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Title: The Busy Woman's Garden Book
Author: Bennett, Ida D.
Language: English
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Transcriber's Note

  Obvious typographical errors have been silently corrected. Variations
  in hyphenation have been standardised but all other spelling and
  punctuation remains unchanged.



  THE BUSY WOMAN'S
  GARDEN BOOK

[Illustration: _An outside window box that harmonizes with the general
architectural scheme_]



                           THE BUSY WOMAN'S
                              GARDEN BOOK

                                  BY
                            IDA D. BENNETT

                                BOSTON
                       SMALL, MAYNARD & COMPANY
                              PUBLISHERS



                           Copyright, 1920,
                      BY SMALL, MAYNARD & COMPANY
                            (INCORPORATED)



INTRODUCTION


This little book has a very definite aim—a big aim too, though two
little words or even one will serve to define it—To help, or better
still, perhaps—helpfulness. It does not aim to tell everything there
is to tell about gardening; that would be encyclopedic and quite out
of the scope of a small, practical work on gardening, but it does aim
to give, in plain, everyday language sufficient and clear directions
for caring for an ordinary kitchen garden in a way the least exhausting
of time and strength and with all unnecessary expenditure eliminated.
It covers all necessary detail except that of personal equation;
that—Dear Woman, when the spring time calls and you go forth full of
enthusiasm, is, in the language of the day—"Up to you." Your garden
will give back to you just What you put into it—no more, and the more
you give to it the less it will exact of you; neglect it ever so little
and it will prove a hard taskmaster indeed, or a living reproach—a
reproach that will burgeon and bloom in noxious weeds and sickening
plants, a garden where the worm dieth not and the aphis and grub revel
undisturbed and unchecked.

There is nothing so easy as to keep a garden in perfect order, free
from weeds and pernicious insect life, nothing easier than to have the
reverse of this. One cannot garden successfully on the principle that
one can work in the garden when there is nothing else to do, no one
to play with, nowhere to go. The garden should be first to a certain
extent, and this is not an arbitrary or exacting condition for the toll
exacted is paid for many times over in the peace of mind that comes
from work well and conscientiously done, to say nothing of the economic
value of thrifty vegetables.

There are always critical times in the life of the garden;—the
gardener must recognize these and be prepared to give just the
assistance the condition requires at just the time it is required;
if this is done promptly it will surprise one who has had no system
heretofore in the garden work to see how little time is really required
to care for a garden successfully. The failure to co-operate with
nature at the right time may result in many hours of wearisome work.

Take the matter of weeds;—if the planting is closely watched and the
weeds cut off as quickly as they show a seed leaf above ground, and
before they have stuck their roots deeply enough into the ground to
make more than a mere stirring of the soil necessary, an entire week's
crop of weeds will be destroyed with one stirring of the soil. Weeds
come in relays a week or ten days apart, come not at all if the soil
is kept properly stirred—which should be after every rain and between
if the rain is infrequent, and it is well worth one's time to exercise
a little self-denial and give this cultivation even though it may mean
letting something else go that one would like to do.

And one need not worry too much about being scientific in one's
gardening; insecticides, fungicides and the like are the allies of the
careless gardener, but the wide awake, industrious gardener has little
need of them. Healthy, vigorous plants are not especially susceptible
to insect attacks and with the exception of potato bugs, squash bugs
and cabbage worms the danger from them is merely negligible, but the
careless, slovenly gardener is a real and pestilential danger.

There is much in choosing the right time of day for work in the
garden; it is delightful to wield the rake and hoe in the cool of the
afternoon, but where the object is the destruction of weeds the morning
hours of a sunny day will give permanent results as the weeds will be
killed by the hot sun, while those hoed up in late afternoon will often
be revived by the coolness and dew of night and be ready to withstand
the morrow's sun, so take the morning hours for destroying weeds, and
the cooler hours for planting seeds, staking up plants, thinning out
plants and the like but always the bright, dry sunny hours for tying up
such vegetables as need blanching: cauliflower, endive and the like.
This will make for success in the various operations and comfort in
working.

Where it is necessary to water the garden this should if possible be
done after the sun has nearly or quite gone from it in order to reduce
the loss of moisture by evaporation; this is especially desirable
in city gardens where the water is metered and always, if possible
a night's watering should be followed by shallow cultivation the
following forenoon to restore the dust-mulch and necessitate as little
watering as possible. These are a few of the little attentions which
make for success in the garden and minimize the sum of the season's
work.



CONTENTS


  CHAPTER                                                PAGE

      I PLANNING THE GARDEN                                 1

     II HOTBEDS, COLD FRAMES AND FLATS                     12

    III PLANTING SEED IN THE OPEN GROUND                   36

     IV TRANSPLANTING                                      48

      V GARDEN TOOLS                                       53

     VI HOLDING AND INCREASING THE FERTILITY OF
          SOIL                                             64

    VII ASPARAGUS                                          80

   VIII EARLY SPRING VEGETABLES                            86

     IX MID-SEASON VEGETABLES                             122

      X VEGETABLES OF THE VINE FAMILY                     171

     XI VEGETABLES LESS COMMONLY GROWN                    186

    XII QUANTITY OF SEED REQUIRED                         200

   XIII SWEET, POT AND MEDICINAL HERBS                    202

    XIV PLANT ENEMIES AND INSECTICIDES                    208

     XV WINTER STORAGE                                    220

    XVI CANNING THE GARDEN SURPLUS FOR WINTER
          USE                                             232

   XVII FALL WORK IN THE GARDEN                           256

  XVIII THE ANNUAL GARDEN                                 261

    XIX THE HARDY GARDEN                                  273

     XX THE PLANTING OF FALL BULBS                        282

    XXI ECONOMY IN THE PURCHASE OF SHRUBBERY              289

   XXII A CONTINUOUS SUCCESSION OF BLOOM IN
          THE SHRUBBERY                                   297

  XXIII GARDENING FOR SHUT-INS                            308

   XXIV THE POSSIBILITIES OF A CITY FLAT                  318



  THE BUSY WOMAN'S
  GARDEN BOOK



THE BUSY WOMAN'S GARDEN BOOK



CHAPTER I

PLANNING THE GARDEN


The favorable location of the garden is the initial step in its
planning. The kitchen garden—always an important auxiliary of the
kitchen—is now, in these days, something more; it is becoming more
and more a part of the domestic routine; it is a woman's garden, to
be planned for and cared for by the women of the family, and in that
relation must be considered from all its points of view. Location,
then, becomes of first importance. It must be accessible, that its care
may demand as little extra work as possible, and that little be given
to the actual cultivation and care and not to going back and forth.
If one can run out and cultivate a row of lettuce or train up a row of
peas while waiting for the irons to heat or the kettle to boil, then
one will find the sum total of the garden work far less onerous than
where one must calculate on going over the entire plat, or a stated
portion of it, at one operation.

A location close to the house, more or less secluded, that one may
work free from interruption and espionage and where the vegetables may
bask in the sun from early morning till late afternoon, is desirable,
and this is best achieved in a southern exposure with the garden rows
running north and south.

If the garden plot is protected by buildings or a high fence, or
a wind-break of evergreen on the north it will afford a favorable
position for the necessary hotbeds and cold frames and the close
relationship of the two will work for efficiency in handling.

A warm, mellow, sandy loam is the ideal soil for the vegetable garden,
but even a poor soil may be so built up and redeemed by proper
cultivation and fertilising as to make the quality of the soil of
secondary consideration, but if one can have both at once then one is
happy indeed. Tenacious, clayey soil or newly broken sod ground should
not, however, be undertaken by a woman, such ground is a man's job.

But it is the warm, sunny location that is vital to the successful
cultivation of the garden. All the early vegetables—peas, lettuce,
endive and the like—call for abundant sunshine in the cool days of
early spring, and, as the season advances and the fall chill is in the
air at nightfall, then the warm sunshine will hasten the maturity of
such late comers as tomatoes, winter squash, citron and any late-sown
vegetables that are used to succeed the earlier growths. Again in the
late days of winter or early spring those vegetables that were left in
the ground for early use—the parsnips, and salsify, will be available
much earlier if given a warm location where the ground thaws readily,
rather than a cold exposure that holds frost late in the season.

A piece of ground adjoining other cultivated areas is far preferable
to an isolated plot as it may be ploughed in conjunction with the
larger piece and so kept in a better grade and condition. An isolated
garden plot, which must be prepared separately necessitating a dead
furrow in the center, becomes, in the course of a few years a dish
shaped area very disagreeable to cultivate; an open area, on two sides
at least, obviates this in a measure and renders the ground more level
and easily prepared.

Any garden spot, however, should always be ploughed rather than
spaded and as deep ploughing as possible should be the rule. If the
soil is good go as close to the bottom of it as possible, the shallow
ploughing so universal—seldom more than six inches in depth, does
not give a mellow bed for any but shallow rooted vegetables. Carrots,
salsify, parsnips and similar long-rooted things must fairly drill
their way into the hard ground below the shallow cultivation, this
resulting in deformed, stunted or many twigged roots, unsalable and of
little value for the home table. The long, smooth, beautiful bottoms
are only produced by deep cultivation to start with and, of course,
the subsequent cultivation must efficiently supplement this. A very
excellent method of preparing the ground would be to turn a deep furrow
with the plough and follow this with the subsoil plough, stirring up
the subsoil, but not mixing it with the top soil; this would give
several inches of loose soil beneath the first furrows that the roots
could readily penetrate. So many consider that all the fertility in a
soil is contained in the few top inches of soil, and in a measure this
is true—the available fertility is right there—but there is a wealth
of unused fertility in the lower strata, but lack of cultivation, lack
of moisture and most of all, lack of the humus which makes the soil
retentive of moisture, render it unavailable, but if it is broken
up and gradually mixed with the humus of the upper soil it becomes
available and the soil is increasing in fertility instead of growing
thinner and poorer year by year.

Following the ploughing comes the smoothing and leveling of the ground
by dragging with a spiked or spring tooth harrow; this part of the
work should be very thoroughly done; too fine a seed bed can never
be produced, whatever the means employed and the use of drags and
harrows by no means spells the whole operation of fitting a garden
for planting. After the dragging the garden rake is in order and the
ground must be raked over and over until thoroughly fine and free from
roughage of sticks, stones, clods and the like. If any weeds have been
drawn to the surface in dragging they must be pulled out and thrown
aside. If there is a dead furrow in the middle of the plot then the
raking should be towards that from both directions so as to fill it in
as much as possible and so restore the level of the ground.

It is not necessary to rake the entire garden at once if time and
strength are at a premium. One may rake a space sufficient for the
first planting and when that is done rake another space and so equalize
the labor, but it is easier to rake soon after the preliminary fitting
is done than to leave it until a rain has packed the earth and made
it heavy to move. A good rain, however, should always precede the
planting, if possible, as newly worked ground is not sufficiently
settled for sowing seed and not so desirable for setting out of plants.

The arrangement of the vegetables in the garden has much to do with
the convenience of caring for it. It is always a good arrangement to
plant the early vegetables, such as lettuce, radishes, beets, endive
and onions at the end of the garden nearest the house where they are
most easily available as one has occasion to use them in preparing a
meal. Then, too, all these small things are planted a standard distance
apart—usually twelve or fifteen inches,—twelve if the gardener is
addicted to trowsers, fifteen if skirts are in evidence, for it is
difficult to work in a narrower space, especially among the tender tops
of seedling onions, in petticoats. So, with the rows running north and
south, that the vegetables may receive the greatest possible amount of
sunshine, and the vegetables planted in consecutive rows of increasing
distances apart, one has a planting schedule economical of space and
labor.

This order of planting should also be made to include height as well
as distance apart of the rows of vegetables. Low growing things should
always occupy the front rows of space and not be overshaded by tall
growths. For this reason the planting of sweet corn in the garden plot
is not desirable; it is best to give this a space by itself—preferably
on the north side of the garden. Vine vegetables, too, have little
place in the garden proper—a place for them on the south side of the
garden should be reserved if possible, for with the best of management
they will break bounds and encroach on other plants. I recall a
planting of English marrows which were placed in the garden next to a
row of red peppers. They were bought for bush marrows but proved to be
the vine variety and in a month's time had practically taken possession
of that end of the garden; peppers and tomatoes were smothered under
a luxuriant growth of squash vines whose luxuriance was only equalled
by the astonishing amount of fruit they bore. In desperate effort to
check their encroachments great lengths of vines, bearing half grown
marrows, were ruthlessly removed with no more apparent result than to
encourage a still more luxuriant growth and to increase the gardener's
knowledge of the amount of pruning a really ambitions, vigorous vine
will stand.

The bush varieties of many vegetables are a great boon to the small
home gardener as most of them are prolific bearers and require no more
room than a hill of potatoes or an eggplant. Squash, melons, lima
beans—all have dwarf forms that are preferable to the usual vine
varieties.

The home garden should not be too large—a plot forty by eighty feet
will grow all the summer and winter vegetables a small family can make
use of and a considerable surplus for sale, especially is this the
case where the corn and vines are planted outside the garden proper.
Potatoes, too, are excluded from this estimate, though a few rows of
early potatoes may find room available.

The accompanying planting table, while intended to be merely
suggestive will be of use as indicating the amount of room required
for the several varieties of plants and a convenient arrangement.
The amount to be grown of any one variety however, must be decided
by the individual gardener and it will be time well spent to make a
diagram for one's self, based on the amount of various vegetables that
experience shows to be needed. To those vegetables to which the family
are most addicted should always be added a few that are grown with the
occasional guest in mind and the few things that one likes to try from
season to season, and that add zest to gardening but should never be
allowed to occupy space needed for more standard sorts.


PLANTING-TABLE FOR A SMALL GARDEN APPROXIMATELY FORTY BY EIGHTY FEET

  Lettuce—May King, 1 row. Transplant from hotbed to 9 in. apart

  Onions—Transplanted seedlings of Prizetaker, Ailsa Craig
    or Silver Skin, 1 in.                                        1 oz.

  Parsley—Dwarf Perfection. Transplant to 9 in. apart           1 Pkt.

  Endive—One row, Giant Fringed. Transplant to 9 in.
    apart                                                        1 Pkt.

  Beets—Two rows, Crosby's Egyptian. Thin to 3 in.              2 oz.

  Carrots—Two rows, Danvers Half Long. Thin to 3 in.            1 oz.

  Parsnips—Large Sugar or Hollow Crown. Two rows.
    Thin to 3 in.                                                ½ oz.

  Salsify—Two rows, smooth, Mammoth Sandwich Island.
    Thin to 3 in.                                                1 oz

  Spinach—One row, All Season. Thin to 8 in.                    ½ oz.

  Lima Beans—Fordhook Bush. Thin to 6 in.                       2 lb.

  String Beans—Wardwell's Kidney Wax, or Navy Beans.
    Two rows                                                     2 lb.

  Peas—Double rows, Senator, Gradus, Telephone. On wire
    netting                                                      2 lb.

  Peppers—One row, Ruby Giant, Bull Nose, or Pimento.
    12 in. apart                                                 1 Pkt.

  Bush Muskmelons—Three ft. apart                               1 Pkt.

  Okra—Perkins' Long Pod. Half row, thin to 1 foot              ½ lb.

  Eggplant—Black Beauty. 18 in.                                 1 Pkt.

  Early Potatoes—Dreer's Perfection, Early Ohio. Fifteen
    inches apart                                                 1 Pkt.

  Cauliflower—Early Snowball. Twenty in. apart                  1 Pkt.

  Cauliflower—Dry Weather. Twenty in. apart                     1 Pkt.

  Cabbage—Late Flat Dutch. 2 ft. apart                          1 Pkt.

  Squash—Delicious, Burbank's Hubbard. 6 ft. apart each
    way                                                          1 oz.



CHAPTER II

HOTBEDS, COLD FRAMES AND FLATS


So important is the preparatory work performed by a well started and
conducted hotbed that its use cannot be too insistently recommended.
The smallest, least ambitious home garden is dependent upon the use of
artificial heat in the starting of such plants as cabbage, cauliflower,
peppers, tomatoes and the like, either in hotbeds on the home grounds,
flats in the windows or plants grown in commercial greenhouses; these,
owing to the long season required to bring them into bearing, cannot be
started in the open ground; especially is this true of such heat loving
things as peppers and tomatoes.

Owing to the quite general practice of buying these plants of the
commercial gardeners or florists a much smaller area of ground is
devoted to their growth than would be the case were the plants grown
in one's own hotbeds where the initial cost would have been that of
a few packets of seeds. Purchased plants are by no means immune from
late frosts or the assaults of cut worms and not infrequently demand
successive replantings before a satisfactory stand is secured. With a
well stocked hotbed this does not spell so great a disaster, as only
the labor of resetting is demanded and this is not of much moment as
the lines and points of setting are already laid down and the hills
of tomatoes, eggplants and peppers already supplied with their spade
full of manure. In a generous sized garden where perhaps a hundred
plants of a kind are grown the saving in the cost of plants will cover
the construction and maintenance of an ordinary hotbed and the cost
of a bed of the best concrete construction, which will last almost a
lifetime, will be covered in a reasonably short time.

There is nothing about the construction or care of a hotbed that offers
any obstacles to its possession and I have about come to the conclusion
that the only reason more gardeners do not have them is because they
cannot borrow them; they are the only thing about a garden that some
one can't and doesn't borrow and if some one would invent a portable
one it would undoubtedly become popular.

The requirements are simple:—A sunny location, protected from
prevailing winds—usually from the west, and on the north by a wall,
building or fence. Being started in the early days of spring—from
February, in the vicinity of the Ohio river, to late March or early
April in the vicinity of the Great Lakes; they require a background
that will hold the heat of the sun instead of allowing it to escape.

A well-drained position should be chosen and it should be as handy to
the house and garden as practicable, especially the former as, once
it is planted and plants up and growing, it will require frequent
supervision in the changeable weather of early spring. Under a bright
sun the temperature rises very rapidly in a glass-covered hotbed and
it is necessary to see that it does not rise high enough to injure the
plants; equally the temperature falls rapidly in an open bed when the
sun goes under a cloud, and the sash must be adjusted to meet these
deviations of temperature; often a moment's work in raising or lowering
the sash will spell success or failure in the conduct of the bed.

A pit or excavation in the ground for holding a supply of fermenting
manure to furnish heat for the bed is the first step in the
construction of the hotbed; the size and depth of this will depend
somewhat upon the number of plants it is desired to produce and
upon the rigors of the climate and the prevalence of late springs
and frosts. As a general thing, for the ordinary home garden a bed
three feet by twelve is sufficient, but the added expense of a few
additional feet is so slight and the use of a bed so appeals to one
once one realizes its convenience, that it is seldom a mistake to make
it too large as, aside from the sowing of seed, it may be used for
starting roots of bedding plants, cannas, dahlias, begonias, tuberoses,
caladiums; the striking of cuttings and many garden operations that
have formerly been done in a bungling, cumbersome way in the house or
with the costly assistance of the florists.

The depth of the pit should not be less than three feet and four,
from the top of the frame, is better, as it is upon the depth of the
manure that the length or duration of the heat depends. A shallow pit
will give a quick heat which soon gives out, usually when most needed,
during a sudden cold wave, and as the expense of a foot more or less
counts for little it is best to be on the safe side and have sufficient
heat.

If economy must be observed or the bed is for temporary use, a rough
frame of boards will answer every purpose; it need not even extend
below the surface of the ground, but merely rest upon it, but such
construction is not to be recommended except for temporary structures
or where it is desired to remove the frame as soon at it has served
its purpose in supplying plants for spring planting; but a well built,
permanent hotbed has by no means served its mission with the passing
of the spring months, it may be profitably kept in commission the year
around.

If, however, the construction must be along economical lines waste
lumber and old window sash may be employed very satisfactorily. Having
dug the pit of the required depth and width and length—three feet
if old sash are to be used will be the best width and is desirable
anyway as it can be easily reached across and can be placed close to a
building and so occupy much less ground than where the usual florist
sash is used, a frame consisting of four upright posts two by four
inches and six feet long for the two rear posts and five feet long for
the front, to give the necessary slant to the frame, should be used;
on these the boards for the sides and ends should be nailed, the end
boards sawed to a true slant that the sash may rest evenly upon them;
the frame is then lowered into the pit and the soil leveled off around
it and made firm so that no cold air finds entrance. To such a frame
the sash may be hinged at the back and notched sticks adjusted to hold
it at any desired angle.

In the permanent cement hotbed the pit is dug as before, then
interlined with boards to form a mould and the space filled in with
a good cement mixture, paddling it smooth on the side next to the
boards and allowing the boards to remain in place until the cement
has hardened.[1] Before the cement has set, however, a frame of two
by four must be fitted on top of the cement to receive the sash. Long
spikes should be driven through the timbers at intervals to be pressed
into the cement to insure a good joint. It is also an advantage to
arrange for partitions through the bed by nailing cleats of wood on
the inside of the wooden form at points where the sash will meet. This
will form slots in the concrete into which thin boards can be slipped
to separate such plants as require much heat from those requiring less
heat and much air. The partitions should not extend much, if any below
the surface of the soil so the slots need not extend below the top
foot of wall. These partitions are not really necessary but often come
in very handy and are so easily arranged for that their occasional
use justifies their presence. Where they are employed the sash can be
left open where required far more safely than if they were not in use.
Cabbage and cauliflowers do best if given plenty of air and even a
tinge of frost will not injure them, while it would be fatal to such
heat loving plants as tomatoes, peppers, eggplants and many tender
flowers and bulbous plants.

The double sash is a great protection for hotbeds started very early,
but as a rule there is little occasion for starting the beds before
the middle of March or early April in the northern states as it is
only necessary to give the plants about six weeks' start of open
ground operations. Usually we make our out-of-door planting about the
twentieth of May at the north and correspondingly later as we go south,
but if we count back six weeks from "Corn planting time," the country
over we will have reliable data for starting the hotbed. Plants left
too long in the bed deteriorate and should be scheduled to be got
into the ground as soon as they are fit; if this is done they will
not suffer from over crowding nor will it be necessary to transplant;
though this is always an advantage with certain plants. If to the
hotbed is added the convenience of a cold frame to which the cabbage
and cauliflower can be transplanted as soon as they show rough leaves
it will be a decided advantage and the room thus secured in the hotbed
can be used to transplant tomatoes, peppers and the like, thus giving
better rooted, stockier plants.

Fresh horse manure is used for heating the bed and must be procured
from stables where a number of horses are kept that sufficient may be
obtained at one time. It is not necessary for the small hotbed to pile
the manure and turn it over two or three times before putting it into
the pit; much time and labor is saved by putting it at once in the pit,
tramping it down as filled in until it is within five or six inches of
the level of the ground outside. Care must be taken that it is tramped
down evenly, especially in the corners, or it will settle unevenly
and cause the soil to sink in places. The earth may be placed on at
once if the manure is steaming when put in the pit. Good, mellow loam,
containing a portion of humus or leaf mould is the best hotbed soil and
it should be fine and free from all roughage of sticks and stones and
hard lumps of soil. Putting the top inch or two through a sand screen is
a good practice as this gives a fine soil suitable for the finer seeds.

Usually the bed will be in condition for sowing in twenty-four hours,
if the manure is heating well—and this can be ascertained by thrusting
a fork down into the bed and leaving it a few moments, withdrawing and
feeling of the tines, when the temperature can be quite accurately
gauged—or a thermometer may be forced down through the soil upon the
manure for a test. From four to five inches of soil will be sufficient
if the season is late—slightly more if the season is early and the
plants likely to remain long in the beds, and it must be leveled off as
flat as possible so that in watering the water will not run and wash
the seeds out of the ground.

The sowing of the seed is one of the fascinating phases of gardening
that every born gardener enjoys and the watching for the breaking of
the soil with the tiny green seed leaves is a joy indeed. Unlike open
air planting, there is rarely a failure in seed germination if good
seed is used. The ideal conditions of warm soil, mellow, moist soil of
just the right consistency; protection from changes of weather all make
for a high per cent of plants from the sowing, and the chief difficulty
is often an embarrassment of plants—that is they come up too thickly,
a trouble that is easily obviated by sowing quite thinly, holding back
a portion of the seed for later sowings if needed, or for a later crop.

Each variety of seed must be given a little plot of ground by itself
and should be separated from its neighbor by thin strips of wood
pressed into the soil; this not only helps in identifying plants of
similar appearance, but also prevents the washing together of the seed
when too much water is applied. Where two or three different varieties
of the same plant—as Early Dutch Cabbage, Danish Roundhead, Early
Summer, etc., are sown it will be well to alternate the plots with some
other vegetable so as to leave no chance for mistakes in setting out
the plants later on. A row of lettuce or radishes may be interposed
if desired; at any rate the presence of the strips of wood will aid
greatly in keeping them distinct.

Each plot of seeds must be plainly labeled with thin strips of wood
marked with the name of the seed and the date of sowing. If seeds of
certain plants have been purchased of different seedsmen it will be
well to indicate the source on the labels, in this way one can compare
the fertility of the two purchases of seed and decide which is the more
desirable.

There is a great difference in the germination of different garden
seeds, certain varieties appearing in from three to five days—as
cabbage, radishes, etc. Others—like peppers, parsley and the
like—require from two to three weeks to appear above ground and
one should not lose faith in the "Quickness" of the seed until a
reasonable time has elapsed, nor will it be desirable to dig them
up every day or two to see if they are growing; this will discourage
rather than accelerate the process.

If the soil in the hotbed appears dry when sowing the seed it should
be carefully watered by means of a fine-nosed watering pot or a whisk
broom dipped in water, care being taken that not enough water is used
at a time to wash the soil or disturb the planting. If any seed is
uncovered it must be recovered. Seed sown under the protection of
sash, either in hotbed or cold frame, does not require to be covered
as deeply as when in the open ground, often about as much soil as will
entirely cover it is sufficient, always so in the case of fine seed
which should be sown broadcast in sections and covered by sifting fine
soil or clean sand over and pressing all down firmly with a piece of
board. Larger seeds may be sown in drills, opened a quarter of an inch
deep and the earth drawn over them and pressed down.

Plants that make a rather high growth, even in the hotbed, like
tomatoes, should not be planted in front of lower growing things, but
should be in the rear or extend entirely across the bed; tomatoes, for
instance, are apt to overtop such plants as peppers, which grow quite
slowly in the hotbed. Endive, parsley, lettuce and onions, all are
plants which do not assert themselves very strongly at first and should
not be crowded for room or sunshine.

When all the planting is in and the soil watered, if necessary,
newspapers should be spread over the soil and the bed closed and
germination awaited. If the sun is very hot it may be necessary to
raise the sash before the plants appear, but where this is done care
must be taken that the papers are not disturbed by the wind, as if
blown about the soil will dry out and check or kill germination.

As soon as a plot of seeds breaks ground the little seedlings will
need air and light and the paper should be removed from this portion
and replaced on top of the glass, held in place with pieces of wood
or anything that will prevent its blowing about; this will only be
necessary until the plants are able to stand full sunlight, which will
be as soon as they have grown their first pair of real leaves. As the
young plants increase in size more and more air and sunshine should be
given them and due attention to watering must be carefully observed.
Lath screens to temper the sun will be necessary and will be needed to
replace the sash when the plants are large enough to dispense with it
during the heat of the day; these, in turn, may be replaced by wire
screens if there is any danger of predatory cats, chickens or children,
for it is the work of but a few moments for an entire planting to be
destroyed by any one of them. Puss likes nothing better than to get
into that nice warm hotbed and roll on the soft warm ground and as for
Biddy!

It is surprising the number of things that may be started in the hotbed
and transplanted into the open ground as soon as the weather permits,
thus gaining at least a month's start in the garden. A great many of
the vegetables that are always sown in the open ground—beets, string
or lima beans, endive, lettuce—all may be started in the hotbed and
planted out and will give one very tender and succulent vegetables to
use while the main crop is maturing from open ground sowing. Once one
has acquired the hotbed habit one will never have quite room enough
for one will always be wanting to try something more. One of the most
satisfactory pushing forward of vegetables is achieved in planting
melons and cucumbers and squash on pieces of sod in the hotbed. Of
course cucumbers for pickles should always be sown rather late in the
open ground but fruit for slicing for the table may very profitably
be started on sod and transferred to the open ground when all danger
of frost is passed and so be ready a good month sooner and what is,
perhaps, quite as important, escape the ravages of the striped cucumber
beetle, that exasperating foe to vine culture.

A cold wet spell at planting time often results in a loss of the entire
planting of Lima and string beans, but if one has taken the precaution
of planting a half pint of seed in the hotbed and transplanting them
along about the twenty-first of May, one can wait until the first
of June, if necessary, to plant the main crop and be assured of a
successful stand of plants which will bear quite as early as if planted
in unsuitable weather and soil; this is of especial moment owing to the
high price of this class of seed; all varieties of seeds have advanced
in price but the difference is most marked in seeds of the various
legumes—peas and beans, of all varieties which command a price that
makes especial care in their planting advisable.


COLD FRAMES

Supplement effectively the hotbed or, in mild climates, take their
place. They are, to all effects and purposes a hotbed—minus the
heat—and so do not require the excavation of a pit. The part above the
ground is similar to that of the hotbed, being supplied with sash and
given the same slant to shed water and concentrate as much sunshine
as possible. For spring use it should front the south and occupy a
well-drained position, but for mid-season use an east exposure is
often desirable. If one wishes to use it to transplant things from
the hotbed, then a temporary frame of boards made to bolt together may
be constructed that may be taken apart and stored away when no longer
required; if used for transplanting the sash should be in a position a
week before it is needed so that the soil may become warm and friable,
then the little plants of cabbage, cauliflower and the like may be
transferred without any appreciable check in the growth and what there
is will be advantageous as it will result in the formation of a mass of
fibrous roots which will give them an additional chance in the struggle
for life in the open. Even screens of cheese cloth will give sufficient
protection in any but frosty weather and blankets may supplement these
on cold days if glass is prohibitive on account of its excessive price.

A well-spaded bed of good soil, enriched with a little well decayed
manure—that from last year's hotbed will answer, or bone meal may be
used or a commercial fertilizer, for the plants will need food at this
stage of their growth, should be prepared and the frame set on this
or sunk a few inches into the ground to insure warmth and prevent the
ingress of small rodents which somehow show a peculiar penchant for
hotbeds and cold frames and have been known to destroy a whole planting
of seeds in a single night. A little nitrate of soda scattered between
the rows of cabbage and cauliflower will work wonders in the growth of
these plants and is to be recommended at this stage of their growth and
again when transplanted into the open ground.

Other forms of plant protection are found in the frameless beds
protected by lath screens; these are used mainly during the summer
months and are especially adapted for growing pansies from seed to be
transferred to cold frames in the fall and grown on until time to plant
out in permanent beds in spring; for growing violets in like manner and
also for starting cabbage seed to be held over winter in cold frames
for early spring planting.


THE SAND BOX

Is used as an auxiliary to the hotbed for a nursery for those plants
which are to be used in the house or conservatory during winter and
must be kept in a growing, but not blooming, condition during summer
and shifted from pot to pot as occasion requires. Though mainly
essential in the growing of house plants it is often found of much
use as a place to carry on such vegetable plants as one may desire to
pot off for sale or for stockier growth, previous to setting in the
open ground. The sand box consists of any shallow box of sufficient
size to hold a considerable number of two to four inch pots. It should
not, preferably, be over three feet wide but may be of any desired
length. Five inches is a good depth. It should be elevated on some
kind of support, at a convenient height to work at when sitting on a
stool or box. When used for growing house plants it is usually placed
in a rather shady spot on the east side of the house, but if used for
vegetables it may be given a more sunny, exposed position; it should
be filled with clean sand into which the pots are plunged to their rims
and the sand is kept constantly wet. The pots should be turned around
in the sand every day or two to prevent the roots, which escape through
the hole in the bottom of the pot, growing in the sand; to prevent this
also place a piece of broken crock or glass over the drainage hole. In
potting off plants from the hotbed use a small thumb-pot at first and
re-pot in one a size larger as soon as the roots form a network around
the outside of the ball of earth: this condition may be ascertained
by tapping the pot against the side of the box which will loosen the
ball of earth and allow it to drop out on the hand. Plants that are to
go into the ground in late May will probably not require re-potting,
certainly not more than once, but this treatment makes stocky,
well-rooted plants that command a better price than the untransplanted
plants from the beds, though there is always an excellent market for
all the products of the hotbed.


SOWING SEED IN FLATS IN THE HOUSE

Is the simplest, and least satisfactory form of advance work in the
garden; it belongs in the class of being "better than nothing," but
for some plants is quite as successful as a hotbed, unfortunately that
particular class is not embraced in a book on vegetable gardening,
but belongs particularly to flower gardening and the special sorts
dedicated to the warm conservatory and window garden.

However, if one has not, and cannot achieve, the advantage of a hotbed
then one must make the most of what is attainable and resort to flats.
These may be of any shape or size, but the usual florists' flats—about
fifteen inches wide and twenty long and not over five inches deep—are
of a practical size for general use; narrower ones which may be set
on a window sill are also useful but will not give a large number of
plants. Very convenient plant boxes which simulate a miniature hotbed,
being about six inches high in the back and about four in front, of the
usual flat size and supplied with a hinged lid of glass, are sold by
the florists but are easily manufactured at home and are better than
the open flats as they enable one to regulate moisture, the principal
trouble—owing to the dry air of the living rooms, the shallowness of
the soil, in growing plants in flats.

Several holes for drainage should be made in the bottom of the boxes
and these covered with pieces of shard or glass and the boxes filled to
within a half inch of the top with a good compost consisting of fibrous
loam—that shaved from the bottom of sods—leaf mould, clean white sand
and a little well-rotted manure, all thoroughly mixed and free from
roughage.

The seeds should be broadcasted, if fine, drilled in if coarse, and the
soil pressed down snugly over them. In the case of fine seed it is a
good idea to cover with fine white sand instead of soil as this is less
subject to the minute fungus which causes the deadly "damping off" so
destructive to plant life and especially troublesome in growing plants
in the house.

As in the planting in the hotbed, the seed plots should be carefully
labeled with name and date of sowing. After planting the seeds the
flats should be set in a pan of water until the surface looks dark but
not wet. They should then be covered with a sheet of white paper and
glass and set in a warm, sunny window until germination takes place.
Then the glass should be raised sufficiently to admit air and the paper
removed and placed between the box and the window or a width of cheese
cloth may be interposed between the glass and the box to temper the
sunlight until the little plants have acquired their first pair of true
leaves when they will be able to endure more heat and air which should
be steadily increased until on mild days the window may be opened that
they may benefit by full sunshine and air. As soon as the little plants
are an inch high, transplant into other flats, setting an inch or more
apart each way, and grow on as before or until they again crowd each
other, when they may be transferred to small two or three inch pots and
the sand box until time to go into the ground.

