Home Vegetable Gardening
By F. F. (Frederick Frye) Rockwell

More books about Vegetable gardening

100 chapters

6 hour read

HOME VEGETABLE GARDENING

14 minute read

Author of Around the Year in the Garden , Gardening Indoors and Under Glass , The Key to the Land, etc., etc....

PREFACE

57 minute read

With some, the home vegetable garden is a hobby; with others, especially in these days of high prices, a great help. There are many in both classes whose experience in gardening has been restricted within very narrow bounds, and whose present spare time for gardening is limited. It is as "first aid" to such persons, who want to do practical, efficient gardening, and do it with the least possible fuss and loss of time, that this book is written. In his own experience the author has found that garden books, while seldom lacking in information, often do not present it in the clearest possible way. It has been his aim to make the present volume first of all practical, and in addition to that, though comprehensive, yet simple and concise. If it helps to make the way of the home gardener more clear and definite, its purpose will have been...

CHAPTER I

4 minute read

Formerly it was the custom for gardeners to invest their labors and achievements with a mystery and secrecy which might well have discouraged any amateur from trespassing upon such difficult ground. "Trade secrets" in either flower or vegetable growing were acquired by the apprentice only through practice and observation, and in turn jealously guarded by him until passed on to some younger brother in the profession. Every garden operation was made to seem a wonderful and difficult undertaking. Now, all that has changed. In fact the pendulum has swung, as it usually does, to the other extreme. Often, if you are a beginner, you have been flatteringly told in print that you could from the beginning do just as well as the experienced gardener. My garden friend, it cannot, as a usual thing, be done. Of course, it may happen and sometimes does. You might , being a trusting lamb,...

CHAPTER II

4 minute read

There are more reasons to-day than ever before why the owner of a small place should have his, or her, own vegetable garden. The days of home weaving, home cheese-making, home meat-packing, are gone. With a thousand and one other things that used to be made or done at home, they have left the fireside and followed the factory chimney. These things could be turned over to machinery. The growing of vegetables cannot be so disposed of. Garden tools have been improved, but they are still the same old one-man affairs—doing one thing, one row at a time. Labor is still the big factor—and that, taken in combination with the cost of transporting and handling such perishable stuff as garden produce, explains why the home gardener can grow his own vegetables at less expense than he can buy them . That is a good fact to remember. But after all,...

EXPOSURE

41 minute read

But the thing of first importance to consider in picking out the spot that is to yield you happiness and delicious vegetables all summer, or even for many years, is the exposure. Pick out the "earliest" spot you can find—a plot sloping a little to the south or east, that seems to catch sunshine early and hold it late, and that seems to be out of the direct path of the chilling north and northeast winds. If a building, or even an old fence, protects it from this direction, your garden will be helped along wonderfully, for an early start is a great big factor toward success. If it is not already protected, a board fence, or a hedge of some low-growing shrubs or young evergreens, will add very greatly to its usefulness. The importance of having such a protection or shelter is altogether underestimated by the amateur....

THE SOIL

2 minute read

The chances are that you will not find a spot of ideal garden soil ready for use anywhere upon your place. But all except the very worst of soils can be brought up to a very high degree of productiveness— especially such small areas as home vegetable gardens require. Large tracts of soil that are almost pure sand, and others so heavy and mucky that for centuries they lay uncultivated, have frequently been brought, in the course of only a few years, to where they yield annually tremendous crops on a commercial basis. So do not be discouraged about your soil. Proper treatment of it is much more important, and a garden- patch of average run-down,—or "never-brought-up" soil—will produce much more for the energetic and careful gardener than the richest spot will grow under average methods of cultivation. The ideal garden soil is a "rich, sandy loam." And the fact...

DRAINAGE

36 minute read

There is, however, one other thing you must look out for in selecting your garden site, and that is drainage. Dig down eight or twelve inches after you have picked out a favorable spot, and examine the sub-soil. This is the second strata, usually of different texture and color from the rich surface soil, and harder than it. If you find a sandy or gravelly bed, no matter how yellow and poor it looks, you have chosen the right spot. But if it be a stiff, heavy clay, especially a blue clay, you will have either to drain it or be content with a very late garden—that is, unless you are at the top of a knoll or on a slope. Chapter VII contains further suggestions in regard to this problem....

SOIL ANTECEDENTS

33 minute read

There was a further reason for, mentioning that strip of onion ground. It is a very practical illustration of what last year's handling of the soil means to this year's garden. If you can pick out a spot, even if it is not the most desirable in other ways, that has been well enriched or cultivated for a year or two previous, take that for this year's garden. And in the meantime have the spot on which you intend to make your permanent vegetable garden thoroughly "fitted," and grow there this year a crop of potatoes or sweet corn, as suggested in Chapter IX. Then next year you will have conditions just right to give your vegetables a great start....

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

20 minute read

There are other things of minor importance but worth considering, such as the shape of your garden plot, for instance. The more nearly rectangular, the more convenient it will be to work and the more easily kept clean and neat. Have it large enough, or at least open on two ends, so that a horse can be used in plowing and harrowing. And if by any means you can have it within reach of an adequate supply of water, that will be a tremendous help in seasons of protracted drought. Then again, if you have ground enough, lay off two plots so that you can take advantage of the practice of rotation, alternating grass, potatoes or corn with the vegetable garden. Of course it is possible to practice crop rotation to some extent within the limits of even the small vegetable garden, but it will be much better, if possible,...

CHECK LIST

1 minute read

Jan. 1st—Send for catalogues. Make planting plan and table. Order seeds. Feb. 1st—Inside: cabbage, cauliflower, first sowing. Onions for plants. Feb. 15th—Inside: lettuce, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, beets. March 1st—Inside: lettuce, celery, tomato (early). March 15th—Inside: lettuce, tomato (main), eggplant, pepper, lima beans, cucumber, squash; sprout potatoes in sand. April 1st—Inside: cauliflower (on sods), muskmelon, watermelon, corn. Outside: (seed-bed) celery, cabbage, lettuce. Onions, carrots, smooth peas, spinach, beets, chard, parsnip, turnip, radish. Lettuce, cabbage (plants). May 1st—Beans, corn, spinach, lettuce, radish. May 15th—Beans, limas, muskmelon, watermelon, summer squash, peas, potatoes, lettuce, radish, tomato (early), corn, limas, melon, cucumber and squash (plants). Pole-lima, beets, corn, kale, winter squash, pumpkin, lettuce, radish. June 1st—Beans, carrots, corn, cucumber, peas, summer spinach, summer lettuce, radish, egg-plant, pepper, tomato (main plants). June 15th—Beans, corn, peas, turnip, summer lettuce, radish, late cabbage, and tomato plants. July 1st—Beans, endive, kale, lettuce, radish, winter cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts...

PLANTING TABLE

10 minute read

                                    DEPTH TO -DISTANCE APART- VEGETABLE PLANT[1] SOW—INs. SEEDS[2] ROWS...

I. CROPS REMAINING ENTIRE SEASON

7 minute read

Asparagus, seed April-May 1 2-4 in. 15 in. Asparagus, plants April 4 1 ft. 3 ft. Bean, pole May 15-June 10 2 3 ft. 3 ft. Bean, lima May 20-June 10 2 3 ft. 3 ft. Beet, late April-August 2 3-4 in. 15 in. Carrot, late May-July 1/2-1 2-3 in. 15 in. Corn, late May 20-July 10 2 3 ft. 4 ft. Cucumber May 10-July 15 1 4 ft. 4 ft. Egg-plant, plants June 1-20 .. 2 ft. 30 in. Leek April .. 2-4 in. 15 in. Melon, musk May 15-June 15 1 4 ft. 4 ft. Melon, water May 15-June 15 1 6-8 ft. 6-8 ft. Onion April 1/2-1 2-4 in. 15 in. Okra May 15-June 15 1/2-1 2 ft. 3 ft. Parsley[4] April-May 1/2 4-6 in. 1 ft. Parsnip April 1/2-1 3-5 in. 18 in. Pepper, seed June 1st 1/2 3-6 in. 15 in. Pepper, plants June 1-20...

