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KENTISH BALSAM (Mercurialis perennis)

A variety of Cobnut. See Cobnut, Filbert, and Hazel in Nut Culture.

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KILLARNEY FERN (Trichomanes radicans)

Every gardener is aware that there are four chief classes in the vegetable kingdomflowers, fruit, fungi, and vegetablesbut he is in most cases uncertain as to the precise meaning of such terms as Brassica Family, Bulbous Crops, Bush Fruits, Cabbage Tribe, Catch Crops, Culinary Crops, Gross-Feeding Crops, Hard Fruits, Headed Crops, Leaf Crops, Leguminous Crops, Onion Tribe, Rhizomatous Plants, Root Crops, Saladings, Seed Crops, Small Fruits, Soft Fruits, Surface Crops, Tap- Rooted Crops, Tuberous-Rooted Crops, Turnip-Rooted Crops, Umbelliferous Crops, etc. We thus propose to explain these terms in the present article :Brassica Family.This includes all plants of the Cabbage Tribe, most turnip-rooted crops, and some others. Bulbous Crops. These have bulbous roots and are much like bulbs. Leeks, Spring Onions, Potato Onions, and Shallots are all of this kind. They must be distinguished from turnip-rooted crops, and this is easy, for a bulb is made up of scales which can be removed one by one, and this is not the case in a turnip-rooted crop. Bush Fruits. These include Black, Red, and White Currants, Gooseberrries, Loganberries, and Raspberries. Strawberries are sometimes included under the same heading. It may be applied to smaller bushes of Apples, Pears, and Plums as well. Cabbage Tribe. Strictly this consists only of plants of the Brassica Family, of which the leaves or heads are used as food. These include Borecole, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Chinese Cabbage, Chou de Burghley, Couve Tronchuda, Curled Greens, Kale, May Greens, Savoys, Winter Greens, etc. Catch Crops.These are used for growing between more permanent crops, or on ground not vacant for more than a month or two. They include Corn Salad, Endive, Lettuce, Radish, Spinach, etc. Mustard, Rye, Vetches, etc., are sometimes used as catch crops for digging-in purposes. Culinary Crops.By these is meant any crop which has to be cooked before use. Thus all the important vegetables are culinary crops, but saladings- (eaten raw) are not. Gross-Feeding Crops. These are crops which like a lot of dung and thus need heavily manured land. The three most important areCauliflowers, Celery, and Onions. Leeks are also gross feeders. Hard Fruits.Apples and Pears are the chief of these, but the term is applied to any fruits of which the flesh or peel is reasonably hard. Vegetable Marrows (if fruits at all) would be considered as hard fruits, and the same applies to Cucumbers, Melons, etc. Headed Crops.This term is by some confined to such crops as Borecole, Brussels Sprouts, Curled Greens, and Kale, which make a definite”head”at the top of the plant. Other gardeners, however, talk about heads of Asparagus, heads of Broccoli, Cabbage, Cauliflower, and Savoy, so the term is rather wide and vague. Leaf Crops.By these is meant any crop of whatever kind it may be that is used for its leaves. A few of the large number include Borecole, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Chinese Cabbage, Corn Salad, Couve Tronchuda, Curled Greens, Endive, Kale, Lettuce, Nasturtiums, Savoy Cabbage, Seakale, Seakale Beet, Spinach, Spinach Beet, and Winter Greens. Leguminous Crops.All these belong to the Natural Order Leguminosse, and