each end; seal both ends with common bottle wax, then hang them across a line in a dry room, taking care to clip out with a pair of scissors any of the berries that begin to decay or become mouldy, which, if left, would taint the others. In this way grapes may be kept till February, but if cut before the bunches are too ripe, they may be kept much longer.
Grapes may be kept by packing them in jars (every bunch being first wrapped up in soft paper), and covering every layer with bran well dried, laying a little of it in the bottom of the jar, then a layer of grapes, and so on, a layer of bran and of grapes alternately till the jar is filled, then shake it gently and fill it to the top with bran, laying some paper over it and covering the top with a bladder tied firmly on to exclude the air; then put on the top or cover of the jar, observing that it fits close. These jars should be placed in a room where a fire can be kept in wet, damp weather.
French Method of Preserving Grapes.
Take a cask or barrel inaccessible to the external air, and put into it a layer of bran dried in an oven, or of ashes well dried and sifted. Upon this place a layer of bunches of grapes, well cleaned, and gathered in the afternoon of a dry day, before they are perfectly ripe. Proceed thus with alternate layers of bran and grapes till the barrel is full, taking care that the grapes do not touch each other, and to let the last layer be of bran; then close the barrel, so that the air may not be able to penetrate, which is an essential point. Grapes thus packed will keep nine or even twelve months. To restore them to their freshness, cut the end of the stalk of each bunch of grapes and put that of white grapes into white wine and that of black grapes into red wine, as flowers are put into water to revive or to keep them fresh.
To pack Young Trees for Exportation.
The long, white moss of the marshes, sphagnum palustre, may be applied for this purpose. Squeeze one part of the moisture from the moss, and lay courses of it about three inches thick, interspersed with other courses of the trees, shortened in their branches and roots, stretum above stratum, till the box is filled; then let the whole be trodden down and the lid properly secured. The trees will want no care even during a voyage of ten or twelve months, the moss being retentive of moisture, and appearing to possess an antiseptic property which prevents fermentation or putrefaction. Vegetation will proceed during the time the trees remain inclosed, shoots arising both from the branches and roots, which, however, are blanched and tender, for want of light and air, to which the trees require to be gradually inured. This moss is very common in most parts of Europe and America.
How to dry Sweet Corn.
When the corn is in good condition for eating, the grains being fully grown, boil a quantity of ears just enough to cook the starch, and then let them dry a few hours, and then shell or cut off the grains and spread them in the sun till dried. The best way to dry the corn is to nail a piece of cloth of very open texture en a frame, which, if two feet wide and five long, will be of a convenient size to handle. If the corn is spread thinly upon this cloth it will dry quickly without souring. It should be covered with a mosquito netting to keep off the flies. Another person gives the following directions for drying sweet corn: As soon as the corn is fit for the table, husk and spread the ears in an open oven or some quickly drying place. When the grains loosen shell the corn, or shell as soon as you can, then spread upon a cloth to dry in the sun, or on paper in a warm oven; stir often, that it may dry quickly, and not overheat. It more resembles the undried by its being whole, is sweeter and retains more of its natural flavor by drying faster. When wholly dried expose it to the wind by turning it slowly from dish to dish; the wind blows off all the troublesome white chaff.
Autumn is the best time to manure a flower garden. It should be done once a year, and better in spring (April) than not at all. Lay on four inches deep of well-rotted manure, and dig it in at once. During the summer the earth will need now and then to be stirred with a hoe or rake; but in May it should always be thoroughly dug over with a spade, avoiding of course the plants in the bed. In May transplanting, setting of bulbs, or bedding plants and sowing seeds may be done.
Weeding can be best done by hand, early in the morning; letting the sun kill the weeds that are pulled up.
Never water unless the soil evidently requires it. Clayey soils seldom need it, loose and sandy more often. Use always a watering-pot, with a rose, to sprinkle gently, without pouring or dashing. Rain-water is the best; it may be collected in a hogshead from a roof-spout. Very cold water should never be used for flowers, better too warm than too cold.