PLANTING TABLE

10 minute read

                                    DEPTH TO -DISTANCE APART- VEGETABLE PLANT[1] SOW—INs. SEEDS[3] ROWS...

II. CROPS FOR SUCCESSION PLANTINGS

4 minute read

Bean, dwarf May 5-Aug 15 2 2-4 in. 1-1/2-2 ft. Kohlrabi[4] April-July 1/2 - 1 6-12 in. 1-1/2-2 ft. Lettuce[4] April-August 1/2 1 ft. 1-1-1/2 ft. Peas, smooth April 1-Aug 1 2-3 2-4 in. 3 ft. Peas, wrinkled April 10-July 15 2-3 2-4 in. 3-4 ft. Radish April 1-Sept 1 1/2 2-3 in. 1 ft. Spinach April-Sept 15 1 3-5 in. 18 in. Turnip April-Sept 1/2-1 4-6 in. 15 in. Beet, early April-June 2 3-4 in. 15 in. Broccoli, early[4] April 1/2-1 1-1/2 ft. 2 ft. Borecole[4] April 1/2-1 2 ft. 2-1/2 ft. Brussels sprouts[4] April 1/2-1 1-1/2 ft. 2 ft. Cabbage, early[4] April 1/2-1 1-1/2 ft. 2 ft. Carrot April 1/2-1 2-3 in. 15 in. Cauliflower[4] April 1/2-1 1-1/2 ft. 2 ft. Com, early May 10-20 2 3 ft. 3-4 ft. Onion sets April-May 15 1-2 2-4 in. 15 in. Peas April 1-May 1 2 2-4 in. 3 ft....

II. CROPS FOR SUCCESSION PLANTINGS

1 minute read

—————————+————-+—————————————————————                   |SEED FOR |                   | 50 FT. | VEGETABLE | ROW | VARIETIES —————————+————-+————————————————————— Bean, dwarf | 1 pt. | Red Valentine Burpee's Greenpod,                   | | Improved Refugee, Brittle Wax,                   | | Rust-proof Golden Wax, Burpee's                   | | White Wax Kohlrabi | 1/4 oz | White Vienna Lettuce | 50 | Mignonette, Grand Rapids, May King,                   | | Big Boston, New York, Deacon, Cos,                   | | Paris White Peas, smooth | 1 pt | American Wonder Peas, wrinkled | 1 pt | Gradus, Boston Unrivaled, Quite Content Radish | 1/2 oz. | Rapid Red, Crimson Globe, Chinese Spinach | 1/2 oz. | Swiss Chard Beet, Long Season, Victoria Turnip | 1/3 oz. | White Milan, Petrowski, Golden Ball...

III. CROPS TO BE FOLLOWED BY OTHERS

1 minute read

Beet, early | 1 oz. | Edmund's Early, Early Model Broccoli, early | 35 | Early White French Borecole | 25 | Dwarf Scotch Curled Brussels sprouts | 35 | Dalkeith, Danish Prize Cabbage, early | 35 | Wakefield, Glory of Enkhuisen,                   | | Early Summer, Succession, Savoy Carrot | 1/2 oz. | Golden Ball, Early Scarlet Horn Cauliflower | 35 | Burpee's Best Early, Snowball, Sea-foam                   | | Dry Weather Corn, early | 1/3 pt. | Golden Bantam, Peep o' Day, Cory Onion sets | 2 pt. | Peas | 1 pt. | Crops in Sec. II....

IV. CROPS THAT MAY FOLLOW OTHERS

1 minute read

Beet, late | 1 oz. | Crimson Globe Borecole | 25 | Dwarf Scotch Curled Broccoli | 25 | Early White French Brussels sprouts | 35 | Dalkeith, Danish Prize Cabbage, late | 25 | Succession, Danish Ballhead Drumhead Cauliflower | 25 | As above [Savoy, Mammoth Rock (red)] Celery, seed | 1 oz. | White Plume, Golden Self-blanching,                   | | Winter Queen Celery, plant | 100 | White Plume, Golden Self-blanching,                   | | Winter Queen Endive | 1/2 oz. | Broad-Leaved Batavian, Giant Fringed Peas, late | 1 pt. | Gradus Crops in Sec. II....

REFERENCE NOTES FROM THE TABLES

4 minute read

1 In the vicinity of New York City. Each 100 miles north or south will make a difference of 5 to 7 days later or earlier. 2 This is for sowing the seed. It will take three to six weeks before plants are ready. Hence the advantage of using the seed-bed. For instance, you can start your late cabbage about June 15th, to follow the first crop of peas, which should be cleared off by the 10th of July. 3 Distances given are those at which the growing plants should stand, after thinning. Seed in drills should be sown several times as thick. 4 Best started in seed-bed, and afterward transplanted; but may be sown when wanted and afterward thinned to the best plants. It may seem to the reader that it is all very well to make a garden with a pencil, but that the work of transferring it...

TOOLS FOR PREPARING THE SEED-BED

6 minute read

The spade or spading-fork will be followed by the hoe, or hook, and the iron rake; and the plow by one or more of the various types of harrow. The best type of hoe for use after the spade is the wide, deep-bladed type. In most soils, however, this work may be done more expeditiously with the hook or prong-hoe (see illustration). With this the soil can be thoroughly pulverized to a depth of several inches. In using either, be careful not to pull up manure or trash turned under by the spade, as all such material if left covered will quickly rot away in the soil and furnish the best sort of plant food. I should think that our energetic manufactures would make a prong-hoe with heavy wide blades, like those of the spading-fork, but I have never seen such an implement, either in use or advertised. What the...

FOR FIGHTING PLANT ENEMIES

5 minute read

The devices and implements used for fighting plant enemies are of two sorts:—(1) those used to afford mechanical protection to the plants; (2) those used to apply insecticides and fungicides. Of the first the most useful is the covered frame. It consists usually of a wooden box, some eighteen inches to two feet square and about eight high, covered with glass, protecting cloth, mosquito netting or mosquito wire. The first two coverings have, of course, the additional advantage of retaining heat and protecting from cold, making it possible by their use to plant earlier than is otherwise safe. They are used extensively in getting an extra early and safe start with cucumbers, melons and the other vine vegetables. Simpler devices for protecting newly-set plants, such as tomatoes or cabbage, from the cut-worm, are stiff, tin, cardboard or tar paper collars, which are made several inches high and large enough to...

THE THEORY OF MANURING

2 minute read

The food of plants consists of chemical elements, or rather, of numerous substances which contain these elements in greater or less degrees. There is not room here to go into the interesting science of this matter. It is evident, however, as we have already seen that the plants must get their food from the soil, that there are but two sources for such food: it must either be in the soil already, or we must put it there. The practice of adding plant food to the soil is what is called manuring. The only three of the chemical elements mentioned which we need consider are: nitrogen, phosphoric acid, and potash. The average soil contains large amounts of all three, but they are for the most part in forms which are not available and, therefore, to that extent, may be at once dismissed from our consideration. (The non-available plant foods already...

VARIOUS MANURES

4 minute read

The terms "manure" and "fertilizer" are used somewhat ambiguously and interchangeably. Using the former term in a broad sense—as meaning any substance containing available plant food applied to the soil, we may say that manure is of two kinds: organic, such as stable manure, or decayed vegetable matter; and inorganic, such as potash salts, phosphatic rock and commercial mixed fertilizers. In a general way the term "fertilizer" applies to these inorganic manures, and I shall use it in this sense through the following text. Between the organic manures, or "natural" manures as they are often called, and fertilizers there is a very important difference which should never be lost sight of. In theory, and as a chemical fact too, a bag of fertilizer may contain twice the available plant food of a ton of well rotted manure; but out of a hundred practical gardeners ninety- nine—and probably one more—would prefer...

VALUE OF GREEN MANURING

1 minute read

Another source of organic manures, altogether too little appreciated, is what is termed "green manuring"—the plowing under of growing crops to enrich the land. Even in the home garden this system should be taken advantage of whenever possible. In farm practice, clover is the most valuable crop to use for this purpose, but on account of the length of time necessary to grow it, it is useful for the vegetable garden only when there is sufficient room to have clover growing on, say, one half- acre plot, while the garden occupies, for two years, another half-acre; and then changing the two about. This system will give an ideal garden soil, especially where it is necessary to rely for the most part upon chemical fertilizers. There are, however, four crops valuable for green-manuring the garden, even where the same spot must be occupied year after year: rye, field corn, field peas...

