Home
  By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII ]

Look for this book on Amazon


We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: War Gardens - A Pocket Guide for Home Vegetable Growers
Author: Free, Montague
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "War Gardens - A Pocket Guide for Home Vegetable Growers" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.



from page images generously made available by the University
of Wisconsin Digital Collection.



                              WAR GARDENS


                             [Illustration]



                              WAR GARDENS

                          _A Pocket Guide for_
                        _Home Vegetable Growers_


                                   BY
                             MONTAGUE FREE
                            _Head Gardener_
                       _Brooklyn Botanic Garden_

                             [Illustration]

                      HARPER & BROTHERS PUBLISHERS
                          NEW YORK AND LONDON



                              War Gardens

                 *        *        *        *        *

                 Copyright, 1918, by Harper & Brothers
                Printed in the United States of America
                          Published May, 1918



                                CONTENTS


                                Chapter                  Page
                Preface                                   vii
             I. The Value of Back-yard and Vacant-lot       1
                  Gardening
            II. How to Make a Start—Community Gardens       5
           III. Tools                                      10
            IV. The Site—The Soil and Its Preparation      15
             V. Fertilizers                                26
            VI. The Kinds of Vegetables to Grow            32
           VII. Planning the Garden                        36
          VIII. Seeds, Seed-sowing, and Transplanting      40
            IX. Hoeing and Thinning                        47
             X. Staking and Tying                          51
            XI. Insect Enemies                             53
           XII. Plant Diseases                             64
          XIII. The Culture of Vegetables in Detail        69
           XIV. Harvesting and Storing                    100
                Appendix                                  109



                                PREFACE


The purpose of this book is to state simply and clearly the ways and
means necessary to obtain the largest returns from small plots of land.

The conditions are anything but ideal in the case of many plots that
will be used as “war gardens.” To tell how to overcome these adverse
conditions, either by adapting the crop to soil and situation, or by
modifying the soil to suit the crop, is one of the primary objects of
this book.

In the writer’s varied experience with back-yard and vacant-lot gardens,
questions relating to soils and fertilizers, insects and diseases, when
and what to plant, etc., are continually cropping up. Answers to these
questions are given here without theorizing or going into needless
details.

This is essentially a practical book, designed to help those who desire
to raise their own vegetables in a limited space.

                                                                 M. F.



                              WAR GARDENS



                                   I
            THE VALUE OF BACK-YARD AND VACANT-LOT GARDENING


The National War Garden Commission has estimated that “the people of
this country in 1917 produced a crop valued at three hundred and fifty
million dollars in gardens cultivated in back yards, on vacant lots, and
on other land previously untilled.” This may seem a small amount when
compared with the value of the crops raised by the farmers and market
gardeners, but it is not to be despised, and it shows that something can
be done to increase the food supply by home gardening.

The raising of vegetables at home not only increases food production,
but also stimulates the consumption of vegetables, thus releasing
staples, such as wheat and meat, for the use of our soldiers and the
Allies. This result is attained partly because fresh vegetables are more
appetizing than shop-worn products and partly because of the attitude of
the raiser, who says, “We have the stuff and may as well eat it.”

The reduction in the cost of living is also a factor that must be
considered. When vegetables are bought their purchase price is quite a
considerable item in the household budget. Of course if labor is figured
in the cost of raising vegetables at home the financial returns are not
likely to be large unless you take into consideration the fact that the
necessity of paying dues for gymnasium, tennis, or golf is entirely
eliminated. Plenty of fresh air _and_ exercise can be obtained in
gardening.

Home gardening, too, should help the transportation problem to a certain
extent. Most of the vegetables consumed in the large cities are
transported a considerable distance, and if those people who eat these
much-traveled vegetables raise their own, the transportation system will
be relieved to that amount.

The raising and caring for plants is certain to broaden one’s interest.
Very few people who cultivate a vegetable-garden, or any other kind of
garden, for that matter, are likely to be satisfied until they know
something of the physiology of plants, how and why they grow, and the
principles underlying successful plant culture. The insects, both
beneficial and otherwise, that one becomes acquainted with in the garden
also add their quota of interest. The life histories of many of them are
strange and marvelous, and it is worth while, both from the point of
view of the welfare of the crops and from the educational standpoint, to
learn something of their habits.

But it is probably in the larger aspects of the situation that the
home-garden movement will ultimately be of greatest value to the nation.
America is not a gardening nation judged from European standards, but
this agitation for the production of food by every one who has, or can
obtain, a plot of ground is going to make us one. Those people who have
once cultivated the ground and raised plants will have had their
interest stimulated, and when the food shortage is over their activities
will find an outlet in the production of flowers, which cannot but
result in more beautiful cities and happier citizens.

A healthier population will result from the exercise in the open air and
we shall become a less nervous and restless people through our
association with the vital soil and living, growing plants.



                                   II
                 HOW TO MAKE A START—COMMUNITY GARDENS


In casting about for ways and means of starting a food-garden, by all
means investigate the advisability of joining up with, or inaugurating,
a community garden. There are tremendous possibilities in connection
with co-operative efforts in developing vacant lots and making them
productive, not in the sense of the real-estate man, but as
food-producing plots, designed to reduce the cost of living, and,
incidentally, in many cases, to clean up and make presentable what was
formerly a neighborhood eyesore.

There are many advantages to be gained by a neighborhood group combining
together for gardening operations. Usually it is not difficult in most
cities to find large plots of vacant land with owners who are only too
glad to have them cultivated. By co-operative effort it is possible to
hire a team and plow and have such plots plowed at a trifling expense,
whereas by individual effort it is seldom possible to obtain sufficient
land to warrant the expense of hiring a team for plowing, even though
the plot were large enough for the team to turn around on. A community
garden organization can buy garden tools, such as wheelbarrows,
wheel-hoes, a sprayer, and other comparatively costly tools, which
greatly facilitate the work of caring for the plot, but which it would
be impossible or unwise for an individual to buy if he wished to come
anywhere near making a profit on his garden. Seeds and fertilizers can
be bought to much greater advantage, and more cheaply when obtained in
bulk, with the added advantage that of such seeds as tomato, egg-plant,
peppers and celery, one packet is usually enough for the whole
organization, whereas by individual effort it would be necessary for
each gardener to buy his own packet of seed, resulting in considerable
waste. Waste is not to be condoned at any time, especially now when
seeds of some vegetables are scarce.

I have in mind a community organization a description of which will
serve to illustrate what can be done by organized effort of this kind.

A piece of land about three acres in extent was available for
cultivation in this case. It was fairly good land, but had served to
some extent as a dumping-ground for cellar excavations, and had a
considerable amount of rubbish of one kind and another deposited upon
it. The principal of an adjacent school decided that this land ought not
to remain idle, so he obtained permission from the owner to use it, and
then, with some other energetic people of the community, got together
and started to do things. The ground was first plowed and harrowed free
of charge by the city park department and the largest of the stones
removed. It was then decided that the plot should be fenced, in order to
keep out cats, dogs, small boys, and other undesirables, and to insure
that those who raised the crops should receive the benefit. Material,
consisting of two-by-four-inch posts eight feet long, chicken netting
five feet wide, and a strand of barbed wire to go around the top, was
bought for this purpose at a cost of about $112. The fence was erected
by volunteers in their spare time, and six padlocked gates provided, to
which each plot-holder had a key. Water-pipe was laid all over the area
so that the crops could be cared for in time of drought. The expense
incurred for the purchase of pipe and installation, together with that
of seeds, fertilizers, and the larger garden implements, was borne by
the association. The area was divided into fifty plots each 100 × 23½
feet. Each plot-holder was asked to keep an account of his expenses, and
also of the yields obtained. The results are interesting. The average
cost of each plot, including expenses incurred for fencing, seeds,
fertilizer, etc., was a little over $11; the value of the crops obtained
was around $34; giving an average profit of between $22 and $23.

When one considers the smallness of these plots, it must be admitted
that the results were worth while, and the whole adventure is very
encouraging to those who contemplate a similar enterprise. Of course no
allowance was made for the cost of labor involved in preparing and
caring for these plots; but to offset this one should remember that the
soil was not especially good, the workers not experienced, and then one
must take into account the large initial expense of fencing the land,
buying tools, etc. This year the expenses will be considerably less and
the yields ought to be greatly increased because of the improvement of
the soil through the cultivation of the preceding year.

Other advantages of community gardens that may be mentioned are these:
there is not so much danger of a plot-holder becoming tired of gardening
and quitting before he has harvested his crop; community gardening
fosters a spirit of healthy competition, and each gardener tries to have
his plot looking a little neater, and to produce larger and better
crops, than his neighbor. Furthermore, in a body of men and women
associated in this way there is almost always some one who has had a
garden before and to whom the novices may turn for advice.

While community gardening is undoubtedly the most economical, and, in
many ways, the most pleasurable method for the home gardener to produce
his crops, one should not be deterred from the attempt to grow
vegetables merely because there is no opportunity to link up with an
organization. The man with a back yard can grow some vegetables,
provided that his soil is fairly good and his plot is open to the
sunshine. Even the apartment-dweller need not despair, because in most
cities it is possible to obtain the use of a plot of vacant ground,
through either the municipality or some organization formed for the
purpose of dealing with such situations.



                                  III
                                 TOOLS


It is unnecessary to spend much money on tools for use in a small
garden. The writer did very well in his home garden with nothing but an
ordinary round-pointed shovel for digging purposes, a rake to pulverize
the soil and make drills for seed-sowing, a scuffle-hoe for cultivating,
and a garden line made from two sticks and a piece of twine. Of course
there are many tools on the market that greatly facilitate cultivation
and make gardening work easier, but their purchase is inadvisable unless
the size of the garden and the permanency of its cultivation warrant it.

Nothing will be said as to the various types of horse-drawn or
motor-driven implements. This book is written for those who have to do
their gardening with hand tools or those who are limited to the hiring
of just what horse-drawn tools happen to be available.

For the preparation of the soil, probably the best implement is the
spading-fork. It is easier to work with than a spade and in most cases
is equally efficient. The spading-fork can be used for digging and, at a
pinch, can be made to serve the purpose of fining the surface soil for
seed-sowing. A spade is a handy tool to have, however, especially when
any work is to be done in the way of making beds or forming walks.

For seed-sowing the absolute essentials are very few. A yard-stick or
foot-rule for measuring the distance between the rows is useful. An even
better way of accomplishing this is to divide a hoe or rake handle,
whichever is used in seed-sowing, into feet and quarter-feet, preferably
cutting in the marks with a knife. If one is limited to buying just one
tool for making the drills the rake should be chosen, as it can also be
used for fining the soil and for cultivating between the rows. A garden
line can easily be improvised from two sticks, sharpened at one end, and
a suitable length of strong twine.

When the soil is fairly loose and easily worked, a scuffle-hoe is a very
satisfactory tool for cultivating the surface. On the other hand, if the
ground is hard and stony the ordinary draw-hoe should be chosen. A small
hand weeder, which can be obtained at a cost of from ten to fifty cents,
is very useful for loosening the surface of the ground close to the rows
of young seedlings. Look over the illustrations of these tools in a
seedsman’s catalogue and pick out the one most suited to your needs.
With a little ingenuity, tools suitable for stirring up the surface soil
can be fashioned at home from old hoop iron or stout wire fastened on
wooden handles. After a season’s work in the garden you will discover
just what you need in this line, and will probably be able to make a
tool that will give far greater satisfaction than anything you might
buy.

A garden hose of sufficient length so that water can be applied all over
the garden is an advantage, but not absolutely necessary. A good rubber
hose costs, nowadays, about ten dollars for a length of fifty feet, and
a few expenditures of this nature sadly eat into the profits of the
garden. As an accessory to the hose a sprinkler throwing a fine spray,
that can be left running for several hours, is very useful and
desirable, especially if there is no meter attached to your water
supply!

When combating insects and diseases in a small garden, a sprayer of the
atomizer type holding about a quart of insecticide and costing between
one and two dollars is very valuable. In a garden of considerable
extent, or in a community garden, insecticides and fungicides can be
economically and efficiently applied by means of a compressed-air
spray-pump holding three or four gallons and costing between six and
eight dollars. If a large potato-patch is cultivated, a
powder-distributing bellows, costing about one dollar, is useful for
distributing Paris green in powder form. A powder-distributer for use in
a small garden can be improvised by making a small cheese-cloth bag in
which the powder is placed and distributed by shaking the bag over the
plants.

Wheel-hoes varying in price from five to fifteen dollars—the price
depending on the size and number of attachments—are available for
expediting the work in large gardens. Some of these implements have
attachments so that they may be used for marking the rows, sowing seeds
in drills or hills, for raking, cultivating, and shallow plowing. These,
however, are for use on large areas by professional gardeners, or to
delight the connoisseur of tools.

To sum up—the tools that it is advisable for a beginner, with a garden
of moderate size, to buy are: a spading-fork, an iron rake, a six-inch
hoe (of either the scuffle or the ordinary variety), a one-quart
atomizer for applying spray fluids, and a watering-can. The cost of
these should not exceed three or four dollars.

Start out with a few essential tools and add others if you find that you
absolutely need them.



                                   IV
                 THE SITE—THE SOIL AND ITS PREPARATION


Practically all of the vegetable crops require sunshine, and plenty of
it, in order to attain their full development. Therefore, in selecting
the location of your vegetable-garden (if it is possible to have any
choice) choose one open to sunshine and not hemmed in by tall buildings
which shut out the air. A location near big trees should be avoided, for
the trees not only shade the crops, but their wide-spreading roots also
rob the ground of food and moisture which the vegetables need. The ideal
location for a vegetable-garden is one open to the south and sheltered
from the north and west winds, but always with this provision—the soil
must be of a suitable nature.