have the power of utilising the nitrogen of the air to form nitrates. They include every sort of Bean and Pea that is grown in gardens. Onion Tribe.By this is meant all the crops belonging to the genus Allium. Chives, Garlic, Leeks, Onions, Potato Onions, and Shallots are the chief crops concerned. Pea Tribe.This term is loosely used to include all leguminous crops, but it should be abandoned. Rhizomatous Plants.By this is meant any crop possessing a swollen surface stem or root just under the soil. The best example is a flower the Irisused in medicine. Readers will be able to find other plants coming under this category if they observe closely. Root Crops.This term is very comprehensive, including as it does all tap- and turnip-rooted crops. More often it is used for the former than the latter. Sometimes gardeners include in it bulbous crops, but this is quite inadmissible. Saladings.These are usually considered to include the smaller leaf and root crops which are eaten raw, such as Corn Salad, Endive, Lettuce, Nasturtium, Mustard and Cress, Purslane, Radish, etc. Cucumbers and Tomatoes, often forming an addition to the salad bowl, are not usually considered Saladings however. Seed Crops.In gardening, by this term we mean crops which are grownfor their seeds which are eaten. These include Beans of all kinds ; Indian Sugar Corn or Maize, and Peas of all kinds. The Marrow and Tomato are grown for their fruits and not for their seeds, and are thus excluded from Seed Crops. Small Fruits.This term often means the same as the term Bush Fruits, already explained. More often we mean small bushes of Apples, Apricots, Cherries, Peaches, Pears, and Plums, when we talk about Small Fruits. Soft Fruits.All fruits of which the flesh, skin, or peel is not hard is the best explanation of this term. Surface Crops.These are an opposite kind of crop to Root Crops ; whereas the latter root downwards for some depth, Surface Crops root within a few inches of the surface and thus they need much more watering. The most important surface crops are the Saladings, of which we have already given a list. Tap-Rooted Crops.These have a long tap-root. At present all the turnip-rooted crops given in the next paragraph but one are included, but gardeners should distinguish the latter class as they need more surface cultivation than do the strictly taprooted crops, which are as follows : Beetroot (long), Carrots, Parsnips, Salsafy, and Scorzonera. Tuberous-Rooted Crops. Although botanists disagree, the following are considered tuberousrooted crops by the gardener : Artichokes, Chinese Artichokes, Potatoes, and Potato Onions. Some flowers are also tuberous rooted, as, for instance, one section of the Begonia and all the Dahlias. Turnip-Rooted Crops. This term is comprehensive, including as it does all crops having any resemblance in the shape of their roots to a turnip. These include Beetroot, (Globe Beet), Cardoons, Celeriac, Kohl Rabi, Radishes, Swedes, Turnips, and Turnip-Rooted Parsnips. Many of these are of the Brassica Family, but by no means all. Umbelliferous Crops. These belong to the Natural Order Umbelliferse (hence their name), which order contains many poisonous plants. The chief useful crops included in this term are Carrots, Celeriac, Celery, Chervil, Fennel, Parsley, Parsnips, and Skirret. Care must be taken not to use terms with no meaning, such as the Potato Family, meaning that group of tuberous crops including the Potato, and so on.E.

