Manual of Gardening (Second Edition)
L. H. Bailey
Part 9 out of 10
planting is usually made.
The ordinary bush beans may be planted at intervals of two weeks from
the first planting until the 10th of August. Each planting may be made
on ground previously occupied by some early-maturing crop. Thus, the
first to third plantings may be on ground from which has been harvested
a crop of spinach, early radish, or lettuce; after that, on ground where
early peas have been grown; and the later sowings where beets or early
potatoes have grown. String beans for canning are usually taken from the
One quart of seed will plant 100 feet of drill of the bush beans; or 1
quart of Limas will plant 100 hills.
Limas are the richest of beans, but they often fail to mature in the
northern states. The land should not be very strong in nitrogen (or
stable manure), else the plants will run too much to vine and be too
late. Choose a fertile sandy or gravelly soil with warm exposure, use
some soluble commercial fertilizer to start them off, and give them the
best of culture. Aim to have the pods set before the droughts of
midsummer come. Good trellises for beans are made by wool twine
stretched between two horizontal wires, one of which is drawn a foot
above the ground and the other 6 or 7 feet high.
Bean plants are not troubled by insects to any extent, but they are
sometimes attacked by blight. When this occurs, do not plant the same
ground to beans again for a year or two.
BEET.--This vegetable is grown for its thick root, and for its
herbage (used as "greens"); and ornamental-leaved varieties are
sometimes planted in flower-gardens.
[Illustration: Fig. 297. Bastian turnip beet.]
Being one of the hardiest of spring vegetables, the seed may be sown as
early in the spring as the ground can be worked. A light, sandy soil is
the best on which to grow beets to perfection, but any well-tilled
garden land will raise satisfactory crops. On heavy ground the turnip
beet gives the best results, as the growth is nearly all at or above the
surface. The long varieties, having tapering roots running deep into the
soil, are liable to be misshapen unless the physical condition of the
soil is such that the roots meet with little obstruction. A succession
of sowings should be made, at intervals of two to three weeks, until
late summer, as the beets are much more desirable in their young stage
than when they have become old and woody. The mangel-wurzel and the
sugar-beet are usually grown as a field crop, and will not enter into
the calculations of the home garden.
In order to hasten the season of the extra-early crop of beets, the
seeds may be sown in boxes or in the soil of a hotbed in February or
March, transplanting the small plants to the open ground at the time the
first sowing of seed is made. As the flat or turnip-rooted varieties
grow at the surface of the ground, the seed may be sown thickly, and as
the more advanced roots are large enough to use they may be pulled,
leaving room for the later ones to develop, thus growing a large
quantity in a small area and having a long season of small beets from
For winter use the late July-sown seed will give the best roots, growing
through the cool months of the fall to a medium size and remaining firm
without being tough or stringy. These may be dug after light frosts and
before any severe cold weather, and stored in barrels or boxes in the
cellar, using enough dry dirt to fill spaces between the roots and cover
them to the depth of 6 inches. These roots, thus packed in a cool
cellar, will be fit to use through the entire winter months. When it can
be had, florists' or sphagnum moss is an excellent medium in which to
pack roots for winter.
The early round or turnip varieties (Fig. 297) are best for early and
summer use. The long blood beets may be used for storing, but these
require a longer season of growth.
BROCCOLI.--is almost identical with the cauliflower, except that it
usually requires a longer season and matures in the fall. It is grown
more generally in Europe than in this country. The special merit of
broccoli is its adaptability for late summer planting and its rapid
growth in the late season. It is said that a large proportion of
broccoli is used in the manufacture of pickles. The culture is the same
as for cauliflower,--deep, moist soil well enriched, cool weather, and
the destruction of the cabbage worm.
BRUSSELS SPROUTS.--The plant is grown for the buttons or sprouts
(miniature cabbage heads) that grow thickly along the stem (Fig. 298).
It should be more generally known, as it is one of the choicest of the
cabbage family, and may be had at its best after the season for
cauliflower has passed. It is the better for being touched by the fall
frosts. The buttons should be cut off rather than broken. The very small
hard "sprouts" or buttons are the best. The culture is essentially the
same as for late cabbage or broccoli. One ounce will sow 100 feet of
drill, or make upward of 2000 plants. Set plants in field 2 to 3 feet
apart, or dwarf varieties closer. They require the entire season in
which to grow.
[Illustration: Fig. 298. Brussels sprouts.]
CABBAGE.--The cabbage is now so extensively grown as a field crop,
from which the market is supplied, and the plants require so much room
that many home-gardeners incline to give up its culture; but the early
varieties, at least, should be grown at home.
For an early crop in the North, the plants must be started either in
February or early March, or the previous September and wintered over in
coldframes. This latter method was once a common practice by gardeners
near large cities, but the building of greenhouses to replace the many
hotbeds of the market-gardener has changed the practice in many
localities, and now most of the early cabbages in the North are grown
from seed sown in January, February, or March. The plants are hardened
off in March and early April and planted out as early as possible. The
private grower, or one with a small garden, may often procure his early
plants from the market-gardener much cheaper than he can grow them, as
usually only a limited number of early cabbage plants are wanted; but
for the midseason and main crop, the seed may be sown in May or June in
a seed-bed, setting the plants in July.
The seed-bed should be made mellow and rich. A good border will do. The
seed is sown preferably in rows, thus allowing thinning of the plants
and the pulling of any weeds that germinate. The young plants will well
repay attention to watering and thinning. The rows should be 3 or 4
inches apart. When the plants are large enough to transplant, they may
be planted where early vegetables have been grown. Set the plants from
18 to 24 inches apart in the row, the rows being 3 feet apart for the
medium-growing kinds. One ounce of seed will furnish about 2000 plants.
All cabbages require deep and rich soil, and one that holds moisture
well. Regular cultivation should be given so that moisture may be saved
and the growth be continuous.
For early planting, the number of varieties is limited to three or four.
For an intermediate crop the list is more extended, and the late
varieties are very numerous. The early list is headed by the Jersey
Wakefield, a variety that heads very quickly, and, although not one of
the solid kinds, is generally grown. The Early York and Winnigstadt are
good varieties to follow it. The latter especially is solid and of very
good quality. For the midseason, the Succession and All Season are of
the best, and for the winter supply the Drumhead, Danish Ball, and Flat
Dutch types are leaders. One of the best of the cabbages for table use
is seldom seen in the garden--the Savoy cabbage. It is a type with
netted leaves, making a large, low-growing head, the center of which is
very solid and of excellent flavor, especially late in the fall, when
the heads have had a slight touch of frost. Savoy should be grown in
every private garden.
The best remedy for the cabbage worm is to kill the first brood on the
very young plants with Paris green. After the plants begin to head,
pyrethrum, kerosene emulsion, or salt water may be used. On a small
area, hand-picking may be recommended (p. 200).
The maggot is the most serious cabbage pest. After studying the seventy
odd remedies proposed, Slingerland concludes that six are efficient and
practicable: growing the young plants in closely covered frames; tarred
paper cards placed snugly about the base of the plants to keep the fly
away; rubbing the eggs from the base of the plant; hand-picking of the
maggots; treating the plants with emulsion of carbolic acid; treating
them with carbon bisulfide. The insecticidal materials are injected or
poured into the soil about the base of the plant (pp. 187, 201).
The club-root, which causes the roots to become greatly thickened and
distorted, is difficult to manage if cabbages or allied plants are grown
continuously on land in which diseased plants have been raised. Changing
the location of the cabbage or cauliflower patch is the best procedure.
If very different crops, as corn, potatoes, peas, tomatoes, are grown on
the land, the disease will be starved out in two or three years
There are many ways of storing cabbages for winter and spring use, none
of which are uniformly successful. The general subject is discussed on
p. 158. On this point T. Greiner writes as follows: "I have heretofore
piled a lot of cabbages cut from the stump in a conical heap in the
field, and covered them with clusters of the outer leaves cut off with a
piece of the stump. The leaves are carefully placed over the heap in
shingle fashion, so as to shed water. Cabbages thus piled and covered
may be left out until real winter weather sets in. But I find that slugs
and earthworms frequently infest the cabbages thus stored, and do a good
deal of damage. It might be well to place a solid floor of lime or salt
upon the ground, and then pack the cabbages upon this. If to be left out
after severe freezing has set in, one should put additional covering,
such as straw, corn-stalks or marsh hay, over the whole heap." Mr.
Burpee's little book, 'Cabbage and Cauliflower for Profit,' written by
J.M. Lupton, a prominent cabbage-grower, suggests the following plan for
early winter sales: "Take the cabbages up with the roots on, and store
in well-ventilated cellars, where they will keep till mid-winter. Or
stack them in some sheltered position about the barn, placing one above
the other in tiers, with the roots inside, and covering deeply with
seaweed; or if this cannot be obtained, something like cornstalks may be
used to keep them from the weather as much as possible (Fig. 299). When
thus stored, they may be obtained any time during the winter when prices
[Illustration: Fig. 299. A method of storing cabbages.]
CARROT.--While essentially a farm crop in this country, the carrot
is nevertheless a most acceptable garden vegetable. It is hardy and
easily grown. The extra-early varieties may be forced in a hotbed, or
seed may be sown as soon as the ground is fit to work in the spring. The
stump-rooted, or half-long varieties (Fig. 300), are sown for the
general garden crop.
[Illustration: Fig. 300. A half-long carrot.]
Well-enriched, mellow loam, deeply dug or plowed, is best suited to the
requirements of carrots. The seed for the main crop may be sown as late
as July 1. Sow thickly, thinning to 3 to 4 inches in the row. The rows,
if in a garden that is hand-worked, may be 12 inches apart. If the
cultivation is performed with a horse, the rows should be from 2 to 3
feet apart. One ounce will sow 100 feet of drill.
CAULIFLOWER.--This is the choicest of all vegetables of the cabbage
group, and its culture is much the most difficult. While the special
requirements are few, they must be fully met if good results are to
The general culture of cauliflower is much like that of cabbage, except
that the cauliflower, being more tender, should be more thoroughly
hardened off before setting out, the heads must be protected from hot
suns, the plants must never suffer for moisture, and the greatest care
must be taken to secure only highly bred seeds.
It is essential that the plants be set out as early as possible, as the
warm weather of June causes them to make imperfect heads unless the soil
is filled with moisture. No garden crop will so well repay the cost and
time of thorough irrigation, either by running the water between the
rows or applying it directly to the plants. When it is impossible to
furnish water and there is danger of losing the soil moisture, it is a
good plan to mulch heavily with straw or some other substance. This
mulch, if put on just after a heavy rain, will hold the moisture for a
long time. Cauliflower prospers best in a cool climate.
When the heads begin to form, the outside leaves may be brought
together and tied above the head, excluding the direct sunshine and
keeping the head white and tender. Fig. 301 shows a good head.