This brings us to a consideration of one of the most important factors
in successful vegetable culture—that of the soil.

Soils vary a great deal in their physical characters and also in their
chemical composition.

Sandy soils quickly dry out and warm up in the spring, and in
consequence it is possible to prepare them for planting and produce
crops much earlier than is the case with heavier soils. For this reason
sandy soils are usually preferred by market gardeners, whose object is
to get their crops on the market as soon as possible. One great
objection to sandy soils is the rapidity with which they lose their
moisture by drainage and evaporation. They are frequently not naturally
fertile and it is necessary to apply large quantities of manure to make
them profitable. They are also subject to loss of fertility by leaching.
The way in which these disadvantages can be corrected will be told
later.

At the other end of the scale, almost exactly opposite in every
particular, are those soils in which clay predominates. Soils of this
type are cold, they dry out very slowly, and as a result it is late
before they can be fitted for planting. In dry seasons, because of their
water-holding capacity, they are greatly to be preferred, and plants
growing on them are less liable to suffer from drought. Clay soils,
because of their stickiness, are very difficult to work, and although
they may be well supplied with plant food, it is sometimes unavailable
because of the sticky, tenacious character of the clay which does not
provide a good medium in which the roots may ramify in search of food.

Peat soils and muck lands are made up largely of decayed organic matter.
They are usually deficient in minerals, but by correct management can be
made to produce good crops of certain kinds of vegetables. Enormous
quantities of celery and onions are successfully grown on muck soils.

The kind of soil most desired by the gardener is the happy medium that
is called loam. This consists of a mixture of clay and sand in nearly
equal proportions, combined with a considerable quantity of decayed
organic matter. Such soils are fertile, easy to work, retentive of
moisture, but sufficiently porous so that the moisture is not retained
in excess. Air can penetrate such soils, a prime necessity for healthy
root growth, and also necessary for the existence of bacteria which do
so much in making inert plant foods soluble and available for the use of
plants.

The extreme types of soil previously mentioned can be greatly improved
by judicious treatment. It will be remembered that one of the great
drawbacks to sandy soils was the readiness with which they lose their
moisture. The proper treatment for this type is to add organic matter.
This decays and forms humus, which binds the coarse particles together
to a certain extent and increases the absorbtive and retentive
properties of the soil. This organic matter is best applied in the form
of decayed, or partially decayed, barn-yard or stable manure. If manure
is not available a good substitute can be found in leaves. These may be
gathered in the fall and piled in a heap to decay. Very little
decomposition will take place during the winter months in the Northern
states, and for this reason leaves that have been piled in heaps for
twelve months or more are to be preferred. Decay may be hastened by
forking over the leaves two or three times during the summer. Although
decayed leaves are better than fresh ones for mixing in with the soil,
fresh leaves are better than none at all.

The owners of city gardens frequently neglect an opportunity of adding
humus to their soil when they allow the leaves of street trees to be
burned or carted away. The city street-cleaning department is usually
only too glad to be relieved of this duty.

When it is impossible to add humus to the soil through the medium of
organic manures, as is often the case in city back yards, recourse may
be had to one of the many brands of prepared humus obtainable from
seedsmen.

Liming is also considered to be good for sandy soils, as the lime
exercises a binding influence on the coarse particles. Of course when
clay is available it is good to add it, and mix thoroughly with the
sand, but it is seldom that clay is present in near enough proximity to
make this practice a paying proposition. Compacting sandy soils, by
means of a roller on large areas, or by means of the feet in the case of
small plots, is good horticultural practice.

Clay soils, like the preceding, are greatly improved by the addition of
organic matter. It should be applied in the fall, in the form of strawy
stable manure, and buried deeply. Leaves also are a valuable addition.
Liming is good, as this causes the flocculation of the clay particles
and renders the soil more open and permeable by air and water. The
addition of sand, sifted coal ashes, or wood ashes serves the same
purpose. Clay soils are benefited by being plowed or spaded in the fall
and left rough over the winter. This allows the frost to penetrate more
readily, resulting in the breaking up and disintegration of the clods.
Another advantage of fall plowing in the case of land of this type is
that by so doing it dries out more rapidly in the spring and it is
possible to get your crops planted earlier.

Muck and swamp soils are frequently waterlogged, and before they will
support a crop it is necessary to underdrain them; but as this is an
operation that is scarcely practicable for those for whom this book is
written, it will not be dealt with here. As there is always a lack of
basic salts in this type of soil, liming is practised, usually to good
advantage.

Those who contemplate taking over a piece of land for the purpose of
growing vegetables should, if the land has not previously produced a
crop, obtain the opinion of a competent gardener as to its possibilities
from a gardening standpoint. Such men are usually available in every
community, and as a rule are glad to help. If expert opinion is not
available, the novice can form an approximate idea of its value by
making careful observations in the following manner. Take notice of the
vegetation growing on the plot. If it is luxuriant and consists mostly
of grasses it will probably be all right for growing vegetables. Dig
holes here and there with a spade or trowel and examine the soil. If you
find, an inch or two below the surface, nothing but tin cans and broken
bottles it is not a safe gardening proposition. Neither should you go
ahead if you find only a thin layer of topsoil, two or three inches,
above the subsoil. It is usually easy to tell the difference between
what is known as topsoil and subsoil. The topsoil is darker in color,
due to the presence of humus, and of a finer texture. This topsoil
should be at least eight inches deep to get good results. Soils which
contain too many large stones should be avoided, also those which
consist of only a thin layer overlying a rock ledge.

Most vegetables succeed best in a soil that is slightly alkaline, and
land intended for garden use should be tested with litmus paper to
discover if acid is present in excess. Take a piece of blue litmus paper
and press it upon a handful of moist soil. If it turns red it indicates
the presence of acid and the advisability of liming. Lime is a valuable
element in the soil, as it assists in making plant foods soluble. It is
best applied in the fall, spreading it over the surface and digging or
plowing it in. It can also be applied in the spring, but in no case
should it be put on so that it comes in direct contact with manure. Lime
applied with manure causes ammonia to be liberated too rapidly in the
form of gas, which escapes into the air, and thus much of the fertility
of the manure is lost. When it is necessary to apply lime in the spring,
the manure should first be dug or plowed under, and the lime then spread
on the surface, and raked or harrowed in. Use about 20 pounds of
air-slaked lime or 30 to 40 pounds of ground limestone to 400 square
feet.

Thorough preparation of the soil is essential if best results are to be
obtained. This means that the soil must be broken up and pulverized as
deeply as possible. There are several reasons for this. Breaking up the
soil to a good depth increases the water-holding capacity of the soil—a
very important point because of the fact that plants have to take all of
the food substances that they obtain from the soil in solution. It
provides a greater bulk of soil in which the plant roots may ramify in
search of food. The less fertile the soil the greater is the necessity
for breaking it deeply to increase the area from which the roots may
draw nourishment. Deep tillage encourages the roots to penetrate
downward, and plants whose roots go down deeply in the soil are less
likely to suffer during dry spells.

It is well to remember, however, that although it is desirable to have
the soil broken up deeply it is not a good practice to bring too much of
the subsoil up to the surface in digging or plowing. In farming
operations a greater depth of soil is obtained by using what is known as
a subsoil plow. This implement frequently is used after the field has
been plowed in the usual way and penetrates below the topsoil and breaks
up the subsoil, but without disturbing their relative positions. In
gardens the same result is obtained by what is called bastard trenching,
of which more will be said later.

In preparing a piece of ground that has not previously been cultivated
the first thing to do is to remove all large stones and rubbish that may
be on the surface. If it is a large area, the work of breaking it will,
of course, be done with a plow. Supposing the land is covered with a
growth of sod, it is a good plan to go over it several times with a disk
harrow before plowing. This will cut up the sods, cause them to decay
more rapidly when they are turned under, and insure the soil being
pulverized throughout its whole depth. After plowing, harrowing is
necessary to break the lumps and to compact the soil somewhat. The
fining process can then be completed by hand, using a rake for the
purpose.

Small areas can be prepared for planting by digging with a spade or
spading-fork. A trench should first be dug a foot or eighteen inches
wide and a foot deep, provided that the topsoil extends that far. The
soil from this trench should be placed on one side so as to be available
for filling in the last trench when digging is finished. Having opened
the first trench, proceed with the digging, turning each spadeful of
soil bottom up in the trench. The soil can be turned over with greater
ease and more efficiently by always maintaining a trench when digging.
It is the only way by which sods, manure, and weeds may be properly
buried so that they may decay and form plant food.

Bastard trenching is carried out in the same way as digging except that
the trench is made at least two feet wide and the subsoil thus exposed
is broken up with a spading-fork before the topsoil from the next trench
is turned over upon it.

When digging, the soil should be broken up as finely as possible with
the spade or fork, so as to leave no lumps, and all large stones should
be thrown out.

Digging or plowing should never be attempted when the ground is frozen
or when it is so wet that the soil sticks to the tools used.

After the soil has been turned over and broken up the rake should come
into operation and the surface fined so as to fit it for seed-sowing.



                                   V
                              FERTILIZERS


The most important elements that it is necessary to apply to the soil in
the form of fertilizer are nitrogen, phosphorus, and potash.

_Nitrogen_ greatly stimulates the production of leaves, and an excess of
it applied to crops grown for their fruit or roots is undesirable. It is
contained in all the animal manures, associated with other fertilizing
elements, and in a practically pure state in nitrate of soda.

_Phosphorus_ is a valuable and necessary fertilizer which has a great
influence on the production of fruits and seeds. It is found in greater
or less quantities in animal manures, and in bone meal. Phosphatic rock
that has been treated with acid is another important source of
phosphorus.

_Potash._ The rôle of potash in the soil is similar to that of
phosphoric acid. It is considered to be a valuable fertilizer for all
crops that are grown for their roots. It occurs in animal manures and in
wood ashes. Muriate of potash and kainite contain potash in a more
concentrated form, but are difficult to obtain at present.

All of these three elements must be present in the soil for the
production of healthy crops.

It is generally conceded that the best all-round fertilizer for plants
is decayed _barn-yard_ or _stable manure_. It not only adds fertility to
the soil, but by its decay it helps to make the mineral particles
soluble and thus available as plant foods. As already indicated, it also
improves the physical condition of the soil, making sandy soils more
retentive of moisture, and rendering clay soils more porous. When
applied in the spring it should be decayed or partly decayed, as in this
condition it is immediately available for the use of the crop. If it is
put on the ground in the fall, fresh manure may be used and plowed
under. By the time that the planting season arrives it will be
sufficiently decayed. If there is no objection on the score of
appearances, stable manure, either fresh or decayed, may be applied in
the form of a thin mulch (a layer on the surface of the ground) at any
time when the plants are growing. The fertility is gradually washed down
into the soil by rain, and a loose covering of this kind is of
additional advantage in that it helps to prevent the loss of water from
the soil by evaporation. This mulch must _not_ be worked into the soil
so that it comes in contact with the plant roots, but should be left on
the surface until it is dug under the following fall or spring.
Discretion must be exercised in its use. Root crops, that are already
growing luxuriantly, such as beets or carrots, or crops that are grown
for their fruit, such as beans and tomatoes, would probably be harmed by
a surface dressing of this kind. Barn-yard manure is rich in nitrogen,
which is a great stimulant of leaf growth. If it is applied too freely
to the crops just mentioned it is likely to result in an excessive crop
of leaves at the expense of roots or fruit.

A dressing of stable manure two or three inches thick all over the plot
or at the rate of from three to five hundred pounds to a plot twenty by
twenty feet is about the right quantity to use when the ground is dug or
plowed.

_Sheep manure_ is perhaps the next in importance of the organic manures
and is more concentrated than barn-yard or stable manure. It can be
applied at the rate of forty pounds to four hundred square feet. It is
better to spread it over the surface immediately after the ground has
been broken up, and thoroughly mix it with the surface soil by means of
a rake or harrow.

_Hen manure_ is still more concentrated and should be used in the same
way, or as a top-dressing after the crops have started their growth.
Twenty pounds to four hundred square feet is a suitable amount to apply.
To facilitate its distribution it should be mixed with dry earth and
kept in a dry place for a few weeks before it is desired to apply it.

Of the so-called _chemical fertilizers_, those that are sold by seedsmen
as “complete” fertilizers are the best for the amateur to buy. These at
the present time are usually made up in the proportion of 5 per cent.
nitrogen, 8 per cent. phosphorus, and 1 per cent. potash. Use twelve
pounds to four hundred square feet.

All of the preceding are “complete” fertilizers containing nitrogen,
phosphorus, and potash in varying proportions. If they are used in
combination the quantities must be reduced.

_Bone meal_ is a fertilizer which contains phosphorus and nitrogen. In
some of its forms it is rather slow acting and sometimes does not become
fully available for the use of the crop until the year succeeding its
application. Use twelve pounds to four hundred square feet.