Shade-trees spoil a garden, but it should be protected from a strong wind.
To plant shrubs, dig for each a hole two or three feet in diameter; fill with rich loam; set the shrub or small tree in the middle, and tread it firm. If it droop, syringe or sprinkle it at night, or set a flower-pot near the root and fill it with water to soak down.
Prune shrubs only to avoid too great irregularity of shape or to remove dead parts.
For the winter, tender plants require to be tied up in cedar boughs or straw, in November. The covering should be taken off in April.
Favorite shrubs are the following: the June Berry, Flowering Acacia, Flowering Almond, Lilacs, Laburnum, Siberia Tree-pea, Tree Paeonies, Magnolias, Azeleas, Fringe Tree, Althaea, Tartarean Honeysuckle, Spiraeas, Syringa, Pyrus Japoniea, Cranberry Tree.
Climbers, which are both hardy and ornamental, are the Trumpet-flower (Bignonia radicans) Virginia Creeper, Clematis, Glycene, and the Honeysuckles, Coral, Evergreen, etc.; and the climbing roses, as the Baltimore Belle, Queen of the Prairie, Superba, and Greville Rose.
Rhododendrons are highly ornamental when they thrive. So is the Kalmia, or common laurel; and the evergreen Ledum.
These require a rich, well-mixed soil, in pots or in the garden. Loam, or leaf mould, with half as much manure, and a little fine sand, will do the best. Roses which require to be taken up and kept in house for the winter should be well pruned at that time. Do not water roses so as to make the soil sodden around the roots. A little broken charcoal about them will aid the brilliancy of their blooming.
Roses are chiefly of the China, Tea, and Bourbon varieties. Of the first these are much admired: Agrippina (crimson), Eel's Blush (a great bloomer), Common Daily, White Daily, Madame Bosanquet, Sanguinea (crimson), Louis Philippe (dark crimson), Eugene Hardy (nearly white), and Eugene Beauharnois (fragrant).
Tea Roses are more delicate. The following are preferred: Odorata, Devoniensis, Caroline, Triomphe de Luxembourg, Safrano (beautiful buds), Clara Sylvain (pure white), Bougere, Madame Desprez (white), and Pactole (lemon yellow).
Bourbon Roses are hardy in our Middle and Southern States. Of them we would choose Gloire de Dijon, Souvenir de la Malmaison, Hermosa, and Paul Joseph; though there are many other fine kinds.
Carnations and picotees are most admired, but the double crimson Indian pink is very pretty and easily raised. The pinks do best in a soil of three parts loam, one part cow manure, and sandy peat one part, with a little old plaster, sifted. Pinks do not bear a great deal of moisture. They are raised either from layers or pipings, or from seed. Pipings are superfluous shoots cut off and potted in compost surrounded by moist sand. The seeds may be sown in spring, in similar pots or pans, or in open beds. In the Northern States they need potting for the winter as early as 0ctober.
These require a strong loam for soil, the top of a pasture will do, with a little sand and charcoal. Geraniums require a good deal of light and air, and should not be crowded. They bloom in spring and summer, not often flowering in winter even in pots. Horseshoe or scarlet geranium is very popular, so are the rose, oak, and nutmeg geraniums. They all bear pruning very well. Large-flowered geraniums (pelargoniums) are beset by the green fly. Once in a week or two in warm weather they should be smoked, to get rid of the flies, and syringed every day or two.
These repay care well: having variety of color, blooming freely, and being easily cultivated. It is easy to raise new varieties from seed. All colors but blue and a handsome yellow have been produced. They are often raised from cuttings.
The soil for verbenas should be about two parts loam, two leaf mould, and a little sand. Cuttings of young shoots may be taken from old plants early in February. After rooting for a few weeks in sandy loam, they may be potted: bedded out when warm weather comes, and repotted in September. You may take cuttings from choice plants in August, root them for two weeks, then pot, and repot them when the roots touch the sides of the pot. This is, by the way, proper as a rule with any plants.