[Footnote 1: Or a trench as deep as the completed pit and as narrow as
can be handled may be dug to outline a pit of the required dimensions,
and filled with grout, well tamped down; when this has had time to
harden sufficiently, the earth may be removed from the center and the
cement given a finishing coat, and the wall brought to the required
height above ground by the aid of a frame of boards.]



CHAPTER III

PLANTING SEED IN THE OPEN GROUND


Is important for it is just the form that most of the garden sowing
will take. The sowing of seed in hotbeds and flats in the house is of
much interest and importance, but the garden, for the most part, will
go directly into the open ground, and upon the care and judgment with
which the planting is done will depend the success of the season's work.

The ground should be in as good condition for sowing as
possible—neither too dry nor too wet. It should, and this is of much
importance, be warm. The best of seed will not germinate if sown in
wet, cold soil, especially is this true of peas and beans, failures
with these being almost invariably due to too much haste in planting or
unfavorable weather immediately following. It is no unusual thing in a
cold, late spring for these legumes to require repeated replanting and
with the enormously advanced price of all kinds of seeds it will not
pay to take too long chances by undue haste in planting. Usually it is
quite safe to plant nearly all of the garden truck by the tenth of May
at the north but the weather for the recent seasons has been unusual
and much loss was occasioned by adhering too closely to an established
schedule; so, if the season promises to be in any way, except for
earliness, abnormal, it is best to go slowly and not trust all one's
seed to an initial planting but to hold a little in reserve to replant
unfilled areas. Cutworms, too, have caused much devastation the past
few seasons—usually these are troublesome to transplanted things,
mainly cabbage, peppers and tomatoes, but last year they destroyed
beans and other plants impartially, causing much loss.

In planting a seed drill attached to a hand cultivator will be of
great assistance as seed may be drilled in rows or dropped in hills
at different distances apart so rapidly that the entire garden may be
planted in little more time than it takes to do an hundred foot row
by hand, and the drill will do it better, opening up the rows, sowing
the seed and covering all in one operation. If, however, one is not
possessed of this convenient implement one can do very well without by
removing one hoe of the hand cultivator, or by reversing both hoes and
bringing the points together and opening a drill to receive the seed
and covering it with the hoe or rake, or it may even be opened with a
trowel, which though laborious, is a very effectual way.

The soil must always be firmed above the seed after sowing, either
by means of a flat piece of board, with a handle on one surface or,
in the case of large seeds by tramping the rows with the feet; this
firming of the soil is most important, it brings the soil close about
the seed so that the first little root—a very tiny, delicate little
root, feeling its way about in search of nourishment can come at once
into contact with the warm soil and obtain the food and moisture so
critically needed at this juncture of its little life. The firming
of the soil conserves the moisture, preventing the entrance of dry,
hot air, and to obtain this further the ground after being tramped
down should be gone over lightly with rake or trowel and a dust-mulch
produced. In fact, all through one's gardening processes one must keep
the dust-mulch in evidence for it means conservation of moisture and
fertility and freedom from weeds.

Seeds of different sizes, hardness and germination qualities,
require different treatment; fine seeds may be sown in shallow
drills, scattering seeds whose germinary power is known to be low or
questionable quite thickly in the drills; beets are usually sown quite
freely, while radishes—nearly every seed of which may be trusted to
grow—may be scattered at about the distance they are wanted to stand
in the rows; beans, too, may be dropped at about the distance they will
require—six inches or more apart for limas, and as these seeds are
sensitive to cold and dampness it is a wise precaution to set them on
edge, eye down, in the drills. Seeds that germinate slowly, like peas,
are hastened considerably by being soaked over night in warm water,
and many seeds that require considerable time to start are hastened if
warm water be poured into the trenches before the soil is filled in;
this is especially beneficial in very dry soil where germination might
otherwise be delayed until after a rain.

[Illustration: _An orderly arrangement of garden beds_]

It is not necessary that new seed be purchased every spring; if one
has seed of his own saving so that its age is known one can use it
with confidence. Seed purchased of the seedsman is more or less
problematical, but is usually supposed to be of the previous season's
crop, especially is this true of those seedsmen who produce their own
seed on farms located in different sections of the country, and whose
seeds are usually very reliable. However there are many seedsmen, or
jobbers, who purchase the bulk of their seeds in the open market and
cannot guarantee the quality in any way. It is always a great mistake
to purchase cheap seed; it is better to buy seed of a reputable
seedsman who puts his name and reputation back of it, though the price
may be considerably higher than one would pay for the same seed of
the local store or seedsman.

Where one has sufficient old seed of different kinds it is a good idea
to test them out during the late days of winter and so ascertain their
fitness for use. The testing is a simple matter, warmth and moisture
being all that is required. A long tray covered with an inch of sand
kept moist may be marked off in squares and the seed it is desired to
test scattered evenly over the surface, labeling or numbering each
square, then a thick piece of flannel should be wet in warm water and
placed snugly over all and the tray put in a warm place—back of the
furnace, over a radiator or on the back of the kitchen reservoir if a
fire is kept there all the time, until the seeds germinate; it will
then be seen what proportion germinate and how freely one will need to
sow in order to obtain a good stand of plants. If the supply of seed is
large a germination test of seventy-five per cent. will justify its use
but if there is only a limited supply it will be better to purchase
fresh seed or at least sufficient to supplement the home supply. It
is always worth while to save one's own seed if the vegetables have
exceptionally good qualities; this insures trueness to name and often
an improvement over the parent stock; it is not, however, desirable
where a number of varieties of any vegetable is grown in the same
garden as the seed is quite certain to be mixed and the good qualities
of the parent stock to be lost.

In sowing seed in the open ground cultivation should begin as soon
as the seed is sown and covered. In the case of large seed which is
tramped down in the rows and covered an inch or more it is not always
necessary to rake over the rows for a dust-mulch, rarely if it is
likely to rain immediately. Under this condition the rows will be quite
distinct and as soon as the rain is over and the ground slightly dried
off the scuffle-hoe may be run along the rows restoring the dust-mulch,
or creating one. Where the planting is shallow it is an excellent plan
to drop radish seeds at intervals along the row as these will appear
in from three to five days, thus marking the rows so that there will
be no difficulty in following them. When this is done it will not be
necessary to use ground especially for planting radishes so that there
will be a saving in room that may be utilized to advantage for other
vegetables. Lettuce, too, may be grown to advantage by planting a short
strip of seed at the end of rows of other vegetables, where full rows
are not required, as this saves space in the garden and the lettuce if
placed at the ends of the rows nearest the house is easily accessible
and does away with the necessity of walking on the garden after it has
been cultivated, a thing the careful gardener avoids.

With the intensive gardening practised on the small plot where the
vegetables are planted in close rows from a foot to two feet apart,
the ground should be at all times in a fine tilth, free from unworked
strips and trodden paths. It is of little value to cut off the weeds
with the hoe or cultivator if they are to be trodden back in the ground
and so given a new lease of life. The scuffle-hoe is a real boon to
the gardener in obviating this difficulty as in using it one walks
backwards, pushing the hoe from one instead of drawing it towards one
as is done with the common garden hoe; this leaves a beautiful, clean
tilth, absolutely free from trampled areas and nothing cut off by the
hoe will take on a new lease of life over night. More real work can
be accomplished by the use of the scuffle than with any other tool in
the garden; it does not supplant altogether the wheel cultivator but
does its work when used alternately with it; the cultivator breaking
up the soil to a greater depth, and more rapidly than the scuffle, but
the latter destroys far more thoroughly all weeds and reaches closer
to the plants, slipping underneath the leaves and close to the stems
and routing out any and all weeds lurking there. The cultivator leaves
the ground in ridges and aerates it, the scuffle levels it again and
produces a fine dust-mulch which will preserve the moisture until
another rain calls for the use of the cultivator.

Unless the season is a very rainy one, one good cultivation a week,
either with scuffle or cultivator, will keep the garden in excellent
shape, but every rain MUST be followed by cultivation of some sort, for
there is great loss of moisture if this is not done and weeds follow
quickly after rain.

The various weeds with which the garden is afflicted come at separate
intervals—not all together, and when one has eradicated one set of
weeds there is usually a brief interval before the appearance of the
next detachment. But one must have them continually in mind and keep
a sharp lookout for the first tiny seedlings and destroy them before
they have made even one pair of true leaves. Working around individual
plants with a trowel or hand weeder has this advantage that it spies
out the enemy before it would attract attention if the rows were worked
with hoe or cultivator. The severe thinning that such plants as beets,
carrots, endive, salsify, onions and the like require clears the rows
of weeds and helps materially in general cultivation. This thinning
out should always be done prior to cultivating between the rows, then
the paths are left clear and untrodden and the garden is a delight
to look upon. A basket should be carried along the rows to drop the
plants removed so that they may be out of the way when ready to run the
cultivator. Nearly all plants which require thinning may be used in
setting out fresh rows of vegetables and where there are vacant places
in the rows the spaces may be filled up with plants removed from too
crowded areas.

The first weeds to appear in the spring are the chickweed and the
malice[2] that has remained over from the previous year, being a
perennial and a very hardy and persistent one; these two are ploughed
under and give little or no trouble if the work has been well done. The
new crop does not appear until late in the season—usually in July.
Purslaine comes along in June and soon after appears that particular
pest of the garden—red root. All these are very easily eradicated when
small but the red root is an exceedingly hard weed to pull once it has
got a grip on the ground and it must be taken out root and all or it
will come up again with not one but several stout stalks, and a more
tenacious hold than ever on the soil; it is one of the weeds which are
constantly eluding detection until they have gained several inches in
height when they defy the hoe and cultivator and call for strenuous
hand work!

Many of the garden weeds may be utilized for feeding stock. Belgian
hares are fond of the fresh green leaves of malice and pigs enjoy both
that and the purslaine and as the former comes at a time when there
is little green feed available for the hares it may be pulled and fed
rather than turned under. Ragweed is relished by horses and they will
frequently go into a patch of it and eat it in preference to good
clover growing near by.

[Footnote 2: Common name "malice" from its bad reputation; properly,
mallow (_malva rotundifolia_).]



CHAPTER IV

TRANSPLANTING


Transplanting is one test of a good gardener, another is the care
of the plants after they are gotten into the ground—the careful
cultivation that forbids a weed to show its head above ground, or a
crust to form on the soil after a rain; these two successful operations
spell success in the garden—their absence failure.

For several days before the young plants in the hotbed are to be
put into the ground they should be hardened by leaving the sash
entirely off and by occasionally withholding water that they may be
accustomed to the irregular water supply of the open ground, but the
beds should be well watered the night before transplanting that the
plants may absorb enough moisture to carry them through the ordeal of
transplanting and that the soil may have sufficient moisture to adhere
to the roots.

The planting lines in the garden should be drawn and the holes
for those plants which are to stand some distance apart—such as
tomatoes, peppers and the like, should be already dug and, where extra
fertilizing is called for, the hills enriched with a good spadeful of
well decayed manure and the ground all ready for the plants. In this
way transplanting will go forward with the least possible delay and the
plants will suffer little, if any, from the change.

It is not at all necessary to wait for a rainy spell as so many think
desirable; the most successful planting can be done on a clear,
bright day if the work is handled properly; indeed this is just the
weather that gives best results, a period of rainy weather with cloudy
intervals between is also favorable except for the discomfort of
working in the wet but when planting time comes one must not think too
much of one's personal comfort,—it is up to one to get things into the
ground and growing; we can be comfortable later on when there is time
for it.

A rainy spell, broken by hot, sunshiny, muggy days is of all times the
worst for transplanting; plants wilt and die in spite of one, fairly
cooked by the hot steam engendered by the rain and sunshine, and such
planting weather should be avoided unless the season is late and the
planting urgent. Only as many plants should be lifted at one time as
can be put into the ground before they wilt. Do not try to lift plants
separately but lift them in clumps, pressing the trowel well down
below the roots and lifting the plants with as little disturbance as
possible—never pull up the plants by the tops as one sometimes sees
done; this strips off the tender, fibrous roots on which the plant
depends for gathering its food. The tap root which remains has little
foraging value, it serves, principally, to hold the plant in the ground
while the fine, lateral roots are busy collecting food to feed the
growing top; if these little feeding roots are destroyed the plant must
make a new supply before top growth can be resumed.

Do not attempt to separate the plants at once but carefully release
each plant as it is required; in this way they retain their freshness
and loss from wilting is minimized.

Make a hole large and deep enough for the roots, setting them deeper
than they were in the hotbed, and fill in part of the earth, pressing
it down firmly, fill in the hole with water and when it has seeped away
fill in the remainder of the earth, leaving it dry, fine and smooth
about the plant. Each of these three operations may be completed for
the entire row of plants before going on to the next: the plants set in
the hole and the first earth drawn up, then all the holes filled with
water and by the time the last hole is filled the first will be ready
for final filling in with earth. This is a more efficient method than
to complete one hole at a time and keeps the plants in better shape.

When the whole planting of one variety of vegetable is completed go
over them carefully, noting any wet spots that may appear on the
surface and cover them with more dry earth. Remember that it is upon
the integrity of the dry mulch that the success of the planting
depends. Do not try to protect the plants in any way; if sufficient
water has been placed in the hole, the earth firmed sufficiently and
an efficient dry mulch provided the plant will be much better off than
if protected in any way. Do not water after transplanting until the
plants have become established and need it. If for any cause some of
the plants show signs of wilting while the dust-mulch is still perfect
a hole should be made at one side of the plant and water poured in,
recovering the spot with dry earth. If it rains immediately after
planting, clearing off with fair weather, the beds must be gone over
with the scuffle-hoe to replace the dust-mulch as soon as it can be
worked to advantage. One has only to bear in mind that the secret of
successful planting is moisture at the roots and dry earth above to
succeed.



CHAPTER V

GARDEN TOOLS


Are so important in the proper care of the garden and for the ease
with which it may be worked that only the best should be considered;
the best, however, need not be the most expensive, but they should be
the best adapted to the work to be attempted. It is not necessary that
their number be large, indeed, the number of tools really indispensable
is relatively small, but definite. A good steel garden rake will be one
of the first tools required and this should be of the steel variety,
neither too light nor too heavy. Get a good spade with a "D" handle
that fits the hand and foot. A wheelbarrow of the wooden sideboard
construction will also be required; to these will be added a garden
line and a hand cultivator and as this is the most expensive and
important tool its selection is of much moment. There are three forms
of wheel hoes on the market: the high single wheel, the medium wheel
and the low double wheel made to straddle the rows. The double wheeled
machines have the advantage of working each side of the row, close to
the plants as well as between the rows and if the hoes or cultivator
teeth are properly adjusted will do twice the work of a single wheel.
Some of the double wheeled cultivators are readily changed into single
wheels by removing one wheel. Too high a wheel is not desirable, and as
the wheel is the part of the cultivator that bears most of the strain
it should be of substantial construction. Most of the machines on the
market have as attachments a set of plough blades, four harrow teeth
and hoe. My own—a Planet Junior, two-wheel cultivator has also an
attachment for creating a dust-mulch, similar to a scuffle-hoe, but
this was made especially for the machine by a local blacksmith and is a
very useful addition to the outfit.

If one does not object to the extra expense a seeding attachment
can be added that will minimize the work of planting the garden. A
good machine with seeder that will plant in rows and with all the
attachments can be purchased for $16.00 or the same machine which will
sow in rows and also in hills 4, 6, 8, 12, or 24 inches apart can be
purchased for $19.00 and is a good buy, for a good machine of this
kind, if properly cared for, kept under shelter when not in use, oiled
occasionally, the attachments kept sharpened and given an occasional
coat of paint as required is good for twenty years at least. There are
still cheaper machines on the market, single wheel implements with
the usual attachments, that will do good work, for as little as $5.25
and $7.50, and two wheelers at $10.00 and one single wheel that is
especially designed for wear, with an iron instead of wire wheel, built
for service at $7.00.

To this assortment of tools should be added a straight edged garden
hoe, or any preferred shaped edge, and a scuffle-hoe. This last is
obtainable in 6, 8, 9, and 10 inch blade and costs ninety cents for
the 6 inch and $1.00 for the 9 inch size; the ten inch does more rapid
work and can be run between rows planted twelve to fifteen inches
wide, clearing the entire space between in one operation so that one
goes over the ground very rapidly. Useful in any one's hands it is
preëminently a woman's tool, no lame and aching back accompanies its
use as one does not lean over in hoeing as with the common garden
hoe. If I could have but one tool to garden with I think it would be
a scuffle-hoe, for no other tool will keep the garden so free from
weeds. With the common garden hoe my paths through the garden are
usually marked by the wreckage of plants, for use as much care as I can
sooner or later I get to hoeing too vigorously and off goes a cabbage,
tomato or onion. The scuffle-hoe does not seem to arouse an excess of
energy; one goes along smoothly and serenely, leaving clean tilth and
undepleted rows of vegetables in one's wake and looking back at the end
of each row sees that it is good.

A trowel—or a number of them is better—is a very necessary implement
and because one is prone to mislay trowels, or leave one at the hotbed
when going for plants it is well to have one for each place and either
to attach it to a string to one's belt—if only one is possessed, or
to attach a bright red cloth to the handle that it may be identified
if dropped among weeds, loose earth or grass for the trowel seems to
have a chameleon like nature and takes on the color of its surroundings
and becomes invisible to the eye once it has left one's hand. The
bright color will save many moments wasted time in looking for it and
has proved its worth on more than one occasion. In purchasing a trowel
selection should be made of the sort that has the blade and handle in
one; this construction, if of steel, will insure a tool that will last
until worn out by use, the trowel with a wooden handle has usually a
flimsy blade and a handle that is not dependable.

A garden line and reel that may be purchased for $1.75 is a convenient
thing to have when laying out lines for planting, but a very good
substitute can be produced from an old broom handle and a ball of
butcher's twine by sawing the handle into two eighteen inch lengths,
boring a hole in one end of each piece and sharpening the other end,
passing the ends of the cord through the hole and making a knot too
large to slip through the hole, makes the line more convenient to
handle than if tied around the stick, as it cannot slip in winding,
or any ingenious boy with simple tools can copy the regular reel in
a short time. A very simple, home made tool for marking rows equal
distances apart consists of a straight pole of wood with a cross piece
at one end, fifteen, eighteen or twenty-four inches on each end from
the center pole and provided with triangular pieces at the ends and
in the center for markers, or wooden rake teeth may be set in holes
provided for them. This is drawn along the ground and makes one, two
or three rows at one operation. The construction of two or three of
these markers is a short job and they save a considerable amount of
time in laying out the garden. The twenty-four inch marker can also be
used for marking the twelve inch rows by adjusting the pegs. The hand
cultivators with seeding attachments have also a marker which while
seeding one row marks out the following one.

A watering pot and some kind of spraying apparatus for the use of
insecticides will also be needed. A rubber bulb with perforated metal
top and bent neck, such as is used for spraying house plants is an
excellent thing to use where the use of wood alcohol is indicated.
Paris green may be applied from a fine-nosed watering pot if liquid
form is used or if a dry application is preferred a common mason quart
can with the porcelain lining of the top removed and the latter punched
full of holes makes an effective distributor when filled with dry
lime or flour and Paris green or hellebore. I have never seen a hand
atomizer or spray pump or powder blow gun that was a particle of use;
the tyrian sprinklers, however, are practical and useful for spraying
in a small way for aphis, red spider and for squash bugs. A knapsack or
auto-sprayer with galvanized iron reservoir can be purchased for $6.25,
with brass reservoir for $9.50 and is a good investment where there
are small fruits—currants, gooseberries, and small trees—and is
profitable for a neighborhood garden investment if one does not wish to
go to the entire expense for a small garden. Something of the kind is
indispensable where potatoes are grown, though for a small patch hand
picking of bugs is preferable. A garden fork will be needed in the fall
when the potatoes, carrots, parsnips and other root vegetables are to
be dug and as wide a one as available should be purchased as the more
roots one can lift at a time the more quickly the work will progress.
A spading fork is very useful in the garden in loosening the earth
about plants, planted a considerable distance apart, when heavy rain
has beaten the earth down hard and is especially useful for cultivating
about berry plants, young fruit trees and grape vines, where the use of
a spade would injure the roots of the plant.

A manure barrel, while not a tool, is a valuable accessory of the
garden and its use will notably increase the yield of certain
vegetables. A large lard barrel is a good sort to use and it must be
prepared by burning out the lard which will likely adhere to it,
or it may be washed out with strong soapsuds or lye—a more tedious
process. A hole large enough to receive a wooden spigot should be bored
a couple of inches above the bottom of the barrel. The barrel should
be placed on a firm support—a heavy wooden box answering the purpose,
high enough to allow a watering pot to stand beneath the spigot; three
or four inches of straw are then placed in the bottom of the barrel
for drainage and should come well above the spigot hole; the barrel is
then filled full of manure and water turned in until brimming full; a
close cover to exclude flies completes the preparation. When the manure
liquid is required it is only necessary to place the watering can in
position, open the spigot and allow the liquid to run until the can is
full. After drawing off a supply of liquid an equal amount of water
should be returned to the barrel to keep it always full and ready for
use. When first established the liquid will be very strong and it will
be best to dilute it, using half water and half liquid, and liquid
manure should never be used when the ground is dry, but always after a
rain or artificial watering.

A barrel once filled can be used over and over again until the liquid
begins to appear pale in color, when the manure should be removed from
the barrel and fresh supplied. If there is only a limited demand for
this fertilizer, one filling will last out the summer, but where there
are a number of uses for it it will need one or more renewals. Any kind
of animal manure may be used—that from the horse stable being usually
the most available but use may be made of the manure from the cow
stable, the sheep pen or the rabbit hutches, but not from the poultry
houses as this form is too strong to be used in liquid form, though its
use in dry form is excellent for many vegetables.

Tomato supports are among the useful adjuncts of the garden and very
good home made ones can be provided by utilizing the wire hoops that
come around barrels, stapling them to four stout stakes; by their use a
considerably larger number of plants can be grown in a given area and
the care and gathering of the fruit will be far pleasanter than where
the vines are allowed to lie on the ground.



CHAPTER VI

HOLDING AND INCREASING THE FERTILITY OF THE SOIL


There is no one thing that the gardener so needs to keep always in
mind of more importance than that the soil needs additional fertility;
it does not matter how good it may have been originally or how good
it was last year; this year it must have returned to it the food that
was taken from it last year by the crop that was grown upon it. Any
soil that is not virgin soil—soil that has never been used, and that
sort of soil is not available in towns and villages if, indeed, it is
anywhere in an old, settled country like ours—must have returned to
it, year after year, an equivalent of the fertility extracted from
it in growing the previous season's crop. It may be that the loss of
many seasons must be made good, it may be that the soil was originally
deficient in many, or only one, of the elements that make fertility;
probably it will lack that most important element of productive
soil—humus. Humus, be it understood, is that element in the soil
that causes it to appear dark. What it really consists of is decayed
vegetable matter and it is always found forming the top soil of virgin,
or uncultivated land. It is present in large amounts in woodlands where
the falling leaves and surface growth lie on the ground, year after
year, and decay and form what is technically known as leaf mould. We
know how admirably it is adapted to the growing of house plants, and
its value is often erroneously attributed to the plant food it is
supposed to contain, but its great value is not so much in its food
content as its influence on the soil with which it is combined; by its
presence it makes the soil retentive of moisture and this moisture in
turn unlocks the chemical elements of the soil so that they become
available for food. Soils that are deficient of humus, though otherwise
fertile, dry out so badly in summer that unless artificially watered,
they will produce little, and even where a sufficient water supply
is available the result will fall far short of what would have been
produced were the supply of humus sufficient.

Fortunately there are ways of restoring the humus to worn out soils and
on the small area of the kitchen garden the process presents little if
any difficulty. The most readily available source of humus is found
in a liberal application of barnyard manure; this for the quickest
and most satisfactory results should be well rotted, but not fired or
leached—that is, it should have been saved in such a way that the rain
has not washed the fertility out of it in the form of liquid manure,
or lack of moisture caused it to heat and burn. The most satisfactory
method of handling manure is under shelter in a cement bottom pit with
a depression or well for the liquid contents to drain into; this is
seldom available in the town or city garden, but an enclosed pen for
the manure, where it can be kept in a compact pile and where water can
be turned on often enough to prevent firing, answers very well; better
still is it to draw the manure on the land as it is produced; this,
too, is seldom practicable in the small garden, but a heavy dressing
of manure can always be applied in the fall, spread evenly and allowed
to lie and rot over winter and be turned under in the spring while it
is wet. The rapidity of decay, and hence the availability of the plant
food it contains of any vegetable matter turned under in a garden is
greatly increased if it is turned under wet, dry material turned under
rots very slowly and may be a detriment rather than a help to the crops
that are grown over it that season. If a plant sends its roots down
into a mass of dry leaves, straw or other material it has no chance to
gain either moisture or nourishment and must exist on what little its
surface roots can extract from the top layer of soil.

In spading manure into a small strip of land or a bed I usually allow
at least one large wheelbarrow to a square yard and this proportion
should be observed for the whole garden. Practically about twenty tons
of manure per acre will be required for good results, market gardeners
often use far more, or a large, two horse load for a strip of land
fifty feet square. If the land is light and sandy the manure should
be well rotted but on clay or heavy tenacious soil fresh manure gives
better results as it breaks apart the particles of the soil, by the
expansion caused by heating, and adds sand, which is also a mechanical
disintegrant, permanent in effect.

There is another way in which humus can be immediately supplied and
that is by applications of woods earth or marsh earth-muck, directly
to the soil. Where a supply of either form of humus is available it
pays well to employ it. For a number of years I made a practice of
keeping track of available sources of humus, noting as I drove about
the country where new land was being broken up and especially where
marsh land was being ditched and drained; then in the spring I would
engage the owner to haul me as many loads as I required, but as the
time passed it became necessary to go farther and farther afield until
the cost of hauling became prohibitive.

There has been considerable discussion of late in agricultural papers
as to the value of raw muck when applied to the land. Muck in its
unsubdued state is more of a fuel-peat than a fertilizer; it needs to
be subdued by lying out over winter so that the frost may disintegrate
it and make it available for plant food, but I have found that it may
be made immediately available in its raw state by burying or covering
it with a layer of soil to exclude the air and retain moisture; in
this form it gradually changes to humus and plants grown in it do
exceedingly well. Among interesting experiments conducted to test its
use was this conclusive one: deep holes were dug in beds that were to
be planted to bedding plants—cannas, salvias and the like; these holes
were filled with the raw muck and covered with the soil of the garden
and into this the plants were set and the usual culture followed;
the results were surprising; salvias, that ordinarily made a growth
of about thirty inches reached the astonishing height of nearly five
feet and were a mass of blooms; still more astonishing results were
discovered in clearing the beds in the fall when it was found that the
muck had practically disappeared, the plants having literally consumed
it. Left on the surface of the soil the muck would have dried into a
hard, intractable mass, fit only for fuel.

If one had a supply of raw muck available and wished to apply it to
the garden it could be handled by following the plough and shovelling
the muck into the open furrow; the next furrow turned would cover it.
It would be of much benefit and would be turned to the surface again
in the following spring ploughing. This should not be expected to take
the place of barnyard manure, as it would lack some elements contained
in that but it could be combined with such commercial fertilizers as
the condition of the soil might suggest—lime, for instance, might be
indicated by the sourness of the soil. If sorrel is plentiful on the
ground it is a pretty good indication that lime is in order, but one
need not depend upon its presence for data as these may be quickly
attained by the use of blue litmus paper which may be obtained of any
druggist. Its use is simple; if the soil is very wet, simply pressing a
strip of litmus paper down into it and examining it in an hour's time
will indicate, according as it retains its color or turns pink—the
acid reaction—the presence of acidity in the soil, or a cupful of the
soil may be mixed with water to a thin paste and the paper inserted
with the same diagnosis.

Lime is more in the form of a stimulant or indirect fertilizer than
a real plant-food; it is in a medical sense an alterative, changing
the nature of the soil. It not only sweetens, but mechanically, it
binds loose soil, but flocculates or opens up tenacious clayey soils,
affording freer passage of air and water and lessening the tendency
to wash. It should be applied, on light, sandy soils at the rate of
about five hundred pounds per acre or twenty-five pounds to every
fifty square feet of garden plot; ten times this amount can be used
on a heavy clay soil, but liming of the soil is not necessary every
year, about once in five being desirable, so that considered as an
expense it is nearly negligible. Slaked lime is best, and wood ashes,
which contain about thirty-four per cent. of lime, are valuable aids
in building up the fertility of the soil. They should not, however,
be mixed with the manure or applied at the same time as they tend
to release the ammonia contained in the manure and as ammonia spells
nitrate—the most costly of all our commercial fertilizers—the ashes
should rather be broadcasted over the ground after the manure is turned
in and then mixed with the soil by dragging and harrowing.

There are fourteen different chemical elements that are necessary for
plant growth—carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, phosphorus, sulphur,
chlorine, silicon, calcium, iron, potassium, sodium, magnesium and
manganese; the first four are derived directly or indirectly from
the air, the remainder from the soil. Virgin soil contains all these
soil-derived elements in available form and in sufficient quantities
for plant growth, and it has the power to absorb the elements which
are derived from the air, but our short sighted methods of soil
cultivation, or robbery, deplete the soil of some of its elements
faster than it can convert them into available food for the plants.
Liberal applications of manure replace the loss more quickly and
economically than any other treatment and if this is supplemented with
such chemical elements as the soil may seem to be particularly in need
of the fertility of the soil will be assured.

The most economical and practical treatment of the soil would be
through the analysis of the soil by a soil chemist; this can readily be
done by sending a sample of the soil to your state agricultural college
which will analyze and advise as to its requirements, or a sample can
be given to your county agent who will attend to it and advise you. In
this way one works intelligently and wastes neither time nor money in
experiments with no definite aim.

Not all of the fourteen different chemical elements required for plant
food need to be artificially supplied; there are but three important
elements which we need to consider in this connection—nitrogen,
phosphoric acid and potash and only one of these may be lacking; a
soil analysis will indicate which one. Nitrogen is the most expensive
of the three; it is available, commercially, in three forms—organic
nitrogen, ammonia and nitrates. The organic nitrogen is commonly and
most economically derived from tankage and dried blood—by-products
of slaughter-houses—dried fish, and refuse from fish canneries and
cottonseed meal; they contain, approximately—in dried blood, ten to
fifteen per cent.; tankage, seven to nine; dried fish, seven to eight;
cottonseed meal, six to seven per cent. These decay rapidly when added
to the soil and are particularly valuable when applied to light soils,
where nitrates or ammonia leach too rapidly and should not be applied
until the crops are up and growing. They make available during their
processes of fermentation the phosphoric acid and potash already
present in the soil. Sulphate of ammonia, containing about twenty
per cent. of nitrogen is a valuable chemical form in which to secure
nitrogen as it does not leach from the soil as nitrate of soda does and
so can be made available by the plant without loss.

Phosphoric acid is found commercially in the form of superphosphates;
these come from phosphate rocks and are first ground, then treated
with sulphuric acid. Bone is rich in phosphoric acid and is a very
excellent form in which to supply this element to the garden, as it is
obtained in several forms—raw bone, coarsely ground, fine ground and
bone meal. One may by applying two or more grades secure the fertility
of the garden for several years as raw bone decays slowly and will
give results for a period of four years while bone meal is immediately
available. Potash is most economically supplied by applications of
wood ashes. But it must be borne in mind that the use of commercial
fertilizers is not intended to replace that of barnyard manure, but
rather to supplement it until the soil has regained what it has lost
by poor management. Commercial fertilizers will of themselves produce
a crop, but it is at the expense of the after-fertility of the land,
just as the application of the whip will spur a jaded horse to one
more final effort. Liberal applications of manure, leaf mould or
muck and bone meal will bring any land that has soil at all, up to a
satisfactory condition of fertility in a very few years.

Nor is it necessary to go far afield for the humus for so small a piece
of land as a kitchen garden for the material for the finest kind of
mould lies right at hand in every bit of outdoors. What nature does
in a field and woods she will do in one's dooryard if one will only
watch her methods and co-operate with her. In the woods, for instance,
she shakes down the ripe leaves from the trees, cuts with frost and
age the undergrowth and sends the wind to drift them into piles where
she waters and compacts them until in process of time they lose their
identity as leaves and plants and become a fine, black mould, fine
and warm to the touch and blended with a clean, sharp, white sand, or
silicate. To imitate her methods successfully we have only to collect
the dead leaves in the fall instead of wastefully burning them, pile
them in a heap in some convenient place; surround them with a frame
to keep them from being distributed about the premises by fowls or
wind and to the nucleus thus formed add any waste matter—animal or
vegetable—that will decay, about the place—the weeds from the garden,
the wastings from the house and laundry. It is amazing, once one has
started to conserve fertility, how much one can find to add to this
compost heap; I recall that one spring, from a well-tended compost
heap and one horse stable, I had hauled on to the garden ten large,
two-horse loads of fertilizer, and put the garden in excellent shape,
and not only this,—it had kept the premises tidy as nothing else would
have done. The gatherings of the summer and fall will, by spring, have
rotted down into available form and the action of the soil, sun and
rain will complete the process.

The growing of pet stock on a place adds so greatly to the upkeep
of the land that it constitutes an object in itself. Poultry is an
abundant source of manure which may be composted in barrels with
alternate layers of soil, of lime or of any absorbent material or may
be piled on the compost heap and mixed with the vegetable matter.
To this will be added the litter from the hen house floors which is
rich in droppings and full of earth and ground up leaves and straw.
But another source of manure, not enough considered, is found in the
droppings from the rabbit hutches. If one raises Belgian hares, as
every one who wishes to conserve meat, should, one will find that,
in addition to a supply of delicious meat, one has also produced a
valuable garden asset in the form of a highly concentrated manure; one
will also find that one has practically done away with all waste from
the garden as the hares will have consumed all the unusable parts of
the vegetables—all such early things that run to seed, as lettuce,
endive, swiss chard and the like. A large part of the weeds incident
to a garden will also be consumed if pulled and offered them, thus
minimizing the weed growth for the coming year, as every weed consumed
means just so many less to appear the following year. It will be many
years before the lesson of the home garden so insistently brought
before us by the war will be lost, but we shall not have gained the
full measure of its lesson if we do not realize that the critical
shortage of meat is not up to the farmer and stockman altogether, but
is a matter for each individual householder to adjust by producing, as
far as his environment will permit, his own meat supply, by raising
chickens and hares if only room for small stock is available, and pork
if it is possible to find room and feed for a pig—and a pig does not
require a great amount of room—a six by eight pen will do and a
paddock, with grass and fresh water, which need not be more than two
rods square, and reasonable attention to sanitation will render him a
contented and unobjectionable member of the family and a very savory
and profitable member, too, come butchering time. These three things
should go hand in hand;—A garden to produce vegetables for the family;
live stock to consume the waste from the garden and live stock to
furnish fertility for the garden; these three spell fertility for the
soil and prosperity for the family.