[Illustration: Fig. 301. Cauliflower head with leaves trimmed off.]
No vegetable will respond more quickly to good culture and well-manured
soil than the cauliflower, and none will prove such an utter failure
when neglected. It is imperative that care be taken to destroy all the
cabbage worms before the leaves are tied in, as after that it will be
impossible to see or reach them. From 1000 to 1500 plants may be grown
from 1 ounce of seed. Good cauliflower seed is very expensive.
For winter crop, seeds may be started in June or July, as for late
Erfurt, Snowball, and Paris are popular early varieties. Nonpareil and
Algiers are good late kinds.
CELERIAC.--A form of the celery plant in which the tuberous root is
the edible part (Fig. 302). The tuber has the celery flavor in a
pronounced degree, and is used for flavoring soups and for celery salad.
It may be served raw, sliced in vinegar and oil, or boiled.
The culture is the same as given for celery, except that no earthing or
blanching is required. About an equal number of plants are obtained from
the same weight of seed as from celery seed. Celeriac is extensively
used abroad, but, unfortunately, little known in America.
[Illustration: Fig. 302. Celeriac or turnip-rooted celery.]
CELERY.--Although celery has now become a staple vegetable with all
classes of people, the home-gardener is likely not to attempt its
culture; yet it is not difficult to raise in small quantities in most
any good garden land. While the commercial celery is largely grown on
reclaimed swamp lands, such areas are not at all essential to its
The self-blanching varieties have simplified the culture of celery so
that the amateur, as well as the expert, may have a good supply at least
six months of the year. The so-called new culture, which consists of
setting the plants close together and causing them to shade each other,
can be recommended for the garden when a supply of well-rotted manure is
to had, and when any amount of water is available. This method is as
follows: Fork or spade into the soil a large quantity of manure to the
depth of 10 to 12 inches; pulverize the soil until the ground for the
depth of 4 to 6 inches is in very fine condition. Then set the plants in
rows 10 inches apart and the plants but 5 or 6 inches apart in the rows.
It will be seen that plants set as close as this will soon fill the soil
with a mass of roots and must have large amounts of plant-food, as well
as a large quantity of water; and the making of such a bed can be
recommended only to those who can supply these needs.
The common practice in home gardens is to plow or dig a shallow trench,
setting the plants in the bottom and hoeing in the soil as the plants
grow. The distance apart of the rows and plants will depend on the
varieties. For the dwarf varieties, such as White Plume, Golden
Self-blanching, and others of this type, the rows may be as close as 3
feet and the plants 6 inches in the rows. For the large-growing
varieties, as Kalamazoo, Giant Pascal, and, in fact, most of the late
varieties, the rows may be 4 1/2 to 5 feet apart and the plants 7 or 8
inches in the row.
The seed for an early crop should be sown in February or early in March
in shallow boxes, which may be placed in a hotbed or sunny window, or
sown directly in the soil of a hotbed. Cover the seeds thinly and press
the soil firmly over them. When the seedling plants are about 1 inch
high, they should be transplanted to other boxes or hotbeds, setting the
plants 1 inch apart in rows 3 inches apart. At this transplanting, as
with the following ones, the tall leaves should be cut or pinched off,
leaving only the upright growth, as with the utmost care it is almost
impossible to prevent the outside leafstalks from wilting down and
dying. The roots should also be trimmed back at each transplanting in
order to increase the feeding roots. The plants should be set as deep as
possible, care being taken, however, not to allow the heart of the plant
to be covered up. The varieties usually grown for an early crop are the
so-called self-blanching varieties. They may be made fit for the table
with much less labor than the late crop, the shade required to blanch
the stalks being much less. When only a few short rows are grown in a
private garden, screens of lath may be made by driving stakes on each
side of the row and tacking lath on, leaving spaces of an inch or more
for the light to enter; or each head may be wrapped in paper, or a tile
drain pipe may be set over the plant. In fact, any material that will
exclude the light will render the stalks white and brittle.
The seed for the main or fall crop should be sown in April or early May
in a seed-bed prepared by forking short well-rotted manure into a fine
soil, sowing the seed thinly in rows 8 or 10 inches apart, covering the
seed lightly and firming over the seed with the feet, hoe, or back of a
spade. This seed-bed should be kept moist at all times until the seed
germinates, either by close attention to watering or by a lath screen.
The use of a piece of cloth laid directly on the soil, and the bed wet
through the cloth, is often recommended, and if the cloth is always wet
and taken off the bed as soon as the seed sprouts, it may be used. After
the young plants have grown to the height of 1 or 2 inches they must be
thinned out, leaving the plants so that they do not touch each other,
and transplanting those thinned--if wanted--to other ground prepared in
the same manner as the seed-bed. All these plants may be sheared or cut
back to induce stockiness.
An ounce of seed will furnish about three thousand plants.
If in a private garden, the ground on which the fall crop is usually set
will likely be that from which a crop of some early vegetable has been
taken. This land should be again well enriched with fine, well-rotted
manure, to which may be added a liberal quantity of wood ashes. If the
manure or ashes is not easily obtained, a small amount may be used by
plowing or digging out a furrow 8 or 12 inches deep, scattering the
manure and ashes in the bottom of the trench and filling it up almost
level with the surface. The plants should be set about the middle of
July, preferably just before a rain. The plant bed should have a
thorough soaking shortly before the plants are lifted, and each plant be
trimmed, both top and root, before setting. The plants should be set
from 5 to 6 inches apart in the rows and the earth well firmed
around each one.
[Illustration: Fig. 303. Storing celery in a trench in the field.]
[Illustration: Fig. 304. A celery pit.]
The after-cultivation consists in thorough tillage until the time of
"handling" or earthing up the plants. This process of handling is
accomplished by drawing up the earth with one hand while holding the
plant with the other, packing the soil well around the stalks. This
process may be continued until only the leaves are to be seen. For the
private grower, it is much easier to blanch the celery with boards or
paper, or if the celery is not wanted until winter, the plants may be
dug up, packed closely in boxes, covering the roots with soil, and
placed in a dark, cool cellar, where the stalks will blanch themselves.
In this way celery may be stored in boxes in the house cellar. Put earth
in the bottom of a deep box, and plant the celery in it.
Celery is sometimes stored in trenches in the open (Fig. 303), the roots
being transplanted to such places in late fall. The plants are set close
together and the trenches are covered with boards. A wider trench or pit
may be made (Fig. 304) and covered with a shed roof.
[Illustration: Fig. 305. Swiss chard.]
CHARD, or SWISS CHARD,--is a development of the beet species
characterized by large succulent leafstalks instead of enlarged roots.
(Fig. 305). The leaves are very tender and make "greens" much like
young beets. They are cultivated exactly like beets. Only one variety is
offered by most seedsmen in this country, though in France and Germany
several varieties are grown.
CHICORY is grown for two purposes,--for the roots and for the
herbage. "Barbe de capucin" is a salad made from young shoots
The Magdeburg chicory is the variety usually spoken of, it being the one
most extensively grown. The roots of this, after being ground and
roasted, are used either as a substitute or an adulterant for coffee.
The Witloof, a form of chicory, is used as a salad, or boiled and served
in the same manner as cauliflower. The plants should be thinned to 6
inches. In the latter part of summer they should be banked up like
celery, and the leaves used after becoming white and tender. This and
the common wild chicory are often dug in the fall, the leaves cut off,
the roots packed in sand in a cellar and watered until a new growth of
leaves starts. These leaves grow rapidly and are very tender, making a
fine salad vegetable. One packet of seed of the Witloof will furnish
plants enough for a large family.
CHERVIL.--The chervil is grown in two forms,--for the leaves, and
for the tuberous roots.
The curled chervil is a good addition to the list of garnishing and
seasoning vegetables. Sow seeds and cultivate the same as parsley.
The tuberous chervil resembles a short carrot or parnsip. It is much
esteemed in France and Germany. The tubers have somewhat the flavor of a
sweet potato, perhaps a little sweeter. They are perfectly hardy, and,
like the parsnip, the better for frosts. The seed may be sown in
September or October, as it does not keep well; or as soon as the ground
is fit to work in the spring, it being slow to germinate after the
weather becomes hot and dry. One packet of seed will give all the plants
necessary for a family.
[Illustration XXIV. Golden bantam sweet corn.]
COLLARDS.--This is a name given to a kind of kale, used when young
as greens; also to young cabbages used in the same way.
The seed of any early cabbage may be sown thickly in rows 18 inches
apart, from early spring to late fall. The plants are cut off when 6 or
8 inches high and boiled as are other greens.
The kale, or Georgia collards, is grown in the South, where cabbages
fail to head. It grows to the height of 2 to 6 feet, furnishing a large
quantity of leaves. The young leaves and tufts that arise as the old
leaves are pulled off make excellent greens.
CIVES.--A small perennial of the onion family, used for flavoring.
It is propagated by division of the root. It may be planted in a
permanent place in the border, and, being completely hardy, will remain
for years. The leaves are the parts used, as the roots are very rank in
flavor. The leaves may be cut frequently, as they readily grow again.
CORN SALAD.--This is one of the earliest spring salad vegetables,
coming into condition with spinach, and needing the same culture.
Sown in the fall, and covered with straw or hay when cold weather sets
in, it will start into rapid growth when the covering is removed in
March or April. Or the seed may be sown in early spring, and plants will
be fit to use in six or eight weeks. One packet of seed will suffice for
a small family.
CORN, SWEET OR SUGAR.--This is the characteristic American table
vegetable, and one that every home-gardener expects to grow. Too often,
however, only one planting of one kind is made. The ears come to edible
maturity almost simultaneously, and a short season is the result.
The first planting of sweet corn should be made from May 1 to 10,
planting early, intermediate, and late varieties at the same time, then
at intervals of two weeks until the middle of July, when the late
varieties should be planted, thus having a succession from the first
crop until October.
The soil for corn should be fertile and "quick." The coarser manure left
from the preparation of the ground for small crops may be used to good
advantage. Corn for the garden is better planted in drills, the drills 3
feet apart, dropping the seed from 10 to 12 inches apart in the drills.
One quart of seed will plant 200 hills.
For extra early, Marblehead, Adams, Vermont, Minnesota, and Early Corey
are favorites. A most excellent extra early yellow sweet corn, with
kernels looking like small field corn, is Golden Bantam; the ears are
small and would probably not attract the market buyer, but for home use
the variety is unexcelled (Plate XXIV). For later crop, Crosby, Hickox,
Shoe Peg, and Stowell Evergreen are now popular.
CRESS.--Two very unlike species of plants are grown under the name
of cress,--the upland-cress and the water-cress. There are still other
species, but not much known in this country.
