Archive | C RSS feed for this section

CABBAGE

(Brassica oleracea capitata. Nat.Ord.Cruciferae).By making sowings at different periods, fully developed heads of cabbage of good quality may be had throughout our twelve calendar months. Fortunately, these useful plants thrive in almost any locality, and only in the event of a very prolonged and severe winter following a mild autumn, need much damage be expected from frost. A greater diversity of size is found in these than in any other easily grown vegetable, fully grown hearts varying from an ordinary cocoa-nut to specimens over a yard across. The smallest varieties, in addition to being of much more rapid growth, are undoubtedly of superior table quality, and for this reason are recommended to those only having a small family to provide for. They will equally commend themselves to others who grow cabbage more particularly always to have a reserve to draw upon should a more important crop failan event quite likely to occur even in the best regulated gardens. Culture.Make the first outdoor sowing as early in March as the state of the ground allows, and, provided the variety sown is a suitable one, plants from this sowing will give firm hearts very early in July. An April sowing of a larger variety should be at their best during the second week in August, while if plants from a sowing made about the 138 middle of May are given good land and an open situation, excellent heads should be available throughout late autumn and the winter. Undoubtedly the heads produced in early spring are the most popular. These are obtained by sowing the seed of well-tried varieties in late July or early August of the previous year. If seed is sown thinly, no pricking out or twice transplanting will be needed ; but overcrowding in the seed-bed must be avoided, such having a very weakening effect upon the plants, and, of course, delaying the date of maturity of the hearts. The best results are obtained by planting in heavily manured land, but quite good cabbage may be cut from plants put out after an earlier crop of something else has been taken without further manuring. In addition to being rich, the soil should also be made moderately firm, a loose, porous root-run favouring the production of extra large leaves and loose heads, which find but little favour with many cooks and growers. When cutting the heads of these from plants of either sowing mentioned above, a little extra care should be taken always to leave a few large leaves on each stem. Then a good and continuous crop of sideshoots will push out and provide a most useful vegetable for many months afterwards. The distance usually allowed between what axe termed Spring Cabbage is 1 8 ins. from row to row- and 15 ins. between the plants. The smaller growing varieties of these will, however, give good results if planted much more closely. Where the extra large varieties are grown for autumn use, 2 ft. each way will be quite little enough. Varieties:ior EarlySowing.All Heart, Beefheart, Defiance, EarUest of All, Harbinger, Imperial, Knights Pointed Head, Meins No. i, Winningstadt. For Spring Use. April, April Queen, Early Offenham, Early York, Ellams Early, Favourite, Flower of Spring, Harbinger, Manchester Market, Nonpareil.F. R. C.

Comments are closed

CAMELLIA

(Nat. Ord. Ternstroemiacese). This is an evergreen flowering shrub, hardy in the milder parts of Britain, averaging 3-20 ft. or more in height. For growing in pots or tubs, a good compost is medium turfy loam and peat in equal proportions, kept porous with plenty of sharp silver sand. A peaty loam is most suitable for outdoor culture. Propagation may be effected by seed, grafting, or layering, the two latter methods being most suitable for amateurs. CuIture.Grafting is best done in the early spring, the stock usually employed being C. japonica, this being the hardiest species. Maiden plants of this stock should be cut down to within 2 or 3 ins. of the base, and the selected variety grafted thereon. Uses.As the Camellia blooms early (February to May), the flowers are frequently ruined by frost in the open. The plants are, therefore, more suited for conservatory decoration, either set out in beds or placed in large pots and tubs. Varieties.The best of the species are probably C. japonica magnoliaeflora and C. reticulata. Of garden hybrids the following are excellent, prominence being given to the now fashionable single-flowered sorts : Alba plena, Alba simplex, Apollo, Donckelaarii, Jupiter, Snowflake, and Waltham Glory.J. L. G. See also Climbing and Trailing Plants and Shrubs.