Where the supply of manure is limited so that the entire garden area
cannot be covered, quite as good returns may be secured by following
the plough with a load of any manure available, and dropping it in
the furrow that will correspond with the planting row—if for corn,
every three feet of furrows, setting stakes to indicate the fertilised
strips. In a small garden fertiliser may be trundled along in a
wheelbarrow and shovelled in with fork or spade. This is an excellent
plan in preparing ground for peas.



CHAPTER VII

ASPARAGUS


Is one of the garden assets. Once established an asparagus bed is good
for a lifetime, almost; certainly it is a permanent feature of the
garden, showing little if any deterioration if well cared for and kept
free from weeds.

The starting of an asparagus bed is not the serious undertaking it
was a few years ago, as the deep planting then thought so necessary
is seldom practised now; instead it is thought sufficient to open a
furrow—with the plough, if the planting is large, with the spade, if
small—set the plants and fill enough earth to cover the crown of the
plant, and, as growth starts, to gradually fill up the furrow until
the ground is level. The ground should be of the best and heavily
fertilised before planting, for asparagus is a gross feeder and an
additional application of coarse ground bone in each hill is well worth
while as it furnishes food for two or three years independently of such
annual dressing as the bed may receive.

For garden culture where hand cultivation is to be practised, the
plants may be set in hills two or three feet apart each way, leaving
room to cultivate between each way for the first few years. Two year
old roots are the best to use and in planting a little mound of earth
should be made in each hill, the roots of the plant spread out around
this so that the earth will fit in beneath, close to the under side of
the crown, then the earth should be firmed about the roots, a handful
of bone meal sprinkled over the soil and the remainder of the soil
filled in. Asparagus beds may be set in spring or fall; good results
follow either setting. The asparagus bed must be kept free of weeds
and grass from the start as once allowed to become infested with foul
seed and grass it is a very discouraging proposition. One of the worst
weeds to combat is the young asparagus plants which come up every year
from self-sown seed; to avoid this the tops should be cut, as soon as
the berries are red, and burned. If the tops are burned on the bed the
resulting ashes will be of benefit. It has been my observation for
many years that the spots where the tops were burned always gave finer
stalks than the rest of the bed; this suggests the application of wood
ashes as a top dressing after the dressing of manure, which should be
applied every spring, has been worked into the soil. A heavy covering
of barnyard manure may be applied in the fall and spaded under in the
spring, or it may be applied in February; if this is not feasible it
is an excellent plan to spade into the space between the hills any
available manure—poultry, rabbit or sheep or stable manure that is
well rotted. The space between the rows, or paths, should not be broken
up when this is done as, if unbroken and hard, it is easier to keep
the beds clean and an application of some good herbicide may even be
used to keep down weeds here. When the bed has been thoroughly spaded
and enriched in this way in the early part of the season I have found
the after care of the bed very much more successful than when all over
culture was attempted.

The variety to plant is largely a matter of taste—some prefer the
green, some the white grasses. Lately a preference is being shown for
the green. These will always be preferred by those who like a tender
asparagus. The white sorts—Bonvilete and Argenteuile—are unbelievably
tough as they appear in the market though beautifully white and of
mammoth proportions that make them very attractive; possibly if cut, as
the green grasses are, just below the level of the ground they would
prove more edible. All asparagus is tough below the ground, green as
well as white, and, for this reason, should not be cut much lower than
the surface.

Of the green grasses Conover's Colossal and Dreer's Eclipse are excellent
sorts, and Columbian Mammoth White is a white variety that is good.

If one wishes young plants for setting one can obtain them very easily
by cutting the tops of asparagus when the berries are nearly ripe and
piling them in some convenient place where the ground is mellow and
free from weeds and grass and leaving them undisturbed for a year; the
seeds will germinate and produce a large quantity of thrifty young
plants that later may be taken up and set where desired, and all
without any care or labor further than the cutting of the tops.

One may begin cutting the asparagus when the bed is two years old,
though small stalks will be produced at that age. Cutting at this age
should not extend over a period of two weeks and in an established
bed should be limited to four. All small stalks should be cut and not
allowed to grow during the cutting period as they would exhaust the
plant if allowed to grow, but when the cutting period is over they
should, of course, be allowed to grow.

Salt was formerly considered essential to successful asparagus culture
and certainly does no harm, but its chief value is in keeping down
weeds and this can be quite as successfully done by hand cultivation;
this is better than to form the habit of depending on some quick,
laborless road to clean beds—in the annals of gardening "There ain't
no such animule."



CHAPTER VIII

EARLY SPRING VEGETABLES


May be classified under two heads: those that remain in the ground over
winter and are ready for use as soon as the frost is out of the ground
and those vegetables that, owing to the short time required to bring to
maturity, are first available from the present year's planting; among
the first may be cited such forms as asparagus, parsnips, salsify,
parsley, kale, onions and a few others.

The latter class include such vegetables as beets, lettuce, radishes,
endive and early peas, all of which may be planted as soon as the
ground can be worked in spring, but for very earliest results use
should be made of the hotbed, sowing the seed in February or March
according to the latitude and transplanting as soon as the ground
can be worked in spring. By doing this from three to six weeks' time
may be gained. At the same time that plants from the hotbeds are
transplanted seed may be sown in the open ground in adjoining rows or
as a continuation of a short row of transplants, to come into use about
the time the first planting is exhausted; in this way a succession may
be maintained and the ground made to produce a more profitable amount
of vegetables as seed may be sown where the transplanted vegetables
were grown as soon as they are removed.


BEETS

Which may be planted in open ground as soon as it can be worked in
spring, do best on a fibrous loamy soil, but any good, warm, rich loam
will grow them satisfactorily; the cleaner the ground and the more
thorough the cultivation, however, the more uniform the crop which
will be produced. Sow the seed in drills fifteen to twenty inches
apart and about ½ inch deep, covering and tramping down the rows. It
is customary to sow the seed rather freely when sown by hand, but if
the seed is good rather better results follow sowing with a seeder,
owing to the more even distribution and the lessened amount of thinning
required; if vegetables of this class did not need thinning their
cultivation would be robbed of its chief burden; unfortunately they do
need it and quite drastic thinning at that; thinning should commence
as soon as the beets are large enough to handle, leaving them standing
about one inch apart. In about two weeks another thinning may be given.
By this time the young beets will be large enough for greens and they
may be thinned to stand two inches apart in the row; a third thinning
will be final and should leave about four inches between the beets;
this will allow room for full maturity and perfectly formed roots.
Beets are at their best when about an inch to an inch and a quarter
in diameter and this is the size which is utilized for canning; when
used of this size about an inch of the top may be left on and they are
served whole, dressed with butter and seasoning.

The old Egyptian beet has long been acknowledged as standard, but
Crosby's Egyptian is a distinct improvement upon the old form. It is
earlier, the color fine and the quality very sweet and tender. Early
Model beet is a new comer with an excellent reputation and both are
good selections for the home or the market garden.

In sowing in the hotbed it is not necessary to cover more than a fourth
of an inch; scatter the seed thinly and transplant in about three to
four weeks from the sowing of the seed, or when the plants and weather
make the successful planting most assured; set the plants about an inch
to an inch and a quarter apart and in using remove every other one;
this leaves abundant room for them to develop and makes cultivating and
freedom from weeds more assured.

A light application of nitrate of soda will work wonders in growing
early beets; scatter the nitrate thinly along the rows and cultivate
in, or the nitrate may be dissolved in water and applied from a
watering can, care being taken to apply to the soil only and not to
the plants. A handful of nitrate, about the usual quantity applied to
a two-gallon watering-pot of water, will be sufficient, or a hundred
pounds to the acre—this would amount to about twenty-five pounds to
the ordinary garden.

Beets may be sown for succession up to the middle of July and will
mature a crop for winter use. Late sown beets are less care to
cultivate owing to the fact that the season's crop of weeds is by that
time pretty well under control.


SWISS CHARD

Has been for several years much exploited by seedsmen as the one
indispensable vegetable for the city garden. It is no doubt a
dependable source of greens, making a rapid growth of succulent leaves
and is one of the showy, effective things in the garden that gives an
air of abundance and successful gardening unsurpassed by any other
vegetable, but, in my opinion, its merit ends right there and if
it were not for its value in furnishing green food in the greatest
quantity in the least time I should not give it space in the garden;
the midrib, so much recommended for cooking like asparagus, has an
unpleasant, earthy taste that, to me at least, is very disagreeable.

Its culture, however, is so easy that it is worth while for any one
who likes it to grow it. It can be planted in the open ground as soon
as the ground can be worked in the spring, or sown in the hotbed
and transplanted, thus gaining three weeks or more; sow in drill,
scattering the seed thinly and thin out the plants to stand six inches
apart in the rows. A light dressing of nitrate of soda will hasten the
growth and render the leaves more tender and succulent. This plant
does not need to have successive sowings made as by cutting down to
the ground it will make a new growth, and the outside leaves may be
gathered, the same as is done with spinach, and so produce a continuous
growth of tender, crisp leaves.

There are two varieties of the chard, the Giant Lucullus and the Silver
Beet; the latter variety being more delicate in flavor, having less of
the earthy taste. A novel variety—a cross between the Swiss Chard and
the table beet—is now offered by Luther Burbank which combines with
the usual chard qualities, much beauty of foliage, the leaves being
gorgeous in pink, yellow, green and white and it would certainly add
to the joy of gardening to have so beautiful a thing to tend, for this
reason and because the bunnies must have food, I am growing it in my
garden this year.


CHINESE CABBAGE

Though not a spring vegetable it is so similar in some respects
to Swiss Chard that it may well be a companion vegetable. It much
resembles the Romaine or Coss lettuce in its lush, upright leaves.
It should not, however, be planted until about the first of July as
early plantings run quickly to seed and do not develop the fine big
leaves of the type. It may be planted in short rows and transplanted
to about nine inches apart when large enough to handle. Nitrate is
again indicated for this quick-growing, succulent plant and as soon
as the leaves have attained considerable size they should be confined
by tying with bast or strips of soft cloth, to prevent their falling
apart rather than to blanch them. The outer leaves may be gathered as
they mature, leaving the inner leaves to grow and be gathered later. It
is eaten raw or cooked like cabbage, being more delicate in flavor and
without the objectionable cabbage odor when cooking. The large, fleshy
midribs, stripped off the leaf, may be eaten raw with salt like celery
or cooked like asparagus. When tied up the plant much resembles a very
large, handsome stalk of celery, but with big, broad leaves instead of
the feathery fronds of the latter plant.


ENDIVE

Classes with the foregoing vegetables, requiring practically the
same treatment. It should be started in the hotbed for early use,
transplanting to the open ground when the weather is favorable. As it
does not make very rapid growth at first it may as well remain under
the favorable guardianship of the warm hotbed until the middle of May,
when it should be transplanted in rows, setting the plants six inches
or more apart. When the plants are about two-thirds grown they must
be drawn together and tied for blanching, without which they are unfit
to use; this must be done when the plants are perfectly dry—in the
middle of a bright, sunny forenoon, being the best time for the work,
otherwise they will rot as they are very sensitive to moisture and
prone to decay—as a Japanese friend said of chrysanthemum seed;—"They
are very corruptible."

They are a most acceptable addition to salads and combine acceptably
with lettuce having a tangy bitterness very piquant, but it is as a
garnish that they excel; the fringed and curled fronds, pure white or
tinged with green in the less well-blanched specimens, are beautiful
indeed and they may well be grown for this alone.

Covering with boards is sometimes resorted to instead of tying, two
boards being laid along either side of the row to form a cap. It takes
about three weeks to properly blanch endive and the plants should be
used as soon as ready. If desired plants may be taken up in the fall
and planted in pots or boxes and placed in a light warm cellar or an
upstairs window for winter use. As the endive makes a mass of fibrous
roots it can be lifted without in any way checking its growth.

The Giant Fringed Endive is one of the best kinds. The Self-blanching
Endive is not a satisfactory sort as it lacks the beautiful color of
the blanched sort and is more prone to run to seed; either sort when
running up can be cut and fed to the rabbits and so turned to good
account, in fact I consider it worth planting for this purpose alone.
The Staghorn Endive is an excellent sort for spring growing as, started
in the hotbed and transplanted, it does not run to seed—a fault most
other varieties are addicted to; this sort may be planted for early
salads and the Giant Fringed later for fall and winter. Like all plants
which depend upon rapid growth for crispness and flavor an application
of nitrate is beneficial to endive and mellow, rich soil should be
selected for its growth.


LETTUCE

For the very earliest use plant seed in hotbed and transplant to open
ground about the middle of May, setting the plants about a foot apart
if head lettuce is desired and, of course, no one who is acquainted
with the superior excellence of head lettuce over the leaf variety
will care to grow the latter. There are so many excellent varieties
of lettuce on the market that one hesitates to recommend any special
sort but some are more reliable headers than others. One of the
surest headers and an excellent sort to plant in summer as it is more
resistant of heat than most sorts, is the Improved Hanson; this variety
makes a large, globe-shaped head, so compact that the inner leaves are
beautifully blanched and the quality is excellent. For those who like a
brown-leaved lettuce and in my opinion this sort excels in flavor all
others, the old May King is one of the best and should always find a
place in the garden whatever other varieties are grown. It is not as
large as lettuce and permits of closer planting than Hanson or All
Season—another most excellent head lettuce—a sure header and slow to
run to seed; it makes an immense head—almost as large as a Flat Dutch
Cabbage, with beautifully blanched inner leaves and a fine, buttery
flavor.

[Illustration: _Gratifying evidences of your own care and industry_]

Of the loose-leaved lettuce the Grand Rapids Forcing Lettuce is the
best known. This is a good sort to grow in the hotbed and may be
allowed to remain after the other vegetables are removed, resetting to
stand a few inches apart. The leaves are upright and loose, beautifully
green and curled and the flavor crisp and delicious. It may be grown to
use while the other sorts are heading.

Romaine or Coss Lettuce is the sort served in the big hotels as
Romaine salad. It requires transplanting either from the hotbed to
the open ground or from the seed row in the open ground to another
row. It should stand about four inches apart in the row as the growth
is upright, rather than spreading, and when of sufficient size the
leaves must be tied together to blanch. It is very crisp and delicious
lettuce when quickly grown by the aid of much fertilizer, good culture
and moisture, but lacking these is rather tough and bitter. Nitrates
may be used to advantage, applied along the rows after the plants are
transplanted.

All lettuce is at best in spring and early summer. It is very difficult
to grow good lettuce in hot weather. If a width of cheese cloth is
stretched over the row and the soil kept moist much better results can
be secured. Leaf lettuce is more easily managed in mid-summer than head
lettuce and unless one can give special attention this is a better sort
to sow for succession.


ONIONS

Are an all-the-year-round vegetable and belong to each season according
to how they are handled. For green onions, early in spring, the White
Potato, or Multiplier, Onions are deservedly popular; these are usually
raised from sets planted in drills where they are to form a permanent
bed and cultivated during summer; they form a clump of tender shoots
which are ready for use in May. If, however, the bed is neglected and
allowed to form sod or weeds the onions deteriorate and become tough
and woody; their principal merit consists in their earliness. For first
class bunching onions, however, onions with bottoms, one should sow
seed in August in a fine, clean seed bed that has been heavily manured,
scattering the seed thinly in drills one foot or fifteen inches apart
and thin the plants to stand two inches apart in the rows. Onions are
quite hardy and will usually winter without protection but in severe
climates a light covering of straw or of evergreen boughs will be
beneficial; this practice gives very fine green onions early in the
spring.

Another practice, very satisfactory for the home garden, consists in
planting in early spring the old onions placed in storage for winter
use; usually these will have begun to grow by March and are useless for
cooking, but if pulled apart and each shoot planted out in good garden
soil they will start at once into growth and in a few weeks' time
produce a delicious green onion, sweet and of the utmost tenderness. I
have found it a good thing to spade the flower beds intended for the
growing of annuals and bedding plants early in the season and plant the
onions in these, thus saving room in the garden and getting a greater
use of the flower beds.

Unlike many vegetables the onion can be grown year after year on the
same ground, providing it is well fertilized each year with barnyard
manure, so that the humus content of the soil is not depleted. Clean
tilth is essential, so that as little hand work as possible may be
required for onions tops are exceedingly tender and injury to them
checks the growth of the bulbs. The garden overalls adopted by many
women for working is a distinct advantage in the onion bed. For onion
sets sow seed in drills early in spring; gather the sets when ripe and
store in a dry place till spring; slight freezing will not injure them
but they must be protected from thawing and freezing.

But for winter onions of notable size and quality the New Onion
Culture should be adopted:—This consists in sowing the seed in the
hotbed in early spring and transplanting to the open ground when the
weather is suitable. Set the tiny plants an inch apart in the rows,
thin when big enough to use as green onions, removing every other one
leaving them standing two inches apart, thin again to stand four inches
apart and grow on until fall. If seed of Prizetaker or Ailsa Craig are
used onions quite the equal of the fancy Spanish onions sold in the
fruit stores will be produced. The soil must be more than ordinarily
rich; besides the spring dressing given the garden before ploughing the
space selected for the onions should have well-rotted manure trenched
in at the rate of a wheelbarrow load to every square yard: in trenching
lay back a spade's depth of soil across the end of the onion bed; fill
this space with manure, trench a second row, throwing the soil on top
of the manure, fill the fresh trench with manure and continue till
the whole bed has been worked over. Rake the bed until the surface is
perfectly fine and smooth and sow the seeds in drills fifteen inches
apart or set the plants as directed.

Onions are occasionally attacked by root lice which if not at once
exterminated will quickly destroy the plants; the lice work on the
roots of the onion and the first evidence of their presence is a sickly
yellowing of the tops; if an onion is pulled up and examined the
presence of the tiny white lice will at once be evident: the remedy is
salt and the method of applying is to open a shallow trench beside the
rows and scatter salt quite plentifully along it, filling in the earth
again; one application will exterminate the lice. Attacks of root lice
are by no means common, but the fact that they do occur and are very
deadly should make one watchful for the first sign of discoloration in
the tops.

When the onion tops show signs of ripening they should be broken down;
this is sometimes done by rolling a barrel over them. A light home-made
roller may be easily constructed by taking a length of nine inch stove
pipe, fitting a piece of wood in each end with a hole through the
center to admit a bar of wood or iron which should be attached at the
ends to a handle adjusted so as to allow the cylinder to roll; this
being light can be rolled over the bed, leveling two or more rows at
a time according to the length of the cylinder; it can be quickly
constructed of waste material about the place and any piece of wood of
suitable length—a couple of lathes, even, will answer, will do for
handles. It is a good idea when it is found necessary to employ help
in cultivating the garden to have a few little jobs like this on hand
in case rain interferes with the work; in this way neither the time of
the help nor the money of the employer is wasted and I have found that
it gives far better satisfaction to the help if there is something of
the kind for him to do so that he need not lose his day's or forenoon's
work. Sharpening tools is another job that it pays to remember in the
odd moments. A memorandum of things that can be done when it rains,
tacked up in a conspicuous place in the work room, toolhouse or barn
is a very useful reminder and avoids an awkward delay while one tries
to think of something to do.

If possible onions should be dug on a warm, bright day and allowed to
lie on the ground until dry and clean; they should then be stored in
a dry, airy loft or on a scaffolding. On the hay in a barn is a good
place for onions and they can be left there until freezing weather,
for the shorter time they are in a warm house the better they will
keep. If the temperature drops suddenly a little hay can be thrown over
them. Slight freezing does not injure onions, but repeated freezing
and thawing does. An upstairs room is better for storing than a cellar
unless the latter is unusually dry and not too warm. Onions will,
usually, keep in perfect condition until the middle of February or the
first of March, when they will begin to grow and should be sorted out,
and the sound ones given a cool, dry place and sold or used as quickly
as possible and the remainder saved for planting in the open ground.


PARSLEY

So universally used for garnishing and for flavoring soups and salads
is of very slow germination and for that reason is more successfully
grown when started in hotbeds and transplanted into the open ground
in May. The ancients held that parsley should never be sown as they
claimed that the seed had to make a journey to Hades and remain six
weeks; when sown in the open ground it seems to bear out that theory,
so slow is its appearance above ground. In the hotbed it requires
about three weeks. England, too, has its superstition of the parsley,
believing like the ancients, that it should be planted, not sown, that
it must make the long journey to the infernal regions and return and
that there the devil takes his tithe of it, for proof of which they
point to the fact that a small part only of the seed comes up. A better
explanation would be found, I think, in the quality of the seed, the
home grown seed coming up quite as well as other seed, the boughten
seed sometimes proving unsatisfactory.

The Greeks held the plant in great respect. A crown made of dried
and withered leaves was given to the victors in their games. A crown
together with a bunch of laurel was dedicated to the god of banquets
while all the guests at these feasts wore crowns of parsley under the
impression that the herb created quiet and promoted appetite. The
Romans also decked themselves in like manner upon similar occasions
because they believed that the plant had the power to absorb the fumes
of wine and thus prevent drunkenness.

It was parsley that Hercules selected for the making of his first
garland of victory. Greek gardens were bordered with parsley and rue,
giving rise to the saying, "Oh, we are only at the parsley and rue."
As these ancients used the plant in their rejoicing and merrymaking,
so, too, it was brought into use in their funeral decorations. Sprigs
of the herb were strewn over their dead. According to old folk lore
parsley should be sown on Good Friday.

Parsley is a biennial plant, making a fine clump of edible leaves the
first year which in mild winters or protected positions survives the
winter and starts into growth the following spring. It soon, however,
runs to seed and is of no further value except to produce seed. If,
however, one wants a small supply of parsley without the annual trouble
of sowing and transplanting a small bed of it may be allowed to go
to seed and self-sow, when it becomes, practically, a perennial but
does not attain the fine quality that the specially grown plant does.
A single row through the garden will furnish parsley for an entire
neighborhood as the older leaves are gathered as needed and the crown
allowed to produce new leaves; this should be done whether the leaves
are needed or not as the quality of the new growth will be finer in
every way, for leaving the old leaves to mature checks the growth of
the crown leaves. Nine inches at least should be allowed between the
plants and twelve is better, though when the tiny plants are first
transplanted it may seem a long and lonely distance between them, but
the plants soon fill up the space.

Very little cultivation is needed between the plants when once they
attain full size; the plants are so dense and spreading that they
effectually choke out the younger weed growth, but the space between
rows should be kept clean.

Of the varieties to plant, only the fine moss curled should be
selected. The Champion Moss Curled is a standard sort and one of the
best, rich green in color and so crumpled and curled as to have the
appearance of moss. Nearly all florists or seedsmen have their own
especial brand of seed and one can select those which promise the
best product. If desired bunches of the parsley may be lifted in the
fall and potted or planted in window-boxes for winter use. They make
a most attractive plant for the window and a pot of parsley, one of
well-blanched endive and one of red celestial peppers make a most
cheerful window decoration for the kitchen or dining-room, as well as
furnishing crisp decorative material for the table.


PARSNIPS

May be classed among the early spring vegetables as they are planted
as early as the ground can be worked in spring and are likewise ready
for use as soon as the frost is out of the ground so that they may be
dug; like all root vegetables they require rich, deeply dug or ploughed
land. Not less than twelve inches in depth is required for successful
cultivation; with shallow cultivation crooked and many branched
roots are produced which are unsalable and of little value for home
consumption. The long, smooth, beautifully white roots—two inches or
more at the crown, are only produced in well-prepared soil.

Parsnips are planted directly in the open ground as soon as the ground
can be worked in spring, sowing the seed in drills an inch and a
quarter deep, covering and tramping down the rows if the weather is
dry. They should be thinned to stand from four to six inches apart in
the row that the roots may make perfect development. The rows should be
eighteen inches apart and the ground kept loose and clean throughout
the growing season.

The usual practice is to let the parsnips remain in the ground over
winter, taking up and storing in boxes of slightly moist earth or sand,
in the cellar, a supply for winter use. The parsnip is improved in
quality by a touch of frost but must be dug before growth starts in the
spring.

Parsnips are eaten quite readily by Belgian hares and imperfect or small
roots may be sorted out and fed to them, avoiding any loss in grading.


PEAS

Of the very earliest kinds, and that is distinctly the smooth peas,
should be gotten into the ground very early in spring. Most of the
early sorts will stand considerable cold, but the wrinkled sorts are
tender and should not be planted until the weather and soil are warm
and reasonably dry. More failures in growing peas come from planting
in cold, wet soil, in a mistaken hurry to get early peas than from any
other cause.

Ground for peas should be very rich; it is not sufficient that the
garden plot has been well manured before ploughing;—the strip allotted
to the growing of peas should have additional fertilizer trenched
in, especially is this necessary in growing the wrinkled sorts and
especially the dwarf peas, such as Nott's Excelsior and the like. These
dwarf peas cannot bear a big crop on their abbreviated tops unless
forced to production by heavy feeding, but as the wrinkled, medium
early and mid-season peas are the most delicious of all in quality, the
extra care required is well repaid. Another object in heavy fertilizing
is that by this means a succession of peas may be grown on the same
ground. Personally I prefer peas that require support to the very
dwarf sorts; in the first place you have more vine for the production
of pods. You cannot, with the best intentions, get as big a crop from
one foot of vine as you can from three, all things being equal. Again,
the labor of gathering pods from upright growing vines where the pods
are easily seen and reached is far less than from the prostrate vines
which must be lifted or looked under in search of pods. Wire netting
furnishes a better support than brush and where the gardener is a
woman is much pleasanter to work about. Brush has an unpleasant habit
of catching on the clothing and twisting around, often to the injury
of the vine, but the netting gives a firm support, to which the vine
readily attaches itself.

In the home garden the best way to plant peas is in double rows a foot
apart, making the trench about three inches deep and dropping the peas
as evenly as possible. Early sown peas do not require as deep planting
as the wrinkled sorts which may be planted four or five inches deep to
avoid blight. As the wrinkled sorts are very tender they should not
go into the ground before corn planting time and not then unless the
nights and soil are warm.

An excellent arrangement for a succession of peas in the home garden is
to prepare the rows by trenching in manure and then make two furrows
a foot apart and in one furrow plant the earliest peas and in the
other a second early pea, stretching a four or five foot width of wire
netting between the rows; this extends the bearing season a couple of
weeks. When all the pods have formed on the earliest varieties of vines
a second furrow may be opened beside it and a wrinkled sort of medium
earliness be planted; these will be ready to climb about the time the
first vines are turning yellow when they may be pulled up, leaving
their place for the new vines. This system of succession of planting
may be repeated on the other side of the netting, thus giving four
sowings of peas to one strip of netting and a succession of peas for
several weeks.

The germination of the seed may be hastened by soaking the seed over
night in warm water and when sowing unsoaked seed, in dry weather,
germination is hastened by pouring hot water into the trench before
covering the seed.

The experienced gardener will have his pet variety of peas but the
amateur will be somewhat afield in selection so I would suggest as a
desirable early sort the Gradus or Prosperity Pea, a delicious sort
of the tall kind that has much to recommend it. American Wonder is
another extra early pea of a wrinkled sort that appeals to those who
prefer a dwarf pea, being but a foot in height and compares in general
excellence with Nott's Excelsior. On the same trellis with Gradus
may be planted the Senator Pea; this is a number one pea in every
respect—quality, quantity and appearance; following these one may
plant more Senators and the Telephone; these will give a succession of
peas for several weeks.

So many enemies conspire against the pea that close watch must be kept
from the planting of the seed until the plants are well above the
ground. Usually the chief depredation comes from moles which run along
underneath the seed and destroy it; poisoned bait placed in the trench
along with the seed often destroys the moles before much damage is
done. A mole trap set at each end of the row or at the point where the
mole enters the run will often prove effective. A very successful home
made trap consists of a large can or crock—a lard can is good, sunk
in the ground and a trap consisting of a long, endless box with about
a third of the bottom sawed apart and pivoted on nails driven through
the side, so that anything entering at one end will drop through the
swinging trap into the can beneath, which should be kept full of water;
this arrangement will catch more moles than any steel trap with which I
am familiar, and as the presence of the moles in the garden threatens
other vegetables as well as the peas it will be time well spent to
prepare one or more of these traps for use when occasion arises; the
making of these traps may well be put on the list of rainy day tasks.

Cutworms sometimes take the peas as fast as they appear above the
ground; poisoned bait along the rows before the peas break the ground
will dispose of this enemy. Blackbirds often destroy a planting of peas
before their presence is suspected and English sparrows have been
known to do much damage, so if one would enjoy fresh, home grown peas
one must exercise due vigilance.

The use of Mulford and other cultures for inoculating peas is growing
in practice among the most progressive gardeners and is a very wise
precaution to take; especially is it desirable in intensive culture
suggested by growing two crops of peas on the same strip of land. Peas,
like all legumes, are nitrogen feeders and gatherers and the use of
the culture supplies the young plant, at the start, with nitrogen and
puts it in shape to begin the accumulation of nitrogen from the air by
its own efforts. The nitrogen gathered from the air is stored up on
the roots in the form of nodules or bunches, and it is for this reason
that the growing of all legumes is so beneficial to the soil. If when
the first planting of peas is matured and gathered the vines are cut or
broken off close to the ground, instead of being pulled up, root and
all, this supply of nitrogen will remain in the soil and be available
for the succeeding crop.

The inoculating of the seed is very simple: the small bottles, which,
by the way, cost but twenty-five cents for garden size, are only
one-fourth full; simply fill up the bottle with water and moisten the
seed before planting; this is all, and the same bottle will supply
inoculating material for the beans which also being legumes respond
favorably to the treatment.


RADISHES

A few radishes may be grown in the hotbed for very early use, but the
main planting should be in the open ground. It is hardly worth while to
devote any definite part of the garden to radishes as room can be found
for them among the other vegetables. An excellent way to grow them is
to drop seeds at intervals along the rows of beets, carrots, parsnips
and salsify. All these seeds are slow in germinating and by dropping in
occasional radish seeds which germinate in from three to five days the
rows will be marked so that they may be kept cultivated without waiting
for the plants to appear and indicate the rows. A surprising amount of
radishes will be grown in this way, without any special labor and loss
of ground; and they will be out of the way before the ground is needed
for the permanent occupant of the row.

The turnip rooted sorts are the most quickly and easily grown, the
Twenty Day as its name indicates being ready for use in twenty days
and the French Breakfast and Improved Breakfast Radish being ready in
twenty-five; both of these are very tender, crisp and mild sorts and
beautiful in appearance, white at the base and scarlet above, making a
beautiful appearance when prepared for the breakfast table with a bit
of the green top for contrast. For those who prefer a white radish the
Icicle Radish is a fine sort, crisp and tender and does not grow coarse
or pithy until quite large.

If one wishes to devote a definite space to radishes and maintain a
succession of plants it will be a good plan to drop a seed in the
ground for each radish pulled; in this way there will be a constant
supply of young, crisp radishes all summer.

Where only a few are desired it is a good plan to plant a short space
of the rows devoted to other vegetables to radishes and lettuce and
perhaps a few plants of endive and parsley next to the path and near
the house so that they may be easily got at without walking on the
newly cultivated ground.


SALSIFY

Is another plant that is started very early in the spring and eaten
as soon as the frost is out of the ground. It is one of the most
useful and delicious of this class of plants and is not nearly as much
cultivated as it should be. Sliced and cooked tender it makes, when
combined with milk, seasoning and cracker crumbs, a most acceptable
substitute for oyster soup or, cooked, mashed and mixed with a little
flour and seasoning and butter, dipped in egg and bread crumbs, it
makes delicious little cakes when fried. Its culture is simple, any
good, light fertile soil producing a good crop, but to produce clean,
smooth roots it should be deeply dug and well cultivated. Sow the seed
in shallow drills early in the season; thin to stand six inches apart
in the row. It is hardy and may remain in the ground all winter, but
a supply for winter use should be dug at the approach of cold weather
and stored in boxes of sand or earth in the root cellar. As soon as
the frost is out of the ground in spring and before growth starts they
must be dug. If it is desired to grow seed the plants should be set out
again, or may be left where they are if the ground is not needed for
other vegetables, and cultivated the same as seedling plants.


SPINACH

The most important of the vegetables grown for greens, should be sown
in the open ground as early as the ground can be worked if wanted for
early spring and summer use. For fall and winter use sow in September.
For a succession sow every two weeks. Sow in drills one foot apart
and one inch deep, in soil as fertile as one can compass; the soil
cannot be too rich for spinach, as upon the rapidity of its growth
depends the tenderness and succulence of its leaves; in poor soil,
especially if allowed to suffer for water, the leaves will be tough and
ill-flavored. Light applications of nitrate of soda have a magic effect
on spinach and should be applied lightly every two weeks.

The Round Seeded Savoy is a standard sort, with thick, fleshy leaves,
curled and crinkled; the New Zealand is a good sort for summer as it
withstands heat well and is slow to run to seed. In gathering the
spinach the entire top may be cut off a bit above the crown; this
induces a new, quick, tender growth of leaves.

In planting for spring and winter use the beds should be covered with
straw at the approach of cold weather. Spinach often self-sows and
gives a volunteer crop the following spring. When the spinach begins to
send up seed stalks it may be cut and fed to the rabbits and so waste
that would otherwise ensue may be avoided.



CHAPTER IX

MID-SEASON VEGETABLES


BEANS

Being somewhat tender, should not be planted until the ground is warm
in spring. Corn-planting time will do for the field and navy bean, but
the white podded string bean and the lima bean should not go into the
ground until all danger of frost is past and the ground is in growing
condition. At the present advanced cost of seed—fifty-five cents a
pound for the string and lima sorts with postage added by some dealers,
it will not do to take any chances by being in too much of a hurry to
get seed into the ground; neither will it pay to buy seed of any but
reliable dealers. There has never been a time when so much importance
attaches to choosing one's seed merchant wisely. Cheap seed never
pays, for the time lost in replanting seed of poor germination, or,
worse still, that comes untrue to name, giving one inferior or mongrel
vegetables, offsets, many times, the amount saved in money.