CHEMICAL FERTILIZERS

1 minute read

I am half tempted to omit entirely any discussion of chemical fertilizers: to give a list of them, tell how to apply them, and let the why and wherefore go. It is, however, such an important subject, and the home gardener will so frequently have to rely almost entirely upon their use, that probably it will be best to explain the subject as thoroughly as I can do it in very limited space. I shall try to give the theory of scientific chemical manuring in one paragraph. We have already seen that the soil contains within itself some available plant food. We can determine by chemical analysis the exact amounts of the various plant foods—nitrogen, phosphoric acid, potash, etc.—which a crop of any vegetable will remove from the soil. The idea in scientific chemical manuring is to add to the available plant foods already in the soil just enough more...

VARIOUS FERTILIZERS

2 minute read

What are termed the raw materials from which the universally known "mixed fertilizers" are made up, are organic or inorganic substances which contain nitrogen, phosphoric acid or potash in fairly definite amounts. Some of these can be used to advantage by themselves. Those practical for use by the home gardener, I mention. The special uses to which they are adapted will be mentioned in Part Two, under the vegetables for which they are valuable. GROUND BONE is rich in phosphate and lasts a long time; what is called "raw bone" is the best "Bone dust" or "bone flour" is finely pulverized; it will produce quick results, but does not last as long as the coarser forms. COTTON-SEED MEAL is one of the best nitrogenous fertilizers for garden crops. It is safer than nitrate of soda in the hands of the inexperienced gardener, and decays very quickly in the soil. PERUVIAN...

MIXED FERTILIZERS

1 minute read

Mixed fertilizers are of innumerable brands, and for sale everywhere. It is little use to pay attention to the claims made for them. Even where the analysis is guaranteed, the ordinary gardener has no way of knowing that the contents of his few bags are what they are labeled. The best you can do, however, is to buy on the basis of analysis, not of price per ton—usually the more you pay per bag, the cheaper you are really buying your actual plant food. Send to the Experiment Station in your State and ask for the last bulletin on fertilizer values. It will give a list of the brands sold throughout the State, the retail price per ton, and the actual value of plant foods contained in a ton. Then buy the brand in which you will apparently get the greatest value. For garden crops the mixed fertilizer you use...

HOME MIXING

53 minute read

If you look over the Experiment Station report mentioned above, you will notice that what are called "home mixtures" almost invariably show a higher value compared to the cost than any regular brand. In some cases the difference is fifty per cent. This means that you can buy the raw chemicals and make up your own mixtures cheaper than you can buy mixed fertilizers. More than that, it means you will have purer mixtures. More than that, it means you will have on hand the materials for giving your crops the special feeding mentioned above. The idea widely prevails, thanks largely to the fertilizer companies, that home mixing cannot be practically done, especially upon a small scale. From both information and personal experience I know the contrary to be the case. With a tight floor or platform, a square-pointed shovel and a coarse wire screen, there is absolutely nothing impractical...

APPLYING MANURES

9 minute read

The matter of properly applying manure, even on the small garden, is also of importance. In amount, from fifteen to twenty-five cords, or 60 to 100 cartloads, will not be too much; although if fertilizers are used to help out, the manure may be decreased in proportion. If possible, take it from the heap in which it has been rotting, and spread evenly over the soil immediately before plowing. If actively fermenting, it will lose by being exposed to wind and sun. If green, or in cold weather, it may be spread and left until plowing is done. When plowing, it should be completely covered under, or it will give all kinds of trouble in sowing and cultivating. Fertilizers should be applied, where used to supplement manure or in place of it, at from 500 to 1500 pounds per acre, according to grade and other conditions. It is sown on...

PREPARING THE SOIL

36 minute read

Unless your garden be a very small one indeed, it will pay to have it plowed rather than dug up by hand. If necessary, arrange the surrounding fence as suggested in the accompanying diagram, to make possible the use of a horse for plowing and harrowing. (As suggested in the chapter on Implements), if there is not room for a team, the one- horse plow, spring-tooth and spike-tooth cultivators, can do the work in very small spaces. If however the breaking up of the garden must be done by hand, have it done deeply—down to the sub-soil, or as deep as the spading-fork will go. And have it done thoroughly, every spadeful turned completely and every inch dug. It is hard work, but it must not be slighted....

PLOWING

1 minute read

If the garden can be plowed in the fall, by all means have it done. If it is in sod, it must be done at that time if good results are to be secured the following season. In this latter case, plow a shallow furrow four to six inches deep and turning flat, as early as possible in the fall, turning under a coating of horse manure, or dressing of lime, and then going over it with a smoothing-harrow or the short blades of the Acme, to fill in all crevices. The object of the plowing is to get the sods rotted thoroughly before the following spring; then apply manure and plow deeply, six to twelve inches, according to the soil. Where the old garden is to be plowed up, if there has not been time to get in one of the cover crops suggested elsewhere in this text, plow...

HARROWING

38 minute read

That is the first step toward the preparation of a successful garden out of the way. Next comes the harrowing; if the soil after plowing is at all stiff and lumpy, get a disc-harrow if you can; on clayey soils a "cut-a-way" (see Implements). On the average garden soil, however, the Acme will do the work of pulverizing in fine shape. If, even after harrowing, the soil remains lumpy, have the man who is doing your work get a horse-roller somewhere, and go over the piece with that. The roller should be used also on very sandy and light soils, after the first harrowing (or after the plowing, if the land turns over mellow) to compact it. To follow the first harrowing (or the roller) use a smoothing-harrow, the Acme set shallow, or a "brush."...

FINING.

1 minute read

This treatment will reduce to a minimum the labor of finally preparing the seed- or plant-bed with the iron rake (or, on large gardens, with the Meeker harrow). After the finishing touches, the soil should be left so even and smooth that you can with difficulty bring yourself to step on it. Get it "like a table"—and then you are ready to begin gardening. Whatever implements are used, do not forget the great importance of making the soil thoroughly fine, not only at the surface, but as far as possible below Even under the necessity of repetition. I want to emphasize this again by stating the four chief benefits, of this thorough pulverization: First, it adds materially in making the plant foods in the soil available for use; secondly, it induces the growing plants to root deeply, and thus to a greater extent to escape the drying influence of the...

CHAPTER VIII.

8 minute read

This beautifully prepared garden spot—or rather the plant food in it— is to be transformed into good things for your table, through the ever wonderful agency of plant growth. The thread of life inhering in the tiniest seed, in the smallest plant, is the magic wand that may transmute the soil's dull metal into the gold of flower and fruit. All the thought, care and expense described in the preceding chapters are but to get ready for the two things from which your garden is to spring, in ways so deeply hidden that centuries of the closest observation have failed to reveal their inner workings. Those two are seeds and plants. (The sticklers for technical exactness will here take exception, calling our attention to tubers, bulbs, corns and numerous other taverns where plant life puts up over night, between growth and growth, but for our present purpose we need not...

PREPARING THE SOIL

1 minute read

All this may seem like a lot of trouble to go to for such a small thing as a packet of seed. In reality it is not nearly so much trouble as it sounds, and then, too, this is for the first season only, a well built frame lasting for years—forever, if you want to take a little more time and make it of concrete instead of boards. But now that the frame is made, how to use it is the next question. The first consideration must be the soil. It should be rich, light, friable. There are some garden loams that will do well just as taken up, but as a rule better results will be obtained where the soil is made up specially as follows: rotted sods two parts, old rotted manure one part, and enough coarse sand added to make the mixture fine and crumbly, so that,...

