THE FIELD, GARDEN, AND ORCHARD...
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THE FIELD, BY DAVID HAY.
THE FIELD, GARDEN, AND ORCHARD,
ARRANGED FOR THE
SEASONS AND CLIMATE OF NEW ZEALAND,
BY DAVID HAY.
The general crop of maize sown in October, will now be in flower; thin out to two or three feet apart each way, and when the male blossom fades cut it down to the first or second joint above the cob, pull off a few of the lower leaves, and the top and bottom leaves use for green food for horses and cows, only do not strip too soon as the grain gets shrivelled and the crop injured; mould up round the stems before the cobs appear, and keep them clear of weeds. Break up new ground if it is not too hard, plough, harrow, drag, and burn fern root, and all weeds, keeping the ashes on the surface. Now is the time to prepare land for autumn sowing; two or three ploughings and harrowings now will shew materially on autumn sown crops. "Once well done, is as good as twice badly done;" do not be too anxious, content yourself with a little every year, say from ten to twenty acres, but this, of course, will depend upon the size of your farm and your means; drain and make ditches, springs generally rise on the highest part of the ground, but as some land gets too hard in summer you must open drains on such land in the spring, a good main drain three feet deep at an angle, along the slope of a hill, will sometimes drain a field; if clay land, shoulder the bottom, and lay wood cross-ways 4 inches thick; kauri is the best split in 18 inch lengths. Cart fencing, make bridges, eradicate weeds, lift potatoes for present use, reap wheat, and secure against rain and vermin, be careful not to let your crops get too ripe before you begin reaping, for if left till quite ripe a
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strong breeze of wind may shake out a very considerable quantity of the grain, wheat in particular should be cut when the stalk is yellow the whole length, and the head still upright. Oats frequently ripen unevenly and should be cut early, and if any unripe heads are left in the straw after thrashing it will be better fodder for the cattle. Barley has not succeeded well on new land, but after turnips fed off with sheep, fine samples have been produced. Mow oats, reap beans, barley, and canary seed. The gathering of crops should be done when they are ripe whether in January or February. Hoe and clear from weeds, swedes and mangolds; plough all vacant land as the sun and air are the best pulverizers when the soil is loosened. All sowing suspended this and next month.
This month being generally very dry and warm, not much can be done as regards sowing, except that oats, &c., for green crops may sometimes be sown in fallowed land where the weeds are killed and insects starved out, but it is rather early for sowing the autumn crops, and the ground teeming with insects. I think all sowing is better deferred till the beginning of next month; but be vigilant in getting the ground prepared for the reception of the autumn crops, such as ploughing and harrowing, burning, fencing, ditching, and draining. Look well to your water courses. Lay in a stock of manure, such as guano and bone dust for top dressing. Laid on the ground 1/8 of an inch thick, I have found it beneficial to turnips and peas, it acts very slowly, and where the carriage is far inland the expense would be very great. Summer fallowing new land, for permanent sowing down, is a gain of 3 years. Ploughing up once, sowing directly, nine times out of ten, it has to be done over again, as the fern is not killed, this is fern land I allude to. Forest land only requires felling and burning--fell three months before firing. For light scrub, but for heavy bush eight or even twelve months will be required. Early in April is the best time to burn, and sow directly on the appearance of rain. See that all grain crops are attended to, surface stirring and clearing weeds. Where
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THE FIELD, BY DAVID HAY.
there is sorrel in the ground now is the time to eradicate, by exposing it to the sun. Potatoes, house main crop, in an open shed, or a ti-tree whare. Protect from rain, do not exclude the air, or they will rot. Select your seed for another year; I find this to be the best way, as you can pick out the good sorts. Spread them (those for seed) for ten days to green before storing away. Maize can be used for green food. See last month. Swedish turnip, sow end of the month, for winter feed for pigs or sheep.
Presuming that the potato crop will be all up this month, and the maize crop fast progressing to maturity, everything must be got in readiness by the middle of this month, for the main winter crops getting in. See that new land has had three ploughings and harrowings previous to sowing, or laying down for permanent pasture. If the field is wet, lay it up in 12 to 24 furrow ridges, if on a hill side angle the furrows; when at right angles, much is washed away, The quantity of seed per acre is 8 lbs. of clover, rye grass one bushel, or red clover 6 lbs., white clover 2 lbs., trefoil 2 lbs., rye grass 1/2 bushel, and perhaps 2 or 3 lbs. of cocksfoot, you may calculate from £1 to £1 5s. for seed, to an English acre. After the middle of the month you may commence sowing if showery weather, but rather wait for a few weeks if the weather continue dry and hot, we must not go by a given day, or even a month for this work, but do not defer it late if possible. In sowing the seed, choose a still day; sow each sort separately, as the clover is heavier than the grass seed: many farmers prefer however to mix all together and sow them, do not harrow in the seed or you will loose one half of it, the tines of the harrow will bury it too deep, that it will never vegetate, seeds to vegetate freely, require warmth, moisture, air, and exclusion from the light, they should be therefore slightly covered to exclude the light, but not deep enough to exclude the air, 1/4 inch is sufficient as proved by experience. People err in taking too much off the ground at first, I would sow no oats with the grass. If the ground is much exposed, a handful of oats may do no harm along with the grass
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seed, if you have sheep to turn on it two months hence. Prove the seed before sowing, put it between two folds of flannel and pour boiling water over it, and you will see it sprout, if good, if not your labour will be thrown away. Sow oats and turnips for green food through the early part of winter. Cape barley, sow on dry land. White carrots for winter and spring. Attend to the housing and storing of crops and roots. The ram should be turned to the ewes this month, if there is a prospect of plenty of food for the lambing ewes in August.