String beans are the first form in which this favorite vegetable
appears on the table and a very delicious and attractive dish they
make when such white wax or golden wax as Wardwell's Kidney, Davis's
Kidney Wax, Improved Golden Wax are selected; well grown plants of
these varieties, well laden with their long, wax-like pods are a joy
to the gardener; and if the pods are gathered as fast as they mature,
and this may be done as soon as they whiten, up to the time they are
fully grown, when they will still be sweet and tender, the bushes will
continue to bear heavily until cut down by the frost; this should
always be done whether the beans are wanted for use or not; they can
be canned, sold, or given away or fed to the pig—anything rather than
to check the vines' bearing. If one wishes to save seed for the next
year's planting, and this is worth while when such high prices prevail,
it will be well to set aside a row, or portion of a row, for seed,
allowing the first pods to ripen as this establishes the early bearing
characteristic of the plant.

In planting beans good soil should be chosen, but beans do not need
rich soil as many other garden vegetables do. It is said that beans
will grow on soil that will not grow anything else; this is rather an
extreme statement, but it is a fact that they will thrive where more
exacting plants will languish; this is accounted for by the fact that
the bean is a legume and so empowered to draw an important part of its
nourishment from the air in the form of nitrates, which it stores in
little pockets or nodules on its roots and so has a larder of its own
to draw on.

Open a drill a couple of inches deep and drop the beans at regular
intervals two or three inches apart, or they may be planted three or
four in hills, six inches apart; cover and tramp down the rows and draw
the rake lightly over them. Except for the distance at which they are
planted, all beans require practically the same treatment; they should
never be cultivated when wet or gathered or handled in any way; the
rule should be to give them a wide berth in wet weather; working among
them when wet is the cause of the disfiguring rust that makes them
unsalable and in bad cases uneatable. Wardwell's and Davis's Kidney Wax
are as free from rust as any of the white podded varieties and are the
best selections the amateur gardener can make.

For those who like a green podded bean the Stringless Green Pod is a
fine variety and very popular with gardeners. Giant Stringless, Green
Pod and Longfellow make up a trio of beans hard to beat.

Boston pea bean or navy bean is the best selection for baked beans;
these should be allowed to ripen their pods until quite dry. The usual
method of harvesting is to wait until all the beans are ripe in late
summer and harvest by pulling the vines and piling in heaps until dry;
this is not an economical way, however, nor specially adapted to the
small home garden; a better way is to gather the pods as fast as they
ripen, storing them in a dry, airy place until ready to shell easily;
if this is done many more beans will be produced and there will be no
loss from the earlier beans shelling out on the ground as they will
when the vines are left for the entire crop to ripen. Usually it will
be necessary to go over the vines about four times but the result will
be a much greater quantity of beans and all in the finest possible
condition; when left until all are ripe it will be found that there is
a considerable amount of mouldy or injured beans.

Lima beans require somewhat different treatment from the string or navy
bean; to begin with they require a much richer soil and the ground
should be well manured and a supplementary dressing of hen manure,
rabbit droppings or ashes about the plants when well established will
be of much benefit; they require more room in the row than the string
beans, not less than eight or nine inches with the rows two feet apart;
the beans should be planted about two inches deep, setting the seed
with the eyes downward and covering and tramping the rows. Rather late
planting is advisable for limas than for string beans and for very
early beans a few may be started in the hotbed and transplanted in the
open ground about the twentieth of May at the north—add or subtract
a week for each hundred miles north or south. The bean, having no tap
root and a broad spread of lateral roots, is one of the easiest plants
to transplant and by starting a hundred plants in the hotbed a much
earlier crop will be obtained; that will be filling up the time while
the open air planting is coming forward.

Another very important advantage in starting seed in the hotbed is the
larger per cent. of plants obtained; if good seed is used every one
may be depended upon to grow. The hotbed also affords protection from
the enemies that destroy the lima, one of the most destructive being
hens, and it will be wise to assure Biddy's absence from the garden
until the beans are showing their first leaves as the succulent looking
white seeds that first break through the ground have an irresistible
attraction for her and she will walk along the rows, nipping off every
pod as it appears; this seems to be due to curiosity as she does not
eat, but drops them on the ground; I have seen whole plantings of lima
beans destroyed in this way. English sparrows also are known to destroy
the tops. String beans do not offer the temptation that the limas do so
are seldom molested.

For the home garden the bush limas are to be preferred as they take
less room and are easier to handle. The Improved Fordhook Bush Lima is
one of the best varieties if not the best. The New Wonder Bush Lima is
highly recommended. Beans may be planted every two weeks for succession
up to August. Dry limas that remain on the vines in fall may be used
for cooking in winter. Limas are not injured by light frosts as much
as the other varieties of beans; the pods cuddling under the thick
foliage are protected and one can frequently gather a mess after the
frost has cut everything else in the garden; the thick pods, too, are a
protection to the beans inside.

If it is desired to grow pole limas set the poles four feet apart each
way and plant five or six beans to each hill and thin to three when the
plants are up; when the plants have reached the top of the pole pinch
out the top; add a spadeful of well-rotted manure to each hill before
planting, mixing it thoroughly with the soil. Carpenteria is about the
best of the pole limas and Early Leviathan Lima is another good sort.
Wire netting may be used in place of poles and will be found more
convenient and economical. Treating the beans with farmogerm, Mulford
or other culture is advisable.


CABBAGE

For early cabbage sow seed in the hotbed or in flats in the house
and transplant to the open ground in May. Cabbage are not injured by
light frosts and can go into the ground earlier than most other garden
stuff; usually the early sorts are selected for first planting but
the late and winter sorts will, if started in heat, do about as well
as the early; it is largely a matter of handling. The Late Flat Dutch
is an excellent sort for the first planting as it is a very sure
header, giving large, flat heads of the best quality. In twelve years'
experience in growing this variety I have never found a diseased plant
nor, except in a year of very exceptional weather, a soft head. They
keep well over winter and are altogether a very satisfactory all round
cabbage.

In transplanting the plants from the hotbed to the open ground all but
the upper pair of leaves should be removed and these may have the upper
half clipped; this gives the roots a chance to establish themselves
before they are called upon to support top growth. Set the plants about
two feet apart each way, or the rows two feet apart and the plants
twenty inches; the nearer distance is tenable if one raises rabbits
as the lower leaves may be removed and fed to them, thus giving the
plants more room; they should close up the gaps between them when fully
grown as this shades the ground and conserves moisture—an important
feature in a dry season. The ground should be kept well cultivated and
free from weeds as long as work can be carried on among them and when
the cultivator can no longer be used the scuffle-hoe can be introduced
under and between them without injury to the leaves. In hoeing or
cultivating draw the earth up towards the plants.

When the heads are filled out and hard and it is not desired to gather
them they may be kept from splitting by pulling the roots loose on one
side and bending them over.

The principal enemy of the cabbage is the white butterfly and its
offspring—the green caterpillar. There are many ways of combating this
pest; the most effectual way, early in the season is dusting with Paris
green mixed with flour. A convenient way to apply is to take a quart
Mason jar, take the lid, remove the porcelain lining and punch the top
full of holes, fill the can with flour mixed with one teaspoon of fresh
Paris green and sift over the plants while wet with dew at the first
appearance of the pest; this should not be used after the heads have
formed; after this sprinkling with salt and working it in between the
loose leaves of the head is often effectual. Dusting with dry earth
sometimes has a deterrent effect on the worms.

The grey aphis is another most troublesome pest; this comes so
insidiously that the plants are well infested before their presence
is suspected. Spraying with kerosene emulsion is sometimes effectual
if the heads are not too far advanced. Spraying with zenoleum—a
tablespoonful to two quarts of water—will kill every louse it touches
and by its odor discourage any intending arrivals, but this should not
be used where the heads are at all advanced, though a hard rain would
rid the plants of the odor of both zenoleum and kerosene. Soapsuds,
especially whale oil and nicotine, are suggested and hand picking
of worms is not without its value. Spraying with hot water 140° is
effectual and safe and cleanses and stimulates the plants.

Cut worms are very destructive to cabbage when first set out; their
depredations may be guarded against by enclosing the stem of the plant
in a band of stiff paper when planting; this should go into the
ground an inch and extend up the stem two or three inches. Strewing
poisoned bait along the intended rows for a night or two is suggested
but this is a dangerous practice where there is poultry at liberty;
baiting after the plants are set is often successful, too, but the best
safeguard is to have a good supply of surplus plants in the hotbed.
The rows should be looked over the first thing in the morning after
planting to discover what plants have been cut and wherever a plant
is missing the worm should be looked for, and when found killed; this
is really the most satisfactory way of eradicating the pest. The worm
never goes more than two or three inches from the plant and will be
found somewhere just below the surface of the ground, usually under
some bit of roughage that makes a little hollow. If there is a piece
of sod or clover-land near the garden the cut worms will usually begin
their work from that side and if a planting of cabbage is made a few
days in advance of other plants this will serve as a trap for the worms
and hunting and killing them for a few days will make the planting
safe for the tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers.

A little nitrate of soda sprinkled around the plants is a great
incentive to growth.

For winter cabbage sow seed in the open ground in May and transplant
into permanent rows as soon as large enough, giving the plants more
room than early cabbage. Late Flat Dutch, Wakefield, Danish Roundhead
and Dutch Winter or Hollander are all good sorts which will prove good
keepers and sellers.

If in setting out plants of winter cabbage it is found that there
are more plants than are needed, they may be allowed to remain where
they are and given a little protection, such as boards, cornstalks or
evergreens, and can be used for setting out the following spring.


CAULIFLOWER

Require the same general treatment as cabbage. They are set somewhat
closer in the rows and cultivated the same as cabbage; however, for
the best results it is desirable to transplant the cauliflower from
the hotbed into cold frames as soon as they have their second pair of
leaves, setting three inches apart each way and as soon as they resume
growth giving a light application of nitrate of soda, then transplant
when the weather is favorable. Cauliflower are quite hardy and not
injured by early fall frosts, making steady growth until severe cold
weather and many heads that have failed to fill during the fall will
fill out finely in November.

As soon as the curd, or head, forms and has made a little size the
leaves must be drawn over it and tied to exclude rain and light; this
must be done when the plants are perfectly dry and the weather clear,
a sunny day about noon is the best time for the work. If tied up when
wet or damp the heads will rot. If not tied up growth will start in
the heads, they will turn purple and green and be unfit for food. It
is upon the successful tying up of the cauliflower that its successful
culture depends; like the cabbage it requires a rich, well fertilized
soil and applications of nitrate of soda once a week during the
growing season will hasten the development of the head; wood ashes,
too, are beneficial.

The insect enemies of the cauliflower are those of the cabbage, but
they molest it in a somewhat lesser degree. The remedies to be employed
are the same.

There are two important varieties of cauliflower—the Snowball and
the Dry Weather. The former is a poor cropper in dry seasons unless
artificial irrigation can be supplied. The Dry Weather Cauliflower,
on the other hand, seems to be at its best in a dry season and will
give fine heads when the other fails. As one can not forecast what the
rainfall of any given season will be it is well to be provided against
any contingency by planting both varieties of cauliflower; by this
forethought one will be assured of a crop whatever the weather and the
snowballs that failed to head during August and September may come on
in October and November and give a late crop for pickling.

In the majority of gardens cauliflowers are grown exclusively for
pickling; this is a mistake for there is no vegetable more delicate and
toothsome than this; it outclasses cabbage and when fried in batter
or breaded with egg and cracker crumbs, it affords a most excellent
substitute for meat, indeed, it is really more acceptable when no meat
dish accompanies it; for this reason—its desirability as a table
vegetable—special pains should be taken to produce early heads, by
starting in hotbeds, transplanting into cold frames, fertilizing with
nitrate and giving special attention to thorough cultivation throughout
its growing period. If water can be supplied, a thorough drenching of
the roots once or twice a week, followed by a cultivation the following
morning to restore the dust-mulch, will be of much benefit.

The green cabbage worm is sometimes very troublesome on the heads and
leaves of cauliflowers and one should watch for the presence of the
white cabbage butterfly as this will indicate whether one may expect
an attack of caterpillars. If once the worms have become established
spraying with hot water of from 130° to 140° will exterminate all with
which it comes in contact, as worms are far more sensitive to hot water
than are the plants which they infect.


CORN

Is one of the most profitable of the garden's offerings; there is,
practically, no loss connected with it; a delicious vegetable for
the table in its green state, fresh from the stalk; it is equally
welcome when it appears sweet and toothsome from the can in winter or,
conserved in a dried state, is soaked and cooked the same as fresh
corn. There is no waste in the unused corn that remains ungathered on
the stalks for it may be saved for seed another year or fed to the
poultry, while the stalks, cut and cured, make excellent feed for cow,
horse or rabbits. Cut while green and made into ensilage it is the best
substitute for green feed in winter for any animal that eats green
food. Much green feed for stock may be secured from the corn patch
in summer by removing all the side shoots that do not bear ears and
feeding them to the pigs or rabbits. This is of benefit to the corn as
it allows all the strength of the plant to go into the ears instead of
being wasted in growing useless foliage.

Corn is a gross feeder and requires a deep, mellow, fertile soil, well
enriched with barnyard manure. Clover sod well manured and ploughed
will give the maximum amount of corn, but any good soil if fertilized
will produce good corn.

Corn is somewhat tender and should not be planted until the ground
is warm, but in the small home garden where a small amount of seed
is required a little risk may be run by planting early in May and
replanting if an early frost catches the crop. It is not, as a general
thing, the spring frost that does the most damage, especially with
field corn, it is the late frost that catches the corn still in the
milk that does the damage, so that anything that pushes the crop
along to maturity before danger of fall frost is of moment. This is
one reason why heavy fertilizing is so important,—it speeds up the
maturing of the corn and gets it beyond the danger line in time.

Sweet corn may be planted in drills or in hills, but I prefer the hill
method. Even in a small patch that can be worked but one way with a
horse or cultivator—there is always a hoe to take care of the space
between the hills.

The rows should be three feet apart and the corn in hills three feet
apart, or if planted in rows make the rows four feet apart and the
corn twelve inches apart. Drop several kernels in each hill and thin
to three plants to a hill when the corn is up and danger of frost
is passed. One pound of seed will plant a hundred hills or from one
hundred and fifty to two hundred feet of row. If hard frost threatens
just as the corn is coming through the ground, throwing earth over it
with a hoe will often afford sufficient protection to save it.

In a small garden patch it is not much work to stick a mark of some
kind in the center of each hill and if this is done cultivation can
commence at once and a hard crust be prevented from forming; this will
hasten the germination of the seed and insure the elimination of weeds
at the start.

There are many varieties of sweet corn advertised, each seedsman
having his own favorite specialty, but there are really but two that
one need take into consideration—the old, reliable Stowell's Evergreen
and the new Bantam Evergreen—a cross between that exceptionally sweet
corn, the Golden Bantam, and Stowell's Evergreen, and combining the
great qualities of both parents, the delicious sweetness and tenderness
and earliness of Bantam with the more generous size and more tender
skin of the Evergreen. Plant these two varieties and have the best to
be obtained in sweet corn. One planting of Evergreen will give big
generous ears of late corn, while for succession the Bantam may be
planted every two weeks up to July.

When the corn is a couple of feet high it will be well to go through
the patch and remove all suckers or barren stalks so as to conserve all
the food and moisture for the production of ears.

In addition to barnyard manure, wood ashes is an important fertilizer
for corn, supplying the potash so essential to its growth; this may be
put in the hill at the time the corn is planted or may be scattered
about the plants after they are up and hoed into the soil; it should
not be applied in connection with manure as it has a tendency to
release the ammonia content of the manure, but should be applied
independently. Droppings from the poultry house may be used in the
growing of the corn crop, placing about a teacupful in a hill, but not
in contact with the seed. Several barrels of dry droppings should be
saved during the winter for just this extra fertilizing in the kitchen
garden.[3]

Corn is very easily transplanted so that where there is a failure of
the corn to germinate in some hills and an over supply in others, the
extra plants may be lifted carefully with the spade or trowel and
slipped into holes prepared for them where wanted. Last season I had
an interesting experience transplanting an entire row of corn, over a
foot high. A row of okra had been planted across the garden but failed
to appear on schedule time and was finally given up and corn planted
in its place; the corn came up and had made several inches of top when
to my surprise the okra appeared. It was evident that the two robust
plants could not occupy successfully the same ground and I did not
wish to sacrifice either, so an equal number of hills were prepared in
another part of the garden, fertilized with poultry droppings and ashes
and the hills of corn, then over a foot high, lifted, one hill at a
time, on a spade and carried and slipped into their holes, and not a
plant seemed aware that anything had happened to it; certainly there
was no check to the growth, but, by lifting on the spade with plenty
of soil adhering, the roots were not disturbed in the least.

Corn has so few enemies that it is scarcely worth while to consider
them, the principal one being earworm—a small worm that eats out the
tip of the ear; they can be poisoned by dropping Paris green in the
axils of the leaves when the plants are young.


CUCUMBERS

For slicing for the table should be planted as soon as the ground is
warm or a few seed may be planted on pieces of inverted sod, or in pots
or paper bands in the hotbed and transplanted into the open ground
about corn-planting time or when the danger of frost is past; this will
give several weeks' start on outdoor planting and will also make the
plants practically immune from attacks of the striped beetle. Beetles
will of course appear, but by the time of their arrival the plants will
have attained sufficient size to withstand their attacks, particularly
will this be the case if protected with dry earth, sifted over the
leaves to roughen them or the application of tobacco tea or tobacco
stems or leaves about the plants.

Pieces of sod, about four inches square, should be cut and placed
earth-side up close together in the warmest part of the hotbed and
several seeds planted on each piece and the whole covered with a fourth
of an inch of earth. When ready to transplant lift the pieces on to a
flat board or carrier and slip into a hole prepared for them with as
little disturbance as possible and press the soil firmly about them so
that the air will not get underneath and dry the roots.

There is not too much room for vine vegetables of any sort in the small
kitchen garden and if desired the early cucumbers for table use may be
grown on netting. The Japanese cucumber is a climbing sort especially
addicted to this manner of growth, bears fine, large fruit of most
excellent quality and the position on the wire, away from the soil and
damp ground, produces a most attractive fruit, free from the yellow
blanching that is present on the cucumbers grown on the ground. Last
year among a number of these Japanese plants there occurred one or two
plants of a snow white cucumber that I found very superior in crispness
and flavor to the green fruit. Owing to early frost I was not able to
secure seed of this interloper. Mr. Burbank's cucumber seed did not
produce a single white seed. This is not, however, a climbing sort, but
all vines which have tendrils can be grown on netting. Squash even will
grow, bear and seem to enjoy the experience.

Cucumbers when grown for the table should be gathered as soon as of
slicing size, whether wanted or not, as allowing the fruit to ripen
on the vine stops production; this is especially imperative in the
case of pickles which must be removed as soon as of sufficient size
to use. The small pickles of an inch and a quarter or less should be
gathered first and larger pickles left until the latter part of the
season as gathering the cucumbers while very small increases the vine's
productiveness and there will always be enough overlooked to supply the
larger sort of pickles.

Cucumbers for pickling should not be sown before June and may be
planted at any time after that up to mid-July. Plant in hills from
four to six feet apart spading in a spadeful of manure in each hill;
thin out to three or four plants in a hill when danger of bugs is
past; spray with Bordeaux Arsenate of Lead three ounces to a gallon of
water, when in danger of beetles or blight; the combination of lead and
Bordeaux mixture covers both emergencies.

Keep the ground well cultivated as long as the vines will allow;
pinch off the ends of all the vines when about a foot long to induce
branching; when the plants begin to bloom notice the presence or
absence of bees. Some years the curcubita family fails signally in
setting fruit and this is usually caused by lack of pollenization by
the bees. On a small patch one may substitute cross-pollenization by
carrying pollen from one blossom to another with a camel's hair brush
or by shaking the blossoms against each other, but a preventative
measure would be to raise a colony or two of bees. Sometimes the
presence of some plant especially attractive to bees will lure them
away from the melons, cucumbers and like plants. Two years ago the
presence of a patch of vetch proved so attractive to the bees that it
was not until late in the season that the flowers of a nearby patch
of winter squash and citron received sufficient attention to set any
fruit. The air was resonant with the hum of bees, but not one was to be
seen on the vines.

There are any number of good cucumbers to choose from for general crop.
Early Fortune has proved a favorite in my garden. It is a good bearer
and quality and appearance are all that could be asked. The Davis
Perfect, Arlington White Spine, and Westerfield's Chicago Pickle are
all satisfactory sorts to grow.


EGGPLANTS

Are very tender when small, so they should be started in the warmest
part of the hotbed, or in a warm, sunny window in flats. When they have
grown their first pair of true leaves they should be transplanted—if
at all crowded, into other flats or other rows in the hotbed, setting
them two inches apart each way and grown on, given sufficient water and
occasional cultivation, but not sufficient to disturb the roots, until
time to plant out in the open ground; this should not be done until
the nights and soil are warm as a check at this time will mean a late
setting of fruit.

Eggplants are considered one of the difficult things to grow;
personally I have seldom lost a plant except at the hands, or mouth
rather, of cutworms, but I have frequently gotten an unsatisfactory
setting of fruit. However, one must have certain standards to adhere to
in their culture, the first of which is heat in all the early stages
of their growth, the second, rich soil, with occasional supplementary
dressings of nitrate of soda, and thorough cultivation.

The plants require considerable room when mature and should not be set
closer than three feet each way.

The principal enemy of the eggplant is the potato beetle which is quite
as partial to egg plants as to potatoes. Spraying with Paris green
or arsenate of lead is effectual before the fruit has formed but hand
picking is more satisfactory and where only a few plants are grown for
family use, quite as practical. It is not the mature beetle that eats
the leaves but the young beetles that hatch from the mass of yellow
eggs laid on the under side of the leaves, so at the first appearance
of the old bugs search should be made for the mass of eggs and these as
well as the parent beetle destroyed; by this means no beetles can get a
start. It is always good practice to avoid, as far as possible, the use
of poisonous insecticides in the kitchen garden; while their use may do
no harm on vegetables that have not set their fruit, there is always
a tendency to grow careless in their use and to continue it after the
safety zone has been passed.

New York eggplant is the standard variety for all but the northern
states; it is of the highest type, spineless and of a rich, purple
color, large and borne in abundance; it is not as early as Black
Beauty, long a favorably known sort, which is about twelve days
earlier; Very Early Dwarf Purple is still earlier and Black Pekin is
another good sort. In the northern states the earliest variety should
be planted, but the eggplant has one remarkable characteristic—for a
plant so tender in its early stages it seems, when fully grown, almost
immune to cold and early frost, and I have often gathered unharmed
fruit after severe frost had cut most everything else in the garden.
Throwing some loose stuff—clover hay, corn fodder or weeds—over
the plants on a cold night will usually save them and a spell of
warm weather that usually follows the first hard frosts may bring on
immature fruit to a usable size. It requires about five months from the
sowing of the seed to produce usable fruit so it will readily be seen
that it is important to start the seed in the hotbed, greenhouse or in
the house and to take every precaution to grow them on rapidly without
any check.


OKRA

So well and favorably known in the southern states, is practically
unknown in the north, except as its acquaintance is made in the
chicken gumbo of the commercial soups and a few other vegetable and
meat preparations. It should, however, form a staple vegetable of the
kitchen garden and, once its merits are known, would, doubtless, become
as popular north as it is south. Though its use is chiefly associated
with the preparation of soup it has other, equally acceptable, uses.
It is an excellent addition to hash, adding both richness and flavor;
added to tomatoes it imparts a fuller, richer flavor and used alone,
fried, is excellent. A small amount of meat, with the addition of
potatoes, okra and onion, the last two fried tender before adding the
meat and potatoes, makes a most satisfying one-dish meal.

It is one of the easiest vegetables to grow, requiring the same culture
as corn; making the rows three feet apart, and planting the seed in
drills and thinning to ten inches apart in the row. Perkin's Long Pod
is the best general variety and the pods should be gathered when half
grown, whether needed or not, to prevent checking the production.


PEPPERS

Like the eggplant require much heat in starting and should be given
the warmest position in the hotbed—about the central sash, towards
the front—so that they may not be overtopped by other, taller growing
plants, for the pepper grows but slowly for the first few weeks of its
existence.

The seed germinates slowly, taking from two to three weeks to appear;
it may be sown thinly in drills, or broadcasted, covering sufficiently
to conceal the seed and placing paper over the plot to prevent drying
out. If started in flats in the house the plants may be transplanted
into other flats when they have made one pair of true leaves; if not
crowded in the hotbed they may be allowed to remain where they are or
be transplanted into fresh rows, setting them a couple of inches apart
each way.

They should not be planted out in the open ground until the soil and
nights are warm as a check at this time will mean late fruiting and
failure to ripen. Make the rows from twenty-four to thirty inches apart
and set the plants eighteen inches apart in the row. Before planting
spade a forkful of old manure or henhouse droppings into each hill for
the pepper is a heavy feeder and requires good soil.

Protect the plants on cold nights if frost threatens and keep the
ground well cultivated.

If the peppers are to be grown in the north such varieties as mature
their fruits early should be selected. Crimson Giant is about the
earliest; the plants are large and bear abundantly. The Upright
New Sweet Pepper is also early, a good bearer and its habit of
fruiting—holding the fruit erect instead of drooping—makes it very
easy to gather; it is a medium-size pepper, just right for stuffing
for mangoes and a desirable size to pickle for winter use in salads;
if the top and bottom are removed it leaves a broad ring which is
very lovely when filled with salad and garnished with parsley and
well-blanched endive; the parts removed may be used as pickles or added
to mixed or chopped pickles.

Magnum Dulce is an excellent sort for baking when stuffed with meat
or force-meat or fried. Pimento is a new salad pepper very attractive
in shape and form but does not do so well in the north as some of the
older sorts; however, some seasons it can be successfully grown and a
few plants set out will be well worth taking pains with. In the warmer
sections and in favorable seasons at the north one can grow the fiery
Tabasco Pepper from which the Tabasco sauce of commerce is made and
so prepare one's supply of this expensive relish; it requires early
planting and great attention to heat and sunshine to succeed.

The little Celestial Peppers are so very attractive when grown in pots
that florists offer them along with other greenhouse stuff; they can
just as well be grown in one's own hotbed or house and make welcome
gifts to the young housekeeper or the city dweller who does not have
the advantage of a country garden to furnish condiments and relishes.
The little plants can be grown in pots from the start or small plants
in the garden can be taken up and potted and will hold their tiny
scarlet fruit all winter, producing more as the first is removed. For
the sunny kitchen or dining room window nothing is prettier or more
ornamental than a window box filled with these little red peppers,
parsley and endive.

Cayenne peppers can be grown for the making of pepper vinegar; the
seeds are used for this, being separated from the husk when dry and put
into quart bottles filled with white wine vinegar; in a few weeks the
vinegar will be ready for use. The hulls may be saved and put in cans
of mixed pickles, a few hulls adding a piquant hotness; they may also
be added to pickled onions and to cauliflower.

As peppers are extremely sensitive to frost every effort should be made
to bring them along rapidly so that they may mature their fruit in
season; light application of nitrate will assist and the use of poultry
droppings in preparing the bed will be of use; in dry weather a wetting
with water from the laundry will do much good. If it is possible to
pipe or carry water with hose to the garden a shallow trench may be
made along the pepper rows and water turned in as required. Protecting
with papers or other covering on frosty nights may save a crop but the
covering should not rest on the plants as the frost will likely strike
through; hay or corn fodder would be likely to give better protection.


TOMATOES

Are one of the most important vegetables of the home garden not alone
as a summer vegetable, but also as an important part of the winter
cuisine, more tomatoes being canned for winter use than all other
vegetables.

Tomatoes require no expert care to grow; they are one of the easiest
managed of vegetables, but they do require heat for starting if they
are to be got to bearing in season to give a bountiful crop before
frost. It takes about four months from the time the seed is sown to
produce a crop of the main crop tomato. Some of the very early sorts
will come into bearing early in July; unfortunately, however, these
very early varieties lack the full, delicious flavor of the later
fruit. The tomatoes should not be set in the open ground until all
danger of frost is over; they should be given rich soil and a spadeful
of manure added to the hill in which they are planted. If the plants
are allowed to lie on the ground make the hills four feet apart each
way, but if they are to be staked or trained on a trellis three feet
will give sufficient room; both methods of culture have advantages;
the latter keeps the fruit up off the ground, makes pickling easy and
perhaps produces more perfect fruit; less room is required for growing
the same number of plants than would be required for the former method.
The first method has this advantage,—the plants suffer least in a
dry season as the vines shade the ground, and prevent the excessive
evaporation of moisture and require, accordingly, less cultivation;
then the branches will root wherever they touch the soil and so draw
moisture and nourishment from it; a much larger amount of fruit is
produced from plants allowed to rest on the ground, and if straw is
laid under the plants it will keep them from getting soiled and rotting
if the season is wet.

Where the plants are to be staked a six foot stake should be set at
each hill at the time the plant is set and the plant tied to it at
intervals as it grows. Pinch off the top as soon as it reaches the top
of the stake and remove all but a few of the side branches, pinching in
those that remain to make a shapely plant. I think the rack system of
training is preferable to the stake.

A long trellis or rack, about eighteen inches or two feet high and two
feet wide, is constructed of narrow strips of wood and placed over the
tomato rows, the plants growing up through the center of the frame and
spreading out on top of it. This gives more bearing surface and the
vines do not need to be tied to the wood; such a trellis can be used
for several years in succession if stored away in a dry place when not
in use. The wire tomato supports on the market are good but costly and
quite as satisfactory ones can be made at home from the wire or wooden
hoops from barrels, stapled to stout stakes sharpened at one end. About
three hoops should be used and three stakes. These, too, can be stored
away for future use so that the first outlay is the last for a number
of years.

In setting out the plants from the hotbed select those with the
stoutest stalks; it is not material whether they have grown tall or
keeled over in the hotbed or not if the plant appears vigorous with a
robust stem. If one has a good supply of plants to draw from one can
discard all but the best.

[Illustration: _The reward of your hours of pleasant labor_]

Prepare the hills in advance by forking in a forkful of old manure; if
the plants are long, make a trench two-thirds the length of the stem
with a deeper hole at one end; place the root in the hole and bend the
top carefully into the trench, turning the tip up straight so that it
stands four or five inches above the ground, draw in a part of the
earth and fill the trench with water, fill in the remainder of the
soil, pressing snugly, make a fine dry mulch about the plant and the
work is done. The long stem buried in the trench will send out roots
all its length and will have a much greater root system than a plant
set with just a few inches of stem in the ground; such a plant set in
such a way, invariably lives and makes a strong plant, but to plant it
with only the root part under the ground would only invite the loss of
the plant.

The plot should be looked over the following morning to see if cut
worms have cut off any of the plants during the night and to restore,
if necessary, the dust-mulch.

Plants grown on stakes or trellises are more susceptible to frost than
those grown on the ground as the soil holds the heat and it is an
easy matter to cover a considerable number of plants at one time with
tarpaulin or even newspapers and this should be done when there is even
a slight prospect of frost. The thermometer should be watched in the
late fall and if it is going down towards nightfall those plants which
one wishes to save should be protected.

After the first three hard frosts there are usually two or three
weeks of fine weather and it is at this time that tomatoes and other
perishable garden stuff command the highest price and those who are
fortunate enough to have a surplus to sell can realize a neat little
sum that will more than pay for the trifling trouble involved.

I am often asked which is the best tomato for the home garden and
have no hesitation in saying that, all things considered, there is no
better tomato raised, for an all season crop, than the Dwarf, Improved
Stone. There are earlier tomatoes and larger tomatoes. The Early
Detroit is earlier, but not very much so, and it does not compare in
size and quality with the Stone. Ponderosa is a much larger tomato but
the quality is not up to the Stone nor is its freedom from cracking
and irregularity to be compared to the Stone. Then the Stone is such
a satisfactory plant in the way of foliage and stem, so heavy and
rugged, the thick, crumply leaves are very distinctive and the plants
always command attention even when not in fruit. The fruit is quite
as large as best requirements demand and it slices beautifully for
the table and canned is entirely free from that peculiar taste that
characterizes the commercial tomato.

Earliana is the earliest and the most popular sort of the extra early
tomato and a few plants for early use will be worth while. There is
also a new ball-shaped tomato, New Globe, that is good for slicing
as it gives a number of fine slices just alike instead of the three
usually obtained from a flat tomato, only one—the middle—being
perfect. So if one wants a variety in the garden one may plant with
entire confidence the Dwarf Stone and Vaughan's Improved New Stone and
add for variety the Earliana and the New Globe.


SQUASH

ENGLISH MARROW

In sections where the eggplant does not do well, or where one lacks the
skill to succeed with it a very satisfactory substitute will be found
in the English marrow; this is a bush form of the vegetable marrows and
occupies about as much ground as an eggplant. The vine sorts are such
rampant growers that they require a garden to themselves or at least a
walled enclosure, but they are very profitable to grow as they produce
enormously and the fruit is excellent fried like eggplant; few, if any,
persons would be able to distinguish between them and the difference,
if any, would be in favor of the marrow.

Rich warm soil is required for all the squash family and the bush
varieties are no exceptions. Give in addition to the usual manuring of
the garden a good forkful of manure in each hill. Space the hills four
feet apart each way and plant several seeds in each hill to provide
for the appetite of the squash bugs which make no exception in favor
of bush varieties; when danger of bugs is past the plants should be
thinned to three or four plants in a hill.

To repel the squash vine borer scatter a handful of tobacco dust about
the plants and at the first appearance of wilt in the leaves examine
the stems carefully for the point where the worm found entrance and
either slit the stalk sufficiently to uncover the worm or run a wire up
the stalk until he is encountered and killed; then if possible, bury
the wound in soil so that the branch may be saved; if, however, there
is too much injury done or the wound is too high up it will be best to
remove that part of the branch; at the same time the rest of the plants
should be carefully examined for other signs of injury, and the ground
inspected for larvæ. For yellow striped beetle and blight spray early
and repeatedly with Bordeaux arsenate of lead mixture.

The marrows are finer eating when only two-thirds grown. They should
be peeled, sliced and covered with salt for an hour, then rinsed and
drained and breaded and fried the same as eggplant, or, if preferred,
may be cooked and mashed like summer squash. They are good either way.