SOWING THE SEED

12 minute read

Having now our frames provided and our soil composed properly and good strong tested seed on hand, we are prepared to go about the business of growing our plants with a practical certainty of success—a much more comfortable feeling than if, because something or other had been but half done, we must anxiously await results and the chances of having the work we had put into the thing go, after all, for nothing. The seed may be sown either directly in the soil or in "flats." Flats are made as follows: Get from your grocer a number of cracker boxes, with the tops. Saw the boxes lengthwise into sections, a few two inches deep and the rest three. One box will make four or five such sections, for two of which bottoms will be furnished by the bottom and top of the original box. Another box of the same size,...

STARTING PLANTS OUTSIDE

2 minute read

Much of the above is applicable also to the starting of plants out-of- doors, for second and for succession crops, such as celery and late cabbage. Select for the outside seed-bed the most thoroughly pulverized spot to be found, enriched and lightened with fine manure. Mark off rows a foot apart, and to the necessary depth; sow the seed evenly; firm in if the soil is dry, cover lightly with the back of the rake and roll or smooth with the back of the spade, or of a hoe, along the drills. The seed, according to variety, will begin to push through in from four to twenty days. At all times keep the seed-bed clear of weeds; and keep the soil between the rows constantly cultivated. Not unless it is very dry will watering be necessary, but if it is required, give a thorough soaking toward evening. As the cabbage,...

WHEN TO SOW OUTDOORS

1 minute read

Sow from the end of March to the beginning of May, or when plum and peach trees bloom, the following: Beet Cabbage Carrot Cauliflower Celery Endive Kale Kohlrabi Lettuce Onions Parsley Parsnip Peas Radish Spinach Turnip Water-cress Sow from the beginning of May to the middle of June, or when apple trees bloom, the following: Beans Corn Cucumber Melon, musk Melon, water Okra Pumpkin Squash Tomato Getting the seed to sprout, however, is only the first step in the game; they must be provided with the means of immediately beginning to grow. This means that they should not be left to germinate in loosely packed soil, full of air spaces, ready to dry out at the first opportunity, and to let the tiny seed roots be shriveled up and die. The soil should touch the seed—be pressed close about it on all sides, so that the first tiny tap root...

METHODS OF PLANTING

1 minute read

The seed-bed, as it is called, is the surface prepared to receive the seed, whether for a patch of radishes or an acre of onions. For crops to be sown directly where they are to go, the chapter on Preparation of the Soil takes us to this point, and as stated at the conclusion of that chapter, the final preparation of the bed should be made only immediately prior to its use. Having, then, good seeds on hand and the soil properly prepared to receive them, the only problem remaining is what way they shall be put in. The different habits of growth characteristic of different plants make it patent at the outset that there must be different methods of planting, for very evidently a cabbage, which occupies but three or four square feet of space and stays in one place to make a head, will not require the same...

SOWING THE SEED

2 minute read

If one observes the suggestions as to temperature just given, and the following precautions in placing the seed within the soil, failure of good seed to germinate is practically impossible. In the first place, plant on a freshly prepared surface , always just before a rain if possible, except in the case of very small seeds, when just after a rain will be better. If the soil is at all dry, or likely to be followed by a spell of hot, dry weather, always firm by using the back of the hoe for small seed, or the ball of the foot for larger ones, such as peas, beans or corn, to press the seed firmly and evenly into the soil before covering. Then when the soil is covered in over the seed, firm along the top of the row very lightly, just enough to mark it and hold the soil...

SETTING OUT PLANTS

1 minute read

The reader has not forgotten, of course, that plants as well as seeds must go into the well managed garden. We have already mentioned the hardening-off process to which they must be subjected before going into the open ground. The flats should also be given a copious watering several hours, or the day before, setting out. All being ready, with your rows made straight and marked off at the correct distances, lift out the plants with a trowel or transplanting fork, and tear or cut them apart with a knife, keeping as much soil as possible with each ball of roots. Distribute them at their positions, but not so many at a time that any will dry out before you get them in place. Get down on your hands and knees, and, straddling the row, proceed to "set." With the left hand, or a trowel or dibber if the ground...

AFTER-CARE

6 minute read

Transplanting should be done whenever possible in dull weather or before rain—or even during it if you really would deserve the name of gardener! If it must be done when the sun continues strong, shade the plants from, say, ten to three o'clock, for a day or two, with half sheets of old newspapers held in tent-shaped position over the plants by stones or earth. If it is necessary to give water, do it toward evening. If the plants have been properly set, however, only extreme circumstances will render this necessary. Keep a sharp lookout for cut-worms, maggots or other enemies described in Chapter XIII. And above all, CULTIVATE. Never let the soil become crusted, even if there is not a weed in sight. Keep the soil loosened up, for that will keep things growing. Before taking up the garden vegetables individually, I shall outline the general practice of cultivation,...

ROTATION OF CROPS

1 minute read

There is another thing to be considered in making each vegetable do its best, and that is crop rotation, or the following of any vegetable with a different sort at the next planting. With some vegetables, such as cabbage, this is almost imperative, and practically all are helped by it. Even onions, which are popularly supposed to be the proving exception to the rule, are healthier, and do as well after some other crop, provided the soil is as finely pulverized and rich as a previous crop of onions would leave it. Here are the fundamental rules of crop rotation: (1) Crops of the same vegetable, or vegetables of the same family (such as turnips and cabbage) should not follow each other. (2) Vegetables that feed near the surface, like corn, should follow deep-rooting crops. (3) Vines or leaf crops should follow root crops. (4) Quick-growing crops should follow those...

ROOT CROPS

7 minute read

Under the first section we will consider:      Beet Carrot Kohlrabi      Leek Onion Parsnip      Potato Salsify Turnip Any of these may be sown in April, in drills (with the exception of potatoes) twelve to eighteen inches apart. The soil must be rich and finely worked, in order that the roots will be even and smooth—in poor or ill-prepared soil they are likely to be misshapen, or "sprangling." They must be thinned out to the proper distances, which should be done if possible on a cloudy day, hand-weeded as often as may be required, and given clean and frequent cultivation. All, with the exception of leeks and potatoes, are given level culture. All will be greatly benefited, when about one-third grown, by a top dressing of nitrate of soda. Beet: —Beets do best in a rather light soil. Those for earliest use are started under glass (as described previously) and set out...

LEAF CROPS

17 minute read

Under leaf crops are considered also those of which the stalk or the flower heads form the edible portion, such as celery and cauliflower.    Asparagus Brussels Sprouts Cabbage    Cauliflower Celery Endive    Kale Lettuce Parsley    Rhubarb Spinach The quality of all these will depend largely upon growing them rapidly and without check from the seed-bed to the table. They are all great nitrogen-consumers and therefore take kindly to liberal supplies of yard manure, which is high in nitrogen. For celery the manure is best applied to some preceding crop, such as early cabbage. The others will take it "straight." Most of these plants are best started under glass or in the seed-bed and transplanted later to permanent positions. They will all be helped greatly by a top-dressing of nitrate of soda, worked into the soil as soon as they have become established. This, if it fails to produce the dark green...

THE FRUIT CROPS

10 minute read

Under this heading are included: Bean, dwarf Bean, pole Corn Peas Cucumber Egg-plant Melon, musk Melon, water Okra Pepper Pumpkins Squash Tomato Most of these vegetables differ from both the preceding groups in two important ways. First of all, the soil should not be made too rich, especially in nitrogenous manures, such as strong fresh yard-manure; although light dressings of nitrate of soda are often of great help in giving them a quick start—as when setting out in the field. Second, they are warm-weather loving plants, and nothing is gained by attempting to sow or set out the plants until all danger from late frosts is over, and the ground is well warmed up. (Peas, of course, are an exception to this rule, and to some extent the early beans.) Third, they require much more room and are grown for the most part in hills. Light, warm, "quick," sandy to...

CHAPTER XII

20 minute read

It is my purpose in this chapter to assist the gardener of limited experience to select varieties sure to give satisfaction. To the man or woman planning a garden for the first time there is no one thing more confusing than the selection of the best varieties. This in spite of the fact that catalogues should be, and might be, a great help instead of almost an actual hindrance. I suppose that seedsmen consider extravagance in catalogues, both in material and language, necessary, or they would not go to the limit in expense for printing and mailing, as they do. But from the point of view of the gardener, and especially of the beginner, it is to be regretted that we cannot have the plain unvarnished truth about varieties, for surely the good ones are good enough to use up all the legitimate adjectives upon which seedsmen would care to...