Verbenas are native to dry, hilly ground, and need but moderate watering. Favorites are, Giant of Battles, Admiral Dundas, General Simpson, Celestial, Defiance, Lord Raglan, Glory of America.
This gives a delightful fragrance, and is not hard to cultivate. It may be managed just as the verbena, but should be repotted often, and allowed to grow large, being trimmed for shape only.
What is called the lemon verbena is another plant, a half-hardy shrub, grown for the sweet scent of its leaves. It should be kept in a cellar all winter and planted out in the spring.
Of biennial and perennial flowering plants there are many of great beauty for the garden, of which we have no room to give more than the names. They require little care beyond loosening the earth round them in the spring. The spring is the time for transplanting them. In the summer prune away weak stems; in the fall cover them with coarse manure; if evergreen, shelter with cedar or pine boughs. They may be propagated by division of the root early in the spring or after the summer bloom is over. the following are choice kinds: Lily of the Valley, Larkspur (Delphinium Formosum), Phlox (Phlox Drummondii is a beautiful annual), Canterbury Bell, Foxglove, Hemerocallis, Iris or Flag, Everlasting Pea, Spiraea (several varieties are very beautiful), Sweet William, Alyssum.
If one has a greenhouse, large or small, he may enjoy also, with good management, in winter as well as summer, the following: Camellias, Orange and Lemon trees, Daphne, Azalea, Oleander, Erica, Fuchsia, Salvia, Tropaeolum (common nasturtium is Tropaeolum majus), Abutilon, Cactus, Calla, Cuphaea, Achaenia, Maranta, Pittosporum, Jasmines (white and yellow, very sweet), Calceolaria, Chinese Primrose, Laurestinus, Wax-plant, Begonia, Chrysanthemums (good garden bloomers in autumn), and the various bulbous plants, namely, Oxalis, Hyacinths, Tulips (grown beautifully in beds), Crocuses, Snowdrops, Jonquils, Narcissus. The Tuberose, and the Gladiolus are universally admired. The latter is gaining recently especially in favor. There are twenty or thirty varieties, which may be bought for three or four dollars a dozen. When grown from seed they bloom the third year. Finest varieties of Gladiolus are, Penelope, Brenchleyensis, Count de Morny, Vesta, Calypso.
Though not here exactly in place, we may name the periwinkles, larger and smaller, as beautiful in leaf and flower, for the border of a bed or about the fence of a garden; and Ivy as the most permanently beautiful of vines for a wall. The Parlor Ivy is a great grower, in baskets or elsewhere, and a pretty plant; not a true ivy, however, neither is the Kenilworth Ivy.
There are either hardy or half-hardy. The former may be sown in the fall to bloom the next summer, or early in spring. The latter are sown, early in spring to bloom in the summer. These are also either for the hot-bed only, or for the garden. Many plants which are annual in the open air, in a temperate climate, may become perennial in a conservatory.
Tuberous annuals, kept through the winter to plant out again, are the Four-o-clock, Scarlet Bean, etc.
The following must be sown where they are to remain: Annual Larkspurs, Poppy, Mignonette, Lupin, Sweet Pea. They may be started in pots, however.
In sowing annuals, let the depth be according to the size of the seed; very shallow for the small kinds. Thin out the weakest as they come up. August or April will do to sow the hardy kinds; the beginning of May for the other sorts. In the fall pull up the old stalks.
Besides those named above, desirable annuals are, Asters, Coreopsis, Sweet Alyssum, Escholtzia, Portulacca (a fine bloomer in a good place), Canna Indica, Zinnia, and Cypress Vine. The last should have a light frame for it to climb on.
Lilies and tiger-lilies have, in the above outline of garden-culture, been overlooked. They can only be named as having great beauty and variety. Dahlias are going out of fashion; they are not fragrant, and not superior in beauty in proportion to the pains formerly taken with them.