Comments are closed

CARNATIONS

(Dianthus Caryophyllus. Nat. Ord. Caryophyllacese). Cultivation in the Border.Damp is the greatest enemy of the Carnation ; to avoid it great care must be taken in preparing the soil. The ground should be trenched, or bastard trenched, at least a fortnight before planting is to take place, and then arched up and trodden very firm. To light soil add well-rotted cow manure or farmyard manure. Stable manure is best for clay soils, to which sand or mortar rubble should also be added. The roots of the plants should on no account be allowed to come in contact with fresh manure. The late Mr James Douglas was a most strenuous opponent of over-manuring ; he attributed weakness of constitution and liability to disease mainly to the unwholesomely rich soil used by most of the carnation growers of the nineteenth century. Carnation layers should be planted out in autumn. They may also be potted up then, kept in a frame during the winter, and planted out in March. Autumn planting produces finer stock, as well as a larger number of blossoms, and is to berecommended except when soil is apt to become water-logged. Plant at least 15 ins. apart, and make the soil very firm round the roots and stem, avoiding any depression which would hold water at the collar. All dead and diseased leaves should be removed and burnt ; otherwise there is little to be done during winter for plants in the border. In April and May, when the plants begin to send up flower-stems, these must be tied to stakes (thin bamboos about 4 ft. long are the best) with pHable raffia or bast. Cross the tie between the stake and stem so as to form the figure 8. If the ground be very dry, watering may be necessary in May, but it should be postponed as long as possible. Mulching or hoeing conserve the moisture deep in the soil ; but when the time comes that watering can no longer be postponed, then give a thorough soaking one day, or perhaps two days running, hoe the next day, but do not water again for three or four days at least. Flower-stems must be disbudded rigorously if it is intended to exhibit. Even for ordinary purposes varieties which produce half a dozen buds close together at the top of the stem require to be disbudded. But an increasing number of modern varieties produce blooms at even distances down the stem, and these require little or no disbudding except for exhibition. Pot Culture.Carnations for exhibition should if possible be flowered in pots in an unheated greenhouse. This procedure renders it easier to protect them from insect pests, and makes it possible to retard or accelerate the time of flowering, as may be required by the date of the show. Also plants grown in pots tend to produce weaker foliage and finer blossoms than those growing in the border. Layers should be potted up in autumn, one plant being placed in a 3-inch pot, two plants in a 3-inch pot. Ordinary potting soil suffices, provided it is porous ; an ideal mixture may be composed of 4 parts loam, I part leaf-mould, i part manure, J part ground oyster shells or coarse sand. Both leaf-mould and manure must be thoroughly decayed. The pots should then be placed in a cold greenhouse, or 164 frame, to which, after the first week, as much air as possible should be admitted ; whilst watering should be most sparing, and care taken not to wet the leaves. In March the plants should be transferred to the flowering-pots; two plants in an 8-inch pot is best. They should then be stood out of doors on dry ashes. As the plants make larger roots more and more water must be given. In hot weather much care must be exercised to prevent the roots becoming dry ; on the other hand, in cool weather the soil should not be too wet. Very firm potting is absolutely necessary. Care must be taken to prevent ants or other insects entering the pots. Staking must be attended to as directed under heading Cultivation IN THE Border. For exhibition, disbud to one bloom before the buds show colour. In any case plants in pots require disbudding, as they cannot satisfactorily produce as many blooms as large plants deeply rooted in the open ground. I advise against applying chemical manures, but from the middle of June weak cow or sheep liquid manure may be given in small quantities twice a week, after watering. As soon as flower-buds begin to show colour the pots should be moved from the open air into an unheated greenhouse, and elastic bands should be placed round the buds to guard against the possibility of split calyces. Propagation.New varieties of Border Carnations are raised from seed, but existing varieties are increased by layering, which should be proceeded with as early in the summer as possible. June is not too early. Layering is dealt with under Propagation of Plants. Equal quantities of loam and leaf mould, and a little thoroughly decayed manure, with ground oyster shells or coarse sand, make a suitable compost. For pegging down various makes of layering pins are sold, or ladies hairpins can be