TURNIPS

Have an important place in the garden as they may be used as a catch
crop almost any time during summer. Wherever vacancies occur in rows
of early vegetables and it is inconvenient owing to lack of seed or
other reasons to replant with the same vegetable, then one may have
recourse to the ever useful turnip and fill in the hiatus with that.
Turnips are at their best when young and tender, about three inches
in diameter, and a constant succession can be assured by planting in
this way or where the first crop of vegetables has been removed. For
fall and winter use sowings may be made in July and August. Success
frequently results from sowing among the sweet corn just before the
last cultivation; with favorable weather a crop will mature before
severe freezing weather and turnips are the better for a touch of frost.

Open a shallow drill with the hand plough or by dragging the corner
of the hoe along the row and scatter the seed very thinly. If the
planting is in full rows make them a foot or fifteen inches apart. As
soon as the plants are large enough, thin to stand three or four inches
apart; this is important as fine, smooth roots cannot be produced if
crowded.

The turnip maggot is the greatest enemy the turnip has and it sometimes
appears in gardens that have been entirely free from it and I think
is brought in the seed. It is the same little worm that works its
tortuous way through and around the radish and, although I have never
grown a wormy radish, still last season an entire planting of turnips
were ruined by this pest, so as I was quite sure it was not previously
present in the soil I am forced to the conviction that I bought and
planted it together with the seed. Moral—Buy seed of reliable dealers
and examine carefully for worm holes before planting.

The Purple-top White Globe is a most popular market sort. Snowball
is a white variety of fine appearance and early maturity and if used
young is very tender and sweet. Early White Egg is another good early
sort and for those who like a yellow turnip the Yellow Globe is a
satisfactory sort. It makes a larger root than the others and is
excellent both for table use and for feeding stock. It is a dependable
root for feeding Belgian or other hares as it keeps well, buried in
earth in a frost-proof cellar, and when gathered for winter use the
tops can be piled in a cool place and fed to the bunnies. Of course
this applies to all turnips which are grown for winter use.

The planting of turnips, radishes and cabbage should be watched
closely for signs of the root maggot. The presence of a little,
dark-colored fly about the plant is always cause for suspicion and
when seen it will be well to take precautionary measures. As tobacco
in any form is obnoxious to most insect life, the strewing of tobacco
dust on the ground will usually drive these flies away and prevent
the laying of eggs, but the trouble is that they may have already
laid eggs before being discovered. Hot water poured around the plant
in sufficient quantity to soak the soil an inch or so will often
destroy the eggs and larvæ too. Soaking the ground with Paris green
solution—a teaspoonful of the poison to a large watering pot of water
is sufficient and the solution must be kept stirred to prevent its
settling—will destroy the maggot, but it may also poison the turnip so
is not to be recommended; also, if the worm has attacked the radish or
turnip and rendered it unsightly and unfit for the table, tobacco and
hot water then are the two safest and most reliable applications and
the hot water over the tobacco is especially effective.

Disks made from heavy tar paper are sold for the protection of cabbage
and cauliflower plants and may be cheaply made at home and though a
little more trouble to apply about turnips and radishes still are
practical and better than losing the crop. The disks may be either
round or square and should be about three inches in diameter with a
hole the size of the stem in the center and a slit extending out from
the hole on one side to the edge; this allows the disk to be slipped
around the stem of the plant. A leather punch which will cut a quarter
of an inch hole may be used and the slit made to the center of the disk
and the hole then cut. The disk lies flat on the ground and prevents
the entrance of the fly to deposit the egg and the tar paper repels.

[Footnote 3: Corn should not be planted in single rows for this
reason:—when the corn blooms the pollen is carried from ear to ear,
and from plant to plant. If a single row is planted broadside to
the prevailing wind, the pollen is dissipated and the corn remains
unfertilized and produces no ears. Three or more rows insures against
this loss of pollenization. If only a limited number of hills are to be
planted it will be better to plant them in blocks rather than in one
or two long rows. Corn that matures at different seasons should not
be planted in parallel single rows as the result would be the same as
one single row—the corn not blooming at the same time. Again, corn of
two different sorts should not be in adjoining, parallel rows, rather
should each kind be planted in blocks to avoid hybridizing. Where it
is necessary to give a long strip of land to the sweet corn it may be
divided into blocks, especially if the strip extends from north to
south, as the prevailing winds are quite uniformly from east or west and
there is little trouble with cross pollenizing from south to north.]



CHAPTER X

VEGETABLES OF THE VINE FAMILY


CUCUMBERS

For main crop or pickle cucumbers should be planted in the open ground
from June until the middle of July; at this season there is less danger
of damage from the striped cucumber beetle and the stink bug, both
serious enemies of the vine family; but even so late in the season it
will be well to take the easy precaution of strewing tobacco stems or
dust on the hill about the plants.

For pickles plant in hills four to six feet apart each way and keep the
entire surface of the ground clean with frequent cultivation. Hoeing
about the hills and running the hand cultivator with the scuffle-hoe
attachment between the hills will be sufficient, but no weeds should
be allowed to make a start, as once the vines have begun to cover
the ground it will be difficult to eradicate the weeds and the vines
must not be tramped on or handled unnecessarily. When the plants are a
foot long pinch out the ends of the branches to induce branching and
check too rampant a growth. Pull up all but three or four plants when
all danger of bugs is past. Keep a close watch for root maggot, borer,
and wilt. Spray with Bordeaux arsenate of lead mixture at the first
appearance of wilt, and continue once a week until the fruit appears;
after that it will not be safe to use the poison.

Gather the pickles frequently—every other day if bearing well; do not
allow fruit to grow large or ripen on the vines if grown for pickles as
this will check production.

One of the best table varieties is Early Fortune—also a desirable
pickling variety. Arlington, White Spine and Davis's Perfect are
excellent table sorts and Chicago Pickle—a standard pickle sort—and
Long Green, or Jersey Pickle and the Westerfield's Chicago Pickle are
all excellent types for growing for pickles.


CITRON

Used for preserving and for sweet pickles, require the same treatment
as melons and squash. Seed may be planted directly in the open ground
or started on pieces of sod in the hotbed; this is preferable as the
fruit sometimes fails to ripen in a short season and unless fully
ripened on the vine the preserves have a watery taste, no matter how
carefully prepared. Citron make about the same length of vine as the
watermelon so should be planted from five to six feet apart, and when
the vines are a foot in length the tips should be pinched off to induce
branching and check too straying a habit. Keep cultivated, remembering
that the dust-mulch is the best garden insurance and spray with
Bordeaux mixture against blight and use tobacco dust liberally as a
preventive measure against the yellow striped beetle and the squash bug.


MUSK MELONS

In securing seed for growing musk melons one should take into
consideration the climate and the length of the growing season.
Certain varieties of melon require certain climatic conditions and will
not give satisfaction if these are lacking. Melons that are adapted to
the climate of Colorado—like the Rocky Ford, the Honey Dew and the
like seldom do well in the east and middle west where early frosts
are apt to find the fruit still immature, but there are many other
excellent varieties well adapted to these sections. The Extra Early
Hackensack, the Osage, the Irondequoit and others can be grown with
satisfaction and all are especially fine and large.

As a general thing I think a large melon, sweetness and flavor
being equal, preferable. One of the sweetest melons with which I am
acquainted is the old Cassaba; this is the largest musk melon grown—a
perfect specimen being from twelve to fifteen inches in length and as
much as one wishes to carry up from the garden, but the delicate green
flesh is melted sugar, nothing less, with a flavor all its own.

For an early crop of melons one should start the seed in the hotbed on
squares of sod, using plenty of seed so that one will have an assured
stand, and transplant when all danger of frost is past. If one only
grows a few hills it will well repay one for the extra trouble to cover
the hills with shallow boxes, covered with wire netting or mosquito
netting. The boxes should not be more than four inches high and about
twelve inches square, or thereabouts; if removed as soon as danger of
bugs is past and stored in a dry place they will last for a number of
years. Empty biscuit boxes sawed in two make good frames or strips of
three inch lumber can quickly be converted into frames by any one handy
with hammer and saw.

Dry weather is one of the serious drawbacks to melon culture as the
drought usually comes just as the fruit is setting. Sinking tin cans,
with holes punched in the sides near the bottom, to the top in the soil
in the middle of the hill and keeping them filled with water will be
of much assistance in bringing the fruit on to maturity. Occasionally
too much rain interferes with the ripening of the fruit; in such cases
the empty can will act as a drain pipe by accumulating water from
the surface soil. The glass plant protectors used in early spring are
helpful in concentrating the little sunshine cloudy weather affords and
where these are not available old window glass may be used to afford
protection from rain and wind for a few days. This should be supported
on the north side by a frame or stout stakes, their lower edge resting
on the ground.

The best soil for melons is a warm, sandy soil well enriched with
barnyard manure and a supplementary shovelful should be placed in each
hill. Make the hills about six feet apart each way, and thin out to
three plants to a hill. If desired such small sorts as Rocky Ford,
Paul Rose, Hoodoo and the like may be grown on netting; they will not,
perhaps, bear as freely, but the fruit will be more perfect than when
grown on the ground, and there is this advantage that the fruit drops
when perfectly ripe so that there is no uncertainty about gathering
it. Where there is only a small garden spot available the growing of
melons, cucumbers and the like on netting is a distinct advantage;
the cultivation then becomes as simple as that of a row of peas and
can be continued throughout the season; gathering the fruit is much
simplified as there are no vines to be trampled on and if water is
needed it can be quickly applied along the row. Melons grown on netting
are easily protected from early frost, but it is difficult to cover any
considerable area on the ground.


WATERMELONS

Require the same treatment as musk-melons except that it is all right
that they should be started in the open ground, spacing the hills from
eight to ten feet apart each way; giving a spadeful of manure in each
hill. Spray with Bordeaux arsenate of lead mixture once or twice, using
a much weaker dilution than for other vines. Pinch out the ends of the
vines. Keep cultivated and free from weeds. Avoid stepping on the vines
or handling them unnecessarily.

Cole's Early, Kleckley Sweet and the new melon—Tom Watson—are all
good sorts of much sweetness and crispness of flesh. The first is well
adapted to the northern states, the Kleckley a few days later than
Cole's Early. A few Winter Watermelons will extend the season long
into the winter as this variety may be gathered at the approach of
cold weather and stored in a cool, frost-proof cellar and will retain
its delicious flavor and sweetness for weeks. Unlike the other melons
mentioned, which are oblong and green, and very tender of rind, the
Winter is round, nearly white-skinned and of a hardness approaching
the citron. The flesh, however, is red and very firm. It must not be
concluded that the Winter is a late season melon, for it is one of the
earliest, continuing to bear until frost cuts the vines, so that it may
be grown for a single melon crop if desired.


SQUASH

Winter squash are an important garden product, not much appreciated
during the flush times of summer but coming into its own at the
approach of cold weather; the culture is practically that of all vine
products. Starting seed on sod in the hotbed and transplanting has much
to recommend it as the squash seems to attract more than a fair sort
of attention from striped cucumber beetle, squash bugs, stink worm and
blight. The vine borer also takes its tithe of the plant and a sudden
wilting of the leaves is indication that he is at work; he should be
hunted for and killed. Usually there is little hopes of saving the
injured branch; if anything will do it it will be burying the wound in
earth and keeping it moist for a time until it either heals or sends
out roots at the nearest joint and so becomes an independent plant.

As a rule squash, melons, cucumbers and the like will not transplant.
It often happens that about all of the seed planted in some hills will
germinate and make strong plants while other hills will have but one
or two plants and it is desired to transplant some of the extra plants
into hills where they are needed; attempts to do this with a trowel
invariably fail; it is possible, however, to transplant an entire
hill—or a part of one if spaced far enough apart, by passing a spade
down into the ground at a sufficient distance from the plant to avoid
disturbing the roots and lifting a large spadeful of earth with the
plants. The hill that is to receive them should have been prepared in
advance so that the earth may slide off the spade into the hole without
disturbing or breaking it in the least; the soil should not be pressed
down as this would have a tendency to crumble, but any space about it
should be filled in carefully and water poured around it. Squash or
other vines moved in this way invariably live and go on growing without
any appreciable setback. A considerable patch of winter squash—the
Delicious—was entirely secured by taking up plants that had come
up self sown in various places; somewhere some immature squash were
left in the garden the fall before; some came from the frame around a
standpipe in the barnyard which was filled with coal ashes. How the
squash came to come up in that unusual place is unknown, but there
were a number of nice plants and these were lifted on the spade and
carried—a spadeful at a time—and planted where they were wanted and
the entire patch was very thrifty and bore abundantly.

Spraying, hand picking and attention to cultivation are essential in
growing squash as with other garden crops. The dust-mulch is the one
certain assurance against failure.

The Hubbard Squash, both Golden and Warted, have long been standard
sorts, but both have lost, through much careless breeding, the
qualities which distinguished them—dryness and sweetness. It is
practically impossible of late years to find an individual of either
variety that is really dry or sweet or that has keeping qualities equal
to the early sorts. In the Delicious we have a much superior squash
whose dryness is notable and sweetness all that one could desire, even
small, immature specimens possess the quality in high degree. Unless
one has home grown seed from a Hubbard that was perfect in these
qualities I should advise planting the seed of Delicious and saving
one's own seed from the best specimen of that.


SUMMER SQUASH

Then there are all the varieties of summer squashes—Summer Crookneck,
Giant Summer Crookneck, the Vegetable Marrows, and the several bush
forms, which are a boon to the small kitchen garden as they take little
room and are always within bounds; they include the Bush Fordhook,
used as a summer squash when green, or ripe, a good keeper, often
lasting until the next season's crop is ready. The Mammoth White Bush
or Patty Pan, Early Yellow Bush, Early Golden Bush and Bush English
Marrow are all good sorts—either cooked and mashed or egged and fried
like eggplant. All require the same general treatment and all bear
heavily and early. The summer squash are planted in the open ground
any time that is suitable for planting corn. To guard against loss by
seed decaying in the ground if the season is wet, set the seeds on
edge, instead of laying them flat; this is advisable with all flat
seeds of pronounced size; cover half an inch and mark the hills so that
cultivation can commence at once. Covering the hills with frames will
save much work in combating insects or a cap of window screening will
be effectual; this is made from a round piece of netting with a slit on
one side from center to edge to allow its being bent in a tent shape.
A stick should be fastened to it to hold it together and anchor it to
the ground; this can be easily arranged by taking a piece of wood four
or five inches longer than the cap and splitting it half its length,
inserting the wire where it laps into the split and thrusting the free
end into the ground. These little caps are very practical as they can
be flattened out and laid away when no longer required, occupying very
little space to store and for that reason are preferable to the boxes.

Squash vines may be kept from growing too rampant by shortening the
branches. They should always be pinched back as soon as they have made
a foot, or less, of growth and when fruit is well set on the vines the
ends may be severely cut back to insure the early maturity of the fruit
already set. I have removed branches several feet long and bearing
half-grown squash from vines of the English marrow without the least
ill effect and have no doubt that similar treatment would be well borne
by the Hubbard or other winter squash, and so save much useless growth
and conserve the strength of the vine for the main crop of squash and,
perhaps, induce a dryer, sweeter product.


SWEET POTATOES

The easiest way to raise one's own sweet potatoes is to buy already
started plants of the market gardeners who make a business of starting
them for sale; but if one prefers to plant the tubers and raise one's
own plants, and the potatoes are available—which seldom is the case
unless one has kept them over in a warm cellar buried in sand—then the
potatoes are cut the same as Irish potatoes, one eye to a piece, and
started in a warm hotbed in April. Before planting the pieces of potato
it is a wise precaution to dip each piece in sulphur to protect against
black rot. The plants should not be set out in the open ground until
the nights are warm and all danger of frost is passed. The hills should
be three feet apart each way at least as the vines make quite a rank
growth. Warm, sandy soil, well fertilized, is necessary and a trowelful
of poultry droppings may be added to each hill for good results.
Cultivate thoroughly and often and when the vines become too long to
make cultivating convenient they may be lifted and coiled around the
top of the hill, the hill, by the way, not being a hill at all in
the common acceptance of the term but merely a level space devoted
to the growing of the potato. It is quite important that the ground
immediately about the plant be kept clean, so that when the vines are
coiled up they need not be again disturbed to remove weeds.

The space between the plants should be kept mellow and free from weeds
throughout the growing season. Sweet potatoes are quite as easy to
grow as Irish potatoes, easier, in fact, as they have fewer enemies
and are not attacked by the potato beetle. They are more difficult to
keep, however, and should be stored in boxes of dry sand in a warm, dry
cellar over winter.



CHAPTER XI

VEGETABLES LESS COMMONLY GROWN


There is a considerable number of vegetables that are seldom
encountered in the general garden, many of which are well worthy of
acquaintance. Many of them are familiar to the city housekeper through
the medium of the fruit stores and the delicatessen stores; more of
them appear in the gardens of the foreign residents and might be
adopted for general cultivation with good results.


ARTICHOKES

Which appear as an especial delicacy on the menus of the big hotels
and restaurants on special occasions only, are not difficult to grow
in sections of the country where the winters are not too severe. They
will not stand the winters of the northern states, however, and in any
longitude north of the Ohio, are better for winter protection. Given a
mild winter climate they are as easily raised as a cabbage or an ear of
corn and are far more ornamental, indeed so striking and handsome are
the plants that they may be grown for their effectiveness alone.

The plants are grown from seed started in a hotbed in March or earlier
and planted out in rich mellow soil when the weather is suitable. Set
the plants three feet apart each way. The plants do not bear until the
second year, but they may be had in cold sections by purchasing the
plants of the florist at any time after the middle of April. As many
undesirable sorts are often obtained from seed it is a more certain way
of getting good varieties to purchase the plants. They are, however,
more expensive than other vegetable plants and where they can not be
carried over the winter are somewhat expensive, costing one dollar and
fifty cents a dozen. However, a dozen will be ample for a small family.

The unopened flower head is the part eaten and it is served raw as a
salad or cooked in various ways as an entrée.

They should receive the same culture as okra or corn, thorough
cultivation and water if the season is unduly dry. At the approach of
severe weather the tops should be cut off close to the crown and the
plants banked up with coal ashes, which should be removed in the spring
before growth begins.


ARTICHOKE, JERUSALEM

Though sometimes used as a vegetable and for pickling is especially
valuable for feeding stock, especially swine which are allowed to
harvest it by rooting it out of the ground. It is claimed that an acre
of ground planted to artichoke will keep from twenty to thirty hogs
from October to April. They have a special value as a means of clearing
a piece of land of undesirable weed growths—like Canada Thistle, quack
grass or locust sprouts, as the hogs in rooting for the tubers will
destroy the weed roots, thus redeeming a piece of land that may be
utilized for garden crops or fruit.

In planting the tubers are cut and planted the same as potatoes and
cultivated in the same way until the crop is matured sufficiently to
turn the hogs on it or they may be harvested to feed during winter to
any stock which needs a succulent winter food.


BROCCOLI

A vegetable similar to cauliflower, but of somewhat coarser flavor.
It is hardier than cauliflower and will do well in sections where
cauliflower is not successfully grown. For rapid growth it should
receive frequent cultivation and be grown in rich soil. Sow seed very
early in greenhouse, hotbed or warm window and set out as soon as the
ground can be prepared in spring, setting the plants the same distance
apart as cabbage and drawing the earth up about the roots when hoeing.
White Cap is about the best variety, making fine, large, compact heads
of a creamy-white color, of good flavor.


BRUSSELS SPROUTS

These little miniature cabbages, growing closely together on a stalk,
are delicious boiled like cabbage or used as a salad. The culture is
the same as that accorded cabbage. The seed should be sown in the
hotbed in spring and set out in the open ground in May in rows three
feet apart and about twenty inches apart in the rows. Cultivate to keep
down weeds and maintain a dust-mulch. By fall the little heads will be
fully developed. The delicate flavor is improved by a touch of frost.
For late use sow seed in June.


CHICORY

Sow seed in the open ground early in spring as for parsnips, thinning
to stand three inches apart in the rows and making the rows fifteen
inches apart. Dig the roots in the fall and store in a dark cellar
where the temperature can be controlled. Cut the leaves off a little
above the root crown and place them in horizontal layers with the
crowns outward covering each layer, excepting the tip of the crown,
with earth. Each layer should be a little narrower than the one
beneath so that they form a sloping bank. It is the tender white leaves
produced in the dark that are used for salad. Another form of Chicory,
the Large Rooted, is used to mix with or substitute for coffee, being
sliced, dried, roasted and ground.

Witloof Chicory, or French Endive as it is sold by dealers in fancy
fruits and vegetables, is sown in June in drills a foot apart and
cultivated until frost, when the plants should be taken up and trimmed
to an inch and a half from the neck and replaced upright in trenches
about sixteen inches deep, setting the plants about an inch and a half
apart. The trench is then filled in with soil and covered with manure
to hasten growth. The tender, white tops will be ready for use in about
a month and are eaten raw, like celery, used as a salad or cooked.


CELERIAC

Or turnip-rooted celery is grown for its bulbous root, which has a
distinct celery flavor and in gardens where celery will not succeed it
makes a very good substitute. It is used, cooked, either as a salad or
as a vegetable. It is cultivated much as celery is, only it does not
require the banking so necessary with that plant. It may, however, be
blanched and is said to be very fine that way. Delicatesse is a fine
sort with perfectly smooth root, free from side rootlets, pure white,
tender and excellent in quality. Giant Prague is another fine sort.
Earliest of All is ready for use in June and is a good sort.


CHERVILLE

Resembles parsley and is used for garnishing and for seasoning.
Cultivate like parsley, making the rows a foot apart and thin to six
inches.


COLLARDS

Grown at the south as greens and as a substitute for cabbage. Plant
seed in rows, thinning or transplanting to a foot apart in the row. It
is improved by a touch of frost.


CORN SALAD

Sow in spring in drills a foot apart. For winter and spring use sow
in drills in August and September and cultivate like lettuce or other
salad stuff.


CRESS

Upland Cress, which has the flavor of water-cress, can be grown in any
good garden soil without the presence of water. The seed should be
sown very freely in rows one foot apart, making repeated sowings for
succession as the plant soon runs to seed. Water-cress can be grown
about a water hydrant if the soil is clayey, or can be underlaid with
a few inches of clay. Water-cress sown at intervals in such a position
will give a supply of the pungent green that will be a very welcome
addition to lettuce, corn or other salad. Remove a foot or eighteen
inches of the soil for a square yard of space and in the excavation
thus formed lay a few inches of clay, tamping and puddling it down
until it makes a continuous layer, then apply a few inches of earth
rich in humus or marsh earth, leaving the surface slightly lower than
the surrounding soil and scatter the seed broadcast and keep free from
weeds until up and growing. Allow the hydrant to drip sufficiently to
maintain sufficient moisture. Continue to scatter seeds at intervals
for a succession of cress.


DANDELION

For those who love the bitter tang of the dandelion as a green, the
cultivated affords a much finer dish than the wild as the leaves are
double the size of the wild dandelion. The seed should be sown in
drills, covering very lightly and shading with newspapers or brush
until up. Thin to stand a foot apart and blanch, if desired, by
inverting a box or flower-pot over each plant, or a cone of stiff paper
can be used. For greens, only the top may be removed but for salad the
plant may be cut down to the root, the part beneath the surface of the
ground being very white and tender. There is no danger of dandelion
grown in the garden becoming a troublesome weed as it is easily kept
from seeding, which is its only way of spreading.


FENNEL OR FINOCCHIO

Is extensively used in Italy as a salad. The part used is the
enlargement of the leaf stalk at the base of the stem. When this is
about the size of an egg, the earth should be drawn up about the plant
to cover the enlargement partly and in a week or ten days the eggs
maybe used, removing as many as required, a succession being produced.
The flavor is delicate, resembling celery, and it may be used either as
a salad or boiled.


GARLIC

So beloved of the Italians is quite worth cultivating in our American
gardens. It is used in minute quantities as a seasoning in almost all
forms of savory cooking, in omelets, salads, soups, dressings and
wherever a piquant flavor, suggestive of onion, but distinctive, is
desired. The garlic comes in a bunch of cloves which are separated
and planted like onion sets an inch apart, but it requires warmer
weather than the onion, succeeding especially well in the climate of
California. It is, however, indigenous in a wild state in many parts
of the country and cattle browsing in garlic-infested pastures have a
distinctive garlicky flavor to their milk. So agreeable is the taste of
garlic or leeks in butter to some people that it was once quite common
in the Philadelphia markets to hear "leeky butter" inquired for.


KALE OR BORECOLE

Are grown for greens and as a substitute for cabbage, being more hardy
than that vegetable. For summer use sow the seed in the open ground in
May or June and cultivate the same as cabbage. For early spring use,
sow seed in September and protect during winter. Some of the varieties,
like Imperial Long-standing Kale, are so hardy that they may be dug out
from under the snow in the winter. Dwarf Curled Scotch is an excellent
sort, very tender and fine flavored and with beautiful curled foliage.
Dwarf Green Curled Kale and Excelsior Moss Curled Kale are other good
sorts, very mossy, attractive and delicious.

Sea Kale, less well known than the annual kale, is a hardy perennial
that is cultivated somewhat like asparagus, the seed being sown in the
spring in rows three to four feet apart. The seedlings give a crop
the third year but quicker results come from planting root cuttings
or offsets. The Sea Kale has a very long tap-root and should be grown
in rich mellow soil that has been ploughed or dug very deep. As soon
as shoots show above the ground blanch with boards, earth, sand or
anything that will exclude light until ready for use. When blanched the
leaf-stalk is cooked like asparagus or the leaves are used as greens.


KOHL-RABI

(Turnip-rooted cabbage)

The bulb which grows on the stalk a few inches above the ground is
the edible part of this vegetable. This is stripped and cooked like
turnips, but is much more sweet and delicate. Sow seed in the open
ground in June, making the rows sixteen inches apart and thin to six
inches in the rows. Sow for succession from early spring until July.
Cultivate like cabbage.


LEEKS

Sow seed in April in drills one foot apart and one inch deep.
Transplant when large enough to handle or thin to stand six inches
apart in the rows, setting the plants as deep as possible so that
the earth will come up well about the neck to blanch and insure its
whiteness and tenderness. In cultivating draw the earth up about the
plants. Seed may also be sown in August or September, the same as
onions, and the plants transplanted the following spring.

Prizetaker Leek is a fine exhibition sort. Large Musselburg has
enormous broad leaves and a pleasant flavor. Long Mezieres also has
broad, erect leaves, fine flavor and a long, snow-white stem and is
very hardy. Leeks are a valuable addition to the onion family of the
garden.


MARTYNIA

The curious pods of this vine vegetable are used for pickling and
produce a very fancy article. They should be gathered when only half
grown. Sow the seed in the hotbed in spring and transplant into hills
three feet apart each way and cultivate the same as cucumbers. The
plants will self-sow and voluntary plants will appear each year so that
once established one is quite sure of a supply. Seed may also be sown
in the open ground, if preferred, in May.



CHAPTER XII

QUANTITY OF SEED REQUIRED


  ------------------------------------------------------------
         NAME      |OUNCES|POUNDS| DRILL |HILLS|ACRE|  PLANTS
  ------------------------------------------------------------
  Asparagus        |  1   | 4-5  |       |     |   1| 200
  Beans            |  1   | 1    | 50    |     |    |
  Bush Lima        |  1   | 1    | 50    |     |    |
  Pole Lima        |  1   | 1    | 75-100|     |    |
  Beets            |  1   | 5-6  | 50    |     |   1|
  Brussels Sprouts |  1   |      |200    |     |    |
  Cabbage          |  1   | 4    |       |     |   ¼|3000-4000
  Cauliflower      |  1   |      |       |     |    |3000
  Carrots          |  1   | 3-4  |100    |     |   1|
  Chicory          |  1   |      |100    |     |    |
  Celery           |  1   |      |       |     |    |5000-6000
  Cucumbers        |  1   | 2    |       |  50 |   1|
  Corn Salad       |  3   |      |100    |     |    |
  Collards         |  1   |      |       |     |    |3000
  Eggplant         |  1   |      |       |     |    |1000-2000
  Endive           |  1   |      |300    |     |    |
  Kale             |  1   |      |       |     |    |5000
  Kohl-Rabi        |  1   |      |300    |     |    |
  Lettuce          |  1   |      |       |     |    |3000
  Muskmelon        |  1   | 2-3  |       |     |   1|
  Watermelon       |  1   | 4-5  |       |     |   1|
  Onion            |  1   | 4-5  |200    |     |   1|
  Okra             |  1   |      |100    |     |    |
  Parsley          |  1   |      |150    |     |    |
  Parsnips         |  1   |  5-6 | 200   |     |   1|
  Peppers          |  1   |      |       |     |    |1000-1500
  Peas             |      |  1   |  50   |     |    |
  Pumpkins         |  1   |      |  25   |     |    |
  Potatoes         |      | 13   |       |     |    |
  Radishes         |  1   |      | 100   |     |    |
  Rhubarb          |  1   |      | 125   |     |    |
  Salsify          |  1   |      |  50   |     |    |
  Squash           |  1   |  3-4 |       |  25 |   1|
  Spinach          |  1   | 10-12| 100   |     |   1|
  Tomatoes         |  1   |      |       |     |    |3000-4000
  Turnips          |  1   |  1-2 | 200   |     |   1|
  ------------------------------------------------------------

For those vegetables of which only a small quantity is grown the
packets will be ample, most packets giving from one to two hundred
plants, when started in the hotbed.



CHAPTER XIII

SWEET, POT AND MEDICINAL HERBS


Are a very welcome addition to the kitchen garden, giving just the
often needed touch to the achievement of a successful dish, a touch
that will change an everyday vegetable or meat course to something
unusual and fancy in cuisine, and with no trouble or added expense to
the cook—just a little pinch of this or that, and what a difference
it makes! In most households sage is depended on for the flavoring
of poultry dressing, sausage and the like, in spite of the fact that
it may be anything but pleasing to some member of the family or the
welcome guest; so accustomed are we to its use that substitution is
scarcely thought of, and yet a very pleasing one is found in summer
savory, which most people like better than sage, once its acquaintance
is made. Coriander and caraway seeds are used in bread, cake and
cookies, but just a touch of caraway is a very piquant addition to
salads. Tarragon is used for making tarragon vinegar—the leaves
being steeped in pale cider or white wine vinegar until the flavor
is extracted and then used in the concoction of salad dressing. Dill
is used principally for making dill pickles, the leaves being laid
alternately with the pickles when laid down. Sweet fennel is used for
salads and soups and also for fish sauce.

If one has a strip of land at one side of the garden that is not
needed, and can be conveniently skipped in the plowing, that will be
the place for the herb bed. The soil should be rich and mellow and
contain a fair proportion of humus. A poor strip of land may be built
up by adding to it from season to season the old manure from the
hotbed; this is nearly reduced to humus and the action of the elements
will soon complete its transformation.

As many of the herbs are perennial it is best that the bed should be a
permanent one, not subject to annual disturbance. It should be long,
rather than wide, so that the herbs may be gathered without walking
on the bed; three feet is a good width as that can be reached across
fairly well. As the amount of any one herb used in the average family
will be small it is not necessary that they be set in regular rows;
they may rather be started in rows, for convenience in planting and
identifying when up and then the fine, vigorous plants set in clumps in
the border, or in colonies of sorts. The leaves of the various plants
are the part used and they should be cut or gathered on a bright, clear
day just as the plants are coming into bloom, tied in bunches and hung
up in a dry place, an attic with open windows, or a shed, or spread
out on racks or a floor, anywhere where they will dry quickly so as
to retain all their flavor. When thoroughly dry the leaves should be
stripped from the stems and packed in bags or boxes for use.

The annual varieties are cultivated the same as the perennials but if
one prefers these may occupy a row through the garden where they can
have the cultivation accorded the other vegetables. The following list
is quite complete and will indicate the various uses for which each is
suitable.


PERENNIAL HERBS

    _Balm._ Lemon-scented and used for making balm tea.

    _Catnip._ Beloved of cats and useful in colic of infants.

    _Fennel, Sweet._ Used in salads and soups.

    _Horehound._ Very useful in coughs and bronchial colds, made into
    syrup or candy, with sugar.

    _Lavender._ For perfuming linen. Not hardy and should be protected
    in winter.

    _Mint._ For mint sauces.

    _Pennyroyal._ Used medicinally, and for seasoning puddings and
    various dishes.

    _Peppermint._ For flavoring and in candy.

    _Rosemary._ For flavoring. ("Here's Rosemary, that's for
    remembrance.")

    _Rue._ For roup in fowls and for medicinal purposes.

    _Sage._ Seasoning for sausage, poultry dressing and the like.

    _Savory, summer._ Used in place of sage and as flavoring with
    string beans.

    _Savory, winter._ Used the same as summer savory.

    _Sweet Marjoram._ Used green in summer and dried in winter.

    _Tansy._ For medicinal purposes.

    _Thyme, broad-leaved English._ For seasoning and poultry stuffing;
    also a tea for nervous headache.


ANNUAL HERBS

    _Anise._ For garnishing and flavoring and in making cordials.

    _Basil, sweet._ The stems and seeds are used in soups and sauces.

    _Bene._ Used medicinally—the leaves in water, beneficial in cases
    of dysentery.

    _Borage._ Excellent for bees. Leaves used in salads, the flowers in
    cooling drinks. _Caraway._ The seed used in bread, cakes, cookies
    and salads.

    _Chamomile._ Medicinal. Prescribed by physicians as an emetic and
    vermifuge.

    _Coriander._ Seeds aromatic. Used as a stomachic.

    _Cumin._ As food for pigeons.

    _Dill._ In making dill pickles.

    _Pimpinella._ The young leaves, used as salad, have the flavor of
    cucumbers.

    _Saffron._ Used for flavoring and coloring.

    _Tarragon._ For flavoring and in salads. Does not come from seed
    but plants must be purchased.

    _Tagetes._ This possesses in its green parts almost the true
    tarragon flavor.

    _Thyme. French Summer._ Used for seasoning.

    _Waldmeister._ Used in May wine and also for scenting clothes.



CHAPTER XIV

PLANT ENEMIES AND INSECTICIDES


The well-tended garden does not suffer materially from inroads of
insect pests especially in favorable seasons; cool, damp weather,
and hot, muggy weather are conducive to fungoid diseases which sap
the strength of the plants and make them less resistant to any kind
of assaults, whether of insects or disease, but with normal weather
and bright dry air a part of each day at least, little trouble should
be experienced from insect pests; especially should this be the case
if precautionary work has been done the previous fall in the way of
gathering up and burning all rubbish that can harbor insects or disease
and especially if the precaution is taken to fall plough the garden,
leaving the soil in the rough furrow over winter. This is especially
good practice when there has been trouble with insect pests,
especially cutworms, root lice, tomato worms—the pupae of which winter
in the ground and if turned up by the plough will be destroyed, radish
and cabbage maggot and the like.