The upland cress, or the true pepper grass, may be grown on any garden
soil. Sow early in the spring. It makes a rapid growth and can be cut in
from four to five weeks. Succession of sowings must be made, as it runs
quickly to seed. The curled variety is the one usually grown, as the
leaves may be used for garnishing as well as for 'salads. One packet of
seed will be sufficient for each sowing. Any good soil will do. Sow
thickly in drills 12 to 18 inches apart. In summer it runs to seed
quickly, so that it is usually grown in spring and fall.
The water-cress is more exacting in its culture, and can be successfully
grown only in moist places, such as edges of shallow slow-running
creeks, open drains, or beds excavated near such streams. A few plants
for private use may be grown in a frame, provided a retentive soil is
used and attention given to watering the bed often. Watercress may be
propagated from pieces of the stem, used as cuttings. If one is fond of
water-cress, it is well to colonize it in some clean creek or pool. It
will take care of itself year by year. Seeds may also be used for
CUCUMBER.--The custom of putting down cucumber pickles in the home
kitchen is probably passing out; but both the pickling and the slicing
cucumbers, especially the latter, are still an essential part of a good
home garden. A stale or wilted cucumber is a very poor article of food.
For early use, the cucumber is usually started in a hotbed or coldframe
by sowing the seed on pieces of sod 4 to 6 inches square, turned grass
side down. Three or four seeds are placed on or pushed into each piece
of sod and covered with 1 to 2 inches of fine soil. The soil should be
well watered and the glass or cloth placed over the frame. The roots
will run through the sod. When the plants are large enough to set out, a
flat trowel or a shingle may be slipped under the sod and the plants
moved to the hill without check. In place of sod, old quart berry-boxes
are good; after setting in the hill the roots may force their way
through the cracks in the baskets. The baskets also decay rapidly.
Flower-pots may be used. These plants from the frames may be set out
when danger of frost is over, usually by the 10th of May, and should
make a very rapid growth, yielding good-sized fruits in two months. The
hills should be made rich by forking in a quantity of well-rotted
manure, and given a slight elevation above the garden--not high enough
to allow the wind to dry the soil, but slightly raised so that water
will not stand around the roots.
The main crop is grown from seed planted directly in the open, and the
plants are grown under level culture.
One ounce of seed will plant fifty hills of cucumbers. The hills may be
4 to 5 feet apart each way.
The White Spine is the leading general-purpose variety. For very early
or pickling sorts, the Chicago, Russian, and other picklings are good.
The striped beetle is an inveterate pest on cucumbers and squashes (see
[Illustration: Fig. 306. West Indian gherkin (_Cucumis Anguria_).]
The name gherkin is applied to small pickling cucumbers. The West India
gherkin is a wholly distinct species, but is grown like cucumbers.
DANDELION.--Under domestication the dandelion has been developed
until quite unrecognizable to the casual observer. The plants attain a
large size and the leaves are much more tender.
Sow in spring in well-manured soil, either in drills or in hills 1 foot
apart. A cutting of leaves may be had in September or October, and some
of the stools may stand until spring. The delicacy of the leaves may be
improved by blanching them, either by the use of boards or earth. One
trade packet of seed will supply a sufficient number for a family. The
whole plant is destroyed when the crop of leaves is taken.
The seed may be selected from the best field-grown plants, but it is
better to buy the French seed of the seedsmen.
EGG-PLANT.--The egg-plant or guinea squash has never become a
popular home-garden product in the North. In the South it is
Unless one has a greenhouse or a very warm hotbed, the growing of
egg-plants in the North should be left to the professional gardener, as
the young plants are very tender, and should be grown without a check.
The seed should be sown in the hotbed or the greenhouse about April 10,
keeping a temperature of 65 deg. to 70 deg.. When the seedlings have
made three rough leaves, they may be pricked out into shallow boxes, or,
still better, into 3-inch pots. The pots or boxes should be plunged to
the rim in soil in a hotbed or coldframe so situated that protection
may be given on chilly nights. The 10th of June is early enough to
plant them out in central New York.
[Illustration: Fig. 307. Black Pekin egg-plant.]
The soil in which egg-plants are to grow cannot well be made too
"quick," as they have only a short season in which to develop their
fruits. The plants are usually set 3 feet apart each way. A dozen plants
are sufficient for the needs of a large family, as each plant should
yield from two to six large fruits. The fruits are fit to eat at all
stages of growth, from those the size of a large egg to their largest
development. One ounce of seed will furnish 600 to 800 plants.
The New York Improved Purple is the standard variety. Black Pekin (Fig.
307) is good. For early, or for a short-season climate, the Early Dwarf
Purple is excellent.
ENDIVE.--One of the best fall salad vegetables, being far superior
to lettuce at that time and as easily grown.
For fall use, the seed may be sown from June to August, and as the
plants become fit to eat about the same time from sowing as lettuce
does, a succession may be had until cold weather. The plants will need
protection from the severe fall frosts, and this may be given by
carefully lifting the plants and transplanting to a frame, where sash or
cloth may be used to cover them in freezing weather.
[Illustration: Fig. 308. Endive tied up.]
The leaves, which constitute practically the whole plant, are blanched
before being used, either by tying together with some soft material
(Fig. 308) or by standing boards on each side of the row, allowing the
top of the boards to meet over the center of the row. Tie the leaves
only when they are dry.
The rows should be 1-1/2 or 2 feet apart, the plants 1 foot apart in the
rows. One ounce of seed will sow 150 feet of drill.
GARLIC.--An onion-like plant, the bulbs of which are used for
Garlic is little known in this country except amongst those of foreign
birth. It is multiplied the same as multiplier onions--the bulb is
broken apart and each bulbule or "clove" makes a new compound bulb in a
few weeks. Hardy; plant in early spring, or in the South in the fall.
Plant 2 to 3 inches apart in the row.
[Illustration: Fig. 309. A good horseradish root.]
HORSERADISH.--Widely used as an appetizer, and now grown
commercially. As a kitchen-garden vegetable, this is usually planted in
some out-of-the-way spot and a piece of the root dug as often as needed,
the fragments of roots being left in the soil to grow for further use.
This method results in having nothing but tough, stringy roots, very
unlike the product of a properly planted and well-cared-for bed. A good
horseradish root should be straight and shapely (Fig. 309).
The best horseradish is secured from sets planted in the spring at the
time of setting early cabbage, and dug as late the same fall as the
weather will permit. It becomes, therefore, an annual crop. The roots
for planting are small pieces, from 4 to 6 inches long, obtained when
trimming the roots dug in the fall. These pieces may be packed in sand
and stored until wanted the following spring.
In planting, the roots should be set with the upper end 3 inches below
the surface of the ground, using a dibber or sharp-pointed stick in
making the holes. The crop may be planted between rows of early-sown
beets, lettuce, or other crop, and given full possession of the ground
when these crops are harvested. When the ground is inclined to be stiff
or the subsoil is near the surface, the roots may be set in a slanting
position. In fact, many gardeners practice this method of planting,
thinking that the roots make a better growth and are more uniform
KALE.--Under this name, a great variety of cabbage-tribe plants is
grown, some of them reaching a height of several feet. Usually, however,
the name is applied to a low-growing, spreading plant, extensively used
for winter and spring greens.
The culture given to late cabbage is suitable. At the approach of severe
freezing weather a slight protection is given in the North. The leaves
remain green through the winter and may be gathered from under the snow
at a time when material for greens is scarce. Some of the kales are very
ornamental because of their blue and purple curled foliage. The Scotch
Curled is the most popular variety. Let the plants stand 18 to 30 inches
apart. Young cabbage plants are sometimes used as kale. Collards and
borecole are kinds of kale. Sea-kale is a wholly different vegetable
Kales are extensively grown at Norfolk, Va., and southward, and shipped
North in winter, the plants being started in late summer or in fall.
KOHLRABI is little known in the United States. It looks like a
leafy turnip growing above ground.
If used when small (2 to 3 inches in diameter), and not allowed to
become hard and tough, it is of superior quality. It should be more
generally grown. The culture is very simple. A succession of sowings
should be made from early spring until the middle of summer, in drills
18 inches to 2 feet apart, thinning the young plants to 6 or 8 inches in
the rows. It matures as quickly as turnips. One ounce of seed to 100
feet of drill.
LEEK.--The leek is little grown in this country except by persons
of foreign extraction. The plant is one of the onion family, and is used
mostly as flavoring for soups. Well-grown leeks have a very agreeable
and not very strong onion flavor.
Leek is of the easiest culture, and is usually grown as a second crop,
to follow beets, early peas, and other early stuff. The seed should be
sown in a seed-bed in April or early May and the seedlings planted out
in the garden in July, in rows 2 feet apart, the plants being 6 inches
apart in the rows. The plants should be set deep if the neck or lower
part of the leaves is to be used in a blanched condition. The soil may
be drawn towards the plants in hoeing, to further the blanching. Being
very hardy, the plants may be dug in late fall, and stored the same as
celery, in trenches or in a cool root-cellar. One ounce of seed to 100
feet of drill.
LETTUCE is the most extensively grown salad vegetable. It is now in
demand, and is procurable, every month in the year. The winter and early
spring crops are grown in forcing-houses and coldframes, but a supply
from the garden may be had from April to November, by the use of a cheap
frame in which to grow the first and last crops, relying on a succession
of sowings for the intermediate supply.
Seed for the first crop may be sown in a coldframe in March, growing the
crop thick and having many plants which are small and tender; or, by
thinning out to the distance of 3 inches and allowing the plants to make
a larger growth, the plants pulled up may be set in the open ground for
the next crop.
Sowings should be made in the garden from April to October, at short
intervals. A moist location should be chosen for the July and August
sowings. The early and late sowings should be of some loose-growing
variety, as they are in edible condition sooner than the cabbage or
The cabbage varieties are far superior to the loose-growing kinds for
salads. To be grown to perfection, they should have very rich soil,
frequent cultivation, and an occasional stimulant, such as liquid manure
or nitrate of soda.
The cos lettuce is an upright-growing type much esteemed in Europe, but
less grown here. The leaves of the full-grown plants are tied together,
thus blanching the center, making it a desirable salad or garnishing
variety. It thrives best in summer.
One ounce of seed will grow 3000 plants or sow 100 feet of drill. In the
garden, plants may stand 6 inches apart in the rows, and the rows may be
as close together as the system of tillage will allow.
MUSHROOM.--Sooner or later, the novice wants to grow mushrooms.
While it is easy to describe the conditions under which they may be
grown, it does not follow that a crop may be predicted with any
Latterly, careful studies have been made of the growing of mushrooms
from spores and of the principles involved in the making of spawn, with
the hope of reducing the whole subject of mushroom growing to a rational
basis. A good idea of this work may be had by reading Duggar's
contribution on the subject in Bulletin 85 of the Bureau of Plant
Industry, United States Department of Agriculture. In this place,
however, we may confine ourselves to the customary
The following paragraphs are from "Farmers' Bulletin," No. 53 (by
William Falconer), of the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (March, 1897):--
Mushrooms are a winter crop, coming in from September till April or
May--that is, the work of preparing the manure begins in September and
ends in February, and the packing of the crop begins in October or
November and ends in May. Under extraordinary conditions the season may
begin earlier and last longer, and, in fact, it may continue all summer.