used. If possible, layer in showery weather in the case of plants growing out of doors. In dry weather layers require watering twice a day through a fine rose for the first few weeks, and after that once a day. In the case of shoots growing high up the stem the compost has to be much raised, and naturally becomes dry sooner than when on the ground level. At least two months (longer if possible) should elapse between layering and transplanting. Then the shoot layered should be severed from the parent plant with a sharp knife, and a day or two later should be transplanted to the ground, prepared as advised under heading Cultivation in the Border ; or potted up and placed in a cold greenhouse, or frame. Plants growing in pots are usually layered in the pots ; some growers prefer to turn them out of the pots into the border when the flowering season is over, and layer them there. This practice has the disadvantage of deferring layering until August. Seedlings.Sow in seed pans in the spring, place in moderate heat, or under a frame or hand-light. After germination remove to a cold house ; prick out as soon as the seed leaves are fully developed. Plant in open ground in July and subsequent months, i8 ins. apart. Varieties.Border Carnations are being rapidly improved at the present time ; each year sees the introduction of novelties which are superior to older varieties. Consequently any list of named varieties becomes speedily out of date. The following list is arranged in classes as defined by the National Carnation and Picotee Society, and the order is that of merit according to my judgment : Selfs.”These should be of one decided colour. If the flower be in any way shaded, striped, or spotted, it is at once disqualified for Self Class.”Dark Red and Maroon Selfs. Gordon Douglas, E. K. Wakeford, Mrs George Marshall, Bookham Clove, Henry Brett of New Zealand, The King, Hercules, Surrey Clove, Induna. White Selfs.Bookham White, Elaine, Purity, Prairie Belle, Farthest North, Sir Galahad, Trojan, Kate Nickleby. Yellow Selfs.Daffodil, Glamour, Sunbeam, Solfaterre, Cecilia. Buff and Terra-cotta Selfs.Elizabeth Shifiner, Dora Blick, Mrs Griffith Jones, Mrs G. A. Reynolds, Robert Bruce, Mrs Robert Morton. Red and Scarlet Selfs.Fujiyama, Fiery Cross, Miss Willmott, Cardinal, General French, Firefly Deloraine, Glowworm, Brigadier, Veldtfire. Pink and Rose Selfs.Mrs Percy Smith, Rosetta, Salmonea, Annie Laurie, Rosy Morn, My Clove, Wyatt, Peach Blossom. Wine-coloured Selfs.Miss Rose Josephs, Ziska, Opalesce. Grey or Lavender Selfs.The Grey Douglas, Ellen Douglas, Evangeline, Greyhound. Purple Selfs.Purple Emperor, Cassius, Irma, Dick Swiveller, Royal Velvet. Fancies.”These are bestdefined as varieties that cannot be admitted into any other classes. They should be large, and their chief excellence lies in their quality of petal and brilliancy of colouring. The ground colour may be yellow, apricot, or white, striped, flaked, or spotted with various colours.”Yellow Ground Fancies.Pasquin, Lord Steyne, Lieut. Shackleton, Skirmisher, J. J. Keen, Virginia, The Dawn, Centurion, Sweet Anne Page, John Ridd, Sam Weller, Linkman, Queen Eleanor, Becky Sharp. White Ground Fancies.Othello, Mrs G. D. Murray, Daisy Walker, Fair Ellen, Mrs P. W. Owen, Lord Kitchener, Betty, Montrose, George Robey. Nondescript Fancies.Mrs Andrew Brotherstone, Caprice, Hecla, Banshee. BizARRES AND Flakes.”These are White Ground Carnations. The Bizarre must have on every petal stripes of two different colours. In the Flake these stripes must be of one and the same colour. In both classes the stripes should be clear and well defined : broad on the edge of the petal and gradually diminishing until they sink into the heart of the flower.”Bizarres.Armourer, Supreme, Remus, Carbine, Black Diamond, Arthur, Amersham, Zebra, Sonata, William Skirving. Flakes.Gordon Lewis, Kobe, John Peel, Torchlight, Recorder, Rose Noble, Dick Swiveller. Yellow Ground Picotees. “These should have a clear yellow ground (not apricot or buff). The petals should be firm, flat, and smooth, and their edge well rounded and free from fimbriation. The line of colour on the edges of the petals may be light, medium, or heavy, but should be of one continuous colour and entirely confined to the edge ; any break in the margin or a running down of the marginal colour into the petal being esteemed a grave fault.”Yellow Ground Picotees.Margaret Lennox, Onward, Mrs J. J. Keen, Togo, Eclipse, Professor Burstall, Niel Kenyon, Her Majesty, Santa Claus. i66 White Ground Picotees. “Saving in the colour of the ground, the qualities required in this class are identical with those laid down for the Yellow Ground Picotee.”White Ground Picotees.Periection, Fair Maiden, Clytie, John Smith, Lavinia, Amy Robsart. S. M. K. New Varieties. Some of the best are : Albion.Fure white large flowers. Cleopatra.Large fragrant rubyheliotrope flowers. Mrs F. G. BeaZjMg. Fragrant deep salmon flowers. Sweet Anne Page.Yellow flowers splashed with lavender.