Even though the past season has been practically free from trouble
of this sort the intelligent gardener will recognize the possibility
of trouble and in time of peace will prepare for war by supplying
himself with the more common and useful varieties of insecticides. It
is not desirable that the list should include everything in the bug
pharmacopæia; a few standard remedies faithfully and intelligently
used are far better than an embarrassing assortment that leaves one
undecided as to which is best and often results in half-hearted use of
first one and then the other, with lax intervals which give the enemy
time to recuperate and multiply.

It is best in deciding upon the insecticides and fungicides to be
used to have a clear classification in mind of the several kinds of
insect to be exterminated as one form of poison may not be suited to
all forms of insect life: for instance, insects which chew or eat
the leaves of the plants to which they are addicted, as the potato
beetle, caterpillar and the like, can most readily be destroyed by
poison applied to the foliage; insects which do not eat the vegetation
on the surface, but puncture it and drain away by suction the juices
of the plant, like the aphis and other plant lice, will not be injured
by surface poison, but must be destroyed by the contact of corrosive
poison with their bodies, or with hot water, which is one of the best
insecticides known, not only destroying all insect life with which it
comes in contact, but cleansing and strengthening the plants. It should
be used as a spray at about a hundred and forty degrees, taking pains
to reach the underside of the leaves as well as the upper surface,
and as it can be used when the fruit is in any stage of growth its
advantage is obvious.

For the eating or chewing insects and beetles there are several
reliable poisons on the market, all ready for use, needing only to be
mixed with a definite bulk of water, flour or lime, according as the
poison is to be used as a dust or a spray.


ARSENATE OF LEAD

Used for all chewing insects that attack foliage and fruit trees; will
not wash off nor burn the foliage. Use two or three pounds to fifty
gallons of water as a spray. Price about forty-five cents a pound.


ARSENATE OF ZINC

A quick-acting adhesive insecticide for potato bugs, rose beetles and
vegetables that have not headed sufficiently to be injurious if touched
with the poison. Forty-five cents per pound.


BUG DEATH

Used instead of Paris green for eating insects on potatoes, squashes,
melons, eggplants, cucumbers. Twenty-five cents a pound; directions
accompany it.


PARIS GREEN

For all chewing insects. As a dust use one part of the poison to one
hundred parts plaster, or flour; as a spray, one pound Paris green to
one hundred and fifty to three hundred gallons of water according to
the tenderness of the foliage. Sixty-five cents per pound.


PYROX

For eating insects, fungus growth, blight and rot. Adheres to foliage.
One pound to six gallons of water. Forty cents per pound.


SLUG SHOT

For potato bugs, tomato and cabbage worms, lice aphis and worms—use as
dust with blow gun. Twenty cents a pound.

For fungoid diseases, blight and rot the various Bordeaux mixtures,
single and combined with the arsenates so as to take the place of a
separate poison for chewing insects, are suggested.


BORDEAUX MIXTURE

The standard remedy against fungus, rust and rot. Five ounces to one
gallon of water is standard strength. Spray at intervals until fruits
sets, for potatoes till danger of late blight is passed. Thirty-five
cents a pound.


BORDEAUX-ARSENATE OF LEAD

A combined fungicide and insecticide for potatoes, melons, cucumbers
and squash. Three ounces to one gallon of water. Spray once a week or
every ten days. Forty cents per pound.


KEROSENE EMULSION

For all soft-bodied, sucking insects, especially aphis and lice. One
pound of paste to ten gallons of water. Paste, thirty cents a pound.


DIRECTIONS FOR PREPARING

KEROSENE EMULSION

Dissolve one-half pound of soap in one gallon of boiling water, add two
gallons of kerosene, and force through a spray pump again and again
until an emulsion is formed. Dilute from ten to twenty-five times
before applying. Use rain-water for making solution.


BORDEAUX-ARSENATE OF LEAD

One pound of arsenate of lead with fifty gallons of Bordeaux mixture
for all eating insects and fungoid diseases.


BORDEAUX MIXTURE

Dissolve six pounds of copper sulphate by hanging it in a bag of coarse
cloth in an earthen or wooden vessel containing four to six gallons of
water, and dilute with twenty-five gallons of water. Slake four pounds
of lime, diluting to twenty-five gallons and mix by pouring the two
solutions into a third vessel. This is of such universal use that the
large quantity will not be excessive, especially when combined with the
arsenical preparations.


VEGETABLES AND INSECTS AND DISEASES ATTACKING THEM


ASPARAGUS

Keep the beds closely cut in spring and as soon as the shoots are
allowed to grow spray with Bordeaux-arsenate of lead mixture.


BEANS-ANTHRACNOSE

Spray with Bordeaux mixture when an inch or two high and repeat as
necessary.


BEAN BEETLE

Spray with kerosene emulsion, being sure that it reaches every part of
the under side of the leaves.


BEAN WEEVIL

Fumigate the seed before planting with carbon-bisulphide, in a
closed vessel for twenty-four hours or with formaldehyde, using one
teaspoonful to a pint of water and wetting the seed and covering close
a few hours.


FLEA BEETLE

Spray with arsenate of lead or Bordeaux-arsenate mixture.


BEET-LEAF SPOT

Spray with Bordeaux mixture and repeat once in two weeks but the leaves
must not be used for greens after spraying begins.


CABBAGE AND CAULIFLOWER

Aphis: spray with kerosene emulsion and repeat as needful until the
heads are nearly grown.


CABBAGE WORM

Spray with poisoned resin-lime mixture if the plants are young; after
heads have formed use kerosene emulsion or hot water, preferably the
latter.


CABBAGE ROOT MAGGOT

Protect the plants with disks of tar paper and wet the soil with Paris
green solution or emulsion composed of one pound of soap, one gallon of
boiling water and one pint of crude carbolic acid diluted with forty
parts of water, using sufficient to soak the soil several inches.


CELERY BLIGHT

Spray with Bordeaux mixture once in two weeks, until plants are half
grown.


CUCUMBERS

For the striped beetle, use tobacco dust about the hills. Spray plants
and ground with kerosene emulsion. Wrap rags saturated with kerosene
about sticks and stick in center of hills to repel bugs with the odor.
Better still, protect hills with frames of wire screening or mosquito
netting. Spray with Bordeaux-arsenate of lead every two weeks.


SQUASH BUG

Hand pick the first bugs that appear and find and destroy all eggs.
Dust with Bug Death. Protect with wire cloth.


BLIGHT

Leaves become spotted or covered with down. Spray every two weeks with
Bordeaux mixture.


ONIONS

Blight.—Spray every ten days with two-thirds strength Bordeaux mixture.
Root lice.—Open trench along side the plants and apply salt freely.


PEAS—APHIS

Spray with kerosene emulsion until pods are filling; then spray with
hot water.


PEAS—MILDEW

Spray with Bordeaux mixture containing resin wash to make it stick, or
with Pyrox.


POTATO—COLORADO BEETLE

Hand pick to destroy eggs. If young appear spray or dust with Paris
green or Pyrox and repeat as often as necessary.


FLEA BEETLE

Keep plants well covered with Bordeaux mixture or Pyrox.


SCAB

Do not plant on freshly manured land, should be manured in fall or
February at latest. Soak seed in formaldehyde before planting and dip
each piece in sulphur.


SQUASH BORER

Slit infested stem and destroy worm and cover injured branch with earth
or stone.


SQUASH BUGS

Use tobacco stems freely about hills. Spray with hot water very early
in morning.


TOMATO

For leaf-blight.—Spray with Bordeaux mixture every ten days.


TOMATO WORMS

Pick worms, gather eggs and spray with Paris green or Pyrox. Do not use
poison after the fruit is set. Fall-plough the tomato lot to rid the
soil of the chrysalids of the worm.


CAUTION

In nearly all cases of surface infestation of plants, the insects can
be destroyed with clear hot water, hot soapsuds of either whale oil
soap or ivory soap or kerosene emulsion and this should be the first
resort, using poison solutions only when the former fail to give relief.

Bordeaux mixture is so generally indicated for all diseases of foliage
and kerosene for so large a number of insects that it pays to prepare
these at home in the large quantities and have them always on hand. The
kerosene sometimes "goes back" and needs to be forced with the pump
into a fresh emulsion.



CHAPTER XV

WINTER STORAGE


It is in the late days of fall that one begins to realize substantially
on the summer's investment of seed, time and labor in the garden.
Previous to this one has watched the maturing of the summer vegetables
with an eye to their immediate use; now one sees before one rich
stores of food that shall tide one safely through many lean days when
the price of food goes soaring and the visible supply temporarily
disappears. If one is putting into cellar storage an abundance of
such sugar producing vegetables as beets, squashes, carrots, parsnips
and the like one need not fear any injury to the health of the family
from a lack of sugar if these are used freely, for they will convert
themselves into the needed sweet and although they may not be quite so
palatable as cake and candy will supply their place in the economy of
the physical system.

Most winter vegetables need to be kept in cold storage, not in a warm,
dry place; for this reason a furnace-heated cellar is not satisfactory,
but an adjoining room that is connected by a door that can be opened
to admit warm air in a severe spell of winter weather is desirable.
For certain roots that are not injured by a low temperature, or even
slight freezing, an earth cellar is satisfactory. A cellar of this
sort usually admits of piling vegetables on the floor or in pens on
the floor and throwing dirt over them to exclude the air and prevent
evaporation, and as the vegetables are used the surplus earth can be
thrown out on the floor and the labor of storing is much lessened, for
it is no small task to carry heavy baskets of earth into the vegetable
cellar and to remove it again in the spring. If a small room can be
arranged adjoining the cellar proper and bins divided off around the
sides and the earth allowed to remain from year to year the task of
winter storage will be slight. Beets, carrots, turnips, cabbage,
parsnips, salsify, celery, all these things belong in the earth cellar
and apples, too, may be stored in baskets, barrels or boxes here and
will not be injured by light freezing, as it is heat and dry atmosphere
that most militate against the successful keeping of winter apples.

A few other vegetables call for dry, rather warm quarters, like the
winter squash, onion, sweet and Irish potato, but good ventilation
is indispensable for all. The chief merit of the root-cellar lies in
the fact that it can be well ventilated, the windows being opened at
times when it would be untenable to open them in rooms devoted to the
storage of canned fruit and like perishable things. The windows in the
vegetable cellar should not be permanently closed until severe winter
weather, though they may be closed during storms and sharp falls of
temperature. I have found that the losses from frost were less in
direct proportion to the amount of fresh air admitted and in some mild
winters the windows have remained open the entire time, the covering of
earth being sufficient to preserve the vegetables in excellent shape
until spring. Even when such things as are usually stored in the earth
cellar are frozen stiff, they will be quite usable if thawed out in
cold water. The water will draw the ice to the surface and it should
be allowed to thaw, when the vegetables will be found entirely usable,
but any vegetable that thaws out soft is beyond redemption and should
at once be discarded. Also any vegetables found decaying in the cellar
should at once be removed and the cause also removed. Usually it will
be found that too much heat and too little fresh air are the trouble;
opening a window will rectify both troubles.


POTATOES

Being our most important winter vegetables should be stored with great
care. Practically their storage begins in the field when they are dug;
they should be dug on a bright, dry day, preferably in the morning that
the tubers should have time to dry off if at all damp, before being
picked up and carried in. It will pay to sort in the field as they are
gathered, throwing the culls—small potatoes and any that have been
injured in digging—by themselves. These will be of value for feeding
poultry, rabbits, goats and any stock on the place; they are excellent
for horses, keeping the skin and coat in fine shape. Potatoes may
lie on the ground in the sun long enough to dry off thoroughly, but
not longer; left exposed to the light they will turn green and this
discoloration is poisonous. They should be turned over once so that the
under side of the potatoes may dry equally.

[Illustration: _The advantage of having your garden near the home is
clearly shown here_]

The best equipment for storing potatoes in the cellar consists of long
bins divided into compartments that will hold from one to two bushels;
these bins should have holes bored in the bottom for ventilation and
they should be raised somewhat from the floor. Never store potatoes
directly on the floor as this is the coldest part of the cellar and
also the dampest; heat rises and cold falls so what heat there may be
in the cellar will circulate beneath the bins and if, for any reason,
it is necessary to supply artificial heat in the way of oil-stoves or
lamps during a spell of zero weather the heat can get under the
potatoes and raise the temperature in the bottom of the bins as well as
on the top.

When the potatoes are in the bins they must be covered to exclude
light and prevent their turning green. The potatoes should be examined
occasionally during winter to be sure that none are decaying or being
affected by frost. As a general thing potatoes are not frosted if the
skin crackles when the finger nail is pressed into it, but slight
touches of frost sometimes do not affect the crispness of the skin but
is shown by the potatoes becoming wet after lying for a while in a warm
room, or by a sweetish taste when cooked. At that stage they are not
injured for food but are less palatable and are liable to develop a
queer fungus blight in the center. As spring approaches the potatoes
will begin growth at the eyes-sprout, as it is called, and should be
looked over and all growth rubbed off. This will probably have to be
done more than once as the season advances.


SWEET POTATOES

Are far more difficult to carry through the winter than the Irish
potatoes. They require more warmth and a dryer atmosphere, and should
be stored in boxes of dry sand and set on some support away from the
floor. The furnace cellar, if not too warm is the best place for them
and it is well to use them freely so as to lessen the loss from decay
as much as possible.


WINTER ONIONS

Should be stored in a dry place, a little above freezing. Slight
frost does not injure onions, but repeated freezing and thawing does,
while too much heat will start them to growing. An upstairs room that
receives sufficient heat to keep it from freezing will do nicely and
it is a good plan to use the best onions first so that those which are
unfit for use towards spring will not be so much of a loss; however, as
these onions make the very best of green onions they are by no means
a total loss, but the small and inferior ones will do quite as well
for this purpose, for it is the live germ only that is important,
all the onion body is formed anew. Where there is a hanging shelf in
a cellar that is dry and warm the onions can often be wintered there
successfully.


WINTER SQUASH

Require a rather warm and dry situation; the cellar rarely affords the
right conditions for wintering them successfully. An upstairs room
or garret where a chimney passes through is often just the thing for
them as they may be piled in a heap near the chimney, with layers of
excelsior or straw between, and protected with blankets or quilts and
so pass the winter in good condition. From such a storage I have taken
perfectly sound, dry Hubbards in mid-June and March squash are by no
means a rarity.


BEETS

May be dug any time before the ground freezes up; the shorter time any
vegetable has to remain in cold storage the better for it, so if not
brought in until about Thanksgiving the delay is all to the good. If
the beets are to be stored in a root cellar covered with earth it is
not material whether they are topped or not. I have sometimes thought
that they kept rather better if the tops were allowed to remain;
certainly there is, then, no loss from bleeding, and if piled in heaps
with the tops all one way overlapping each other, but the tops free, it
is far easier to find and remove them when wanted. Slight freezing does
not injure beets if thawed out in cold water, but severe freezing does,
so that sufficient earth should be used to cover them and the earth may
be protected with blankets if necessary. If no root cellar is available
the beets should be topped and packed with earth in bins or boxes in
the vegetable cellar. If necessary to store in furnace cellar place as
far from the furnace as possible. Where no other place for storage is
available running a partition across one end or corner of the cellar
will provide a place that will keep most vegetables in good shape and
the expense will be covered by the saving in stock. The various wall
boards advertised are excellent material with which to construct these
little storage places and any handy man, or woman, for that matter, can
put up something that will answer the purpose by the aid of a hammer
and saw, a sheet or two of board and a few pieces of two-by-four to
nail to.


CABBAGE

Are best stored in the root cellar, they may be pulled and stood up in
the corner of the cellar and the roots buried in somewhat damp earth
or they may be cut, the roughest leaves trimmed and the heads buried
in earth, setting them upside down so that the earth will not work
inside the leaves; handled in this way they should come out sound and
good in spring. Wrapping in newspapers, where the supply is limited
is sometimes successful, the main thing being to protect from the air
and too great cold and to prevent the spread of decay which may attack
individual heads.


CAULIFLOWER

May be pulled at the approach of severe weather, the lower leaves
removed and the plants put root down, buried in soil, in boxes or pens
in the root cellar and will be available for some time, but do not keep
through the winter like cabbage.


CELERY

Should be dug, with the roots intact and placed roots down in boxes
of wet soil or sand in the dark cellar, packing the plants close
together to exclude air. If the cellar is necessarily light, the plants
should be shaded or a corner of the cellar may be enclosed to afford
protection from light. A movable partition made from wall board is a
very handy thing to have in the root cellar as it makes possible the
providing of special conditions as needed.


PARSNIPS

Although parsnips are better for remaining in the ground until spring a
supply for winter use should be dug in the fall, topped and buried in
boxes of sand or earth in the cellar. This may be done in either the
root or the kitchen cellar, as freezing does not injure the parsnip
providing they thaw out in the ground or in water.


SALSIFY

Requires the same treatment as parsnips—leaving the main crop in the
ground until spring but bringing in a supply for winter use. The main
thing in the storing of all root vegetables is to prevent wilting
more than freezing. Vegetables stored under any conditions, without
the protective covering of earth to exclude air, soon become soft and
wilted and unfit for food.


TURNIPS

Are especially sensitive to a dry atmosphere and must always be buried
in sand or earth if they are to retain their crispness and flavor. They
should not be dug until a touch of frost has sweetened them, then they
should be topped, reserving the tops for the pig or rabbits and the
roots stored as directed.



CHAPTER XVI

CANNING THE GARDEN SURPLUS FOR WINTER USE


The fullest measure of benefit from the garden has not been obtained
unless one has preserved for future use the more succulent forms of
vegetables that are not susceptible to preservation through winter in
the usual form of cold storage.

Those early vegetables which are so keen an incentive to the planting
of a garden—young beets, spinach greens, string beans, limas, peas,
tomatoes and the like must be preserved in a cooked form, hermetically
sealed from the air to preserve them from spoiling. This the commercial
canners have done for years and we have been content to let them do
this work for us at a price that has added materially to the high cost
of living, while our own garden product, often of a far better quality,
has gone to waste. Market gardeners who supply the canneries grow
vegetables with a keen eye to their productiveness. If one vegetable
will produce a half or a third more to an acre than another variety
somewhat better, it is only human to grow that one, but the private
garden is not, as a rule, grown with a sole idea of profit; it is
quality and the enjoyment of the product that is looked for and only
those vegetables that will produce a high grade product will be grown.

The home canning of vegetables has been neglected owing to the
uncertainty of results. Occasionally one found a housekeeper who could
can corn successfully, but the results usually were unsatisfactory,
all this, however, is changed since the government experts of the
Agricultural Department have, by careful experiments along the lines of
all sorts of vegetable products, worked out canning schedules that only
require careful following to insure success.

The government bulletins give explicit instructions as to necessary
equipment, method of handling each separate vegetable and try, in all
possible ways, to insure success for the worker.

At first glance the amount of equipment seems burdensome and some of
the requirements unnecessary, but I have found that it is not safe
to slight any one of them, but that there are short cuts in the work
that materially lessen the labor. It will not always be convenient to
supply oneself with a canning outfit involving much expense; especially
will this be the case in the small family where only a moderate amount
of canning is to be done, though the regular canning outfits greatly
simplify and ease up the work. A home-made outfit will, however, take
care of all the surplus from the small home garden, especially where
there are but two or three cans to be handled at one time. There are
always vegetables that mature their fruits sparingly—too many for
immediate use, but not enough to sell. However, in order that the vines
or plants should continue to bear heavily, all such products as string
and lima beans, tomatoes, green corn and the like should be gathered
as each reaches its most perfect stage. This often involves some waste
unless it can be utilized in some way and here is where the canning is
effective, as the continual canning of only one or two cans at a time
results in the course of a summer in a well-filled cupboard that will
insure one against any serious food shortage that may arise during the
winter.

There are five types of canning outfits: _Homemade outfits_,
constructed of such utensils as wash boilers, tin pails, milk cans,
metal wash tubs and lard pails. The lard pails are especially usable
and cream pails are excellent where only a few cans are to be processed
at once; even a teakettle can be made to do duty where only one or two
pint cans are to be cooked. Any metal vessel that will allow the water
to come at least an inch above the tops of the cans will do.

_Hot-Water-Bath Commercial Outfits_ are constructed usually for outdoor
work, with a sterilizing vat, lifting-trays, firebox, and smokepipe,
combined in one piece. They are light and convenient. They may be moved
about as desired, even carried to the orchard or garden where apples
and corn are to be canned in quantity, but are more adapted to clubs
and neighborhood cooperative work than to the needs of a small family.

_Water-Seal Outfits_ consist of a double-walled bath and cover which
projects down into the water between the outer and inner walls, thus
making three metal walls and two water-jackets between the sterilizing
vat and the outside of the canner. A high temperature can be maintained
more uniformly than with the hot-water-bath outfit, since the escape of
steam is prevented and a slight steam pressure is maintained.

_Steam-Pressure Outfits_ are made to carry from five to thirty pounds'
pressure and are equipped with steam-tight sterilizer, lifting crate,
thermometer, or pressure gauge, safety valve and steam petcock; they
are, of course, the most perfect equipment and economical of labor and
fuel.

_Aluminum Pressure Cookers_ are combination outfits for cooking and
canning and have the advantage of being useful all the year around.
They are light in construction, economical of heat and will carry as
high as thirty pounds steam pressure; they are equipped the same as
steam-pressure outfits.

The purpose of this chapter, however, is not to go into the methods
necessary for caring for large quantities of vegetables at one time nor
the expenditure of any considerable sum in effecting the conservation
of garden food; rather it is intended to help the housewife to save,
cheaply and easily, her garden surplus as it accumulates day by day.
Fuller details than are in the scope of this chapter can be gained
through the canning and food preservation bulletins sent out by the
Department of Agriculture at Washington and by the various states.

The same general principles pertain to all fruits and vegetables to be
canned, only the time of processing varying in individual cases.

The vegetables to be canned should always be perfect of their kind and
absolutely fresh; indeed, it is better to have everything ready for
canning before they are gathered, then dress, sterilize and blanch and
get into the cans as rapidly as possible. The Cold Pack Process calls
for, first, the sterilizing of the product by plunging for five or six
minutes in boiling water. This is best accomplished by either a wire
basket, lined with cheese-cloth, if the vegetable is small, like peas
or string beans, or alone for such things as tomatoes, peppers or corn
on cob, or by a large piece of cheese-cloth a yard square at least.
After blanching the vegetables must be plunged at once in cold water,
to set the color and firm the surface. They are then packed at once in
the cans, a teaspoon of salt added to each quart and the can filled
with boiling water, rubber and top put in place, but not screwed tight,
and the cans placed in the container, the water of which must come at
least an inch above the top of the cans, and cooked, or processed, for
the time indicated for each product. Before using the cans they should
be sterilized by boiling, or at least thoroughly heating to obviate
danger of cracking when plunged into the hot container.

The government directions state quite emphatically that the cans should
be boiled but after putting up several hundred cans of vegetables of
all sorts, without this precaution, all of which kept perfectly, I have
come to the conclusion that it cuts out a lot of unnecessary time and
equipment, for the necessity of having one large container to sterilize
cans, another to sterilize the vegetables, a kettle of boiling water
to fill up the cans, and the container for processing, entails a large
amount of working space and an unnecessary amount of fuel. If any short
cuts can be achieved it is certainly that much to the good, so I have
been able to shorten the work so that much of my own canning has been
done on a one-burner oil stove with one vessel of boiling water for
processing, blanching, sterilizing jars, etc., and one pail of cold
water for blanching and a good, big table for handling the vegetables.
In handling the work I have everything ready before gathering the
vegetables. For a few pint or quart cans I use a cream-pail which will
hold four pints or three quarts. In this I have boiling plenty of
water. I place the cans in a pan adding a little hot water, turning
them carefully until warm through and then fill up and cover. Put the
vegetables in the wire basket or cheese-cloth, dip them in the boiling
water the specified time, plunge into cold water for an instant, take
out cans, one at a time, being careful not to touch the tops with
the hands, place rubbers, first dipped in the hot water, fill cans
with vegetables, with a teaspoon of salt for the quart size, half a
teaspoonful for pints, fill with the boiling water from the container,
place caps—which have also been sterilized—on, screw down, but not
tight and place in container, being sure that there is abundance of
water, for the long cooking lowers the water materially and unless
there is another kettle of boiling water available for filling up the
water may go below the top of the can and the result will be blown out
rubbers which will have to be replaced. This is one of the serious
handicaps of canning by the cold-pack method. The remedy, however, is
simple. Remove the can, remove the cap and put a fresh rubber in place,
replace the cap and plunge again in the container and boil for five
minutes longer. The changing of the rubber should be done as quickly as
possible and care should be taken to avoid touching the edge of the
top of the can or the inside of the cap while doing so. If there is any
delay in replacing the rubber it will be better to boil ten instead of
five minutes.

When the canning is done on the kitchen range or on a three-burner gas
or oil stove it will be better to fill the cans with water from the
teakettle and to sterilize the cans in a dishpan, allowing them to
heat on the stove until required, but excellent results will follow
the shorter method. Pint cans are most desirable for such vegetables
as string beans, peas, lima beans and the like—things which are used
alone and not combined with other foods as tomatoes and corn. Pint
cans, however, have about disappeared from the market and even quarts
have been at a premium. And one should take unusual care in cleansing
cans and tops as soon as emptied, and placing them in a dry place until
wanted for another year's canning. A cellar is not a suitable place
to store cans, it is far too damp and conducive to mould. If cans are
properly cleansed and dried and the tops adjusted and stored in a dry
upstairs closet they will need far less sterilizing when required for
use.

Often in canning vegetables it will be found that there is an uneven
quantity—that is, there will be a quantity of one kind left after
filling the cans, but not enough for another full can; if desired this
can be put in a can and cooked with the rest for the family dinner,
or it may be put away with the canned goods, for I have found the
partially filled cans keep quite as well as the full ones and there are
often times when the lesser quantity will be all that is needed for
the meal, or it may be just enough for a salad or to combine with some
other vegetable in a soup or entrée.

In placing the cans in the container there must always be a rack of
some sort to keep the cans from direct contact with the bottom of the
vessel. This should, if possible, be in the form of a wire rack. The
wire trivets to set hot dishes on, which may be obtained at the ten
cent counter of any department store, are excellent for use in cream
cans; they just fill the bottom and as they rest on little half-inch
feet they allow the water to circulate freely beneath the cans, which
is very important and failure to provide for which is sometimes a
cause of blown out rubbers. For canning with large cans—quarts and
two quarts—the twenty-five pound lard-cans are excellent. They are
tall enough to insure plenty of water over the top of the cans and will
accommodate four or five two quart and five or six one quart cans and
seven pints, though some recommend placing two tiers of pints in the
container, but I have always thought that rather risky. The lard-cans
are very light to handle and the lids fit closely, retaining the steam.
Whenever there is an imperfect closing of the lid it will be well to
place a towel over the top of the can before adjusting the lid to
insure the retention of the steam. If this is done the water will not
evaporate so rapidly.

The following schedule of time for processing vegetables is that
suggested by the Department of Agriculture and is authoritative. In
every instance the time for processing must be counted from the time
the water commences to boil after the cans are put in the container,
and the boiling must be continuous.


CANNING DIRECTIONS FOR VEGETABLES

_Asparagus_—The green grasses grown in the home garden do not, as a
rule, can well. They are too tender and delicate and break down under
the long cooking suggested. It might be well to experiment with this,
cooking only a short time and if the asparagus keeps two weeks or
more, open a can and test the flavor and if found acceptable more can
be canned. It requires the tough white asparagus like the Bonvillet
or Argenteuil for canning and those are the kinds used in commercial
canning. Possibly if the green grasses were cut below the ground as is
done with the French grasses it would stand up better under cooking.
The directions follow.

_Asparagus_—Gather and clean at once, scraping off the scales on the
sides, and cut to equal length. It takes about three bunches for a pint
can as they shrink in blanching. Blanch five minutes, plunge at once
in cold water. Pack in cans, sliding the stalks in carefully, butts
down, fill with hot water, add one teaspoonful of salt to a quart,
place rubber and cap in position but do not screw down tight. Place in
container as fast as filled and boil 90 minutes. Remove and stand can
on cap to cool.

_Beets_—Select young beets about an inch and a quarter in diameter as
the small beets retain their color better than larger ones. About an
inch of the top may be left on. Wash very carefully but do not break
the skin or remove the tap-root. Blanch four to five minutes, plunge at
once in cold water. Remove skins by slipping them off with the hand,
avoid the use of knife if possible and pack at once in cans. Fill with
hot water adding one teaspoonful of salt to the can and place rubber
and cap in place, place in container and boil 90 minutes.

_Beans, String_—String or hull, blanch in hot water from five to ten
minutes, or cut in half inch lengths and steam for five minutes—for
small quantities a wire flour sieve over a teakettle will answer
admirably—dip quickly in cold water, pack in cans. Fill with hot
water, adding one teaspoonful of salt to the quart. Place rubbers and
caps in position, cook for 120 minutes, remove and invert to cool and
test the joint.

_Beans, Lima_—Shell and plunge in boiling water for five to ten
minutes, plunge immediately in cold water. Pack at once in cans,
handling very carefully. Put rubbers and cap in position but not tight.
Place in container and cook 180 minutes.

_Cauliflower_—Lay the heads in salted water half an hour to free from
any insects that may have lodgment in the head. Break the head into
convenient sized pieces and blanch in boiling water five minutes,
plunge at once into cold water, pack in cans, fill with boiling water,
add one teaspoonful of salt to the quart and place rubber and cap in
position but not tight, place in container and cook 60 minutes. This is
the government time but I have found it overcooks the cauliflower.

_Corn_—This seems to give home canners more trouble than any other
vegetable. This is probably caused by delay in the operation. The
canning of corn involves more labor than any other vegetable and it is
difficult for one person alone to handle it successfully. Two working
together, one cutting the corn from the ear and the other packing it
in the can, will insure a better result. The corn to be canned should
be of the sweetest variety—Golden Bantam or Bantam Evergreen being
excellent sorts. It should be picked at just the right stage—between
the milk and the dough stage, or when the milk that flows when the
grain is broken with the thumb nail looks milky and not watery. It is
better to do one can at a time, blanching and dipping in cold water and
packing the corn in the can, allowing a half inch at the top for the
swelling of the corn, adding a teaspoonful of sugar and one of salt
for every quart and filling with hot water, capping and placing in the
container before going on with the next canful. The first can put in
will not be injured by the extra cooking. Waterlogged or soaked corn is
an indication of slowness in packing. If it is desired to can corn on
the ear, blanch, plunge into cold water and pack at once in cans large
enough to hold several ears. The two quart economy jars are excellent
for canning corn on the ears. Whole corn is a little difficult to pack
economically, but it can be packed closely if the jar is laid on the
side when packing and the corn slid in, the first row being put in butt
down and the second tip down. Add a tablespoonful of sugar to each
quart can and do not fill more than one-third full with boiling water.
When the can is filled with water the flavor of the corn is impaired,
and it is more or less water-soaked. The big Stowell's Evergreen Corn
is beautiful when canned whole; indeed so fine is its appearance that
it is almost worth while to can it just for its appearance on the
shelves of the fruit cupboard. Dipping the tops of the cans in paraffin
aids in preserving the contents. When heating for use in winter, place
in oven instead of hot water as this will render it more dry.

_Okra_—Gather the pods while still tender, wipe clean, plunge into
boiling water five minutes, plunge immediately in cold water, remove
and cut into half-inch rings. Pack in can, adding one teaspoonful of
salt to the quart. Fill with boiling water, place rubber and cap in
position, tighten and put at once in container and cook 120 minutes.
Remove, tighten cap and reverse to cool and test seal.

_Peas_—Should always be freshly gathered, shell and steam over boiling
water for ten minutes, blanch and pack at once into cans, adding one
teaspoon of salt and one of sugar to each quart. Put rubber and cap
in position, but do not tighten. Place in container and sterilize 180
minutes. Peas should be very carefully handled. A cloudy appearance of
the water is an indication of rough handling or broken peas.

_Tomatoes_—Scald until skin loosens sufficiently to remove easily,
cold dip, empty the seed cavities and cut in small pieces. Pack at once
in cans, pressing the tomato down full. Add one teaspoonful of salt
to the quart but no water. Place rubber and cap and put in container
and cook 22 minutes. Remove, reverse to cool and test seal. Tomatoes
cooked in the open-pan method so long customary are so satisfactory
that it is scarcely worth while to change the method, unless one finds
the cold-pack way more convenient and agreeable. If preferred tomatoes
may be canned whole or simply cut in two and the seed cavities emptied.
Smaller or broken tomatoes may be cooked and passed through a sieve to
remove the seeds and the purée thus formed used to fill in between the
slices in the can; this makes a very fine product.

It is not advisable to can vegetables that can be stored successfully
in cellar or store rooms; such products should not deplete the already
scanty store of cans; but in the case of people living in flats or
apartments where there are no storage facilities squash and pumpkins
for pies may be utilized in this way to advantage.

_Squash and Pumpkins_—Prepare and cut into convenient sections, blanch
three minutes, cold dip. Pack closely in hot jars or cans. Fill with
boiling water, add teaspoonful of salt to each quart. Put rubbers and
caps of jars into position but do not tighten. Put in container and
sterilize 120 minutes. Remove, tighten caps and reverse to cool and
test seal.[4]

_Soups_—Odds and ends of vegetables that occur during the summer
may be utilized for vegetable soups. It often happens that tomatoes
are picked by the chickens so that they are unsalable, but otherwise
sound, or they may be spotted in a way that does not preclude the use
of the uninjured portion; such tomatoes may be used for canning if
the injured portion is carefully removed. Okra that is getting too
large to be left ungathered, a few string or lima beans, carrots that
are crowded—anything in the vegetable line that lends itself to the
concoction of a palatable soup may be utilized and so make the garden
just that much more remunerative. If possible the amount of tomato
should nearly or quite equal that of the other vegetables combined.
The tomatoes should be scalded, cold dipped, the seed cavities emptied
and the pulp cooked until it will pass through a wire sieve to free it
from the seeds. The other vegetables should be blanched, plunged into
cold water and put through the meat chopper and added to the tomato and
the cans filled, but no water added, the juice of the vegetables, and
especially of the tomato, being sufficient. The following combination
makes an excellent soup: When the cans are opened for use in winter
beef stock to give the proper consistency should be added, or one
bouillon cube to each portion to be served and sufficient water may be
substituted or a cream soup may be prepared by using milk and adding
rolled crackers.