Look well now to the repairing of roads, before the winter sets in; also bridges and ditches. Use every effort for the conveying away of surface water. Do not defer the sowing of oats, for main crops, for winter and spring feed later than the beginning of this month. More particularly on land foul with small weeds, such as sorrel, &c., after the potato and grain harvest, such land should be well fallowed and the weeds, &c., burnt--then sow such land with oats, three bushels to the acre, to be grazed or cut in September or October, then after being well grazed out, ploughed and laid down with grass and clover, sowing at the same time two bushels of maize per acre. If September lambs will be soon enough for the farm, the rams should be with the ewes this month. The main crop of grass may be sown now, if the weather is favourable, but if the land has been fallowed and cleared of weeds and insects, last month would suit better for sowing grass. Rape is an excellent thing to sow with grass seed, as the leaves spread and assist to keep the ground moist and afford shelter to the young clover. Four to six pounds of rape to the acre; but without sheep, rape will not be serviceable, it affords an early bite, and the sheep consolidate the new land, which is much required here. It is astonishing the good they do to newly laid down pastures, if the land is not a stiff retentive clay, which of course would have just the opposite effect. Burning must be finished towards the end of the month for the season. See to the green crops, sow cabbages, Swedish turnips, mangold, and white Belgian carrots. Hoe and clear off weeds, mould up and
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THE FIELD, BY DAVID HAY.
thin out as they require. Cabbages may still be planted, but cabbages impoverish the ground very much, three or four years is often enough to follow each other as a crop; then a little manure must be applied. Stable or cow manure is the best. Carrots are a profitable crop on light land, fine feed for horses. Sow winter vetches with a part of oats, as the oats keep them up off the ground. Land intended for wheat ought to be well prepared now by ploughing and harrowing. Potato land is preferable to any other provided it was well manured, and well wrought for the Potatoes. We have generally fine weather this month with occasional showers.
Grass seed may still be sown in warm soils, but not on clay land--if the weather did not permit last month. Prepare the ground for wheat sowing. Bush land requires very little doing to it after the timber is cleared. Sow the seed and chip it in with a hoe. Some of the finest wheat we ever saw in this province was sown last month; but the land should be clean and not more than two bushels of seed to the acre, as it will have time to tiller out. Sow grass seed after the wheat is sown, and draw a hand bush harrow over it. Sow oats for spring feed, plant out cow cabbage, sow turnips, early stone, to be eaten off with sheep in the spring; but if they can be got in last month so much the better, as May sown turnips will scarcely pay for the labour. Attend to the crops sown last month. See that no water lodges on the ground under crop, look well to the furrows and ditches, and keep the mouths of drains clear. Make drains where required, bridge and repair roads. The yards must not be neglected, put all the sheds under repair, and litter them well down with fern or other material that can be converted into manure, as you will find it valuable next spring for a crop of potatoes and cabbage. Young stock and milk cows must be kept up in condition. It is a fallacy to say that cattle do not require housing in winter in New Zealand; the cold winds and rain very soon take the flesh off them, when they are exposed to it, without a shed to cover them, worse than a still frosty night. They are better lying in under cover
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without any victuals, but at this time there ought to be plenty of green food, such as Swedish turnips, mangolds, carrots, sugar grass and maize, with a little hay on very wet nights. Pigs can likewise be fed on the above.
Winter wheat may now be sown. Sow in dry weather two bushels to an imperial acre, harrow if to be laid down. Sow grass seed and roll afterwards, grass with a grain crop is not recommended; wheat should be steeped in some solution to prevent smut, one pound of blue stone dissolved in seven gallons of water, steep the seed in this for ten or twelve hours. Sow beans, or what is better, plough them in every other furrow; rather shallow, say three inches; that leaves room for hoeing, and the produce will be nearly doubled. The live stock must be looked to, especially the late calves; in wet weather they must be driven into a shed. Give hay and oats. Milk cows can have mangolds and a few cabbages if they begin to sink in milk. Store stock must be kept in condition, as it is a bad time to let them fall off now. Give hay in wet cold weather, and house them at night. Pigs can be now killed for bacon. Attend to the young pigs, see that they are well littered down either with straw or fern. There ought to be plenty of roots for them now, such as potatoes, carrots, turnips, and refuse from the garden. There is no profit got by keeping a beast too long; keep it growing, and turn it into money as soon as possible. The higher you feed, the richer the manure. Boiled food with a handful of salt in it, is far better for fattening pigs than green food. A little salt for all stock is an excellent preventive of disease, it keeps the constitution in a healthy state. The secret of the usefulness of salt, is, we believe, that it is one of the substances required to make healthy blood, and animals cannot digest their food without its constituents. Hedges may be cut any time for the next three months. Furze makes a good fence if cut three times a year, rather expensive, very well round arable land, but in pasture land it very soon encroaches on the grass, and is difficult to eradicate. This is the first winter month, or rather rainy month, as we have no snow in the province of Auckland.
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THE FIELD, BY DAVID HAY.
Beans and wheat may still be sown in favourable weather. Look to the water courses, and see that all is clear. Do not allow the water to lodge any length of time on newly sown ground. Wooden bridges and roads will require repairing. Do not work land in wet weather, far better let it alone, and keep your horses in the stable. New ground may be ploughed for the first time. Keep the heavy stock on high land in wet weather, and look after them daily. Cows calving require attention; on wet cold nights keep them in, and feed with hay and green oats. The young stock--see last month. Sheep must be watched now, and kept on high ground; give hay and Swedish turnips in an open shed; always keep rock salt in their troughs to lick at, as it is a preventative of disease; as they lamb they should be drawn off to better feed near the homestead; examine them every month, and tag them that require it; look to their feet paring; the fly does not trouble them here as in England. Cart manure from sheds and piggeries, make a heap and cover with mould, it will be valuable for spring potato planting, besides many other things. Now is the time to make manure. Horses will require more dry food now to keep in condition or they will loose flesh. This is generally the severest month in the year, so that cattle require more than ordinary attention:. very little strength in grass. Green oats are good for calves; it will keep them from scouring if put on in time. Do all work in doors that is required when you cannot work out. See that everything is in repair and order, so that you may know where to find it when required; and have your plans well considered before being put into execution.
Talavera spring wheat may now be sown on good soil after twice ploughing. Land that has been laid down previous to this and not doing well may be broken up for oats and potatoes. Potatoes are a fine crop to clean ground; work the ground well, and give a little manure. Grass generally takes well after a crop of this sort; sow it down in autumn with a little guano and rape. Horses
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must be kept in condition, as the working season is coming on for them now; corn, hay, and carrots, with a few green oats, will keep horses in healthy working order. See that the store cattle are kept up; give a little hay every night, it will do no harm, as they generally fall off about this time, especially the late calves. House them at night in wet weather, and give hay and roots. Examine the sheep every day, and draw out those that have lambed, and put them on better feed. Cut turnips and mangolds, and give hay occasionally. The cows will be coming in now; give them plenty of green food, so as they may not fall off in milk till the grass comes in; next month they will take care of themselves.