Comments are closed

CELERY

(Apium graveolens. Nat. Ord. Umbelliferse). First-class cultivation of this means not only increased size and weight of the crop but vastly improved table quality. On the other hand, examples grown upon the starvation system, not only lack size, but the quality is often such as to render it useless for almost any purpose. Preparation of Ground.Celery is fonder of moisture than almost any other crop. Keeping this fact in mind, where the soil is of a very light or hungry nature, plenty of good rich manure, well-decayed leaves, garden refuse, or lawn mowings from the previous summer should be reserved for adding to the site where this crop is to be grown. In saying this it is not meant to imply that an extravagant dressing of manure for Celery is absolutely essential, neither is it necessary to dig extra deep trenches for the crop. What is needed is the absolute certainty that plenty of moisture shall reach the roots during the period of active growth, hence the necessity of a trench of some kind. If planted on the level, it would be almost impossible to keep the roots moist in a dry 176 season, but if the trench is made about 12-15 ins. deep it will allow ample space for a good layer of manure, also a covering of not less than 6 ins. of fine soil, and still leave a good margin to form a channel for the water to be poured into. The width of the trenches must be governed by the number of rows it is intended to plant in them. Where but a single row is desired, 10-12 ins. will be ample. For a double row not less than 16 ins. should be allowed. We ourselves having grown three rows of excellent celery in a trench barely 20 ins. wide, would point out to the small grower, that where the rows are situated some considerable distance from the water supply, the double or treble row should always have preference, since they require very little more water than that usually given to a single row. The treble row should also be favoured by those who desire a good supply over a long period ; this not only economises space and manure, but it will be found the necessary cultural details may be more quickly, equally, and efficiently performed when these are all together, than is possible when each row is grown in a separate trench. Sowing.Where well-grown and perfectly blanched celery is desired early in~ September, a pinch of seed should be sown in a moderately heated greenhouse during the first fortnight in February ; for this sowing one of the white varieties is more likely to give satisfaction than the pink or red. The seed should be sown in a well-drained pan filled to within half an inch of the brim with a compost containing equal parts finely sifted loam, leafsoil, and coarse silver sand. The seed needs only a very slight covering of fine sand or soil, after which it should be pressed firm and watered through a fine-rosed can covering the pan with a sheet of glass or brown paper. If the latter is used, be careful to remove it directly the seed shows signs of germinating, but where glass is used, its retention over the pan until the seedlings touch the top will be an advantage. Seedlings need very careful watering, and none but tepid water should be used, always erring on the dry side. Pricking Off, etc. The plants are ready for pricking off as soon as two true leaves have been formed. Shallow boxes filled with soil, similar to that the seed was sown in, should be used, putting a layer of well-decayed manure or leaves at the bottom, and after pressing moderately firm, cover the surface with a good layer of sand, or ashes from the garden bonfire. Allow about 2 ins. between the plants, and after a gentle sprinkling overhead, stand the boxes in a light position and shade from bright sun until the condition of the plants shows some roots have been made. After that expose to all possible sunshine and gradually harden off, planting in their permanent quarters early in May. Maincrop Celery.The middle of March will be quite early enough to