Manual Of Gardening (Second Edition)
By L. H. (Liberty Hyde) Bailey

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13 chapters

17 hour read


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Abutilons; agapanthus; alstremeria; amaryllis; anemone; aralia; araucaria; auricula; azaleas; begonias; cactus; caladium; calceolaria; calla; camellias; cannas; carnations; century plants; chrysanthemums; cineraria; clematis; coleus; crocus; croton; cyclamen; dahlia; ferns; freesia; fuchsia; geranium; gladiolus; gloxinia; grevillea; hollyhocks; hyacinths; iris; lily; lily-of-the-valley; mignonette; moon-flowers; narcissus; oleander; oxalis; palms; pandanus; pansy; pelargonium; peony; phlox; primulas; rhododendrons; rose; smilax; stocks; sweet pea; swainsona; tuberose; tulips; violet; wax plant. Almond; apples; apricot; blackberry; cherry; cranberry; currant; dewberry; fig; gooseberry; grape; mulberry; nuts; orange; peach; pear; plum; quince; raspberry; strawberry; Asparagus; artichoke; artichoke; Jerusalem; bean; beet; broccoli; brussels sprouts; cabbage; carrot; cauliflower; celeriac; celery; chard; chicory; chervil; chives; collards; corn salad; corn; cress; cucumber; dandelion; egg-plant; endive; garlic; horseradish; kale; kohlrabi; leek; lettuce; mushroom; mustard; muskmelon; okra; onion; parsley; parsnip; pea; pepper; potato; radish; rhubarb; salsify; sea-kale; sorrel; spearmint; spinach; squash; sweet-potato; tomato; turnips and rutabagas; watermelon....


3 minute read

It has been my desire to reconstruct the two books, “Garden-Making” and “Practical Garden-Book”; but inasmuch as these books have found a constituency in their present form, it has seemed best to let them stand as they are and to continue their publication as long as the demand maintains itself, and to prepare a new work on gardening. This new work I now offer as “A Manual of Gardening.” It is a combination and revision of the main parts of the other two books, together with much new material and the results of the experience of ten added years. A book of this kind cannot be drawn wholly from one’s own practice, unless it is designed to have a very restricted and local application. Many of the best suggestions in such a book will have come from correspondents, questioners, and those who enjoy talking about gardens; and my situation has...


10 minute read

I. The open center. Wherever there is soil, plants grow and produce their kind, and all plants are interesting; when a person makes a choice as to what plants he shall grow in any given place, he becomes a gardener or a farmer; and if the conditions are such that he cannot make a choice, he may adopt the plants that grow there by nature, and by making the most of them may still be a gardener or a farmer in some degree. Every family, therefore, may have a garden. If there is not a foot of land, there are porches or windows. Wherever there is sunlight, plants may be made to grow; and one plant in a tin-can may be a more helpful and inspiring garden to some mind than a whole acre of lawn and flowers may be to another. The satisfaction of a garden does not depend...


2 hour read

Having now discussed the most essential elements of gardening, we may give attention to such minor features as the actual way in which a satisfying garden is to be planned and executed. Speaking broadly, a person will get from a garden what he puts into it; and it is of the first importance, therefore, that a clear conception of the work be formulated at the outset. I do not mean to say that the garden will always turn out what it was desired that it should be; but the failure to turn out properly is usually some fault in the first plan or some neglect in execution. Sometimes the disappointment in an ornamental garden is a result of confusion of ideas as to what a garden is for. One of my friends was greatly disappointed on returning to his garden early in September to find that it was not so...


2 hour read

The general lay-out of a small home property having now been considered, we may discuss the practical operations of executing the plan. It is not intended in this chapter to discuss the general question of how to handle the soil: that discussion comes in Chapter IV; nor in detail how to handle plants: that occurs in Chapters V to X; but the subjects of grading, laying out of walks and drives, executing the border plantings, and the making of lawns, may be briefly considered. Of course the instructions given in a book, however complete, are very inadequate and unsatisfactory as compared with the advice of a good experienced person. It is not always possible to find such a person, however; and it is no little satisfaction to the homemaker if he can feel that he can handle the work himself, even at the expense of some mistakes. The grading ....


2 hour read

Almost any land contains enough food for the growing of good crops, but the food elements may be chemically unavailable, or there may be insufficient water to dissolve them. It is too long a story to explain at this place,—the philosophy of tillage and of enriching the land,—and the reader who desires to make excursions into this delightful subject should consult King on “The Soil,” Roberts on “The Fertility of the Land,” and recent writings of many kinds. The reader must accept my word for it that tilling the land renders it productive. I must call my reader’s attention to the fact that this book is on the making of gardens,—on the planning and the doing of the work from the year’s end to end,—not on the appreciation of a completed garden. I want the reader to know that a garden is not worth having unless he makes it with...