Persevere to get work forward on all favourable occasions. If the weather permit and the soil is dry, plant potatoes for the main crop, more particularly the last fortnight of this month. The main crop of oats may be sown the end of the month. Cart out manure on favourable occasions. Avoid working land in wet weather. Put in cuttings of thorns in nursery lines for hedges the following autumn. Blue gums plant on bleak situations, but not near an orchard or garden, as the roots will destroy everything they come near.
If the weather is at all favourable, you must embrace every opportunity to get in the main crops. Finish oat sowing; for hay from three to four bushels per acre. Thick sowing will make a finer hay, if grass and clover seeds are sown among the crop. Two bushels of oats will be seed enough. Spring wheat finish, if not already done. Chose a fine day for sowing barley on good ground; harrow and roll. Dry soil is the best, on high ground, twice ploughed. Field peas sow, either broadcast or in drills, two feet apart, three and half bushels per acre. Peas and beans do best on a limestone bottom; shelly ground will yield a large return. Spring vetches may be sown; they are a good crop to clean ground; sow thick. Drilled wheat and beans may be hoed. The land must be got ready for the potato crop as fast as the green food is used up. Plough it up, let it lie for two weeks, plough again, roll and harrow;
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THE FIELD, BY DAVID HAY.
then with a double mould plough draw drills two and a half feet apart, manure in the drills, either above or below the sets. I prefer large potatoes cut to small ones; the large seed cut yields far more weight per acre. After planting, split the furrows to cover them. Harrow the drills about two weeks after planting; see that the harrows do not tear up the seed. Do not attempt this work if the weather is unsettled, I have seen fine crops of potatoes taken off ploughed in pasture land; this may do on the hot scoria land, but never attempt it on cold stiff soil, besides you cannot work the ground when ploughed in on the turf. Finish grass sowing, and if any of the autumn sown has failed, a little more seed may be sown, bush harrow and roll, perhaps a little guano; one cwt. per acre would bring it away. Rape should be sown with it to keep the drought out. I have seen grass come away well in the spring where the ground was good, and on bad ground it would all perish before the summer was over. I prefer autumn to spring sowing.
Prepare ground to drill maize in for the general crop. Get it in before the 10th of the month. Work the ground well, and drill it in three feet between the rows, if it is to be hoed by hand; but if by the plough, leave the drills wider apart, as in New South Wales, it is planted eight feet apart from drill to drill, and five grains put in each hole two and a half feet apart, thin out to three healthy stalks, mould up partially with the plough, thin out to two feet apart; the thinnings will come in useful as the season advances, for your cattle and horses. Alluvial soil and low ground nearly on a level with the sea grow the best maize. A little manure is required to grow it, for the corn. Some people imagine that it does not exhaust the soil, but I have found it very exhausting. Finish potato planting; hoe those advancing. Keep the drill harrow at work between the rows of all drilled crops. Keep the weeds under. See that the water does not lodge on newly planted or sown ground. Forty-eight hours under water will destroy any crop, especially at this season of the year. Grass fields intended for hay
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must be looked to, and gather off any wood or stones lying about; then roll and shut up the field for hay the beginning of the month, if no seed is to be saved; but if it is intended to save the seed, it should be grazed during September, and closed about the first of this month, the crop of hay will be lighter, but the seed will be much better. Manure voided by the cattle should be spread, and docks dug up and burned. See that the fences are in good repair. Shift sheep every fortnight, if in paddocks, to give the grass a start. Attend to the lambing. Shearing will commence at the end of this month. Keep the rams in a small paddock by themselves. Examine the flock every fortnight, and see to their feet, and tag any that may require. The cows will have abundance of grass and winter oats now. Store stock can find for themselves. See that the pigs have plenty of food. Attend to the young litters. Give a dry bed, and a little milk. Keep the sow in condition. Grass may be sown with success this month, for it frequently succeeds better on clay soils sown in the spring, than in autumn, as the crickets in the autumn and wet winter destroy many of the young plants.
Sow sorgam sacharatum at the beginning of this month, in drills two feet apart, thin out to eighteen inches in the row, drill one inch deep, on good land broken up some time previous. No insect will touch this crop; you can cut it two or three times in the season. It is valuable food for horses and pigs, there is more nourishment in a crop of this, than in maize in the green state. Swede and mangold wurzel, the main crop may be got in, on good friable soil, drill two feet asunder with bone dust or guano, two and a half hundred weight per imperial acre. The ground ought to have two ploughings a good depth, and harrowed very fine. There is a good deal of expense attached to these crops here as labor is high, and I question whether it would pay if your farm is situated far from a town, but for dairy purposes nothing could pay better, and it gives a return of good rich manure. We ought to try to convert as much as possible into manure, as it is the back bone of all good farming, es-
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THE FIELD, BY DAVID HAY.
pecially on poor soils. White Belgian carrot may be sown in the beginning, on well prepared land, eighteen inches between the rows, thin out to four or six inches in the row. Haymaking is better deferred till the first week or end of next month, as November is sometimes wet, it answers to April or May in England. Hay cut this month is generally injured. Mares with their foals will require good feed, likewise cows in full milk. Sucking calves must have plenty milk; never stint any young thing that is growing into money. Pigs will require attention, especially those intended for bacon next May. Give them plenty of roots and leaves from the cabbages. Plant out drumhead cabbage for autumn. This is a nutritious plant. Farmers and dairymen in particular would find a few acres of this cabbage of great service to them in the summer months. Cabbage increases the quality of the milk and the butter made from it, is free from unpleasant flavour.