_Nitrate of soda_ is the quickest-acting fertilizer that we have and is
very valuable for stimulating the growth of plants early in the spring,
when the nitrogen content of the soil is usually low. It is especially
suitable for those crops that are grown for their leaves, such as
spinach, lettuce, and cabbage. Great care must be exercised in the use
of this fertilizer, as an overdose will injure or kill the plants. As it
is very soluble, it should not be applied until the plants are up and
ready to use it, otherwise much of it will be washed out of the soil and
wasted. It should be sprinkled on the surface of the soil, first
crushing the lumps, and then mixed in with a hoe or cultivator. An ounce
to each square yard, applied at intervals of about three weeks, until
the crops have a good start, is the right proportion to use. It is
impossible to lay too much emphasis on the necessity for care in the use
of this fertilizer. It must not be allowed to come in contact with the
leaves of the crop, or it will cause them to burn and turn brown.
Generally speaking, it is not a good fertilizer to use on root or fruit
crops, although it can be used to good advantage in helping young plants
of tomato, cucumber, muskmelon, etc., to get a start just after they
have been planted out. Its use later in the season is likely to result
in the production of leaves at the expense of fruit.

_Wood ashes_ contain potash and lime. This fertilizer is a valuable
dressing for heavy, clayey soils, as it improves their physical
condition. It is good for root crops, such as beets, carrots, radishes,
etc. Use twenty pounds to four hundred square feet.

It is best to apply all concentrated fertilizers as surface dressings,
and then harrow or rake them into the soil, rather than to plow or dig
them under.

If it so happens that the soil is not very fertile and there is only a
limited quantity of fertilizer available, it is a good plan, instead of
spreading it all over the plot, to apply it only in close proximity to
the hills or drills in which the plants are growing.

It is important to remember that the greatest good can only be obtained
from chemical fertilizers when the soil is plentifully supplied with
humus.



                                   VI
                    THE KINDS OF VEGETABLES TO GROW


A number of factors have to be taken into consideration before deciding
just which kinds of vegetables to plant in your garden. Some of these
factors are: the nature of the soil, the size of the garden, the food
value of the crop and the ease with which it may be stored for winter
use.

Sometimes it is possible to adapt the soil to the crop, but usually it
is easier to adapt the crop to the soil. A rich loam will support
practically all of the vegetables and produce good crops. A thin, sandy
soil which has not been properly fertilized is only suitable for such
crops as bush beans, beets, Swiss chard, tomato, and New Zealand
spinach. Of course other crops can be grown on such a soil, but not very
satisfactorily. Potatoes like a sandy soil, but it must be well
fertilized.

Heavy clay soils will grow cabbage, kale, corn, parsley, parsnips (if
the soil is deep), peas and rhubarb.

If the soil is shallow it is not advisable to attempt any of the root
crops that make a long root. In this category belong the long beets,
parsnips, and salsify.

That person is unwise who attempts to grow potatoes, corn, and cabbage
in a very restricted area. These crops need plenty of room in which to
develop, and when one has only a city back yard, or a small plot, it is
better to concentrate on the smaller-growing vegetables. The best crops
to grow in the city back yard are bush beans, parsley, radish, beets,
Swiss chard, and tomato. Peas would probably succeed if it were not for
the sparrows which pick off the leaves as fast as they are produced.

One is strictly limited if the available ground is shaded. All the
vegetables need sun for the greater part of the day. Those kinds which
are grown for their leaves are more satisfactory in a shady garden, and
if the soil conditions are favorable the following may be tried: beet,
cabbage, lettuce, and Swiss chard. Even these need a few hours of
sunshine.

Those who are interested in dietetics may wish to choose their
vegetables on the basis of their food value. In terms of the calorie,
the unit of energy as applied to food, we find that 1 ounce of dried
beans (seeds) and 8 ounces of string-beans are required to produce a
hundred calories. Of green corn 3.2 ounces are needed; of potatoes, 5.3
ounces; of onions, 8 ounces; of beets, 9.6 ounces; of cabbage, 13.3
ounces; and at the bottom of the list comes celery, of which 23.7 ounces
are required to produce a hundred calories. It is misleading, however,
to take a list of vegetables with their caloric values and decide, that
because 6.4 ounces of peas contain one hundred calories, while it is
necessary to have 10.1 ounces of carrots to produce the same amount,
nothing but peas shall be grown in the garden. The proper basis on which
to make a decision along these lines is on the amount of calories that
can be obtained from each square yard of ground. A considerable area is
necessary for the production of a pound of peas, while a similar weight
of carrots could be produced in a much smaller space. Furthermore, it
must be remembered that the human system demands a certain amount of
bulky foods, and these are supplied by vegetables low in caloric values.

There are a number of crops that can easily be preserved or stored for
winter use, and this should be considered when deciding what kinds of
vegetables to grow. String-beans are easily preserved by pickling them
in brine, and there is no difficulty whatever in caring for the
dry-shell beans when they are not infested with weevils. All of the root
crops—carrots, beets, parsnips—can be easily stored in sand or soil in
the cellar, and potatoes are one of the easiest of crops to care for.
Onions can readily be carried over into the winter if a cool, airy room
is available. All of the crops just mentioned are fairly high in food
value.



                                  VII
                          PLANNING THE GARDEN


A garden can be made without a plan, but it is usually a haphazard sort
of affair, and it frequently means that much more money is spent for
seeds than is necessary. Another frequent happening in a miss-or-hit
garden of this kind is a plethora of some kinds of vegetables and a
great scarcity of others.

It is difficult to give any definite information as to the quantities of
vegetables to grow, as yields vary so much, owing to the character of
the soil and climate, the variety of the vegetable, and the skill, or
lack of it, of the gardener. The preferences of the individual must also
be considered. The table in the Appendix giving the approximate amount
of vegetables that can be obtained from a hundred-foot row may be
helpful. It must be remembered, however, that these figures are only
approximate and that wide variations can be expected.

When planning your garden you must take into consideration the sunshine
it receives, and if part of it is shaded reserve that part for those
crops that will endure shade. If there is any variation in the nature of
the soil, whether in regard to its physical condition, fertility, or
wetness, you should place the crops accordingly.

As a general rule the rows should run north and south, as by this plan
each row receives its share of sunlight. If for any reason this is not
practicable, put the tall-growing crops at the north end of the plot, so
that they do not shade the smaller kinds. The perennial crops, like
asparagus and rhubarb, are best placed at one end or side of the plot so
that they are not in the way when digging or plowing is being done. It
makes a better-looking plot if those vegetables which are planted the
same distance apart are grouped together.

Plan to have the ground occupied for the whole season. Many vegetables
take a comparatively short time in which to mature, and these can be
removed when harvested and the ground occupied by another crop. Thus
peas can be followed by cauliflower or cabbage, early beets by beans,
lettuce by tomato, and so on. Find out the average number of
growing-days in your locality and consult the table in the Appendix
giving the number of days required to bring the various crops to
maturity.

When planning for succession vegetables, have some regard to crop
rotation. That is to say, if the ground in the early part of the season
has been occupied by a leaf crop, follow it by a fruit crop, or _vice
versa_. Early cabbage followed by beans may be cited as an example.
Similarly, root crops may be followed by leaf crops, as early carrots
and fall spinach.

Another important reason for crop rotation is that it lessens the danger
of loss from disease. Many of the fungous diseases of plants are carried
over from year to year in the soil. Some of them are able to live on
only one particular host plant, and if that crop is not grown in the
soil where the fungus is hibernating the disease ultimately dies out
through lack of food.

The first thing to do in planning a vegetable-garden is to measure the
plot and transfer its outlines to scale on paper. Then, bearing in mind
the considerations just outlined in this chapter, decide on the kinds of
vegetables you wish to grow. Now the real fun of planning begins! The
desires of the grower as to quantities and variety of vegetables must be
scaled down so as to fit the plot. Take a ruler and draw lines across
your plan to represent the rows of vegetables. The distance between the
rows may be drawn to scale to correspond with the actual distance
between the rows on the ground,[1] or you may merely note the
theoretical distance between the lines. Write the name of the vegetable
on each line, with that of the succession crop, if any. It is a good
idea to mount your plan on stiff cardboard when finished, and to allow a
space either at the side or on the back for making notes to be taken
during the growing-season. These notes may consist of reminders that
such and such a crop is not suited in its present location, the time
occupied from seed-sowing to maturity, the desirability or otherwise of
certain vegetables, etc.

-----

[1] See Appendix, Table III.



                                  VIII
                 SEEDS, SEED-SOWING, AND TRANSPLANTING


Most seeds, with the exception of carrot, onion, parsnip, and parsley,
will grow fairly satisfactorily even if they are more than one year old,
so that left-overs from the preceding year may be planted with good
results. Before using these left-over seeds, however, it is wise to test
their germinating power before committing them to the garden. To plant
seeds which will not germinate is a waste of time and labor. Testing the
viability of seeds is a simple and easy matter and very advisable if
there is any doubt. Count out fifty or one hundred seeds of the kind
that you wish to test and plant them in sand or earth in a cigar-box or
something similar. Place them in a fairly warm room (temperature about
60° Fahr.) and keep the soil moist. In a week or two take note of the
number which have sprouted, and this will give you the percentage of
good seeds and some idea of the quantity you will have to plant in order
to get a good stand. For instance, if only 50 per cent. of the seeds
germinate it means that it will be necessary to plant double the usual
number to make sure of having a sufficient number of plants. Another and
less messy way of testing seeds is to place them on a plate between
blotters or cloth, which must be kept moist, covering them with another
plate to prevent too rapid evaporation of moisture. Although they
adequately furnish the desired information, neither of these methods of
testing seeds gives an absolutely accurate indication of what will take
place when they are planted in the garden. Seeds out of doors are
exposed to a number of hazards that are not present under indoor
conditions.

Before planting any seeds outdoors the soil must be in the proper
condition. It must not be so wet that it sticks to the tools used, the
surface must be finely pulverized with a rake, and all large stones
taken off.

There are three ways of planting seeds outdoors—in drills, in hills,
and broadcast. The _drills_ consist of shallow trenches from one-half
inch to two inches deep, in which the seeds are sown. The young plants
are later thinned out so that they stand an equal distance apart.

Seeds are said to be planted in _hills_ when they are sown in such a way
that the resultant plants are in groups of three or more standing the
same distance in the rows as the distance between the rows.

_Broadcast_ sowing is when the seeds are scattered over the surface of
the ground and covered by raking them in, or by sprinkling soil over
them.

A garden line should always be stretched across the plot as a guide when
making the drills. This insures straight rows, resulting in an enhanced
appearance of the garden and greater ease in subsequent cultivation. A
variety of tools can be used for making the drills or furrows. For those
seeds which require to be planted deeply,[2] a draw-hoe is a useful
tool, or, if this is not available, the corner of a rake will suffice.
The shallow drills can be made with a hoe or rake handle or with a
pointed stick.

The seeds should be planted immediately after the drill is made, before
the soil dries up. Consult the table in the Appendix showing the
quantity of seed required to plant a row one hundred feet long, and
refrain from planting too thickly. Being too liberal with seeds at
planting-time is not only wasteful, but also involves a great deal of
extra labor later on when the young seedlings have to be thinned in
order to give them room for proper development. Sow the seeds as evenly
as possible and cover by raking the soil over them. The soil over the
seeds must be firmed. In the case of the larger seeds, such as peas and
beans, this can be done by walking along the row. The earth over the
smaller seeds is best compacted by means of the back of a hoe or rake.
This firming process is carried out in order that the earth may come in
close contact with the seeds, so that they may absorb the moisture
contained in it; also to establish capillary action with the soil below,
resulting in moisture being drawn up to the surface.

There is a tendency among beginners to plant their seeds either on
raised ridges or, sometimes at the other extreme, in deep trenches. The
first method is liable to result in the plants suffering from drought,
and the latter in flooding, if it happens to be a wet season. There are
times when it is advisable to make use of these practices, as will be
described when the methods of cultivation are taken up in detail, but
speaking generally, level cultivation is best.

After the seeds are planted we are enabled to sit back and have a
breathing-spell until the young plants appear, when it is necessary to
proceed with thinning and cultivating as described in the following
chapter.

It is the common practice, in connection with some crops, not to plant
the seeds directly where they are to mature, but to sow them elsewhere
at first and to transplant the young plants to their permanent quarters
later.

In the Northern states the growing-season is not sufficiently long to
get best results from such tropical plants as tomato, egg-plant and
pepper if the seeds are sown outside. A longer growing-season is
afforded to these plants by raising them in a greenhouse or hotbed, and
transplanting them to the garden when the earth has warmed up and danger
of frost is over.

Cabbage is transplanted for the reason that if the seed was sown
directly in the field it would be necessary to plant much more seed than
was actually needed, and because the ground can be profitably occupied
with another crop while the young cabbage plants are reaching a sizable
condition. Early cabbage is also sown in a greenhouse or cold-frame in
order to hasten the time of maturity.

Although it is possible to raise these transplanted crops with no other
facilities than those provided by the ordinary dwelling-house, it is not
worth while when only a few plants are required. Young plants of tomato,
egg-plant, pepper, and cabbage can be obtained at such a trifling
expense from seedsmen who make a business of raising them that it does
not pay to bother with raising them yourself.

An eye should be given to weather conditions when transplanting. The
plants will feel the check less if a cloudy, humid day is chosen on
which to do the work. The soil should be moist, but not so wet as to be
sticky. The hole for the reception of the roots can conveniently be made
with a trowel. Make it large enough so that the roots may be spread out
and then press the earth gently but firmly around them. If the soil is
dry leave a shallow depression around the stem of each plant to
facilitate watering. Sufficient water should be applied to soak the
ground for a depth of six inches or more, and when it has drained away
from the surface, the depression may be filled with loose dry earth to
prevent the moisture escaping by evaporation.