REMEDIES

11 minute read

Mechanical Number                Covered boxes……….. 1                Collars…………….. 2                Cards………………. 3 Destructive                Hand-picking………… 4                Kerosene emulsion……. 5                Whale-oil soap………. 6                Miscible oils……….. 7                Tobacco dust………… 8                Carbolic acid emulsion.. 9                Corrosive sublimate…. 10                Bordeaux mixture……. 11 Poisonous                Paris green………… 12                Arsenate of lead……. 13                Hellebore………….. 14 It will be of some assistance, particularly as regards quick reference, to give the following table, which shows at a glance the method of fighting any enemy, the presence of which is known or anticipated. While this may seem quite a formidable list, in practice many of these pests will not appear, and under ordinary circumstances the following six remedies out of those mentioned will suffice to keep them all in check, if used in time: Covered boxes, hand-picking, kerosene emulsion, tobacco dust, Bordeaux mixture, arsenate of lead. ENEMY | ATTACKING | CLASS | REMEDY ——————————|——————————————|————|———- Aphis (Plant-lice) | Cabbage and other plants, | b |...

MECHANICAL REMEDIES

28 minute read

1.— Covered boxes: —These are usually made of half-inch stuff, about eight inches high and covered with mosquito netting, wire or "protecting cloth"—the latter having the extra advantage of holding warmth over night. 2.— Collars are made of old cans with the bottoms removed, cardboard or tarred paper, large enough to go over the plant and an inch or so into the ground. 3.— Cards are cut and fitted close around the stem and for an inch or so upon the ground around it, to prevent maggots going down the stem to the root. Not much used....

DESTRUCTIVE REMEDIES

1 minute read

4.— Hand-picking is usually very effective, and if performed as follows, not very disagreeable: Fasten a small tin can securely to a wooden handle and fill one-third full of water and kerosene; make a small wooden paddle, with one straight edge and a rather sharp point; by using this in the right hand and the pan in the left, the bugs may be quickly knocked off. Be sure to destroy all eggs when hand-picking is used. 5.— Kerosene emulsion is used in varying strengths; for method of preparing, see Chapter XVII. 6 and 7.—For use of whale-oil soap and miscible oils, see Chapter XVII. 8.— Tobacco dust: —This article varies greatly. Most sorts are next to worthless, but a few of the brands especially prepared for this work (and sold usually at $3 per hundred pounds, which will last two ordinary home gardens a whole season) are very convenient to...

POISONOUS REMEDIES

57 minute read

12.— Paris green: —This is the standard remedy for eating-bugs and worms. With a modern dusting machine it can be put on dry, early in the morning when the dew is still on. Sometimes it is mixed with plaster. For tender plants easily burned by the pure powder, and where dusting is not convenient, it is mixed with water at the rate of 1 lb. to 50 to 100 gals. and used as a spray. In mixing, make a paste of equal quantities of the powder and quicklime, and then mix thoroughly in the water. It must be kept stirred up when using. 13.— Arsenate of lead: —This has two advantages over Paris green: It will not burn the foliage and it will stay on several times as long. Use from 4 to 10 lbs. in 100 gals. of water; mix well and strain before putting in sprayer. See also...

PRECAUTIONS

1 minute read

So much for what we can do in actual hand-to-hand, or rather hand-to- mouth, conflict with the enemy. Very few remedies have ever proved entirely successful, especially on crops covering any considerable area. It will be far better, far easier and far more effective to use the following means of precaution against plant pest ravages: First, aim to have soil, food and plants that will produce a rapid, robust growth without check. Such plants are seldom attacked by any plant disease, and the foliage does not seem to be so tempting to eating- insects; besides which, of course, the plants are much better able to withstand their attack if they do come. Second, give clean, frequent culture and keep the soil busy. Do not have old weeds and refuse lying around for insects and eggs to be sheltered by. Burn all leaves, stems and other refuse from plants that have...

CHAPTER XIV

12 minute read

It is a very common thing to allow the garden vegetables not used to rot on the ground, or in it. There is a great deal of unnecessary waste in this respect, for a great many of the things so neglected may just as well be carried into winter, and will pay a very handsome dividend for the slight trouble of gathering and storing them. A good frost-proof, cool cellar is the best and most convenient place in which to store the surplus product of the home garden. But, lacking this, a room partitioned off in the furnace cellar and well ventilated, or a small empty room, preferably on the north side of the house, that can be kept below forty degrees most of the time, will serve excellently. Or, some of the most bulky vegetables, such as cabbage and the root crops, may be stored in a prepared pit...

CHAPTER XV.

7 minute read

Many a home gardener who has succeeded well with vegetables is, for some reason or other, still fearsome about trying his hand at growing his own fruit. This is all a mistake; the initial expense is very slight (fruit trees will cost but twenty-five to forty cents each, and the berry bushes only about four cents each), and the same amount of care that is demanded by vegetables, if given to fruit, will produce apples, peaches, pears and berries far superior to any that can be bought, especially in flavor. I know a doctor in New York, a specialist, who has attained prominence in his profession, and who makes a large income; he tells me that there is nothing in the city that hurts him so much as to have to pay out a nickel whenever he wants an apple. His boyhood home was on a Pennsylvania farm, where apples...

APPLES

3 minute read

Without any question, the apple is far and away the most valuable fruit, both because of its greater scope of usefulness and its longer season—the last of the winter's Russets are still juicy and firm when the first Early Harvests and Red Astrachans are tempting the "young idea" to experiment with colic. Plant but a small proportion of early varieties, for the late ones are better. Out of a dozen trees, I would put in one early, three fall, and the rest winter sorts. Among the summer apples are several deserving special mention: Yellow Transparent is the earliest. It is an old favorite and one of the most easily grown of all apples. Its color is indicated by the name, and it is a fair eating-apple and a very good cooker. Red Astrachan, another first early, is not quite so good for cooking, but is a delicious eating-apple of good...

PEARS

1 minute read

Pears are more particular than apples in the matter of being adapted to sections and soils. Submit your list to your State Experiment Station before ordering trees. Many of the standard sorts may be had where a low-growing, spreading tree is desired (for instance, quince-stock pears might be used to change places with the plums). Varieties suitable for this method are listed below. They are given approximately in the order of the ripening: Wilder: Early August, medium in size, light yellow, excellent quality. Does not rot at the core, as so many early pears are liable to do. Margaret: Oblong, greenish, yellow to dull red. Clapp Favorite: Very large, yellow pear. A great bearer and good keeper—where the children cannot get at it. Howell: A little later than the foregoing; large, bright yellow, strong-growing tree and big bearer. Duchesse d'Angouleme: Large greenish yellow, sometimes reaching huge size; will average better...

PEACHES

24 minute read

Success with peaches also will depend largely upon getting varieties adapted to climate. The white-fleshed type is the hardiest and best for eating; and the free-stones are for most purposes, especially in the home garden, more desirable than the "clings." Greensboro is the best early variety. Crawford is a universal favorite and goes well over a wide range of soil and climate. Champion is one of the best quality peaches and exceptionally hardy. Elberta, Ray, and Hague are other excellent sorts. Mayflower is the earliest sort yet introduced....

PLUMS

1 minute read

The available plums are of three classes—the natives, Europeans and Japans; the natives are the longest-lived, hardier in tree and blossom, and heavier bearers. The best early is Milton; brilliant red, yellow and juicy flesh. Wildgoose and Whitaker are good seconds. Mrs. Cleveland is a later and larger sort, of finer quality. Three late-ripening plums of the finest quality, but not such prolific yielders, are Wayland, Benson and Reed, and where there is room for only a few trees, these will be best. They will need one tree of Newman or Prairie Flower with them to assure setting of the fruit. Of the Europeans, use Reine Claude (the best), Bradshaw or Shropshire. Damson is also good. The Japanese varieties should go on high ground and be thinned, especially during their first years. My first experience with Japanese plums convinced me that I had solved the plum problem; they bore loads...