_Vegetable Soup_—½ bushel tomatoes, three stalks of celery or one
teaspoonful of celery seed, one head cabbage, six carrots, three
turnips, six ears corn cut down through each row of kernels and the
kernels sliced off the ear, ½ peck string beans, two quarts shelled
lima beans, one dozen onions, three red peppers, six salsify roots, one
pint of okra pods (sliced) one cup salt, one tablespoon black pepper.

Prepare tomatoes as suggested above, cut all the other vegetables fine
and add to the tomatoes. Separate into two parts. To one part add one
cup of rice, cooked till tender, to the remainder an equal amount of
cooked barley. Fill in cans and process two hours. Soups can scarcely
be cooked too much, as unless the vegetables are thoroughly softened
the product is unsatisfactory. The cabbage and turnips may be omitted
if their flavor is not liked.

The government bulletins give a number of formulas for soups and camp
rations which are worth considering when conserving one's garden
supplies, if one already has cans and tops. (The pint cans are best as
the soup is in solid form and a pint is sufficient for a family, when
reduced with broth, water or milk.) The cost of the soup per can will
not exceed two or three cents as against ten for the much smaller cans
purchased at the grocery.

_Sweet Corn Dried_—As corn is more trouble to can than any of the
other vegetables and more uncertain in its results, many housekeepers
prefer to dry it, and a way that is very highly recommended is as
follows: The corn is gathered when still in the milk stage, somewhat
younger than for canning. It is necessary for two to handle the product
as it must all be finished in one operation—that is, it is a one-day
job, and a rather strenuous and busy one, too. As in canning, the
corn is blanched, plunged in cold water, the grains scored through
the center and sliced from the cob, care being given that no part of
the cob is included. It is then placed on plates or tins with a small
amount of butter or butter substitute added—just enough to prevent the
corn sticking to the plates—and placed in the oven and on top of the
stove to dry. It must be stirred almost continuously to prevent burning
or sticking. Only as much corn must be prepared at one time as can be
accommodated on the stove or in the oven and one person must prepare
and cut the corn while the other stirs and dries it. The dry corn is
then stored in paper bags or paper cartons until wanted, and is said to
be a very delicious product, much better liked than canned corn.

_Bulletins for Drying Fruit and Vegetables_ are sent out by the
Department of Agriculture on request and should be very helpful to the
housewife.

[Footnote 4: Or—cut in large pieces and steam or bake until soft,
remove from shell and mash smooth. Fill cans, pressing down evenly with
a wooden spoon or potato masher, place rubber and caps and plunge in
container for one hour.]



CHAPTER XVII

FALL WORK IN THE GARDEN


If the garden has been well tended during the growing season there will
not be much rubbish to clear away and the absence of weeds will make
the harvesting of the winter vegetables a pleasure. A bright, sunny
day is best for digging all root vegetables, especially potatoes which
should be allowed to lie on the ground until dry enough for the dirt to
shake off, leaving the tubers clean and sightly.

After frost has killed the vegetables so that no further good will be
derived from them they should be pulled and piled in a heap to dry and
be burned; especially is this desirable if they have been infested with
any disease or insects during summer, but if free from any harmful
conditions they should, preferably, be put on the compost heap to add
fertility to the coming season's garden.

Wire trellises, poles and wires used for the training of peas, tomatoes,
cucumbers and the like should now be removed and stored away for next
year. All boxes, boards or sash that can harbor insects or the chrysalids
of cabbage or other worms, should be raised, cleaned and removed.

The winter treatment of the garden will depend upon conditions that
have existed during summer. If the garden has been free from insects
and disease it will have been a good plan to sow the entire area to rye
for a cover crop during winter, to be turned under for green manure
in the spring. This protects the ground from leaching during winter,
especially if the winter should be open, and adds materially to the
fertility of the soil, but if there has been trouble with insects and
disease it will be better to fall-plough, leaving the ground in furrows
so that as many as possible of the chrysalids and larvæ of the various
plant enemies may be destroyed.

If onion seed has been sown in August for early spring onions it
will be well to give the beds a covering of straw or marsh hay at the
approach of cold weather. The rhubarb rows may be banked with coarse
manure from the barnyard and the asparagus bed may have the tops
removed and the roots protected with manure; this will hasten the
production of shoots in the spring and make stronger roots.

If there is a bit of land available for early peas it may be ploughed
and the furrows filled with well-rotted manure, each furrow turned
over the manure in the next and the rows marked with sticks; in early
spring, drills may be opened with the hand cultivators and the seed for
the very earliest peas sown.

If the lettuce, carrots, beets, salsify, endive, spinach, parsnips
and radishes have proved satisfactory and any of the annual varieties
have been allowed to go to seed it will be wise to save the seed for
the coming season as the increasing shortage of seeds makes it more
or less problematical whether a supply may be forthcoming another
season. Lettuce, endive, spinach, Swiss chard, Chinese cabbage, and
radishes seed freely the first year, beets, carrots, salsify, parsnips
and turnips the second year and the mature vegetables must be planted
in the spring to produce seed. If there are good roots of carrots and
beets, these may be stored in sand in the cellar and planted out in
the spring when they will bloom and produce seed. The parsnips and
salsify left in the ground may be dug in the spring and reset where
they are to bloom and a few plants will give sufficient seed for the
home garden. The seed from the best tomatoes should have been saved,
a few melons, cucumbers and eggplants allowed to ripen and the finest
of the red peppers saved for seed. The sweetest and driest of the
winter squash should have its seed set aside for the coming year. Even
should there prove to be an abundance of seed this saving will do no
harm; the raising of seed of biennial vegetables is interesting and
should there be a real scarcity of seed one will be very thankful of
the forethought which makes the shortage innocuous as far as one's
own garden is concerned and, besides, one may do one's little bit by
supplying friends and neighbors.



CHAPTER XVIII

THE ANNUAL GARDEN


For the busy woman who has but a modicum of time to spare for the
growing of flowers, but is loath to relinquish entirely their cheerful
presence about the grounds and house, the annual garden with its wide
diversity of color, season and charm affords the greatest possible
returns for the outlay required. A few packets of seed, most of which
may be purchased for from five to ten cents, will lay the foundation
for sheets and sheets of bloom and the labor of planting and caring for
them will be less than is required for perennials.

One great advantage in growing annuals is that the beds may be freshly
prepared each spring, there is nothing in the way to retard spading—no
perennial growths to be carefully worked around, that the roots may
not be injured or the new growth, not yet above ground, be destroyed.
It is all straight ahead work, and the first early crop of weeds is
completely eliminated, grass eradicated and all is in order for the
reception of the plants which may have been started in flats in the
house or in a hotbed or cold frame or, in the case of such annuals as
do not take kindly to transplanting, in the open ground.

Nor is it necessary in the case of annuals that there should be a
regular, formally laid out garden or permanent beds. A border about the
base of the house along the fence or walks, will give room for several
kinds of flowers, flowers that will be a mass of bloom from early
summer until late frost.

A very satisfactory place for annuals I have found is down through the
vegetable garden. I like their company while I am at work among the
useful but less ornamental vegetables, so always plan to have a row of
something mid-way of the garden; usually the row takes the form of tea
roses which never do so well for me as in this homely situation. The
culture is more thorough than can be given to plants in beds, there is
less crowding, hence fewer insect pests and I always plan to have the
adjacent vegetables of as ornamental a character as possible; a fine
row of mossy parsley on one side, feathery carrots on the opposite
row gives a charming background of green. Lettuce, beets, parsnips,
any of the pleasantly leaved greens are attractive companion rows and
although the rose is the aristocrat of the garden, objecting decidedly
to sharing her bed with less royal plants I have never found that she
objects to their presence when they keep to their own allotted row.

This long row through the garden is an excellent place to start seeds
of hardy perennials for transplanting into permanent beds the following
year, but only for this preliminary growth, for the annual plowing
makes their permanent tenancy impracticable, but bedding plants such as
dahlias, gladioli, tigridias and the like will be at their best here
and in their summer culture have all the characteristics of annuals.

For early blooming it is always worth while to sow the seeds of
annuals early in the spring in flats in the house or in a hotbed or
cold frame. Usually one can spare room in the hotbed for a few plats
of seeds and these should be sown at the same time the seeds of the
vegetables are sown, sowing each separate variety in little plats by
itself, separating the plats from each other by narrow strips of wood
pressed into the ground, and labelling each plat with the names of
seed, date of sowing and, if known, the length of time it takes for
the seed to germinate. Annuals, however, germinate more rapidly than
perennials, many appearing above ground in from three to five days
after sowing, though a few, like the Arctotis Grandis, nicotianas
and ricinus, may take from ten to fifteen days. This is where the
forethought of labelling the seed plats with date of sowing and period
of germination is of practical value—it prevents undue impatience and
discouragement when the plants fail to appear as soon as we expect them
to; but with a mixed planting of seeds of varying characteristics,
there will always be early comers to encourage one and keep alive
faith in the ultimate appearance of the least and last.

Any considerable planting of annuals should include those that will
give a long season of bloom for scenic effect, those that will be
especially desirable for cut flowers and above all those special
flowers which most appeal to our sentiment and are dear to us through
associations or suggestions.

For mass planting about the base of buildings or in front of shrubbery
there are few plants more effective than the celosias, especially the
varieties known as prince's feather; many of the varieties in red
and yellow effects are very good and they seem to stand the heat and
drought and even the early frosts remarkably well. Usually a spray of
the plumey blooms is a whole bouquet in itself. If cut before killing
frosts and brought into the house they will retain their freshness for
a long time, and potted make excellent fall and early winter plants.

The argemone or prickly poppy is a little known plant of rather recent
introduction that is rather slow in getting started in spring, but
once on its way produces a continuous succession of large poppy-like
blooms in golden yellow, pale yellow and pure white, the latter
especially attractive with its crown of golden stamens. Its chief
merit, however, consists in its immunity to frost, continuing in full
bloom well into November—a quality shared by few annual flowers.
Perhaps as close a companion as can be cited is the tall-growing
lupine, a beautiful annual that comes in purest white, rosy mauve, sky
blue, purple and scarlet and white and mind not at all the frost of
late October and early November. The soft foliage would seem ill suited
to cold, but if one looks closely one will notice that the foliage
is dry, not succulent like many annuals that succumb readily to the
first cold wave. Balsams and portulacca are notable examples of this
susceptibility.

The nicotianas are other cold-resisting plants and have the added
advantage of self-sowing—not to a troublesome extent but sufficiently
to insure a yearly supply of volunteer plants without thought or
trouble on the gardener's part. The nicotiana does not open up well in
bright sunshine, but unfolds its snowy cups in late afternoon and on
cloudy days, but in shady positions is more generous of its beauty and
is lovely when silhouetted against the flaming red of the salvias.

The arctotis grandis is another of the less commonly grown annuals
that should be included in one's garden planting. These, too, are
sturdy defiers of the frost and exceedingly desirable as cut flowers,
remaining in bloom for a week or ten days and should be placed in
a sunny position for best effect as they are real sun lovers. Like
all the preceding they are of the easiest culture—good garden soil,
water if the season is unusually dry, and plenty of room to develop.
The distance at which any plant should be set depends, of course,
upon its manner of growth, but it is an excellent rule to plant all
erect growing plants at least half their height apart. Low-growing
and trailing plants, of course, are an exception to the rule, many
requiring two or three times their height in inches apart, as the
verbena.

Few annuals require staking, notable exceptions being the sultanas,
tall anterrhinums, scabiosas, the tall stocks and a few others. When
staking is necessary it should be done by as inconspicuous means
as possible; bamboo stakes painted green are the neatest and most
inconspicuous.

For masses of brilliant color there is nothing to equal the scarlet
verbena, the scarlet sage, salvia splendens, the various phlox
Drummondii or the dwarf nasturtium, the scarlet or orange zinnias and
the marigold, and for sweetness one must have the sweet peas and the
stock.

Much is gained by the use of low-growing plants as a border to beds
of taller plants. Blue lobelias, dwarf morning glories, English
daisies, sweet alyssum, candytuft, all require little root room and add
materially to the resulting bloom.

For a screen to mask an undesirable view or object there are several
very desirable annuals that are of the easiest culture and of most
effective presence. With the stately ricinus all are familiar; less
well-known is the tall cleom pungens, with its curious flowers of
pure white and white and rose, the long, curving anthers of which have
given it the name of "Spider Flower." It is a beautiful and desirable
plant, and should be started in the house or hotbed and transplanted
where it is to bloom when the nights are warm, setting the plants two
feet apart. The Nicotiana Sylvestris is another stately plant, growing
to a height of five or six feet in good soil and, unlike N. affinnis,
its snow-white blooms remain open all day and are attractive when grown
in the rear of beds of salvias. Like the cleom it requires room to
develop. Practically all annuals may be sown in the open ground; the
only object in sowing in hotbeds or house and transplanting is to bring
them forward early so as to have the longest possible season of bloom.

To speak of asters seems superfluous, as whatever flowers may be absent
from the annual garden it is a safe venture to claim that the aster
will not be missing; that is quite as it should be; there is really no
one flower that so completely meets the requirements of scenic effect
and cut flower work as the asters. In the stronger colors of crimson,
purple and blue it is as effective a flower as one could wish to use
for mass planting, while for more refined and delicate beauty no one
could ask for anything better than the pure white and delicate shell
pinks of the Ostrich Feather and Late Branching whites. The Comet
asters are very artistic, attractive flowers but, unfortunately, do
not stand up under wet weather—a hard rain reducing them to a dismal,
raggy condition. Set the wide branching asters at least a foot apart
and see that all asters have clean, healthy soil to grow in to avoid
the troubles that arise when conditions are unfavorable. A warm,
fibrous loam, well enriched with old manure, is best and water should
be given freely during dry weather, especially when the buds are
forming. The black aster beetle is the only serious foe of the aster
and makes its appearance when the flowers are in full bloom, doing an
immense amount of damage in a few hours if not destroyed as they eat
the petals of the flowers, rendering them very unsightly. The only
satisfactory remedy is hand picking in early morning while the beetles
are sluggish. If a pan of hot water or water with a little kerosene
in it is carried and the beetles dropped into it as gathered it will
not be difficult to control them. Spraying with arsenate of lead will
kill them if one does not object to the use of poisons on flowers that
are to be brought into the house. Paris green can also be used but
discolors the flowers, but hand picking has no objectionable features
aside from the labor entailed, and that is by no means prohibitive as
it takes but a short time to go over a hundred plants.

Try planting a few salvias on the shady side of the house; they will
not make as much show during the summer as those grown in the sunlight
but will be in full bloom long after those in exposed positions are cut
down by frost.

A few very desirable annuals are plants of one florescence and need
to have repeated plantings of seed for a continuous bloom. Most
conspicuous of this class of plants is the candytuft in white, purple
and red and the charming little schizanthus, which should be sown every
few weeks for a succession of blooms. The plants come into bloom in
a few weeks from the sowing of seed and are perfect little pyramids
of bloom. Sow fresh seed of candytuft when the first sown plants are
beginning to form flower buds; used in this way the candytuft furnishes
a most useful white for window-boxes and vases, and is unexcelled for
edgings of taller plants.



CHAPTER XIX

THE HARDY GARDEN


Is a permanent investment, possible only in the permanent home. It adds
dignity and charm attainable from no other form of planting. It is to
the outdoor life of the home what the possession of colonial furniture
and family heirlooms is to the indoor life, and yet is neither
expensive nor tedious in its inception. It may be acquired fully grown,
as it were, by an order to the florist for ready grown plants of
blossoming size, ready to give seasonal bloom, or it may be developed
in a few months, inexpensively and most interestingly, by procuring
the seeds of as many desirable varieties of hardy perennials as one
has room or inclination for and planting them in the hotbed in early
spring, and transplanting into permanent positions when large enough
or, better still, by planting the seed in cold frames in August or
early September and growing them on until cold weather when they should
be protected for the winter and in the spring planted out where they
are to bloom. Every hardy perennial set out in one's garden is an asset
that will increase in value each succeeding year. Many have the root
formation that admits of divisions—as the Shasta daisy, a single two
year old clump usually dividing up into from six to ten blooming-size
plants. English violets, English daisies, polyanthus, and many other
plants may be divided annually until in time one owns large colonies
of them, and this is a point well worth understanding,—that a large
number of one kind of plant is much more effective and worth while than
a large number of _kinds_ of plants, of just one or a few individuals.
Many plants which are inconspicuous or ineffective singly or in small
groups, surprise one with their beauty when grown in large masses or
long rows. The ulmaria—a variety of spiræa of deciduous growth—is a
notable example of this. Planted singly it is merely a rather pretty
flower; grown in a long row it is a mass of snowy white in late June
and July that compels one with its beauty. Its congener, the spiræa
fillipendula, a lesser but most graceful growth, also pleases one
especially when grown in long rows in front of taller plants. And right
here is a point well worth considering in planting a hardy border—the
arranging of plants in rising tiers of bloom so that a bank of bloom
may be produced. One effective bed that gladdened my heart for several
seasons and rose in tier after tier of gracious bloom through several
weeks of early summer had an initial planting next the front of
tritomas, whose scarlet torches of flame did not come into bloom until
late summer, but from then until frost made a brilliant band of color.
Back of these was a fine planting of columbine, next a row of scarlet
lychnis alternated with white feverfew, and still further back a full
planting of the garden spiræa whose feathery heads of pinky-white
flowers stood four or five feet high and in turn were topped with fine
clumps of physostegias; the whole planting making a beautiful bank
of bloom and one not commonly seen. This was a permanent planting
requiring little care beyond the removal of all weeds and grass in the
spring and an occasional thinning out of the plants when they became
too crowded. The physostegia increases rapidly by root division and the
lychnis, feverfew and aquilegias all self-sow so the bed practically
never ran out or needed renewing and the cost, except for the tritomas,
was that of a few packets of seeds—probably a total of fifty cents for
some one hundred and fifty square feet of loveliness, and there are
many, many combinations as happy and as easily acquired as that.

Lacking the convenience of hotbeds and cold frames, the vegetable
garden is a most excellent place in which to start hardy perennials for
a permanent garden. Flowers planted in rows among vegetables always
seem to do better than anywhere else, the reason being that they are
not crowded—usually being in single rows with a foot or more of open
space at each side through which the hoe and cultivator can work
freely, and where they will receive regular and constant attention
throughout the growing season. In a garden of say fifty feet in width,
several varieties of flowers may be grown in short lengths of ten feet
or more. They should be covered somewhat more deeply than when sown
in the hotbed or cold frame and the ground firmed well above them,
especially if the weather is dry at the time of planting; when the
seedlings appear they will probably need thinning in order that they
may not grow spindling, but will not need the room they will require
when in permanent quarters. Many kinds of hardy perennials will give
some bloom the first year, though, of course, they will not be at their
best, but they will be sufficiently pronounced to make it possible to
select those most desirable for cultivation. Delphiniums, for instance,
will give small spikes of bloom, probably a foot high, the first season
and if the Gold Medal Hybrids have been planted some very lovely blooms
will result. In the fall the plants may be lifted and set in permanent
positions, or they may be left in the ground until spring and then
transplanted; probably this is the better treatment providing the
ground is not to be ploughed too early, as some of the perennials die
down in the fall and may not appear above the ground in time for very
early transplanting.

Evergreen boughs make the best winter covering, especially when rested
against some support with the tips downward, so as to shed rain. They
do not mat down into a sodden mass as do leaves which have a tendency
to smother and rot plants with an evergreen crown of leaves, but
protect from sun and cold winds, at the same time admitting sufficient
air to the plants to keep them in good condition.

When immediate effect is desired from hardy perennials which must
be produced from seed, considerable time may be gained by planting
the seeds in flats in the house in early February, giving them as
light a position as possible, a south window being preferable, and
transplanting the little seedlings to the hotbed when that is started
in March or early April. This will often force along the blooms and
will certainly produce strong, well developed plants by fall, plants
that should stand the winter and come out in spring in fine condition,
ready for a notable season of bloom.

While hardy perennials are generally thought of in connection with such
herbaceous plants as die down to the ground in fall, reappearing again
in spring, and the few that make a crown of winter foliage, like the
hollyhocks and delphiniums, no perennial garden could be considered
complete without an abundance of lilies. These may be planted here
and there, singly and in groups among the perennials and shrubbery
and will need little attention, increasing in numbers year by year.
This is especially true of the candidum or annunciation lily, which
once planted continues to increase for many years, but should have the
clumps broken up once in three or four years and spread out to give
more room. Failure to bloom successfully always calls for investigation
of the condition of the bulbs. Usually it will be found that decay
has set in or that worms or ants have invaded the bulbs. In either
case the bulbs should be lifted and cleaned and all diseased scales
removed, saving the scales for replanting; reset in clean soil, packing
a handful of clean, sharp sand and a pinch of charcoal about each bulb.
Candidum lilies should not be set more than an inch or two below the
surface of the ground, but most other lilies, especially the auratums,
speciosums, Brownii, and giganteums should be planted six or more
inches deep and well padded with sand. A little pad of sphagnum moss
under each bulb is excellent as it supplies the necessary drainage.
Auratum bulbs and bulbs of the Japanese lilies are not as permanent
as the candidums and tiger lilies, usually lasting a maximum of five
years, if left undisturbed.

It is not much use to plant lily bulbs, tulips and hyacinths in ground
infested with moles. The moles should first be eradicated, and then
bulbs may be planted safely but it is little satisfaction to make an
extensive and costly planting of bulbs only to have them become food
for the moles and ground mice. I have known plantings of several
hundred tulips to be entirely destroyed during a single winter. In one
such planting of five hundred bulbs only three appeared above ground
the following year. A good mole trap is invaluable where moles are in
evidence.



CHAPTER XX

THE PLANTING OF FALL BULBS


The time for planting of hardy perennials and shrubbery is optional
with the gardener, many things doing quite as well when planted at one
season as at another, but in the planting of spring blooming bulbs less
latitude exists; these must be gotten into the ground in fall if any
measure of success is desired. The handling of this class of plants is
one of the luxuries of gardening, as they come all ready to commence
root growth, but in a perfect dormant condition, and may be gotten into
the ground very much at one's convenience, and regardless of weather;
the earlier they are planted the stronger root growth they will be able
to make before the ground freezes, which makes for stronger bloom in
the spring.

Crocus, scillas, narcissi, daffodils, tulips, hyacinths and the like
may be planted from the time they can be procured from the florist
(which is usually in September) until the ground freezes. They will
grow and bloom to perfection in any good, well-drained garden soil,
providing it is not infested by moles and ground mice but beware of
these, as they seem to possess an insatiable appetite for bulbs and
once they have entered a bed will seldom leave it until they have
exhausted its resources.

I recall that a few years ago I planted, in an empty canna bed on the
front lawn, some five hundred choice, named tulips. The following
spring just three tulip plants appeared above ground—the moles having
destroyed the other four hundred and ninety-seven. In the flower garden
where other hundreds of bulbs had been used to border beds of hardy
perennials, they fared somewhat better, the greater part coming up, but
many had been destroyed and still others carried far from the place of
their planting, coming up as much as three feet away in the middle of
paths and in sod.

One of the most satisfactory ways of using tulips is to plant them
as a border to beds of perennials or shrubs, setting them in single,
double or triple rows, along the edge and leaving them to ripen and
increase from year to year; in this way one gets the greatest good
at the least expenditure of time and space. When they are planted in
beds by themselves it is customary to lift them when through blooming
and to heel them in some out-of-the-way spot until the tops have died
when they may be lifted and stored in paper bags until time to plant
out again in the fall. This leaves the beds free for summer annuals
or bedding plants. If it is not desired to lift them, then one may
sow seed of some annual of light root growth such as the myostis or
forget-me-not, the schizanthus, pansy, verbena, or phlox Drumondii, as
these plants will not interfere with the maturing of the bulbs and the
protection afforded them from the heat of summer will be of benefit.

The soil for any variety of bulbs should be rich, mellow and thoroughly
well drained and it is better in planting any but the smallest bulbs
to remove a few inches of the top soil and having leveled off the
surface mark it in straight lines from side to side each way so that
the lines cross each other and set a bulb at each intersection of the
lines. For tulips the lines should be five inches apart each way and
for hyacinths seven inches. Where solid beds of hyacinths or tulips
are planted small bulbs, such as crocus, scilla or winter aconite, may
be used for filling in the spaces between with charming effect. White
crocus and blue scillas are especially dainty, or the lovely ixias may
be used but in this case the beds must be very carefully protected
against the cold and covering removed with discretion in the spring.

Narcissus, daffodils, jonquils and all that family appear to better
advantage when planted in long double or triple rows and should be set
a foot apart each way and about four inches deep. These bulbs increase
by forming new bulbs in a circle around the old bulb and should be
allowed abundant room to increase and once planted should not be
disturbed until they have become too crowded to bloom well.

Crocuses are never so lovely as when studding the green of the lawn
in early spring and this is the simplest form of planting, it only
being necessary to lift a bit of sod with a trowel, slip a crocus bulb
underneath and press the sod back above it. Plant them informally,
singly, in groups. Scatter them freely about with the hand and bury
them where they fall. There is one precaution, however, to be observed
in this system of planting—the lawn-mower must be withheld in spring
until the crocuses have matured their leaves or there will be no
flowers the following spring.

All spring bulbs profit by a liberal application of _old, well-rotted_
manure but this should be either spaded deep in the beds below where
the bulbs will set or used as a top dressing after the soil removed
before planting has been replaced and not allowed to come in contact
with the bulbs. Manure is not only harmful in itself but it is also
the home of the little white wire worms so injurious to all bulbs and
especially to lilies, and almost always when bulbs are found to be not
doing well the trouble will prove to be either worms or poor drainage.

A part of the winter covering of all bulb beds should be lifted as
soon as growth starts in the spring as a stockier, stronger growth
results but the finer portion should be left and in case of such tender
bulbs as ixias that removed may be kept handy to replace in case of an
unusually cold snap.

Many of the miscellaneous bulbs offered by the florists are desirable
when grown in well established groups, but lack effect planted singly
or in too small groups. One of the loveliest of summer-blooming bulbs
is found in the anthericum or St. Bruno's lily. These should be set
in colonies in the hardy border where they may remain undisturbed for
years. Plant about three inches deep and four inches apart. Alliums,
chinodoxia, and bulbs of this class need grouping to be at their best,
otherwise they are apt to appear rather straggly. I like to see bulbs
colonized among the shrubbery and the edge of evergreens where they
appear at their best in the early days of spring and do not seriously
interfere with the use of the lawn-mower later on.

[Illustration: _An effective treatment of ramblers_]



CHAPTER XXI

ECONOMY IN THE PURCHASE OF SHRUBBERY


May often be achieved by a wise selection of varieties. Any extensive
planting runs up into dollars fast, especially if the larger sized
shrubs are selected. Fortunately successful planting depends as much
upon a number of plants of one variety as upon the size and distinction
of the sorts. A dozen plants of one variety of spiræa, for instance, is
far more effective than one plant each of twelve varieties—try it and
see if I am not right.

If, therefore, one has several strips of lawn to embellish with
shrubbery and wishes to economize the expenditure as far as possible
it will be found a most excellent plan to make a mixed planting on
the most urgent section, selecting those shrubs which by their manner
of root formation offer possibilities of rapid increase and use the
product for subsequent planting; taking all of the sort of plant so as
to leave as few varieties in the old bed as possible and in this way
simplifying the ultimate planting of the entire grounds.

When these new offspring have reached a presentable size they may be
retained and the other sorts which can now be spared may be removed to
a new location, planting out the youngsters in their vacated positions.

There are three classes of plants which lend themselves very readily
to propagation through root division, layering and root offshoots. The
first is found in those plants which make an exuberant root system of
many fine feeding roots and many stems. A good example of this class is
found in the Hydrangea arborescens which may be lifted, pulled apart
and the several plants reset without in any way disturbing its growth
intention. In this respect it differs materially from H. paniculata
which, while making a generous root system, has but the one main stem
and so is incapable of division but is easily propagated by cuttings
thrust into the ground in the shade of the plant early in June. H.
arborescens is similar in habit to many perennials which are increased
by root division, as for instance the Shasta daisy, English daisy,
English violets, polyanthus and others.

Often a plant of H. arborescens purchased from the florist will admit
of the removal of two or three smaller parts without seriously injuring
the appearance of the original plant and if these are set out and well
cared for they will quickly develop into blossoming plants for this
form is an early and reliable bloomer.

Spiræa Anthony Waterer is another shrub which may be increased by
pulling apart the roots; indeed this plant is benefited by occasional
treatment of this sort, doing much better and flowering more freely.
Planted in front of taller shrubs it is a very desirable and reliable
plant and if the faded flowers are removed after the spring florescence
it will continue to produce flowers throughout the summer.

One of the most easily propagated shrubs is found in the symphoricarpus
or snow-berry; indeed, in the case of this pretty shrub the difficulty
is not to increase one's stock as the new growth is usually prostrate
the first year, lying supinely on the ground and if left undisturbed
will throw out roots at the joints and rapidly produce attractive
little plants as robust as the parent stock. Lifting the branches
occasionally will prevent rooting but usually one likes to have the
new plants form. I do. After becoming well rooted the branch should be
severed between the plant and the parent. As the root growth is dense,
consisting of a mass of fibrous roots, the young plants can be lifted
at almost any time and reset without much check to growth. The pale,
pinky-white flowers come in mid-summer, followed by the white berries
which remain on the bushes well into the winter and are very attractive.

Somewhat similar in its way of increase is the Deutzia-Pride of
Rochester. That magnificent shrub which challenges our admiration when
covered with its drooping, bell-shaped white flowers late in June
and which, under favorable conditions, assumes the proportions of a
small tree. Like the symphoricarpus the lateral branches are more or
less inclined to a recumbent or prostrate habit or because of their
flexibility are easily pegged down and root easily at the joint but do
not make as vigorous root growth and the joint should have a little
earth drawn over it and be kept moist by placing a stone on top. This
shrub is so altogether desirable that several branches may well be
devoted to the increase of stock, one or more plants being produced
from each branch.

Of those shrubs which throw up suckers from the roots the lilac will
occur to most people as a well-known example, so if in buying the
newer, double-flowered sorts one will insist on purchasing plants upon
their own roots and not be satisfied with grafted plants one will soon
become possessed of a quite respectable planting of lilacs of notable
size and color of bloom. The suckers should be removed as soon as they
have had one season of growth for the protection of the parent plant
which will be much depleted in bloom by their permanent presence.

One of the most beautiful foliage shrubs, the fern-leaved sumac—Rhus
typhina laciniata—forms root rhizomes which send up volunteer plants
at each joint. These should be removed and replanted. This is one
of the most beautiful ornamentals with which I am acquainted, quite
rivalling the Japanese maples. The leaves are compound or pinnate,
fifteen to eighteen inches long and of a dark, rich green on the upper
side, glaucous beneath and with a rich red midrib—an elegant fern-like
spray which is very useful in cut flower work and in autumn turns to
the most vivid crimson imaginable. It does best when protected from
severe wind, from which it seems to shrink, distorting its symmetrical
growth. In good rich soil a half dozen offshoots may appear the second
year after planting and after one has once become familiar with its
beauty all will be welcome.

Another small tree or shrub with similar characteristics is the Aralia
spinosa or Hercules' club as it is commonly called. This also has the
compound leaves somewhat resembling the black walnut but of gigantic
proportions, two to three feet in length and of equal breadth, giving
the tree a most tropical effect. It is very easily transplanted and a
few trees in a clump are very effective or it is fine as a specimen
tree and owing to its abundance of spines can be utilized effectively
as a hedge. Where only a single tree is wanted it is easily kept in
check by cutting out the rhizomes with a spade close to the parent
plant.

The euonymus, or burning bush as the Indians always called it,
propagates itself by means of its coral berries which appear in
quantities in late summer or early fall. One finds the volunteer plants
appearing every spring in places where one least expects them and one
can lift and transplant them wherever desired.

Another most attractive shrub which may be easily raised from seed sown
in spring is the Buddleya—a plant with long racemes—in the newer
form of B. veitchiaa, over twenty inches long, of violet mauve flowers
of a delightful violet fragrance. Spring-sown seed will often produce
blossoming plants the first season which in the second will attain a
height of from three to five feet and be a perfect bouquet of bloom
throughout the summer. The branches are somewhat pendulous and in the
young state are better for a little support. They afford delightful
material for cut-flower work and the odor has that fugitive elusive
quality of the violet, seeming to come from different directions and to
elude one's search.

It will be found an excellent plant to combine with Spiræa Van Hutti as
it comes into bloom after that splendid plant has rested on its laurels
for the summer and keeps the hedgerow alive with bloom and fragrance.



CHAPTER XXII

A CONTINUOUS SUCCESSION OF BLOOM IN THE SHRUBBERY

HOW TO SECURE IT


The planting of shrubbery about the home is so important that it may
well take precedence of the flower garden proper or even the grading
of the lawn itself. Indeed, if one owns the site of a home and the
building is yet in the future, no better expenditure of one's spare
time and dollars can be inaugurated than such initial planting as shall
insure the presence of blooming shrubs about the home at the time of
its completion so that all may be beautiful and perfect together,
rather than that two or three years must elapse before one can begin to
enjoy the results.

Hardy shrubs vary very greatly in the precociousness of their bloom,
certain forms giving quite noticeable results the second season, while
others need two or three years' growth even to indicate what their
ultimate beauty will be.

The location, too, will have much to do with results. For a low
planting about the foundation of the house, in front of porches
or to top low terraces many plants may be employed which would be
unsatisfactory in places at a distance where a general effect is
desired more than an intimate relation. For masking a building, hiding
an undesirable view and the like, tall-growing shrubs and flowering
trees are usually preferred and these being of more or less slow growth
require time to develop.

In all shrubbery planting it will be found that a number of plants of
one sort is far more effective than one or two plants each of many
distinct kinds. The mistake is often made of planting only shrubs
which bloom together, producing a medley of more or less inharmonious
colors and form for a few weeks in spring leaving the shrubbery bare
and uninteresting for the remainder of the year. This is a mistake I
have often made in my own garden, but one which I usually rectify by
planting in other shrubs which will come forward when the first have
ceased to bloom.