Mushrooms can be grown almost anywhere out of doors, and also indoors
where there is a dry bottom in which to set the beds, where a uniform
and moderate temperature can be maintained, and where the beds can be
protected from wet overhead, and from winds, drought, and direct
sunshine. Among the most desirable places in which to grow mushrooms are
barns, cellars, closed tunnels, sheds, pits, greenhouses, and regular
mushroom houses. Total darkness is not imperative, for mushrooms grow
well in open light if shaded from sunshine. The temperature and moisture
are more apt to be equable in dark places than in open, light ones, and
it is largely for this reason that mushroom houses are kept dark.
The best fertilizer for mushrooms, so far as the writer's experience
goes, is fresh horse manure. Get together a lot of this material (short
and strawy) that has been well trampled and wetted in the stable. Throw
it into a heap, wet it well if it is at all dry, and let it heat. When
it begins to steam, turn it over, shake it well so as to mix thoroughly
and evenly, and then tramp it down solid. After this let it stand till
it again gets quite warm; then turn, shake, trample as before, and add
water freely if it is getting dry. Repeat this turning, moistening, and
trampling as often as it is needful to keep the manure from "burning."
If it gets intensely hot, spread it out to cool, after which again throw
it together. After being turned in this way several times, and the heat
in it is not apt to rise above 130 deg. F., it should be ready to make
up in the beds. By adding to the manure at the second or third turning
one-fourth or one-fifth of its bulk of loam, the tendency to intense
heating is lessened and its usefulness not at all impaired. Some growers
prefer short manure exclusively, that is, the horse droppings, while
others like a good deal of straw mixed in with this. The writer's
experience, however, is that, if properly prepared, it matters little
which is used.
Ordinarily the beds are only 8 to 10 inches deep; that is, they are
faced with 10-inch-wide hemlock boards, and are only the depth of this
board. In such beds put a layer of fresh, moist, hot manure, and trample
it down firm until it constitutes half the depth of the bed; then fill
up with the prepared manure, which should be rather cool (100 deg. to
115 deg.F.) when used, and pack all firmly. If desired, the beds can be
made up entirely of the prepared manure. Shelf beds are usually 9 inches
deep; that is, the shelf is bottomed with 1-inch boards and faced with
10-inch wide boards. This allows about 8 inches for manure, and 1 inch
rising to 2 inches of loam on top. In filling the shelf beds the bottom
half may be of fresh, moist or wettish, hot manure, packed down solid,
and the top half of rather cool prepared manure, or it may be made up of
all prepared manure. As the shelf beds cannot be trodden and cannot be
beaten very firm with the back of the fork, a brick is used in addition
to the fork.
The beds should be spawned after the heat in them has fallen below 100 deg.
F. The writer considers 90 deg. F. about the best temperature for spawning.
If the beds have been covered with hay, straw, litter, or mats, these
should be removed. Break each brick into twelve or fifteen pieces. The
rows should be, say, 1 foot apart, the first one being 6 inches from the
edge, and the pieces should be 9 inches apart in the row. Commencing
with the first row, lift up each piece, raise 2 to 3 inches of the
manure with the hand, and into this hole place the piece, covering over
tightly with the manure. When the entire bed is spawned, pack the
surface all over. It is well to cover the beds again with straw, hay, or
mats, to keep the surface equally moist. The flake spawn is planted in
the same way as the brick spawn, only not quite so deep.
At the end of eight or nine days the mulching should be removed and the
beds covered with a layer of good loam 2 inches thick, so that the
mushrooms can come up in and through it. This gives them a firm hold,
and to a large extent improves their quality and texture. Any fair loam
will do. That from an ordinary field, wayside, or garden is generally
used, and it answers admirably. There exists an idea that garden soil
surfeited with old manure is unfit for mushroom beds because it is apt
to produce spurious fungi. This, however, is not the case. In fact, it
is the earth most commonly used. For molding the beds the loam should be
rather fine, free, and mellow, so that it can be easily and evenly
spread and compacted firmly into the manure.
If an even atmospheric temperature of from 55 deg. to 60 deg. F. can be
maintained, and the house or cellar containing the mushroom beds is kept
close and free from drafts, the beds may be left uncovered, and should
be watered if they become dry. But no matter where the beds are
situated, it is well to lay some loose hay or straw or some old matting
or carpet over them to keep them moist. The covering, however, should
be removed just as soon as the young mushrooms begin to appear above
ground. If the atmosphere is dry, the pathways and walls should be
sprinkled with water. The mulching should also be sprinkled, but not
enough to cause the water to soak into the bed. However, if the bed
should get dry, do not hesitate to water it.
MUSTARD.--Almost all the mustards are good for greens, though white
mustard is usually best. Chinese mustard is also valuable.
Seed should be sown in drills, 3 to 3-1/2 feet apart, and covered with a
half inch of soil. The ease with which they may be grown, and the
abundance of herbage which they yield, mark their special utility. Sow
very early for spring greens, and in late summer or early September for
MUSKMELON.--The most delicious of all garden vegetables eaten from
the hand, and of simple cultivation; but like many another plant that is
easy to grow it often fails completely. The season and soil must be warm
and the growth continuous.
The natural soil for melons is a light, sandy loam, well enriched with
rotted manure, although good crops may be grown on land naturally heavy
if the hills are specially prepared. When only heavy soil is available,
the earth where the seeds are to be planted should be thoroughly
pulverized and mixed with fine, well-rotted manure. A sprinkling of
leafmold or chip-dirt will help to lighten it. On this hill from ten to
fifteen seeds may be sown, thinning to four or five vines when danger of
insects is over.
The season may be advanced and the damage from insects lessened by
starting the plants in hotbeds. This may be done by using fresh sod, cut
into 6-inch pieces, placing them grass-side down in the hotbed, sowing
eight to ten seeds on each piece, and covering with 2 inches of light
soil. When all danger of frost is over, and the ground has become warm,
these sods may be carefully lifted and set in the prepared hills. The
plants usually grow without check, and fruit from two to four weeks
ahead of those from seed planted directly in the hill. Old quart
berry-boxes are excellent to plant seeds in, as, when they are set in
the ground, they very quickly decay, causing no restriction to
Netted Gem, Hackensack, Emerald Gem, Montreal, Osage, and the Nutmeg
melon are popular varieties. One ounce of seed will plant about
OKRA.--A plant of the cotton family, from the green pods of which
is made the well-known gumbo soup of the South, where the plant is more
extensively grown than in the North. The pods are also used in their
green state for stews, and are dried and used in winter, when they are
nutritious, and form no little part of the diet in certain sections of
The seeds are very sensitive to cold and moisture, and should not be
sown until the ground has become warm--the last week in May or the first
of June being early enough in New York. The seed should be sown in a
drill 1 inch deep, the plants thinned to stand 12 inches in the row.
Give the same culture as for corn. One ounce will sow 40 feet of drill.
Dwarf varieties are best for the North. Green Density and Velvet are
ONION.--A few onions, of one kind or another, give character to
every good kitchen-garden. They are grown from seeds ("black seed") for
the main crop. They are also grown from sets (which are very small
onions, arrested in their development); from "tops" (which are bulblets
produced in the place of flowers); and from multipliers or potato
onions, which are compound bulbs.
The extremely early crop of onions is grown from sets, and the late or
fall crop is grown from seed sown in April or early May. The sets may be
saved from the crop harvested the previous fall, saving no bulbs
measuring over three-fourths of an inch in diameter, or, better, they
may be purchased from the seedsman. These sets should be planted as
early as possible in the spring, preferably on land that has been
manured and trenched in the fall. Plant in rows 12 inches apart, the
sets being 2 or 3 inches in the row. Push the sets well down into the
ground and cover with soil, firming them with the feet or a roller. In
cultivating, the soil should be thrown towards the tops, as the white
stems are usually sought as an indication of mildness. The crop will be
in condition to use in three to four weeks, and may be made to last
until small seed onions are to be had. Tops or multipliers may also be
used for the early crop.
In growing onions from seed, it is only necessary to say that the seed
should be in the ground very early in order that the bulbs make their
growth before the extreme hot weather of August, when, for want of
moisture and because of the heat, the bulbs will ripen up while small.
Early in April, in New York, if the ground is in condition, the seed
should be sown thickly in drills from 12 to 16 inches apart, and the
ground above the seeds well firmed. Good cultivation and constant
weeding is the price of a good crop of onions. In cultivating and
hoeing, the soil should be kept away from the rows, not covering the
growing bulbs, but allowing them to spread over the surface of the
ground. When the crop is ready to be harvested, the bulbs may be pulled
or cultivated up, left to dry in double rows for several days, the tops
and roots taken off, and the bulbs stored in a dry place. Later in the
season they may be allowed to freeze, covering with chaff or straw to
hold them frozen, and kept until early spring; but this method is
usually unsafe with beginners, and always so in a changeable climate.
Onion seed should always be fresh when sown--preferably of the last
year's crop. One ounce of onion seed will sow 100 feet of drill.
[Illustration: Fig. 310. Bunch onions, grown from seed.]
One of the recent methods of securing extra large and also early bulbs
from seed is to sow the seed in a hotbed in February or early March, and
transplant to the open ground in April. A bunch of onions, for eating
from hand, is shown in Fig. 310.
The Danvers, Prizetaker, Globe, and Wethersfield are favorite varieties,
with the addition of White Queen or Barletta for pickling.
PARSLEY.--This is the most universal of garnishes. It is used also
as a flavoring in soups.
The seed is slow to germinate, and often the second or third sowing is
made, thinking the first is a failure; but usually after what would seem
a long time the young plants will be seen. When sown in the open ground,
it should be thinned to stand 3 or 4 inches in the row, the rows being
10 to 12 inches apart. A few plants in a border will give a supply for a
large family, and with a little protection will live over winter.
Roots may be lifted in the fall, put into boxes or old cans, and grown
in a sunny window for winter use. The Curled parsley is the form
[Illustration: Fig. 311. The Student parsnip, a leading variety]
PARSNIP.--A standard winter and spring vegetable, of the easiest
culture in deep soil (Fig. 311).
Parsnips are the better for the winter's freeze, although they are of
good quality if taken up after the fall frosts and packed in soil, sand,
or moss in the cellar.
The seed, which must be not over one year old, should be sown as early
as possible in well-prepared soil, firmed with the feet or roller. As
the seed germinates rather slowly, the ground often becomes crusted or
baked over the seeds, in which case it should be broken and fined with a
garden rake. This operation often means the success of the crop. Radish
or cabbage seeds may be sown with the parsnip seed to mark the row and
break the crust. One ounce of seed will sow 200 feet of drill. Thin to 6
inches apart in the row.