CHERRIES

2 minute read

Cherries have one advantage over the other fruits—they give quicker returns. But, as far as my experience goes, they are not as long-lived. The sour type is hardier, at least north of New Jersey, than the sweet. It will probably pay to try a few of the new and highly recommended varieties. Of the established sorts Early Richmond is a good early, to be followed by Montmorency and English Morello. Windsor is a good sweet cherry, as are also Black Tartarian, Sox, Wood and Yellow Spanish. All the varieties mentioned above are proved sorts. But the lists are being added to constantly, and where there is a novelty strongly recommended by a reliable nurseryman it will often pay to try it out—on a very small scale at first. As the pedigree and the quality of the stock you plant will have a great deal to do with the success or...

PLANTING

5 minute read

Planting can be done in either spring or fall. As a general rule, north of Philadelphia and St. Louis, spring planting will be best; south of that, fall planting. Where there is apt to be severe freezing, "heaving," caused by the alternate freezing and thawing; injury to the newly set roots from too severe cold; and, in some western sections, "sun-scald" of the bark, are three injuries which may result. If trees are planted in the fall in cold sections, a low mound of earth, six to twelve inches high, should be left during the winter about each, and leveled down in the spring. If set in the spring, where hot, dry weather is apt to follow, they should be thoroughly mulched with litter, straw or coarse manure, to preserve moisture—care being taken, however, against field mice and other rodents. The trees may either be set in their permanent positions...

SETTING

1 minute read

Standard apple trees, fully grown, will require thirty to forty-five feet of space between them each way. It takes, however, ten or twelve years after the trees are set before all of this space is needed. A system of "fillers," or inter-planting, has come into use as a result of this, which will give at least one hundred per cent, more fruit for the first ten years. Small-growing standards, standard varieties on dwarf stock, and also peaches, are used for this purpose in commercial orchards. But the principle may be applied with equally good results to the home orchard, or even to the planting of a few scattered trees. The standard dwarfs give good satisfaction as permanent fillers. Where space is very limited, or the fruit must go into the garden, they may be used in place of the standard sorts altogether. The dwarf trees are, as a rule, not...

CULTIVATION

6 minute read

The home orchard, to give the very finest quality of fruit, must be given careful and thorough cultivation. In the case of scattered trees, where it is not practicable to use a horse, this can be given by working a space four to six feet wide about each tree. Every spring the soil should be loosened up, with the cultivator or fork, as the case may be, and kept stirred during the early part of the summer. Unless the soil is rich, a fertilizer, high in potash and not too high in nitrogen, should be given in the spring. Manure and phosphate rock, as suggested above, is as good as any. In case the foliage is not a deep healthy green, apply a few handfuls of nitrate of soda, working it into the soil just before a rain, around each tree. About August 1st the cultivation should be discontinued, and...

APPLE ENEMIES

2 minute read

The insects most commonly attacking the apple are the codlin-moth, tent-caterpillar, canker-worm and borer. The codlin-moth lays its eggs on the fruit about the time of the falling of the blossoms, and the larvae when hatched eat into the young fruit and cause the ordinary wormy apples and pears. Owing to these facts, it is too late to reach the trouble by spraying after the calyx closes on the growing fruit. Keep close watch and spray immediately upon the fall of the blossoms, and repeat the spraying a week or so (not more than two) later. For spray use Paris green at the rate of 1 lb., or arsenate of lead (paste or powder, less of the latter: see accompanying directions) at the rate of 4 lbs. to 100 gallons of water, being careful to have a thorough mixture. During July, tie strips of burlap or old bags around the...

CHERRY ENEMIES

29 minute read

Sour cherries are more easily grown than the sweet varieties, and are less subject to the attacks of fruit enemies. Sweet cherries are troubled by the curculio, or fruit-worm, which attacks also peaches and plums. Cherries and plums may be sprayed, when most of the blossoms are off, with a strong arsenate of lead solution, 5 to 8 lbs. to 100 gals. water. In addition to this treatment, where the worms have once got a start, the beetles may be destroyed by spreading a sheet around and beneath the tree, and every day or so shaking or jarring them off into it, as described below....

PEACH ENEMIES

1 minute read

Do not spray peaches. For the curculio, within a few days after the flowers are off, take a large sheet of some cheap material to use as a catcher. For large orchards there is a contrivance of this sort, mounted on a wheelbarrow frame, but for the home orchard a couple of sheets laid upon the ground, or one with a slit from one side to the center, will answer. If four short, sharp-pointed stakes are fastened to the corners, and three or four stout hooks and eyes are placed to reunite the slit after the sheet is placed about the tree, the work can be more thoroughly done, especially on uneven ground. After the sheet is placed, with a stout club or mallet, padded with a heavy sack or something similar to prevent injury to the bark, give a few sharp blows, well up from the ground. This work...

PEAR ENEMIES

23 minute read

Pears are sometimes affected with a scab similar to the apple-scab, and this is combated by the same treatment—three sprayings with Bordeaux. A blight which causes the leaves suddenly to turn black and die and also kills some small branches and produces sores or wounds on large branches and trunk, offers another difficulty. Cut out and burn all affected branches and scrape out all sores. Disinfect all sores with corrosive sublimate solution—1 to 1000—or with a torch, and paint over at once....

PLUM ENEMIES

23 minute read

Plums have many enemies but fortunately they can all be effectively checked. First is the curculio, to be treated as described above. For leaf-blight—spotting and dropping off of the leaves about midsummer—spray with Bordeaux within a week or so after the falling of the blossoms. This treatment will also help to prevent fruit-rot. In addition to the spraying, however, thin out the fruit so that it does not hang thickly enough for the plums to come in contact with each other. In a well kept and well sprayed orchard black-knot is not at all likely to appear. It is very manifest wherever it starts, causing ugly, black, distorted knarls, at first on the smaller limbs. Remove and burn immediately, and keep a sharp watch for more. As this disease is supposed to be carried by the wind, see to it that no careless neighbor is supplying you with the germs....

SETTING THE PLANTS

49 minute read

In using the soil-rooted layers, it is generally more satisfactory to set them out in spring, as soon as the ground can be worked, although they are sometimes set in early fall—August or September—when the ground is in very good condition, so that a good growth can at once be made. Care should be used in transplanting. Have the bed fresh; keep the plants out of the soil as short a time as possible; set the plants in straight, and firm the soil; set just down to the crown—do not cover it. If the soil is dry, or the season late, cut off all old leaves before planting; also shorten back the roots about one-third and be sure not to crowd them when setting, for which purpose a trowel, not a dibble, should be used if the condition of the ground makes the use of any implement necessary. If so...

METHODS OF GROWING

2 minute read

I describe the three systems most valuable for the home garden: (1) the hill, (2) the matted row, and (3) the pot-layered. (1) In the hill system the plants are put in single rows, or in beds of three or four rows, the plants one foot apart and the rows, or beds, two or three feet apart. In either case each plant is kept separate, and all runners are pinched off as fast as they form, the idea being to throw all the strength into one strong crown. (2) In the matted row system the plants are set in single rows, and the runners set in the bed at five or six inches each side of the plants, and then trained lengthways of the row, this making it a foot or so wide. The runners used to make these secondary crowns must be the first ones sent out by the...

CULTIVATION

24 minute read

Whatever system is used—and each has its advocates—the strawberry bed must be kept clean, and attention given to removing the surplus runners. Cultivate frequently enough to keep a dust mulch between the rows, as advocated for garden crops. At first, after setting, the cultivation may be as deep as three or four inches, but as the roots develop and fill the ground it should be restricted to two inches at most. Where a horse is used a Planet Jr. twelve-tooth cultivator will be just the thing....

MULCHING

32 minute read

After the ground freezes, and before severe cold sets in (about the 1st to the 15th of December) the bed should be given its winter mulch. Bog hay, which may be obtained cheaply from some nearby farmer, is about the best material. Clean straw will do. Cover the entire bed, one or two inches over the plants, and two or three between the rows. If necessary, hold in place with old boards. In spring, but not before the plants begin to grow, over each plant the mulch is pushed aside to let it through. Besides giving winter protection, the mulch acts as a clean even support for the berries and keeps the roots cool and moist....