2 hour read

There is a knack in the successful handling of plants that it is impossible to describe in print. All persons can improve their practice through diligent reading of useful gardening literature, but no amount of reading and advice will make a good gardener of a person who does not love to dig in a garden or who does not have a care for plants just because they are plants. To grow a plant well, one must learn its natural habits. Some persons learn this as if by intuition, acquiring the knowledge from close discrimination of the behavior of the plant. Often they are themselves unconscious of this knack of knowing what will make the plant to thrive; but it is not at all necessary to have such an intuitive judgment to enable one to be even more than a fairly good gardener. Diligent attention to the plant’s habits and requirements,...


2 hour read

Plants are preyed on by insects and fungi; and they are subject to various kinds of disease that, for the most part, are not yet understood. They are often injured also by mice and rabbits (p. 144), by moles, dogs, cats, and chickens; and fruit is eaten by birds. Moles may be troublesome on sandy land; they heave the ground by their burrowing and may often be killed by stamping when the burrow is being raised; there are mole traps that are more or less successful. Dogs and cats work injury mostly by walking across newly made gardens or lying in them. These animals, as well as chickens, should be kept within their proper place (p. 160); or if they roam at will, the garden must be inclosed in a tight wire fence or the beds protected by brush laid closely over them. The insects and diseases that attack garden...


2 hour read

In choosing the kinds of plants for the main grounds the gardener should carefully distinguish two categories,—those plants to compose the structural masses and design of the place, and those that are to be used for mere ornament. The chief merits to be sought in the former are good foliage, pleasing form and habit, shades of green, and color of winter twigs. The merits of the latter lie chiefly in flowers or colored foliage. Each of these categories should be again divided. Of plants for the main design, there might be discussion of trees for a windbreak, of trees for shade; of shrubs for screens or heavy plantings, for the lighter side plantings, and for incidental masses about the buildings or on the lawn; and perhaps also of vines for porches and arbors, of evergreens, of hedges, and of the heavier herbaceous masses. Plants used for mere embellishment or ornamentation...


2 hour read

In the preceding chapter advice is given that applies to groups or classes of plants, and many lists are inserted to guide the grower in his choice or at least to suggest to him the kinds of things that may be grown for certain purposes or conditions. It now remains to give instructions on the growing of particular kinds or species of plants. It is impossible to include instructions on any great number of plants in a book like this. It is assumed that the user of this book already knows how to grow the familiar or easily handled plants; if he does not, a book is not likely to help him very much. In this chapter all such things as the common annuals and perennials and shrubs and trees are omitted. If the reader is in doubt about any of these, or desires information concerning them, he will have...


3 hour read

Fruits should be counted a regular part of the home premises. There are few residence plots so small that fruits of some kind cannot be grown. If there is no opportunity for planting the orchard fruits by themselves at regular intervals, there are still boundaries to the place, and along these boundaries and scattered in the border masses, apples, pears, and other fruits may be planted. It is not to be expected that fruits will thrive as well in these places as in well-tilled orchards, but something can be done, and the results are often very satisfactory. Along a back fence or walk, one may plant a row or two of currants, gooseberries, or blackberries, or he may make a trellis of grapes. If there are no trees near the front or back of the border, the fruit plants may be placed close together in the row and the greatest...


3 hour read

A vegetable garden is admittedly a part of any home place that has a good rear area. A purchased vegetable is never the same as one taken from a man’s own soil and representing his own effort and solicitude. [Illustration: Fig. 291. Cultivating the backache.] It is essential to any satisfaction in vegetable-growing that the soil be rich and thoroughly subdued and fined. The plantation should also be so arranged that the tilling can be done with wheel tools, and, where the space will allow it, with horse tools. The old-time garden bed (Fig. 291) consumes time and labor, wastes moisture, and is more trouble and expense than it is worth. [Illustration: Fig. 292. Tracy’s plan for a kitchen-garden.] The rows of vegetables should be as long and continuous as possible, to allow of tillage with wheel tools. If it is not desired to grow a full row of any...


2 hour read

The author assumes that a person who is intelligent enough to make a garden, does not need an arbitrary calendar of operations. Too exact advice is misleading and unpractical. Most of the older gardening books were arranged wholly on the calendar method—giving specific directions for each month in the year. We have now accumulated sufficient fact and experience, however, to enable us to state principles; and these principles can be applied anywhere,—when supplemented by good judgment,—whereas mere rules are arbitrary and generally useless for any other condition than that for which they were specifically made. The regions of gardening experience have expanded enormously within the past fifty and seventy-five years. Seasons and conditions vary so much in different years and different places that no hard and fast advice can be given for the performing of gardening operations, yet brief hints for the proper work of the various months may be...