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KNEIFFIA

The Kniphofias are probably amoi:g the most brilliant of all hardy herbaceous perennials, and are of extraordinary value for all garden purposes. For making a splash of colour against the more sombre background of shrubs they are invaluable, but are too good as a rule for use in the wild garden. The smaller sorts prove striking features in the front portions of perennial borders, mixed borders, etc., while the taller species are grand for the back rows of the same borders. Culture is not a matter of much difficulty. The plants succeed in ordinary light, rich, sandy soil in a sunny or lightly shaded site, and are propagated by division of the rootstock in the spring or by means of slipping ofif suckers from the rootstocks. In very exposed districts it is advisable to lift and winter in a frame, or to cover the roots with leaf-mould, cocoanut fibre refuse, etc., to keep them warm. Early and efficient staking is essential if the taller sorts are to be grown successfully. What to Grow. An enormous number of species and hybrids havebeen described. We recommend the following : Kniphofia aloides (Red-Hot Poker). This is the well-known species, and a great favourite. It produces glorious flame-coloured flowers from June to October, on plants 3-8 ft. high. Among the best forms derived from this, flowering at the same time and of similar height, are : Egypt (sulphuryellow) ; Empress (bright scarlet) ; grandiflora (brilliant flame and yellow) ; Heroine (yellow) ; Ideal (bright scarlet) ; Leda (orange-scarlet) ; Maxima (deep yellow) Meteor (rich dark yellow) ; Nobilis (rich orange) ; Ophir (orange-yellow) Saundersi (orange-scarlet) ; Sirius (bright reddish-orange) ; Stella (pale yellow) ; Torchlight (bright flamecolour) ; and Triumph (orangeyellow). K. Burchellii.This bears orange flowers in June, and grows i J ft.high. K. foliosa.This striking plant bears yellow flowers in August, but is not quite hardy. Its height is 3-4 ft. K. Macowanii.This also is not quite hardy, but is a splendid sort bearing richly red-tinted orange or flame-coloured flowers in August and September, on plants only if ft. in height. K. modesta.This bears white flowers freely during the summer months, and averages 2 ft. in height. K. Nelsoni.This bears attractive bright orange or orange-vermilion flowers throughout the summer, and averages 2 ft. high. K. Northiae.This bears light yellow flowers, sometimes tinted red, from June onwards, and averages 5 ft. high. K. Rooperi. This sort bears bright orange or reddish-orange flowers in September, October, and November. It grows 3-4 ft. high. K. sarmentosa.This bears attractive orange flowers throughout the summer, and grows only 2 ft. in height. K. Tuckii.This is often offered by nurserymen as being a brilHant orange-red. It is, however, a disappointing sort as its colour rapidly fades and leaves a poor pale yellow. The plant blooms from June onwards, and averages 2-3 ft. high. K. Uvaria.This popular sort of the trade is now considered synonymous with K. aloides.

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KNOT ROOT

K. trichophylla of the seedsmen (now referred by some authorities to the variety trichophylla of the weed K. scoparia) is an annual well worth growing, forming compact little plants which are striking if used as dot subjects in summer bedding. The foliage of the plant is not much to look at until late August or early in September, when it becomes a brilliant bright red. The flowers borne from July onwards are greenish and are produced on plants about 2 ft. in height. The best way is to raise and treat as a half-hardy annual, but it may also be grown in pots for greenhouse or conservatory decorations.

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KOCHIA (Nat Ord Chenopodiaceae)

This is a genus of hardy grasses of which several species are grown at Kew. In dry districts the species prove useful lawn grasses, but otherwise must be considered as weeds of no garden value. The two best known species are probably K. albescens and K. phleoides, (and its variety grandiflora (Syn. K.herythea), all of which are popularly known by the name of Crested Hair Grass.

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KOELERIA (Nat Ord Gramineae)

This vegetable, so long regarded only as food for sheep or cattle, is now an established favourite in many gardens, especially in those districts where it is well-nigh impossible to secure palatable roots of white or yellow turnips. In appearance the roots of these are totally unlike anything else we cultivate, having an almost bulbous stem, of a turnip character, with a top suggesting one of the more coarse kindsjof winter greens. To be really palatable it is important that growth be made very rapidly and the roots eaten in a young or half-grown state. If left to attain full size, these become coarse and hard, invariably proving most disappointing to gardener and cook alike. A great advantage these possess over turnips is, the roots bear drought remarkably well. Culture.Seed for an early crop may be sown very thinly in April, subsequent small sowings being made until July to secure roots for early winter supply. When sown in their permanent positions, reduce the seedlings while still small to about 3-4 ins. apart. This allows each alternate root to be withdrawn when these reach a usable size. Seedlings bear transplantmg very well in the driest weather, provided they are well watered immediately. Kohl Rabi may be left in the open ground all winter or be stored in pits or a cold shed, but whereverconvenient the former is the better plan to adopt, ensuring plump roots of better quality. Varieties.The Early Purple and the Early Green are the best sorts to grow. The Large Purple and Large Green axe. usually too coarse. F. R. C. See also ORNAMENTAL Vegetables.

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