PEA.--Perhaps no vegetable is planted in greater expectancy than
the pea. It is one of the earliest seeds to go into the ground, and the
planting fever is impatient.
There is great difference in quality between the smooth and the
wrinkled peas. The first are a little the earliest to be planted and to
become fit for use, and on that account should be planted in a small
way; but the wrinkled sorts are much superior in quality.
The early crop of peas may be forwarded by sprouting the seeds indoors.
Soil may be made too rich or strong for peas.
For the kitchen-garden the dwarf and half-dwarf varieties are the best,
as the tall kinds will need brush or wire to support them, causing
considerable trouble and labor and not being as neat in appearance. The
dwarf varieties should be planted four rows in a block, each row being
only 6 or 8 inches apart. The peas on the two center rows may be picked
from the outside. Leave a space of 2 feet and plant the same.
The tall varieties yield a larger crop than the dwarfs, but as the rows
must be made from 3 to 5 feet apart, the dwarf ones, which are planted
only 6 to 8 inches apart, will give as large a yield on the same area.
Always plant double rows of the tall varieties; that is, two rows from 4
to 6 inches apart, with the brush or wire between, the double rows being
from 3 to 5 feet apart, according to varieties.
At the time of the first planting only the smooth varieties should be
sown, but by the middle of April in New York the ground will be warm and
dry enough for wrinkled sorts. Succession crops should be sown that will
come to maturity one after the other, extending the season six or eight
weeks. If a further supply is wanted, the early quick-maturing varieties
may be sown in August, usually giving a fair crop of peas in September
and early October. In the hot weather of midsummer they do not thrive so
well. One quart of seed will plant about 100 feet of drill.
[Illustration: Fig. 312. One of the bell peppers.]
PEPPER.--The garden pepper is not the pepper of commerce; it is
more properly known as red pepper (though the pods are not always red),
chilli, and capsicum. The pods are much used in the South, and most
Northern households now employ them to some extent.
Peppers are tender while young, although they will endure a heavy frost
in the fall. Their culture is that recommended for egg-plants. A small
seedsman's packet of seed will be sufficient for a large number of
plants, say two hundred. The large bell peppers (Fig. 312) are the
mildest, and are used for making "stuffed peppers" and other dishes.
The small, hot peppers are used for seasoning and sauces.
POTATO.--The potato is rather more a field crop than a home-garden
product; yet the home-gardener often desires to grow a small early lot.
The common practice of growing potatoes on elevated ridges or hills is
wrong, unless the soil is so wet that this practice is necessary to
insure proper drainage (but in this case the land is not adapted to the
growing of potatoes), or unless it is necessary, in a particular place,
to secure a very early crop. If the land is elevated into ridges or
hills, there is great loss of moisture by means of evaporation. During
the last cultivating the potatoes may be hilled up slightly in order to
cover the tubers; but the hills should not be made in the beginning for
the main crop if land and conditions are right.
Land for potatoes should be rather loamy in character, and ought to have
a liberal supply of potash, either naturally or supplied in the drill,
by means of an application of sulfate of potash. See that the land is
deeply plowed or spaded, so that the roots can penetrate deeper. Plant
the potatoes 3 or 4 inches below the natural surface of the ground. It
is ordinarily best to drop the pieces in drills. A continuous drill or
row may be made by dropping one piece every 6 inches, but it is usually
thought best to drop two pieces about every 12 to 18 inches. The drills
are far enough apart to allow good cultivation. If horse cultivation is
used, the drills should be at least 3 feet apart.
Small potatoes are considered not to be so good as large ones for
planting. One reason is because too many sprouts arise from each one,
and these sprouts are likely to crowd each other. The same is true of
the tip end or seed end of the tuber. Even when the tip is cut off, the
eyes are so numerous that one secures many weak shoots rather than two
or three strong ones. It is ordinarily best to cut the potatoes to two
or three eyes, leaving as much tuber as possible with each piece. From 7
to 10 bushels of potatoes are required to plant an acre.
[Illustration: XXV. The garden radish, grown in fall of the usual spring
For a very early crop in the garden, tubers are sometimes sprouted in
the cellar. When the sprouts are 4 to 6 inches high, the tubers are
carefully planted. It is essential that the sprouts are not broken in
the handling. In this practice, also, the tubers are first cut into
large pieces, so that they will not dry out too much.
The staple remedy for the potato bug is Paris green, 2 pounds or more of
poison to 150 to 200 gallons of water, with a little lime. For the
blight, spray with bordeaux mixture, and spray thoroughly. Bordeaux
mixture will also keep away the flea beetle to a large extent.
RADISH (Plate XXV).--In all parts of the country the radish is
popular as a side-dish, being used as an appetizer and for its
decorative character. It is a poor product, however, if misshapen,
wormy, or tough.
Radishes should be grown quickly in order to have them at their best.
They become tough and woody if grown slowly or allowed to stay in the
ground too long. A light soil, well enriched, will grow most of the
early varieties to table size in three to five weeks. To have a supply
through the early months, sowings should be made every two weeks. For
spring use, the French Breakfast is still a standard variety (Fig. 313).
For summer, the large white or gray varieties are best. The winter
varieties may be sown in September, harvested before severe frosts, and
stored in sand in a cool cellar. When they are to be used, if thrown
into cold water for a short time they will regain their crispness.
Sow radishes thickly in drills, 12 to 18 inches apart. Thin as needed.
[Illustration: Fig. 313. French Breakfast and olive-shaped radishes.]
RHUBARB, OR PIE PLANT.--A strong perennial herb, to be grown in a
bed or row by itself at one end or side of the garden. It is a
Rhubarb is usually propagated by division of the fleshy roots, small
pieces of which will grow if separated from the old established roots
and planted in rich mellow soil. Poor soil should be made rich by
spading out at least 3 feet of the surface, filling with well-rotted
manure to within 1 foot of the level, throwing in the top soil and
setting the roots with the crowns 4 inches below the surface, firming
them with the feet. The stalks should not be cut for use until the
second year. See that the plant does not want for water when it is
making its heavy leaf growth. In fall, coarse manure should be thrown
over the crowns, to be forked or spaded in lightly when spring opens.
In growing seedling rhubarb, the seed may be sown in a coldframe in
March or April, protected from freezing, and in two months the plants
will be ready to set in rows, 12 inches apart. Give the plants good
cultivation, and the following spring they may be set in a permanent
place. At this time the plants should be set in well-prepared ground, at
a distance each way of 4 to 5 feet, and treated as those set with
pieces of roots.
If given good care and well manured, the plants will live for years and
yield abundantly. Two dozen good roots will supply a large family.
[Illustration: Fig. 314. Salsify, or oyster plant.]
SALSIFY, or VEGETABLE OYSTER (Fig. 314).--Salsify is one of
the best of winter and early spring vegetables, and should be grown in
every garden. It may be cooked in several different ways, to bring out
the oyster flavor.
The seed should be sown as early in the spring as possible. Handle the
same as parsnips in every way. The roots, like parsnips, are the better
for the winter freeze, but part of the crop should be dug in the fall,
and stored in soil or moss in a cellar for winter use.
SEA-KALE is a strong-rooted perennial, the shoots of which are
very highly prized as a delicacy when blanched.
Seed should be sown in a hotbed early in the spring, plants transplanted
to the garden when from 2 to 3 inches high, and given good cultivation
through the season, being covered with litter on the approach of winter.
The young stalks are blanched early the following spring by covering
with large pots or boxes, or by banking with sand or other clean
material. The Dwarf Green Scotch, Dwarf Brown, and Siberian are among
the leading varieties. Sea-kale is eaten much as asparagus is. It is
highly prized by those who know it.
Sea-kale is also propagated by cuttings of the roots 4 or 5 inches long,
planted directly in the soil in spring. The plant being perennial, the
early shoots may be bleached year after year.
SORREL of the European garden sorts may be sown in spring, in
drills 16 inches apart in beds, or 3 to 3-1/2 feet apart in rows. After
the plants are well established they should be thinned to 10 to 12
inches apart in the rows. They are perennial, and may be kept growing in
the same place for several years. Broad-leaved French is the most
SPEARMINT is prized by many persons as a seasoning, particularly
for the Thanksgiving and holiday cookery.
It is a perennial and perfectly hardy, and will live in the open garden
year after year. If a supply of the fresh herbage is wanted in winter,
remove sods of it to the house six weeks before wanted. Place the sods
in boxes, and treat as for house plants. The plants should have been
frosted and become perfectly dormant before removal.
SPINACH.--The most extensively grown of all "greens," being in
season in earliest spring, and in fall and winter.
The earliest spinach that finds its way to market is produced from seed
sown in September or October, often protected by frames or other means
through the severe winter, and cut soon after growth starts in early
spring. Even as far north as New York spinach may stand over winter
Spinach is forced by placing sash over the frames in February and
March, protecting the young leaves from severe freezing by mats or
straw thrown over the frames.
Seed may be sown in early spring for a succession; later in the season
seed of the New Zealand summer spinach may be sown, and this will grow
through the heat of the summer and yield a fine quality of leaves. The
seed of this kind, being very hard, should be scalded and allowed to
soak a few hours before sowing. This seed is usually sown in hills about
3 feet apart, sowing four to six seed in each hill.
The spring and winter spinach should be sown in drills 12 to 14 inches
apart, one ounce being sufficient for 100 feet of drill. Remember that
common spinach is a cool-weather (fall and spring) crop.
SQUASH.--The summer squashes rarely fail of a crop if they once
escape the scourge of the striped beetle. The late varieties are not so
certain; they must secure a strong start, and be on "quick" fertile warm
land in order to make a crop before the cool nights of fall (Fig. 315).
[Illustration: Fig. 315. One of the so-called Japanese type of squash
The time of planting, method of preparing the hills, and after-culture
are the same as for cucumbers and melons, except that for the early bush
varieties the hills should be 4 or 5 feet apart, and for the later
running varieties from 6 to 8 feet apart. From eight to ten seeds should
be planted in each hill, thinning to four plants after danger from bugs
is over. Of the early squashes, one ounce of seed will plant fifty
hills; of the later varieties, one ounce will plant but eighteen to
twenty hills. For winter use, varieties of the Hubbard type are best.
For summer use, the Crooknecks and Scallop squashes are popular. In
growing winter squashes in a Northern climate, it is essential that the
plants start off quickly and vigorously: a little chemical fertilizer
Pumpkins are grown the same as squashes.
SWEET-POTATO is rarely grown north of Philadelphia; in the South it
is a universal garden crop.