Haymaking must be commenced, and become general about the latter end of the month; but if the weather is at all unsettled it is better to let it alone for a time: you must watch a good opportunity--far better let it spoil standing than when cut down. The seed is the thing to look to, try to secure it without rain if possible. The best way is not to have much down at a time: have everything in readiness before-hand, so that you may have no interruption. Cut one day, and you may secure it the next. Mould up potatoes after flat hoeing, and also maize; thin the latter for green food as necessary. See that the caterpillars do not attack the oats, if so cut them down for hay. Keep docks and noxious weeds from seeding. Carrots hoe and thin. Mangolds hoe, thin, and transplant. Swedish turnips hoe and thin. Drumhead cabbage plant out; hoe those planted out last month, and mould up; give them plenty of room. Sugar grass hoe and transplant. Maize sow broadcast or in drills for green food in the autumn. Attend to the green crops; see to getting them underway, as the dry weather is at hand. The end of this month is the time to think about breaking up new land, if it is not too hard,
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clearing and burning; but do not attempt too much in one season. What you do, do well, and it will repay you for your labour. Working bullocks are the best for this sort of work, as they take it very steady; but with bullocks you require two men at the plough, whereas with horses one will do. But as bullocks live so much cheaper than horses, they are to be preferred to horses, at least with beginners. Try to get under the fern roots, and expose them to the sun and air for a month, then drag, burn, and cross plough, and you will not be troubled much afterwards with fern coming up in your pastures. Fern root runs down in loose soils about twenty inches. As it is difficult to get the plough so deep, the best plan is to stock hard with cattle and plough up again.
Cabbages and savoys plant about the beginning of the month, if the weather is not too dry, two feet by eighteen inches, in rich ground. Also drumhead cabbages, for cattle, two and a half feet by two feet, in rich ground. Brocoli, two feet by twenty inches, in rich ground. Cauliflowers, a few, two feet apart each way. French beans, beginning, in rows three feet apart, two inches asunder. Dwarf peas, last sowing, on well manured ground, three feet apart. Celery, plant out in ridges four feet apart, seven inches in row. Cast a trench out one foot deep and one foot wide, throw the soil right and left on both sides, fill in six inches manure in the bottom, dig it up, plant after a good storm of rain, shade with branches for a few days, mould up as it progresses, give frequent waterings in dry weather. Persevere in hoeing and thinning all crops that require it, and burning all vegetable matter and weeds. Mould up late planted potatoes and cabbages. Look out for slugs in showery weather. Clear off all refuse crops, and dig the ground. Stake late sown peas. Gather cape gooseberries for preserving. All seeds must be gathered as they ripen,
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THE GARDEN, BY DAVID HAY.
put in bags, and hung in an airy place. Sow stone turnips in the beginning of the month, a few only. Sow cabbage and cauliflower for autumn planting. Leeks transplant same as celery, two feet by six inches. Radish, lettuce, mustard, and cress, for a succession, sow every month.
Dig or trench the ground as the summer crops become exhausted, and fill their places with winter and spring produce. Hoe and stir the soil among growing crops. Destroy weeds and insects. Sow cabbage for winter and spring crops. Sow endive and lettuce for winter use. Sow cauliflowers. Sow onions for winter and spring use. Sow peas, early sorts, on dry ground, for the chance of a late dish. Sow turnips, a small quantity, in drills fifteen inches apart. Plant brocoli, late varieties, in rich soil, for spring use. Mould up celery, and also cardoons, in dry weather. The different sorts of seeds will be coming to maturity; lose no time in gathering them in, as a shower of rain will thrash many out if left too long. Leeks mould up in trenches. Mould up and hoe all crops as they advance. Attend to the burning of all rubbish, and prepare spare ground for the main winter crops next month, as rain may be looked for. Collect bones and shells and char them with other refuse: this is an excellent manure for strong land, and it prevents vermin, if spread on the surface or drilled in with the crops. Sow a few French beans, although there is not much chance of a good crop. Dig up potatoes as they ripen, and clean the ground, do not expose them to strong sunlight. Mould up kumeras. Melons, cucumbers, see last month. Sow radishes, and also small salads. Gather in herbs as they come in flower. Dry and bottle for winter use.
Look well after the gathering in of all seeds this month, and see to the storing of potatoes in fine weather. Take up onions as the stalks decay. It is a good plan to twist the neck of the green ones at this season, it accelerates the filling up of the bulb, and brings them early to maturity. Plant out cauliflowers about the middle of this
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month for winter use. Sow carrots in drills for winter and spring use. Sow turnips, onions, parsley, lettuce, parsnips, and a few spinach, in drills, about the middle of this month, one foot apart, on dry, rich soil. Sow oats on all spare ground, it keeps the weeds and sorrel under in winter. It is better to sow oats than let the ground lie waste; they stop a good many gaps in winter, especially where there is stock, besides improving the ground and making manure. Keep a sharp eye to the collecting of manures; turn all you can to manure, for without that one cannot get on. The land in New Zealand, as well as in England, wants a little, and often, to produce anything like a crop. Hoe and stir among all growing crops, and thin out those sown last month. Finish planting out the brocoli and winter greens. Mould up celery and leeks in fine weather, as they advance. Give liberal waterings to newly planted out plants. Plant out cow cabbages, and hoe and mould up those advancing. See to the burning of all rubbish, and use lime in wet weather to destroy slugs. Accelerate all work as much as possible this month, and get every bit space of ground under crop, before the winter sets in.
Finish storing potatoes. Finish gathering aromatic pot herbs for present use. Carrots advancing. Thin out turnips. Lose no time in getting in the last batch for the season. Plant cabbages out; earth up those advancing. Plant out cauliflours, on dry, rich soil; earth up those previously planted. Plant out celery, the last lot; earth up advancing crop in dry weather; but be particular that the earth does not get into the heart of the plant. The best way is to let it have plenty of head way before moulding at all, and at the last moulding fill up to within three inches of the top. Sow radishes, lettuces, and small salading. Plant out endive in rows of fifteen inches by seven inches asunder. Plant out leeks, last batch; earth up advancing. Store away onions in a dry, airy place. Attend to the clearing away of all spent crops, and get the ground manured and dug for other things. Hoe and mould kidney beans, the last crop. Keep a sharp look out for slugs, and all vermin. Dust lime over the newly
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THE GARDEN, BY DAVID HAY.
sown crops. Salt is a very good thing to sow over vacant ground a few weeks before cropping, it destroys the larvae that is in the ground. Attend to the gathering in of all the seeds as they arrive at maturity. Cut down old parsley, and sow for succession rhubarb, seakale, and asparagus. Keep clear of weeds. Mould up kumeras, and use as required. Clear all refuse from the walks and paths, as it only fosters insects. Finish clearing and burning. Occupy waste ground with oats and vetches to keep down weeds. The stubble, dug in, is a good preparation for potatoes.