If for any reason it is necessary to do the work of transplanting on a
dry, sunny day, the young plants should be shaded. This can be
accomplished by covering them with inverted flower-pots, or with
newspapers weighted at the corners with stones to keep them from blowing
away, or a shingle or thin piece of board may be stuck in the ground on
the sunny side so that its shadow falls on the plant.

In most cases, unless they are grown in earthen or paper pots, the root
system of the plants is injured in transplanting. In order to restore
the balance between root and shoot it is advisable, and customary, to
cut off part of the leaves. If the whole of the leaves are left on the
plant they wilt and sometimes die because the reduced number of roots is
unable to supply their demands for moisture.

-----

[2] See Appendix, Table III, for the depth to plant various seeds.



                                   IX
                          HOEING AND THINNING


When the young plants appear above the ground it is time to commence
cultivating. This consists of breaking up and pulverizing the surface
crust. There are several reasons for doing this. It allows air to enter
the soil, which, it will be remembered, is a necessity for the roots of
plants and has an important bearing on the formation of plant food. It
keeps down the weeds, and, most important of all, it helps to conserve
the moisture in the soil.

All who have had anything to do with the cultivation of the soil will
have noticed that when its surface is stirred up after a rain it quickly
dries out. It will also have been noticed that, if any one has walked
over this soil just after it has been stirred up, the soil in the
footprints remains moist. Why is this? It is simply that capillary
action has been broken by the loosening of the surface, and the
soil-water rises to the loosened soil and no farther. On the other hand,
capillary action has been restored in those places where the soil has
been compacted by walking on it, and the surface here is moist because
moisture is continually being supplied from the store below. This
moisture just as continually evaporates during dry weather and is lost
as far as the plant roots are concerned.

Breaking up the surface soil provides a dust mulch or soil blanket which
shades the moist soil below from the sun’s rays, and in a large measure
prevents evaporation. Therefore, after every rain, just as soon as the
soil has dried out sufficiently so that it does not stick to the tool
used, the surface should be cultivated.

Various tools are used for this purpose. When working close to young
plants the small hand weeders are useful. Between the rows a hoe should
be used. These are of three types. The _scuffle-hoe_, which is pushed
through the soil just underneath the surface, the operator walking
backward. This is a handy tool for small gardens if the soil is not too
hard, and its use gives the advantage of it not being necessary to walk
on the loosened soil.

The ordinary _draw-hoe_ is used with a chopping motion and the operator
walks forward over the loosened soil. It is a good tool for getting rid
of weeds, and is better than the preceding for use in hard or stony
ground.

There are many forms of _wheel-hoes_ which enable the work of
cultivating to be done very expeditiously. They are pushed forward with
a jerky motion, one step at a time, pulling the implement toward you
before making the forward thrust, thus gaining momentum before the teeth
enter the ground. Do not attempt to push a wheel-hoe in the same way
that you would a perambulator—it’s too hard work.

To water or not to water is sometimes a debatable point in
vegetable-growing. There is this much to be said about the application
of water to the garden. If thorough cultivation has been properly
attended to there will be much less need of watering, and when it is
decided that watering is necessary, let it be thorough, so that the soil
is soaked to a depth of a foot or so. Then as soon as the soil has dried
out somewhat, stir up the surface so that the moisture is not lost by
evaporation. The best way to apply water is by means of a sprinkler,
throwing a fine spray, which can be left operating for two or three
hours. This insures a proper wetting of the soil without washing away
any of the loose soil on the surface. The next best thing is to use a
hose. The watering-pot is of little use except in a very small garden,
because one gets tired of toting water before the plants have been given
nearly enough.

In order to obtain good crops it is necessary to allow the plants
sufficient room to attain their full development. They must have space
in the earth for their roots to ramify in search of food, and room above
to spread their leaves to the air and sunshine. A number of seeds,
including beet, carrot, corn, lettuce, onion, parsnip, radish, spinach,
and Swiss chard, are sown in such a way (in order to insure a good
stand) that when they germinate the young plants stand too close
together. These have to be thinned out.[3] This operation should be
carried out as soon as the seedlings are large enough to handle. Choose
a cloudy day when the soil is fairly moist, and pull out the weak,
spindly plants, leaving the strong, healthy ones.

-----

[3] See Appendix, Table III, for distance these plants should stand
apart.



                                   X
                           STAKING AND TYING


Some of our vegetable crops need supports of some kind to obtain best
results from them. Peas, and beans of some varieties, and tomatoes are
of this nature.

The dwarf peas, which need no supports, are the best for the small
garden, but if the taller kinds, which are more productive, are grown it
is necessary to supply them with something on which to climb. Twiggy
brush-wood is the best for the purpose, as the pea tendrils attach
themselves readily to this. The bases of the branches should be
sharpened with a knife and then stuck firmly into the ground on either
side of the row when the peas are a few inches high. Chicken netting
stretched along the row and supported on strong stakes is also suitable.

Pole beans climb by means of twining, and poles from six to eight feet
high and about two inches in diameter are usually supplied for them.
These poles are inserted in the ground by first making a hole with a
crowbar. Another method of supporting beans is by means of V-shaped
frames about six feet high and three feet wide at the bottom. They can
be made of light lumber, such as three by one or two by two inch rough
pine. These are spaced from eight to ten feet apart and connected by
thin strips of lumber along the top and along the bases. Strings are
fastened on one of the base strips, carried over the top and fastened to
the base strip on the other side. These strings should be from six to
nine inches apart. The beans are planted so that there is one bean-plant
to each string.

Tomatoes may be left to grow naturally, in which case they sprawl over
the ground and much fruit is spoiled by coming in contact with the
earth, or they may be staked. If grown to a single stem each plant will
need a stout stake to which it may be attached by tying with pieces of
cloth or tape about an inch wide. If twine were used it would probably
cut into and injure the soft stems. Another way of supporting tomatoes
is to allow all the shoots to grow at will, but to prevent them from
falling on the ground by placing around each plant three or four stakes
connected with barrel hoops or with twine.



                                   XI
                             INSECT ENEMIES


To be successful in controlling insect pests, preventive or remedial
measures must be applied early. If spraying is deferred until insects
infest the plants in large numbers, great difficulty is experienced in
getting rid of them. It is emphatically much easier to kill a few
insects than a whole host. If they are once allowed to obtain the upper
hand, the crop will be so much injured that it frequently will not pay
to attempt to save it.

The important point that must be grasped in connection with the control
of insect pests is that they may, from the point of view of the
gardener, be divided into two groups—“biting” insects and “sucking”
insects.

The biting insects _eat_ the leaves, roots, or stems of the plants
attacked, and their presence is usually obvious even to a casual
observer.

The sucking insects obtain their food, not by eating the leaves, but by
inserting their “beaks” into the plant tissue and sucking its juices.
Since it is not feasible to poison the sap of plants to kill the
insects, the best method is to spray them with what are known as
“contact” insecticides. These must be applied in such a way that they
actually come in contact with the insects. Soap solutions, kerosene
emulsion, and nicotine are the principal contact sprays.

Sometimes, instead of using sprays it is more convenient to use dry
insecticides in the form of powder. This is particularly the case when a
spray-pump is unavailable or the water supply not close at hand.

No matter in what form these insecticides are applied, the operation
must be done thoroughly or little benefit will result. The contact
sprays should be applied with force in such a way that every insect is
covered. To apply the stomach poisons a fine, mist-like spray should be
used which will coat the leaves with a thin film of poison. If too much
is applied there is a tendency for the mixture to run into globules,
which concentrates the poison at the tip of the leaves. This may result
in injury to the plants and is not effective in coating the whole of the
leaves.

The feeding habits of some insects make it almost impossible to control
them by spraying; so traps, poison bait, hand picking, repellents, or
screening the plants to prevent access of insects are resorted to. These
measures are fully described in connection with the insects against
which they are used. Following are some of the more important insect
pests.

Beets.—_Flea-beetles_ (small, very active insects, as indicated by
their name), _blister-beetles_, and various caterpillars, which eat the
leaves, attack beets. Lead arsenate[4] should be applied as soon as the
injury is noticed.

-----

[4] Various spray formulas will be found at end of chapter.

Cabbage.—Probably the worst insect pest of this crop is the
_cabbage-worm_, a green caterpillar which hatches from eggs laid on the
leaves by the common white butterflies, which may be seen flitting about
the garden from early spring until fall. Spraying the plants with
arsenate of lead to which a “sticker” has been added to make it adhere
to the leaves is a standard remedy. Cabbage is also attacked by
flea-beetles and caterpillars of various kinds, which are controlled by
the same methods adopted for the cabbage-worm.

Cauliflower.—Same pests as cabbage.

Corn.—The _corn earworm_ is one of the worst of the pests attacking
corn. This is a caterpillar which at first feeds on the “silk” and later
penetrates the ear and eats the kernels. It is very difficult to control
this insect. Lead arsenate sprayed or dusted on the silk as soon as it
appears is a partial remedy.

Cucumber.—The _striped cucumber-beetle_ is about a fourth of an inch in
length, yellow in color, with three black stripes on the wing covers. It
eats the leaves of the young plants and if unchecked ruins the chances
of obtaining a crop. One of the best ways of dealing with this insect is
to prevent it from gaining access to the plants by the use of
cheese-cloth or wire mosquito-netting screens. These can be made by
tacking the material used over bottomless boxes, not so high as to shade
the plants, but of sufficient width and length to give them room to
grow. Another method is to place two or three short sticks in the center
of the hill and over these spread a “tent” of cheese-cloth, holding down
the edges with stones and earth. Tobacco dust sprinkled plentifully over
and around the plants acts as a repellent.

The _twelve-spotted cucumber-beetle_ may be controlled by the same
measures and by spraying with lead arsenate.

Egg-plant is subject to the same pests as the potato.

Kale and Kohlrabi are attacked by the same insects that attack cabbage.

Muskmelon is subject to the same insects as the cucumber.

Onion.—_Thrips_ is a tiny insect which infests onions, sucks the sap
from the leaves, and causes them to assume a silvery appearance. Most
vegetables are subject to its attack. It can be controlled by using a
contact spray, such as nicotine solution or kerosene emulsion.

Potato.—The most troublesome insect pest of the potato is the
well-known _Colorado potato-beetle_. This may be controlled by picking
the insects from the plant by hand, or by dusting the leaves with Paris
green which has been diluted by mixing it with fifty times its bulk of
air-slaked lime. Spraying the plants with lead arsenate is even more
effective.

The _flea-beetle_ eats small holes in the leaves, making them appear as
if they had been riddled with shot. The spray treatment adopted for the
_Colorado beetle_ will also take care of them.

_Blister-beetles_ are slender insects varied in color which attack
potatoes and many other vegetables. Lead arsenate is the best remedy.

Pumpkin is likely to be affected with the same pests as cucumber and
squash.

Squash.—This crop is subject to the same pests as cucumber. The
_squash-bug_, or _stink-bug_ (which also attacks cucumbers and melons),
is grayish-brown in color and about three-fourths of an inch long. It
exhales a very offensive odor which makes hand picking, one of the most
effective means of controlling it, an extremely unpleasant task. The
measures adopted against the _cucumber-beetles_ are also effective in
controlling this pest. Other remedies that may be tried are the
collection and destruction of the conspicuous eggs which are to be found
in masses on the under sides of the leaves, and trapping the adults by
placing shingles on the ground around the plants. The insects will
congregate under these and can then be destroyed by stepping on them.

Tomato.—The _tomato-worm_, the larva of a Sphinx-moth, sometimes
occasions much damage. Hand picking is a good remedy, or the plants may
be sprayed with lead arsenate. If the latter course is followed, care
must be taken to clean the tomatoes thoroughly before eating them. The
tomato is also subject to the same insect pests as the potato.

Watermelon is attacked by the same insects that infest cucumbers.

Practically all vegetable crops are subject to attack by the following
insects:

_Aphis_, or Plant Lice.—These occur in both small and large species in
a great variety of color. They injure the plants by sucking their
juices, and frequently cause the leaves to become curled and deformed.
Usually these insects are to be found on the soft growing tips of the
plants or on the under sides of the leaves. Prompt application of
remedial measures is necessary. The green-colored forms are usually the
easiest to kill, and a simple soap solution is generally effective. The
black _aphids_ are more tenacious of life, and a stronger insecticide
must be used, such as nicotine solution or kerosene emulsion.

Cutworms are the larvæ of several species of moths. They are especially
partial to beans, cabbage, corn, onions, and tomatoes. They are usually
dark-colored, greasy-looking caterpillars which spend most of their
time, when they are not eating, just underneath the surface of the
ground. They cut off the plants by eating through the stems. Several
different measures should be in operation at the same time to rid a
garden of _cutworms_. One of the most effective is the use of poisoned
bait, but this is not advisable when live stock have access to the
garden. The bait should be strewed liberally close to the plants.
Shingles or thin boards may be placed on the surface of the soil. The
_cutworms_ will congregate under these and can then be killed by any
means that suggests itself. Hunting for them at night, when they are
feeding, with a lantern or flashlight, is another method of reducing
their numbers.

Two very important soil pests are _white grubs_ and _wireworms_. They
attack potatoes and the roots of many garden crops. The former are
large, clumsy, white grubs, the larvæ of the June beetle. _Wireworms_
are long, slender, shining grubs, which may be of any color from light
yellow to dark brown. They are the larvæ of click-beetles. It is very
difficult to control these pests. Frequent, deep tilling of the soil is
probably the best remedy. If chickens are allowed access to the garden
plot when it is being plowed or spaded they will eat a great many of
them. _Wireworms_ may be trapped by attracting them to buried pieces of
carrot or potato. These traps must be examined every morning and the
insects congregated on them killed.