sow seed for the main or winter crop, when the details just given should be carefully followed, until the pricking-off stage is reached. Then, instead of the shallow boxes recommended, it will be an advantage to make up a bed of rich soil over a layer of old hotbed manure in an ordinary garden frame. (We make our soil-bed on a mild hotbed.Editor.) If the seedlings are transferred direct from the seed-pan to this, each being set 2j ins. apart, and the bed kept well watered and carefully ventilated M during bright days, good plants 6 ins. high or more should be ready for planting out about the middle of June ; and thanks to the rich soil and room allowed, the plants may each be transferred to their trenches without the slightest check. Before putting them in their final quarters the soil should be trodden very firm, planting always being done with a trowel. Allow about 8-12 ins. between the plants in the row, and 8 ins. or m*re between the rows. As soon as the plants get well established in permanent quarters, dryness at the root must be guarded against, as this frequently causes them to run to seed. As growth proceeds many of the outer leaves of each plant will show a tendency to fall, and thus become mixed with others in the next plant. If left long in this state, even if very carefully handled, considerable damage invariably results. A plan far better than taking this risk is to loop up these outside leaves as growth proceeds, never allowing the tie to become so tight as to damage them or impede growth. Growers who are unable to give the plants liquid manure, will find by tying the leaves together as suggested, dry or artificial manure may be more easily distributed, and afterwards well stirred into the soil, than is possible where tying up is not attempted. Commence giving stimulants as soon as the plants are about i ft. high. Weak and often is a golden rule to observe, always keeping whatever is used from direct contact with the leaves, or harm may follow. One of the very finest liquid manures for celery on a light soil is that from cowsheds, to which a little sulphate of ammonia has been added. In making this, i bushel of fresh cow manure is ample for a 40-gallon cask of water. Half an ounce of sulphate of ammonia should be added to each gallon at the time of using. Other good stimulants are soot water and fish guano, using i peck of the first to 20 gallons of water, or one handful of the latter to six plants well stirring it into the soil. Blanching.A point to observe when earthing up is always to keep the leaves close together in such a way as tf prevent the fine soil getting into the heart of the plant. Thin cardboard or stout brown paper is often preferred to soil for blanching purposes, by busy growers, more particularly those who aim at very early supplies. The paper should not be put round until a good length of stem has been made, successive bands being added as growth proceeds. If preferred the plants may be left unpapered until growth is complete, or six weeks before the celery is required for use. When placing these paper collars around the plants always allow for a little expansion, but put them on in such a way as to ensure absolute darkness to the stem beneath. Plants round which paper has been tied should have additional protection given them before severe frost sets in, or much damage may result when least expected. Even rows properly earthed up with soil or ashes should be protected by means of hay or other light material during exceptionally severe weather. Insect Pests include Celery Leaf Miner, and Aphis (which are dealt with in the article onlNSECT Fests). Varieties are very numerous and distinct, the best of these being the selection now given : Aldenham Pink, Champion Early, Clayworth Prize Pink, Early Market White, Manchester Red, Sandringham White, Standard Bearer, Sulham Prize, Superb Pink, Suttons Ai, 178 Suttons SoUd White, Wrights Giant Red.F. R. C. See also ApiUM. For Method OF Bottling see VEGETABLE Bottling.