Thin out carrots and turnips, hoe between in dry weather. Mould up celery in dry weather, also leeks. Sow a little parsley in a bed, and plant out in spring. Attend to advancing crops. Cauliflowers planted in January will be fit for use; by planting out a few every month for the last three months, it will give a succession throughout the winter. Sow a little seed now for spring planting. Sow lettuce, and plant out. Dig all vacant ground as the crops come off, and crop with green food, even although you have to dig it in, in the spring; a few pigs will convert all your refuse into meat and manure. French beans will be almost over. See to preserving a stock of seeds for next year. The weeds are very troublesome now, eradicate them as much as possible from seed beds and young plants, and keep everything in good order. In season: carrots, parsnips, turnips, onions, celery, leeks, cauliflours, cabbages, and salads. Radishes may still be sown. Tie up endive for blanching. The last crop of the cape gooseberries may be gathered in. Cut down asparagus; fork over the top of the beds, and add manure or seaweed to the surface; keep the beds well up, to throw off the water, and dig the paths. Clear away the dead leaves from seakale, and dig the ground up, incorporating the manure. Take up, Jerusalem artichokes as required. Dress cardoons for the winter Get the work well forward now, if possible.
Sow cabbage about the middle of the month, and cauliflower to plant out in spring. Early potatos plant on
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a dry piece of ground; they will come in in October. Ash leaf, fluke kidney, round white potato to begin with. Whole sets should be used for early crops in preference to pieces. Sow radishes and lettuces, mustard and cress. Plant beans for spring use, in rows three feet apart. Sow early peas three feet spart between the rows. A few turnips may be sown now, but it is rather early. Earth up celery and leeks in fine weather. Attend to all advancing crops, and clear away all the decaying crops, for they only harbour insects. Kumeras take up, and put in a dry place, if not already done. Examine the potatoes, onions, and the crops that are stored, to see that they are sound. Dig up spare ground. Attend to the weeding of onions, and the thinning of advancing crops. Rhubarb may be thrown out of the ground, and planted in well trenched and manured ground. New beds for asparagus may now be prepared; cast out, right and left, one foot below the surface, three and a half feet wide to the length required. Dig in the trench six inches of manure, throw on six inches mould from the sides, then add another layer of manure and mould, till you raise the bed nine inches above the surface level, sprinkling a little salt between each layer, then smooth the top, and insert the plants, in rows three feet apart by nine inches in the rows; throw two or three inches of fine soil on the top, and a little manure on the surface.
If the ground can be got in working order, sow onions this month; but if the ground is wet, defer till next month. You may continue to sow early peas, beans, cabbage, and salads for succession. A few more early potatoes may be put in. You must not move the herbs till next month, as they are liable to suffer from wet. As regards the main crop of onions, the middle of this month is a very good time, if the ground will work; choose a clear piece of ground after peas or potatoes; manure and dig in April; half dig it over now, then with a drill-rake with three wooden teeth nine inches apart from tooth to tooth, proceed to draw three lines one inch deep; proceed with the next three, parallel to the last, and so on, till the ground is all drilled; then sow the seed. White
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THE GARDEN, BY DAVID HAY.
Spanish I find is the best for the climate. You may sow artificial manure at the same time, giving bone dust the preference. Rake the surface smoothly with a coarse, iron-toothed rake. When they make their appearance above ground, sow lime over them occasionally to preserve them from slugs; the best time is a quiet, still night about nine o'clock, then the lime lays hold of them. If you repeat this for two or three evenings, you will banish all the slugs. This applies to more than the onions, as carrots and turnips require the same treatment and the same depth of drills. Mould up celery on fine days. Clear off decaying crops and give to the pigs. Dig vacant ground, and economise manure. Thin the crops that were neglected last month. Clear seed beds of weeds.
Get all the ground dug and manured, as next month will be a busy month getting in the main crops. Early peas may be sown, to have a succession, sow as soon as the others are up, or sow a few every month. Lettuce the same. The cabbages that were sown in June will be ready to plant out in a well-prepared piece of ground, likewise a few cauliflowers. Beans, plant for a succession, put in a few potatoes. The flower borders and beds ought to be dug up, and clear all rubbish away. Cut in anything that is growing too strong. Divide flower roots and plant bulbs--weed walks; it gives a place a neat appearance. Grass edgings may be put down, and the edges of established ones cut. Look after slugs in moist weather and use lime. Let all refuse go to the pigs, they will turn you out good manure in return. Onions, sow, if not done last month. Parsnips, sow main crops on deep ground. Carrots, sow a few towards the end of the month for early use. Turnips, sow a few to succeed the autumn sown. Celery, mould up the last crop in dry weather. Rhubarb, plant and manure well. Seakale plant. Asparagus, sow and plant. Plant for seed, carrots, onions, leeks, turnips, cabbage, parsnips, and other sorts. Select a good piece of ground and plant in rows two feet between and six inches in the rows. Select well shaped medium sized roots, straight
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and well formed of the previous year's growth, and keep the brassica or cabbage tribe, as far as your space will admit of, one sort from another, so that they may not mix together.
