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joint, and be supported by sticks and ties; but this is an evil to be guarded against by air, and a free exposure to sun, setting the pots at no great distance below the glass.
Water, regularly supplied, so that the soil be never droughted, is essential; and a moist atmosphere is the only safeguard against that pest, the red-spider, (acarus tellureus or holosericeus.)
Kidney-beam may be forced from September to March and April, and thus, the supply will be obtained till the crops in the open ground come into bearing. They will bear the heat (by sun) of a pine-stove; i. e., 75 to 80 degrees.
35. The instruments that have been invented for the performance of the operations of gardening, are very numerous. Of these, not fewer than seventy-six are figured and described in Loudon's Encyclopaedia. Some of them are indispensably required by every gardener; and those that I have considered to be such, in gardens possessed of any common degree of capability, I have noticed in the annexed list, which precedes the calendarial directions for the operations in the kitchen garden, for January.
1. The spade for digging, trenching, and planting.
2. The shovel, for gathering up and removing manure, litter, &c.
3. The fork. Of this tool there are three principal descriptions:—
1. The pitchfork of two prongs, for working dung and litter—
2. The three prong, with flat points, for digging among shrubs, forking asparagus, &c, —3. The hand fork, for light work in flower borders.
4. The hand-trowel, with a curved blade, for planting and removing bulbs and herbaceous plants.
5. The dibber, of two sorts :—1. Sharp pointed, sometimes shod with iron, and made of, or like, the handle of a spade.—2. The same in shape, but blunt-pointed, for making holes of equal diameter throughout.
6. The pick-axe, or planter's mattock, for grubbing up roots, or working in refractory ground.
7. The hoe, of two sorts, and of various sizes and breadths.—1. The drag, or draw-hoe, for drawing drills, weeding, and earthing up: the blades may be from three or four to six or seven inches across.—2. The Dutch or thrust hoe: a most convenient tool for light weeding, and for loosening the surface of the ground. The operator thrusts it forward, and as the work proceeds, walks backward, and thus avoids treading on the hoed ground.
8. The rale, for dressing beds and borders. Three sizes are required, varying in breadth from six to eighteen inches; and also in the length, strength, and distance of the teeth. A wooden hayrake is useful for removing litter, mown grass, leaves, &c. All rakes are improved when the teeth are fixed in wooden heads.
9. The pruning-hiife.—One with a blade more or less curved, for trimming trees; another, with a straight blade, and very sharp point, for cutting off the smaller twigs; the " Wharncliffe"" pruningknife, originally made by Rodgers, of Sheffield, is a truly convenient implement.
10. The grafting and bttdding-knife, with a thinner straight blade, curved off, and sharpened at the back, towards the point.
11. The garden shears, for clipping quickset hedges.
12. The garden hook, for trimming hedges, cutting nettles, &c. The foregoing list contains the tools which are of general utility:
there are others, such as the pruning and grafting chisel, pruningsaw, edging shears, scythe, garden lines with iron swivel, &c, which are often required. For most gardens, two, at least, of Nos. 1, 3, 4, and 5, should be kept; and if the extent bo considerable, and there be more than one person employed in the garden, each pair of hands ought to have one of these tools, and (as far as concerns the spade, No. 1,) of the weight and dimensions best suited to the strength of the operator.
OPERATIONS IN THE VEGETABLE GARDEN, FOR THE
M. If the month prove frosty, the only directions to be given are, to wheel dung or manure compost to the plots or quarters which stand in need of improvement; to protect, by temporary coverings of fern-leaves, (i. e. fronds of fern,) long litter, or Russia mats, stretched over hoops, &C., vegetables that might suffer from severe frosts and cutting winds: such are—celery, young peas, beans, lettuces, small cabbage-plants, cauliflower, endive, and the like. Remove these coverings in settled mild intervals, when the ground is thoroughly thawed; for otherwise, to expose plants whose vessels are penetrated by frost, to the sudden action of a powerful sun, would be about as wise as to expose a frozen limb to the action of a kitchen fire, or to plunge it into warm water; and probably would be productive of a corresponding beneficial result! Take advantage of such intervals, when the surface of the ground is pretty dry, to draw a little fine earth against the stems of peas, beans, broccoli, &c. Attend to neatness; removing dead leaves into a pit, or separate space, to form leaf mould, and litter of every kind from the garden, to the compost heap. Destroy slugs, and the eggs of insects. Dig and trench vacant spaces, when the ground is free and dry; but if it be sodden with water, to disturb it will do more harm than good. Operations of this description should always be performed when the earth will work and pulverize freely, and without cladding.
If the weather be mild and open, and the state of the ground favourable.
Sow.—Peas; early Warwick, frame and Charlton, about the first or second week;—the Prussian and dwarf Imperial, about the last week.
Beans; early mazagan and long pods, about the first and last week.
Lettuce; in a warm sheltered spot:—choose the hardy sorts, as the Cos and brown Dutch; but not before the last week.
Radishes; in the second and fourth week, the short top, and early dwarf.
Transplant.—Cabbages; the early York and sugar-loaf, about the close of the month.
Earth up the stems of broccoli and savoys; also rows of celery, to blanch and preserve the plants.