Following are the formulas for the various insecticides recommended.


                   STOMACH POISONS FOR BITING INSECTS

                        _Lead-arsenate Solution_

          1 oz. lead arsenate (paste) to 1 gal. of water
          or
          ½ oz. lead arsenate (dry) to 1 gal. of water

This can also be obtained as a fine powder for dusting upon the plants.
This method is less economical of material.

                             _Paris Green_

              ½ oz. Paris green    }
              and                  }  to 3 gal. of water
              1½ oz. lime          }

When using Paris green as a powder it is advisable to dilute it with
from twenty-five to fifty times its bulk of air-slaked lime. This acts
as a carrier and renders it possible to distribute the poison more
economically and effectively. It is inadvisable to use these poisons,
Paris green and arsenate of lead, on heading cabbages or vegetables that
are shortly to be eaten, as there is some danger of poisoning the
consumers.

                           _Pyrethrum Powder_

                  1 oz. pyrethrum to 2 gal. of water

Can also be applied as a powder. It is a good insecticide for use on
vegetables that are shortly to be eaten, as there is no danger of
poisoning human beings by its use. Can also be used as a contact spray.

                           _Hellebore Powder_

                  2 oz. hellebore to 1 gal. of water

The hellebore should first be boiled in water and then diluted to make
one gallon. It is very similar in its action to pyrethrum.


                CONTACT INSECTICIDES FOR SUCKING INSECTS

                            _Soap Solution_

                  2 oz. laundry soap to 1 gal. of
                  water

                          _Nicotine Solution_

              ½ oz. 40% nicotine   }
              and                  }  to 3 gal. of water
              1 oz. soap           }

The soap is added to this solution to assist in spreading the mixture
and to make it come in close contact with the insects.

                         _Resin Fish-oil Soap_

Is recommended by U. S. Department of Agriculture to be added to contact
sprays and fungicides, to act as a “sticker” when they are to be used on
crops with smooth leaves to which the spray will not stick.

Use two ounces to three gallons of spray mixture.


                        POISON BAIT FOR CUTWORMS

                  3 lbs. wheat bran
                  2 oz. white arsenic or powdered
                    lead arsenate
                  ½ pint cheap molasses

Mix all together and add enough water to make a mash that will stick
together. This is very poisonous and extreme care must be exercised in
its use.



                                  XII
                             PLANT DISEASES


Most of our vegetable crops are subject to attack by fungus or bacterial
parasites which cause disease. Preventive measures are the most
important in combating ills of this nature. These may consist of
providing unfavorable soil conditions for the disease, as in the case of
cabbage clubroot, or disinfection of the “seed” as practised for the
control of scab of potatoes. Other measures are: the application of
protective sprays, which kill the spores of disease organisms when they
germinate; rotation of crops; planting disease-resistant varieties; and
the avoidance of material carrying spores of disease, such as manure
containing parts of diseased plants.

_Bordeaux mixture_ is the standard fungicide. The formula which calls
for four ounces lump lime, four ounces copper sulphate (bluestone) and
three gallons of water is the one most commonly used.

It is made by dissolving four ounces of bluestone in an earthenware or
wooden vessel in one and one-half gallons of water. The lime is slaked
in another vessel by adding water gradually until it forms a mixture of
a milky consistency. Add more water to make one and one-half gallons and
strain through cheese-cloth. After it has been strained it should be
thoroughly mixed with the copper-sulphate solution and used immediately.
Bordeaux mixture made in this way will not keep, but should be applied
the same day. Stock solutions of copper sulphate and lime will keep
indefinitely if they are not mixed together.

_Liver of sulphur (potassium sulphide)_ is valuable for spraying plants
affected with mildew. Use one ounce dissolved in three gallons of water.
This solution discolors paint.

The following are some of the common diseases affecting vegetable crops:

Beans are attacked by _anthracnose_. It causes dark-colored, sunken
spots to appear on the leaves, stems, and pods. It frequently penetrates
to the seeds. Infected seeds should never be planted. It pays to look
over all beans that are to be used for seed and destroy all that are
discolored. Never work among the bean-plants when they are wet, as the
disease, if it is present, is easily spread by this means.

_Beets_ are subject to a _leaf-spot_. This causes small, round, dead
spots to appear on the leaves. Bordeaux mixture applied as soon as the
spots appear and at intervals of one or two weeks will check this
disease.

Cabbage.—_Clubroot_ is a disease which causes the roots of cabbage,
cauliflower, kohlrabi, and allied plants to become swollen and deformed,
and prevents them from functioning properly. If it is not noticed at
transplanting-time the first indication of its presence is the sudden
wilting of the plants. All affected plants should be destroyed. The
seedbed and that part of the garden where the cabbages are to be planted
should be limed two or three months before planting. Use between fifty
and sixty pounds of air-slaked lime on a plot twenty by twenty feet, and
thoroughly mix it with the soil.

Corn.—_Corn smut_ usually appears as swellings, covered with a silvery
membrane, on the tassels or ears. These break open later and disclose
the masses of dark-colored spores. The swellings should be cut off and
destroyed before they burst.

Cucumber.—_Anthracnose, angular leafspot_, and _downy mildew_ are
diseases attacking the leaves of cucumbers which can be controlled to
some extent by frequent spraying with Bordeaux mixture. This should be
applied as soon as the diseases are noticed and repeated at intervals of
one or two weeks.

Peas are affected by a _mildew_ which shows itself on the leaves and
pods as a whitish mold. The plants should be dusted with powdered
sulphur, or sprayed with potassium-sulphide solution to which resin
fish-oil soap has been added to make it stick to the leaves.

Potato.—Two important diseases affecting potatoes are _scab_ and _late
blight_. The former is a disease which lives in the soil and is also
carried over on infected potatoes. It shows itself as scabby spots on
the tubers. Seed potatoes can be disinfected by soaking them, before
they are cut, for two hours in a solution of one part Formalin to two
hundred and forty parts water. This treatment will not prevent scab if
the soil is already infected. An alkaline soil favors the growth of this
disease.

_Late blight_ appears late in the season and causes the leaves to
blacken, become watery, and decay, often accompanied with an offensive
odor. The disease also penetrates the tubers and renders them unfit for
storage purposes. Spraying with Bordeaux mixture is practised as a
preventive measure. It should be applied when the plants are six inches
high, and repeated at intervals of about ten days until the crop is
mature. Crops can be obtained without spraying, but Bordeaux mixture may
be considered as a form of insurance. Lead arsenate may be added to the
Bordeaux mixture if potato-beetles are present.

Tomato.—_Tomato leaf-spot_ is a disease which causes dark-brown spots
to appear on the leaves. The areas attacked shrivel and die. Spray with
Bordeaux mixture.

It is just as important to apply remedial or preventive measures early
in the case of diseases as it is in controlling insect pests. Fine
mist-like sprays should be used as recommended for applying stomach
poisons, and for the same reason.



                                  XIII
                  THE CULTURE OF VEGETABLES IN DETAIL


This chapter is devoted to hints on the cultivation of the more
important vegetables, together with some mention of varieties suited for
“war-garden” planting.

Artichoke, Jerusalem.—This has about the same food value as the potato,
but, unfortunately, it is a rather tasteless product. Proper cooking,
with the addition of sauces and condiments, will make it palatable. It
is a tall, coarse-growing plant belonging to the sunflower family. If
you have an out-of-the-way spot in your garden where nothing else will
grow, try a few artichokes. It needs sunshine, but is not particular as
to soil. It should be planted in the spring on ground that has had a
dressing of barn-yard manure spaded in. Plant the tubers a foot apart in
rows two feet apart. The plant is a perennial, and likely to become a
troublesome weed unless restricted to one corner of the garden.

Beans.—This group comprises some of the most important of garden
vegetables.

The various types of beans differ greatly in their requirements, and
there is scarcely any kind of soil or climate that will support
vegetation, where beans of one kind or another cannot be grown.

Most of the beans are very susceptible to cold and must not be planted
until the soil has warmed up and all danger of frost is past. There is
one kind, however, belonging to a different genus than the common beans,
which is not harmed by frost and which requires a long, cool season to
develop properly. This is the broad, or Windsor, bean. A rich clay loam
is best suited to this plant, and the seeds must be planted just as soon
as the ground is in condition to be worked on in the spring. Plant them
in rows two feet apart, and three inches apart in the rows.

The ordinary garden beans can be divided into two groups—the pole
beans, which can be subdivided into those of the string and Lima types;
and the bush beans, comprising string-beans, green and wax podded,
green-shell beans, dry-shell beans, and Limas.

The pole beans, especially the Limas, are very susceptible to cold and
cannot be planted outdoors in the vicinity of New York until toward the
end of May, and not until June if it happens to be a cool season. They
require a light, fertile soil for their best development. Seeds can be
planted in hills three feet apart each way, placing three or four seeds
in each hill. Poles must be provided for them to climb on and these
should be in place before the seeds are planted. They can also be
planted and trained on a trellis, as described in Chapter X.

Bush beans of the string type are less affected by cold than the
preceding, but are not very hardy in this respect. They may be planted
as soon as danger of frost is past if the ground is not too cold and
wet. The distance between the rows should be about eighteen inches, the
plants standing from three to four inches apart in the rows. Bush beans
will grow in a variety of soils ranging from those of a sandy nature to
clay loams, but they grow best in sandy loam. Shell beans of the
Improved Navy type (pea-beans) are especially adapted for planting in
sandy soils.

Bush Lima beans require the same kind of soil as the pole beans, and
should be planted at the same time. Make the rows two feet apart, with
the plants from six to nine inches apart in the row.

The following are good varieties. Of the dwarf, wax-podded kinds
_Rust-proof Golden Wax_ and _Burpee’s Kidney_ are desirable.

_Bountiful_, a flat-podded type, and _Valentine_, a round-podded kind,
are good examples of dwarf, green snap-beans.

In the pole beans we have _Golden Carmine_ and _Golden Cluster_, both
wax-pods, and _Kentucky Wonder_, an excellent, green snap-bean and also
suitable for providing dry-shell beans.

Of beans that are grown for their seeds the following may be noted:
_Dwarf Horticultural_ (can also be used as a snap-bean), _Improved
Navy_, and _White Marrow_.

The Limas are represented by two forms, the dwarf and the climbing
kinds. Good dwarf Limas are _Burpee’s Improved_, and _Fordhook_. For
planting in the Northern states, _Leviathan_, which is a quick-maturing
variety, is very suitable. This and _King of the Garden_, a very
productive kind, are pole, or climbing, Limas.

Beets are one of the hardy vegetables which can be planted as soon as
the ground has been prepared in the spring. There are two distinct kinds
of beets—those which have a globular or flat root, and those with a
long, tapering root. The latter are of slower growth than the round
kinds, and are very suitable for winter storage, but their cultivation
should not be attempted unless the soil is deep and of a sandy nature.
The globe beets are the best for the home gardener. For the first
planting a quick-maturing kind, such as _Crosby’s Egyptian_, should be
chosen. For later plantings _Detroit Dark Red_ is suitable, and this is
a good variety to plant toward the end of June or early July to form
roots suitable for winter storage. Beets can be planted in rows from
twelve to eighteen inches apart. After the seedlings have reached a
height of two or three inches they should be thinned out to stand four
inches apart in the row. If desired, these thinnings may be taken up
carefully, so as not to break the roots, and transplanted in another
part of the garden. Another plan is to defer thinning until the plants
are from four to six inches in height, and then use the thinnings as
“greens.” Beets will grow in almost any soil, but the best crops are
produced on sandy loams.

Cabbage may be grown as an early crop, to mature around June or July, or
as a late crop, to mature in the fall.

The early crop is usually produced from seeds sown in a greenhouse or
hotbed in February or early March, the young plants being set out in
April. They require plenty of room for development and should be planted
so as to stand from eighteen inches to two feet apart in the rows, the
rows being two and one-half to three feet apart. _Early Jersey
Wakefield_ is the variety commonly grown for an early crop.

Seeds for the late crop can be sown in May. If sown outdoors, a plot of
rich, sandy soil (a square yard will produce an ample supply of
seedlings for most home gardens) should be chosen. If the plot has been
limed a short time previous it is an advantage, as an alkaline soil
lessens the liability to club root, a disease which prevents proper
development of the cabbage. The resultant seedlings should be set out in
July. As late cabbages are stronger growers and form larger heads than
the early kinds, they should be given more room—three feet between the
rows and two feet apart in the rows. A standard variety for late
planting is _Flat Dutch_.

Cabbages will succeed in a variety of soils, but to get best results
heavy applications of decayed stable manure should be incorporated with
the soil before planting. Surface dressings of nitrate of soda are also
beneficial.

Carrot.—This crop can be planted any time after the ground is in
condition in the spring up to July, which is a suitable time to sow
seeds for the crop designed for winter storage. The quick-maturing
kinds, such as _Early Scarlet Horn_, should be sown first, choosing the
warmest position in the garden. These will be ready for use in a short
time, when they may be harvested and the ground used for another crop.
For later crops _Danver’s Half-long_ may be used. Carrot seed should be
sown in rows a foot or fifteen inches apart and one-half inch deep. The
early varieties should be thinned to stand about two inches apart, while
the main crop needs about four inches between each plant. Some people
defer the thinning of their carrots until they are of sufficient size
for the table. “Baby” carrots are one of the most delicious of
vegetables when they are properly cooked, far preferable to the roots
that have been allowed to mature. While this plan has great advantages,
the carrots left behind do not attain so great a size as would be the
case if thinning had been attended to earlier.