Sow herbs, thyme, sage, fennel, marjoram, sweet basil, and winter savory. Take up all beds, divide and replant on light dry soil, add a little well decomposed manure. Sow cabbage and cauliflower, radishes, beans, and peas for succession. Sow carrots and turnips, brocoli, green curled savoy, brussels sprouts, red cabbage, leeks, parsley, lettuce, celery, red and white mustard and cress. Beet, sow main crop. Drumhead and other cabbages plant out. Potatoes plant. Hoe and earth up advancing crops. Horse-radish ought to be replanted in trenches, such as for celery; insert the crown of a stem one foot under the surface, and it will shoot up straight; in two years it will be fit for use, plant a few crowns every year for succession. Onions may still be sown. Hoe, hand weed, and thin out, or make up advancing crops. Scarlet runners, sow a few. As this is a busy time sow in dry weather, dig and trench in wet if the soil is not heavy. Look well after slugs, or they will have the crops devoured as soon as they are through the ground; apply lime, and hand pick mornings and evenings. Where you observe a crop fail, sow again before the ground gets covered with weeds. Keep all decayed crops cleared away, and useless cabbage leaves, as they only breed insects and slugs: a little salt sown over a piece of ground that has been cropped with the cabbage tribe is a good preventive, but it must not be repeated too often--once in two or three years is often enough, as it makes the ground too wet, and it runs together too much. With regard to the rotation of cropping. An exhausting crop should never follow on the same ground under three or four years. Onions after peas, celery after cabbage, carrots after light crops, cabbages after onions, potatoes after cabbage, cauliflower after celery, and so on.
Complete all ground alterations as soon as possible, such as gravelling walks, and laying down edgings. In
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THE GARDEN, BY DAVID HAY.
dry weather hoe and stir the surface and sow seeds; in showery weather plant out growing crops. Sow cabbage for succession; all the cabbage tribe may be sown now. Sow cauliflower, broad beans the last sowing. Sow peas for succession, if very dry, drench the drill with water, sow and cover up, stick advancing crops and hoe between them. The first sown peas will be in fruit, be careful in gathering so as not to break the vine. Kidney beans and scarlet runners may now be planted three feet from row to row, and three inches in the row. Sow turnips for succession, and the main crops of carrots may be sown in drills nine inches asunder. Keep a sharp look out for slugs, especially on the carrots and kidney beans. Sow celery and parsley, melons, cucumbers, vegetable marrow, pie melon, water melon, and pumpkins, in good rich ground; raise the ground a little before sowing and give manure. Capsicums and tomatos may be sown. Flower seeds may be sown now, the small seeds merely want raking in on a smooth surface, it is a great error to bury seeds too deep in the ground. Hoe, thin out, and and weed advancing crops. Stick peas, and pinch the tops off broad beans when in flower. See that nothing goes to waste. Potatoes may still be planted. The late celery trenches may be trenched up and planted with cauliflower. Transplant onions to fill up vacant ground. See to the crops coming through the ground, that they are not carried off with slugs; sow lime over them, and repeat it two or three times, and it will drive them away.
Finish planting the main crops; hoe, weed, and thin out all the advancing crops; dig and crop all vacant ground; keep weeds from going to seed; trim and cut furze hedges; attend to neatness and cleanliness about a garden, and do not let the weeds take the place of a crop. Sow lettuce, cress, and radishes for salads. Sow beet and cabbage for succession. Stick peas and sow for succession. Transplant in showery weather. Finish melon and cucumber sowing the end of the month, and transplant any that are too thick, two or three are enough in one place; give each a little decayed or decomposed
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manure. Pumpkins plant, two together, eight or twelve feet from one another; stop the main shoots when they begin to run, and stop a shoot that fruit is formed on at the first or second leaf above the fruit, as it throws the strength into the fruit. Mould up potatoes, and save some of the early ones for seed. Stake scarlet runners, and put in the last crop. Sow kidney beans. Pick out celery. Rhubarb, pick for use, the outer tier of leaves; do not take many off a root at one time. Asparagus beds must be let run to seed, as the season is over. Seakale likewise. Attend to the creepers round the house; prune and tie them up as they advance beyond their support. Flower borders hoe and rake. Cut down decaying flowers. Take up bulbs, as the tops wither. Mow lawns and edgings. Get everything finished in this department for the haymaking and harvest next month. Save some of the best sort of peas for seed, and others as they ripen. Sow turnips for a succession, as well as carrots, &c. Sow herbs; divide and plant out on dry soil.
Hoe deeply and frequently, destroying weeds, and leaving the soil light and porous. Thin all crops which have been sown too thick. Sow kidney beans if wanted late. Sow cabbage and cauliflower for autumn. Sow in a cool place, endive, lettuce, radishes, and small salad for succession crops. Plant out celery in trenches, seven inches from plant to plant, three or four feet between the rows; give plenty of water and shade from strong sunlight; six inches of manure under it. Turnips may still be sown on moist rich ground. Last sowing of peas can be put in on rich ground; stake the advancing crops. Stop and train tomatos, and allow no more fruit to form after the first four or six branches are set. Sow a little parsley now for winter use. Look well to the ingathering of the different sorts of seeds, and store away some of the early sorts of potatoes in a cool place for planting in June. See that the creepers around the dwelling are trained, walks cleaned, and borders hoed. Cut grass edgings, &c. Cut herbs when in flower. Dry and bottle for winter use, some of the tender sorts. They
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THE ORCHARD, BY DAVID HAY.
will be growing fast now, such as sweet basil, sweet marjoram, winter savory, fennel, thyme, sage and borage. Use liquid manure for watering, if possible; put some manure in a butt and stir it well, let it stand twenty-four hours before using it. Use it to strong feeders, such as cabbage, peas, cucumbers, &c. For the next two months, or sometimes up to the middle of March, make it a rule to sow as little as possible: the weather being so dry, and the ground dry and hot. Seeds sown then seldom vegetate, and they are liable to be carried off by insects or burned up as they come through the ground.
Bud towards the end, apples, pears, plums, cherries, &c. Pinch strong growing shoots three or four inches off the top; preserve a uniformity of growth. Clear all the suckers from gooseberry trees as they appear, likewise from other trees. Raspberries, clear all suckers except three or four in close proximity to the parent plant, for next year's bearing. Gather fruit as it ripens. Strawberries hoe and clean; save a few runners for autumn planting, pumpkins, vegetable marrows, and pie melons. Keep clear of weeds, thin the vines, and train the shoots from a centre to a circumference, stop the second joint above the fruit. Melons and cucumbers serve the same as the above. Vines; remove laterals or shoots proceeding from the sides; thin the branches; stop the shoots at the second joint above the fruit; all superfluous wood remove in the growing season with the finger and thumb; do not remove the laterals below the fruit, or the dormant bud that is to bear fruit next season may break into leaf; pinch the lateral at the second joint. If there is much fruit on the plants, they would be better if some liquid manure, such as guano water or soap suds (one pint guano to four gallons of water) was applied to them. Stir the surface round all newly planted trees, and water if necessary with weak guano water.