Sweet-potatoes are grown from sprouts planted on ridges or hills, not
by planting the tubers, as with the common or Irish potato. The method
of obtaining these sprouts is as follows: In April, tubers of
sweet-potatoes are planted in a partially spent hotbed by using the
whole tuber (or if a large one, by cutting it in two through the long
way), covering the tubers with 2 inches of light, well-firmed soil. The
sash should be put on the frames and only enough ventilation given to
keep the potatoes from decaying. In ten or twelve days the young sprouts
should begin to appear, and the bed should be watered if dry. The
sprouts when pulled from the tuber will be found to have rootlets at the
lower end and along the stems. These sprouts should be about 3 to 5
inches long by the time the ground is warm enough to plant them out on
The ridges or hills should be prepared by plowing out a furrow 4 to 6
inches deep. Scatter manure in the furrow and plow back the soil so as
to raise the center at least 6 inches above the level of the soil. On
this ridge the plants are set, placing the plants well in to the leaves
and about 12 to 18 inches apart in the rows, the rows being from 3 to 4
The after-cultivation consists in stirring the soil between the ridges;
and as the vines begin to run they should be lifted frequently to
prevent rooting at the joints. When the tips of the vines have been
touched by frost the crop may be harvested, the tubers left to dry a few
days, and stored in a dry, warm place.
To keep sweet potatoes, store in layers in barrels or boxes in dry sand,
and keep them in a dry room See that all bruised or chilled potatoes are
TOMATO.--The tomato is an inhabitant of practically every home
garden, and everybody understands its culture (Fig. 316).
The early fruits are very easily grown by starting the plants in a
greenhouse, hotbed, or in shallow boxes placed in windows. A pinch of
seed sown in March will give all the early plants a large family can
use. When the plants have reached the height of 2 or 3 inches, they
should be transplanted into 3-inch flower-pots, old berry boxes, or
other receptacles, and allowed to grow slowly and stocky until time to
set them out, which is from May 15 on (in New York). They should be set
in rows 4 or 5 feet apart, the plants being the same distance in
[Illustration: 316. A good form or type of tomato.]
[Illustration: 317. A tomato trellis.]
Some support should be given to keep the fruits off the ground and to
hasten the ripening. A trellis of chicken-wire makes an excellent
support, as does the light lath fencing that may be bought or made at
home. Stout stakes, with wire strung the length of the rows, afford an
excellent support. A very showy method is that of a frame made like an
inverted V, which allows the fruits to hang free; with a little
attention to trimming, the light reaches the fruits and ripens them
perfectly (Fig. 317). This support is made by leaning together two
The late fruits may be picked green and ripened on a shelf in the sun;
or they will ripen if placed in a drawer.
One ounce of seed will be enough for from twelve to fifteen hundred
plants. A little fertilizer in the hill will start the plants off
quickly. The rot is less serious when the vines are kept off the ground
and the rampant suckers are cut out. Varieties pass out and new ones
come into notice, so that a list is of small permanent value.
TURNIPS and RUTABAGAS are little grown in home gardens; and
yet a finer quality of vegetable than most persons know could be secured
if these plants were raised on one's own soil and brought fresh to the
table. They are usually a fall crop, from seed sown in July and early
August, although some kitchen-gardens have them from spring-sown The
culture is easy.
Turnips should be grown in drills, like beets, for the early crop. The
young plants will stand light frosts. Choose a rainy day for planting,
if practicable. Cover the seed very lightly. Thin the young plants to 5
to 7 inches in the row. Sow every two weeks if a constant supply is
desired, as turnips rapidly become hard and woody in warm summer
weather. For the fall and winter crop in the North,
"On the fourteenth day of July,
Sow your turnips, wet or dry."
In many parts of the northern and middle states tradition fixes the 25th
of July as the proper time for sowing flat turnips for winter use. In
the middle states, turnips are sometimes sown as late as the end of
August. Prepare a piece of very mellow ground, and sow the seed thinly
and evenly broadcast. In spite of the old rhyme, a gentle shower will
then be acceptable. These turnips are pulled after frost, the tops
removed, and the roots stored in cellars or pits.
For the early crop, Purple-top Strap-leaf, Early White Flat Dutch, and
Early Purple-top Milan are the favorite varieties. Yellow-fleshed sorts
like Golden Ball are very fine for early table use, when well grown, but
most eaters prefer white turnips in spring, although they occasionally
patronize the yellow varieties in the fall. Yellow Globe is the favorite
yellow fall turnip, though some persons grow yellow rutabagas and call
them turnips. For late crop of white turnips, the same varieties chosen
for spring sowing are also desirable.
Rutabagas are distinguished from turnips by their smooth, bluish
foliage, long root, and yellow flesh. They are richer than turnips; they
require the same treatment, except that the season of growth is longer.
Fall-sown or summer-sown bagas should have a month the start of
Except the maggot (see cabbage maggot,), there are no serious insects or
diseases peculiar to turnips and bagas.
WATERMELON.--The watermelon is shipped everywhere in such enormous
quantities, and it covers so much space in the garden, that
home-gardeners in the North seldom grow it. When one has room, it should
be added to the kitchen-garden.
The culture is essentially that for muskmelons (which see), except that
most varieties require a warmer place and longer period of growth. Give
the hills a distance of 6 to 10 feet apart. Choose a warm, "quick" soil
and sunny exposure. It is essential, in the North, that the plants grow
rapidly and come into bloom early. One ounce of seed will plant
There are several white or yellow-fleshed varieties, but aside from
their oddity of appearance they have little value. A good watermelon has
a solid, bright red flesh, preferably with black seeds, and a strong
protecting rind. Kolb Gem, Jones, Boss, Cuban Queen, and Dixie are among
the best varieties. There are early varieties that will ripen in the
Northern season, and make a much better melon than those secured on
The so-called "citron," with hard white flesh, used in making preserves,
is a form of watermelon.
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 useful as suggestions and
The Monthly Reminders are compiled from files of the "American Garden"
of some years back, when the author had editorial charge of that
magazine. The advice for the North (pages 504 to 516) was written by T.
Greiner, La Salle, N.Y. well known as a gardener and author. That for
the South (pages 516 to 526) was made by H.W. Smith, Baton Rouge, La.,
for the first nine months, and it was extended for "Garden-Making" to
the months of October, November, and December by F.H. Burnette,
Horticulturist of the Louisiana Experiment Station.
KITCHEN-GARDEN PLANTING TABLE
A GUIDE TO THE PROPER TIMES FOR SOWING OF VARIOUS SEEDS IN ORDER TO
OBTAIN CONTINUOUS SUCCESSION OF CROPS
EXPLANATION OF SIGNS USED IN THE TABLE.
(0)To be sown in open ground without transplanting. Plants have to be
thinned out, given proper distance.
(1) Sow in seed bed in the garden, and transplant thence to permanent
(2) Make two sowings in open ground during the month.
(3) Make three sowings in open ground during the month.
(4) Start in greenhouse or hot-bed, and plant out so soon as the ground
is in good shape, and weather permits.
(5) Sow in open ground as soon as it can be worked.
(6) To be grown only in hot-bed or greenhouse.
(7) Sow in cold frame, keep plants there over winter with a little
protection; plant out in spring as soon as the ground can be worked.
(8) To be sown in open ground, and protected with litter over winter.
(9) Plant in frame. When cold weather sets in, cover with sash and straw
mats. Plants will be ready for use in December and January.
(10) Plant in cellar, barn or under benches in greenhouse.
(11) Plant outdoors on prepared beds.
(12) Sow every week in greenhouse or frame, to have a good succession.
VEGETABLES IN THE KITCHEN GARDEN
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
American - - - (0) (0) - - - - - - -
French - (4) - (1) (1) - - - - - - -
Beans, Bush (6) (6) (6) (0) (2) (2) (2) (0) - - - -
Pole & Lima - - - - (0) (0) - - - - - -
Beets - - (4) (4) (0) (0) (0) (0) - - - -
Borecole, Kale - - - - (1) (1) (1) - - - - -
Broccoli - (4) (4) (1) (1) (1) - - (7) (7) - -
Sprouts - - - - (1) (1) - - - - - -
all sorts - (4) (4) (1) (1) (1) - - (7) (7) - -
Cardoon - (4) (4) (1) (1) (1) - - - - - -
Carrot (6) (6) (5) (0) (0) (0) (0) - - - - -
Cauliflower (6) (4) (4) (1) (1) (1) - - - - - -
Celeriac - (4) (4) (1) (1) (1) - - - - - -
Celery - (4) (4) (1) (1) (1) - - - - - -
Chicory - - (5) (0) (0) (0) - - - - - -
Collards - - - - - - (0) (0) (0) - - -
Corn, field - - - (0) (0) (0) - - - - - -
Corn, Sweet - - - (2) (2) (2) (2) (0) - - - -
Corn, Pop - - - (0) (0) (0) - - - - - -
Corn, Salad - - (5) (0) (0) (0) - - (8) - - -
Cress (12) (12) (12) (12) (0) (0) - - (12) (12) (12) (12)
Cucumber (6) (6) (6) (4) (0) (0) - (6) (6) - - -
Egg Plants - (6) (4) (1) (1) (1) - - - - - -
Endive - - - (1) (1) (1) (1) - - - - -
Kohlrabi (6) (6) (4) (1) (1) (1) (1) - - - - -
Leek - (4) (4) (1) (1) (1) - - - - - -
Lettuce (6) (4) (4) (1) (2) (2) (2) (0) (9) (9) (7) -
Mangel - - (5) (0) (0) (0) - - - - - -
Melon (6) (6) (6) (4) (0) (0) (9) (6) - - - -
Mushroom (10) (10) (11) - - - - (11) (10) (10) (10) (10)
Mustard (12) (12) (12) (0) (0) (0) - (0) (0) (12) (12) (12)
Nasturtium - - - (0) (0) - - - - - - -
Okra - - (4) (4) (2) (2) (2) - - - - -
Onion - (4) (4) (1) (1) - - - - - - -
Parsnips - - (5) (0) (0) (0) - - - - - -
Parsley (6) (6) (4) (0) (0) (0) (0) - - - - -
Peas - - (5) (2) (2) (2) (2) (0) - (0) - -
Pepper - (4) (4) (4) (1) - - - - - - -
Potatoes - - - (0) (0) - - - - - - -
Pumpkin - - - (4) (0) (0) - - - - - -
Radish (12) (12) (12) (3) (3) (3) - - (9) (9) - -
Rutabaga - - - - - - - (0) (0) - - -
Salsify - - (5) (0) - - - (0) (0) - - -
Seakale - - (5) (0) (0) (0) - - - - - -
Spinach - - (5) (0) (0) - - - (2) (8) - -
Squash - - (4) (4) (0) (0) - - - - - -
Tomato (6) (6) (4) (1) (1) (1) - (6) (6) (6) - -
Turnips - - - - - - - (0) (0) - - -
N.B.--For last planting of Beans, Sweet Corn, Kohlrabi, Peas and
Radishes, or even Tomatoes, take the earliest varieties, just the same
as are used for first planting.