A deep, well-cultivated soil is the best for this crop. In heavy soils
that have not been deeply worked, the short-rooted kinds, such as
_Ox-heart_, should be planted.

Cauliflower.—The cultivation of cauliflower is substantially the same
as that of cabbage. It is a cool-weather crop, and not much success is
likely to be obtained if attempts are made to mature it during hot
weather. For this reason it is either planted early, or as late as
possible consistent with the prospects of maturing the crop. It requires
a light, rich soil. When the heads begin to form, it is advisable to
bend the outside leaves over and fasten them in such a way that the head
is shaded from the sun. Cauliflower is emphatically not a crop for the
novice.

Celery.—There are two distinct kinds of celery—the so-called
“self-blanching” varieties, and the green-leaf kinds. The former are the
earliest to mature, but are not to be compared for flavor and tenderness
with the latter.

Seed of the early kinds, of which _White Plume_ is an example, is sown
in February in a greenhouse or hotbed. The young plants should be
transplanted once or twice, either in shallow boxes filled with earth or
in the open ground, before the plants are set out where they are to
mature, in May or June. Celery naturally forms a long “tap root” with
few fibers. The object of the successive transplantings is to check this
“tap root” and promote the formation of a mass of fibrous feeding-roots.
The plants are placed in single or double rows thirty inches or three
feet apart, and from four to six inches apart in the rows. When they
attain sufficient size they are blanched by placing boards, a foot wide
and as long as can conveniently be handled, on either side of the row.
Other methods of blanching are by slipping a drain-pipe over each plant
or by wrapping around them a collar made of stout paper and tying it in
place with twine.

Seed of late celery is sown about the same time as the early kinds, or a
few weeks later, and the procedure is the same up until planting-time,
which is early in July. Late celery is of stronger growth than the early
varieties and needs more room for its development. The plants should be
set in rows three and a half to four feet apart, and six inches apart in
the rows. In some sections it is customary to dig a trench six inches or
more deep and plant the celery in this. By this means watering is
facilitated, and it is easier to blanch the celery later on. This method
is not advisable when the good soil is shallow, as it results in the
roots being placed in the infertile subsoil. Blanching of late celery is
usually effected by mounding the stalks with earth dug from between the
rows. Two persons can most advantageously perform this operation, one
holding the stalks together so that the soil does not fall into the
heart, the other mounding up the soil and patting it into position with
the back of a spade.

It is not worth while to attempt to grow celery unless a rich, moist
soil is available.

Good varieties of “self-blanching” celery are _White Plume_ and _Golden
Self-blanching_. Among the best of the “green-leaf” kinds are _Giant
Pascal_ and _Winter Queen_. The latter variety has a splendid flavor and
keeps well into the winter.

Chard.—One of the easiest to grow and most productive of the pot herbs
is Swiss chard, “silver beet” or “leaf beet” as it is sometimes called.
The seeds should be sown in rows about eighteen inches apart. When the
plants are about four inches high they can be thinned so as to stand six
inches apart and the thinnings used as “greens.” Later on alternate
plants should be taken out, so that finally each plant is a foot away
from the next. After this stage is arrived at the chard should be picked
by pulling off the outside leaves.

There are two varieties listed in the catalogues. One, _Lucullus_, has
crumpled leaves and very broad, thick, white midribs. This is the
variety that should be grown when it is desired to cook and serve the
midribs separately, after the fashion of asparagus.

Swiss chard is a form of beet which does not produce edible roots.
Nitrate of soda, as recommended for kohlrabi, is an excellent fertilizer
for this crop.

Corn, the most delectable of all vegetables, should receive the
attention of all home gardeners who have sufficient room and a fairly
rich soil. This is a vegetable the flavor of which rapidly deteriorates
after the ears have been removed from the plant; therefore the store
article can never be as good as the home-grown kind.

The hill and drill methods of planting each have their vehement
advocates. Good crops can be obtained either way, but the drill method
is probably best for the small garden. The seeds are planted in drills
two inches deep, dropping two or three seeds at every foot. When they
germinate, all but the strongest plant should be pulled up from each
group. The rows can be two and a half feet apart for the small-growing
kinds like _Golden Bantam_, and three feet for the larger varieties such
as _Stowell’s Evergreen_.

When the hill system of cultivation is adopted, five or six seeds are
planted in spaces two and a half or three feet apart each way. The young
plants are thinned out to stand three or four to a hill.

Corn needs to be frequently hoed to get best results.

Several methods may be adopted in order to insure a succession of corn
for the table. A quick-maturing variety may be planted at intervals of
three weeks up to the middle of July, or, early, midseason, and late
varieties may be planted at the same time in May or June.

The removal of the side shoots which appear in the axils of the leaves
at the base of the plant should be attended to. This is known as
“suckering.” It causes the vigor of the plant to be concentrated in the
production of ears instead of being frittered away on side shoots or
“suckers” which will never amount to anything.

Corn should not be planted until the soil has warmed up and danger of
frost is past. It is permissible, however, to take a chance with a few
rows by sowing early, in the hope that they will come through all
right—say about the end of April or beginning of May in those sections
which possess a climate similar to that of New York.

Cucumbers are a crop that requires a fair amount of room for proper
development. They should be planted in hills five feet apart each way,
with four or five plants in each hill; or in rows five feet apart, with
the plants standing about one foot apart in the rows. The seeds should
not be planted outdoors until all danger of frost is past. An early crop
can be obtained by raising the plants in a greenhouse by sowing the
seeds early in berry-boxes and transplanting outdoors when the weather
is warm enough. It is a good plan, when planting outdoors, to sow the
seeds rather thickly, about ten seeds to a hill, so as to get a good
stand and lessen the risk of losing the plants by insect attacks.

The soil most suitable for cucumbers is a sandy loam that has been well
enriched with decayed stable manure. They will succeed admirably on
newly broken sod land.

The best cucumbers for outdoor planting are those belonging to the
“white spine” type, of which _Davis Perfect_ is a good example. For
supplying small cucumbers for pickling, _Fordhook Pickling_ is one of
the best varieties to grow.

Egg-plant is a tropical plant which will not mature its fruits in the
Northern states unless its season of growth is lengthened by starting
the plants in a greenhouse or hotbed. It is very susceptible to cold and
it is scarcely safe to set the young plants outdoors until June in the
latitude of New York. Egg-plant requires a sunny position and a warm,
light, fertile soil. It can be planted in rows two and a half to three
feet apart, two feet being allowed between the plants in the rows.
_Black Beauty_ is a standard variety. _Early Long Purple_ is a
quick-maturing kind.

Kale.—The cultivation of kale is practically that of late cabbage. It
is an extremely hardy vegetable and will stand a great deal of frost.

Kohlrabi is another member of the cabbage group. It is desirable to
mature it quickly, as slow-grown plants are woody and inedible. This
quick growth is effected by planting in rich soil and by giving
top-dressings of nitrate of soda at the rate of one ounce to ten feet of
row. The swollen stems should be eaten when they are about two inches in
diameter. _Early Vienna_, either white or purple top, is a good variety.
The seeds may be sown in the spring just as soon as the ground can be
worked, in rows from fifteen to eighteen inches apart. When the young
plants are large enough they are thinned to stand six inches apart in
the rows; if so desired, the thinnings may be used as “greens.”

Lettuce, the most important salad crop, requires a rich, sandy soil. It
is seldom that it will “head” properly in city backyards, because of
unsuitable soil and other adverse conditions. Lettuce is a cool-weather
crop, and during the hot days of summer the greatest difficulty is
experienced in growing it. There are several different types. The
loose-leaf kinds, those that do not form a head, are the easiest to
grow. The other forms are the Romaine, or Cos, which makes a columnar
head, and the ordinary kind, or cabbage lettuce.

The seeds should be planted shallowly in rows a foot or eighteen inches
apart, and afterward the young plants must be thinned to stand ten or
twelve inches apart in the row. A row twenty feet long is enough to
plant at one sowing. Other plantings should be made at intervals of two
or three weeks, so as to provide a succession. During hot weather the
plants are benefited by being shaded with cheese-cloth screens. These
can be conveniently made by tacking cheese-cloth on lath frames of
suitable size, which should be supported on stakes driven into the
ground.

Quick growth is essential to obtain crisp, well-flavored lettuce. This
can partially be brought about by the use of nitrate of soda, as
recommended for kohlrabi. Avoid getting any of the nitrate on the leaves
of the plants, as it will burn them.

Good varieties of lettuce are _May King_ and _Hanson_, belonging to the
cabbage-head type; _Grand Rapids_, a loose-leaf variety; and _Paris
White Cos_.

In cities sparrows are frequently troublesome to growers of lettuce, as
they are fond of picking off the leaves of the young plants. Protection
is effected by stretching several strands of strong thread a few inches
above the rows. The sparrows become very suspicious of an arrangement of
this kind, and it is usually efficacious in keeping them away from the
plants.

Muskmelon.—The cultivation of this crop is very much like that of
cucumber. Muskmelons are rather more susceptible to cold than the
latter, and in consequence the soil and air must be warm before they are
planted. The soil must be well drained or they will not succeed. When
they have to be planted on land that is cold and poorly drained it is a
good plan to plant them on ridges or mounds, about two feet across,
raised six inches or so above the general level. This assists the soil
in warming up and insures better drainage. A layer of decayed manure
about three inches thick, buried in the hills where the plants are to
grow, greatly helps this crop and others of a similar nature, such as
cucumbers, squash, and pumpkin. Frequent cultivation of the surface soil
is necessary to stimulate growth, keep down weeds, and conserve
moisture, when the plants are young. Good varieties of muskmelon are
_Emerald Gem_, a small or salmon-fleshed form, and _Rocky Ford_ and
_Hackensack_, which are of medium size with green flesh.

Okra.—The cultivation of okra is very similar to that of corn, although
otherwise they have nothing else in common. It succeeds best in a sandy,
well-fertilized loam.

Onion.—There are two ways of producing a crop of onions—from “sets”
and from seed. “Sets” are small onions produced by sowing seed very
thickly in rather poor soil and allowing the plants to mature as they
stand. This results in a crop of small bulbs which are stored over the
winter and sold the following spring as onion “sets.” There are two
methods of raising onions from seed. The plants may be obtained by
sowing the seed in a greenhouse in February, transplanting the seedlings
to the open ground in April. The procedure most commonly followed,
however, is to plant the seeds in rows a foot apart, in the position
where they are to mature, as early as possible in the spring. When the
young plants appear they are thinned to four inches apart. If the
seedlings are left until they are the thickness of a lead-pencil they
may be pulled and used as a salad in the form of bunch onions.

A crop can be produced earlier by the use of “sets.” These are planted
in furrows two inches deep, spacing them two inches apart. The soil is
then drawn over them and firmed. After some growth has been made,
alternate plants may be pulled out and used as salad, leaving the
remainder to mature.

Thorough preparation of the soil is essential to achieve success in
growing onions. It should be dug up as deeply as possible, thoroughly
pulverized, and afterward compacted by rolling with a garden roller or
by tramping. Onions succeed best on soil which is fairly retentive of
moisture and rich in nitrogen. Top-dressings of hen or sheep manure, or
of nitrate of soda, are beneficial to this crop. Remember what has been
said previously with regard to taking care not to apply too much of any
of these fertilizers. Weeding is a very important operation in
connection with onion-growing, and some of it, when the weeds are close
to or in the rows, has to be done by hand. If the weeds are allowed to
obtain a headway the crop will suffer greatly in consequence.

In wet seasons, and when planted in rich, retentive soils, the bulbs
sometimes fail to mature at the proper time. When they show signs of
growing too late in the fall, it is customary to go over the plot and
break over the tops. This can be done by dragging a board over the
onion-bed, or, if the plot is a small one, it may be done by hand. This
process arrests growth and causes the bulbs to mature so that they are
suitable for winter storage. Immature bulbs will not keep properly.

Standard varieties of onion are _Yellow Danvers_ and _Southport Globe_,
which can be obtained in red, white, and yellow forms. _Prize-taker_ is
a very large, mild onion which succeeds best when started in a
greenhouse.

Parsley succeeds best in a clay loam soil that has been well fertilized
with stable manure. The seeds are slow to germinate and it is frequently
four or five weeks before the young plants show themselves above the
ground. Growth may be hastened by soaking the seeds in tepid water for
twenty-four hours before sowing them. They should be planted in rows a
foot apart and the young plants thinned to stand six inches apart.
_Champion Moss Curled_ is a good variety.

Parsnip.—A long season is required for the development of large roots.
The seeds should be sown in April in rows from fifteen to eighteen
inches apart, afterward thinning the seedlings so that they stand six
inches apart. The seeds are slow in germinating and it is a good plan to
sow a few seeds of radish in the drill with them. The radishes germinate
quickly and serve to break the surface crust and to mark the row so that
cultivation may be performed close to the row without disturbing the
parsnip seeds. The radishes are mature and can be pulled and used for
the table by the time the parsnips have appeared above the ground.