For artificial heating, the structures in use are: the Stove, where the temperature is from 70° to 120° Fahr., with copious moisture; the Hot house being a more common name for the same, the Green-house, of glass, kept at from 40° to 70°, for care and rearing of plants, and the Conservatory, used more for their display when in perfection. A Pit is an excavation of six or eight feet in depth, covered with a glass roof. This is very useful, and not costly.
On a small scale, all that can be done in a greenhouse may be accomplished in a parlor or chamber, with a Ward Case or a Walton Case. The Hanging Basket and the Aquarium are also delightful sources of enjoyment to those who acquire skill in their management.
Red spider is killed by water; syringing will dispose of it. Mealy bug and scale are to be searched for and destroyed by band, but sponging, especially with soap-suds, may suffice. the green fly is best gotten rid of by smoking. Put the plant under a barrel in which tobacco is burning; or burn tobacco-leaves or smoking tobacco under the plant in its place.
Soil for Window Gardening
Loam, or common garden earth, brown or black, got from old pastures, left to crumble; peat, or black earth from damp woods or meadows; leafmould, the top soil of old woods; manure, well rotted by time, as in an old hot-bed; and common or silver sand free from salt; these, in different proportions will do for all plants. For potting, good authority (C. S. Rand, Parlor and Garden) recommends two parts leaf-mould, one part manure, one-half part loam, onehalf part peat, and one part sand.
Potted plants seldom need manure. Liquid manure or guano should, if used for them, be diluted and not often applied.
PRACTICAL DIRECTIONS FOR GARDENERS.
1. Perform every operation in the proper season.
2. Perform every operation in the proper manner.
This is to be acquired in part by practice, and partly also by reflection. For example, in digging over a piece of ground, it is a common practice with slovens to throw the weeds and stones on the dug ground, or on the adjoining alley or walk, with the intention of gathering them off afterwards. A better way is to have a wheel-barrow or a large basket, in which to put the weeds and extraneous matters, as they are picked out of the ground. Some persons, in planting or weeding, whether in the open air, or in hot-houses, throw down all seeds, stones, and extraneous matters on the paths or alleys, with a view to pick them up, or sweep or rake them together afterwards, it is better to carry a basket or other utensil, either common or subdivided, in which to hold in one part the plants to be planted, in another the extraneous matters, etc.
3. Complete every part of an operation as you proceed.
4. Finish one job before beginning another.
5. In leaving off working at any job, leave the work and tools in an orderly manner.
6. In leaving off work for the day, make a temporary finish, and carry the tools to the tool house.
7. In passing to and from the work, or on any occasion, through any part of what is considered under the charge of the gardener, keep a vigilant look out for weeds, decayed leaves, or any other deformity, and remove them.
8. In gathering a crop, remove at the same time the roots, leaves, stems, or whatever else is of no farther use, or may appear slovenly, decaying, or offensive.
9. Let no crop of fruit or herbaceous vegetables go to waste on the spot.
10. Cut down the flower-stalks on all plants.
11. Keep every part of what is under your care perfect in its kind.
Attend in spring and autumn to walls and buildings, and get them repaired, jointed, glazed, and painted where wanted. Attend at all times to machines, implements, and tools, keeping them clean, sharp, and in perfect repair. See particularly that they are placed in their proper situations in the tool-house. House every implement, utensil, or machine not in use, both in winter and summer. Allow no blanks in edgings, rows, single specimens, drills, beds, and even, where practicable, in broadcast sown pieces. Keep edgings and edges cut to the utmost nicety. Keep the shapes of the wall trees filled with wood according to their kind, and let their training be in the first style of perfection. Keep all walks in perfect form, whether raised or flat, free from weeds, dry, and well rolled. Keep all the lawns, by every means in your power, of a close texture, and dark green velvet appearance. Keep water clear and free from weeds, and let not ponds, lakes, or artificial rivers, rise to the brim in winter, nor sink very far under it in summer.
Q W E R T Y U I O P
A S D F G H J K L
Z X C V B N M