INSECTS AND DISEASE

27 minute read

For white-grub and cut-worm see pages elsewhere in the text. For rust, which frequently injures the leaves so seriously as to cause practical loss of crop, choose hardy varieties and change bed frequently. Spraying with Bordeaux, 5-5-50, four or five times during first season plants are set, and second season just before and just after blossoming, will prevent it. In making up your strawberry list remember that some varieties have imperfect, or pistillate blossoms, and that when such varieties are used a row of some perfect-flowering (bi- sexual) sort must be set every nine to twelve feet....

VARIETIES

2 minute read

New strawberries are being introduced constantly; also, they vary greatly in their adaptation to locality. Therefore it is difficult to advise as to what varieties to plant. The following, however, have proved satisfactory over wide areas, and may be depended upon to give satisfaction. Early crop:—Michel's Early, Haverland, Climax; mid- season crop:—Bubach No. 5, Brandywine, Marshall, Nic. Ohmer, Wm. Belt, Glen Mary, Sharplesss; late crop:—The Gandy, Sample, Lester Lovett. The blackberry, dewberry and raspberry are all treated in much the same way. The soil should be well drained, but if a little clayey, so much the better. They are planned preferably in early spring, and set from three or four to six or seven feet apart, according to the variety. They should be put in firmly. Set the plants in about as deep as they have been growing, and cut the canes back to six or eight inches. If fruit...

THE BLACKBERRY

1 minute read

The large-growing sorts are set as much as six by eight feet apart, though with careful staking and pruning they may be comfortably handled in less space. The smaller sorts need about four by six. When growth starts, thin out to four or five canes and pinch these off at about three feet; or, if they are to be put on wires or trellis, they may be cut when tied up the following spring. Cultivate, mulch and prune as suggested above. Blackberries will do well on a soil a little dry for raspberries and they do not need it quite so rich, as in this case the canes do not ripen up sufficiently by fall, which is essential for good crops. If growing rank they should be pinched back in late August. When tying up in the spring, the canes should be cut back to four or five feet and...

BLACKBERRY VARIETIES

13 minute read

As with the other small fruits, so many varieties are being introduced that it is difficult to give a list of the best for home use. Any selections from the following, however, will prove satisfactory, as they are tried-and-true:—Early King, Early Harvest, Wilson Junior, Kittatinny, Rathburn, Snyder, Erie....

THE DEWBERRY

23 minute read

This is really a trailing blackberry and needs the same culture, except that the canes are naturally slender and trailing and therefore, for garden culture, must have support. They may be staked up, or a barrel hoop, supported by two stakes, makes a good support. In ripening, the dewberry is ten to fourteen days earlier than the blackberry, and for that reason a few plants should be included in the berry patch. Premo is the earliest sort, and Lucretia the standard....

RASPBERRY

28 minute read

The black and the red types are distinct in flavor, and both should be grown. The blackcaps need more room, about three by six or seven feet; for the reds three by five feet will be sufficient. The blackcaps, and a few of the reds, like Cuthbert, throw out fruiting side branches, and should have the main canes cut back at about two and a half feet to encourage the growth of these laterals, which, in the following spring, should be cut back to about one-third their length. The soil for raspberries should be clayey if possible, and moist, but not wet....

RASPBERRY ENEMIES

21 minute read

The orange rust, which attacks the blackberry also, is a serious trouble. Pull up and burn all infested plants at once, as no good remedy has as yet been found. The cut-worm, especially in newly set beds, may sometimes prove destructive of the sprouting young canes. The raspberry-borer is the larva of a small, flattish, red-necked beetle, which bores to the center of the canes during summer growth, and kills them. Cut and burn....

RASPBERRY VARIETIES

10 minute read

Of the blackcaps, Gregg, McCormick, Munger, Cumberland, Columbian, Palmer (very early), and Eureka (late), are all good sorts. Reds: Cuthbert, Cardinal (new), Turner, Reliance, The King (extra early), Loudon (late). Yellow: Golden Queen....

CURRANTS

1 minute read

The currant and gooseberry are very similar in their cultural requirements. A deep, rich and moist soil is the best—approaching a clayey loam. There need be no fear of giving too much manure, but it should be well rotted. Plenty of room, plenty of air, plenty of moisture, secured where necessary by a soil or other mulch in hot dry weather, are essential to the production of the best fruit. The currant will stand probably as much abuse as any plant the home gardener will have to deal with. Stuck in a corner, smothered in sod, crowded with old wood, stripped by the currant-worm, it still struggles along from year to year, ever hopefully trying to produce a meager crop of poor fruit. But these are not the sort you want. Although it is so tough, no fruit will respond to good care more quickly. To have it do well,...

PRUNING CURRANTS

1 minute read

Besides careful cultivation, to insure the best of fruit it is necessary to give some thought to the matter of pruning. The most convenient and the most satisfactory way is to keep it in the bush form. Set the plants singly, three or four feet apart, and so cut the new growth, which is generously produced, as to retain a uniform bush shape, preferably rather open in the center. The fruit is produced on wood two or more years old. Therefore cut out branches either when very small, or not until four or five years later, after it has borne two or three crops of fruit. Therefore, in pruning currants, take out (1) superfluous young growth; (2) old hard wood (as new wood will produce better fruit); and (3) all weak, broken, dead or diseased shoots; (4) during summer, if the tips of the young growths kept for fruiting are...

ENEMIES OF THE CURRANT

28 minute read

The worst of these is the common currant-worm. When he appears, which will be indicated by holes eaten in the lower leaves early in spring, generally before the plants bloom, spray at once with Paris green. If a second brood appears, spray with white hellebore (if this is not all washed off by the rain, wipe from the fruit when gathered). For the borer, cut and burn every infested shoot. Examine the bushes in late fall, and those in which the borers are at work will usually have a wilted appearance and be of a brownish color....

VARIETIES OF CURRANTS

16 minute read

Red Dutch, while older and smaller than some of the newer varieties, is hardier and not so likely to be hurt by the borer. London Market, Fay's Prolific, Perfection (new), and Prince Albert, are good sorts. White Grape is a good white. Naples, and Lee's Prolific are good black sorts....

THE GOOSEBERRY

39 minute read

This is given practically the same treatment as the currant. It is even more important that it should be given the coolest, airiest, location possible, and the most moist soil. Even a partially shaded situation will do, but in such situations extra care must be taken to guard against the mildew—which is mentioned below. Summer mulching is, of course, of special benefit. In pruning the gooseberry, it is best to cut out to a very few, or even to a single stem. Keep the head open, to allow free circulation of air. The extent of pruning will make a great difference in the size of the fruit; if fruit of the largest size is wanted, prune very close. All branches drooping to the ground should be removed. Keep the branches, as much as possible, from touching each other....

GOOSEBERRY ENEMIES

28 minute read

The currant-worm attacks the gooseberry also, and is effectively handled by the arsenate of lead, Paris green or hellebore spraying, mentioned above. The great trouble in growing gooseberries successfully is the powdery mildew—a dirty, whitish fungous growth covering both fruit and leaves. It is especially destructive of the foreign varieties, the culture of which, until the advent of the potassium sulfide spray, was being practically abandoned. Use 1 oz. of potassium sulfide (liver of sulphur) to 2 gals. water, and mix just before using. Spray thoroughly three or four times a month, from the time the blossoms are opening until fruit is ripe....

GOOSEBERRY VARIETIES

11 minute read

Of the native gooseberries—which are the hardiest, Downing and Houghton's Seedling are most used. Industry is an English variety, doing well here. Golden Prolific, Champion, and Columbus, are other good foreign sorts, but only when the mildew is successfully fought off....

THE GRAPE

1 minute read

No garden is so small that there cannot be found in it room for three or four grape-vines; no fruit is more certain, and few more delicious. If it is convenient, a situation fully exposed to the sun, and sloping slightly, will be preferable. But any good soil, provided only it is rich and thoroughly drained, will produce good results. If a few vines are to be set against walls, or in other out-of-the-way places, prepare the ground for them by excavating a good-sized hole, putting in a foot of coal cinders or other drainage material, and refilling with good heavy loam, enriched with old, well rotted manure and half a peck of wood ashes. For culture in the garden, such special preparation will not be necessary—although, if the soil is not in good shape, it will be advisable slightly to enrich the hills. One or two-year roots will be...