A deep, loamy soil is most suited for the production of parsnips. In a
shallow soil the roots are likely to be stunted and misshapen. The
following method of producing extra-large and well-shaped roots is
sometimes used by exhibitors of vegetables. Holes about two feet deep
and three inches in diameter at the top are made in the ground with a
crowbar at intervals of about nine inches. These holes are filled with
sifted fertile earth, and three or four seeds planted in each. When the
seedlings appear, all but the strongest are pulled out. This method is
only to be recommended when it is desired to walk off with the prize for
the best parsnips at the county fair or the town vegetable show. _Hollow
Crown_ is a good variety.

Peas are essentially a cool-weather crop, and they especially resent
hot, dry conditions at the root. For this reason the seeds should be
planted just as soon as the ground is workable in the spring. The dwarf
varieties can be planted in double rows about six inches apart, leaving
a space of eighteen inches or two feet between each double row. The tall
varieties, which need support of some kind, may be planted in the same
way, but a space varying from three to five feet must be allowed between
the rows, according to the height of the variety planted. The taller the
variety, the greater is the necessity for ample space between the rows.

It is said to be possible to produce a crop of peas in the fall by
sowing the seeds in August, but the writer has never seen much success
attained with a crop at this season; at any rate, not in the vicinity of
New York. For a late crop of peas it is advisable to dig a trench from
six to eight inches deep and sow the seeds in this, covering them with
two inches of soil, as usual. Water them thoroughly if the weather is
dry. As the plants grow the earth should be gradually drawn into the
trench until it is filled up to the surrounding level. This system is
adopted so that the roots may be well down in the earth and thus
protected from the hot rays of the sun. This is also a good method to
adopt for late spring plantings of peas.

A fairly fertile, loamy soil, well drained, but of a retentive nature,
is most suited to peas.

_First of All_, thirty inches high, is a good variety of the
smooth-seeded type of pea. This type does not possess such a good flavor
as the wrinkled-seeded kinds, but the seeds are not likely to rot if
planted in cold, wet soil. _Nott’s Excelsior_ is an excellent dwarf
variety of the wrinkled-seed type. Of the tall kinds, _Alderman_, five
feet in height, _Gradus_, thirty inches, and _Champion of England_, five
feet, are to be recommended.

Peppers require very much the same conditions as tomatoes and egg-plant,
except that they may be planted somewhat closer together. The rows
should be from eighteen inches to two feet apart, with the plants spaced
from one to two feet apart in the rows. _Bull Nose_ and _Chinese Giant_
are good examples of the mild, sweet kinds, with _Golden Queen_ to give
color variation in the salad made from them. _Long Red Cayenne_ and _Red
Chili_ should be chosen if the peppery varieties are desired.

Potato.—The largest crops of potatoes are produced in cool, moist,
climates such as are found in Great Britain, parts of Europe, and, in
the United States, in Maine and Michigan.

The soils best suited for potatoes are fertile, rather sandy loams which
should be fairly retentive of moisture. A soil of this nature which has
been heavily fertilized with barn-yard manure the preceding year may be
considered ideal for potato culture. The use of barn-yard manure,
particularly if it is fresh, is inadvisable if the soil contains a good
proportion of humus and is in good physical condition. It is claimed
that the practice of using barn-yard manure the current season causes
the crop to be more susceptible to attacks of potato scab. Many of the
largest growers of potatoes refrain from fertilizing directly with
barn-yard manure, but rely instead on the use of commercial fertilizers.
These may be applied broadcast over the field in the spring, after the
soil has been plowed, and harrowed in. If only a small quantity of
fertilizer is available, it is preferable to apply it by spreading it in
the furrows, but thoroughly mixing it in the soil before the potatoes
are planted. The fertilizer obtainable from most seedsmen under the name
of “potato manure” can safely be used in the furrows at the rate of five
pounds to a plot of four hundred square feet.

“Seed” potatoes should consist of medium-sized tubers, Northern grown,
and free from disease. Although whole potatoes may be planted, the usual
practice is to cut them into pieces, each piece containing two or three
“eyes,” or buds. When cutting the potatoes for sets make each piece as
“chunky” as possible so that there is a good-sized piece of potato for
the “eyes” to draw upon for their food supply until they have formed a
root system of their own.

There are two methods of planting potatoes—in hills and in furrows or
rows. In the hill system of planting, the plants are spaced from two to
three feet apart either way, the distance being dependent on the vigor
of the variety. When planted in furrows the rows are spaced from two to
three feet apart and the sets placed from twelve to eighteen inches
apart in the rows. The early varieties may be planted about four inches
deep, and the late varieties about six inches.

When the shoots appear above the ground the surface soil should be
cultivated to conserve moisture and to keep down weeds. Later in the
season when the tubers are being formed it is customary to hill them up
with earth so as to cover the tubers and prevent “greening,” and also to
assist in keeping the roots cool.

The potato is particularly susceptible to environmental conditions. A
variety that may be an excellent cropper in one section may be an utter
failure in another. It is thus difficult to recommend any particular
variety. The best plan for those who are to attempt the cultivation of
potatoes is to make inquiry in the neighborhood with a view to finding
the variety that is most successful in that locality.

The following are standard varieties that are widely grown: early
varieties—_Irish Cobbler_, _Early Rose_, _Early Ohio_; main-crop
varieties—_Carman No. 1_, _Green Mountain_, and _Rural New-Yorker_.

Pumpkins will succeed under practically the same conditions as outlined
for cucumber and melon. They are also subject to the same insect pests.
This crop is frequently grown in the corn-patch, in hills about eight
feet apart each way, planting five or six seeds to a hill.

Radishes are only palatable when they have been grown very quickly. If
they are slow in coming to maturity the product is pithy and worthless.

A light, rich soil is most suited to the production of radishes. The
seeds should be sown in rows nine inches or a foot apart and the
seedlings thinned to about two inches. It does not pay to transplant
radishes. Five or six feet of row is sufficient to plant at one time,
securing a succession by planting other batches at intervals of about
ten days. Radishes are usually not in great demand during the summer
months, as the home grower has been surfeited by his spring crop. Those
who are so fond of radishes that they want them throughout the whole
season should plant _White Strasburg_ or _Icicle_ to mature during the
hot weather, and _Cardinal Globe_, _Round Red Forcing_, or _French
Breakfast_ for an early crop.

_Winter radishes_, which form very large roots and may be stored by the
same methods adopted for beets and carrots, are usually sown about the
end of July or beginning of August. They need more space in which to
mature—about eighteen inches between the rows and six inches in the
rows.

Rutabaga.—See Turnip.

Salsify or _Vegetable Oyster_ is a vegetable that is coming into more
general use. Seeds are sown early in the spring on deeply broken ground
in rows fifteen inches apart, and the plants thinned to three inches.
The roots are dug in the fall and stored like beets, or they may be left
in the ground and dug when required for use, if the weather permits.

Spinach is a cool-weather crop that requires a light soil heavily
manured with decayed stable manure for best results. The seeds should be
planted in very early spring or in September, in rows fifteen inches
apart, and the plants thinned to stand four inches apart. Nitrate of
soda as recommended for kohlrabi is good for this crop.

Spinach (New Zealand).—Although called spinach, this is an entirely
different plant and belongs to another family. It luxuriates during hot
weather and will supply the table plentifully with “greens” throughout
the summer. Seeds should be planted during April or May in rows two feet
apart, the plants later being thinned to one foot. When the plants
attain a foot in height picking may begin, using the tender shoot-tips,
or leaves, as required. The thinnings, of course, are also available for
cooking.

Squash.—Cultivate the same as cucumber. The bush varieties should be
planted four feet apart each way, and the vining kinds from six to eight
feet.

There are several different types of squash. The summer kinds are
represented by the _Pattypan_ and _Crookneck_ types, and the winter
varieties by the _Hubbard_.

They are subject to much the same insect pests and diseases as the
cucumber and muskmelon.

Sweet Potatoes are not very well adapted for Northern gardens, although
they are grown to a considerable extent in parts of New Jersey.

They succeed best in a rich, sandy soil. The “sets” are usually planted
on slightly raised, broad ridges about four feet apart. They are spaced
from twelve to eighteen inches apart along the ridges.

The production of “sets” is usually effected by placing small potatoes
in a hotbed and covering them with sand. This causes them to sprout, and
when the shoots are six or eight inches in length they are pulled off
with roots attached and planted as described.

_Yellow Jersey_ is a good variety for Northern planting.

Swiss Chard.—See under Chard.

Tomato.—This plant adapts itself to a great variety of soils, and will
succeed almost anywhere if it receives warmth and sunshine.

It is seldom worth while for any one without greenhouse facilities,
unless he wishes to have the experience, to raise tomatoes from seed.
Young plants can be obtained at a low cost at planting-time from
seedsmen who have every convenience for raising them cheaply.

The distance apart between the plants when they are set out in the
garden depends on the method of training adopted. The truck farmers and
market gardeners seldom go to the trouble of staking their plants. They
are simply set out in the field three or four feet apart each way and
allowed to grow naturally. This results in the spoiling of some of the
fruit through coming in contact with the soil.

The home gardener can usually afford the time and trouble required to
stake his tomatoes, and receives his reward in the shape of more fruit
of better quality.

One method of training is to set out the plants a foot apart in rows
three feet apart. If this scheme is adopted each plant must be supplied
with a stout stake to which it is tied, and the plant must be restricted
to a single stem. This last is effected by pinching out the side shoots
with thumb and finger as soon as they are formed. Avoid taking off the
flowering shoots or you will have no fruit.

Another method is to set the plants three feet by two feet, and support
them as described in Chapter X. In this case it is advisable to prune
out the thin, spindly shoots which frequently congregate in the centers
of the plants. This causes the vigor of the plant to be concentrated in
the strong, fruiting shoots, admits light and air, resulting in better
ripened tomatoes.

They can also be trained on the south side of the house, supporting them
with tape or cloth passed around the shoots and fastened to the wall
with tacks.

Favorite tomatoes are _Chalk’s Early Jewel_ for an early crop, _Stone_
and _Ponderosa_ for main crop. In small gardens _Dwarf Stone_ can be
used to advantage.

Turnip is a hardy crop well suited for early spring or late fall
cultivation. For the early crop such varieties as _Snowball_ or _Early
White Milan_ should be planted. The seed may be sown as soon as the
ground is prepared in the spring, in rows a foot apart. When they are
large enough the young plants must be thinned out to stand about four
inches apart.

_Yellow Globe_, _Golden Ball_, or the white strap-leaf kinds may be sown
for fall use. They are cultivated in the same way as the preceding
except that the seeds are sown in July or August.

_Rutabaga turnips_ grow much larger than the preceding, require more
room, and a longer period for development. They can be sown in May or
June in rows two feet apart, and the young plants thinned out to stand
about ten inches apart in the rows. Treated in this way, they will form
large roots suitable for winter storage.

Turnips succeed best in a loamy soil in which there has been
incorporated a liberal supply of well-decayed stable manure.

Watermelon.—These plants succeed under much the same conditions, and
need the same treatment as muskmelon. They are rampant growers and the
hills should be spaced about eight feet apart each way. They are,
therefore, not adapted for cultivation in very small gardens.

The striped cucumber-beetle is also partial to watermelon.

For planting in Northern gardens, quick-maturing varieties such as
_Cole’s Early_ and _Fordhook_ should be planted.



                                  XIV
                         HARVESTING AND STORING


The flavor and tenderness of many vegetables depend in a large measure
on their being harvested at the proper time. The picking of string-beans
should be early, constant, and methodical, partly because old beans are
stringy and unpalatable and partly because, if picking is neglected and
the plants allowed to form seed, production ceases. Peas should always
be picked just as soon as the pods are well filled, before the seeds
commence to harden. Their flavor deteriorates if they are picked more
than an hour or two before they are needed for the table. The same
remarks apply to sweet corn. There is an old saying that “the pot should
be boiling before the ears are picked from the plant.”

Great care should be taken in harvesting beets. If the roots are bruised
or broken, or if the leaves are cut off too close to the root, the color
of the beets, one of their greatest attractions, will be lost in
cooking. The crispness of salad plants—celery, lettuce, radish, and
onion—is enhanced if they are gathered early in the morning and stood
in water in a shady, cool place until they are required for use. Such
crops as Brussells sprouts, kale, celery, and parsnips are considered to
be improved in flavor after they have been slightly frozen. The fruits
of tomato, watermelon, and muskmelon should be allowed to ripen on the
plants. Muskmelons are ripe when the fruit parts readily from the stem
on being lifted in the hand.

Proper harvesting is a prime necessity if vegetables are to be
successfully stored for winter use. Bruised, broken or diseased
vegetables should always be rejected, as decay is almost certain to take
place when they are stored, and this is likely to spread to the sound
vegetables.

A cellar with an earthen floor, well ventilated and frost-proof, in
which a temperature of from 40° to 45° Fahr. can be maintained, forms a
splendid storage-place for potatoes, the majority of the root crops, and
some of the leaf vegetables. If there is a furnace in the cellar which
raises the temperature too much, the coolness required may be obtained
by partitioning off part of the cellar, preferably in a corner
containing a window, so that ventilation may be secured.

Quite a number of vegetables can be successfully stored in the open by
burying them in pits or trenches and covering with straw, salt hay, and
earth. Some of the disadvantages of this method are the inaccessibility
of the vegetables when the weather is severe, and the difficulty of
looking them over occasionally so that diseased and decayed specimens
may be removed. When storing vegetables in this way it is important that
the whole of the covering should not be put on at one time, as this
endangers the whole pile of vegetables through the possibility of
heating.