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Attend to the gathering in of all ripe fruits. Strawberries will be nearly over; remove all runners that are not required for young plants, hoe and weed between the rows. Raspberries as last month. Cape gooseberries pick for preserving; keep an eye on the poultry, as they are very fond of them. Tomatos will be ripening their fruit; thin the vines, and lay sticks under them, or what is better, train along a fence. Capsicums gather as they ripen, apply liquid manure to the roots. See to the young trees, that no shoots are taking the lead of their neighbours, apply the finger and thumb, use no knife to trees in full growth. Pinch young shoots back that are crossing each other in the centre of the trees. Trees budded last month will require to be examined and the ties loosened; any that have not taken must be done over again on the opposite side of the stock. Clip and cut hedges. Look well to the shelter of fruit trees, and sticking against wind. Do not expose the branches of vines too much to the sun; leave a few leaves over them, as they are liable to be scorched.
Not much can be done this month, except the gathering in of the fruit as it ripens. Do not expose the fruit too much to the influence of the sun, or it will ripen prematurely without flavour. Keep down weeds round newly planted trees. Trench up ground for trees for next autumn and winter. Attend to vines, and expose the wood for next year's crop to the influence of the sun; thin out lateral branches. Keep down all suckers as they appear. Attend to the cutting offences. Bud roses this month, and attend to the directions for last month as regards loosening the ties, and if any have failed, make up without loss of time. Cucumbers and melons. Attend to the gathering in of the fruit, and stopping and watering if weather very dry. Strawberry runners may be left on the plants till May, if young plants are required. Tomatos may be gathered as they ripen. Chillies likewise. Gather late peaches for preserving. Eradicate seed weeds. Most kinds of apples and pears should be
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THE ORCHARD, BY DAVID HAY.
gathered during dry weather, and to ascertain whether they are ready for gathering, raise them gently, and if they part readily from the tree, or if on cutting one through the middle the seeds are becoming brown, they may be taken; early kinds should be gathered before they are quite ripe.
All fruits must be looked after now. Apples must be stored away as they ripen. Figs, look once every two days for ripe fruit, as they soon ripen when they begin to change colour. Pears gather in as they ripen. Peaches will be nearly all over, except a few late sorts, and they are the best for preserving. Plums will be over, except a few late sorts. Cape gooseberries will be in a fine state for preserving now. Look after the seeds of cucumbers and melons, save seed from the finest fruit. Gather in pumpkins as they arrive at maturity; lay them by in an airy place, on shelves, or hang them up in flax nets. Pie melons will require to be served as the above. Vegetable marrow also. Grapes will now be ripening. You can preserve a few bunches of the thick-skinned sorts, such as black hambro', for a few weeks longer, by cutting a piece of wood along with the branch, and hanging them up in a cool, dry house or shed. Remove all tendrils and lateral shoots, so that the wood may be well ripened for another season. Gather in tomatos for preserving. Keep strawberries clear of weeds. Raspberries, keep down runners, and reserve a few good canes for next year's bearing. Tie up any long shoots of young trees that are likely to get damaged by the wind.
This is a very quiet month. As the sap is still in motion, it is as well to defer the moving of fruit trees till the leaves are shed, or the young wood will not be matured if moved before. Plantations of gooseberries may now be put down: trench the ground two feet deep and incorporate a quantity of decomposed manure around the plants, when they are planted, distance apart every way four feet at least; in planting do not put them more than two inches under ground, and heap the soil up
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around them. Plantations of strawberries may be made toward the end of this month. Get a good piece of ground inclining to the north, trench two feet deep, manure on top of the trenched ground, half dig it in; plant in moist weather, two feet asunder and one and a half foot apart in the row. Select good strong runners of the same year's growth, if taken up with a little mould adhering to the roots so much the better. Kean's seedling I find the best for a crop. Raspberries, prepare the ground as for gooseberries, and plant next month. Currants, plant, see gooseberries. Keep down weeds. Gather in any of the late fruit. Prepare ground for planting next month. See that young trees are secured against the wind. Clear off the crops of pumpkins, vegetable marrow, pie melons, &c.
Transplant and prune vines. Make new plantations. Look out a well sheltered situation north by east, trench two feet deep, plant four or five feet apart every way. Bones and well rotted manure are the best to put with them. Prune down to within an eye or two of the old wood, and keep them near the surface of the ground, four feet stakes one to each is sufficient, or arch two rows over a trellis, then the fruit will hang inside and you may have a walk in the centre. Plant figs and quinces on low moist ground, well drained and well sheltered, Pears, on rather dry soil, dig round and manure. Not much pruning required for a few years, but it ought to be done in the growing seasons. Apples, soil rather moist. Never put a tree deeper in the ground than it has been before, rather mould the soil up round it. They do not require a sheltered situation, rather the reverse, as the blight attacks them in sheltered situations. Take up young trees in a healthy growing state, the soil should be annually dug, and the spare ground cropped with pumpkins and potatoes, or vegetable marrows, anything that will keep the ground clear of weeds, and not impoverish the soil. Ten or twelve feet is distance enough apart for most of our fruit trees. Cherries, destroy all their suckers as they appear. Plums, ditto, and transplant if required. Transplant thorns for hedges,
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THE ORCHARD, BY DAVID HAY.
it makes the best of all hedges in strong soils, and the cheapest to keep in order.
The less that is planted this month the better, for we generally have very heavy cold rains and high winds, the roots are liable to get rotten and blown about with the wind. Far better defer planting now till the middle of next month, the ground will be getting drier and firmer, and the trees more inured to cold. A tree will never do any good where water lodges round it, its small fibres decay, and it is a chance if it ever will recover--it takes the greater part of the following season to get established. Continue to dig vacant ground in dry weather, and dig or fork round all newly planted trees. Prepare lines for planting and sowing hedge rows. Plant forest trees for shelter on the wind side. Continue to dress vines if omitted last month. Prune gooseberry and currant trees; put in cuttings from the ripest of the wood--insert the cuttings four inches in the ground and six inches above, tread them firmly in. Raspberries may be taken up, and re-plant the same season's growth; give manure. Trees may be put down on dry ground, never put the roots lower than the surface level, use burnt ashes and decomposed manure well incorporated together, half a barrow lode to a tree, mould it round the stem of the tree, so that the water may drain off, trench the ground twelve feet deep previous to planting. Plant alternately in rows ten or twelve feet apart.