GRAPE PRUNING

5 minute read

As stated above, the vine is cut back, when planting, to three or four eyes. The subsequent pruning—and the reader must at once distinguish between pruning, and training, or the way in which the vines are placed—will determine more than anything else the success of the undertaking. Grapes depend more upon proper pruning than any other fruit or vegetable in the garden. Two principles must be kept track of in this work. First principle: the annual crop is borne only on canes of the same year's growth, springing from wood of the previous season's growth . Second principle: the vine, if left to itself, will set three or four times the number of bunches it can properly mature . As a result of these facts, the following system of pruning has been developed and must be followed for sure and full-sized crops. (1) At time of planting, cut back to...

JANUARY

1 minute read

Probably one of the good resolutions made with the New Year was a better garden for the coming summer. The psychologists claim that the only hope for resolutions is to nail them down at the start with an action —that seems to have more effect in making an actual impression on the brain. So start the good work along by sending at once for several of the leading seed catalogues. Planting Plan . Make out a list of what you are going to want this year, and then make your Planting Plan. See Chapter IV. Seeds . Order your seed. Do it now while the seedsman's stock is full; while he is not rushed; while there is ample time to rectify mistakes if any occur. Manures . Altogether too few amateur gardeners realize the great importance of procuring early every pound of manures, of any kind, to be had. It...

FEBRUARY

39 minute read

Hotbeds . A little early for making them until after the 15th, but get all your material ready—manure, selected and stacked; lumber ready for any new ones; sash all in good repair. Starting Seeds . First part of the month, earliest planting of cabbage, cauliflower and lettuce should be made; and two to four weeks later for main early crop. At this time also, beets and earliest celery. Tools . Overhaul them all now; order repairs. Get new catalogues and study new improvements and kinds you do not possess. Poles and brush . Whether you use the old-fashioned sort (now harder to obtain than they used to be) or make your "poles" and use wire trellis for peas, attend to it now. Fruit . Finish up last month's work, if not all done. Also examine plum and cherry trees for black-knot....

MARCH

1 minute read

Hotbeds . If not made last of February, should be made at once. Some of the seed sown last month will be ready for transplanting and going into the frames; also lettuce sown in January. Radish and carrot (forcing varieties) may be sown in alternating rows. Give much more air; water on bright mornings; be careful not to have them caught by suddenly cold nights after a bright warm day. Seed-sowing under glass . Last sowing of early cabbage and early summer cabbages (like Succession), lettuce, rhubarb (for seedling plants), cauliflower, radish, spinach, turnip, and early tomatoes; towards last of month, late tomatoes and first of peppers, and egg- plant. Sweet peas often find a place in the vegetable garden; start a few early, to set out later; they will do better than if started outside. Start tomatoes for growing in frames. For early potatoes sprout in sand. Planting, outside...

APRIL

2 minute read

Now the rush is on! Plan your work, and work your plan . But do not yield to the temptation to plant more than you can look out for later on. Remember it is much easier to sow seeds than to pull out weeds. The Frames . Air! water! and do not let the green plant-lice or the white-fly get a ghost of a chance to start. Almost every day the glass should be lifted entirely off. Care must be taken never to let the soil or flats become dried out; toward the end of the month, if it is bright and warm, begin watering towards evening instead of in early morning, as you should have been doing through the winter. If proper attention is given to ventilation and moisture, there will not be much danger from the green plant-louse (aphis) and white-fly, but at the first sign of one...

JUNE

27 minute read

Frequent, shallow cultivation! Firm seeds in dry soil. Plant wax beans, lima beans, pole beams, melons, corn, etc., and successive crops of lettuce, radish, etc. Top-dress growing crops that need special manure (such as nitrate of soda on onions). Prune tomatoes, and cut out some foliage for extra early tomatoes. Toward end of month set celery and late cabbage. Also sow beans, beets, corn, etc., for early fall crops. Spray where necessary. Allow asparagus to grow to tops. Fruit. Attend to spraying fruit trees and currants and gooseberries. Make pot-layers of strawberries for July setting....

JULY

18 minute read

Maintain frequent, shallow cultivation. Set out late cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, leeks and celery. Sow beans, beets, corn, etc., for late fall crops. Irrigate where needed. Fruit . Pinch back new canes of blackberry, dewberry and raspberry. Rub off second crop of buds on grapes. Thin out if too many bunches; also on plums, peaches and other fruit too thick, or touching. Pot-layered strawberries may be set out....

AUGUST

28 minute read

Keep the garden clean from late weeds—especially purslane, the hot- weather weed pest, which should be always removed from the garden and burned or rotted down. Sow spinach, rutabaga turnip, bush beans and peas for last fall crop. During first part of month, late celery may still be put out. Sow lettuce for early fall crop, in frames. First lot of endive should be tied up for blanching. Fruit . Strawberries may be set, and pot-layered plants, if wanted to bear a full crop the following season, should be put in by the Thin out and bag grapes....

SEPTEMBER

30 minute read

Frames . Set in lettuce started in August. Sow radishes and successive crop of lettuce. Cooler weather begins to tell on late- planted crops. Give cabbage, cauliflower, etc., deeper cultivation. "Handle" celery wanted for early use. Harvest and store onions. Get squash under cover before frost. From the 15th to 25th sow spinach, onions, borecole for wintering over. Sow down thickly to rye all plots as fast as cleared of summer crops; or plow heavy land in ridges. Attend to draining. Fruit . Trees may be set. Procure barrels for storing fruit in winter. At harvest time it is often impossible to get them at any price....

OCTOBER

30 minute read

Get ready for winter. Blanch rest of endive. Bank celery, to be used before Christmas, where it is. Gather tomatoes, melons, etc., to keep as long as possible. Keep especially clean and well cultivated all crops to be wintered over. Late in the month store cabbage and cauliflower; also beets, carrots, and other root crops. Get boxes, barrels, bins, sand or sphagnum moss ready beforehand, to save time in packing. Clean the garden; store poles, etc., worth keeping over; burn everything else that will not rot; and compost everything that will. Fruit . Harvest apples, etc. Pick winter pears just before hard frosts, and store in dry dark place....

NOVEMBER

30 minute read

Frames . Make deep hotbeds for winter lettuce and radishes. Construct frames for use next spring. See that vegetables in cellar, bins, and sheds are safe from freezing. Trench or store celery for spring use. Take in balance of all root crops if any remain in the ground, except, of course, parsnip and salsify for spring use. Put rough manure on asparagus and rhubarb beds. Get mulch ready for spinach, etc., to be wintered over, if they occupy exposed locations. Fruit . Obtain marsh or salt hay for mulching strawberries. Cut out old wood of cane-fruits—blackberries, etc., if not done after gathering fruit. Look over fruit trees for borers....

DECEMBER

11 minute read

Cover celery stored last month, if trenched out-of-doors. Use only light, loose material at first, gradually covering for winter. Put mulch on spinach, etc. Fruit . Mulch strawberries. Prune grape-vines; make first application of winter sprays for fruit trees....

AND THEN

15 minute read

set about procuring manures of all kinds from every available source. Remember that anything which will rot will add to the value of your manure pile. Muck, lime, old plastering, sods, weeds (earth and all), street, stable and yard sweepings—all these and numerous others will increase your garden successes of next year....

CHAPTER XX

2 minute read

It is with a feeling in which there is something of fear that I close these pages—fear that many of those little things which become second nature to the grower of plants and seem unimportant, but which sometimes are just the things that the beginner wants to know about, may have been inadvertently left out. In every operation described, however, I have tried to mention all necessary details. I would urge the reader, nevertheless, to study as thoroughly as possible all the garden problems with which he will find himself confronted and to this end recommend that he read several of the many garden books which are now to be had. It must be to his advantage to see even the same subjects presented again from other points of view. The more familiar he can make himself, both in theory and in practice, with all the multitude of operations which...