                     _Root, Tuber, and Bulb Crops_

Artichoke (Jerusalem).—The tubers of this plant are unaffected by frost
and may be allowed to remain in the ground all winter. In those sections
where the frost penetrates the ground deeply a supply sufficient for use
during the winter should be dug in the fall and stored in sand in a cool
cellar.

Parsnip, Horseradish, and Salsify may be treated in the same way as the
preceding.

Beets should be carefully dug up after the first frost and handled
gently to avoid breaking or bruising them. Cut off the leaves about an
inch above the roots and pack them with moist sand or earth in boxes in
a cool cellar. Covering the roots in this way maintains their freshness
and prevents shriveling.

Carrots.—In the fall large numbers of fibrous roots are produced on the
sides of the large tap-root. These roots spoil the symmetry of the
carrots and impair their flavor. The crop should therefore be harvested
before these fibrous roots form. Observation of the roots is the only
way of determining the proper time to dig them up. In other respects
they are stored the same as beets.

Potatoes for winter use should be dug on a dry day as soon as possible
after the tops have died down. Leave them lying on the surface of the
ground for a few hours, so that they may dry properly. (It is
inadvisable to allow them to be exposed to the light for too long a
period, as it will cause the tubers to become green and unfit for use.)
They can then be gathered up and placed in boxes or barrels in a cool,
frost-proof cellar, but not exposed to the light. All diseased or
injured tubers should be laid aside for immediate use, provided they are
not too far gone, in which case they may be boiled and fed to pigs or
chickens, or destroyed by burning, so as to avoid the possibility of
spreading disease.

Potatoes may also be stored outdoors in sections where the winters are
not too severe. A high-lying sandy piece of ground should be chosen on
which to make the “pit.” Dig out the soil for a depth of about six
inches and line the excavation with three inches of straw. Place the
potatoes in a pile on this and cover with a similar thickness of straw
or hay. Place over this a layer of earth three inches thick to prevent
the straw from blowing away. Gradually increase the covering as the
weather becomes more severe, until a thickness of a foot or eighteen
inches is reached. A layer of manure over this is advisable in very cold
climates. If the pile is a large one it is important that ventilation
should be provided for. This may be accomplished by sticking a stovepipe
into the center of the pile and allowing the top to project above the
covering of earth, or by allowing a tuft of the straw that forms the
first covering to extend in the same manner. This vent-hole must be
covered with a board, a piece of oilcloth, or something similar to
prevent rain from entering.

Other vegetables that may be stored in this way are _beets, carrots,
turnips, salsify_, and _parsnips_.

Rutabagas and Turnips require to be dug up before severe frost. They can
be stored the same way as potatoes.

Sweet Potatoes are very difficult to store over the winter. The loss
through decay in storage is enormous every year, even though proper
facilities are obtainable. They need a warm, dry room and a constant
temperature. The less they are handled after being stored the better.
The best advice for those who have raised a crop of this vegetable is to
avoid loss by eating them as quickly as possible.

Onions should be properly “cured” before they are stored. This is
accomplished by harvesting them during dry, settled weather, and
allowing them to lie in windrows two or three days before bringing them
indoors. They should then be placed in a cool, airy room in slatted
crates, so that air has free access to them. If wet weather is prevalent
at harvesting-time they may be “cured” by placing them in a single layer
under cover until they are thoroughly dry. The dead leaves and loose
scales should be pulled off before storing them.


                              _Leaf Crops_

Cabbages can be stored by digging them up with some soil attached to the
roots, and packing them close together on the floor of a cool cellar.
Treated in this way, they are a rather “smelly” vegetable, and, unless
the cellar is tightly shut off from the rest of the house, likely to
cause some unpleasantness. They can be stored outside in the way
recommended for potatoes by placing them head downward in a trench or
pit.

Cauliflower.—It is possible to preserve cauliflower, for a short time
only, by digging them with roots attached and suspending them head
downward in a cool, moist cellar.

Celery can be dug in the fall and packed closely in boxes in an upright
position in a cool cellar. The more roots and soil adhering to the
plants the better the chance of success. When the soil dries out it must
be watered, but be very careful not to get any water on the leaves or
leaf-stalks. Another way of caring for celery is to dig a trench deep
enough to accommodate the plants when they are placed upright. Pack them
as tightly as possible in this and cover with boards to keep out rain.
In severe weather it will be necessary to put on an additional covering
of straw and earth.

Parsley.—In sections where the winter is not too severe parsley may be
kept green through the greater part of the winter by covering the patch
with a bottomless box, with a pane of glass for covering the top. The
box should be banked with manure or leaves, and the glass covered with
straw in very cold weather. Parsley can also be dug up, placed in
plant-pots, making the soil firm about the roots, and kept in a cool,
sunny room.


                         _Seed or Fruit Crops_

Beans.—Dry-shell beans should be allowed to stay on the plants until
the pods dry up and become yellow. They may then be gathered, and
shelled when convenient. If they are infested with weevils they should
be dry baked in a temperature of about 145° Fahr. Care must be taken not
to allow the temperature to rise above this figure, or the beans will be
roasted and spoiled. Fumigating with carbon disulphide is also an
efficacious expedient, but somewhat dangerous because of the explosive
properties of the fumigant.

Pumpkin and Winter Squash can be stored in a warm, dry room. It is
advisable to turn over the fruits selected for storing two weeks or so
before they are harvested, so that the side that has been lying on the
ground may have its rind hardened by exposure to sun and air.

                 *        *        *        *        *

Although concerned primarily with “war gardens,” the methods advocated
can be used by all vegetable growers who practise intensive cultivation.
The fundamental principles of soil management also apply equally to
flower-gardens.

The writer has found in his experience that good crops can be raised, on
what would be usually considered poor soil, by men and women who know
little of horticultural practices. Larger crops could have been produced
had they known more of the art of growing vegetables. It is to help such
people that this book has been written, from information gained during
twenty years of professional experience.

It is the earnest hope of the author that the crops raised by “war
gardeners” will be of such a size as to cause this last chapter to be
the one that is most consulted.



                                APPENDIX


                                Table I

Approximate quantities of vegetables obtainable from a row fifty feet
long. This table is based on actual yields obtained from a plot of
moderate fertility by using standard varieties of vegetables.

             Beets                 40  bunches (5 in a
                                        bunch)
             Bush beans (pods)     27  quarts
             Cabbage               25  heads
             Carrots               45  pounds
             Cauliflower           25  heads
             Corn                 100  ears
             Egg-plant            100  fruits
             Lettuce               50  heads
             Onions                20  pounds
             Parsnips              40  pounds
             Peas (pods)           20  quarts
             Potatoes               5  pecks
             Tomatoes             240  pounds


                                Table II

Approximate number of days from seed-sowing to first picking of crops.
Variation is caused by temperature and character of variety—early,
midseason, or late.

               Beans (bush)            45 to    65 days
               Beans (pole)            60  ”    80   ”
               Beets                   60  ”    80   ”
               Cabbage (early)         95  ”   120   ”
               Cabbage (late)         100  ”   130   ”
               Carrots                 75  ”   110   ”
               Cauliflower            100  ”   130   ”
               Celery                 125  ”   150   ”
               [5]Chard                60  ”    80   ”
               Corn (sweet)            60  ”   100   ”
               [5]Cucumber             60  ”    80   ”
               [5]Egg-plant           125  ”   160   ”
               Kale                   100  ”   120   ”
               Kohlrabi                60  ”    80   ”
               Lettuce                 65  ”   100   ”
               [5]Muskmelon           115  ”   140   ”
               [5]Okra                 90  ”   100   ”
               [5]Onion (seed)        130  ”   150   ”
               [5]Onion (sets)         90  ”   120   ”
                     If “sets” are planted for use as
                       bunch onions they are ready in
                       about 40 days.
               [5]Parsley              90 to   100 days
               Parsnips               125  ”   150   ”
               Peas                    45  ”    80   ”
               [5]Peppers             120  ”   150   ”
               Potato (Irish)          80  ”   140   ”
               Potato (sweet)         100  ”   130   ”
               Pumpkin                100  ”   130   ”
               Radish                  25  ”    50   ”
               Salsify                125  ”   150   ”
               Spinach                 30  ”    60   ”
               [5]Spinach New Zealand  60  ”    70   ”
               [5]Squash (summer)      60  ”    80   ”
               Squash (winter)        125  ”   130   ”
               [5]Tomato              100  ”   125   ”
               Turnip                  60  ”    80   ”

[5] Continue to bear until frost.


                               Table III

Showing the correct depth to plant seeds and the amount of space
required by the plants in and between rows.

                       Depth to     Distance        Distance between
                        plant     between rows     plants in the rows
Bean (pole)             2 in.        3-4 ft.     3-4 ft. if in hills, 9
                                                    ins. if in rows.
Bean (dwarf)            2 in.       15-18 in.           3-6 in.
Bean (dwarf Lima)       2 in.       2-2½ ft.            6-10 in.
Beet                    1 in.       15-18 in.            4 in.
Cabbage (early)         ¼ in.        2-3 ft.            1½-2 ft.
Cabbage (late)          ¼ in.         3 ft.              2 ft.
Carrot                  ½ in.       15-18 in.            4 in.
Celery                 1/8 in.      2½-5 ft.            4-6 in.
Chard                   1 in.       15-18 in.           6-12 in.
Corn                    2 in.       2½-3 ft.     2½-3 ft. if in hills,
                                                   1 ft. if in rows.
Cucumber                1 in.        4-5 ft.             15 in.
Egg-plant               ¼ in.       2½-3 ft.             2 ft.
Kale                    ¼ in.       18-24 in.           8-10 in.
Kohlrabi                ¼ in.       15-18 in.            6 in.
Lettuce                 ¼ in.         1 ft.             9-12 in.
Muskmelon               1 in.         6 ft.              18 in.
Okra                    1 in.         3 ft.              2 ft.
Onion (seed)            1 in.         1 ft.              4 in.
Onion (sets)            2 in.         1 ft.              2 in.
Parsley                 ½ in.         1 ft.             6-9 in.
Parsnip                 1 in.       15-18 in.            6 in.
Peas (dwarf)            2 in.       18-24 in.            2 in.
Peas (tall)             2 in.        4-6 ft.             3 in.
Peppers                 ¼ in.         2 ft.            12-18 in.
Potato                 4-6 in.      2½-3 ft.           12-18 in.
Radish                  ½ in.       9-12 in.             2 in.
Salsify                 1 in.       15-18 in.            2 in.
Spinach                 1 in.       12-15 in.            4 in.
Spinach New Zealand     1 in.         2 ft.              1 ft.
Squash (bush)           1 in.        3-4 ft.            3-4 ft.
Squash (vine)            1 in       7-10 ft.            7-10 ft.
Swiss Chard                  _see_ Chard.
Tomato                  ½ in.         3 ft.       1 ft. if trained to
                                                 single stem, 2-3 feet
                                                   if allowed to grow
                                                       naturally.
Turnip                  ½ in.       15-18 in.            6 in.


                                Table IV

Quantity of seeds required to plant a row one hundred feet long, and
time of planting.

                           Time to plant                   Quantity
                                                           required
   Bean (pole)             Late May or early June           ½ pint
   Bean (dwarf)            May 10 to August                 1 pint
   [6]Beet                 April to August                  2 oz.
   [6]Cabbage (early)      Feb. indoors; plants set out     1 pkt.
                           in March or April
   Cabbage late)           May; plants set out in June or   1 pkt.
                           July
   [6]Carrot               April to July                    1 oz.
   Cauliflower (early)     Treat like Cabbage               1 pkt.
   Cauliflower (late)      Treat like Cabbage               1 pkt.
   Celery                  March indoors; plants set out    1 pkt.
                           in June or July
   [6]Chard                April                            1 oz.
   Corn                    May 10 to July 10                ½ pint
   Cucumber                Late May or early June           ½ oz.
   Egg-plant               March indoors; plants set out    1 pkt.
                           early in June
   Kale,                   _see_ Cabbage (late).
   Kohlrabi                April to August                  ¼ oz.
   [6]Lettuce              April to August                  ½ oz.
   Muskmelon               Early June                       ½ oz.
   Okra                    May or June                      2 oz.
   Onion (seed)            April and May                    1 oz.
   Onion (sets)            March 15 to May 15              1 quart
   [6]Parsley              April                            ¼ oz.
   [6]Parsnip              April                            ½ oz.
   [6]Peas                 March 15 to May and August 1    1 quart
                           to 20
   Peppers                 March indoors; plants set out    1 pkt.
                           in late May or early June
   [6]Potato               April to June                    1 peck
   [6]Radish               March to September               1 oz.
   [6]Salsify              April                            1 oz.
   [6]Spinach              March and September              1 oz.
   Squash                  Late May or early June           ½ oz.
   [6]Swiss Chard,         _see_ Chard.
   Tomato                  March indoors; plants set out    1 pkt.
                           in late May or early June
   Turnip                  April, July and August           ½ oz.

[6] Are hardy vegetables, and will stand slight frost. Should be planted
as soon as the ground can be worked. Dates given are approximate and
apply in the vicinity of New York. Other localities should take into
consideration the effects of elevation and latitude.


                                THE END

                 *        *        *        *        *

Transcriber’s Notes:

A few obvious punctuation and typesetting errors have been corrected
without note. Chemicals mentioned for insect control should not be used
in modern day gardens since they are not considered to be safe.

[End of _War Gardens_ by Montague Free]





*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "War Gardens - A Pocket Guide for Home Vegetable Growers" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.



Home