--The late sowings of Salsify are intended to remain undisturbed over
winter. Roots from these sowings will, the next year, attain a size
double that usually seen.
[Illustration: Fig. 318. Bird's-eye view of the seasons in which the
various garden products may be in their prime.]
SUGGESTIONS AND REMINDERS.--I. FOR THE NORTH
_Cabbage plants_ in frames need free airing whenever the temperature is
above the freezing point, or so long as the soil of the bed is not
frozen. Snow, in that case, should be removed soon after its fall. As
long as the soil is frozen the snow can safely be left on for a number
of days. Cabbage, cauliflower, and lettuce seed should be sown at
intervals to secure plants for extra-early sales or setting. A month
later they will be ready to transfer to boxes, which should go to the
coldframe and be given protection by mats or shutters.
_Coldframes_ must be well ventilated on warm, sunny days; leave the
sashes off as long as is possible without injury to the plants. Keep the
soil in a friable condition, and look carefully to any possible places
where water can stand and freeze. If the frames seem too cold, bank up
around them with coarse manure.
_Hotbeds._--Look up and repair the sashes. Save the horse-manure from
day to day, rejecting dry litter, and piling up the droppings and
urine-soaked bedding in thin layers to prevent violent heating.
_Lettuce_ in frames treat as advised for cabbage plants.
_Pruning_ should now be considered. Perhaps it is best to prune
fruit-trees in March or April, but grapes and currants and gooseberries
may be pruned now. January and February are good months in which to
prune peach trees. Thin out the peach trees well, taking care to remove
all the dead wood. If you have much pruning to do in apple, pear, or
plum orchards, you will save time by utilizing the warm days now. Study
well the different methods of pruning. Never let an itinerant pruner
touch your trees until you are satisfied that he understands
_Tools_ should now be inspected and repaired, and any new ones that are
needed made or ordered.
_Cabbage._--Sow seed of Jersey Wakefield in flats filled with light
loamy soil, the last week of this month. Sow thinly, cover lightly, and
place the boxes in a gentle hotbed or any warm, sunny situation. When
the plants are strong, transplant them into flats 1-1/2 in. apart each
way. As growth begins, gradually expose them to the open air on all
favorable occasions. Late in March remove them to a coldframe, and
properly harden them off before setting them in the open ground.
_Celery._--We urgently advise every one who has a garden, large or
small, to make a trial of the new celery-culture. You need, first, good
plants. Get some seed of White Plume or Golden Self-blanching, and sow
it thickly in flats filled with fine loam. Cover by sifting a thin layer
of sand or fine soil over it, and firm well. Keep in a moderately warm
place, watering as needed, until plants appear. If you have a number of
flats, they may be placed on top of one another. At the first sign of
plant-growth, bring the flats gradually to the light. When the plants
are 1-1/2 or 2 in. high, transplant them into other flats, setting them
in rows 2-1/2 in. apart, the plants half an inch apart in the rows. Then
set the flats in a coldframe until the plants are large enough to plant
out in the open ground.
_Hotbeds_ for raising early plants should be made this month. Always
break the manure up fine and tread it down well. Be sure to put enough
in the center of beds, so that there will be no sagging. Fresh manure of
hard-worked and well-fed horses, free from dry litter, is best. An
addition of leaves used for bedding will serve to produce a more
moderate but more lasting heat. Sheep-manure may also be added to the
horse-manure, should there be a scant supply of the latter on hand.
_Onions._--We urgently advise giving the new onion-culture a trial. For
seed, buy a packet or an ounce of Prizetaker, Spanish King, White
Victoria, or some other large kind of globe onion. Sow the seed in
flats, in a hotbed, or in a greenhouse late in the month, and transplant
the onions to the open ground as soon as the latter is in working
condition. Set the plants in rows 1 ft. apart and about 3 in. apart
in the row.
_Plums._--Make a thorough inspection of all plum and cherry trees, wild
and cultivated, for plum-knot. Cut and burn all the knots found. Remove
all "mummy" plums, for they spread the fruit-rot.
_Rhubarb._--Give the plants in the garden a heavy dressing of fine old
compost. If you wish a few early stalks, place kegs or boxes over some
of the plants, and heap over them some heating horse-manure.
_Beets._--A few seeds may be sown in the hotbed.
_Cabbage, cauliflower, and celery_ seeds may be sown for the early crop.
_Egg-plants._--Seeds should be sown. Take care that the young plants are
_Grafting_ may be done in favorable weather. Cherries and plums must be
grafted early. Use liquid grafting-wax in cold weather.
_Hotbeds_ may be made at any time, but do not grow impatient about the
work, for there will be cold weather yet. Clean, fresh manure is
necessary, and a layer 2 ft. thick should be tramped hard. When once
started and the seeds sown, do not let the beds get too hot. Give them
air on fine days and give the seedlings plenty of water. Use two
thermometers--one to test the atmosphere and the other the heat of
_Lettuce_ should be sown in the hotbed for an early crop.
_Onion_ seed for the new onion-culture may be sown at the close of the
_Peas._--Sow now, if the ground can be worked.
_Peppers_ may be sown late in the month.
_Potatoes_ kept for seed must not be allowed to sprout. Keep them in a
temperature near freezing point. Rub off the sprouts from potatoes kept
for eating, and pick out all decayed specimens.
_Spinach._--Sow some seeds for an early crop.
_Tomato_ seeds may be sown in the hotbeds.
_Artichokes._--Sow the seeds for next year's crop. A deep, rich, sandy
loam is best. Fork in a dressing of well-rotted manure around the
_Asparagus._--Spade in some good manure in the bed, and give the soil a
thorough working before the crowns start. Sow seeds in the open ground
for young plants for a new bed.
_Beans._--Limas may be started on sods in a hotbed or a coldframe
towards the last of the month.
_Beets._--The ground should be prepared and the seed sown for beets for
cattle as soon as the weather will permit. Put them in before planting
corn. They will stand considerable cold weather, and should be planted
early to get a start of the weeds.
_Blackberries_ should be pruned, the brush drawn off, piled, and burned.
If it is necessary, to stake them, try a wire trellis, the same as for
grapes, putting on one wire 2-1/2 ft. high. The young plants should be
dug before the buds start.
_Cabbage_ seed may be sown in the open ground, in coldframes, or in pans
or boxes in the house. Early varieties should be started at once.
Cabbages like a rich and heavy loam, with good drainage. Give them all
the manure you can get.
_Cauliflower_ seeds may be sown toward the last of the month. They
should never have a check from the time the seed is sown until
_Carrot._--Sow the seed of early sorts, like Early Forcing, as soon as
the ground can be worked.
_Celery._--Plan to grow celery by the new method. Plenty of manure and
moisture are required to do this. Sow the seed in light, rich soil in
the house, hotbed, coldframe, or open ground. Transplant the plants once
before setting them in the field. Page 505.
_Cress._--Sow early and every two or three weeks. Watercress should be
sown in damp soil or in streams. The outer edges of a hotbed may also be
utilized. Cress is often a profitable crop when rightly handled.
_Cucumber_ seeds may be sown on sods in the hotbed.
_Egg-plant._--Sow in the hotbed, and transplant when 2 in. high to other
beds or pots. They must have good care, for a check in their growth
means all the difference between profit and loss.
_Lettuce._--Sow the seeds in the hotbed, and in the open ground as soon
as it can be worked. Plants sown a month ago should be transplanted.
_Leek._--Sow the seeds in the open ground in drills 6 in. apart and 1
in. deep, and when large enough, thin to 1 in. in the row.
_Muskmelon._--Plant seeds in sods in the hotbed.
_Parsnip._--Dig the roots before they grow and become soft and pithy.
Seeds may be sown as soon as the ground is dry enough to work.
_Parsley._--Soak the seeds in warm water for a few hours, and sow in the
_Peas._--Sow the seeds as soon as the ground can be worked. They will
stand considerable cold and transplanting also. Time may be gained by
sowing some seeds in moist sand in a box in the cellar and transplanting
when well sprouted. Plant deep in light, dry soil; cover an inch at
first, and draw in the earth as the vines grow.
_Potatoes._--Plant early on rich soil free from blight and scab. For a
very early crop, the potatoes may be sprouted before planting.
_Peppers._--Sow the seeds in the hotbed or in the boxes in the house.
_Radish_ seeds may be sown in the open ground or in the hotbed and the
crop harvested from there. The small, round varieties are best for
_Strawberries._--Give a good, thorough cultivation between the rows and
then remove the mulch from the plants, placing it in the rows, where it
will help to keep the weeds down.
_Salsify._--Sow the seeds as soon as the ground can be worked. Give the
same care and cultivation as for carrots or parsnips.
_Spinach_ seeds must be sown early, and then every two weeks for a
succession. Thin out and use the plants before they send up
_Squashes._--Hubbards and summer squashes may be started on sods in the
_Tomato._--Sow in the hotbed or in shallow boxes in the house. Try some
of the yellow varieties; they are the finest flavored of any.
_Beans._--The bush sorts may be planted in the open ground, and limas in
pots or sods in a coldframe or spent hotbed. Limas require a long season
to mature, and should be started early.
_Beets._--Sow for a succession. Transplant those started under glass.
_Cabbages_ always do best on a freshly turned sod, and should be set
before the land has had time to dry after plowing. The secret of success
in getting a large yield of cabbage is to start with rich land and put
on all the manure obtainable. Clean out the hog yard for this purpose.
_Cucumbers._--Sow in the open ground toward the last of the month. A few
may be started as advised for lima beans.
_Lettuce._--Sow for a succession, and thin to 4 in. in the rows.
_Melons._--Plant in the open ground toward the end of the month. It is
useless to plant melons and other cucurbitaceous plants until settled
weather has arrived.
_Onions._--Finish planting and transplanting, and keep all weeds down,
both in the seed-bed and the open field.
Peas.--Sow for a succession.
_Squashes._--Plant as advised for melons and cucumbers. They require a
rich, well-manured soil.
_Strawberries._--Remove the blossoms from newly set plants. Mulch with
salt hay or marsh hay or clean straw or leaves those that are to bear.
Mulching conserves moisture, keeps the berries clean, and prevents weeds
_Sweet corn._--Plant early and late varieties, and by making two or
three plantings of each, at intervals, a succession may be kept up all
summer and fall. Sweet corn is delicious, and one can hardly have too
much of it.
_Tomatoes._--Set some early plants by the middle of the month or earner,
if the ground is warm, and the season early and fair. They may be
protected from the cold by covering with hay, straw, cloth, or paper, or
even with earth. The main crop should not be set until the 20th or 25th,
or until all danger of frost is over. However, tomatoes will stand more
chilly weather than is ordinarily supposed.
_Asparagus._--Cease cutting and allow the shoots to grow. Keep the weeds
down and the soil well stirred. An application of a quick commercial
fertilizer or of liquid manure will be beneficial.