For a number of years a very beautiful hedge of Hydrangea paniculata
grandiflora has separated the lawn from the flower garden; only
one objection could be urged against it—its flowerless condition
throughout most of the summer. To overcome this objection, scarlet
salvias were alternated between the plants and an edging of scarlet and
white phlox made a mass of color from mid-June until well into October.
This, of course, was not legitimate shrubbery planting, so recourse was
made to alternating Hydrangea arborescens with the paniculata. These
coming into bloom late in June gave a very satisfactory arrangement,
but this year Deutzia-Pride of Rochester, which also blooms in June,
was introduced and I am anticipating much pleasure from the addition.

A hedge of Spiræa Van Hutti extending from the house to the road is
very beautiful in early May, but inconspicuous and uninteresting the
remainder of the summer. If it had been in a situation demanding a
heavier planting I should have alternated the plants, setting them
behind the spiræas, with forsythias—whose golden yellow blooms make
bright the garden in earliest spring—and between the forsythias
introduced the deutzias.

There are few more satisfactory and graceful plants for use in front
of a porch than this Spiræa Van Hutti; its gracefully curved branches,
though growing to a good length, curve away gracefully from the
building, bending with their weight of snowy bloom almost to the ground
and the growth is very strong and rapid, but never coarse. It is the
very best early blooming shrub to date.

Very lovely effects may be secured by alternating the spiræa with the
Weigela Eve Rathke, and keeping this down to a somewhat prostrate
habit; this will give a perfect sheet of bloom from early May until
the last of June and a less-pronounced show of flowers throughout the
remainder of summer from the weigela.

There is a strong tendency when purchasing shrubbery to select a little
of everything—one plant of each, perhaps. I do this myself—not
without excuse perhaps on my part, for we people who write for
the benefit of others have to get our knowledge by, often costly,
experience, and not by the mere reading of nursery catalogues. It is
sometimes a most excellent thing to gratify this inclination providing
one has a piece of land which can be devoted to experimental purposes
and where one can shift things about until one has gained just the
right combination and exposure for each plant. A strip of ground twelve
or fifteen feet wide and as long as available will give room for a very
successful planting of small trees and shrubs and hardy perennials may
be introduced to fill in until the shrubs have reached an effective
size. Ulmarias, hardy phlox, oriental poppies, rudbeckias and the like
will be found very useful and tall clumps of lilies should always be
interspersed in all permanent plantings.

It will often be found that some shrub which one has admired at close
range is entirely ineffective in the shrubbery border; take, for
instance, the Tartarian honeysuckle—a pretty enough thing close at
hand but ineffectual and insignificant at any distance.

For a long shrubbery border of twelve or fifteen feet wide no better
selection of shrubs can be made than these seven perfectly reliable
and hardy shrubs—Forsythia, April; Spiræa Van Hutti, May; Deutzia
Pride of Rochester, June; Hydrangea arborescens, July, August;
Hydrangea paniculata, September; Althea, October and November. These
are—with perhaps the exception of the althea, which is sometimes
uncertain—absolutely hardy and reliable plants which increase in size
and beauty from year to year and insure a constant succession of bloom
throughout the summer and fall so that by their use the shrubbery
border need never be without flowers.

In planting a border of these mixed shrubs attention to arrangement
will have much to do with success. Of course it will occur to the
most inexperienced that the taller shrubs should be in the rear, but
it is not necessary or desirable that they should be planted in a
rigid, unbroken line. Better that the line be somewhat waved, dipping
forward occasionally a step or two. Then it will, of course, occur that
the lowest forms will be in front, but this line, too, maybe broken
occasionally with advantage, allowing the second row to step forward
enough to prevent too much formality of outline.

Where immediate effect is desired, and this is invariably the case,
either large specimen shrubs should be used or, if the smaller sorts
seem more available, then these should be set as close again as would
be done in the planting of large specimens and after they have made two
or three years' growth and have begun to crowd, every other plant may
be lifted and used to start a new shrubbery elsewhere.

This was what was done with my hydrangea hedge, started as a border
between the front lawn and a pear orchard. The plants were first
set three feet apart in a single row. When they had filled up the
intervening space they were lifted and used for a hedge in the rear
of the lawn, this time being set six feet apart, a distance which they
soon closed, and for weeks in the fall were a wonderful mass of bloom.
A hedge of Spiræa Van Hutti replaced the hydrangeas in the front and
these will probably remain undisturbed for a number of years as, owing
to the proximity of a magnificent maple tree, they do not make the
strong growth they do in more favorable situations.

Although I have suggested the forsythia, spiræa, deutzia, hydrangeas
and althea, etc., as the seven very best shrubs for general planting
there are very many more worthy of adoption. Among these the various
weigelas, especially the red varieties, the syringas and the lilacs
should not be overlooked. Of the latter, far too little is known, most
people being content with a bush or two of the old-fashioned purple and
white of their grandmothers' garden, and perhaps, as a truth, these old
sorts appeal to our hearts more strongly than the newer, more showy
varieties and it is in no spirit of disparagement that I urge the
adoption of some of the newer sorts—not to displace, but to supplement
and extend the lilac season over a period unknown to the old-time
garden.

Syringa vulgaris, alba and purpurea are usually through blooming by
the twentieth of May, or thereabouts, but Emodi, with its rosy-white
flowers, is ushered in with the early days of June and Josikaea shows
its first purple blooms late in the same month about the time that the
creamy-white panticles of Japonica appear. The new double-flowered,
named sorts come into bloom about the time of the common sorts and are
well worth the extra cost they involve. Mme. Cassimire Perier and Pres.
Grevy are two of the finest sorts and should be in every collection.

In buying lilacs it will pay well to purchase those on their own roots.
Most of the named lilacs are grafted on common stock and the suckers
are annoying and worthless and if allowed to grow will seriously
interfere with the blooming of the graft. Such shoots as come from true
roots can be detached and used to increase the supply of plants and
are, therefore, most valuable additions.

One of the most beautiful small trees for planting where a light and
feathery effect is sought or against a background of evergreens is
found in the tamarix. I know of nothing so airy and graceful as these
at all times and especially when in bloom. The flowers, which are very
tiny, quite cover the branches at the time of blooming in May, in
mid-summer and in fall according to their season and there is a marked
difference in the foliage which in certain species shows a decided
blue tinge which is very beautiful. Unfortunately they are not always
entirely hardy at the north and require a somewhat protected position.
They are very useful at the seashore, being one of the few things which
can stand the salt air. As they make a rapid growth one can afford to
experiment with them until just the right environment is found for they
are well worth trying for and planted in groups of the different sorts
will give a succession of bloom all summer. They are very useful for
cut-flower work, making exquisite bouquets when placed in dull green
majolica or similar holders.

Very careful preparation of the ground for shrubbery is essential as
once planted they usually remain undisturbed for years; for this reason
the earth should be dug very deep, underdrained, if necessary, and
thoroughly fertilized.

After planting the ground should be kept cultivated by hoeing or by
the use of the scuffle-hoe—anything which will maintain a dust-mulch,
prevent the earth drying out and caking and retain the moisture. The
success of the planting depends upon this one feature more than upon
any other one thing. A plant insufficiently supplied with moisture
during the growing season is quite certain to succumb to the rigors of
the succeeding winter—not, indeed, on account of the cold itself, but
the condition in which it entered the winter.

The best season for the planting of all hardy shrubs is early spring,
before growth starts, the next best, late fall after the foliage has
dropped. Altheas and white birch trees, however, do better with spring
planting.



CHAPTER XXIII

GARDENING FOR SHUT-INS


There are possibilities in the indoor culture of flowers, though it may
seem to the casual observer, that only open air culture would justify
one in undertaking the growing of a flower garden on any extended
scale; but open air gardening, while it certainly makes for unlimited
area of flower beds and a great variety of sorts has still its
drawbacks of inclement weather, insufficient or too much moisture, much
humbling of one's physical self on bended knees and a summer-long fight
with the myriad insect pests, from the tiny aphis that colonizes itself
on the tip of every green shoot in early spring, to the predatory mole
that furrows up paths and beds, making efficient drains to deflect all
water intended for the refreshment of the plants.

Such indoor plants as one may elect to grow are assured an adequate
and continuous supply of moisture, a soft and friable soil, a
reasonable freedom from insect pests and a certain amount of protection
from burning sun and drying winds. Moreover they are not restricted in
their season of bloom to a few months of the year; the indoor garden
may be in bloom the year around—a bewitching succession of most of the
seasons repertoire of bloom.

The indoor garden may have its beginning in the late days of September,
when the hardy spring blooming bulbs come into the market. Nearly all
of this class of plants force readily and pots and window boxes may
be filled with soil, planted to tulips, hyacinths, narcissi, valley
lilies, and the like and set aside in a cool dark cellar for midwinter
blooming, requiring no further care for weeks to come. In the meantime
their places need not be kept empty waiting their time of bloom but
boxes and pots of bright geraniums, cinnerarias, primroses, cyclamen
and the like will keep bright every nook and corner one can spare.
Nothing is more dainty and delightful than a window full of primroses,
and no plant will give a more generous and constant succession of bloom
from fall until spring.

As far as practicable, the growing of plants in window-boxes instead
of pots will be found more satisfactory. Inside boxes which are narrow
enough to rest on the window-sill are preferable and the plants may be
planted directly in the boxes or, if preferred, in pots and the pots
plunged into the boxes with moss packed between the pots to retain
the moisture. This gives a better moisture condition than when the
pots are stood on a shelf, exposed on all sides to the drying air
of the living-room. It has the added advantage of allowing the pots
to be lifted from the box for spraying the foliage, a great help to
successful growth, and to apply such insecticides as may occasionally
be needed. Plants grown in the dry air of the living-room are apt to
be affected by red spider; this is especially noticeable with such
plants as cinnerarias, calceolarias and a few others. Those who are
so fortunate as to possess that modern essential of a well equipped
house—a sun room—will find limitless opportunities for floriculture,
boxes beneath the windows, trellises against the walls and hanging
baskets, all affording opportunity for much delightful work with
flowers.

One of the most fascinating features of indoor gardening is found in
the growing of greenhouse and other flowers from seed, and this is a
feature especially suited to the invalid or shut in. The little flats
in which seed is started are so light and easily handled and the plants
grown from seed so sure to do well that one may depend almost entirely
on plants from this source. Almost any light, shallow box may be used,
as flat, half size cigar boxes, codfish boxes, or boxes specially
constructed to fit the window-sills and divided by strips of wood into
several compartments may be used. All require the same treatment—a few
holes to insure drainage, a fine mellow soil of fibrous loam, leaf mold
and a little sharp sand, filled to within a half inch of the top of the
box and well shaken down, and the best seed procurable.

All begonias, rex, fibrous and tuberous may be readily grown from seed
which should be lightly scattered over the surface of the soil, and
pressed down with a bit of smooth board, then set in a pan of water
till the surface looks dark, surplus water drained away, covered with
white paper, glass and set in a warm place till the tiny plants break
through the soil, when they should be given air and light gradually and
encouraged to make a healthy, sturdy growth from the start.

A low, broad table with a large, shallow drawer and a shelf half way
down one side will be found the most convenient place to work and this
can be moved as the work progresses from place to place so as to make
as little walking and lifting as possible. Another work-table that I
have found most convenient consists of a broad shelf—hinged to a strip
of wood nailed to the window-casing, as wide as the window-casing and
deep enough to reach the floor when dropped down out of use. This is
held in place by two strips of metal attached to the window-casing that
hook over screw-heads in the side of the shelf, but drop down against
the wall when not in use. Such a shelf affords an excellent working
surface for starting seeds in flats, bulbs and cuttings in pots and is
indispensable for drawing plants away from a window on stormy nights.
If finished to match the woodwork of the room it will be an attractive
feature whether in use or dropped down out of the way and may be used
for papers and magazines when not required for plants. For the latter
purpose a neat finish is a border to match the standing woodwork and a
center of green baize of felt.

There are a number of attractive vines and trailing plants—the
Asparagus Sprengeri, Manettia Vine, Thumbergia—that may be grown
successfully from seed and add greatly to the interest of the indoor
garden.

At this time of the year it will be worth while to start seeds of
certain garden annuals for use in outside window-boxes. Nasturtiums,
verbenas, candytuft, phlox Drummondii, petunias, coleus, ageratums,
daisies, lobelias, all make bright and charming window gardens and
when the sliding screens are used that may be pushed up out of the
way, the boxes may be planted and cared for from the inside with little
fatigue.

Hanging baskets add much to the charm of sun room and porch, but are
difficult to care for as usually arranged, but if instead of hanging
from a short chain from a hook in the ceiling or cornice of porch or
sun room, the basket is attached to a stout cord passed over a pulley
and the free end provided with a couple of rings to hook over hooks in
the side wall or pillars to hold it at the desired height it can be
lowered on to a table for attention with little trouble. The moss-lined
wire baskets are the best for this purpose; they retain moisture and
are free from danger of breakage. If a pail of water is placed on the
table beneath them and the basket lowered into this and allowed to
remain until the soil is thoroughly soaked, then raised sufficiently by
one of the rings to drain away all surplus water, the plants will be in
the best possible condition to grow and bloom.

One of the most fascinating plants for growing indoors is the little
Japanese rosebushes, which may be grown from seeds into blooming plants
in from six to eight weeks. They make the daintiest, most charming
little plants imaginable. Shapely, many branched and loaded with bloom
they are the very daintiest "Favors" imaginable for luncheons and other
social affairs and are charming gifts at all times. The blossoms are
about the size of a ten cent piece, and come in white, pink and red.
The seeds may be sown in the pots—three inch ones, in which they are
to bloom or may be sown in flats and pricked out into pots when large
enough. I have found the seed to germinate very freely and the plants
to grow on finely from the start. When planted in pots these should be
plunged in a shallow box of wet sand or moss in a sunny window. This
is the way to handle all young greenhouse plants, especially cyclamen,
cinnerarias, gloxinias, carnations, Lady Washington geraniums and the
like. To keep them growing vigorously they should not be allowed to
dry out, nor to become soggy with too much water.

For starting summer-blooming bulbs the use of moss in shallow boxes
or baskets will be found more convenient than the heavier soil. The
sphagnum moss used by florists for shipping plants is the sort needed
and may be used again and again if necessary, the only merit it has
being its retention of moisture, exclusion of air and lightness for
handling.

If one wishes to grow from seed for outdoor planting the hardier
annuals and perennials, then somewhat larger and deeper flats should
be used, but none over four inches in depth should be undertaken. In
these such readily salable plants as asters, salvias, balsams, cobæa
scandens, Shasta daisies, pansies, and the like will prove a veritable
little pin-money mine and equally profitable will be found peppers,
cauliflowers, bush musk-melons and other of the choicer vegetables, all
requiring, practically, the same treatment.

The shut-in who wishes to specialize in the unusual might make an
attempt to imitate the dwarf trees of China and Japan. This is not so
impossible or difficult as it appears as the appearance of great age is
more often the result of skill than of many years.



CHAPTER XXIV

THE POSSIBILITIES OF A CITY FLAT


The possibilities of the city flat will depend upon just how much
window space the flat affords and how much sunlight the windows
receive, for upon the amount of light will depend not so much the
quantities of flowers which may be grown, as their character.

It may be possible that, in a restricted area, but one window can be
devoted to the growing of plants during the winter season and where
that is the case one will wish to realize as much pleasure as possible
from that one window. If it is a sunny window then it will be an
easy matter to fill it full of bright flowers. Now no flower so well
withstands the heat and dust of our living-rooms as the geraniums, but
it is by no means necessary that they should be of the more common
zonal type. The Lady Washington geraniums—pelargoniums—are far more
beautiful and even more prolific in their bloom. They may be purchased
all ready to bloom of the florist or easily raised, from spring sown
seed, to blooming size by fall. Heliotropes, the sweetest of all
flowers, will bloom freely in any sunny window if the precaution is
taken to spray or wet the foliage thoroughly every day; without this
refreshing bath the foliage will curl up and die and the buds blast.

The carnation is an excellent plant for the sunny window but must be
sprayed frequently to keep in check the red spider, and all the spring
blooming bulbs can be depended upon for the winter window garden and
have this advantage that they can be potted in the fall, tucked away in
a dark closet somewhere and brought out when ready to begin blooming,
and again relegated to any out of the way place as soon as their season
of bloom is passed.

The most convenient way of growing house plants where there are
only common windows to accommodate them is in boxes made to fit
the window-sills. The ready-to-use metal boxes are very handy and
satisfactory, but not as attractive as simple boxes made of wood to
match the standing woodwork of the room; these should have a metal
lining to protect the woodwork and if the expense of boxes of hardwood
in a rented flat seems undesirable, very simple boxes of cheap wood
may be made to imitate the hardwood finish by giving a covering of the
paper or wood pulp that comes in all the natural hardwood finishes.
This is simply pasted on the boxes and when dry should be given a coat
of sizing-glue dissolved in hot water to a thin paste, and when this is
dry a coat of varnish or jap-a-lac. This will be so successful that few
casual observers will detect the substitution. A very pretty plant box
can be evolved from a single cheese box, cut down a couple of inches
covered with the paper and supplied with legs or mounted on a small
lamp stand, or white enamel will be charming, especially when the box
is filled with blooming tulips or narcissi, or given over to ferns,
asparagus vines and the like.

Where one has a window opening on to an air shaft or a court that
gives no view but infringes one's privacy a delightful screen which
will not deprive one of too much light and air, but effectually screen
the window is made from a box the length of the window-sill, fitted
with double casters to allow it to be moved from place to place. A
long rod or wire, long enough to extend upright as high as the screen
is desired, cross over and return on the other side, should be fitted
into the end boards close to the back by boring holes with a drill the
size of the rod for nearly the depth of the wood and the ends of the
wires firmly sunk in them. The frame is then covered with wire netting
or twine and the box planted to some light, graceful vine like the
asparagus plumosus nanna, the manettia vine, clarodendron, but the
plumosus nanna is an excellent choice. Such a screen is very convenient
and artistic between two rooms where it is desired to leave a door open
for air, but desirable to screen the contents of one of them.

It is the summer flat, however, that offers the greater possibilities
of floriculture for in this season the boxes may be placed outside
of the windows if properly secured, and a much greater variety of
plants grown, for there is no exposure for which there are not many
delightful things available. A north window, that to many would seem
especially undesirable for plants, will often be found to develop the
most interesting boxes. All the hardier varieties of cultivated ferns
may be usual here, all the blooming and fibrous rooted begonias, all
the asparagus fern, especially A. sprengeri, the various impatiens,
especially I. sultani, the trailing fuchsias, abutilons, variegated
wandering Jew, aspidistras, farfugiums. Palm grass, Pannicum
Excurrens—a palm-like grass which one has to send to southern florists
for but which grows rankly at the north, either in the house or in the
open ground—is good. I bedded one out in spring, intending to lift in
the fall for interior decoration and found it to have made so sturdy a
root growth, and so immense a top that it defied a spade to move it and
had to be abandoned to the frost. Within doors its long, curved leaves
are most attractive and interesting. It is a magnificent plant for the
rear wall of a sun room or conservatory.

If one occupies a flat with a rear outside staircase, then one may
utilize the top of the railing to place boxes of trailing nasturtiums
and bright flowers—a planting of nasturtiums in the rear, a middle
planting of geraniums, justitias, petunias, verbenas, phlox drummondii,
etc., and a fringe of sweet alyssum or other delicate trailer along the
front will give a succession of bloom all the summer long.

Along the outer edge of the steps one may arrange small but deep boxes
of earth and in each plant blooming vines such as the Japanese morning
glory, the cobæa scandens, flowering beans, or that gay little new
vine—the cardinal climber. These may be trained to run on wire or cord
so as to afford privacy for the stairway, or if this is not desired,
trailing vines and erect plants may be used instead, the trailers
masking the unlovely architecture of the stairs.

Possibly one may be in possession of one of those flats whose side
windows look out upon the roof of a lower building—a tin roof
expansion of ugliness which is a hindrance to spiritual calm and mental
cheerfulness. If this is the case, why not utilize it to create a roof
garden? If the area is small one can utilize all of it, if too large
then pre-empt the portion nearest one and draw a trellis of wire across
the boundary line on which one may grow in long, narrow boxes of soil
morning glories galore. It is not necessary that these boxes be of
anything but the roughest construction; home-made boxes, evolved from
old packing cases, are as good as anything as they will be masked by
the plants and vines; these should extend around three or even all four
sides of the roof, those in the rear and, if it is desired to secure
privacy, those on the sides, being planted with vines or tall-growing
plants like ricinus, cannas, cleomes, cosmos and the like. It will not
be desirable to leave too much open space in a garden of this sort,
unless it will be possible to cover the roof with sand or sawdust that
can be wet down with the hose to create a moist atmosphere; but where
this can be done a very successful roof garden can be created with the
principal expenditure that for earth and sawdust. Most flowers of the
summer garden can be grown in such a position and one could arrange a
very satisfactory little lily pool and fountain by means of a big zinc
tub, a length of hose, two or three water lilies and some gold fish. A
few inches of earth in the tub will supply a footing for the lilies and
a mask of plants around the base will hide the crudeness of the pool.

When one has undertaken a garden like this it will be found surprising
how many things one will pick up in one's little excursions out of town
to add to it; all one's friends will take an interest and pleasure in
donating seeds and plants and if the roof affords room for a hammock
and a few chairs, the question of where to go for a summer vacation
will not take on such poignant interest, nor the inability to afford
one be so great a tragedy. Such an oasis in the heart of a city will
be a delight to a child and solve the problem of keeping it off the
street and from undesirable companions. I should like to think that a
good many such little oases will develop and that I might know of them.

It might be that two or more people have homes overlooking a roof who
would join together in the making of a garden. In that way a larger
area could be undertaken and the expense would not be seriously felt.
If the roof is one exposed to much sunshine, then one should select
plants which revel in sunshine like the annual poppy, the verbena,
salvia, sweet alyssum, candytuft, ageratum, dahlia, canna, California
poppy, asters; all these are hardy, easily grown plants, which will
give an abundance of bloom all summer. Of course geraniums' and coleus
can also be depended upon to do their prettiest, but one and all should
have a daily or semi-daily showering with a hose to remove the grime
and dust of the day and freshen the foliage as well as to provide the
necessary water to drink. Probably the entire success of the roof
garden will depend upon just this one feature of an adequate water
supply at the roots and a thorough cleansing of the foliage each day.
Given this there is no reason why a garden of this sort should not be a
success.


THE END



INDEX


  Aconite, Winter, 285

  Ageratums, 313

  Altheas, 302-304

  Anise, 206

  Anterrhinums, tall, 268

  Aralia Spinosa or Hercules Club, 294

  Arctotis Grandis, 264-267

  Argemone, 265

  Arsenate of Lead, 211

  Arsenate of Zinc, 211

  Artichokes, 186-187;
    Jerusalem, 188-189

  Asparagus, starting of bed of, 80;
    fertilizing, 80-81-82;
    setting of roots, 81;
    when to set, 81;
    to avoid self-sowing of, 82;
    variety to plant, 83;
    young plants, 84;
    when to cut, 84;
    to keep down weeds, 84;
    spraying, 214;
    to can, 244-245

  Asparagus Sprengeri, 313

  Aspidistras, 322

  Aster, 269-270


  Balm, 205

  Basil, 206

  Beans, 127-128;
    how to plant, 124;
    varieties, 125;
    Lima beans, 126, 128;
    when to plant, 122;
    how to sow, 39;
    varieties, 123, 129;
    to spray, 214-215;
    to can, 245-246

  Beans Anthracnose, 214

  Bean Beetle, 215

  Bean Weevil, 215

  Beets, 86-88-89-90;
    how to sow, 39;
    soil for, 87;
    depth to plant, 87;
    to grow, 89;
    beet leaf spot, 215;
    when to dry, 22;
    to store, 228;
    to can, 245

  Beet Leaf Spot, 215

  Beetle, Colorado, 218

  Beetle, Flea, 215-218

  Bene, 206

  Blight, 217;
    celery blight, 216

  Borage, 206

  Bordeaux, Arsenate of Lead, 213

  Bordeaux Mixture, 212-214

  Broccoli, 189

  Brussels Sprouts, 190

  Buddleya—a plant, 295

  Bug Death, 211

  Bulbs, Fall, planting, 282-283-284-285-286-287-288;
    soil for, 284-285

  Burning Bush, or Euonymus, 295


  Cabbage, 129;
    transplanting, 130;
    cultivating, 131;
    enemies of, 131, 132-133;
    varieties, 134;
    to protect from maggots, 169-170;
    to spray, 215;
    to store, 229

  Cabbage, Chinese, 92-93

  Cabbage root maggot, 216

  Cabbage worm, 216

  Candidum, 279-280

  Candytuft, 268-271, 313, 326

  Canning, 232-233-234;
    types of outfits for, 235-236;
    Cold Pack, 237, 238, 239, 240, 241, 242, 243

  Cannas, 324-326

  Caraway seeds, 202, 203-207

  Carnations, 315-319

  Cardinal Climber, 323

  Catnip, 205

  Cauliflower, 134-135-137;
    varieties, 136;
    enemies of, 137;
    to protect from maggots, 169-170;
    to spray, 215;
    to can, 246;
    to store, 229-230

  Celery, to store, 230;
    blight, 216

  Celeriac, 191-192

  Chamomile, 207

  Cherville, 192

  Chicory, 190-191

  Cinnerarias, 309-315-318

  Citron, 173

  Clarodendrum, 321

  Cleomes, 324

  Cleom Pungens, 268

  Collards, 192

  Columbine, 275

  Coriander, 202-203-207

  Corn, 138, 144;
    soil required, 139;
    methods of planting, 139-140;
    varieties, 141;
    fertilizing of, 141-142;
    transplanting of, 143;
    to can, 246-247-248;
    to dry, 254-255

  Corn salad, 193

  Cosmos, 324

  Cress, 193-194

  Crocus, 282-285-286

  Cold frames, construction, 28-29;
    location, 28;
    soil, 29;
    frameless beds, 30

  Cucumbers, when and how to plant, 171;
    enemies of, 171-172;
    varieties of, 172, 148, 144-145-146-147, 216

  Cultivation, 42-45

  Cumin, 207

  Cyclamen, 309-315


  Daffodils, 282

  Dahlias, 263

  Daisies, English, 268-274-291

  Dandelion, 194

  Delphiniums, 277-279

  Deutzia, 300

  Deutzia, Pride of Rochester, 292-299-302

  Dill, 203-207


  Eggplant, 149;
    to start, 148;
    enemies of, 148-149;
    varieties, 150-151

  Endive, starting of 93;
    transplanting, 93-94;
    use of, 94;
    to blanch, 94;
    varieties, 95

  Euonymus, or Burning Bush, 295

  Emulsion, Kerosene, 213


  Feverfew, 275-276

  Flats, florist's, 33;
    size, 33;
    cover, 34;
    drainage, 34

  Forsythias, 300-302


  Garden, location, 2-3-4;
    size, 9;
    ploughing, 4-5;
    cultivating, 5;
    harrowing, 5-6;
    intensive, 43;
    Fall work, 256;
    Winter treatment, 257-258

  Garden, Annual Flower, 261-262-263-264-265-266-267-268-269-270-271-272

  Garden, Hardy Flowers, 273-274-275-276-277-278-279-280-281

  Garden for Shut-Ins, 308-309-310-311-312-313-314-315-316-317

  Garden, Window Space, 318-319-320-321-322-323-324

  Garden, Roof, 324-325-326-327

  Garlic, 195-196

  Geraniums, 309-315-318

  Gladioliis, 263


  Heliotrope, 319

  Herbs, their uses, 202-203;
    location of bed of, 203-204;
    treatment of, 204;
    Perennial, 205-206;
    Annual, 207

  Hollyhocks, 279

  Horehound, 205

  Hot Beds, their need, 12;
    cost of, 13;
    location, 14;
    construction, 15-17, 18-19;
    size and depth, 15;
    other uses, 15;
    temporary bed, 16;
    heating of, 20;
    soil, 21;
    temperature, 21

  Hyacinths, 282-284-285

  Hydrangea Arborescens, 290-299-302-304, 291

  Hydrangea paniculata grandiflora, 299-302


  Impatiens, 322

  Ixias, 285


  Japanese Morning Glory, 323

  Japanese Rose Bush, 313


  Kale, or Borecole, 196-197

  Kohl-Rabi, 197-198


  Lavender, 205

  Leeks, 198

  Lettuce, 86;
    how to plant, 43-96;
    varieties, 96-97-98;
    Romaine, 97

  Lilacs, 293-304-305-306

  Lobelias, blue, 268-313

  Lychnis, 275-276


  Manettia vine, 313-321

  Marigold, 268

  Martynia, 199

  Melons, Musk, 173-174-175-176

  Melons, Water, 177

  Mildew, 217

  Mint, 205

  Morning Glories, 268


  Narcissi, 282-285

  Nasturtium, 268-313

  Nicotianas, 264-266;
    Sylvestris, 269


  Okra, 152-153;
    to can, 248-249

  Onions, 98-99-100-103;
    onion sets, 100;
    New Onion Culture, 101;
    destroying lice on, 102;
    to dig, 104;
    to spray, 217;
    storage of winter onions, 226


  Paris Green, 211

  Parsley, 106-107;
    use of, 105;
    sowing, 105;
    varieties, 108

  Parsnips, 109-110;
    to store, 230

  Peas, 86-110-111-112-113-116-117;
    to hasten germination, 40;
    varieties, 113-114;
    enemies of, 114-115;
    to can, 249

  Pelargoniums, 319

  Pennyroyal, 205

  Peppermint, 205

  Peppers, to start, 153;
    their care, 154;
    varieties, 154, 155-156

  Petunias, 313

  Phlox Drummondi, 268-313

  Phlox, Hardy, 301

  Physostegias, 275-276

  Pimpinella, 207

  Plants, 31;
    potting off, 32;
    hardening of after transplanting, 48;
    watering, 48

  Planting, distance apart, 7;
    order of, 8;
    arrangement, 8;
    Table for, 10-11;
    planting lines, 49;
    weather for, 49

  Plant Enemies, 208-209;
    destroying, 209-210;
    Preventatives, 211-212-213-214-217-218-219

  Plumosus, Nanna, 321

  Pollyanthus, 291

  Poppies, Oriental, 301

  Potatoes, 225;
    storing, 223;
    bin for, 224

  Potatoes, sweet, 184-185;
    for storing, 226

  Primroses, 309-315

  Prince Feather, 265

  Pyrox, 212


  Radishes, 86-118-119;
    how to sow, 39-42;
    to protect from maggots, 169-170

  Riccinus, 264, 268, 324

  Rosemary, 205

  Rudbeckias, 301

  Rue, 205

  Rhus typhina laciniata, 293-294


  Sage, 206

  Sage, scarlet, 268

  Salsify, 3;
    to store, 231

  Salvias, 271

  Sand box, size, 31;
    location and use for plants, 31;
    location for vegetables, 32

  Scab, 218

  Scabiosas, 268

  Scillas, 282-285

  Schizanthus, 271

  Seed—In Hot Beds: sowing, 22;
    separating, 22;
    arrangement, 22-23-25;
    labelling, 23;
    germination, 23;
    watering, 24;
    care of young seedlings, 26

  Seeds—In Flats: Sowing, 34;
    covering, 34;
    labelling, 35;
    care after planting, 35;
    planting in open ground, 36;
    condition of ground, 36;
    when to plant, 37;
    seed drilling, 37;
    rapid seed dropping, 38;
    treatment of different sizes, 39;
    buying, 40;
    testing, 41;
    table for quantity of, 200-201;
    saving, 258-259

  Shrubbery, 292-293-294-295-296-300-304-305-306-307;
    selection of, 289-290-291-301-302-303;
    succession of bloom for, 297-298-299-300

  Slug Shot, 212

  Soil, 2-3;
    treatment after sowing, 38;
    fertilizing, 49-66-67-68-75-78-80;
    fertility, 65;
    humus or leaf mold, 65-66-76;
    to restore humus to, 66-67, 68;
    to test for sourness, 70-71;
    to sweeten, 71;
    chemical elements necessary for growth in, 72-73-74;
    analysis of, 73

  Soup, 251-252;
    vegetable, 252-253

  Spinach, 120-121

  Spiræa Anthony Waterer, 291;
    Van Hutti, 296-299-300, 302, 304;
    Ulmaria, 274;
    Fillipendula, 275

  Sprengari, 322

  Squash, 178-180;
    starting of, 179;
    transplanting, 180;
    varieties of, 151;
    squash bug, 217;
    to store, 227;
    to can, 250

  Squash, English Marrow, 163-164, 165

  Squash, summer, 183-184;
    varieties, 182;
    to can, 250

  Stocks, 268

  Storage, 222-223;
    what to store, 220;
    kind of room for, 221

  Sultanas, 268

  Summer Savory, 202-206

  Sweet Alyssum, 268

  Sweet Fennel, 203-205

  Sweet Marjoram, 206

  Sweet Peas, 268

  Swiss Chard, 91;
    use for greens, dressing, 91;
    varieties, 92

  Symphoricarpus, 291-292


  Tagetes, 207

  Tansy, 206

  Tamarix, 306-307

  Tarfugiums, 322

  Tarragon, 203-207

  Tartarian Honeysuckle, 302

  Thumbergia, 313

  Thyme, 206-207

  Tigridias, 263

  Tomatoes, 158-219;
    their use, 157;
    to stake, 159;
    setting out, 160;
    fertilizing, 161;
    varieties, 162-163;
    to can, 249-250

  Tools, rake, 53;
    wheelbarrow, 53-54;
    cultivators, 44 and 54;
    seeding attachment, 55;
    hoe, 44-55;
    trowel, 56;
    garden line and reel, 57-58;
    watering pot, 59;
    spraying apparatus, 59;
    spading fork, 60;
    manure barrel, 60-61-62;
    tomato supports, 62;
    home-made roller, 102-103

  Transplanting, method of, 50-51-52

  Tritomas, 275-276

  Tulips, 282-283-284-285

  Turnips, 166;
    variety, 167;
    enemies of, 168;
    protection from maggots, 169;
    to store, 169


  Ulmarias, 301


  Vegetables, early, 3;
    late, 3;
    which may be started in a hotbed, 26-27

  Verbena, 267-268-313

  Violets, English, 274-291


  Waldmeister, 207

  Wandering Jew, 322

  Weeds, to exterminate, 43-45;
    first to appear, 46;
    purslaine, 46;
    red root, 47;
    to utilize, 47

  Weigela Eve Rathke, 300-304

  Worms, cut worms, 37;
    vegetables susceptible to, 37, 215, 216, 217-218-219


  Zenias, scarlet or orange, 268





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