Comments are closed

CHERRIES

Indoor Culture. These fruits belong to the genus Pmnus and the Nat. Ord. Rosacea. They succeed in almost any form, and are most beautiful when in flower and fruit; either grown in pots as bushes, pyramids, cordons, or when planted out and trained to a trellis about i8 ins. from the glass. The soil and mode of potting is the same as recommended for Peaches; a little more bone-meal may be added with advantage to the compost. They require firm potting, as newly-potted trees are apt to make too vigorous growth, and abundance of water is necessary. By careful pinching the trees soon become one mass of fruiting spurs. Being subject to fly and grubs, these must be looked for and killed, or they soon destroy the crop. What might be termed forcing with fire-heat or anything approaching close confinement is fatal to the crop. All that is needed is a constant circulation of air, with 40 degrees F. at night and 50 degrees F. by day, rising to 45 degrees F. at night when the flowers open, and 55 degrees F. by day, which should not be exceeded, until stoning has passed. A gentle warmth in the pipes is beneficial during the flowering period, and fertilisation of the flowers is important. Elton, Guigue dAnnonay, Governor Wood, and Mayduke are excellent pollen producers. Frequently syringe the trees during the time the fruits are swelling, but not when in flower or during the ripening of the fruit. All the varieties do well in pots, and the plants should be removed to the open air as soon as the fruits are gathered, and potted into larger pots as soon as the wood shows signs of changing for ripening. Varieties.Bigarreau de Schreken. A very fine early black. Black Tartarian.A large and handsome fruit, and great bearer. Early Rivers.An excellent hardy early variety. Emperor Francis.A fine late variety. Geant de Hedelfingen. A large black of fine flavour. Napoleon. An excellent late variety. Besides the above, many other good varieties might be included with advantage in large collections. F.J.

Comments are closed

CHRYSOGONUM

(Golden Knee. Nat. Ord. Compositse).This is a little known hardy perennial plant not unlike the sunflower (Helianthus). It is useful for a shady position in the border where the collection is somewhat extensive. Plant it in March in ordinary good rich humic soil and propagate it by division of the roots or by seeds sown in the usual way in the spring. What to Grow.Only one species has so far come to our knowledge as being of value as a garden plant. This (Chrysogonum virginianum) produces yellow flowers in May and June, and averages just over 12 ins. in height.

Comments are closed

COLEUS

(Nat. Ord. Labiate). This is an evergreen shrub of easy culture. Amongst the hybrids many fine kinds with distinct foliage can be obtained by seed the first season. Cuttings may be struck in heat in spring. The soil should be of loam, peat, and sand. Temperature required 50-55 degrees F. (Sreenhouse Species.CoZews thyrsoideus. An exceedingly handsome plant. The branches terminate in erect panicle-like racemes of ten to fifteen bright blue flowers, with a spike over a foot in length. The flowering period is from November to February, and the height of the plant ranges from 13 ft.

Comments are closed

CORNFLOWER

(Centaurea Cyanus. Nat. Ord. Compositse).The Cornflower is a British plant, and often found growing rather plentifully in cornfields ; it has other common names such as Blue-bottle and Bluet. In good soil it will grow 3 ft. high ; of slender habit and with small leaves, it carries bright blue flowers. The type has been improved under cultivation ; white, pink, rose, pale blue, and deep blue varieties are obtainable, and these come true from seed. There is also a group of dwarfer varieties grown under the title of Cyanus minor, and which rarely exceed a height of 12 ins. ; Emperor William is one of the best of the blue forms. A still dwarfer selection is catalogued as Cyanus nana compacta, or as the Victoria strain ; these grow 9 ins. high, and there are rose and blue varieties. Centaurea depressaknown as King OFTHE Blue-bottlesis like a dwarf Cornflower with a more spreading habit ; its large blue flowers are crimson centred ; i ft. high. Cornflowers are easy to grow, and their culture is in every respect similar to the general culture of annuals given in our article Annuals for All Purposes.C. H. C. See also Medicinal Herbs.

Comments are closed

CUCUMBERS (Frame)

These require a bed made up as mentioned under Melon, one plant to a light 6 by 4 ft. will be found sufficient. Stop and train the shoots as recommended, removing surplus shoots ; a regular supply of fruit is what is required. Periodical attention is needed in regard to stopping and thinning of the 338 shoots or they soon become crowded. Night temperature may be increased to 70 degrees F. or 75 degrees F., with a rise of 10 degrees or 15 degrees during day. Increase the moisture supplied by sjrringing and damping. Varieties.Good reliable sorts are : Every Day, Rochford Market, and Telegraph.F. J.

Comments are closed

CABBAGE, SAVOY

(Brassica oleracea bullata major. Nat. Ord. Cruciferse).This forms a very reliable winter crop, and, except during the most severe weather, it may be depended upon to withstand the winter better than most green crops.

Comments are closed