_Beans._--Sow the wax sorts for succession. As soon as a crop is off,
pull out the vines and plant the ground to late cabbage, turnips, or
_Beets._--Transplant in rows 1 to 3 ft. apart and 6 in. in the row. Cut
off most of the top, water thoroughly, and they will soon start.
_Cabbage and cauliflower._--Set plants for the late crop. Rich, newly
turned sod and a heavy dressing of well-rotted manure go a long way
toward assuring a good crop.
_Celery._--Set the main crop, and try the new method of setting the
plants 7 in. apart each way, if you have rich land and can irrigate, but
not unless these conditions are present. Page 505.
_Cucumbers_ may yet be planted, if done early in the month.
_Currants._--Spray with Paris green for the currant worm until the fruit
sets. Hellebore is good, but it is difficult to get it of good strength;
use it for all late spraying.
_Lettuce._--Sow for succession in a moist, cool, and partially shaded
spot. The seed does not germinate well in hot weather.
_Lima beans_ should be hoed frequently, and started on the poles if they
_Melons._--Cultivate often and watch for the bugs. A screen of closely
woven wire or mosquito netting may be used to cover the vines, or
tobacco dust sifted on thickly.
_Onions._--Keep free from weeds and stir the ground frequently and
especially after every rain.
_Squashes._--Keep the ground well cultivated and look out for bugs. (See
_Melons._) Layer the vines and cover the joints with fresh soil, to
prevent death of the vines from the attacks of the borer.
_Strawberries._--Plow up the old bed that has borne two crops, as it
will usually not pay to keep it. Set the ground to late cabbage or some
other crop. The young bed that has borne the first crop should have a
thorough cultivation and the plow run close to the rows to narrow them
to the required width. Pull up or hoe out all weeds and keep the ground
clean the rest of the season. This applies with equal force to the newly
set bed. A bed can be set late next month from young runners. Pinch off
the end after the first joint, and allow it to root on a sod or in a
small pot set level with the surface.
_Tomatoes._--For an early crop train to a trellis, pinch off all side
shoots, and allow all the strength to go to the main stalk. They may
also be trained to poles, the same as lima beans, and can be set closer
if grown in this way. Spray with the bordeaux mixture for the blight,
keep the foliage thinned and the vines off the ground.
_Turnips._--Sow for an early fall crop.
_Beans._--Sow the wax sorts for a succession.
_Beets._--Sow Early Egyptian or Eclipse for young beets next fall.
_Blackberries._--Head back the young canes to 3 ft., and the laterals
also when they get longer. They may be pinched with the thumbnail and
finger in a small patch, but this soon makes the fingers sore, and when
there are many bushes to go over, it is better to use a pair of shears
or a sharp sickle.
_Cabbage._--Set plants for the late crop.
_Corn._--Plant sweet corn for succession and late use.
_Cucumbers._--It is late to plant, but they may be put in for pickles if
done before the Fourth. Cultivate those which are up, and keep an eye
open for bugs.
_Currants._--Cover a few bushes with muslin or burlap before the fruit
ripens, and you can eat currants in August. Use hellebore, rather than
Paris green, for the last brood of currant worms, and apply it as soon
as the worms appear. There is little danger in using it, even if the
currants are ripe.
_Lettuce_ seed does not germinate well in hot weather. Sow in a moist,
shaded position for a succession.
_Lima beans._--Hoe them frequently, and give assistance to get on the
_Melons._--Watch for bugs, and apply tobacco dust freely around the
plants. Keep them well cultivated. A light application of bone meal
_Peaches, pears, and plums_ should be thinned to secure fine fruit and
to help sustain the vigor of the tree. Ripening the seed is what draws
on the tree's vitality, and if the number of seeds can be reduced
one-half or two-thirds, part of the strength required to ripen them will
go into perfecting the fruit and seeds left, and add greatly to the fine
appearance, flavor, and quality of the edible portion.
_Radishes._--Sow the early kinds for a succession, and toward the end of
the month the winter sorts may be put in.
_Raspberries._--Pinch back the canes to 2-1/2 ft., the same way as given
_Squashes._--Keep the ground well stirred, and use tobacco dust freely
for bugs and beetles. Cover the joints with fresh soil, to guard against
injury by the vine-borer.
_Beets._--A last sowing of the early table sorts may be made for a
_Cabbage._--Harvest the early crop, and give good cultivation to the
main crop. Keep down the bugs and worms.
_Celery._--The latest crop may yet be set. Earlier set plants should be
handled as they attain sufficient size. Common drain tiles are excellent
for blanching if one has them, and must be put on when the plants are
about half grown. Hoe frequently to keep the plants growing.
_Onions._--Harvest as soon as the bulbs are well formed. Let them lie on
the ground until cured, then draw to the barn floor or some other airy
place and spread thinly. Market when you can get a good price, and the
sooner the better.
_Tomatoes_ may be hastened in coloring by being picked just as they
begin to color and placed in single layers in a coldframe or hotbed,
where they can be covered with sash.
In many parts of the North it is not too late to sow rye, or peas, or
corn, to afford winter protection for orchards. As a rule, very late
fall plowing for orchards is not advisable. Now is a good time to trim
up the fence-rows and to burn the brush piles, in order to destroy the
breeding places of rabbits, insects, and weeds. Cuttings of gooseberries
and currants may be taken. Use only the wood of the current year's
growth, making the cuttings about a foot long. Strip off the leaves, if
they have not already fallen, tie the cuttings in large bundles, and
bury them in a cold cellar, or in a sandy, well-drained knoll; or if the
cutting-bed is well prepared and well drained, they may be planted
immediately, the bed being well mulched upon the approach of winter.
September and October are good months in which to set orchards, provided
the ground is well prepared and well drained, and is not too much
exposed to sweeping winds. Wet lands should never be set in the fall;
and such lands, however, are not fit for orchards. Strawberries may
still be set; also bush fruits.
Seeds of various flowers may now be sown for winter bloom, if one has a
conservatory or good window. Petunias, phloxes, and many annuals make
good window plants. Quicker results are secured, however, if border
plants of petunias and some other things are dug up just before frost
and placed in pots or boxes. Keep them cool and shaded for a couple of
weeks, cut down the tops, and they will send up a vigorous and
floriferous growth. Winter roses should now be in place in the beds
or in pots.
There will be odd days when one can go to the woods and fields and
collect roots of wild herbs and shrubs for planting in the yard or along
the unused borders of the garden.
_Asparagus._--Old plantations should now be cleaned off, and the tops
removed at once. This is a good time to apply manure to the beds. For
young plantations, which may be started now as well as in spring, select
a warm soil and sunny exposure, and give each plant plenty of room. We
like to set them in rows 5 ft. apart and at least 2 ft. apart in
_Cabbages._--The heads that will winter best are those just fully
formed, not the over-ripe ones. For family use, bury an empty barrel in
a well-drained spot, and fill it with good heads. Place a lot of dry
leaves on top, and cover the barrel so that it will shed rain. Or, pile
some cabbages in a corner of the barn floor and cover them with enough
straw to prevent solid freezing. Pages 159, 470.
_Cabbage-plants,_ started from seed last month, should be pricked out in
cold-frames, putting about 600 to the ordinary sash and setting them
_Chicory._--Dig what is wanted for salad, and store it in sand in a dry
_Endive._--Blanch by gathering up the leaves and tying them lightly at
_General garden management._--The only planting that can be done in open
ground at this time is restricted to rhubarb, asparagus, and perhaps
onion-sets. Begin to think about next year's planting, and to make
arrangements for the manure that will be needed. Often you can purchase
it now to good advantage, and haul it while the roads are yet good.
Clean up and plow the ground when the crops are harvested.
_Lettuce._--Plants to be wintered over should be set in frames like
_Onions._--Plant sets of Extra Early Pearl, or some other hardy kind, in
the same fashion as in early spring. They are likely to winter well, and
will give an early crop of fine bunching onions. For the North, fall
sowing of onion-seed cannot be recommended.
_Parsley._--Lift some plants and set them in a coldframe 4 or 5 in.
apart, or in a box filled with good soil, and place in a light cellar or
under a shed.
_Pears._--Pick the winter sorts just before there is danger from
freezing. Put them in a cool, dark place, where they will neither mold
nor shrivel. To hasten ripening, they may be brought into a warm room
_Rhubarb._--If plants are to be set or replanted this fall, enrich the
ground with a superabundance of fine old stable-manure, and give each
plant a few feet of space each way. In order to have fresh pie-plant in
winter, dig up some of the roots and plant them in good soil in a barrel
placed in the cellar.
_Sweet-potatoes._--Dig them when ripe after the first frost. Cut off the
vines, and turn the potatoes out with a potato-fork or plow. Handle them
carefully to prevent bruising. Only sound, well-ripened roots are in
proper condition to be wintered over.
_Asparagus._--Manure before winter sets in.
_Beets._--They keep best in pits. Some may be kept in the cellar for use
during winter, but cover them with sand or sods to prevent shriveling.
_Blackberries._--Cut away the old wood and mulch the roots. Tender sorts
should be laid down and lightly covered with soil at the tips.
_Carrots._--Treat as advised for beets.
_Celery._--Dig up the stalks, leaving the roots on, and stand them close
together in a narrow trench, tops just even with the ground-level.
Gradually cover them with boards, earth, and manure. Another way is to
set them upright upon the floor of a damp cellar or root-house, keeping
the roots moist and the tops dry. Celery can stand some frost, but not
exposure to less than 22 deg. F. The stalks intended for use before
Christmas may in most localities be left outdoors, to be used as wanted.
Should cold weather set in early, they will need covering in some
way. Page 475.
_Orchard management._--Young trees should have a mound of earth raised
around the stem as a support and protection against mice, etc. Small and
lately planted trees may have stakes set beside them, and be tied to the
stakes with a broad band. Apple and pear trees may yet be planted. Trim
superfluous or unhealthy wood out of the old orchards.
_Spinach._--Cover the beds lightly with leaves or litter before winter
_Strawberries._--Soon it will be time to mulch the beds. Provide marsh
hay, or other coarse litter, free from weed-seeds, and when the ground
has frozen an inch or so, spread it all over the surface thinly
_Cabbages._--Plants in coldframes should be aired freely and kept cool.
Heads intended for winter and spring use, if not yet taken in or
protected from severe freezing, must now be cared for. Do not cover them
too deeply, nor store them in too warm a place.
_Carrots._--Store them in cellars or pits. If in cellars, keep the roots
covered with sand or sod, to prevent wilting.
_General garden management._--Begin now to make your plans for next
season's work. Carefully study up the matter of rotation, also that of
feeding your crops in the most effective and economical manner. Repair
frames, sashes, and tools. Clear up the garden and premises. Underdrain
where needed. Beds for early vegetables should be thrown up in high,
narrow ridges, with deep furrows between. This will enable you to plant
them several days or weeks earlier than otherwise.
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