General observation. It is a good plan to mark every row that is sown, or planted at any time, with a cutting of a gooseberry, currant, China rose, or of some plant that will strike root readily: by this means, a useful or ornamental fruit or flowering shrub, is often gained, which may be transplanted at almost any time—and the ground is marked: thus two objects are attained.
NATURAL HISTORY AND CULTIVATION OF THE POMIFEROU8 TRIBE, OR KERNEL FRUIT-TREES.
Subject 1. The Apple-tree:—Pyrus Malns. Rosacea: Class xii., and Order ii., Icosandrla Di-Pentagyiwa, of Linnaeus.
The essential generic character of the genus Pyrut, is "a calyx superior, five cleft; petals five. Apple, with from two to five membranaceous capsules; seeds two." (Smith's English Flora.) The styles are from two to five in number.
37. The Apple produces its blossoms in terminating umbels, on short spurs proceeding from the sides and ends of the branches of the wood of two, three, or more years' growth. The fruit is roundish, containing a pulp of firm texture, and sub-acid taste; the seeds or pips are ovate, flattened or compressed, and are produced in five or six oval, coriaceous cells, in the centre of the fruit. "In its wild state it is termed the Crab, and is then armed with thorns." According to Loudon, No. 4369, it appears, that, in all probability, the apple was introduced by the Romans, to whom twenty-two varieties were known in Pliny's time; and these greatly increased at the Norman conquest. Loudon in his Catalogue, at No. 4377, gives the names of two hundred and forty-one varieties.
This tree is supposed by some to attain the great age; but Mr. Knight considered two hundred years as the ordinary duration of a healthy tree. Speechly mentions a tree near Nottingham, "of about sixty years old, with branches extending from seven to nine yards round the bole, which in 1792, produced upwards of one hundred pecks of apples." The apple-tree accommodates itself to almost any soil or situation of the British Isles. "Good apples are grown in the Highlands and Orkneys, as well as in Devonshire and Cornwall; some sorts are ripe in the beginning of July, and others, which ripen later, will keep till June."
38. Propagation. The apple may be propagated by seeds, by cuttings, suckers, layers, or by engrafting. The Lfirst method is practised with a view to multiply varieties, or to raise stocks for subsequent graftings. Mr. Knight, the late President of the Horticultural Society, performed many ingenious experiments on seedling plants; among others, he cut out the stamens of the blossoms to be impregnated, and afterwards, when the stigma, or female organ of the same seedling was matured, he introduced the farina or pollen, produced by the stamina of another parent. "In this way he produced the Downton, red and yellow Ingestrie, and grange pippin, from the same parents; viz., the seed of the orange pippin, and the farina of the golden pippin." The Downton Nonpareil is another apple raised subsequently, by Mr. Knight. The seeds may be sown in autumn, in light earth, covered an inch, either in pots or beds. The end of the first year they should be transplanted into nursery rows, from six to twelve inches apart every way. Afterwards they should be planted out where they are to remain; the distance between each being, according to Mr. Williams, six or eight feet.
The second method, by cuttings, may readily be practised, as all the varieties may succeed thereby, though some much more readily than others. Those of the Bur-knot or codling tribe, grow as well this way as by any other; in fact, boughs of an inch or two in thickness, if furnished with roundish knobs or burrs, with fibrous processes all around them, (which may frequently be observed,) if planted pretty deep, in October and November, will, as I have proved, produce fine apples in the following year. "The trees raised by cuttings are not liable to canker," (see Hort. Train, vol. i. 120,) "and this is supposed to be owing to their putting out no tap-root, but spreading their numerous fibres from the burrs horizontally." "All apple-trees raised this way," Biggs observes, "from healthy, one-year old branches, with blossoms on them, will continue to go on bearing the finest fruit, in a small compass, for several years. The cuttings should generally be young wood, with a small portion of old wood at the lower end. Cut off the tips of the shoots, and all the buds, except two or three nearest to the upper extremity; then, smooth the cuttings at the lower end, and plant them three or four inches deep, in sandy loam, pressing the earth firmly to them, watering, and covering them with a hand-glass." Let this be done in February; and do not remove the glass, except to give water, till the plants have made an inch or two of shoot. Shade them from the mid-day sun, and give air in July: and in October, the plants may be removed into pots, or nursery rows.
By layers the success is considered to be certain, and the desired variety is of course obtained. The process of layering will be described in a future number.
drafting is the chief method of propagating the apple, and the one almost universally adopted in the nurseries. The various modes of performing this operation will be described in a future section: at present it will be sufficient to notice the treatment of the scions or grafts, and the season when they should be collected. Knight observes, "the branches which are to form the graft, should be taken from the parent stock during the winter, and not later than the end of the preceding year; for if the buds have begun to vegetate in the slightest degree, (and they do begin with the increasing influence of the sun,) the vigour of the shoots during the first season will be diminished, and the grafts will not succeed with equal certainty. The amputated branches (or sessions) must be kept alive till wanted, by having the end of each planted in the ground a few inches deep, in a shady situation."
Whatever may result from dry and thirsty scions, certain it is, that cuttings of the wood of the preceding spring, taken off after the