See that the strawberries are dug, and cleared of all weeds, then throw some manure over the surface of the ground, that the gentle rain may wash it in. Raspberries and gooseberries may be done the same way. Fruit trees must be put down, and all planting completed towards the end of this month. Suckers and cuttings planted for stocks for budding and grafting next year. Grafting may be done this month. Fill up all vacancies and trench the ground two feet deep under each tree. Throw some manure round the stems of newly planted trees, See that the fences are in good order, and make
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and plant new ones. Apple trees will require a little pruning and must be done directly. Peaches, cut away the small unripened wood from the centre of the trees, and shorten the other shoots to six or nine inches, or to the triple buds, cut out any shoots that cross each other, or that are badly placed. Shorten apples a little, especially those that are running away. Keep the trees well balanced on all sides.
Finish off all planting in this department, digging and manuring. See that the trees are secured against wind. Towards the end of the month plant lemons, limes, citrons, oranges, pomegranates, figs, and any of the more tender sorts of fruit trees, in well sheltered situations; manure with bone dust. The north-east side of a gully low down is the best for any of the above-mentioned plants. Protect for the first three months, and they will then take care of themselves. See that the orchard is clear of weeds, and that all the trees are dressed. Finish sowing furze for hedges. The kangaroo acacia for a fence you cannot depend on, as it is liable to die, and leave gaps. Privet and thorn mixed make a very good evergreen fence. Cattle are liable to eat the privet. Holly is too expensive, the yew will poison your cattle. Willow makes a good fence in low ground. Thorn cuttings put down previous to coming into leaf, taken off with a peel, or at a joint of the previous year's wood, will take root and grow, and make a good fence. Cape gooseberries can be divided, and replanted on good rich soil. Cuttings of the old wood can be put in, likewise seed of them may be sown; they grow best planted on the slopes of gullies. The vines will be coming into leaf, rub off any buds that are not wanted, see to the training of the same. Complete all suckers and cuttings planting for stocks. See that every piece of ground is clear from weeds. Any tree seeds may now be sown. Quinces make a good fence, they will root from cuttings. It makes a durable fence and grows fast.
Presuming that the trees are planted and under way, keep the hoe at work in fine weather, The peach will
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THE GARDEN, BY DAVID HAY.
be the first requiring your attention, thin the fruit on young trees, do not leave more than two or three on a shoot, and if there is no leaf at the axilla, the angle formed by the separation of a leaf from its stem, of the peach take it away as it will never be good, nor ripen; if a good shoot is coming away with the peach, pinch it back to within half an inch of the base, with the thumb and fore-finger just above the fruit, that throws the strength of the shoot into the fruit, leave one or two shoots where there is no fruit, to make wood for bearing next year; leave the best placed shoots, keep the tree open in the centre, and balance it on all sides; by so doing your trees will be productive for many years. Gooseberries and currants, keep them clear of weeds and destroy suckers as soon as they appear. Raspberries the same. Finish grafting if not already done. Vines will be beginning to run, thin out some of the young shoots that do not show fruit; stop the shoots that have fruit on, at a first or second joint above the fruit. If there is much fruit, water with guano water, and mulch or cover the surface with straw, leaves, litter, &c., half rotten. Figs, clear them of all suckers, and stop the side shoots when they have made five or six inches of new wood; with the thumb and fore--finger pinch the extreme bud out, and fruit will break forth from the base of every leaf, and will ripen fine fruit in the autumn. If any have stood the winter, they will be fast coming to maturity. If you want the tree to increase in height, leave a few of the leaders unpinched.
Strawberries will be in full bearing now; look over them and pull the fruit as it ripens. See that the slugs are kept away with lime or sea-weed, the latter is an excellent manure, and it preserves the fruit from mould and dirt; pinch the fruit in dry weather for preserving, keep them clear of weeds and runners. Cape gooseberries, old plants will require looking over once a week, gather any ripe fruit for puddings as they appear. English gooseberries and currants, keep the bushes clear from suckers and weeds, thin the fruit for preserving. Mulch late planted fruit trees. Cut away any suckers
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from newly grafted or budded trees as they appear. Tie up any shoots that are likely to be damaged by the wind. Apples, thin, that is when two or three are in a cluster remove them all but one. Pears, do the same. Thin all fruits, more especially if the trees are young. Pinch any young shoots that are running away. Keep the trees low and well formed. Pie melons and pumpkins finish planting among the trees, they will keep the weeds down and the surface cool. Also--lemons, oranges, citrons, limes, guavas, and olives if not already planted. Attend to stopping and cutting away the suckers and useless shoots of vines. Attend to the live fences, keep them clear of weeds for the first three years, and they will take care of themselves afterwards. Keep them down that they may form a good foundation. Cut them twice a year if thorn, three times if furze. If you want a good hedge for your orchard, plant quince, south american plum, and rosa multiflora, all mixed together, no wind can penetrate such a fence, and you can have it any height under 30 feet. Cut the sides up with a hook.
The trees will not require much attention just now, if they are mulched over the surface. Run the hoe through them occasionally to keep weeds down. Collect all rubbish and burn it, spread the ashes, and sow seeds between the trees. Look to the melons and cucumbers, leave some of the best formed to ripen seed; the same with pumpkins, pie melons, and vegetable marrows. If you have recourse to watering, let it be done in the evening after sun-down; never water when the sun is up, as it will cause the ground to evaporate and harden much more rapidly than before. When once you begin watering, you must continue it nightly till the rain comes. In watering cucumbers, avoid wetting the leaves. Dress hedges, clear young ones of weeds. See to the keeping of everything in order, and see that tools are cleaned and put in their proper places when done with, so that they may be found in good order when next wanted. During this and next month fruit ripens: cherries, gooseberries, strawberries, currants, peaches, and plums, (the last two about the end of this month,) raspberries, cape gooseberries, &c,